Monday, January 31, 2011

Three Things to Believe

A little boy threw a quarter into a wishing well and said, "I wish I had my quarter back." Some people give to God with that same attitude. When we give our offerings to God, we need to believe three things about Him.

1.You must believe that God sees what you give.
God saw what Cain and Abel offered Him (Gen. 4:4-5). In Malachi 1:7-8, God could see the sacrifices the people were offering. And whenever you give to God, He sees it. If your offering means nothing to you, it means nothing to God.

2.You must believe that God knows about your financial situation.
A widow once put her last two coins into the temple treasury. Jesus told the disciples that she had put in all that she had to live on. How could He say that? Because He knew about her financial situation. You don't see Jesus running over to her saying, "Stop! Don't you realize that you will starve to death if you give away all that you have?" He didn't stop her because He knew the Father would supernaturally bless her for her sacrificial gift.

3.You must believe that God will reward your giving.
Prov. 3:9-10 says, "Honor the Lord from your wealth and the first of all your produce, so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine." When we give to God with a cheerful attitude, it releases the blessing of God on us. God can make the barns filled and the vats overflow. He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing (Mal. 3:10).
To listen to the entire message on this subject, go to
Financial Freedom, pt. 1 "The God Factor"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting Your Priorities Straight

A man decided to build a wagon for his horse to pull so he could show it off at the county fair. It took him several days to draw up the plans and several more days shopping around the various lumber yards trying to find the finest wood. He chose the best lumber and spent a couple more weeks cutting the boards, assembling them together, sanding, and painting. After putting on the finishing touches, the wagon looked absolutely beautiful. He knew it would be envied by everyone in the county.

On the day of the fair, he was ready to hook up his horse to the wagon. He went into the barn, walked into the horse's stall and was stunned to discover that his horse was dead. He had been so busy building his wagon that he forgot to feed his horse. It was a case of putting the cart before the horse.

You might not be building a wagon for the county fair, but are you putting the cart before the horse? Your priorities are the things that are most important to you. To some people, entertainment is the thing that's most important to them. For others it's a hobby or a sport. It's their greatest passion. They spend huge amounts of money and time on it. Why? Because that's what they love the most. Matt. 6:33 says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." If you were put on trial, what evidence could be presented to prove that the Lord is your highest priority?
To listen to the entire sermon on this topic, go to
http://www.churchoflivingwater.net/node/23 and click on
Fulfilling Your Destiny, pt. 4 "Priorities"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Root Bound Christians

When my wife and I bought our house in Florida, the previous owners had planted some azalea bushes in the backyard. The bushes looked rather scrawny and didn't bloom like they were supposed to. We watered them and put fertilizer around them, but they still didn't bloom. The next year the same thing happened. Watered. Fertilized. No blooms. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with them.

The following Spring all the azalea bushes died. As I dug them up, I discovered the problem. Their roots were in the exact shape of the container that they were in when the previous owners bought them! The bushes struggled and eventually died because they were root bound.

How did the plants become root bound? When they were in the container, the roots hit the side of the pot and then turned around and grew inward. Some of the plants had roots growing in circles because they followed the curvature of the plastic container.

If you want a bush to grow in a healthy way, you've got to take a screw driver, stick it in the root ball, pull all the roots apart so they can grow outward, and then plant it in the ground. But when the previous owners pulled the azaleas out of the pots to plant them, they just stuck them in the ground and skipped breaking up the roots. As a result, the roots stayed in the shape of the container and never grew out into the dirt. The plants couldn't get the nutrition they needed and eventually died.

Is it possible that you are root bound? Perhaps you're stuck inside a comfort zone, doing the same things over and over again. You do the same religious rituals without even thinking about it. You're afraid to try something new and different. Your spiritual life is dull and boring because you're like the root bound azalea bush. Surely there is more to the Christian life than that!

God is calling you to spread your roots. He wants you to take a step of faith out of your comfort zone. It may be just a few small changes, or it might be a major change. Ask Him what He wants you to do differently and then do it. Take the screw driver to the roots. If you don't, you'll shrivel up like those azalea bushes and never bloom. To hear the entire message on "Breaking Out of Comfort Zones" go to http://www.churchoflivingwater.net/node/23 and click on "Fulfilling Your Destiny, part 2"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Who Are You?

A boy found a brown egg in the woods and brought it home to the barnyard. He placed it in the goose's nest with the other eggs she had laid. When the goose's eggs hatched, the little birds all emerged with yellow feathers and webbed feet. But when the brown egg hatched, out came a strange looking creature with brown, greasy feathers and twisted feet.

As the months passed and the hatchlings grew, the brown bird just didn't fit in. When the others went swimming in the pond, he followed them and almost drowned. Instead of honking like the other geese, the brown bird let out a shriek. He told himself, "I can't do anything right. I'm just a failure."
One day the birds were in the barnyard when the shadow of a huge bird passed over them. The geese went running for cover, but the brown bird looked up and suddenly realized he wasn't a goose, but an eagle. He started flapping his wings and before he knew it, he was up in the air flying with the other eagles.
He had been an eagle all along, but he thought he was a goose. He had to realize who he was, his true identity, before he could fulfill his destiny.
In the same way, you cannot fulfill your destiny until you realize your true identity as a child of God. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come."

When you are born again, God gives you a new identity. The only way you can fully grasp this new life is by listening to what God says about you. You can't base your identity on what others think about you. You can't even base it on what you think about yourself. It only comes from what God says. Do you know who you are?