10-13-2018 Take It Through The Week

Monday –  Proverbs 3:9–10  I’d rather have 90% of my possessions blessed than have 100% of my possessions cursed. I guess at some point in our lives we think of all we make and all we do as ours. It’s our life and we’re making it our way. However, the more we know the Lord and the more we understand His ways, the more we understand what it means to belong to Him. As I said before, I’d rather have 90% of my possessions blessed than have 100% of my possessions cursed.  God promises to bless those who honor Him. And God is not into lip service. He is not impressed by givers who are stressed. He knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Read 2 Cor. 9:7. God loves a cheerful giver. He blesses and favors those who honor Him with their heart and then their possessions.  Back in Pro. 3:9-10, God is very specific. He calls us to give Him the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.  The first act of faith is ours. First we honor him with the first tenth, then he blesses the other 90% more than we could have ever imagined. There was a time in my life when I “tithed” my time, but not my possessions. We never had enough and were constantly being buffeted by the world. But when I began tithing my possessions and giving the Lord all of heart, time, and love, my life has been changed. In every way possible, He has changed everything. And He will do the same for you, if you will let him.
Tuesday – Proverbs 11:25 Have you ever given someone a drink of water? Of course, to understand this scripture, we have to understand what that means in a desert. In a dry and thirsty land, there is nothing quite as refreshing as a drink of cool water. In the New Testament when Jesus told a parable about the Rich Man and Lazarus the beggar, Jesus said the rich man in hell wanted nothing more than just a drop of water. We live in a nation that is rich in our water resources, so we lose a lot of the meaning of the one who gives a drink of water will receive water. It’s a little easier for us to understand a generous person will be enriched. It’s a very simple statement. Only it’s more than a statement, it’s a promise. God blesses those who are generous. So today, try it. Try being generous simply because God said to. Next sunday, when the offering is given be generous. I dare you. And then I double-dog dare you to see what happens the following week. Count your blessings. Notice what God does. Be aware of the increase and give God the credit for it. I dare you.
Wednesday – Proverbs 11:27–28 You ever have one of those days when you wake up grumpy? No, I left her in bed. Sorry I couldn’t resist telling the old joke. But seriously, we all have those days when we wake up looking for trouble. Just plain moody. And from experience, we could all confirm what this scripture says, if someone looks for trouble, it will come to him. But aren’t you glad the reverse is equally true, the one who searches for what is good finds favor.   We are told we can’t trust riches. We know that riches alone, won’t make us happy, or healthy. Just look at Hollywood. Too many young lives wasted on what doesn’t satisfy. Who will be next? I don’t know, but before long there will be someone else who has everything to live for and yet they kill themselves with riotous living. But the one who searches for what is good finds favor.  Whose favor? God’s favor is available to anyone and everyone who will obey His Word. The New Testament expands on this principle. Read Phil. 4:8. We have a choice as to what we think and how we think. And if we choose to dwell on His Words rather than our words, we will think about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. He will change our minds if we allow him to. We can think about moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things. Do you want to become a fountain of blessing? Do you want to be a person people want to be around? Do you want people to admire you and respect you? Memorize these scriptures and meditate on them. Carry them with you everywhere you go. Ask God to make these scriptures a part of your daily lives.
Thursday – Proverbs 11:30–31  I have two pear trees. I have apple trees, I have cherry trees, I have peach trees. And they produce fruit, sometimes. But those pear trees produce bumper crops year after year. Know what a bumper crop is? It’s when the truck is so filled up with fruit that the bumper is nearly dragging the ground. So much of a harvest that it can scarcely be carried. In the same way, the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life.  That’s quite a statement. There were two very special trees in the Garden. One of them was the tree of life. Anyone who ate of it, would have lived forever. So when God says here in Proverbs, the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life… its a pretty large statement. Do you know someone who is truly good? Someone that you can always depend on to say the right thing and do the right thing? If you do, then I know that in your heart you smile when you think of them. That’s what God is talking about here. And as you pursue Jesus and try to be like Him, you will become more righteous. And you will become more like a tree of life. As you do that, as you become more righteous that will be repaid back to you. If you tithe, it will be paid back to you, in this life and in the next. If you pray for others, that will be repaid back to you. If you care for the physical needs of other, that will be repaid on earth. Pray with me. Dear Lord. Help me to be like You. Help me to display your character in my day to day. Help me to apologize when I am wrong. Help me to know when I am wrong. Help me to stand for what is right. Help me to kneel and pray for what is broken. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
Friday – Proverbs 13:21  Have you ever had a recurring, silly dream? I had a dream when I was young that I big ugly man was chasing me. He was slow and I was fast. But he never would give up. About the time I would think I was safe, boom there he was again. It was silly and I eventually stopped having it. But when I did. I really wanted to wake up and not be dreaming anymore. Disaster pursues sinners. It’s a spiritual law and it never varies. There may be a time when it seems that those who purposefully sin are happy, but in their hearts they are separated from God. In their hearts, they are missing the only thing that will ever satisfy them. good rewards the righteous. Of course, you and I both know that only God is good. And that only He can reward you and I. His promise is that even as disaster pursues sinners… God’s good rewards the righteous.  He even has a storeroom of good for someone who is truly good in his heart. Read Matthew 12:35. What does it say about a storeroom of good? If you are a good manthen God has given you a storeroom of good in exactly the same way He has given an evil man…his storeroom of evil.  Yes, I know you are going to say what we all say. Or at least we should say. We are not truly good. We are not truly good men. That is, not until Jesus comes and gives us His goodness. Now read Phil. 1:6. God has started a good work in you and will carry it on to completion. Paul says he is sure of that. My prayer is that you too, would be sure of that and walk in the goodness of the lord. By the way, Read Gal. 5:22-23. Ask God for the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Ask Him right now.
Saturday – Proverbs 19:17  How are needs met in the church? How are the buildings and the lights paid for? How are the salaries paid? You tithes and offerings provide the basis for all we do and sometimes, limit what we can do. How sad it is that so many believers today don’t understand that our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns everything that is anything because He created all things. And He can create all we need to meet our needs. That is why I tithe. He is faithful. But I don’t just tithe. I literally look forward to giving above and beyond the tithe. I look for opportunities to give that are spontaneous and unexpected. Because God rewards those offerings too. Have you ever given a loan to God? You might say, “Pastor, that’s a ridiculous statement, you just said God owns everything. How could I give Him a loan?” Well, I didn’t say it, He did. Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender. I believe that He is saying here that a random act of kindness to the poor, above and beyond the tithe, is a loan to the Lord. It is talking about things we do out of the generosity of our hearts that we know cannot be repaid. It is talking about open-handed giving. It could be monetary. It could also be kind words. It could be a genuine complement. It could be a smile when no one else is smiling. Whatever it is, He will give a reward to the lender. It is His promise. And it is a promise with a caution attached. If we add another passage of scripture, we have additional possibilities.   Read Hebrews 13:2. Something to chew on isn’t it?

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