Finances

Stepping into Miracle Territory

“After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick. Then Jesus climbed a hill and sat down with his disciples around him. (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.) Jesus soon saw a huge crowd of people coming to look for him. Turning to Philip, he asked, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”

Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?”

“Tell everyone to sit down,” Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted.” John 6:1-11

If you’re taking the time to read this blog, can I ask you a question? Why do you think all these people were following Jesus? What about you? Why are you following Jesus in your own personal life? Could it be that you believe he has the power to do miracles?  Well, I believe that’s the same reason why these people were following him as well.

I love this portion of scripture because God shows us how we can position ourselves to receive a miracle within our own lives.  Do you need a miracle today? Maybe you need God to move in a personal relationship? Maybe you’re believing God to lead one of your family members to the free gift of salvation? Or maybe you’re believing God for a financial breakthrough despite our economy? Whatever the miracle, Jesus is able to do it!

As Jesus appears on the scene, his first concern is for the people.  He actually wants to feed the 5,000 plus people that are there at that moment.  What does that mean? He cares about what you need.  He knows what you’re believing for and he wants to give it to you.  But first there was a test.  Jesus asked a question but the bible says…he already KNEW what he was going to do.  Before your blessing, there will be a test.  Have things been getting a little shaky in life? Hold on because your blessing is right around the corner.  Have you been trying to get a job and getting denied left and right? Hold on because God is about to give you a better job.  Whatever the need, God already knows and he knows exactly how he is going to bring it to pass.

All these things that are happening are probably just to get your attention.  He might just be telling you to sit down.  Why? Because so many times we are running around with different cares on our mind. But we can’t be part of the solution until we shut everything else to the side.  God wants us to take responsibility for our miracle. There are three things we can do today to position ourselves to receive our miracle:

  1. Accept Jesus into your heart.
  2. Stand in Faith.
  3. Have expectancy!

I’m believing God for a lot of miracles right now within my personal life, my ministry and my church.  You should fantasize about your miracle because it’s going to come to pass very soon.  Write it down and believe God for the impossible.  It’s time to step into Miracle Territorywithin our lives.

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You Can’t Out Give God

“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” – John 10:10 (The Message)

From the moment that we accepted Christ into our hearts, we stepped into that better life than we ever dreamed of.  Salvation was just the beginning, it doesn’t stop there. Gods desire is that we have a full life for the rest of our lives.  Have you been living that life that God has specifically for you in every area of your life?  Could be with the relationships in your life? Your career? Schooling? Or even your finances? Take a second to think about your life and where you’re at right now.  In what areas could you use an improvement?

If you really desire change, then you’re off to a good start.  As christians, we should always desire to better our lives.  Why? Because that’s Gods desire for us as well.  God doesn’t want us to be in the same situation that we were in last year and I can guarantee that God wants next year to be the best year you’ve ever lived.  We serve a God that is always progressing…going from glory to glory.

In Christianity, there are two types of people: Followers of Christ and Disciples of Christ.  Which one are you?  The difference between the two is that a disciple is someone that is committed to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Does that change your answer to that question?  When we are fully committed to what Jesus said…we will begin to experience the well-being (which really means “prosperity”) that God has planned for our lives.

“32% of Christians in America claim that they tithe.” – George Barna

The sad fact about the above statement is that the higher the income bracket, the lower the amount that people gave.  We have to start here because our finances say a lot about what we are committed to. The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21).  So let me ask you a question, where is your treasure?  We start with the tithe because that belongs to God.  What some people don’t realize is that the “rich, wealthy, etc.” is in the tithe.  Many wealthy people have learned this principle in their own lives and have lived wealthy lives.  One example is Henry Cromwell who gave 70% of his income to the Church.  See it starts at 10% but it doesn’t have to end there.  Remember, you can never out give God!

When we learn to let God take control, we are allowing him to be our shield.  If we take that a little bit farther, we are allowing him to become “El Shaddai” in our lives. That means, “The God who will reward you and provide for you…our source for everything we need in life.” Are you allowing God to be your source? I want to challenge you to really think about that question…don’t be quick to answer it and go about your day.  But take some time right now to think about whether you are allowing God to be your true provider or if you might be relying on another source for all your needs.

Position Yourself

Let me start this blog off with a question, do you want to experience God’s blessings in your life?  Yes, right? Who wouldn’t?  Well, let me ask you another question, what are you doing today to receive those blessings in your life?  The Bible is clear, “every part of scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.” Did you catch that? “Training us to live God’s way.”  If we learn how to let God be in control of every area of our lives, we’ll experience his best.  The problem for most people is that we want God to be in control of our lives, but we want to be in control too. I think a lot of us can relate to the following video…

Ever experienced that in your life?  Not only do many of us struggle with decisions, but we struggle with our finances as well.  Over the past few blogs, I have been focusing on the area of finances.  Why? Because there is a spiritual connection with our finances.  Where our treasure is, there our heart is as well.  You can just take a quick evaluation on what you spend daily.  You wouldn’t spend that money if it wasn’t important, right? Mortgage? Car Payments? Insurance? Gas? Groceries? Pretty important stuff, right? Well, if we want to experience God’s blessing in our lives, we have to live God’s way in that area too.

I want to give you a few quick reasons on why we should be a giver and then how we can position ourselves to receive God’s blessings in our lives.

  1. Faithful Giving draws us closer to God.
  2. Faithful Giving is the key to a blessed life.
  3. Faithful Giving blesses you in return.
  4. Faithful Giving brings joy.
  5. Faithful Giving reminds me that everything belongs to God.

“The devil wants you to give up and complain.  Don’t do that. Keep giving. Keep trusting God. God is a faithful God. Maybe you’re in a season right now where you’re waiting for God open a door. I’ve been in that season. I’ve been waiting. I’ve been saying God, you know all the things that we want to do in your house and for your kingdom.  God will always come through.  Sometimes he will test us cause he wants to see our attitude while we’re going through it. He wants us to learn not to complain and not to murmur and not to gripe. That’s what he’s trying to teach us.”

Position Yourself for God’s Blessing

  1. Maintain a holy fear of God.
  2. Do what the Bible says (do what’s right)
  3. Be open to change (don’t get stuck)
  4. Be a steward of your time.
  5. Be a good steward of your money.
  6. Remain faithful.

Take some time today to position yourself for God’s blessings in your life.  Share your testimonies with me through a comment.  I’m believing God for miracles for everyone that learns to position themselves for God’s blessings. It’s recently happened in my life and I believe it can happen for you too.

Like they say in French, “Numero Uno”

Are you putting God first in every area of your life?  Just think about it.  Are you honoring God with your time or does he get the leftovers?  What about with your talents?  Are you putting those into practice for his honor and glory?  And finally, what about your treasure? You can call it dollar bills, dead presidents, paper, cheddar, etc. but in the end it’s still finances.  What about that area?  Is it okay if we go there today?  The only reason I ask is because people start getting a little funny when you start talking about money.  But that’s not you, right?  Let’s get into it:

“Money isn’t everything, but it’s right up there with oxygen.” -Zig Ziglar

Don’t you feel like that sometimes?  I mean we try not to make money everything in our lives…but sometimes we just can’t escape reality.  Well, let me share another reality with you, there are over 2,300 scriptures in the Bible on money and possessions.  That’s twice as many as faith and prayer combined.  If you’re a Christian, your top priority in life should be to put God first. And that also includes your finances.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.  So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?” (Luke 16:10-11)

Did you catch that?  True riches! God wants to bless you with things that money can’t buy.  “You might know someone who is sick and needs a healing.  That’s something that money can’t buy.  The peace of God is something that money can’t buy.  The joy of God is something that money can’t buy.  You can have peace in the midst of a storm, but that’s something that money can’t buy.  Money can not buy your salvation.  Money can not buy your faith. Money can’t buy you a good relationship.  Money can’t give you a good marriage.  Those are things that only God can give you.”

Do you want true riches? Then position yourself for God to bless you.  I can’t do it for you.  You have to decide today that you are going to put God first even in this area of your life.  “Remember you only made that dollar or that money because God gave you the energy.  God gave you the oxygen.  God gave you the job opportunity.  God allowed you to live in this country.”

Malachi says to test God and I challenge you to test God in this area.  Bring the whole tithe into God’s storehouse and see what he does.  It will really blow your mind.  Just a few tips to help you out: (1) Bring Your First to God and (2) Bring your First 10%.  Don’t be like Cain and bring leftovers, God doesn’t take our leftovers and never gives us leftovers either.  He wants the best for us.  Take some time to reflect on your own life, have you really been putting God first in every area of your life?

 

 

Show Me The Money

Actually you don’t want to show me the money but like my good friend Tom says above, “Show God the Money.” Now that I have your attention, I want to talk about a subject that people don’t really like to talk about too often, yup…you guessed it.  We’re going to talk about money.  I know what you’re thinking, “again?” or “that’s all the church cares about.” Let me tell you something, money was so important to Jesus that he actually talked about it more than he did heaven and hell combined.  Pretty important subject if you ask me.  Over the next few blogs, we’re going to answer the question, “Why does God want me to be a giver?”

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “giving?” Is it time? Is it talent? Or is it finances?  I bet it was finances, right?  Well, when God talks about giving, it’s actually all of the above.  They all tie together for us to fulfill God’s purpose in our lives.  Let me ask you a question, “Have you been using your time, talent and treasure the way God has wanted you to or have you been selfish?”   One of the greatest temptations we face in this age is to be selfish.  Many have the mentality, “I’ll help you, but what am I going to get in return?” Even John D. Rockefeller at the height of his career when asked by a person, “How much do you really need?” He responded with, “…just a little bit more.” He was making over $1,000,000.00 a month.  Just another picture of selfishness.

The bottom line is when we put God first, he’ll work everything out. (Matthew 6:33) He created us to be givers (we were made in his image and God himself is the biggest giver of all).  He’ll give us things that money can’t buy.  He’ll give us peace in the midst of turmoil.  You’ll be able to keep your head up even when you’re in a battle.  Even when things ain’t going right, you’ll still serve the Lord with joy and say “I know God can turn it around. I serve a big God.  I serve a Mighty God.  My God is about breakthroughs.  My God is about turning situations around.  My God is about healing broken hearts. My God is about restoring and making things brand new.”

Here is an example of someone that didn’t put God first:

Are you putting God first in your life?  Or are you being selfish like that guy in the video?  It’s wasn’t even his pie to begin with.  And that’s what many people do in their lives when they don’t put God first…they’ll put him last.  They’ll take care of everything else in life and then leave God with nothing.  That’s not how God works.  Even when we’re unfaithful, God is still faithful.  Are you putting God first in your life today?  Are you giving the way he wants you to?  Are you taking care of your responsibilities but leaving God last?  Where your priorities are will determine where you struggle or prosper in life.  God wants you to prosper.  Take some time today to see where you can improve in your giving.  It’s never too late to become a better giver in all areas of your life.

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:17-18)