Exodus 20:5-6 (KJV)
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me
And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Deuteronomy 28:1-10 (KJV)
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
8 The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.”
1 Chronicles 2:9-17 (KJV)
“9 The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.
10 And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
11 And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,
12 And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,
13 And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,
14 Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:
16 Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.
17 And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.”
Woe is me, Woe is me! This is the cry that we hear coming from America today more than ever before. Despite the fact that we are a truly blessed nation, we are also a nation which has turned away from God. When a country or nation turns its back on God while receiving His blessings, there will be consequences for such actions. Our blessings correlate with our obedience. It was true for God’s people of the Old Testament, true for the New Testament and still true for today. God instructed Abraham to go and he went. He instructed him to have a child with his wife and he did (not without some hiccups I might add). Joseph was obedient to the laws and commands of God, which led to his rising within the ranks of Egypt to save all of Israel. Moses was told by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and he did. Jesus was asked to give himself upon the cross for all mankind and He did. These are just a few examples of countless stories of the relationship between obedience and blessings. However, what happens when there is disobedience? God’s Word tells us that He visits, “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” That’s a long time and type of visiting that I wouldn’t want to have.
For the last several generations the world, especially the U.S. has been extremely disobedient. Not just sin, but complete rebellion against God has been going on in this country for some time now. This will not result into anything less than the hand of God being removed from this country. The only thing keeping his hand from completely removing yet is the remnant that is still left in this country praying, giving, working, and supporting the building up of God’s Kingdom. We are now seeing the blessings come upon other nations that God is preparing in these last days. It seems the Western world as a whole is losing out big on what God used to do for them on a regular basis. God’s been good to us so now it is time that we return the favor. No longer are only the televisions full of lust, sexual immorality, drug use, drinking, violence, and godlessness; but also our lives are filled with these things as well. Families that were formally known for their walk with God are now known for their lawlessness. What kind of seeds can we sow when America is home to the largest number of criminals locked behind bars in the world? You may say that we also send out the highest number of missionaries as well, but what happens when those two numbers grow larger apart each year until the missionaries nearly disappear. What happens to the blessings when the only seeds that are sown are those of disobedience?
1 Chronicles 2:9-17 shows us that Boaz (the kinsmen redeemer of Ruth) was a grandfather to King David. Israel in those days held sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons in high regard. This had to do with the seed passing through the covenant, contrary to what many believe that Judaism taught to disregard or disrespect women. Nothing against the women here, but the blessing was from male to male. Women had important roles in Israel as well and still do today, however this text is referring to passed down blessings and inheritance. The point is that David was blessed. Whether his father Jesse had built his own fortune or not isn’t relevant. However, even if he did not, Boaz’s wealth and assets should have been enough to go all the way down to David and be a blessing to him as well. Most of the sheep that David helped raise in the field as a shepherd was most likely the descendants of the same sheep that Boaz raised on his estate.
When dealing with estates and investments in America, some families who have built a concentration of wealth often leave those assets in an estate that a dependent or inheritance receives. Some estates may be worth millions, a few hundred thousand, or maybe even just a few hundred bucks. Regardless of how much it is, the important thing is that after debts are cleared, that money should be reinvested. However, in America, it is nearly impossible to live off the income that 200,000 or less would create in an investment account for anyone who is too young to retire. It may last five years, maybe even ten, but eventually that person will run out of income when relying on an investment account balance that low. Change that balance to a million-dollar investment and things begin to change quite a bit. You can live a decent lifestyle every year without seeing the balance go down much at all due to interest. However, truth be told, most of us will never see that type of money. Our parents and grandparents may be fortunate enough to leave us a life insurance policy and maybe even a paid off home, but being a millionaire of inherited money is quite rare. This is why us adults go out and either further our education to prepare or go straight into a career out of school. We have to make a living for ourselves because we can’t live off inherited money. We have to create for our own well-being. However, most of Americans today are living off of the spiritual blessings of Grandparents and parents, or maybe even no blessings at all.
Some of us are still in the field of Boaz, gleaning off of grandma and grandpa’s blessings, but God wants us to live in abundance. God wants us to live in obedience, so we can thrive on our own blessings. Why not invest and let the interest do the rest? Stop gleaning and start leaning on God. We start this by repenting, by being obedient, trusting in the Lord, and doing His Kingdom work. Don’t depend on mom’s or grandma’s prayers to get you through your day. Doesn’t matter how much mom or grandma prayed, it won’t get you saved. We have to work out our own salvation “with fear and trembling” by turning from our sin and proclaiming Christ as Lord! You are the only one responsible for your salvation and your spiritual well-being. While blessings may come to those of us who have had forefathers who believed in the power of prayer and faith, many of those accounts are drying up. What happens when the balance goes to zero? What happens when the prayers stop flowing because you cease to have a relationship with God? The blessings stop, the saving grace stops, and the hand of God is taken off of us who refuse Him. Don’t leave yourself in a spiritually “broken” place today, turn to Christ and let him bless you with eternal life and continued blessings today!
The Necessity, Identification, and Development of the Spiritual Gifts
2 Peter 1:3-11 (KJV)
3 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:
4 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.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Last week we discussed assignments. We dove into the Word and what it says about finding them in the will of God for our lives and acting upon them. These assignments, however requires some gifts of the Spirit. Many may ask, are the gifts of the Spirit as manifested in the book of Acts still relevant for today’s church? The answer is, “absolutely!” Today as much as any other, the Spirit of God is using the gifts given by God to manifest His glory and power upon man. But are they necessary? “Absolutely!” As long as we are commanded by the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20), the gifts will be with us as the Spirit of God is with us. Just as Jesus used basically every spiritual gift given in the Scriptures, we are to use the gifts that we have been given. If He is our model and we are His followers (Christ-ians: meaning Christ-followers) we should also model his actions in using our gifts of the Spirit. But what are these gifts and how do we know we possess them? Around this time last year, we posted an article on this topic by Dr. Jim Feeney called The Gifts of the Holy Spirit Are for Today! In that Bible study it describes why these gifts are necessary and even gives a few examples. Identifying your gifts may not be as hard as you may think, however it does require us to be in tune with the will of God. The spiritual gifts help us identify our role in the team and find an area where we can maximize our strengths to the team’s advantage. It may also help to identify some areas of need for the ministry team that may be benefitted from our gifts and skills.
The many gifts of the Spirit manifested through the people of God can be found mostly in the New Testament due to the fact that the Holy Spirit rarely dwelt in me prior to this gift of Christ at the upper room experience of Acts 2. The Holy Spirit would sometimes come on men, but this would often be announced as, “the Spirit came upon him” or “the Spirit of the Lord was there”. Believers did not receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit until after the Upper Room experience. After the arrival of the Spirit in Acts 2, believers began to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion. This is not to be confused with the Pentecostal term “baptism in the Spirit.” This is another type of baptism usually happening after the initial conversion and could be better described as the indwelling and manifestation of the Spirit presence in a believer’s life. Like every part of God, the Spirit is a gentleman and will not manifest His glory on those who wish not to receive it or who do not believe in these abilities however. There are many who deny that the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues exist today, therefore do not experience these gifts. However, this does not mean that they do not exists, they just do not exist for that believer due to their unbelief. We must be careful how we react to the Holy Spirit and be careful not to mock God in this sense. This goes for both those who are unbelieving of His gifts and those who exaggerate the effects of the gifts. There are those in the Pentecostal community who bring shame and dishonor on the gifts of the Spirit by exaggerating and dramatizing the effects of the gifts.
Romans 12:6-8 describes various gifts such as prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, giving, leadership, and mercy. 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 gives us gifts such as healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and interpretation of tongues. 1 Peter 4:11 tells us of those who “speak and render service” in the light that they are gifts and abilities from God. Most of us have more than one gift, while others have nearly all of them. There are rare occasions when believers seem to possess only one, but usually they are gifted in that area so highly, it would be unnecessary to have any additional gifts. There are quite a few professional worship artists who fit this category and it is why they are compensated for such a rare ability to sing nearly any note. No one gift should be held in higher regard than the rest. The individual who is gifted in service and finds joy in serving God cleaning restrooms of their small church should not be made to feel less gifted or blessed than the teachers and preachers. Through my time in ministry, I have seen where just about every gift has been responsible for helping to bring in someone who was lost or sow the seed that leads to such a decision. We are all sowers, therefore we should always stand ready in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2)!
The best way to identify these gifts we possess is to serve in any capacity of ministry that we are given opportunity. There are a couple of gifts that we will know we have from a very early age. Singers know as early as they begin to sing and hold a microphone that they are called to do so. Preachers often find themselves seeking the microphone or public speaking in front of audiences as well. Called pastors find themselves possessing a great variety of skills such as discernment, preaching, teaching, showing, love, and serving. As you grow in the Lord and develop wisdom from His Word, your gifts will begin to manifest themselves. Your passions will become centered around your gifting. Those who find themselves interested in learning the guitar or keyboard may be blessed with the gift of music. Followers who find themselves diving into the Word of God and dissecting it like a frog in biology class are most likely good teachers. Those who find themselves highly motivated by motivating and lifting up others in the Lord are exhorters and may find themselves blessed by the ministry of revival evangelism or preaching. Never assume that you are unimportant to the Kingdom, every gift and every believer has a role in God’s Kingdom.
What we have to remember regarding the possession of these gifts is that they were bestowed upon us for a reason. God has a plan and a purpose for us to use them, therefore we must be obedient in that sense. We should expect to be used by God to highlight what He has done for us on Calvary. When we properly identify and use our gifts, we are representing God through the abilities He has given us. God is the Creator and Possessor of all gifts, therefore each gift we have been blessed with represents a small portion of God’s love. Maybe through your ability to communicate, the Gospel can be highlighted through your testimony showing how awesome a communicator that God is. Maybe you have a knack for awesome service. This testifies to the gift of Jesus Christ, the ultimate Servant and Giver of Life! Whatever your gifts, skills, and abilities; they are in our possession to be used by God as His vessel in service. When we hold them back, do not use them, or practice poor stewardship with them; it is seen as disobedience towards the will of God. We should also pass on the knowledge and identification of these gifts through discipleship and multiplication (Matthew 28:19).
To learn more about assignments and temporary places that God often puts us, visit our article:
Learn Your Assignment, Study Your Assignment, and Do Your Assignment
What Do The Earthquakes On The Iraq/Iran Border, Massacres In America, Wild Fires, And Rumors Of War Mean For Us?
What Do The Earthquakes On The Iraq/Iran Border, Massacres In America, Wild Fires, And Rumors Of War Mean For Us?
Today’s citizens do not have to look far and wide to find fear, panic, and depression at every turn. It plays continuously on our television screens, scrolls across our laptops, displays itself on every newspaper, and seems to occupy the conversation of every co-worker around us. There are earthquakes happening world-wide from South America to the Middle East and are becoming more severe with each event. There are mass shootings and terror attacks using vehicles in the United States, killing citizens in the most brutal ways possible with no respect for location or age. Wildfires are burning their way through the dry sections of nearly every country with no remorse for the structures in its way. Rumors of wars swirl around the globe as Asia prepares for a nuclear event that could cause the holocaust of a whole section of the globe and possibly the world. The question of course is, “what does it have to do with me?”…..The answer is, “it has everything to do with us!”
If you believe that you are immune to bad news and the events of today, consciously ignoring it for the sake of a “positive” atmosphere, you are dearly mistaken my friend. In fact, if you are living and breathing, the events of today’s world will surely have an impact on you and your family. Whether Christian or Jew, Atheist or Agnostic, you will be impacted. If you find yourself making Google searches for terms like “rapture”, “apocalypse”, or “end of the world” it will show that you are surely not the only person searching for such information. Even with all the uncertainty that today’s world offers, one thing is for certain: we are in perilous times! However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be bad news. There is a way to prepare your family and it doesn’t require you going to the store to stock up on plastic containers full of instant food mix and bottled water, it is the saving grace and mercy of Jesus Christ.
The intention of this message is not to scare you, but to rather inform you of the inevitable events which are about to unfold any moment. You have probably heard all of your life that, “Christ is soon to return to receive His Church.” While this is true, what usually follows is awkward silence rather than reasons, questions, and answers. To help with this, I have compiled a small list of convincing signs that prove Christ is soon to return. Although, as grandma would be quick to point out due to all the wonderful doomsday predictors of old, “ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). What we do know is that we are in the age of the “coming of the Lord” so it is best not only to have ourselves prepared, but to also spread the news of the soon coming wedding of the bride (church) and bridegroom (Christ).
Twenty years ago, when I was more concerned with riding bikes than the daily news. There were no mass shootings of innocent people, at least without motives. The Columbine High School shooting was surely scary for the nation, but I can remember how it gripped the hearts of the people and I watched as family, friends, and citizens of this nation truly mourned over those young people. Fast forward to 2017 and we see massacres on the news daily. Over 500 injured and 59 killed in the Las Vegas concert shooting by a man who’s motives still haven’t been clearly determined. What makes it even more mysterious is that the man was relatively wealthy and able to buy the pleasures of life most of us will never experience. He was a gambler and lived a very free lifestyle, but something inside of him persuaded him to massacre 59 innocent men, women, and children. A man driving a truck rented from a local retailer decides to follow a plan outlined from the internet to gruesomely mow down and kill eight innocent civilians considered by him as enemies. Wildfires continue to burn in America’s western countryside and many countries across the world taking out homes and those who have not evacuated those structures. Kim Jong Un has deliberately shot rockets towards the sea of Japan on multiple occasions, moved ammunition and troops to military hot spots, and verbally threatened the United States countless times. While there has been few actions so far to support the threats, our Word tells us that rumors of war will be rampant in the last days.
In case I still do not have your attention, let me leave you with some Scripture that highlights the urgent situation we are in today. First, I want to remind you that we have an option to be saved today from the grips of evil. While nothing can ensure that your life is spared in a natural death or act of war, your eternal life will always be ensured with Christ. Many of you have heard it before…John 3:16 tell us that, “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Why do we need the Son to be saved? Well Christ tells us in John 14:6 that, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” So, in order to get to God the Father, we have to go through His Son Jesus Christ. You might even ask, “but why do I need to be saved in the first place?” Romans 3:23 tells us that, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Today it is your choice my friend. It only takes a decision to make that commitment. Repent and seek the eternal presence with Jesus today! Click Here for more information on the gospel of Christ.
Scriptural Proof Of Our Current Perilous Times:
Matthew 24:5-8 (KJV)
“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
Matthew 24:24 (KJV)
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
John 14:21 (KJV)
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 (KJV)
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”
1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 (KJV)
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
Iraq/Iran Border Earthquake: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41963373
Las Vegas Shooting: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/02/us/las-vegas-shooting-live-updates.html
New York Truck Terrorist Attack: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/31/us/new-york-shots-fired/index.html
North Korean Threat: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40882877
For Articles Similar To This Visit: https://www.salvationscall.org/blog/the-end-is-sooner-than-we-think
Learn, Study, and Do Your Assignment
In today’s Christian circles, it seems most followers are more concerned with being seen rather than fulfilling the calling or duty of God on their life. Assignments are often given to us to fulfill a role in the Kingdom that we have been gifted specifically for. In the case of David and Solomon, God had a plan for the leader of His people to pass down an important task from father to son. How David reacted and took action following the commands of God, gives us a great lesson to be learned from God’s Word.
1 Chronicles 22:6-16 (KJV)
6 “Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house for the Lord God of Israel.
7 And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God:
8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
11 Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee.
12 Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God.
13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.
14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the Lordan hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
15 Moreover there are workmen with thee in abundance, hewers and workers of stone and timber, and all manner of cunning men for every manner of work.
16 Of the gold, the silver, and the brass, and the iron, there is no number. Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.”
Although King David was told by God that he was not permitted to build the Temple, thus not receiving the glory and fame associated with it, David reacted with obedience and humbleness before God. Instead of allowing himself to burn with anger against God, He understood his role and began to figure out other ways that he could be of assistance to the advancement of God’s Kingdom. He thought of other ways that he could help prepare for who would actually build the Temple. God knew David’s heart and because he was obedient, God chose his son Solomon to be the one to not only build His Temple, but also continue the leadership of His people.
David began to prepare by gathering the necessary materials and labor together. He helped Solomon organize how the structure would be erected and made plans for the way the labor would work together. Every logistical detail was worked out in advance. David understood his role in preparing the Kingdom of God. David’s role was one of preparation and leaving a legacy, not the glory of building a house for God. Because David was humble enough to pass on this task and also help aid in the preparation for it, he was blessed by God.
1 Corinthians 12:12 (KJV)
12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
Even though as a body we are one in Christ, each of us have a role in the body. Much like a cell within a larger organ, you may have a small role within a much larger part of God’s Kingdom. Whatever your role, it is essential to the Kingdom of God. Each of us have an assignment given to us and commissioned by God. We are to learn our assignment by our calling, will and purpose. We are to study our assignment given to us. Finally, we are to do the assignment given to us because that is the obedient thing to do.
Some of us may have played sports. I played many, but I specifically loved basketball and football. Both were fun and included many complex skills and positions. All sports have positions to be filled and you are assigned a specific position according to your gifts and abilities. We have to learn to stay in our spot. I played defensive tackle on defense in football and forward in basketball. I was limited in my ability to be a running back due to being slightly to slow and big to play that position. I loved weights and being strong often slowed down a player, thus preventing me from playing certain positions. However, because I was not easy to block by being strong, quick, and low to the ground, this gave me the ability to be a good defensive tackle.
James 4:17 (KJV)
17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Sin that violates the will of God by our inaction and ignoring His will is called a sin of omission. A sin that violates the law of God by our wrongdoings or words is called a sin of commission. Not following our assignment and ignoring the will of God is a sin of omission, but both types of sin makes us sinners and all sin sends us to Hell unless we are under the blood of Christ by accepting Him as our Lord and Savior. Just as we are called to a position , we are also called to know that position/assignment well by studying God’s Word and what it says about our role. Pastors, musicians, teachers, deacons, elders and so forth all have very specific roles in our respective callings.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
In sports once those positions are filled, they have to be learned and studied. There are camps, practices, film time, etc. before there are any games. To properly man a position on the field, you have to know what the abilities are of the guy in front of you on the other team. You have to know his tricks, style of play, and adapt to his abilities. The better you knew your opponent, the more likely your team was prepared to play. Finally, we have to play our position to ensure a victory for the team. When upsets happen, it was mainly because someone did not cover their assignment. In football, defensive linemen have gaps. Those gaps were the sections between the other linemen on the offensive side where the ball would often come through. Our job was to simply not be blocked and get into our gap. If we were blocked or missed our gap, a running back would often come running where he found a hole and make positive gains towards a score. Once a defensive man was beat to a gap and the running back or receiver had the ball past the line of scrimmage, we were to pursue the ball carrier in what coaches call lanes. Having a lane allows a player to predict where a ball carrier will be with the ball by the time he catches up to him using an estimation of his speed versus yours and current location. Getting outside of a lane often meant that player would avoid the tackle and get more positive yards or make a touchdown. This made it very important to always know your gap, your lane, and every responsibility for your assigned position. Just as every player is given his or her assigned position in sports, it is vital that we assume, prepare, and perform at the highest level in God’s assignment for us.
After being assigned and learning the ins and outs of our assignments, we have to perform our role in the assignment and do our jobs with confidence. We should have faith that God will make up for whatever we lack in ability. Just as sometimes team mates have to assist one another and help out where needed on the team, we have to be willing to do the same. Sometimes, the team just needs someone to fill a hole in the lineup. There will be times when you have to cover another believers assignment and yours. Many times in football games a team mate on the other side of the line would get blocked. One of us would have to fill his gap and sometimes make the tackle so that our team would remain in position to win. This team work is also needed in the body of Christ. Sometimes we have to pull together as sisters and brothers to get the job done. God may assign you to a temporary task or assignment that has to be filled by someone. You may not be the first pick for the job, you may even be the last, but you have been called to fill it. I am not the best youth minister that I know, in fact I have a tendency to teach way over the level of a high school student. However, there have been times that I have had to act as a youth minister to fill a hole that was needed. God may also provide you with opportunities and assignments that are not part of your main gift that acts mostly as a test with the small assignments before He assigns us those larger ones.
Colossians 3:23-24 (KJV)
23 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
Whatever our role or assignment, we must do it not for the glory or for credit from man, but rather to glorify God. He should receive all the credit and honor for the gifts He has bestowed upon us to achieve the works for His Kingdom. Our reward is not some trophy, riches, or glory here on Earth. Those things are only temporary, but the gift that God gives is eternal life and eternal blessings with Him in Heaven. This world is surely not our “home” and therefore I refuse to invest all my eggs in its one time-limited basket.
My question to you today is, do you know your assignment, role, or position? Do you know your job, your gap, or your lane? Have you asked God for it and sought His will in your life with obedience?
You may ask, what is my assignment, how do I identify it, and what are the spiritual gifts associated with it? Join us again next week as we explore the spiritual gifts and offices of the church as given by the Scripture. However, there is no need to dig into these if you are unwilling to identify your assignment, learn it, and do it. We must understand the importance of our obedience to God first before we can identify the gifts and abilities.
Until next time, trust in God, lean on Him, and be blessed!
Bankrupt For Jesus
The other day I ran across a bankruptcy lawyer’s commercial while doing research for a project on ministry debt. In that commercial, it stated there are two types of personal bankruptcy in this country, chapters 7 and 13. The lawyer was advertising for chapter 13. The ad shouted, “it costs only $99 month and your debt can be erased!” He continued, “Stop the harassing collection calls and contact us today!” “Only $99 and your worries can be eliminated!” Sounds like a bargain doesn’t it? It’s a great deal especially if you’re say $50k, $100k in debt.
There’s only one problem. That payment is based off your income which is determined by the court and the only way you are paying $99 a month is that you don’t have much income. On top of that, the lawyer gets most of that money and only a couple of debtors get a portion of what’s owed. You have to complete every payment for 3-5 years before your debts are cleared. If you pay all your payments on time up to the last couple of months and then default, your debts remain! Your name and debts are not cleared! What they also don’t tell you is that if you go ahead and make the sacrifice of paying more now by filing chapter 7, your debts are cleared in full. Depending on your assets and possessions of value and have your debts eliminated if qualified. Chapter 7 obviously seems like the better deal long term.
I understand that it’s probably hard to come up with the money needed to make a lump sum payment like that. In a situation where you are already behind on bills, but need to scrape up possibly a couple thousand dollars is nearly an impossible task. But isn’t it easier just to go ahead and get it over with? Aren’t you going to have to eventually pay someone before they garnish your wages and take your possessions? Paying your debts back in this way will be heavy burden and well over your ability to pay back? Sometimes, the load can begin to pile up more than we can bear. It seems the further you get burdened down, the faster it grows. The system also seems to be working against you, most likely because it is. There has to be a way out, an emergency exit that allows us to take the pressure off.
Listen, I’m not advertising for bankruptcy, promoting financial advice, or financial irresponsibility today. What I am pointing out really is just the obvious. What do you do? You would under reasonable circumstances take the easier road out which is the chapter 7. However, if you just can’t reasonably make the lump sum you at least file the 13 because you have no other choice in a situation where you have no money or income to pay off such large amounts of debt. It is easier to pay back a lawyer in payments for a total amount of around $5,000-6,000 than to pay $50,000 or even 100k back in debt. A debt such as this can be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back.
This morning, whether you knew it or not, you owe a debt. This debt cannot be restored in monetary or periodic payments, rather it is a debt that can only be paid by ransom. This debt was amassed by the sins we have committed against God and against one another. We are all guilty of those sins as the Word of God tells us:
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We certainly face eternal death and suffering if we do not clear those debts of sin before we die. There may never be a tomorrow for any of us, so it’s best we clear those debts today! I come by to tell you today about a bankruptcy lawyer named Jesus who can clear any debt. He’s already paid the price for your sins and my sins today. You can’t pay these sins off in 3-5 years, no not even in a lifetime. There is only one payment plan for this debt, and that is Calvary. The price was paid on the cross in the blood of Christ. Our sins can be washed away this morning and the debts cleared from the ledger. However, this type of debt forgiveness requires one thing from us. That is the commitment of our hearts and lives to Christ, the ultimate debt reliever.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jesus, being made perfect and knowing no sin, allowed himself to be sacrificed on the cross for the debts of you and me! We can spend our lives and all of eternity paying our chapter 13 payments back to Satan, or we can start with a new and clean slate today with Christ! Will you trust Him today? He’s already cleared the debt for us. He’s just waiting on you to make your mark on the line. Are you willing to commit to Him, to taste and see that He is good? The only down payment to pay is the burden of our hearts and minds. The only lump sum our bankruptcy lawyer Jesus expects is the humble heart of a broken and weary sinner. Give him you heart today and have your debts be forgiven. That heavy burdened soul inside of you is begging for this relief and this freedom. Step out of those chains of bondage this day, step out of the debt to sin, to lust, to greed, to restlessness. Step out, step out, and step into the arms of Jesus this morning!
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Make that commitment today and allow Jesus to repay that debt for you! The greatest thing about all this is, we don’t lose anything in the process of receiving this redemption and debt relief. We are not going before a trustee in a hearing today, Jesus has done that for us already. As a matter a fact, He sits at the right hand of the trustee (The Father) speaking on our behalf and writing our name down in the book of life. He’s jotting the note that our debts have been cleared for good. Our savior is so good that, just in case we do mess up again, He’s already taken care of that as well. All we have to do is turn in our ledger again by humbling ourselves before him and He can once again purify our hearts. In the process of our turning to Christ, we also in the process get the ultimate debt counselor in the Holy Spirit to advise us and guide us from racking up such debt in the first place. He’s knocking on your heart today! If you’ll just let Him in, He can let you in to the Kingdom of Heaven. Don’t wait! There may never be another tomorrow. You may never get a chance to claim this debt relief in the future. Trust in Jesus and call upon him right where you are!