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Archive for May 6th, 2013

from JO’s sermon tonight:

God wants to help you, not just in the big things;  God wants to help you cooking dinner, driving in the traffic.  He wants to help you with your school work, help you be more productive at the office.   but God will only be involved in as much of your life as you allow Him to.  alot of  people have God in a Sunday morning box; that’s when they come to church, pray, think about God.  during the week, they don’t really include God in their life.  they love God, reverence Him, but they think, “there’s nothing spiritual about going to the grocery store, cooking dinner, meeting with a client.”  because they keep God in this box, they’re missing the blessings and favor that God wants to give them.

Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)

In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success

Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV)

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

in all your ways, not some of your ways, not just the big things;  if you’ll start acknowledging God in all of your ways, He will “crown your efforts with success.”  one way to acknowledge God is simply ask for His help;  on the way to the grocery store, under your breath, “God, help me to find what I’m looking for, help this to be a productive trip.”  that’s acknowledging God.  you’re saying in effect, “God, I need you, I want you in my life.”  that simple acknowledgement allows the Creator of the universe to direct your steps. God will help you find what you may not have found.  He’ll put you at the right place at the right time. you can do this without God’s help, in your own strength, but life will go so much better, there will be less frustration, you’ll accomplish more, when you develop this habit of acknowledging God.  when you acknowledge God, He breathes His favor on your life, you’ll come into an anointing of ease;  what should have been a struggle won’t be a struggle.  that’s God crowning your efforts with success.

it doesn’t have to be some long, drawn-out thing:  brushing your teeth in the morning, “Lord, thank you for another beautiful day.”  you just acknowledged God.  driving in the traffic, “Lord, thank you for a safe trip.”  that’s acknowledging God.  when God sees you showing your dependency on Him like that, relying on Him in your everyday life, that’s what’ll cause Him to make your life easier.  “I don’t think I need to pray about that, something so small, routine”;  you don’t have to, but if you want God to help you, direct your steps and cause things to fall into place, you have to invite Him into your everyday life.  if you’ll acknowledge God, He’ll go before you and make crooked places straight, cause the right people to show up, open doors that you could not open, crown your efforts with success.  this is something we shouldn’t do every once in a while, on Sundays we’ll pray, maybe before dinner we’ll thank God for the food, that’s all good, but God wants to help you all through the day.  one translation says:

Proverbs 3:6 (TLB)

In everything you do

acknowledge God.  that means when you get up in the morning, acknowledge God;  “Good morning Lord, I love you today, I wouldn’t be alive without Your goodness.”  when you see your children, “God, thank you for these amazing children.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)

17 pray without ceasing

that doesn’t mean 24 hours a day to get on our knees and never do anything else, never go to work, it’s talking about an attitude.  under our breath, in our thoughts, we’re constantly thinking about God, thanking Him for His goodness, meditating on His promises, asking for His help.  this should be a lifestyle, where it’s so ingrained in us it’s automatic;  anything you do you include God, you’ve developed that habit of acknowledging Him.  that’s when God will fight your battles, make the crooked places smooth. don’t go the next 20 years doing everything on your own;  if you’ll acknowledge God before you go to the mall, He’ll help you to find the best deals.  if you’ll acknowledge God before you go to the gym, He’ll help you get a better workout.  if you’ll acknowledge God before you go into that meeting, 10 seconds under your breath, “God, give me your favor, I need your blessing,” that meeting will go better.  God will give you the words to speak, ideas, creativity, He can even cause those people to like you.  when you need to clean the house, instead of complaining, getting negative, acknowledge God, and He’ll give you more strength, help you to get it done in less time.  Jesus put it this way:

John 15:5 (NKJV)

… without Me you can do nothing.

he was saying, “without inviting me into every area of your life, that day is not going to be what it could have been.”  we should live with this attitude;  “God, I realize this day is not going to be as productive, successful, nor as easy without your blessing and favor.  so I’m going to make it a priority to acknowledge you in all of my ways.”  when you acknowledge God, that’s a sign of humility, you’re saying, “God, I know you created the whole universe, I’m not here by accident, You breathed Your life into me, made me in Your image, crowned me with your favor.  I can’t do this without You, I can’t make it on my own, I need You in my life.”  when you show that kind of dependency on God, there is nothing He won’t do for you;  God will move heaven and Earth to get you to where you’re supposed to be.  you may struggle in a certain area, it’s been that way year after year;  instead of complaining, getting negative, all through the day, “God I need your help, I’m asking for your strength.”  when you  humble yourself, admit that you cannot do it on your own, that’s when God can exalt you, that’s when He can turn it around.  the dependency on God is not a weakness, it’s a strength;  it activates God’s power. in our weakness, God shows up the strongest.  but, when we don’t acknowledge God, that’s a sign of pride;  we’re saying, “God, I don’t really need You to help me run my life, I’m doing ok, I got it all figured out.”  God will step back and let us do it on our own.  God is a gentleman, He will not force His way into your life.  Jesus said:

John 15:5 (NKJV)

 … He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit…

one translation says:  “if you will depend on me.”  (NB:  I was unable to find this one.)  the word “depend” indicates continual action;  you don’t depend once and then you’re done.  “I went to church on Sunday, I spent a couple of hours, I did my duty,” no, if you’re going to depend on God, all through the day, “God, I need you, help me to understand this subject in school, raise these children.”  that’s what it means to depend on God.  the more you depend on God, the better things will work out;  you will bear much fruit.  I wonder how many times we don’t have as fruitful or productive day as we could have because we’re not taking time to acknowledge God.  simple things:  driving in the car, “Lord, thank you that your angels have charge over me.”  you just invited God into your car.  at school, “God, help me to understand this lesson today.”  you invited God into your studies. you invited the Creator of the universe to help you.  we can take the opposite of what Jesus said;  if we don’t depend on him, we’re not going to be as productive as we could have been.  we’ve all had one of those days where you drive across town to pick something up, but when you get there you find out they just closed.  little things can cause us to be unproductive. and not every time of course, but I believe sometimes it’s because we’re not asking God for His help;  we’re doing it all on our own, God has politely stepped away.  make sure that you’re acknowledging God.

Hebrews 11:6 (KJ21)

 … He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

notice who God rewards;  not people that half-heartedly seek him, people that just think about Him on Sunday, people that just pray once a week, no, God rewards people like you that get up every morning and thank Him for His goodness, people that go through the day meditating on His promises, that acknowledge Him in all of their ways.  when you diligently seek God, there will be a reward. your life will go better,  God will take you where you could not go on your own,  the amazing thing about God is that He says, “you don’t even have to find Me, if you just seek Me I’ll give you the reward.  if you just make an effort to please Me, if you just take time to thank Me, if you just acknowledge Me throughout the day, I’ll reward you for just making the effort.”  God doesn’t say, “as long as you can quote all the scriptures, understand all the theology, I’ll reward you,”  no, God says, “I’ll pay you for seeking me, for simply making the effort.”  I’ve done my part to develop what God’s put in me, but I know the blessings, favor, honor has come because I’ve done my best to diligently seek God, to keep Him first place in my life. that’s what I’m asking you to do.  Jesus said:

Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God…

that word “seek” is a strong word.  one definition is:  to require as a vital necessity.  you have to see spending time with God as being vital to living a victorious life, because some mornings we think, “I don’t wanna get up early, I don’t feel like reading my Bible, going to church today.”  but once you get in a habit, and you see the benefits of how you feel refreshed and restored, you make better decisions, you’re more creative, you have God’s favor, then you’ll think, “I can’t afford not to do it.  when I don’t spend time with God, I don’t feel right, something is missing.”  it says, “seek first”;  that indicates, “take time for God at the start of the day.  make him a part of your normal routine.”  in life, things get busy, it’s hectic at the office, your children need you, you’ve got 1000 things to do, but you’ve gotta see spending time with God this way;  it’s not an option  if you’re gong to say strong, have God’s wisdom and favor, you may have to rearrange some things so you can make it a priority to spend time with God.  you draw strength, encouragement, wisdom from spending time with God.  that’s what’s going to keep your life fresh.  just like we have to feed our physical person, we need to feed our spiritual person.  learn to invest in yourself.  sometimes we feed our physical man 3 hot meals a day, but we only feed our spiritual man one cold snack a week, and then we wonder why we don’t have energy, God’s favor, wisdom;  it’s because we’re not taking time to get filled back up.  in God’s presence is fullness of joy, peace, victory, that’s where you get refreshed, reenergized.  every day, you oughta take time to read the scripture, meditate on God’s promises.  put on good praise music when you can.  have a quiet time with you and God.  everything is so busy, hectic, noisy these days, but when you get quiet and say, “God,  I love you today, thank you for my life, family, dreams.  Lord, I realize every good thing comes from You. that’s what’s going to keep you strong.  Jesus said, “I am the living water.  if you drink of me, you’ll never thirst again.”

John 4:10-14 (ESV)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

during the day, things come against you;  it’s easy to get upset, maybe stressed out. you need to take a 2 minute break and go drink of the living water.  get quiet, and say, “God, I need you. I’m asking you, God, help me to stay strong, in peace.”  when you do that, you’re taking a drink, strengthening your inner man. when the boss is giving you a hard time, just tell him, “I’ve gotta go get a drink.” I’m talking about the living water, now.  people tell me, “I don’t know how to pray, I’m not a religious person,” but prayer is simply talking to God.  sometimes religion makes things complicated, makes us think we have to pray these long, fancy “thees and thous” prayers, no, talk to God in your everyday language. if you talk country, the good news is, God talks country.  if you talk New York, God talks New York.  He understands you.  we don’t, but He does.  when you pray, talk to God like you’re talking to your best friend. tell him your needs, concerns, ask Him for help, and then thank Him for what He’s already done.  our praise should outweigh our petitions.  don’t spend your whole quiet time telling God your problems, needs;  He already knows your needs.  take time to thank Him.  when you read the scripture, you may not understand everything, but that’s ok, just read it and move on.  the holy spirit is called our teacher;  he’ll make sure you understand what you need to understand.  God’s word is like a seed;  once you put it in you, it will never die.  you may not understand it now, but at the right time, when you need it, God will cause it to come alive.  God’s word is full of power;  when you need, it’s gonna take root, and God’s gonna cause it to come alive.  you may not understand it now, but you can rest assured, when you need it, God’s gonna cause it to come alive in your own life.

Malachi 3:16 (ESV)

The Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name.

in this book, every time we talk about God, thank Him for His goodness, meditate on His promises, ask for His help, God has the angels write that down in this book of remembrance on your behalf.  when you even think about God, the angels record it.  in fact, this moment, right now, the angels are writing it down in the book of remembrance;  “they’re honoring God.”  this book is not up on a storeroom shelf in heaven somewhere;  the scripture says, “it stays constantly before God, wide open, as a reminder of those who are thinking of Him.”  we should keep God constantly in our thoughts, meditating on His promises, thanking Him for His goodness, acknowledging Him throughout the day.  our goal should be to give that angel a cramp in his hand from writing about us in that book of remembrance.  if that’s gonna happen, you gotta let God out of your Sunday morning box, include Him in every part of your life.  take time each day to get your inner person filled up.  if you will keep God first in everything you do, He promises He’s going to crown your efforts with success.  because you diligently seek Him, a reward, favor, good breaks, promotion, a shift, healing, restoration, are coming.  you need to get ready;  you’re not gonna live an average, ordinary life.  because you depend on Him, God is going to increase you, you are going to bear much fruit, He’s going to make you more productive, you’re gonna get more done in less time, He’s gonna make your life easier, take you where you could not go on your own.  it’s going to be greater than you ever even dreamed of.

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