Poverty to Prosperity

poverty of prosperityThe prosperity message proclaimed throughout America must be put into perspective. It is true that Jesus became poor that we might become rich. The question is what riches did Jesus impart to His people?

In Ephesians chapter one, God tells us that we prosper with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms. We are adopted, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, wise, and sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Clearly, God has prospered every believer with His heavenly treasures to cause us to rejoice in His grace. For this reason, we must boast in our abundant life as we die to our worldly ways. We must not make wealth our idol or earthly possessions our prize.

Instead, let us die to the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. Let us make it our purpose to prosper others with the hope of God’s grace.

Does this mean we live in poverty? For some, it means to die to all worldly possessions to go to the ends of the earth to profess the love of Jesus by surrendering selfish desires to suffer alongside God’s precious people. For others, it means to die of our obsessive consumption of worldly possessions to send out others to proclaim the good news of God’s grace.

Either way, we rejoice that our treasures are not of this world, but of the overwhelming peace, joy, and love we receive when we die to self to live for Christ. As Jesus became poor to give us a prosperous life here and everlasting, we become poor in spirit, completely dependent on Him, to make others rich.

Promise from God:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corin. 8:9).

Pray with me: Lord, we praise You for Your mercy and grace. Thank you for leaving the glory and majesty of heaven to become poor that we might become prosperous and rich in You. Thank you for dying to Your desires and sacrificing Your heavenly status to suffer on our behalf taking our sins upon Yourself. Thank you that through Your death and resurrection we have an abundant life here and into eternity. Lord, change our hearts by this truth. May we embrace Your suffering to experience more of You. May we die to ourselves to become poor in spirit, completely desperate for You. Today fill us with Your overwhelming joy and love to boldly profess the poverty we once possessed until be became rich in Your glorious grace. Help us let go of our worldly possessions and selfish desires to experience Your heavenly treasures of peace, joy, and love. Let us express generosity through our time, talents, and treasures by loving Your precious people that they may become prosperous in You, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

How has God prospered you to make others rich?

The First Will Be Last

1st will be lastHave you ever had your parking space stolen as you waited patiently for someone to pull out? Or maybe you thought you would get the promotion at work, but someone weasels their way into the position? Selfish and rude people can bull-dose their way into situations without consideration for others.

An awkward experience happened to me when I was on a trip to the Holy Land. Due to my extreme motion sickness I arranged with the pastor, bus driver, and the tour guide to sit in the front of the bus. After the first day of sitting in my seat, while we toured some of the biblical sites in Israel, we spent the night at a hotel.

To my horror, the next day I discovered a man and a woman occupying my seat in the bus. I politely mentioned that my mother and I sat there the previous day and that our belongings were above the seat. Abruptly they pointed across the aisle to another seat a couple of rows back and said we could sit there. Now I have to admit, no one announced that we had to remain in the same seats, but my mom and I had assumed we could sit there the entire time for me to avoid getting sick.

Facing the couple who stole our seats, I had a choice to make. Do I fight for my right or do I humble myself? My response could impact a bus full of eager Christians to see the Promise Land.  Would I choose to reflect the love of Jesus by letting the offense go and move forward with a good attitude? Furthermore, would I trust God to prevent me from motion sickness no matter where I sat?

Promise from God

Jesus said, “But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Matt. 20:16, Mark 9:35, 10:31).

Once I humbled myself to take another seat and resisted the temptation to nurse my bitterness, God gave me a different perspective. I saw their misery. Noticing that there was tension between the husband and wife, I began to pray for them. As time went on, I realized that the husband was asked by the pastor to journal the entire trip with photos and video, which caused a tremendous stress upon the couple. My heart changed as I saw things from the husband’s perspective to want to get a clear view by being upfront. I recognized his servant’s heart to document the trip and how that made his wife feel neglected and short-tempered.

By letting others go first, holding my negative thoughts captive, and praying for them, God showed me that someday I will be lifted up to a position of honor with a seat upfront in the throne room of heaven. With a good attitude, we had a spectacular time and I never got sick.

Dear Father God, I praise you for your promise that the first will be last and the last will be first. Help me to remember to put others first and to serve them. Help me to be humble so that I can be lifted up. Help me to see every situation from your perspective and to be sensitive to the pain, perspective, and personalities of others. Lord help me to remember to stop before I react, to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry so that I may glorify you. I want to be an example of Christ by showing the same humility, compassion, and grace for others that you show me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Are You Protected by Angels?

ru protected by angelsMost people believe in angels. We’ve heard stories of people who have seen angels or have sensed their presence or even been rescued from perilous times.

The Bible clearly says that Satan was an angel who wanted the power of God and took many angels with him from heaven. These fallen angels are called demons that roam the earth seeking to destroy the lives of ignorant people through deception, disaster, and distractions to keep them from God.

With that being said, God in His great mercy commands His angels concerning you to guard and protect you in all your ways (Psalm 91:11-13). His angels do not take the form of cherubs and weak women, but they are strong and powerful to lift you up so that no harm will come against you. Yet God’s protection over you comes with a condition.

5 Ways to be Protected by Angels:

  1. Dwell in His presence by spending intimate time with Him (Psalm 91:1, 9).
  2. Proclaim that He is your refuge and your fortress  (Psalm 91:1-2).
  3. Trust God completely with your life to be blessed (Psalm 91:2, Proverbs 3:5-6, Jeremiah 17:7).
  4. Love Jesus with all your heart and you will live (Psalm 91:14, Luke 10:27-28).
  5. Call upon the name of Jesus to be safe (Psalm 91:14, Proverbs 18:10, Luke 10:17, Acts 3:16)

Promise from God

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16).

Dear Mighty God, Thank you for your divine protection and for saving me. Thank you for commanding your angels concerning me as I dwell in your presence, proclaim your power and protection, trust you completely, love Jesus with all of my heart, and call on the name of the Lord. You alone are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Protect me from the deception of the evil one who seeks to deceive me by whispering lies. I pray against the enemy who wants to distract me by the ways of this world and wants to destroy me by keeping me from you. Nothing will separate me from your love as I fully devote my life to being in fellowship with you, following after Jesus and serving your people to bring you glory. Thank you for your angels that protect me in Jesus name. Amen.

What about you, have you been protected by God or His angels or know someone who has? Our community would love to hear from you.

 

 

Jesus Not Judgment

jesus not judgementWhy is it so easy to think we’re better than others? Those who are in prison, homeless, addicted to drugs or alcohol, uneducated, unbelieving, overweight or underweight, lashing out in anger, engaged in sexual immorality, or acting unlovable are usually in pain.

Instead of jumping to judgment, condemnation, and critical remarks, first, put yourself in their shoes. Consider that it is by the grace of God that you are not in their situation. When you judge, keep in mind that you could have gone down the same path with a different set of circumstances.

Instead of judgment, show compassion and pray for them. Ask God for wisdom as you ponder their past pain and what they may have endured. Or better yet, ask them how you can help. They need to see Jesus in you not judgment.

Maybe your self-righteousness is toward someone who God has uniquely  designed with a different personality and perspective than yours. If you are critical ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. Maybe God wants to reveal Himself to you through your obedience to respond in love. He wants to give you a revelation of Himself as you follow Him (John 14:21).

Promise from God

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

Ask God to show you what He’s doing in the situation and where you’re at fault. Pride causes us to blame and accuse the other person by thinking we’re better than they are, which causes conflict and prevents a resolution from taking place. God says in Matthew 7:5, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Praise and Prayer

Holy and Just God, you alone are worthy of all praise. You are righteous and I’m a sinner. Please forgive me for judging and condemning others. Forgive me for holding onto bitterness instead of showing mercy and grace. I realize it is by your grace alone that I am not in prison, homeless, or addicted to drugs. You have rescued me from a path of destruction. You took off the blinders to reveal truth that set me free from the bondage of my sin. Thank you that Jesus paid the price of my judgment, condemnation, and bitterness. I can now live a life of victory with His resurrection power. Help me to be compassionate toward those who are still struggling in their relationship with you. Allow me to be the love of Jesus, to be a help instead of a hinderance. Let me show unwavering grace by remembering to pray for them instead of judging them in their journey toward Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

On the Verge of Divorce

verge of divorceWe were on the verge of divorce two years ago when I was ready to publish my book LOVING THE UNLOVABLE.  I felt like a hypocrite.

I knew God’s Word, but I didn’t always know how to apply it. For this reason, God intervened in the process of publishing my book and filing the papers for separation. He wanted to give me the tools to take the book to a much deeper level. He wanted to be glorified.

God showed me His perspective to my problems.

In the process of separation, God put a godly Christian couple into our lives. With their help, I discovered that my husband was in pain. He felt condemned by me and unloved. Instead of focusing on my pain, I realized that Mark had a different perspective than me and I began taking the time to listen and understand how God created him to complement me, not annoy me.

Mark is my complete opposite.

Analytical, a driver, a planner, nurtured by being inside, task oriented, quick to make decisions, and very direct. Whereas for me, I’m expressive, spontaneous, rarely plan, nurtured by being outside, relationship oriented, slow to make decisions, and a peace maker, but sometimes at the expense of being honest..

Instead of resenting my husband, I began to recognize his strengths and appreciate those differences.

I began to rejoice in his positive qualities and communicate great appreciation for all the areas where I was weak and he was strong. Instead of letting my thoughts go to “what a jerk, he’ll never change”, I began holding my thoughts captive to think on the positive and the promises from God. I began to change the way I responded and in that process God did a miracle in my marriage.

Everything that happens in our lives is for one purpose only, to glorify God and make His mighty power known. It’s all about surrendering your life to God to see Him at work in you and through you. He will do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine with the power of the Holy Spirit in you when you love and follow Jesus.

Promise from God

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20).

Praise and Prayer to God

Faithful and powerful God. You are holy. You alone are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit and your truth that transforms our lives. Thank you that when we follow your ways that our ways will bring blessings to others. We want immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine in our difficult relationships. Use us to build people up, to see situations from your perspective, and to understand the pain, perspective, and personality of others. Help us to rejoice in our differences since you created us to come together with our strengths and weaknesses to accomplish great and mighty things that we would be unable to do on our own. We surrender to you to see you at work in us and through us to make your mighty power known. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Buy the book LOVING THE UNLOVABLE to transform your difficult relationships with God’s truth. Order here.

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