What is God Saying to me?

 

 

Faith

Heb 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.  3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: NKJV

My wife seems to have a green thumb when it comes to gardening. I remember standing one day looking at our beautiful back yard. I was impressed at how over the year she has planned out these little details, adding a plant here and there, and now we have this wonderful thriving garden to enjoy.

I know she puts a lot of love and care into her efforts but I also know she adds a little special ingredient to some of her plants, “miracle grow.” Properly planting the Word of God into our lives is a miracle of faith. We have to trust that by burying a seed and letting it die that God will cause abundant life to come forth from our efforts. So when you plant don’t forget to add your miracle grow. Your personal faith.

Philemon 4-7  I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, 5 hearing of your love and faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints, 6 that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. NKJV

I love to see how Paul prays for the saints.  His prayers are not self-centered or shallow but deeply rooted in the promotion of the Kingdom of God.  Here he again releases a powerful truth for us to walk by.  If we wish to release our faith in an effective way we must learn to lay hold of “every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus.”  We are to acknowledge every good thing in us because of and through Christ.  The Word tells us that “all things” are ours in Christ and that we are surrounded by the promises of God.  Let our confession be that we believe this and run the race to keep our lives reflecting the “high calling of God.”

  1. Have you confessed Jesus over your life?  If not, begin now and receive God’s blessing abundantly.
  2. Are you a wild garden or the planting of the Lord?
  3. Labor to Rest! Take time to stop and heal. Plan out your garden. John 15
  4. Go get your seed. Pray, study, plant, fellowship and receive a harvest.


Thrive 1.0

Romans 8:22-25   22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

“Who hopes for what they already have?”  These seven words jumped off the page to me this week.  When I think about what I am hoping for, what I currently have isn’t on the radar.  That’s the key function of hope… it draws you up to something that you desire to be real before it actually is.  Hope causes you to continue walking a path even when you aren’t 100% confident that the next footfall will be a solid one. Hope is key for a person who is thriving.

Somewhere in the midst of our struggles, our heads go down and we lose sight of the hope that we are called to receive.  You see, having hope or not having hope is not a function of whether or not you’re a good enough Christian.  We don’t carry hope; God carries it.  We receive it.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

 

Did you catch that in verse 7?  … “and whose hope is the Lord”.  It doesn’t say that our hope is in the Lord, it says that our hope is the Lord.  That implies that it is God that creates and sustains hope… all we have to do is accept it.  What a wonderful arrangement.  I get to trust in God because of all that He has done and then receive His hope that His will is going to be done in my life as I desire and purpose to follow Him.  You cannot begin to THRIVE in CHRIST until you accept that all hope is the Lord.  Once you begin to see, through the Spirit, that God is alive and active and interested in causing you to flourish, you begin to actively wait on Him.  That puts you in a wonderful position to anticipate His voice.  When you are patiently waiting for Him, you are going to see amazing things!!  Not because God is going to start to move in your realm of awareness, but because you are going to start moving in His.  Things are happening.. right now… all around us!  God is at work and miracles are popping like kernels at Beaver Camp.  We are living in the supernatural power of the Jesus Christ!  What we need to do is look up and see…

Placed in each of us is a deep desire to be united with God and each other.  As we begin to be motivated to put the fullness of Christ on display, we will accomplish both of those desires.  And when that happens… watch out!!  As Jesus said… “ I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”



Get Ready

Joshua 1:1-2

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.

Can you imagine how scared Joshua must have been?  His mentor has only been gone for thirty days and now he is supposed to cross over the Jordan and begin taking the land that The God of Creation promised to this nation.   After 40 years of wandering and death after death of the key people in the nation, now Joshua was called to lead the people into the Promised Land.

The immensity of this task must have weighed heavily on him.  To give you some perspective, just think about how miraculous God was in just feeding and sustaining the people for the last forty years.  There were approximately 2.5 million Israelites… “To feed 2.5 million people just two pounds of food and four pints of water per day would require around 2250 tons of food, excluding bones and scraps, plus around 1.25 million gallons of water. This excludes fodder and water for their livestock.” (Dick Harfield)  This was an enormous undertaking and Joshua was being asked to not only take it over, but to now lead the nation into a new land… a land that isn’t just waiting for them to come on over.  They were going to have to fight for it!

I say all of that to paint you a picture.  Your personal situation might not be this enormous, but I bet it feels like it is.  That’s because it’s yours and you are the only one called to it.  Each of us and all of us face a calling from God that can be intimidating.  The beautiful thing is that if God is calling you to cross your personal Jordan River then He has already given you an unshakeable promise to make it possible!!

Joshua 1:3-9

  1. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!!!   What a promise!!  You see, God goes before you to prepare the way.  As we listen and allow Him to lead we can have the confidence that the path leads to His glory.  We need to submit to His direction and pace, never forgetting to meditate on His word… He provides and sustains the promise.

This Sunday we are launching into a new stage here at Abundant Life.  It will be different and potentially challenging, but the promise is there.  Be strong and of good courage…  I am so excited for the plan and promise of God to be revealed to us and to this region.  How humbling that he would allow us to be a part of it.

As we step into the waters of our individual and corporate Jordan Rivers, it is my prayer that we step with purpose, confidence, and honor.  I am so grateful to God to be able to step with each of you.  God is penning the next chapter of His story and we get to be in it.  How awesome is that?!?!



Launch Out 5.0

Respond in Humility…

Luke 5:6-7  8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken;

Does God’s provision inspire humility in us?  I would love to be able to declare that the church is exempt from the temptation of responding to situations pridefully but I can’t.  Unfortunately we often allow the pride of life to influence how we respond to each other and how we respond to Him.

You see humility is a predictable casualty of a society that is increasingly self congratulatory.  Too often our immediate reaction to things is to see how we either made it happen or how it directly effects us.  Humility draws us to a submitted position at the feet of Christ, accepting our inadequacy and worshiping Him for allowing us to be a part of His kingdom.  Humility is a skill that needs to be practiced.  I need to practice responding in humility… I can’t just sit back and wait until the day I get mature enough to be humble.  James 4:10 says Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.  It’s a verb!!  It is action.  Simon’s first action was humility through obedience and his second action was humility through humility.  When Simon saw the true provision of God he went from a casual supporter to a committed disciple.  He went from calling Jesus master to calling Him Lord.

 

So… how do we respond?  Do we demonstrate humility through obedience?  Do we demonstrate humility by acknowledging Him as the true source of our provision?  As we Launch Out we need to make sure that we are practicing humility so Christ is the leader of the action and the receiver of the praise.  Humility is not natural… we must practice it.