Monday, September 16, 2013

You're Next In Line For A Miracle!

I speak healing over you in the name of Jesus!  Yesterday, a young man in our church, Duke Lovins, testified that the doctors told him he would be in a wheelchair before age nineteen. Today, he's twenty four and still walking!  Walking hasn't always been easy, but in the past ten weeks he's been pain free and actually walking for exercise with his mother!  


Luke 17:17 "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?"

Jesus healed the lepers and provided us with some important lessons:

1.They seized the moment!  Luke 17:13 says, "They lifted up their voices and said...Have mercy on us!"  DESPERATE people do DESPERATE things!  Who cares about appearances when you're dying? Jesus was passing by!  The most frightening thing that can happen to any of us is for Jesus to pass us by.  That's why they seized the moment, and cried out to Him.  You see, nobody can hear you like Jesus!

2. They had to "walk it out."  Their healing was not immediate - it was a PROCESS.  Luke 17:14 says, "As they went, they were cleansed."  Often, that's how it works!  It's not simply one step, but a relentless plowing through obstacles and insecurities until you get to your miracle!  But you appreciate it more when you have to "walk it out" day by day, depending on God!

3. Only one returned to give thanks.  That's why Jesus asked, "Where are the nine?" (Luke 17:17).  Were they too busy?  Too self-absorbed? Or just plain forgetful?  He said to the one who came back, "Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Luke 17:19).  You see, healing can be found in many places, but you can only become whole when you spend time daily with Jesus!

You want to know what a miracle is?  

Look in the mirror!  Go down to Wishard Hospital or take a trip to skid row and you'll realize how BLESSED you are!

Life isn't always fair, polite, kind or courteous...but The LORD is the LIFTER of your head and your HELP in the time of need!  

Instead of complaining about how life is treating you, how the church is treating you, how your family is treating you, how your pastors are treating you, how your job is treating you or how the government is treating you...REMEMBER how GOOD GOD HAS BEEN TO YOU!

Send up a PRAISE and allow the PROCESS to PERFECT you!

As we listened to Duke share his testimony - he POINTED us to JESUS!  He didn't share all the details of his PAIN, he shared the details of his PRAISE!

We become like the nine lepers, who didn't come back to say "thank you!" to Jesus, when we remain absorbed in our own lives, drama, hurts and feelings.  Start PRAISING the Lord for what He's already done in your life and you'll get a new sense of appreciation for the MIRACLES He's getting ready to do!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Your Struggle Will Be Your Success! (Part 2)

SUCCESS is birthed out of STRUGGLE!  Your journey began at the moment of your spiritual birth and will end when you are TRANSFORMED from corruptible to incorruptible. (1 Corinthians 15:53-54)  Until you reach Heaven, you'll have to keep "fighting the good fight" and learn how "to endure hardship as a good solider of Jesus Christ!"

On your journey upward, you will gain and lose some relationships.  Honestly, as long as you're in your small beginnings, folks will accept you.  However, when you begin to accelerate into new levels, some folks won't be able to get a handle on your growth.

It's like the old story of Cain and Able.  Cain became very angry when God received Ables' offering and not his.  God addressed Cain and said, "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door..." (Genesis 4:6-7)

Some people carry the SPIRIT OF CAIN in their uncrucified flesh.  When they attempt to get close to you, its for the purpose of looking for a kink in your armor so they can criticize your journey and ultimately try to discredit you.  

How do you defend yourself from this kind of spirit?  Do you fight it?  Do you defend yourself? Honestly, if you consume your time trying to reason with this spirit, you'll stay locked up in the prison of explanation all the days of your life.  Sometimes, the people closest to you will be your foes.  Jesus said, "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." (Matthew 10:36).  Your enemies are too far away to wound you but it's the people who sit at your table who can hurt you the most.

Didn't Jesus encounter the same thing?  At the "Last Supper", He sat with John the Beloved on one side and Judas the Betrayer on the other.  Basically, we have to be able to DISCERN which one is which.  They were both very close...John laid his head on Jesus' bosom and Judas was close enough to betray Him with a kiss.  Ironically, BOTH were used to help Jesus achieve His destiny!  Friends, God can use both in your life to PROMOTE you to His PURPOSE!

With your CALLING comes RESPONSIBILITY.  The more you have...the more you are responsible for.  If you have a car you have a responsibility to keep it maintained with oil, gasoline and lest we forget...INSURANCE.  People who have no car need no gas. :)  It's comical for me to hear ladies talk about how much they have to clean all the nick-nacks in their house, and yet, they asked for all of it.  Friends, everything God gives you requires MAINTENANCE!

I guess that's why Jesus said, "No man builds without counting the cost." (Luke 14:28-30)  So, ask yourself today... 

  • "Am I willing to pay the price to get the blessing?"  
  • "Am I willing to endure the criticism and the ridicule that comes with success?"  
  • "Am I willing to accept the STRUGGLE?"

Not everyone who says they want to be in ministry today can answer those questions with a "yes!"  

  • We want the BLESSING but not the BATTLE.
  • We want to be USED but not ABUSED.
  • We want the OFFERS without sacrificial OFFERINGS.
  • We want the TITLE without the TRIAL.
  • We want the POSITION without SUBMISSION.
  • We want the SUCCESS without the STRUGGLE.
  • We want the OPPORTUNITY without the OBSTACLES.
  • We want the IMAGE without the IRRITATION.
There are some women who say they want a husband and children but don't want to cook, care or clean.  There are some men who say they want a wife but don't want to love, provide and nourish.  Most people are in love with the IMAGE of success, but they haven't counted the cost of POSSESSING the BLESSING.

It's a good thing that God doesn't give us everything we ask for!  We have a habit of asking for things because they look good in someone else's life.  However, we're not always ready to receive those things and it would probably destroy us if we did receive them because we're not prepared to maintain them.
  • You may have a FIERY TESTIMONY but that doesn't mean you're ready to pastor a church.
  • You may have a GREAT VOICE but that doesn't mean you're ready to lead a congregation in worship.
  • You may have a LIKABLE PERSONALITY but that doesn't mean you're ready to oversee people.
God knows what we can presently handle.  When we learn to master the BASICS then we can be trusted in ADVANCED areas.  For example: If God can trust us with the BASICS of Tithes & Offerings, then He can trust us with ADVANCED areas of financial increase.

Ultimately, I want to hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matthew 25:23)

More to come...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Your Struggle Will Be Your Success!

Everyone I've ever met desires to be SUCCESSFUL!  I don't recall meeting anyone and hearing them say, "I want to be a loser!"  Since success is our GOAL, why do we struggle so much to achieve it?

You only get the CROWN after the battle is over!  Yes...I said BATTLE!  If success were easy, anybody could do it.  However, SUCCESS is only SUCCESS after you've come through the STRUGGLE with victory!  Sure, you may have some wounds from the battle...but SUCCESS is inevitable for the child of God who not only SURVIVES the attack...but THRIVES as well!

How can you have a VICTORY without a CONFLICT?  You can't!  In order to be an OVERCOMER you have to have something to COME OVER!

Anyone who thinks that they'll reach their goal without a STRUGGLE is wishing for something that COSTS nothing.  Anything that COSTS you NOTHING won't have the same VALUE as that which you have PAID for on the BATTLE FIELD!

In department stores, before the surge of electronics, people used to switch price tags on clothing and items in order to lessen the price of the product they wanted. It's no different today!  Many are trying to do the same thing in their SPIRITUAL LIFE!  They want the CHRISTIAN DISCOUNT on the promises of God!  They don't want to have to PAY for anything of VALUE.  Thus, we've birthed a generation of SELF-CENTERED, CHEAP, CHARISMATIC CHRISTIANS who want SOMETHING for NOTHING!

Friends...your PAYMENT helps you appreciate the BLESSINGS when they come because you know the EXPENSE!

With the EXPENSE comes an APPRECIATION for every STRUGGLE you had to endure to make it to where you are today!  Your STRUGGLE actually PUSHES you up!

Don't be surprised by the ATTACK of the enemy when you become to achieve GRACEFUL SUCCESS!  Sadly, there will even be people in the body of Christ who will become offended at your success and seek to discredit anything you do in the name of The Lord.  

You can't concern yourself with those who seek to find fault, criticize you or shun you.  Often, people are offended at what God has done for you and the FAVOR that is upon your life.  They'll never rejoice with you because somehow they feel that your success came at their expense.  Friends...NO DIPLOMACY can calm a jealous heart.

I want to encourage you today to WEAR YOUR COAT of FAVOR!  Man may try to steal it...but when you wear it long enough on the OUTSIDE...your INSIDES will recognize the DESTINY before you!

You are BLESSED and HIGHLY FAVORED!  Your STRUGGLE is preparing you for SUCCESS!

More to come...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Giving Should Be Our Style of Living

How do you see INCREASE in your life?  The key to increase is INVESTING.  

There's a verse in the Bible that I love, because it speaks VOLUMES about the POTENTIAL of PROSPERITY in our lives through our GENEROSITY!

"A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed!"

(Proverbs 11:25 NIV)

It's not the SEED you KEEP that's the SEED you SOW.  That seed NEVER leaves your life, and it moves from your PRESENT into your FUTURE.  It goes ahead of you, to rearrange tomorrow in your FAVOR!

I don't expect people in the world to understand this principle and, sadly, not everyone in the church understands it either.  NOT KNOWING how this principle works places us on the opposite side of God's blessings.

When you can GIVE with no strings attached, you've learned how to CONQUER a GREEDY spirit.  It's also proof that you've conquered your FEAR of lack.  When you GIVE, your gift tells God that He is first in your life.  It says you're totally confident that He is going to meet your needs and BLESS you!

Can I cheat myself out of a blessing?  Yes!  If you're not SOWING, you're ROBBING yourself of the harvest.  

"One person gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."

(Proverbs 11:24 NIV)

See, it's possible to GIVE away and become RICHER!  It is also possible to hold on too tightly and lose everything!

GIVING should be our style of LIVING!

Trust me, God will give us plenty of opportunities to WATER others - - and when we do, blessings will begin to pour back upon us!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Penny March

As a child, I couldn't wait for our pastor to call for all the kids to come forward for the "PENNY MARCH."  By the time the invitation came, the change I had been clenching in my fist was clammy with sweat.  I wanted to be first in line.  Somehow, the sound of my change passing through the glass neck of that old fashioned water bottle and clanking around made me feel like I had really done something big!

My pastor was teaching me that I wasn't just giving an offering...I was INVESTING in the Kingdom of God.  I guess you could say, I was given a lesson on finance at an early age.  As I grew up, I carried this lesson with me and learned how to tithe consistently.  Today, it continues to be one of the wisest lessons on investing that I've ever learned.

When we put God FIRST in our GIVING
...God blesses our LIVING.

Bringing our TITHE (10%) to God acknowledges His ownership of everything BEFORE we enjoy any of it for ourselves.  God is so generous...He only asks for the 10%, in faith, while allowing us to live on the 90%.

Remember the PRINCIPLE Malachi taught us concerning stewardship? "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, 'says the Lord Almighty'" (Malachi 3:10 NIV)

Lessons Learned:

  1. When you tithe, you get DIRECT ACCESS to the CAPITAL of Heaven!  God promises to open the "floodgates of heaven" to those who tithe! (v.10)  The Bible says that the "earth is the Lords."  He is the CFO of the universe!  And He has continually made heaven's RESOURCES and RESERVES available to me, as I have obeyed Him in my giving.
  2. INTEREST EARNED!  God's returns are compounded.  He said, He would "pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it!" (v.10).  In other words, you can't out give'll find out in the end that He's outgiven you!

All you have to do is read the next verse to understand how serious God is about BLESSING you and INSURING you through your giving! "I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit." (Malachi 3:11 NIV).

Friends, everything you INVEST into the Kingdom of God will be returned to you in Heaven!