You Are Now A Giver

EPHESIANS 5:1 NLT 1 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.

You are now a giver. God your Father is a giver and you should act like your Father.

Giving is an act of love, and an act of faith. As a child of God you are no longer a taker, but a giver, because God’s love has been put into your heart (Romans 5:5).

The devil’s kingdom is a kingdom of selfishness so it operates by taking. God’s kingdom is a kingdom of love so it operates by giving.

Real followers of Jesus are known for their great love (which is expressed by giving) to others (John 13:35).

The Bible not only tells us to give, but also promises us blessing when we do give.

LUKE 6:38 NLT 38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Money is not the only thing you can give. Mercy, compassion, encouragement — anything that will bless someone is a valuable gift.

Your best gift is sharing the message of God’s love and deliverance with others — a gift more valuable than money.

2 CORINTHIANS 9:6,8 NLT 6 Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.

The Bible teaches that giving is planting seed, which brings a larger harvest of provision back into your life. As you give, God will see that it is given to you, so you will have “everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”

So whatever needs you have, plant good seeds for your future by giving today!

Rich people can give freely, without worrying how their own needs will be met, because they have abundance. When you realize you are rich in Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9), and Heaven backs you, then you will also be able to enjoy giving freely.

So, with the backing of God’s Word, you can use what you have been given to help those around you.

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Is Money Your God?

Whatever controls you, or determines your decisions, is your god.

What is god in your life? Do you have a price? Can you be bought?

Will enough money get you to do something you know is wrong? Then you are serving money — you will do what it tells you.

No one can serve two masters, according to Jesus.

MATTHEW 6:24 NKJ 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

You must choose who your god will be. If you choose Jesus Christ — you cannot make every decision based on the financial bottom line, and still claim He is your Lord.

If you claim to be a Christian but do not worship God by giving from your income to Him — it is clear that money is your god.

If you say you do not give to God so that you can feed your children — maybe your children are your god.

If your reason for not worshiping God with your money is so you can pay your house or car note — you obviously have put them ahead of God.

Most Christians think it’s awful that someone would commit adultery, or fornication, if someone paid them. But, a Christian who moves simply to get a higher-paying job, without regard to God’s guidance, is guilty of the same sin: serving money.

Will you only do God’s will if it benefits you? Are you like a prostitute — only willing to perform if you get paid enough?

Are you a hired lover — or a genuine lover of God? This is a very serious question we all need to consider. The good news is that God still loves us — no matter how undeserving we are of His love. But understanding God’s love should cause us to desire change. God does not deserve to be treated the way most of us have been treating Him.

  
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Trust In God

2 CHRONICLES 16:7-9 NLT 7 At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa and told him, “Because you have put your trust in the king of Aram instead of in the LORD your God, you missed your chance to destroy the army of the king of Aram. 8 Don’t you remember what happened to the Ethiopians and Libyans and their vast army, with all of their chariots and horsemen? At that time you relied on the LORD, and he handed them all over to you. 9 The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on, you will be at war.”

When you look to other sources for help — instead of turning to God when you face trouble, it displeases God.

How would you feel if your spouse completely ignored you and went to someone else when they had a problem, instead of turning to you for advice or help?

Looking to others instead of God for help can also open the door for trouble in your life. That is why God wants you to look to Him, instead of other sources, because unlike others, He will never harm you or mislead you.

God is not only able to help you, but He is very willing to help you with everything, for He loves you! Therefore you can trust God to always be willing to help you.

So why would you want to look to an inferior source for help?

Fortunately, God is forgiving, so even if you have looked to others for help instead of God, just turn to God whole- heartedly and He will surely help you.

God can, and often does, provide help, encouragement, and advice through other Christians. But we should never look to them first as our source of help.

Always look to God first and keep your focus on Him.

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Don’t Judge By Appearance

JOHN 7:24 NKJ 24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Making a snap judgment based on appearance often works — but not always. And the exceptions can really cost you.

The world teaches us to judge people by their appearance. But God doesn’t judge people by how they look — and neither should we.

1 SAMUEL 16:7 NLT 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”

One main reason we’re not qualified to judge others is because we don’t know their thoughts and intentions. Only God does.

As they say, “You can’t always judge a book by its cover.”

LUKE 16:15 CEV 15 But Jesus told them: You are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned.

It is important that we treat all people with respect — since they are created and loved by God — no matter how they look.

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On Earth As It Is In Heaven

MATTHEW 6:10 KJV 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

People often wonder what God’s will is in many situations. “How should we pray? Is it God’s will for this person to be helped, or not?”

In Matthew 6:10 Jesus told us how to pray in line with God’s will — what is done in heaven is also God’s will for earth.

This verse reveals the will of God and answers how we are to pray. So anything opposing this cannot ever be God’s will.

What should we learn from this verse?

First, the will of God is not automatically done, otherwise there would be no need to instruct us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth.

Second, if God’s will is not automatically being done, it means the will of our enemy (the devil) may be done unless God’s people do what we are supposed to do.

Third, the will of God is always good for all people, for it is certainly good for everyone who is in heaven. (See also James 1:17, Psalm 145:9, Matthew 5:44-45)

Many have made the mistake of thinking everything that happens must be God’s will. No! We must pray that God’s will be done on earth. It is not automatic. Every theft, rape, and murder is not God’s will!

When it is not like heaven on earth, it is because the reign of God’s kingdom is not being fully manifest in that situation. The reign, or kingdom of God, is where King Jesus has dominion.

As we allow Jesus complete dominion in our lives, we can expect the blessing and provision of God to begin manifesting on earth as it does in heaven.

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God Is Not A Liar

NUMBERS 23:19 ICB 19 God is not a man. He will not lie. God is not a human being. He does not change his mind. What he says he will do, he does. What he promises, he keeps.

Too many of us judge God by ourselves, or those we normally deal with. Unfortunately, honesty is scarce today. We are accustomed to people lying to us.

But God is different. He does not lie. Not ever.

TITUS 1:2 NKJ 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,

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How To Change

ROMANS 12:2a NLT 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

Many people would like to see change in their life. But how?

To change the way you act, you must first change the way you think. Because you act like the person you think you are.

But to change your thinking, you will need to focus on different information.

Our beliefs are the cause of our actions. So to permanently change behavior, beliefs must be changed.

A belief is a thought you have decided to accept as truth. You choose your beliefs. Then your beliefs determine your actions. You always act on what you believe.

As long as you think something is advantageous for you, you will keep doing it. When you realize something is not advantageous for you, you will stop it.

You may argue with this, thinking that you sometimes do things you know are not good for you. But you only do them if you think you are gaining some benefit from doing them. Usually it is choosing to receive a near-term benefit in exchange for longer-term harm.

Why do people do what they do? Because of what they believe. All people always do what they believe is their best choice at the time in order to get what they think they want. Always!

People normally do not act contrary to their beliefs, except under great pressure. But even when forced to do something against your will, you will only do it if it seems to be the best thing you can do under those circumstances.

When your beliefs change, your talking and your actions will also change. Trying to change your actions without first changing your beliefs will fail because your beliefs govern your actions.

For example, believing that God loves you instead of being mad at you will change the way you act. If you believe God loves you, you will turn to God when you need help. But if you believe God is mad at you, you will be hesitant to seek God’s help.

Our beliefs may be based on incomplete and inaccurate information — in fact they usually are. But our beliefs always determine our actions.

Humans are like a guided missile, programmed to change course when new information is presented and accepted.

So the first step for positive change in your life is to get information that will change the way you think. Read the letters to the Church in the New Testament and find out what Jesus Christ has done for you. Find out who you are in Christ. Find out how God sees you.

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Does God Supply Only What We Need?

What is a need? Who is qualified to determine what is a need?

Is it something essential? What is essential? Essential to what? To survival? To health? (Physical health only, or mental and emotional health, as well?)

Are essentials universal? Or do they vary from person to person, or from country to country, or from age to age?

Is having more than just my essential, survival needs met proof of my greed or selfishness?

If God will only meet our needs, why do some Christians have more than they need? How did they get it? Did the devil give it to them?

If God only meets the needs of Christians, who will ever have any extra to give to others?

What is need and what is greed; what is too much and what is just right? Are you qualified to judge? For yourself? For me? For someone in a different country? For all people?

Is it wrong for a Christian to accept a job paying more than a survival wage? Should they only work part-time to stay below abundance?

Does God play favorites? Did the Apostle Paul say, in Philippians 4:18, that he had more than he needed? Did God ever give anyone else an abundance?

Does creation testify to a God of abundance? Why are there so many shapes and colors of fish? Why do we need flowers?

Can you give scripture clearly saying God will supply only what we need to barely get by? Are there not many scriptures that tell us He supplies abundance? Have you ever read the entire Bible?

What is a need? Are you qualified to judge?

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How Many Times Should I Ask God For Something?

The answer to the question above is that you should ask until you get the answer.

When you believe you have the answer, it would be silly to ask again.

But how should you determine when you get the answer? What evidence will you require to believe you have the answer?

What will God have to do before you will believe He has granted your request? Will God need to send an angel to tell you your request is granted? Will you have to wait until all the circumstances change and everyone sees the answer show up in your life?

Or, will you simply accept God’s Word as sufficient evidence to believe God has granted your request?

Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that we are to believe we receive the answer when we pray. The key to receiving from God is not long praying, but faith. What we believe is what makes the difference.

God gave us the Bible to change what we believe, so we could know His will, pray in agreement with His will, and therefore have confidence that our requests are granted.

MATTHEW 6:7 NKJ 7 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

In Matthew 6:7 Jesus warned against using “vain repetition” in prayer, but this probably means more than just making the same request more than once. It cannot always be wrong to repeat a prayer, because Jesus prayed the same words three times in Matthew 26:44. It depends on what kind of prayer it is.

It is appropriate to repeat some prayers, like those found in Ephesians asking for believers to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will with all understanding. That is not a prayer you can just pray once and believe you receive the full answer immediately.

But when we ask God for some material thing, we should not need to ask more than once. We should believe God granted our request when we prayed. So it is not appropriate to ask God again, but only to thank Him.

What is vain repetition? Something that is useless and makes no difference.

MATTHEW 6:7 ERV 7 “And when you pray, don’t be like the people who don’t know God. They say the same things again and again. They think that if they say it enough, their god will hear them.

Successfully praying to receive things is not a matter of wearing God down with repeated requests until He finally gives in and grants your request.

Jesus taught that what we receive through prayer is a matter of what we believe. Mark 11:24 tells us that when we pray we are to believe we receive our answer when we pray.

If we believe we receive the answer to our prayer, there is no need to continue asking for that request. There is no need to keep asking for something we already have.

We don’t have to believe we are in possession of what we requested, but simply that God has granted our request and the answer is on its way to us.

How many times would you ask a friend to do something for you? Unless you are forgetful or crazy, you would only ask them until they said yes. Once they said they will do something for you, if you trust them, you know they will do it. Continuing to ask them to do something after they already agreed to do it would be rude and disrespectful.

MATTHEW 21:22 NKJ 22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

The key factor is what you believe. If you don’t believe God heard and answered your prayer, then you need to pray again. But you need to recognize that the fault is not with God, but with you.

Jesus taught that to receive from God we must ask in faith. If we are not prepared to believe we receive the answer when we pray, then we are not ready to pray for that request.

We have no business praying for something we do not believe is God’s will. But if we pray in agreement with God’s will, then we should know we have the answer.

1 JOHN 5:14-15 NKJ 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

“What then am I to pray about? What do I say tomorrow during my prayer time?”

If you believe you received the answer “yes” from God today in regard to your request, then tomorrow when you talk to God about it, you should say “Thank You!” “Thank You that You are working and the answer is coming. Thank You for answering my prayer. Thank You that things are working out good.”

“But,” you say, “nothing has changed yet!”

If you think that, it shows you are basing your beliefs entirely on the information coming from your circumstances. You are not accepting God’s Word as worthy evidence. You have not believed that God granted your request and the answer is on its way. With this approach, you cannot expect very good results in prayer.

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Plead The Blood

Pleading the Blood of Jesus is not begging — but a legal term.

REVELATION 12:10-11 NKJ 10 . . . the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

The devil is our accuser. The only successful plea is the Blood of Jesus. Pleading our ignorance, our innocence, or our merits will fail. Only relying on the Blood of our substitute sacrifice, the Lamb of God, will win our case before God the Judge.

When we pray, we should base our prayer on the Blood of Jesus — the price paid for our needs to be met — instead of on our need or our worthiness.

When we resist the devil, we cannot resist him based on who we are or what we have done, but only on the price paid for our complete redemption — the precious Blood of Jesus.

Faith in Jesus’ Blood, released in testimony against the devil, will always cause him to flee. We must resist him, steadfast in faith, for as long as it takes.

Our enemy can always be overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. We have victory over every evil because of Jesus’ shed Blood.

PSALM 107:2 NKJ 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

We must SAY we are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb. Here are some example statements you could use in pleading the Blood.

In the Name of Jesus, I plead the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ against this problem.

I cover my home with the Blood of Jesus to protect all occupants and possessions from all evil.

Especially in times of violence we need to cry out for the protection of the Blood for all our household. Parents can put the Blood on their “door” — taking in all that pertains to them — and claim salvation and protection for their entire family. The Blood is the one thing that will keep your family safe in these perilous days.

When we awaken in the morning we should call for the Blood to be upon us and all that belongs to us. Before we sleep we should, in the same way, call for the protection of the Blood.

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