Sunday, February 21, 2010

Life's Healing Choices, Part 3- Commitment

I consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ's care and control.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Key Verse- “Happy are those who are humble.” Matthew 5:5 (TEV)
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

Meek is:
“Christ, who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in His steps. He never sinned, and He never deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when He was insulted. When He suffered, He did not threaten to get even. He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” 1 Peter 2:21-21

Meekness has always been God's way for humanity
(see Job 5:11; Num. 12:3; Ps. 25:9; Eph. 4:1-2; Col. 3:12; Titus 3:1-2)

Meekness means I acknowledge:

> Confidence in WHO and WHOSE I am

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. 1 John 5:1
God, your God, is the God of all gods, he's the Master of all masters, a God immense and powerful and awesome. Deuteronomy 10:17 (MSG)

The Reasons That We Don’t Commit

PRIDE- “A self-sufficient fool falls flat on His face.” Proverbs 10:8; Proverbs 18:12
GUILT-“Problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile my sins, too many to count, have caught up with me, and I’m ashamed to look up." Psalm 40:12 (LB); 1 John 1:9; Psalm 32:4
FEAR-What are you afraid will happen if you commit your life to Christ? What are you afraid God will do if you give him care and control of your life?
WORRY-“God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you to grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished.” Philippians 1:6
DOUBT“Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24
“If you have faith as small as a mustard see... nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

Commit To Accepting Christ’s Care & Control In Your Life By...

Accepting God’s SON as your SAVIOR. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31
Accepting God’s WORD as your STANDARD.“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for resetting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living.” 2 Timothy 3:16
Accepting God’s WILL as your STRATEGY.God made you for a purpose that He wants you to fulfill.
Accepting God’s POWER as your STRENGTH.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“I [am] standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with Him.” Revelations 3:20

4 Big Commitments That I Challenge You To Grow Through This Week and This Year!

1. Time With God- Pray daily & 30 days thru NT- click here
2. Time To Fast- Weekly Fasting on Mondays, for more info., click here.
3. Tithe To God- Weekly Tithe & Offering, click here.
4. Talent For God- Serve In Our Local Church each week, click here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Make Monday's Meaningful in 2010!

We launched 2010 with a church-wide 21 day fast and it was absolutely fantastic! Fasting not only brings self-discipline but it also bring Spiritual and Financial success! I am inviting you to join with me in making Monday's a day of prayer and fasting. God wants to release the power of prayer and fasting in your life and if you want to you need a systematic plan to make this happen. Fast a meal, fast all day, fast media, fast facebook... pray about what you will fast. Whatever you fast, make a decision to start your week by getting hungry and focused after God. Below is an article by Jentezen Franklin that will encourage you in this journey! -Sam

God has a plan for your provision and blessings that includes the power of three--praying, fasting and giving. Fasting is critical to your spiritual and financial success. Consider the Biblical story of Ezra (Ezra 7 and 8). King Artaxerxes had given Ezra silver and gold to take to Jerusalem. It was a dangerous journey and thieves threatened his financial security. Maybe you feel like thieves have stolen what belongs to you financially. When Ezra faced an uncertain financial journey, he declared a fast (Ezra 8:21). As they fasted, God's people also prayed and sought His direction. The two go hand in hand.

"So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer" (Ezra 8:23). If you fast, pray and obey God's commandments, He said you will be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:2). And there is even more power available to you--when you add the power of giving.

The widow in 1 Kings 17:10-16 also faced an uncertain future. Although the woman had very little, she gave up her own food to help the man of God, Elijah. It was all part of God's plan to take care of her family. The book of Isaiah says we are called ". . . to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out . . ." (Isaiah 58:6-7).

The power of three--fast, pray, give
Here are some practical ways you can use the power of fasting, praying and giving toward your financial success:

• FAST. Fast once a month for your finances. Maybe that is the day you send out your bills and payments, the day you get paid or the day you prepare your budget. If you cannot fast an entire day, fast a meal.

• PRAY. As you fast, use that time to pray for your financial situation. Pray for wisdom. Ask God to guide and direct you in your decisions. As I mentioned before, we recently saw an outpouring of God's blessings during our Miracle Prayer services in Georgia and Orange County, not to mention all those who joined us live via web streaming.

• GIVE. You can add a new dimension to your fasting if you set aside the money you would normally use for food to help a food bank, support world missions or give to some other ministry that is helping the needy. When you do that, it pleases God and He will meet your needs. In the story of the widow, God multiplied the meal in her barrel to last for three and a half years!

Matthew 6 says, "when you pray . . . when you fast . . . and when you give." The three are intertwined. When you put them together, you will be unstoppable. ". . . a threefold cord is not quickly broken . . ." (Ecclesiastes 4:12). I believe this is the year of the miraculous when God's people will experience divine direction and supernatural provision. When we pray, fast and give, we release a fresh anointing . . . and God's unusual favor!

Monday, February 15, 2010

How To Live A Miraculous Life!

This week I read a fantastic article by Pastor Leon Fontaine called "How To Live A Miraculous Life!" Enjoy!

If you want to live an amazing life filled with miracles, you need an abundance of two things: Faith and wisdom. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, whereas wisdom is the combination of good experience, knowledge and judgment. The first gives you something to believe in, and the latter helps you believe for the right things. It also helps you make choices that will help you achieve your goals. It is critical you understand that faith cannot do what wisdom needs to do, and wisdom cannot do what faith needs to do. For example, you can have faith that your rocky marriage will improve, but unless you make some wise choices to steer it in a different direction, it likely won’t change. You can believe in God for a miracle when it comes to your finances, but if you overspend or make other foolish decisions when it comes to money, you may not avoid facing a bankruptcy at some point in your future. It’s not that God wanted to punish you or refuse to grant you a miracle, but the consequences of your poor choices simply got in the way. On the other hand, if you are working at improving your marriage but in your heart you don’t believe it will ever get better, it likely won’t. Or if you’re stuck in the middle of a depression, you won’t have much luck just trying to think yourself through it. You need the combined strength of faith and wisdom.Simply put, faith and wisdom are the power twins to a miraculous life. Here are a few more thoughts:

1. Use faith and wisdom to guard your heart. Wisdom understands that your lot in life, in large part, is traceable back to your heart. In simple terms, when you have a good heart, you attract good things into your life.
When your heart is filled with anger, bitterness, and resentment, you attract misery and despair. Anyone who has ever experienced a string of bad relationships and perpetually attracts the wrong kind of partner will hopefully understand this principle. Quite often the reason is their faulty belief systems that exist in the heart. Use wisdom to examine the beliefs holding you down, and then ask God to help you change.

2. Jesus said our treasures flow from our heart. The three gateways to your heart are your eyes, ears and mouth.
Be diligent at what you put into your heart. What are you looking at, hearing and saying? Don’t be fooled if you don’t experience an immediate consequence to doing something you shouldn’t, such as viewing pornography, or abusing drugs or alcohol, to name a few. There may not be an instant repercussion, but it could change the trajectory of your life in subtle ways. Often times the consequence of an unguarded heart shows up years down the road as faulty belief systems destroys a person’s marriage, peace of mind, happiness or opportunity. Use wisdom to filter the stuff that gets into your heart.

3. Scripture has an amazing effect on the heart. God’s Word is like a scalpel that will cut out any faulty belief systems you have in your heart.
Spend time each day in prayer and meditating on His Word. When you integrate His word into your mind and heart, and you harmonize your heart with your beliefs, thinking and emotions, you’ll be amazed at the miracles that will come your way.

Visit www.leonfontaine.com where you can find his weekly messages, download podcasts and read other articles.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Too Legit To Commit



Do you remember the old M.C. Hammer song, "Too Legit To Quit?" If you do, you'll now be singing it all day long! You're welcome! In this post today I don't want to talk about quitting as much as I want to talk about committing. People in our culture today are "too legit, too legit to commit." People do not grow up because of their fear of failure and their inability to make and stick to their commitments. This happens outside the church and especially inside the church. Often times people will occasionally attend a church service and believe that they will magically change. They will occasionally read the Bible, occasionally help others, occasionally give to needs. It never becomes a consistent way of life because there is no commitment. Today, I want to share with you the key to growing as a person and growing spiritually.

Jesus said in Luke 14:33, "Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple." His challenge was complete & total commitment. Commitment is the key to growth. So many of us don't commit to anything. We want to keep our options open. We say things like, "once I do this or that, then I will commit." We see this in people who won't commit to: exercise, friendships, marriage, or even a church family. Often times people think that once they are absolutely positive that they can keep their commitments, only then will they make them. So what happens? They stay fat, lonely, avoid marriage and never get connected to a spiritual family, all while continuing to say that one day they will be ready. The truth is, you don't grow to your commitments, you grow through your commitments. What do I mean by that? You don't one day magically become ready for any of the important commitments that you'll make in the key arena's of life. Fear is the essential ingredient in every person's life that will not make commitments. If you want to grow as a person and spiritually, you must make a series of life-changing commitments!

For some of us the barrier to growing spiritually is not lack of commitment, but over-commitment to the wrong things. Jesus showed us this in the Parable of the Sower: “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.” (Luke 8:14) If you want to grow in your walk with God you must learn to make wise commitments. We ask people to make 4 major commitments at our church each week. These commitments are founded on wisdom because they are taught in God's Word, The Bible. They are:

1. BRING- A commitment to attend each week & bring others to the house of God.
2. BUILD- A commitment to build relationships with others and grow together in Christ.
3. SERVE- A commitment to serve one another in love.
4. GIVE- A commitment to tithe & to give to the Kingdom of God.

Each of these commitments are essential to ones spiritual growth. If you're not growing through your commitments today, you're simply not growing. I want to encourage you today to make a commitment and begin to grow in your faith! Do you need to commit to becoming a Christ-follower? Or do you need to commit to one or all of the things that I mentioned above? I want to challenge you to stop committing to things that don't matter and to commit or re-commit to things that do.

So where do you start? Start with God's Word, the Bible. The Bible teaches us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) In other words, we become mature as believer's when we understand God's Word and put it into practice. Have you made a commitment to read God's Word? If not, why not start today! You can begin reading through the New Testament in 30 days (click here) or the entire Bible this year (click here). Don't let fear hold you back from making important commitments today. I know what you're thinking. What if I begin and I'm not too legit to quit. What if I don't follow through? Well, what if you do! What if God fills you with His power and you begin get up every time you fail and you really begin to grow! Step out in faith today and grow into the person that God has always planned for you to be, like Christ! Make the commitment and become too legit to quit!