Alive - Living Dirty
Monday, January 27
26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
The Kingdom of God is built upon the principle of sowing and reaping. Most believers know this in theory but when it comets operating accordingly, they fall drastically short. When you sow a seed, whether it be physically or spiritually, you must understand that,“How you sow” and “How it grows” are two entirely different processes. If you confuse the two you will never see the harvest because you’ll pull up the seed. Just like today’s scripture reads, when you plant a seed you have to release what is sown and allow the growth process to take place. The growth process is different than the sowing process which means your role is different in the sowing process than it is in growing process. What this means for you is that you must be continually sowing seed even though circumstances may not feel conducive to planting. When your marriage is struggling and feels dry is when you must sow seed into your spouse. When your children are acting like anything but children of God is when you must sow seed into them. When your ‘tyrant’ boss is breathing unfairly down your neck is when you must be an example of Christ in your workplace not a sower of dissension or gossip. In other words, you must sow physically, not naturally. It’s not natural to sow when the soil seems dry but this is where you do your part and allow the Lord to do His. Sowing and reaping is a spiritual principle which means that if you want the benefits of what the future harvest can bring you must do what the present demands. Even though you don’t know exactly how or when you’ll see a harvest, if you’ll remain faithful to sow good seed, the Father will honor that faith and your harvest will come. Keep sowing, keep moving dirt, and keep expecting…your harvest is on the way. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Tuesday, January 28
11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
One of the most common challenges that believers face is remaining patient and not giving up while they're waiting on the promises of God to come to fruition in their lives. They do what they know to do when it comes to faithfully sowing seed. But, after some time goes by without seeing their desired results that they begin to lose patience. The inspiration of sowing fades and the true test of one’s dedication begins. What most people misunderstand is that patience isn’t reflected in the fact that you’re waiting, but the manner in which you wait. This process of what you might feel like is God delaying your promise is actually the growth process. Strength is gained as you walk faithfully walk out these seasons. Before you sow must be prepared to grow. Think about it from this perspective. A farmer doesn’t take a two month vacation after he plants a crop. The fact that he put seed in the ground in the Spring doesn’t mean his work is over until he sees a crop in the Fall. There is a lot of preparatory work to do while the crop is growing. He must be prepared to support, sustain and preserve the coming harvest. When you begin sowing into the Kingdom with the hope of seeing His promises manifest in your life, do so expecting to grow. The Lord’s promises are for more than your comfort and convenience. He blesses and prospers you with the intent of you using those blessings to expand His Kingdom. This means that what you’re given should be used with reaching people in mind. He doesn’t want the blessing your believing for to be more than your character can carry. Just like a farmer can’t bring in a harvest without a big enough barn to store it in, you must able to sustain what comes with the blessing you're asking for. If you’re wondering what the hold up is on something that you’re believing for, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what preparations you need to make. Be humble, let Him speak and address any areas that might need attention and prepare for your harvest! - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Wednesday, January 29
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
One of the fine lines that many Christians tend to have difficulty walking is how to properly help others through difficult situations. It can be a challenging to figure out how to empower someone to overcome without enabling the behavior that may have gotten them where they are in the first place. What can happen, if you’re not careful, is that you can unintentionally take on the burdens that they’ve been carrying. In other words, you take up their cross. If you’re like most people, you’re already pretty busy with your own cross and the weight of someone else’s could prove to be too much. There is only one person who has the ability to relieve others of their burdens and that’s Jesus. As a believer you are instructed by the Lord to help make disciples and walk with others through their struggles but you must be careful to not take those issues upon yourself. Many well intended Christians have found themselves falling into some of the same sin and offenses that they’re trying to help others out of. Your job is to constantly and consistently direct them to Lord for answers to their questions. Counsel is not carrying, counsel is connecting. When the Lord puts someone in your path who is in need of help make sure that you help them by connecting them with Him, not by taking on their problems as your own. Jesus said, “Let him deny himself and take up HIS cross…”, not someone else’s. He will give you wisdom and grace to encourage and support those who need it. But, only He can bear their burdens. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Thursday, January 30
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
Being born into this world means that you were born cursed. By default, having human blood, you were born into the sin nature that man took upon himself in the very beginning. You weren’t given a choice in the matter, you simply had to take on the nature of your parents, and their parents, and their parents before them…all the way back to Adam. The good news however, is that you do have a choice as to whether or not you remain in that cursed state. Jesus, being conceived by the Holy Spirit, was the only person born free from sin’s curse. This qualified Him to be the only One who could be an acceptable sacrifice for your sin. He willingly took your place and became cursed for you. The cross He died upon was the sign that He had taken your punishment upon Himself. The even better news is that He didn’t come out from the grave and get back on the cross. He didn’t ask Mary Magdalene if she had seen where they had put it. Rather, He took your curse back to hell where it belonged, left it there, and after presenting His perfect blood to the Father, He restored your relationship with God Almighty. You don’t have to take on the punishment of the cross, you simply have to recognize His cross, leave your sin and shame there, and move forward into the curse free life that He gave to you. Whatever burden you’re carrying, any shame that you’re allowing to label you, and any guilt that is trying keep its grip on your soul has already been rendered null and void by the sacrifice of the Savior. You are redeemed! - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Friday, January 1
1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Most people think of pride as being synonymous with conceit or haughtiness. They have the idea that pride means that someone thinks they’re good in and of themselves outside of the grace of God. However, one of the traps that you can slip into is being too proud to give all of your cares and concerns to God. You obviously would never say that you didn’t need Him, but in essence that’s what you’re doing. When you hold onto that worry, that anxiety, or that fear you’re essentially putting out the message that you don’t think that God could take care of them for you. It’s not merely a coincidence that Peter penned this passage the way he did. He was explaining that it takes humility to cast your cares upon Him. You must come to the place where you recognize that He is greater and far more able to deal with your issues than you are. In other words, you must humble yourself, give those things to Him, and let Him take them from your life. He wants to exalt you by removing the weight of the cares that you’ve been carrying around with you. You can live your life burden and worry free. All you have to do is simply give them to Him. After all, if you could have done something with them wouldn’t have done it by now? Let your Father have them, He cares and He wants to bring you to higher place than where you are currently. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Saturday, February 1
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
Contentment. This has become a foreign concept in the minds of most people, especially in the American culture. As life’s seasons bring about inevitable change, it’s easy to get frustrated and emotional. The mindset that you’ll always be in a season where everything seems to be green and lush is unrealistic, and in fact, it’s unhealthy. Everyone needs seasons in which they have times that seem dormant and quiet. It’s times like these that prepare you for next season in life which is likely to be busy and demanding. The secret to walking successfully through whatever season you’re in is to learning to be content. Contentment comes from placing your hope and validation in the Lord, not in the season itself. Season’s and time exist in Him. He ordained them and He never changes. So, whatever season you happen to be in at the moment, good or bad, fruitful or dry, hot or cold, know that it will change sooner or later. So cling to the One who never changes. If you’ll seek your sufficiency and stability in Him, you’ll be able to go from season to season experiencing His peace in the form contentment and satisfaction. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
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