Tithes & Offerings

God Opportunities

Listening

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By Steve Countryman

I pray that what I have learned I may be able to share with others complete with the blessings that it contains.  So many truths that have been revealed by the Holy Spirit have really shook my world but none to the degree that this simple message has.  Everyone knows that God places opportunities in our paths daily.  Opportunities of being blessed, blessing others, being tested, spiritual growth, of revelation and epiphanies, to share the gospel, to share your testimony, to encourage others and to love people like God loves people.  Most Christians, including myself, think that that is what being a Christian is all about, our daily lives.  It is all about preparedness.  But the reality that I have learned is that it is only a part of our lives and not the most important part either!

Simple tasks of being a blessing to others can turn into a fiasco of folly when we place our criteria upon them.  I found this out first hand at Christmas time several years ago.  I took four $25.00 Wal-mart gift cards for me and four for my wife Gina to give away.  I told her to give them to whoever she wanted to but not to friends or family.  This seemed to be a simple enough task to do but before I knew it I had turned it into a religious event.  I had to find someone deserving and needy.  Someone who really could use the gift card.  I became very judgmental and cynical in my selection process.  After a couple of weeks I had manage not to give away one single card.  I had made it nearly impossible to do.  There were many opportunities to give them away but no one fit my criteria.  Meanwhile Gina had given all of hers away the first week.  I made a simple task of blessing others into a religious chore.  “Are they worthy of my time?”  “Are they in need of a blessing or a prayer?”  “Do they really need my help/blessing?”  Don’t I have to like them to bless them?”  What if they are just faking needing a blessing?”  “I don’t want to be foolish for blessing the wrong person.”  That is what we Christians do, we judge others to our standards but not to God’s standards.

Opportunities are really a two-way street.  It blesses us to bless others just as it blesses God to bless us!  We must look at our opportunities differently.  To fulfill God’s purpose for us here on earth we must treat all of our opportunities as God opportunities.  That is what I have learned.  Not to judge others or try to fit them into my criteria for me to be a blessing to them.  That is not my job as a child of God’s.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say or have a list for me to use when blessing others.  What I must do is create opportunities for my God to be a blessing to others through me.  It is then up to God to do the rest.  By myself I cannot heal anyone.  I cannot deliver anyone.  I cannot cast out demons.  I cannot raise the dead.  And I cannot offer eternal salvation.  That is all up to my God to do.  John 5:30 “By myself I can do nothing”  Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

What I must do is make Jehovah God available to those around me.  I must take those opportunities and turn them into God opportunities.  I am to speak and declare God’s Word, to speak words of faith and deliverance, to take authority that has been given me through Jesus and the Holy Spirit to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick so they recover.  By allowing Jesus in us through the mighty Holy Spirit the opportunity to do the miraculous, the impossible, the inconceivable to those around us is why we are here.  It is all up to God to do the rest.  I don’t decide who gets healed or delivered, that is not my job as a Christian.  I am to direct those in need as they indicate their need to the only One who can supply ALL of their needs, Jesus!  As a Christian life is not about you but about what all God can do through you if you let Him!  AMEN!

About the Author:
My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

You Have a Voice

By Deborah Brunt
You are the ones chosen by God,” says 1 Peter 2:9 (MSG), “chosen to be  God’s instruments  and speak out for him.”

Reading these words, you may inwardly cry, “I want that! Pick me!” – or you may think you’d rather pass. If you’re clamoring for opportunities to speak, you probably have a strong dose of one of the speaking gifts. If the words, “speak out,” frighten you or just don’t seem to apply to you, your strongest giftings may lie somewhere else. Don’t run from Peter’s announcement because you assume it’s not for you.

Speaking gift or not, you have a voice. Be blessed to use it.

In a symphony, every instrument has a unique voice. The trumpet blasts. The drum beats. The silvery-sounding flute, the raucous saxophone, the mellow strings – all speak in a different way.

Elijah had a prophetic voice. He played trumpet. He played well because he put in the time to learn. He watched the conductor. He followed the score. When the instruments sang in chorus, Elijah blended. When the flutes were up, he waited and watched. When another trumpet had a solo, he didn’t try to steal the show. When his turn came, he didn’t hold back. With grace and clarity, he sounded each note.

When you joined God’s family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you joined the symphony. He himself is training us, individually and together, “until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son” (Eph. 4:13 MSG).

You have an instrument. You have a voice. Be blessed to stay before God as he teaches you. Be blessed to play your part.

If your voice is prophetic, be blessed with tempering to speak in love.

If you’re an exhorter, be blessed with backbone to speak the truth.

If you’re a teacher, be blessed not to settle for mechanical excellence but rather to play from your heart.

If your bent is mercy, God designed you for improv. So go ahead and let that sax sing. Play the unwritten notes – but stick to the God-breathed notes that beautifully interweave with all the other sounds.

If you’re a leader, remember: God is the conductor. You play percussion. You sound the beat, but always by following the conductor’s hands.

Servant, you may not produce a flashy sound, but it’s foundational, like the bass. Find your voice.

Giver, ah how well you play the strings – the violin strings, the purse strings. Use your voice, not to manipulate, but to release songs of life.

Tap, tap, tap. The conductor has stepped to the podium. Whatever your gifting, it’s time to stop looking around, thinking someone else will speak. Sit straight in your chair. Raise the instrument God has given you – and follow his lead. As one voice in a symphony he is creating, with skill and with gusto, contribute your part.

“But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you” (1 Peter 2:9 MSG).

Be blessed to speak boldly, in your unique voice.
___
About the Author:
Adapted from “The Elijah Blessing: An Undivided Heart,” (c) 2012 Deborah P. Brunt. All rights reserved.

Deborah Brunt explores key truths for living life. The author of eight books and more than 1,500 published articles, she writes courageously, prophetically, redemptively. Visit her at http://www.keytruths.com and at http://keytruthsblog.wordpress.com.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

The Prosperous Attitude – By Beatrice Ofwona

Joy And Generosity

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Our God does so much for us yet our thankfulness does not portray this favor that He bestows on us. In Deuteronomy 28:47-48 we see how important it is to serve the Lord joyously and gladly in the time of prosperity so that we may not serve our enemies in time of need and hunger. If our attitude is not that of gratefulness, thankfulness or joyousness when He blesses us, then we fail to honor Him and our attitude is therefore wrong. As Christians, we must know how to initiate and access God’s power; this begins when we live accurately and in tandem with His commandments. There are many people around us who have great blessings in their lives and which then raise their performance levels. The secret lies in the attitude that they have; they know how to thank God for His blessings. They know that the passion, with which they ask, must also be adopted when thanking the Almighty for His blessings.

Attitude is the position of the mind as well as emotions and it determines our disposition. When we wake up for instance on a Monday morning with a bad mood, then we will most probably have bad outcomes throughout the day. But we can allow God’s Word to determine our disposition. By setting our mood right, we change our life and if we are then wired to God’s Word then we bring forth fruitfulness. In John15:16 Christ says that he chose us to bear fruit that will last so that whatever we ask God in his name, we shall be given.

Failure is brought about by the bad attitude that we have and which dishonors God. Severally we are told that our attitude determines our altitude or that if we think we will fail, we already have but if we think we can than we will. Failure comes about because we do not set ourselves right in alignment with God. If we are operating in deficiency, it is because of our attitude. We should have affection for what we do and especially take great joy in what we are doing for God. There is certainly no life of fruitfulness if we see prayer as a burden, a call of God in our life as a burden or what we do as a burden. God calls us to win souls and this is not a burden either; it is a privilege. Doing things for God out of obligation does not make Him happy; we should instead seek to do whatever it is with the right attitude because that pleases Him. When giving to God becomes a burden then life remains a burden. Our not being thankful and grateful is a dishonor to God. The unsuccessful lives that we lead can be traced to our dishonor of God. If we do not know how to be grateful, we can ask Christ to show us how by asking him to ‘help us want to want to give thanks to the Almighty’.

In 2Corinthians 9:6-14 we see that God loves a cheerful giver. If we give grudgingly and sparingly, we shall also reap in that manner. Verses 10-14 bespeak of the great blessings bestowed on those that serve Him in righteousness. However, we seem to have allowed the world’s lack of reverence for giving to set our attitudes and this brings us to a place of lack. Let us give cheerfully or else what we give fails to be fruitful. Isaiah 1:19 says that if we are willing and obedient, then we shall eat the best from the land. But having obedience with the wrong attitude produces nothing. In the book of  2Corinthians 8:12 Paul says that in the presence of willingness, the gift is accepted according to what one has, no what one does not have.

Therefore our attitude towards giving must be that of gratefulness, joy, honor, delightfulness and commitment. If we give our tithes and offerings yet complain all the way to the offering baskets, that is a real waste of giving. But if we give the Lord in gratitude and joy then we will call on Him and He will hear us in our times of need. Serving the Lord is a privilege and not a burden. In Malachi 2:2 the Lord sets forth a curse on those priests who do not seek to honor His name. Honoring God is by honoring His word and this is done by making His Word to be the weight in our lives; that it may be an important thing in our lives.

Sometimes we may wonder what is happening to our lives and why all of a sudden the blessings that we were enjoying have stopped flowing; it may be that we have been dishonoring God. If we therefore correct this dishonor, God will turn around and once again bless and honor us because in Jeremiah 29:11 He says that He has great plans for us, plans to prosper and not to harm us.

Every success in life can be traced to honor just as every failure in life can be traced to dishonor. The Word must work in our lives. It is not just the tithe that we give that is important, it is also the attitude with which we give it; this determines our fruitfulness. Let us do things because we love God; He looks at the heart and observes our thoughts and motives. And He always works except where there is dishonor in the heart.

May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.

contact:-bofwona@yahoo.com
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