Archive for March 21st, 2016

Balanced books

from JO’s sermon tonight:

this is an accounting term; it means to make up for loss. when an account is low, or when there’s a deficit, you balance the books;  you add revenue to equal it out.  you have to first determine how much the account is behind;  you take all losses, deficits, total them up, then you know how much you need to add. when the books are properly balanced, no one can tell there’s ever been a loss; there is no deficit. in the same way, God has promised that He will balance the books in our lives. we all go through things that put us at a deficit: an unfair situation, a rough childhood, a friend betrayed us, we lost a loved one. if nothing changed, we would be out of balance; we would go through life with that loss, thinking, “I must have gotten the short end of the stick; God must not have had a good plan for my life.” life is not always fair, but God is fair; He will add up all the losses, disappointments, heartache, tears, and He will pay you back.

Hebrews 10:30 (AMPC)

30 For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the meting out of full justice rest with Me]; I will repay [I will exact the compensation], says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and the cases of His people.

God knows what you’re owed. you’re not going to live in a deficit mode. you may go through seasons where you’re out of balance: a loss, disappointment, something doesn’t make sense. but don’t worry, your time is coming; God is going to settle your case. He’s seen every tear you’ve shed, every person that’s done you wrong, every injustice. nobody else may know, but God knows, and He is not to going to leave you out of balance. you are not going to end up in the red: lonely, disappointed, at a disadvantage. that’s all temporary; the Creator of the universe is adding up all the deficits. you may have gone through things you don’t understand; you could easily live discouraged, with a chip on your shoulder. no, get your passion back; God is saying, “I’m about to balance your books. compensation, healing, vindication is coming, promotion is headed your way.

God pays attention;  He’s keeping the records of who’s trying to push you down, discredit you. He’s adding up all the deficits, and at the right time, He’s going to balance your books. some of the things God is going to pay you back for, isn’t because of wrongs done to you, but because of what your parents had to put up with, because of injustices to those that went before you. there are people in your family line, they kept doing the right thing when the wrong thing was happening. they gave, served, honored God, but they never saw total justice. well get ready; God is going to bless you to make up for what should’ve been theirs. God is not going to leave your family out of balance;  you’re going to come into blessings that you didn’t work for, good breaks that you didn’t deserve, doors will open that should’ve never opened. it wasn’t because of anything you did; that’s God paying your family back for what they were owed.

this is what happened with the Israelites. they had been in slavery for 10 generations. they were mistreated, taken advantage of, forced to work long hours, given these quotas that were impossible to meet. after 430 years, God brought them out of slavery. they could’ve left, and that in itself would’ve been a great miracle; they were finally free. but they didn’t leave empty-handed, with their heads down, in shame. they had worked 430 years without pay; they were owed a whole lot. God said, “alright, it’s time to balance the books.” on their way out, God caused them to have favor with their captors; the same people who had mistreated them, looked down on them, made their lives miserable, they had a change of heart:

Exodus 3:21-22 (NIV)

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Exodus 12:35-36 (NIV)

35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

that was God balancing the books, paying them back for those 430 years.

God sees every deficit, every wrong done to you and your family;  He knows what you’re owed. there’ll be a day, like with the Israelites, where God says, “enough is enough; it’s time to balance your books.” He’s promised that He will compensate you. quit worrying about what you lost, who did you wrong, who put you at a disadvantage, who’s not giving you the credit; God saw what happened, and He’s saying, it’s payback time. you’re coming out, not empty-handed, looked down on, seen as second-class, you’re coming out promoted, vindicated, respected, with abundance, favor that you didn’t deserve, blessings chasing down. that’s the God of justice, paying you back for what you were owed. God saw what happened, and He’s going to make it up to you.

here’s the whole key; you can’t go around with a chip on your shoulder, thinking about what mama and daddy didn’t give you; God knew what your parents weren’t going to be able to give you; it didn’t stop His plan. if you will stay in faith, God will balance your books. if you didn’t get as much in one area, He is a God of justice; He’ll give you more in another area to make up for it. you may feel like you got shortchanged in life: you didn’t have a good childhood, you’re dealing with an illness, your boss doesn’t give you any credit. don’t worry, God sees what you’re owed. He’s keeping the records. He may not be able to give you another childhood, or bring a loved one back that you lost, but He can make the rest of your life so rewarding, fulfilling, you don’t even think about what you didn’t get.

balanced books means, you’re not living from a place of deficit, loss, always thinking about what you’re lacking. maybe somebody walked out of a relationship and broke your heart; don’t live bitter, give up on life, that is not the end. you may be out of balance right now, that loss is extra heavy, but God saw the hurt, betrayal, and He’s going to pay you back. He’s going to bring somebody better into your life than you’ve ever even imagined. or maybe a dream didn’t work out, you didn’t get the scholarship, the medical report wasn’t good, now you have to take a whole other round of treatment. in these tough times, when life doesn’t seem fair, you have to keep reminding yourself that He is a just God, He sees what you’re going through, and you are not going to live from a place of deficit.

all through the day, “Lord, I want to thank You that You’re balancing my books. I believe that payback, healing, vindication is coming.” this is what allows God to pay you back for what you are owed. not going around discouraged, blaming others, in self-pity. the hand you’ve been dealt may not have been fair, but it is not a surprise to God; He already has a way to settle your case. every time you’re tempted to worry, just turn it around, and thank Him that payback is on the way, that you too are going to live from a place of no loss. God knows how to balance your books. He didn’t promise that unfair things would never happen, but He did promise that He’ll compensate you for what you are owed. He’s already lined up the right people to search you out. He can make things happen that you could never make happen. you may have gone through a disappointment, a bad break, somebody did you wrong; get ready, payback, vindication is on the way. 

there was a young lady in the scripture named Leah;  she and her sister Rachel were both married to Jacob. Rachel was much more beautiful:

Genesis 29:17 (ESV)

17 Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance.

so Jacob didn’t give Leah much time or attention:

Genesis 29:30 (ESV)

30 So Jacob… loved Rachel more than Leah

I’m sure Leah felt inferior, not good enough, at a disadvantage. but the scripture says:

Genesis 29:31-32 (NIV)

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.

Leah went on to have 4 sons before Rachel had one baby. back in those days, having a son was a big deal. God was saying, “Leah, since your husband is not treating you right, since you didn’t get the beautiful looks like your sister, I’m going to balance your books and give you something that will cause Jacob to notice you; I’m going to let you have children before your sister.” God shows special favor to people that are seen as having a disadvantage. 

you may think somebody else got all the good breaks, good childhood, good looks, good personality; don’t worry, your time is coming. God has some advantages for you that going to cause you to stand out. you’re not going to live always being in the shadow of somebody more beautiful, talented, successful; God’s going to cause you to shine. you’re going to excel, be known, leave your mark. what you think you didn’t get in looks, personality, upbringing, God is going to make it up for you; He’s going to balance your books. and like with Leah, those times when people try to make you feel inferior, small, try to discredit you, that does not go unnoticed; God sees every injustice, every tear, hears every negative comment. the scripture says:

Matthew 10:29 (WE)

29 Are not two sparrows worth only a small amount of money? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father knowing about it.

how much more does God see everything that happens to you? you’re His child, His most prized possession. when somebody does you wrong, God takes it personally. He doesn’t sit back and say, “I wish they wouldn’t do that”; no, that’s when God gets up and goes to work, just like, as parents, if we see somebody mistreat our children, we go overboard to make things right. the way your heavenly father is, is if somebody does you wrong, you go through an unfair situation, God sees it, and here’s the beauty, God never brings you out the same, he’ll always bring you out better. Isaiah said:

Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)

7 Instead of your shame

    you will receive a double portion,

and instead of disgrace

    you will rejoice in your inheritance.

And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,

    and everlasting joy will be yours.

don’t complain about the disappointment; it puts you in position to receive double. that bad break may look like a setback, but really it is a setup for God to show out in a greater way. God is about to balance your books. people that have been against you, some of them for years, tried to push you down, treat you condescendingly, things are about to change; they’re going to see God’s favor on your life, and treat you with the respect and honor that you deserve. 

when the Israelites were in slavery, Moses told Pharaoh again and again to let the people go, but Pharaoh wouldn’t listen; he didn’t respect Moses. he thought, “who are you, Moses, to tell me what to do? I’m the pharaoh, I’m leader around here; I’m wearing this royal robe, I live in the palace. Moses, you’re a shepherd; you don’t have any credentials, you’re not successful, you live out in the desert, you’ve been wearing those same clothes for 40 years; you’re nothing compared to me.” he dismissed Moses, saw him as secondary. this happened over and over. every time Moses went back to tell him that another plague was coming, Pharaoh didn’t even give him the time of day; “here comes that crazy guy Moses again, trying to tell me what to do.” what’s interesting is, after the last plague, when Pharaoh finally decided to let the people go, they not only gave the Israelites their gold and silver, Pharaoh said:

Exodus 12:32 (NIRV)

32 Go. Take your flocks and herds, just as you have said. And also give me your blessing.”

now, instead of looking down on Moses, seeing him as second class, he recognizes God’s hand on Moses’s life; he sees the honor, influence, anointing, so much so that he asked Moses to bless him. part of God balancing your books is, people that don’t respect you, try to discredit you, push you down, they’re going to have a change of heart, and see God’s hand of blessing and favor on your life. they’re going to ask for your blessing.  the scripture says:

Proverbs 21:1 (NASB)

21 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.

God knows how to change people. you don’t have to play up to someone, try to convince them to like you, let them control and manipulate you; just keep running your race, being your best, walking in your anointing, honoring God, and God will turn the hearts of those that are against you. it may not happen overnight, it may take years, but God will balance your books.  there will be a day, like with Moses, when he saw the person that disrespected him the most, the Pharaoh that wouldn’t even look him in the eyes, is now asking for his blessing. it says in Proverbs:

Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV)

7 When a man’s ways please the Lord,

He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. 

don’t be upset when people do you wrong, you go through an unfair situation; just keep honoring God, and one day, they’ll ask for your blessing. one translation says:

Proverbs 16:7 (MSG)

7 … even your enemies will end up shaking your hand

instead of criticizing you, they’ll end up celebrating you.

in the New Testament, no one was more opposed to the church than Saul:

Acts 8:3 (NIV)

3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.

when Stephen was stoned to death for being a follower of Christ:

Acts 7:58 (NIV)

58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

one day, Saul was on the road to Damascus:

Acts 9:1-12 (NIV)

1 Meanwhile, Saul… went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him… when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything…12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

Ananias was one of the main believers. think about what God did; Saul is sitting there blind, and the one who has the answer to his prayer is the one he came to arrest. he was Ananias’s biggest critic; now he needs what Ananias has. instead of wanting persecute Ananias, he wanted his prayers.

you may have people like Saul in your life; they’ve been against you for years, maybe not that vocal, but they’re condescending, try to push you down. don’t worry; payback is coming. God is your vindicator. you keep taking the high road, doing the right thing; one day, God will cause them to need what you have. they’ll come to you asking for your help, blessing, favor.

Ananias said:

Acts 9:13-15 (NIV)

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

Ananias went and prayed for his greatest enemy; he did good to someone who had spent years doing bad to him. this is a test we all must pass; will you be good to the Sauls in your life when you have what they need?  will you show them favor, even though they’ve been mistreating you?  if you want God to balance your books, you have to be the bigger person and bless those who have cursed you; in their time of need, don’t withhold what you have. don’t say, “too bad, Saul, I’m glad you’re blind, now maybe you’ll leave me alone,” no, do good to those that persecute you.

 Acts 9:17-18 (NIV)

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.

Saul became the apostle Paul, who wrote over half of the New Testament. 

but when people come against us, unfair situations happen, it’s easy to get upset, try to pay somebody back, or prove to them who we are. no, don’t waste your emotional energy on the Sauls in your life; wait for God to do it His way. God sees every injustice, He hears every negative comment, He’s adding up all the deficits, wrongs, and at the right time, God will make things happen that you could never make happen. He’ll cause people to need what you have. your time is coming. you are not going to live in a deficit mode. you may have gone through a double dose of trouble, but get ready for a double dose of blessing. the God of justice is saying, “it’s payback time.” God is about to balance your books: promotion, healing, vindication is coming. because you honor God, even your enemies are going to be at peace with you. 

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