Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dealing with the original instructions - Part 1

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

First instruction - Be fruitful
I'm always floored at the fact that many Christian today although we confess to live according to God's word we often forget the initial instructions He gave. This idea of fruitfulness deals with a range of things: productiveness, character, the way you speak and the words you accept for your life.

In His instructions, the first was to be fruitful, the definition of fruitful is to be productive. And although for years this was referred to as having many babies God desires for us to do more than just have babies, and the idea that He would give us a vast of abilities gives proof to this. We have the ability to produce fruit from our hands, lips and mind. We have the ability to be creative in a range of ways and yet many Christians today are looking for a sign in order to give some indication on if they should step out and be productive in their abilities-in their gifts. Remember the initial instruction was to be productive, this has not changed - it's still in effect; therefore, the only sign needed is in Genesis 1:27-28.

There are fruits that we should bare in our character, and although it's becoming a rarity in what is non as the church body it's still a requirement. Perhaps if we remember that we are associated with the body of Christ and become sincere in our living in Him this spiritual character will become and often trait seen in those of us who call ourselves Christians. Galatians 5:22-26 shares with us this expected character:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited (opinionated), provoking one another, envying one another.

In my traveling I meet many leaders from small to mega churches and it seems as many of these people reach what is seen as an elaborate lifestyle, suddenly this spiritual character is no longer needful. However, God still requires it, which often leads me to thinking if He's really as please with them as we tend to think based of how they're living. However, before you mistake me as one who depicts the leaders of the church let me say that this lack of character extends beyond leaders but is also seen in much of the Christian body. We must - and I say we, because I too maybe looked upon as one who lacks spiritual character (I pray that I'm not, but you never know); however, we must become conscious of our character and work on the lack of, so that we're able to do the true will of God which is to love, because in loving we draw others to Him. If we don't get this straight we too will take part in what Jesus is speaking in Matthews 7:21-23:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The way you speak:
Proverbs 18:20-21 tells us how we will eat the fruit of our lips:

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

How you speak is very essential to your life and the life of others depending on if they accept what was spoken. To often I hear the conversations of those who call themselves Christians and after listening to them, it leaves their confession to be questionable. Your conversation should be clearly evident of your confession as a Christians (God's child, a Believer). Situations and circumstances are subject to change and how you speak over them can affect the change for the better of for the worse. Your words are seeds and they literally affect your life through the harvesting of how you speak. Depending on the type of fruit you desire for your life, you'll need to seed words which will yield what you're hungry for. If you desire to obtain all God has for you; you must learn to speak according to His word, you must learn to speak positively in your life.

Words you accept for your life:
As you should know at the beginning of creation God, breathe life or spoke life into mankind; as He continues to do with each of us. If you understand anything about words and how they react in your existence you know that words are like seeds and depending on whether or not you accept what was spoken it has the ability to produce a harvest in your life. Don't allow negative, deadening words spoken into your life affect how you live. God desires for you to live this life happy, fulfilled and prosperous in every area of your life. One of the greatest gifts God has ever given mankind if the gift of choice- you do have a choice. You can choose to accept or reject whatever words you don't want to harvest in your life.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.3 John 1:2

God expects us to be fruitful in every area of our lives; in our productivity, our relationships, on our jobs, in our conversations, our character, our life style, our body (healing), in the manner of which we prosper and in our influence in this earth. So let's be fruitful so we can manifest as God desires in the earth.

Grace & peace


Saturday, June 18, 2011

From the heart

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 
Matthew 15:18 NKJV

Throughout the word of God we come across scriptures speaking or illustrating the essence of one’s heart. The matters of our heart seems to be of great importance to God, and therefore should be as great of importance to us.  Though we hear the famous words in 1 Samuel 16:7 in church and often quote them ourselves “For man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart”, are we really conscious of this throughout life. 

The heart is the intellect or soul of a man, it is a person’s character or disposition; meaning the state of mind – the place where one understands or believes.  We use this word heart in many phases as an adjective:
“At heart” – in essence or reality
“Lose heart” – to become discouraged
“Take heart” – to become encouraged and more confident
“Take it to heart” – to take something seriously
“With all your heart” – completely and sincerely

It seems the heart of a person depicts their very being, and depending on the content of it; it has the ability to encourage or discourage.  As Jesus emphasize in Matthew 15:18, we see that the content of the heart can defile (damage, corrupt or destroy) a person because of its actions, coming from ones speech. 
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:44-46

In the book of proverbs 23:6-8 we’re told as a man thinks, in his heart so is he.  The word think in this chapter is a transitive verb meaning believe, and all though we’re taught that we think within our brain here in proverbs it tells us that one thinks in his heart.  While the brain helps us to rationalize things, meaning it helps us to interpret things by given us a clear and logical perspective; yet, it’s not until those thoughts become established (rooted) in the heart, that we create a belief system or “better said”, it’s not until these things become true to our heart (our being) that we’re able to think on them or believe in them, thereby allowing us to think with our heart.  Again after Jesus gives the parable about the sower (Matthew 13:3-8) and he explains it’s meaning (Matthew 13:18-23) we find that although something can be sown in one’s heart (the act of rationality in the brain), it’s no until that which has been sown is also rooted (understood or true) in the heart that one is able to believe (think) thereby allowing them to bear fruit and produce the wealth or value of what has been sown. So you see the reflection of one’s heart depicts the abundance or righteousness of how one lives in the eye sight of God.  God is watching and what He’s looking at has so much more to do with what appears to evident to man; we can
make our outward appearance appear to be more than what we are, just as we can make our mouth speak something other than what we believe to be true but we cannot hide our heart, our character, our true self from God. When our true self depicts a godly (righteous) appearance then will we become the good ground that Jesus speaks of in the parable of the sower.

The essence of our heart speaks to our character; as believers we should constantly examine the matters of our heart on a daily basis, looking to see if it is equivalent to the word and character of Christ.  In our examining of the heart we should understand that our submission to Christ through prayer and the reading of His word is very essential to our daily existence if we are to possess the type of heart God is looking for.  Let us not continuously be mislead by the appearance of what seems to be, what we call prosperous because of what we’re able to see on the outer but however; let us be lead by the examining of our hearts making sure we possess the character that God is looking for so that we can become prosperous both in the inner and outward appearance so that when the time of harvest comes we’re able to be gathered into His barn and not burn into the fire (Matthew 13:24-30).
As you start a new year, I encourage you to start the habit of examining your heart; make a conscious effort to see if your heart holds the character of Christ – be honest with yourself! If you need a reference to help you in your examining process start with Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9.  Remember what comes from the heart has the ability to either profit your life or defile your life so make the matters of your heart amount to the wealth of life you desire to live starting today.
Grace and peace.

Heavenly Father we thank you for looking at our hearts and not our outward appearance.  We pray that you teach us to examine our hearts so that when you look at us, your pleased with what you see.  We pray with ever word that we speak those who hear us will reap the abundance of life and all that is good because of the abundance in our hearts.  We ask that each day we commune with you through prayer and the studying of your word, that you would allow your word to become rooted and grounded within us so that we will not become easily distracted or discouraged by the cares of this life but we will stand strong in your word. We're grateful that you've allowed us the ability to choose what type of character we will posses by deciding what we will allow our hearts to focus on.  We give you honor and praise for all that you've done and continue to do in Jesus name we pray.  Amen 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Righteouness Of Faith

But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?  (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead,). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. Romans 10:6-12 NKJV

I’m always amazed at the simplicity of God’s word, and how it produces extraordinary things when we apply it to our lives.  So often there are people who think in order for the word of God to have an effect in their lives, it requires multiple, task wrenching, religious tactics; tactics that have been told to them by the religious people around them but does not profit any into salvation.  Paul calls it in the book of Romans 10:2 “having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”  It’s when someone remains strong and enthusiastic for God, but all that strength and enthusiasm is without knowledge.  He continues to say: Romans 10:3-5 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law. “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Paul helps us to understand how sometimes in our enthusiasm for God we forsake knowledge; that is we forsake the truth of His grace giving to us through His word and the life of Christ Jesus.  When we forsake the knowledge of God we tend to establish our own knowledge, our own rightness; because we have not completely submitted ourselves to the knowledge of God; which is to His rightness.  

I remember my earlier experience in the church as a newly born again Christian, I was excited and ready to conquer the world in the name of the Lord.  I felt, since I was going to church hearing the word and allowing the more seasoned women to steer me I would be good and well prepared to live out my life in the Lord and establish great things in this world.  But suddenly something took place in my life that almost took the excitement away, because although I was excited about God I had no real knowledge of God's word, I only had what was instructed to me by others. Suddenly, I found myself in a ritual of religious righteousness, one that taught me to be careful that my skirt wasn’t too high above my ankles, if I joked too much it was a sin because I was being idol and I was never to forget as a woman I had my place-this was certainly mentioned in every service so I could feel the wrath of my inferiority.  Not to mention if I didn’t shout according to how those steering me thought, something was wrong and perhaps I was slipping away from salvation but if I shouted too much then I must have sinned or was going through something extreme and had to be laid across the alter.  There was this whole list of rituals that had no salvation in it because the focus was more own religious laws then on the righteousness of God and while they meant well their tactics made many feel as though it was hard to serve God, live according to His word, and reap the goodness He has laid out for us.  They had one foot in the laws of the old testament and the other in the grace and faith of the new testament, and while there are things we must learn from the old we should know that we are no longer bond by the laws of the old testament and therefore should not bond others by those same laws.  I had almost became so focused on getting my outward appearance acceptable to those around me that my inward appearance had almost gone neglected and I almost lost sight of what really mattered which is the salvation of Christ Jesus and how that salvation effects my confession and how I believe.  Anytime you allow religious tactics to guide you in your walk instead of finding that intimate place with God, so He can teach you how to live; you risk loosing sight of what really matters.    (To be continued)

Grace & peace

Just Believe

The book Just Believe is about using one of the greatest abilities given to mankind by God so we can operate in this life effectively, obtain all that is available to us and live life in its fullest capacity.  It will help you to understand how to live a life of purpose by first helping you to perceive life as the gift it is.  With Mark 9:23 being the foundation for the book it shows  you how to access all the possibilities awaiting you. This book covers many topics that will help you search within yourself and identify the things which keeps you from living the life you desire so you can begin moving forward and possessing all God has designed for you.
It's my desire to reach both Christians and Non-Christians because I believe God desires to awaken all of mankind to their true abilities so they can begin living the abundant life He desires.  Just Believe will change your life and the way you live. 

Grace and Peace