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Age: 58 Years

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Signup Date: 07/07/2013

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12:00 PM   [27 Oct 2019 | Sunday]

Wealth and You (Part Two)

 Do you desire to be wealthy? Does the thought of it frighten you? Believe or not, some are afraid of wealth. How do you define it? True wealth requires a Kingdom perspective. Any attempt to filter it through worldly perceptions taints it. Kingdom wealth centers on God and furthering His will on earth. Worldly wealth is self-centered, and by that definition, it’s a counterfeit of the real. As stated in part one, biblical wealth is connected nobility and strength. That strength includes the riches required to fulfill the mission of the Kingdom. Its aim is benefitting others, while glorifying God. Moreover, true wealth includes biblical spirituality, which leads to a healthy mental and emotional disposition. All of which affects your physical wellbeing -it’s holistic. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

   How much is enough? What do you require in life in relation to your calling? Everyone has one. It’s a question of answering it. Wealth is God’s idea, and He knows what is best for you. What did Jesus say about your needs?

   Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (see verses 24-34 for full context).

   Now consider another passage of Scripture: “Two things have I required of Thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the Name of my God in vain” (Proverbs 30:7-9).

   Is there an amount of money and possessions that would cause you to become prideful? Has your soul prospered to the point where earthly possessions have no effect on you? Are you able to be content in whatever state in which you find yourself? Here’s an interesting thought: persons have learned to be content with little. Can they be content with having much? Paul talks about this in Philippians: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

   Some can handle great sums of money, because they understand its purpose and to Whom it belongs. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some who have little or nothing, and are extremely greedy. Many of them want something for nothing. For instance, how many play the lottery in hopes of hitting it big? To what end? To spend it on themselves. They may help some friends or family members; perhaps, even give to charity. However, they do it to alleviate the guilt for having it in the first place. A fool and his money is soon parted is illustrated by some of the “lucky winners.” They lost it all in less than a year, and wound up in a worse position than before they won. They didn’t know how to handle money, and it slipped through their fingers. Don’t forget those who want the greedy rich people to give them a piece of the pie -something for nothing. The truth of the matter is some don’t want to work; much less, do what it takes to create wealth. Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

   Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. Here’s another consideration: a good number of first generation rich who happen to be wealthy, created their wealth through honest, hard work. They built businesses from the ground level. In order for them to succeed and stay in business, they had to be honest. Their reputation required it. If they had one that revealed they were untrustworthy, they would have soon been out of business. No one wants to deal with a crook, except maybe another crook. To be sure, there have been some who lacked integrity or became dishonest, but they’re the exception. Generally speaking, a flourishing business serves people well. It’s the only way it can survive. Even that’s a Kingdom principle: serve people well and you will be rewarded. That does not mean give to get; it means focus on serving humanity, and don’t worry about the money.

   If you worry about money, you are its slave. In the Kingdom, money serves you; it does not have dominion over you. Worry is fear, and fear has no place for those who are Spirit led. If you constantly worry about it, it’s time for a heart check. Priorities are misaligned. When it gets down to it, money is fake. It only has value when value is placed on it. Is it worth your time? If you work for money, you will never know true wealth or freedom. You’re a slave to it, and time is escaping you. Here’s a secret: we were all created to labor. Genesis 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. People who avoid work are unfulfilled. So why should we work? Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Labor is outward focused. Labor is service to God by serving others. True wealth centers on love, which is why we read the term, labor of love (see 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Hebrews 6:10).

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12:00 PM   [20 Oct 2019 | Sunday]

Wealth and You

 What are your thoughts about money and wealth? Do you take a dim view of those who acquired a great amount? Do you feel as though it makes you less holy if you have a lot of money and possessions? Perhaps, it’s the opposite. Maybe, you believe a lack shows you’re out of favor with God. What does Scripture really have to say about these things? In truth, many Christians have been bamboozled  when it comes to wealth. Most have their own ideas of wealth and riches, but where does God come down on this?

   Here’s a quandary: on one side, the Bible says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 4:10 [see verses 6-11 for fuller context]). And yet it also says, “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day (Deuteronomy 8:18 [see verses 16-20 for context]). There are many verses pertaining to wealth and riches, which seem opposed to each other; nonetheless, they fit perfectly together. Proverbs has much to say about it, for one. We could list numerous ones here, but that’s something you can dig into more, if you like. So where are we?

   Chew on this: wealth and prosperity are God’s idea. They serve several purposes. One of them we just read: to confirm His covenant. It’s Kingdom related. Wealth serves as a multiplier in the right hands (see 2 Corinthians 9:6-10).  Why do churches receive offerings? To pad the pastor’s pocket? Of course, not. It’s to further the cause of Christ. Face it, money plays a big part in getting things done. It’s a tool to be stewarded well. The more you possess, the more you have to give. Yes, people have abused this principle for self-gain. There’s no denying it. However, as whole, it’s a very small percentage. It’s just when abuses are made a public spectacle, they overshadow the overall good.

   Obviously, if your aim in life is to become rich and accumulate many possessions, your aim is way off. Money and possessions are not intrinsically bad or even evil; they’re neutral. It’s the heart behind their use that makes all the difference. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Having a lot of money does not necessarily make you wealthy. Wealth  in our Deuteronomy passage means ability, which includes riches, but it’s more than that. This word carries with it the idea of virtue, uprightness and integrity. It connects with valor in relation to strength and might. In other words, to be truly wealthy, one must be person of valor, without the ungodly lust for money and power. Wealth is holistic and in relation to the Kingdom, it’s for the glory of God and the good of others. The Bible has a lot to say about the rich who abuse their power -they are not wealthy. In proper context, wealth is good.

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12:00 PM   [13 Oct 2019 | Sunday]

Are You Easily Offended?

 Are you easily offended? If so, why? The decision rests squarely on your shoulders. You’re the gatekeeper of your heart. You decide what gets in and what goes out. No one can force you to be offended. It’s not wrong to find some things offensive, such as those things God finds to be so. Injustice being one example. But, those who are easily offended generally seek the offense. They thrive on it. They enjoy the ire it brings. They get a sense of power that comes with the quick flash of anger, known as wrath. They’re filled with insecurity, and hence, feel the need to create self-importance. Some have experienced deep rejection, and now find themselves looking for excuses to reject others. It’s easier to push people away than experience that pain all over again. Unfortunately, their pushback actually incites more rejection, though it may not be entirely obvious to them. People tend to avoid angry people who get offended at every little thing. Those who find that offense comes easy are disconnected from love to various degrees. They tend to be more offended with people than the things said or done. It becomes very personal.

   Love covers a multitude of sins(see 1 Peter 4:8) and keeps no record of wrong. Even though our sin was offensive to God, He did not hold it against us. He reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:19). In Him, our sins are no longer a consideration. There is no record of wrong doing or thinking. God was offended with sin, not us. He destroyed sin’s power at the Cross, while making a way for us to connect to Him. When you judge people, you come under judgment. When you judge things they say or do, you separate the person from the offense. Reconciliation is the heart of the matter. It’s important to learn to detach behavior and attitudes from the person; otherwise, you may reject the person. Perhaps, even condemn him or her in your heart. Offended people have a hard time praying for the perpetrator. Love seeks to save and heal. Sinners sin, they can’t help it. Some Christians do offensive things at times. Some of which is the result of deep seated hurts -they’re lashing out. We cannot become judgmental and hope to see them healed and restored. It’s vital to look past the offense for the other’s sake. It’s not that we don’t address the object of offense, it’s a matter of how we address it. Galatians 6:1-3 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (see also James 5:19-20).

   Many who are easily offended live in a state of unforgiveness. For whatever reason, they find it impossible in themselves to forgive. Being overrun by emotions can make it very difficult. Scripture provides a solution. Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Come before God Who is rich in mercy, ask Him for the help you need, and He will give you the ability you don’t have in yourself to forgive -grace. His grace is sufficient for you, and by it, you can stop being easily offended. Fortunately for us, God is not easily offended!

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12:00 PM   [06 Oct 2019 | Sunday]

Imposter Syndrome

 Do you ever feel like an imposter, you know, pretending to be someone or something you’re not? Perhaps, you’re in a new leadership position (or been in one for a long time) and people are looking to you to lead. Regardless of the setting, you feel completely unqualified to be there. Relax, many experience this phenomenon. Why do you suppose you feel that way? To small degree it can be attributed to pride, even though it may feel like humility. In simple terms, it has to do with self-confidence, and that means you’re relying on yourself, instead of God. Of course, this feeling known as imposter syndrome, has a silver lining: it causes people to run to God for help. It can lead you to humility.

   Society teaches everyone should be self-confident, which is a counterfeit to real confidence. It’s an attack on our identity. When you try to gain self-confidence, you shift away from your true identity. Now you are working to be reliant on yourself, instead of God. You begin by comparing yourself with others, which is a bad idea, especially if you feel like you don’t measure up to someone. The next thing you know, you’re trying to emulate that person, or become another version of him or her. Guess what, you’re not supposed to be like anyone else, except Jesus. This is when you exit the place of rest and find yourself striving to be someone you’re not. Instead of conforming to the image of Jesus, you start trying to live up to other people’s expectations. You cannot do what you’re not designed to do; much less, be someone else. You are designed a specific way for specific purposes. There are things only they can accomplish, and that means you’re not supposed to take on other people’s calling. When trying to gain self-confidence, you will seek to create a new identity. Do you know what your true identity is supposed to look like? What makes you think anyone else would know? Essentially, trying build self-confidence is putting confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (read verses 3-14). So what is true confidence?

   It is having confidence in the One Who lives in you, trusting He placed in you everything you need, so there’s nothing more you to add. You simply need to use what you’ve been given. It’s understanding promotion comes from the Lord (Psalm 75:4-7), and if He places you in a position, He has given you what’s required to fulfill that role. More importantly, it’s’ a joint venture, which means you’re in it with Him. That’s right, He is with you. Consider these passages of Scripture: In Whom (Christ) are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:3, 9-10). Since He lives in you, you have access to infinite wisdom, understanding and of course, knowledge. 2 Peter 1:3-4 According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. You are qualified because God says so, not because you feel competent. It boils down to a simple phrase: “You are who God says you are, and you can do what He says you can do.” Humility knows its Source, it doesn’t try to create one.

   Having Holy Spirit in you, answers the question: “Am I enough?” Unequivocally, yes, because He is infinitely more than enough. That is a major advantage a disciple of Jesus Christ has over a non-believer. The non-believer is stuck with self-confident issues; unless he or she receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. What’s interesting is many non-believers have accomplished great things, but their abilities to do them came from God. The majority of them, if not all, feel incomplete in spite of what they’ve done. You, on the other hand, are complete in Him. Ask God to show you the real you in Jesus Christ, which is how He sees you -then believe Him!


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