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Monday
Mar272017

Token of My Trust 

Another year of giving, another year of bumping along in my finances. That pretty much summed up my story when it came to money. Have you been there before?

All my Christian life, I believed what Malachi 3:10 said:

“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.’”

New King James Version

According to this, all I had to do was tithe—give just 10 percent of my income—to get that abundant blessing. Sign me up! Who wouldn’t want that? But after I tithed, there was only one problem: I continued to struggle in
my finances.

I basically was at the place of having my needs met, but nothing more. What was I doing wrong? Since I didn’t know the answer, I stopped tithing.  

If you had asked me, I still would have told you that I trusted God as my source. But I didn’t understand why it wasn’t working. In his Financial Stewardship teaching, Andrew provides commentary on my situation and what I needed:

“The first step to walking in prosperity is to recognize God as your source, and you’re just a steward.”

So, it’s just a matter of recognition?

“The Lord established it that He will supernaturally provide for you if you go to trusting Him in your finances.”

Okay, I’d been doing that. So far, so good.

“[God] wants you to trust Him, and that’s, I believe, the reason that He told us to give a portion. [It] is because this trusts Him. It’s putting first the kingdom of God and His righteousness [Matt. 6:33], and when we do that, everything else is added unto us.”

Ding, ding, ding, ding!

Now, this concept rang my bell! See, when I tithed, I had been trusting my money to bring me more money. When I stopped tithing, I still thought of God as my source, but then there was no proof. Both were wrong. I needed to make God the source of my money by trusting Him with it! As James talks about, “By works faith was made perfect” (James 2:22, NKJV).

Concerning finances, giving literally became the token of my trust in God. Before I would give, I would hold my money in my hand, look at it, and pray, “This money is not my source. God, You’re my source [Matt. 6:24].” Since then, I have prospered just like Andrew said I would. It’s been awesome!

I want to encourage you to make God the source of your finances by trusting Him in your giving. That’s what being a steward is all about. Once God is your source, you will prosper!

Andrew’s Financial Stewardship teaching is available in the new Financial Growth Package. Hear more of God’s Word regarding your finances through this valuable package.

If this article has blessed you today, please leave a comment.

Monday
Mar202017

An Open Invitation

“I don’t want to hear it…. I said no! I’m with my grandkids right now,” an older lady snapped at my friend. It was an unusually angry response to my friend’s cheerful greeting. But as we walked away, we both knew something more was going on.

“I was raised Baptist, but I stopped going to church a long time ago. Christians are hypocrites.”

“We have to get going. Sorry.”

“My kids…”

These were all things my friend and I encountered at the mall as we were street evangelizing. We would start off each conversation by asking people if they knew how much God loved them, if they knew He had a wonderful plan for their lives. Many times we were met with openness. Other people were shy or surprised. Sometimes the stark contrast in responses was interesting: from a smile of familiarity to an outburst of anger. It reminded me of the parable in the Gospels about the great supper.

Jesus said in Luke 14:16-20:

“Then He said to him, ‘A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, [17] and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.” [18] But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, “I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.” [19] And another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.” [20] Still another said, “I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.”’”  

New King James Version

During our time at the mall, more people were receptive to accepting Jesus than not. But it’s not fun being yelled at, especially when you know you’re offering someone the best gift in the universe.

In his Christian Survival Kit series, Andrew teaches about this very thing in a message called “How to Handle Persecution.” In it, he explains what’s really going on when you’re being persecuted. He says,

“People hated Jesus. If they hated Jesus, then if you are a true representative of Jesus, then they’re going to hate you. Not everybody, but certain people are…. If you are ministering effectively, the Holy Spirit is going to use your life and/or testimony to try [to] pressure a person to change, and if the person is receptive to God, then they’ll love you…. They’ll embrace you. They’ll look at you as a mentor, and they’ll receive you. And it will be a positive thing. But if the person is rejecting God, well, then they’ve got to reject you. Most people aren’t spiritual enough to be able to distinguish between [you and] the conviction they’re feeling come through you and…the power that’s behind you…. They’re just carnal. They’re looking at it as this is you that’s making them feel this way.”

Invitations for that great supper are still being sent out, and it’s for anybody who will accept it. “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’” (Luke 14:23, NKJV). As long as you are being kind and respectful, don’t take it personally if your “supper” invitation is rejected. It’s like what Andrew says: “Persecution is a backhanded compliment.” God wants to have a full house, so make sure you bring your friends!

To hear more about what Andrew has to say on persecution, you can get his individual teaching titled “How to Handle Persecution.” You can also get the complete Christian Survival Kit series.

Share a comment below if you can relate to this.

Monday
Mar132017

You Are What You Speak 

Have you ever been around people who just love to talk? They are sometimes known as extroverts, and they typically have a lot to say! And then there are introverts like me, who’d rather spend an hour in a dentist’s chair than be forced to converse. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, neither personality is better or worse than the other, but all of us can learn from Scripture about the power of our words.

I used to read James 3 and think about the loquacious members among us and how challenged they must be to always have to watch their words: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature…. [8] But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:6 and 8).

I would thank God that He made me the way He did. After all, most people have heard, or have even had it said to them, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” It was easy for me to choose the latter option and stay silent. But I later realized that just because I refrained from speaking negative or hurtful things didn’t mean I was necessarily doing what God wanted—or even required—me to do.

In his teaching The Power of Faith-Filled Words, Andrew encourages us not to speak our fears, doubts, unbelief, or anything that we don’t want to happen to us. As he likes to say, based on Proverbs 6:2, “We are hung by our tongues.” However, we should speak what we do want to happen. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit…” (Prov. 18:21). There are two sides to this verse: Words can produce death, which is why it’s sometimes best to stay silent. But they can also produce life. Good and bad fruit are produced when we speak.

Throughout Genesis 1, God created our world by speaking it into existence. He didn’t snap His fingers, clap His hands, or simply think it into being. He used words. Therefore, we also must use words to create what we desire—whether it’s healing, prosperity, peace, or anything else God wants us
to have.

In The Power of Faith-Filled Words, Andrew stresses the importance of watching our words during times of crisis. This doesn’t mean simply not speaking out our fears; it also means to speak words of faith that align with Scripture. We have the power to literally speak God’s will into our circumstances. Jesus said in Mark 11:23, “Whosoever shall say unto this mountain…he shall have whatsoever he saith.” We have to actually say, not just think or even pray.

The Power of Faith-Filled Words is one of the teachings included in Andrew’s Christian Survival Kit package, a Word-filled collection of Andrew’s best that will help you survive and overcome crises that come your way. Check out our store to see what this package includes.

So, extroverts, keep on talking! But think before you speak, and align your words with God’s. And introverts, let’s make our voices heard so we can “have whatsoever [we] saith” (brackets mine)!

Extroverts, we know you likely have a comment. Introverts, do you want to give it a try? You are all welcome to comment below if this has blessed you.