Monday, November 29, 2010

Are you "UNHELPING" yourself?

Have you heard the phrase "God helps those who help themselves?"  That sounds good...however, it's not actually a verse in the Bible.  Funny thing, I've heard people quote it in church and say ... "the Bible says..."  LOL

Let's get right to the point.  It is unfair to God for us to say "He" helps those who help themselves.  The truth is...God may try to help someone who is working hard to "UNHELP" themselves.

A gambler may think that their Divine intervention is more CASH.  But what good would it do for God to replace all the money that a gambler wasted?  More than likely, it would only intensify the gambler's addiction.

Perhaps, when a guy is hell-bent on ruining his own life in such a way, and doesn't really welcome God's RELEVANT help, the best help God can give is simply to let him do what he wants, and hope he learns his lesson someday.

What do all of us want?  We want happiness, peace, satisfaction, fulfillment, well-being and enlightenment. However, because our human nature is selfish, we end up focusing more on our emotional needs rather than our spiritual needs.  Thus, we do a better job "hindering ourselves" than "helping ourselves."

Friends, ego-directed living is a sure way to go broke emotionally.  By living as ego recommends, a person can prevent ANY form of well-being, and erase ANY degree of happiness.

If our ego could deliver happiness as promised, this would be a happy, happy world.  However, ego loses every time

I would dare say that God is facing an uphill battle in making some people happy.  He takes the blame for so much.  And yet, everything God does is to try to get us to a place of spiritual happiness.  God knows that if we can get rid of our selfish EGO we'll be able to receive His internal satisfaction in our soul.

God helps in many ways.  Just like you do.  You can help anyone; at least you can try to help.  You can do your best.  You can do your best with what you have to work with.  but as far as the EFFECTIVENESS of the help is concerned, there are other factors:  other votes, other wills involved.  There is the matter of receptivity - openness.  And the matter of IMPLEMENTATION - taking the advice.

Though HELP may be given...even good help...
various factors bear upon the effectiveness of it. 

What if a person liberally indulges in modes of thought and beliefs that would make ANYONE unhappy?  Evidently, that person doesn't WANT to be least, not enough to do their part.  That's why I say God is fighting an uphill battle to make some people happy.

Here's a question:  Can God make us happy against our will?

I believe that God's efforts are in vain if we WON'T help ourselves (or at least stop hurting ourselves very effectively).  God can't heal us for long, if we remain busy making ourselves sick.  What use is God's help in building our house of happiness today if we tear it down tomorrow?  And what use is God's forgiveness if we won't forgive ourselves? 

God wants to help us...but we must commit to STOP "unhelping" ourselves!

Friday, November 26, 2010

I'm More In Love With The Word Than Ever

The Word of God serves as a doorway to His voice.  Anytime I'm looking for direction, His Word gives me specific directions. 

However, I must position myself to "hear" from the Lord by spending time reading and dwelling on the Word. 

Believe me...the enemy wants to hinder my ability to spend time in the Word.  He pulls out all the stops every time I determine to dive into the Word of God.  Whether I'm studying, meditating, reading or even researching.

Hindrances to "hearing" from God:

1. Skepticism
  • Hearing from the Lord involves FAITH.  I must believe that the Lord wants to speak to me.
2. Immature Spirit

3. Inability to hear
  • Over involved in other people's business, crowded with stress and burdens, can cause spiritual deafness.
4. Hardened Conscience
  • A hardened conscience is resistant to God's Word and cannot receive it.
5. Disregard
  • Not spending time with God can block my ability to hear from Him.
If ever I've learned anything (and I'm still learning!) it's that God's Word prepares me to HEAR His voice.  It's after spending time in His Word that the voice of the Lord becomes very distinct and revelation begins to flow fluidly in my spirit.

1. His Word Guides Me
  • When I spend time in the Word of God I can distinguish the voice of the Lord over the voice of the enemy.
2. His Word Tweaks My Spirit
  • As a musician, I can tell when something is out of tune.  The same can be said of the voice of the Lord in my life after I'm "tuned" in.  His Word draws me closer to his voice and purifies my thoughts from clutter.  Therefore, I must feed my spirit daily with the Word.  If not, I'll get "out of tune" and make the band sound lousy.
3. His Word Defines What He Has Already Spoken
  • When the Lord speaks something to my spirit His Word will bring a settled peace.  This is important, especially when I have an important decision to make.  His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
4. His Word Washes My Spirit And Rids Me From Toxins

5. His Word Defeats The Enemy
  • Whenever fear or anxious thoughts come against my mind, I use the Word of God (memorized Scripture) to cancel them out!  Remember when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness? He answered the devil with the Word.
6. His Word Fills Me Up
  • I love a good meal.  The Word of God is spiritual milk that causes me to remain full and enhance spiritual growth.
  • Want to receive revelation and wisdom?  Spend time FEEDING your spirit with the Word.
Praying In The Spirit

How does this help me hear from God?  Praying in the Spirit is a direct link to God.  When you pray in the Spirit several things happen:

1. You release your faith.
2. Prayer perfects (enhances) your spiritual ears.
3. Offering "thanks" confirms that you "believe" what you have "received."
4. Stay thirsty!  If you've lost your thirst...ask Him to restore it.
5. Don't forget to pray in the Spirit every day.

Want To See A Change?

1. Decide today to make a change!
2. Get rid of all your excuses!
3. Start immediately!  (refuse to put it off any longer!)

Don't Go In Debt For Christmas

An ounce of wisdom:  Don't go in debt for Christmas with overspending and swiping plastic. Stay in control of your finances by only spending money that is yours.

Thinking about it ahead of time and having a plan will prevent impulse purchases at the store that you can't afford. Studies have shown that people spend more money when they use a credit card to pay for things. Not only do they spend more upfront, but they pay even more money in interest come the New Year.

Here's some tips that can help you and your family this year:

1.  Whatever you do, DO NOT go further into debt just to keep up with a status quo this Christmas.
  • Shop mindfully.
  • Live within your means.
  • Say no with grace. 
  • You'll still have a wonderful Christmas and it will be just as memorable for the entire family.
2. Consider how much to spend on gifts.
  • Spend only what your budget will allow without going into debt.
  • You can do it!!!!  It's not easy...but it can be done!
  • Society will tell you that going into debt is the norm...DON'T LISTEN to them...because going into debt doesn't have to be the norm!
  • With the budget set, follow these steps:
    • Create a gift list and assign each person a spending amount.
    • In the next column write down an idea for a cool gift.
    • Finally, withdraw cash from the bank and go shopping.  This guarantees you won't spend more money than you have.
    • Leave your credit and debit cards at home.   
3. Determine who you're going to spend money on.
  • Again, figure out how much money you have to spend without going into debt.
  • Ask yourself, "How much do I want to spend on family that I rarely see?"
  • You're not a bad person for not spending money on them.
4. Look for ways to cut down on expensive gift giving with extended family members.
  • Tell your family that you're watching your spending this Christmas.
  • Either skip gift giving this year or lower your spending level.
  • You may want to also consider:
    • Giving the gift of experience.  For example, is there something you can do together as a family instead of exchanging material gifts?
    • Suggest a homemade gift exchange.  (Bake cookies, knit something)
    • Recycle/reuse - try a white elephant gift exchange.  (You'll laugh a lot)
    • Ask them to donate the money that they would have spent on a gift for you to your favorite charity.
    • Ask them to use the money to fund a future visit.  Time with family is valuable and possibly the best gift.
God's desire for you is to be blessed and prosperous. 

Let me encourage you today to live within your means and resist the temptation of spending money you don't actually have.  You'll be amazed at the joy and peace you'll have knowing that you have preserved your families posterity.

Proverbs 21:5  The Plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage.
1 Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.
Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children.
Proverbs 21:20 The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crucify Me Why Don't You

Galatians 6:14 "...the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." 

Paul has a double way of showing what it means to glory only in the cross.  He is saying, "Since I met Christ, the world has come to look like a despised, worthless, cursed thing."

When something is crucified, it is rejected and scorned.  That's what became of the world when Paul met Christ.  He said, "I count everything as loss (crucified) for the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." (Philippians 3:8).

Paul was swallowed up by the love of Christ that the benefits of the world looked to him as cold and ashen as a crucified corpse.

But then he says it another way, too.  "I am crucified to the world."  When the world looks at me, it sees nothing very attractive, either.  I am like a corpse as far as the world is concerned. 

The reason Paul mentions his rejection of the world and the world's rejection of him is to accent the value of Christ crucified.

The world looks at our ministry like it did Paul's:  "We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, yet well-known; as dying, and behold we live; as punished, and yet not killed." (2 Corinthians 6:8-9)

As far as the world is concerned, a life devoted to Christ is a throw-away life.  Paul said, "We have become, and are now, the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things."  (1 Corinthians 4:1)

So another way of saying that the world is crucified to me and I to the world is to say the world has become refuse to me and I have become refuse to the world.

This world is like a big pile of GARBAGE compared to Jesus Christ!  Paul was ravished by the love of Christ.  He was held captive by one great scene in history:  A CROSS ON GOLGOTHA, AND ON IT THE SON OF GOD WHO LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR US.

Until we see this world as a big pile of will have an attraction to us! 

Why is it that some people just can't seem to die out to the world?  Because they still have the love of the world in them.

It seems today that you can be a Christian and no one can tell unless you tell them.  Can anyone tell you're a Christian?
  • Do you dress differently than the world?
    • Modesty
  • Do you talk differently than the world?
    • Choice of words
    • Jokes
  • Is your music different than the world?
    • What's on your ipod?
    • Is it Holy Spirit anointed?
  • Is your movie taste different than the world?
    • Are there movies you won't see?
  • Is your TV watching different than the world?
    • When is the last time you changed the channel?
  • Is the content of your Internet viewing different than the world?
  • Is your church attendance different than the world?
    • How's your Bible reading and prayer life?
  • Is your politics different than the world?
  • Is your treatment of others different than the world?
    • Do you love your enemies?
  • Is your money handling different than the world?
    • Debt?
    • Tithes and Offerings?
    • Savings?
    • Benevolence?
    • Gambling?
  • Is your attitude different than the world?
    • Humility or Pride?
    • Sweet or Sour?
    • Nice or Nasty?
    • Positive or Negative?
  • Is your purity different than the world?
    • Fidelity?
    • Fornication?
    • Living together unmarried? (also known as "shacking up")
Galatians 6:14 "...the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Enough Is Not Good Enough

Have you ever worked with anyone who did just enough to get by?  Enough to not get fired but not enough to add real value to the team?

Are they lazy? Maybe it's a result of their upbringing?  Perhaps they don't know any better?


They really know but pretend to act ignorant.

Underachievers have little ambition.  They only do what they're told...nothing more.  They attempt to fly under the radar; hide in their office; surf the Internet; text; make excuses and take no initiative to see who needs help and what needs done.

Our entire life is a stewardship test.  There is no "rulership" without "stewardship."  If we don't pass this test, we'll never be made ruler over great things.

Luke 16:11-12 "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?

A steward must be proven to be faithful-dependable and trustworthy.  (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)  Stewardship makes you accountable for your behavior.  You can't continue to blame your dislike of work, co-workers, boss, location, position, etc.  Ultimately, we will be required to give an account for our behavior. (Luke 16:1-4)

On the other hand, a person who displays the character of faithfulness will abound in the blessing.  (Proverbs 28:20)   Once the blessing is upon you, it affects every area of your life and makes you rich and whole.  (Proverbs 10:22)

You may be faithful ... but are you fruitful?  Are you bearing fruit in your present ministry?  Are you doing all you can do...or just enough to get by?  Are you bringing joy to your leaders?  Are you adding or subtracting?  Are you just bidding your time in your present place and viewing it as a stepping stone to something else?

Many of the breakthroughs people are searching for are hindered because they haven't passed the test of "gumption."  When you have gumption, you will work with what you have and make the most of it.  Times of uncomfortable testing prove what you will do with abundance.

When you're faithful with little, you'll be faithful with much.
When you're unfaithful with the few, you'll be unfaithful with the much.

Examine your motives.  How can you ever have your own ministry if you can't get the basics down where you're presently serving? 

Serving in ministry and/or on a team requires certain things:
  1. Must communicate
    • If you have a problem with someone on the team, talk to them about it.  Letting bad feelings brew will only make you sour and want to isolate yourself from the team.  Not only does it feel good to get it out, but it will be better for the team in the long run.
  2. Don't blame others
    • People on your team lose respect for you if you're constantly blaming others for your lack.  You're not fooling anyone, people know who isn't pulling their weight in the group.  Pointing the finger will only make you look cowardly.  Team members understand if you have a heavy workload and aren't able to meet a deadline.  Saying something like, "I'm really sorry, but I'll get it to you by the end of today." will earn you a lot more respect than trying to make it seem like it's everyone else's fault that you missed your deadline.
  3. Support other people's ideas
    • If a teammate suggests something, always consider it - even if it's the dumbest idea you've ever heard!  Considering other people's ideas shows you're interested in their ideas, not just your own.  And this will make a you a good team member.  After all, nobody likes a know-it-all.
  4. Stop bragging
    • It's one thing to rejoice in your successes with the group, but don't act like a superstar.  Doing this will make others regret your personal successes and may create tension on the team.  You don't have to brag to let people know you've done a good job, people will already know.  Have faith that people will recognize when good work is being done and that they'll let you know how well you're doing.  You're response?  Something like "Thanks, that means a lot." is enough.
  5. Listen
    • Look at the person who's speaking to you, nod, ask questions and acknowledge what's said by reaffirming what they have said.  If you're unclear about something that's been said, ask for more information to clear up any confusion before moving on.  Effective communication is a vital part of any team, so the value of good listening skills shouldn't be underestimated.
  6. Get involved
    • Take time to help others no matter what the request.  Don't wait to be asked to do everything.  Jump in with both feet and give it 100%.  At the end of the day you'll have accomplished something worthwhile and will feel good about your workmanship.  Other people will be more inclined to give you a helping hand if you've already done the same.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beware of Moochers

What is a moocher?  Webster's defines it as someone who wanders aimlessly; sneaky; beggar and sponge.

MOOCHERS have nothing to lose...but you sure will.  They are skillful in misleading you into believing that they have much to do with you, while they are mainly trying to get involved with you in order to get something from you in return.

Everyone knows people who have a tendency to sponge off other people - free riding has been a problem since the beginning of civilization.  We also know people who get into jams and have to ask their friends and family for help.  However, the MOOCHER takes it to the next level and makes a lifestyle out of it.

Someone's always covering their meals, gas, bills, etc.  The MOOCHER will pay you back next week or so they say.  They need fifty bucks just to tide them over.  They promise they'll get it back to you.

When friends or family don't work out, the MOOCHER always has a backup: the boyfriend or girlfriend, who seems to be paying for everything in the relationship from rent, gas, clothes to food. 

Even though a couple may be having financial problems, and both people in the home are needed to work, the MOOCHER is always putting off finding that job.  Sure, there were some jobs, but none that the MOOCHER was "qualified" for.  Yeah, they had a good paying one in that ad...but it wouldn't let the MOOCHER express creativity.  So someone else has to bear the full load of the family finances, and the MOOCHER sits at home watching Oprah or playing X-box.

What should you do if you're a MOOCHER or if you have a MOOCHER in your life?

First, If you're a MOOCHER...GROW UP and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY of your own life.  How long do you think you can continue to sponge off of people?  Eventually, your friends and family will get tired of your ways and will distance themselves from you.  Your relationships will suffer from the tension.  The free ride won't last forever...and by your 30's or 40's you'll run out of ways to delay dealing with your own financial problems.  You'll end up with no friends willing to give you any more help.  The gravy train is coming to an end.

Supporting yourself is important because you'll end up better off in the long run.  Taking care of your own responsibilities will advance you in life.  People who sponge off of others tend to have jobs, not careers.  They don't ever get ahead because they don't need to.  But at some point in life, you're going to have to support yourself.

Try and then try again.  The only thing you can do to help yourself is pay your own way.  If you need more money, work for it and earn it.  You'll end up having a lot more money in the long run that way.

Second, if you're a friend, STOP LENDING MONEY!  Don't give into guilt trips by people who continue to take advantage of you.  Draw a line...explain to them that "all this lending of money" is getting in the way of our friendship.  If they get angry or refuse to associate with you, they probably weren't a real friend anyway. 

If you feel you must give them money for some reason (emergency, health problem, etc.) - make it's a gift not a loan.  A loan has the potential of breaking the friendship, because you're expecting your money back - and you may not get it.  If it's a gift, then you control how much money you've lost.  You don't have to give anymore.  And it's a lot more obvious if your "friend" keeps coming back again and again that there wasn't a real emergency.

As Christians, we are often moved with compassion to help our brothers and sisters in need.  We must never stop helping meet needs.  However, we must also take responsibility of our stewardship...lest we end up losing all of our "stuff" while we're supporting "Jonah".

As a pastor, I often receive requests for assistance.  It's my heart to minister to everyone within my reach.  However, I've learned that my soft heart can fall prey to the same old "song and dance", if I'm not careful.  It's difficult to discern the difference between legitimate or illegitimate requests.  Therefore, a leadership team has been put in place so that requests for benevolence are taken out of my hands and placed in theirs. 

I'll never forget, nearly 12 years ago when I first began to pastor at BFWC, a gentlemen knocked on the church door stating that his mother had died and he needed money for a bus ticket to Mobile, Alabama.  I emptied my wallet on the spot and was moved to tears at his request.  About a month or two later he showed up again and told me the same story again.  I wised up and said, "your mother died again?"  Needless to say, I quickly realized we needed a team to handle these delicate matters.

The church is not a bank.  The church has strategic outreach plans in place to help with benevolent matters.  The church is a caring place but it is also a maturing place.  It is better for everyone, if we disciple our people in the fundamentals of practical and spiritual disciplines. 

Also, every member of BFWC needs to keep their eyes open for unhealthy patterns.  If you know someone within our family that is constantly taking advantage of others or fits the label of "MOOCHER" then wise up and correct that unhealthy pattern.  DO NOT...and I REPEAT...DO NOT continue to give them money, loan them things, etc. 

If the Spirit of the Lord compels you to...that's one thing.  However, if you see them warming up to you or others and recognize their pattern, simply say no.

In a growing church, there are lots of needs.  Also, be aware that the leadership of the church is probably not aware of people who are going around "sponging" off of members.  If you are receiving requests from ANYONE in this house for money or assistance - please let them know that you're going to share their request with the leadership of the church. 

(FYI:  BFWC does not sanction or endorse it's people to approach anyone within our congregation for money.)

It has been my experience, that certain people will warm up to you, make you think you're their best friend, etc., just so they can get something from you in return.  Friends...that is the spirit of witchcraft. 

I admonish anyone reading this to take heed and use wisdom in how familiar you allow yourself to get with people.

  • We are loving people.
  • We are Christians.
  • We are givers.
  • We are helpers.
  • We see a need and meet it.
  • We are good employers and employees.
  • We are responsible citizens.


  • We are not MOOCHERS.
  • We do not take advantage of people.
  • We do not manipulate people's feelings for our selfish gain.

If you're a MOOCHER, you've got to get ahold of yourself.  If you interact with one, you have to set limits and stop enabling them.  Nothing else is going to work.

2 Thessalonians 3:10  "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  "if a man will not work, he shall not eat."

Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 6:9-11 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?  When will you get up from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

Remember to share the love of Jesus in all you do.  Look for the best in others.  However, be aware of the MOOCHERS!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let's Get Together

Together we are unstoppable!  Jesus told us about the power of agreement in Matthew 18:19 ...if two or more of us shall agree on earth on anything, it shall be done for us by the Father which is in Heaven.

What happens when we come together in faith?  Power to operate in the Kingdom of God is released upon us. 

The Bible says the formula is:  TWO or THREE who GATHER in HIS NAME.

He shows up when we show up. (Hence the emphasis on gathering together.)
  • But what if we don't show up?
  • Ever wonder what happens at church when you're not there?
    • Power is releasing...but its releasing only on those there to receive it.
    • Faith is building...but its building only in those there to receive it.
    • Grace is flowing...but its flowing only on those there to receive it.
David said in Psalms 133:1-3 that when BRETHREN DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY it is like:
  1. The PRECIOUS OIL (anointing of the Holy Spirit)
  2. Upon the HEAD (Jesus),
  3. Running down the BEARD (leaders of the church) and 
  4. Running down on the edge of his GARMENTS (Congregation).
The oil makes it way from the HEAD to the HEM.
  • Only those in alignment receive it.
  • In other words, only those who choose to COME TOGETHER will partake.
  • His anointing will flow through Jesus Christ, our church leaders and inevitably onto us.
  • Friends...when your church leaders are blessed...prepare yourself for an abundant harvest....IF YOU'RE THERE TOGETHER to receive it.
Unity not only produces a flow of anointing (Holy Spirit in our lives) but it also produces DEW (favor and grace of God)
  • From where? 
  • From Mount Hermon (the mountain where Jesus took Peter, James & John up to to pray - law replaced by the grace of God - Matthew 17), descending upon the mountains of Zion (a picture of grace), for THERE the Lord commanded the blessing - life forevermore!
  • Where is there? 
  • There is where God commands the blessing.
  • There is the place of agreement.
  • There is the place where law is replaced by grace.
  • There is the place of grace and favor.
  • There is the place where we are no longer judged by our conduct but upon His perfection.
  • There is where the glory of the Gospel rains in FAVOR and GRACE.
  • There is where the Lord COMMANDS a blessing!
When we come together in His name, we release the power of agreement.
When we come together in unity, we release grace and favor.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What's the Big "Deal?"

Webster's defines a "deal" as: an arrangement for mutual advantage.  In essence, a deal is a transaction in which both parties are satisfied.

When you hear someone say, "let's work out a deal," what they're saying is "I will give you this if you will give me that." 

We like getting good deals.  We don't mind that the salesman is making a commission...we just don't want to be ripped off.

We will go out of our way for a good deal.  We'll pass up five close restaurants to go to the one that gives out free chips and salsa.  We even have apps on our phones that can scan a bar code and tell us which store has the best price on a particular product.  And amazingly, we'll spend five dollars more in gasoline to drive there just to save a dollar. 

We make deals every day.  We'll make a deal with McDonald's and give them a dollar for a large sweet tea.  That sounds like a deal to me!  We'll give the concierge a tip in exchange for good information.  It seems fair to give someone something of value if they also provide something of value to us. 

A deal's a deal.  Again, a deal is basically a transaction.  A transaction can be considered a contract carried out between two parties which involves the exchange of items of value, such as information, goods or services and money.

QUESTION:  If you go to McDonald's, buy a value meal, sit in their dining room and eat your meal, do you have to throw your own trash away?
  • Didn't you pay for the meal?
  • Didn't they get their money?
  • Shouldn't they throw away the trash and clean up the table?
  • After all...isn't it a transaction?
Transactions can separate us from one another.  A transaction carries with it a mindset on how things are supposed to play out.  A transaction comes with a set of rules:  I give you give me that.  Now we're done.  Once the transaction takes place I am no longer under obligation to you.  We don't ever have to talk again.  We don't owe each other anything...No phone calls, no cards and no birthday presents.

Will you consider something today?  What if we look past the fact, what if we choose to forget the transaction mindset and its list of rules?

If there's no transaction...then there's no stigma. 

Recently I was staying at a hotel that offered "complimentary" cookies to their guests.  I mentioned to the clerk at the desk that one of my favorites was peanut butter.  However, they only had chocolate chip...which by the way is a close second!  I went to my room and about a half hour later received a call from the front desk that said, "Mr. Hylton we just baked fresh peanut butter cookies, if you'd like to come back to the lobby."

Here's the point.  The employee of that hotel chain went above the "rules" of the transaction.  From a transaction viewpoint...the hotel didn't have to accommodate my specific preference for cookies.  The transaction only called for a room for a fair price.  They provided the room...I provided the cash.  A deals a deal.

I wonder what the people of BFWC could do this week that would go beyond the lines of the "normal" transaction?

Our lack of "transaction" thinking could actually afford a new friendship with an employee at our local grocery store or Starbucks.  A bond could be formed between the "giver" and the "receiver" that redefines business as usual.

What if you went out of your way to do something "above and beyond" the rules of the transaction? 

  • What if you bus your own table in the restaurant?
  • What if you clean the sink area in the restroom in consideration for the next customer?
  • What if you take your shopping cart back inside the store?
  • What if you give more than you receive?
  • What if you refuse gas money from a friend who needs a ride?
  • What if you deliver groceries to a family who is struggling?
  • What if you rake your neighbors leaves for free?
  • What if you pick up your neighbors trash cans from the street and carried them back to their garage?
  • What if you leave a coke and candy bar for your garbage man?
  • What if you refuse to accept a tip from an elderly customer?
  • What if you straighten a clothing rack at the department store?
When you operate outside the lines of the "transaction"'ll really find the DEAL of a lifetime!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Here...Not Just The Hereafter

God's plan for you is to enjoy your life NOW!  Why wait? 

It seems that some can only enjoy life when:

  • They have enough money,
  • The government is providing another stimulus check,
  • Their bills are paid, 
  • Their marriage is above average,
  • Their appliances are all working,
  • Their kids are healthy,
  • Their homework is finished,
  • They didn't burn dinner,
  • Their car is running smoothly,
  • Their boss isn't on their back or
  • They didn't forget to set out the trash on Friday.
However, enjoying life and "living in the Kingdom" is not contingent on circumstance.  GOOD things and BAD things are going to happen to you in this life.  It is our choice to allow the minors or majors control our JOY, PEACE and WELL BEING.

It will rain on your parade.
Your bubble will get burst.

Life will continue with or without your permission and you'll eventually have to decide you're going to play the part of the VICTIM or walk as a VICTOR.

You'll either have a TESTIMONY or merely a MONY.

I believe God desires each of us to enjoy a "KINGDOM LIFE" on this side of eternity. 
  • A life that is filled with JOY, PEACE and WELL BEING.
  • A life that knows how to turn lemons into lemonade.
  • A life that concludes to rejoice in pain, sorrow, infirmities, reproaches, necessities, persecutions and distresses. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10)
  • A life that receives God's STRENGTH during our WEAKNESS.
  • A life that determines to rest in the fact that His grace is enough to catch us whenever we fall.
  • A life that sees challenges as chances for God to perform a MIRACLE on our behalf!
Remember when Jesus had only five loaves and two fishes to feed 5000? (John 6:11-13)  Jesus saw the lack as an opportunity for the power of Christ to manifest.  He gave thanks for the little He had and started distributing the food.

He gave thanks for what He had and then it multiplied!  This is the power of Christ in our every minus...give thanks for what you have, not what you lack...and it shall be blessed to the extent that you're able to bless others as well!

Friend, learn to have a merry heart regardless of the circumstances you face.  With every MINUS God can bring a "SUPER PLUS" (surplus) for your good!

  • All things...good and bad.
  • All things will not necessarily be good - certain things which happen to you may not be good in itself but all things shall work together to bring good to those who love God.

Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called:  and whom he called, them he also justified:  and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The will of God is to bring you to a place where you will be like Jesus Christ.  This is His ultimate purpose for you.

  • God knew us before we were formed in the belly of our mother's womb!  (Jeremiah 1:5)
  • God knew us when we were full of sin.
  • God knew us when we were rank sinners.
  • God knew us when we were unlovable and hard to live with.
  • God knew us when our attitude stunk and no one could stand to be around us.
  • God knew us when we were unfaithful.
  • God knew us when we were cantankerous.
And yet...He PREDESTINED us...
  • He believes I will take on His image and look like Him.
  • He believes I can change for the better.
  • He believes in me.
  • He believes in my future.
  • He believes my destiny is sure.
Then He CALLS me...
  • He invites me to join His cause.
  • He pierces my heart with the Gospel message and sends the Holy Spirit to convict.
  • He calls me out of my past.
  • He calls me into a better future.
Then He JUSTIFIES me...
  • He declares me righteous.
  • He absolves my guilt.
  • He removes my condemnation.
  • He cancels my bond.
  • He vacates my judgement.
  • He reverses my attainder.
So He can GLORIFY me...
  • He receives glory through my righteous living.
  • His original goal is achieved by securing my place with Him in Heaven.
  • Our covenant relationship is fully manifested.
He foreknew who would exercise His free choice to receive Christ and He predestined you to be conformed to the image of Christ.  This can either happen within this life or in the after-life with Christ.  Either way, you shall receive blessings, peace and joy when you are conformed to the image of Christ.  However, God wants you to enjoy the blessings that He has in store for you in this life.

I want to encourage you today to WALK IN YOUR INHERITANCE!  You are destined to look like Jesus, act like Jesus and live like Jesus on this side of eternity. 

Decide today to enjoy the KINGDOM LIFE here on earth...not just in the hereafter.