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Thursday
Apr212016

Translating Grace

The persecution of Christians in Asia is severe, but the message of God’s unconditional love and grace is reaching into those hard places and transforming lives. However, it wasn’t always that way. During a three-day conference hosted by Charis Bible College World Outreach, a prominent church pastor there spoke at a private meeting about the problems caused in the church by a lack of understanding of God’s grace. Andrew’s teachings have really helped many Asian Christians receive the grace of God. This pastor’s humility and openness, especially as one of the main ministry leaders, was a sign of just how deeply the Lord had touched him:

"We didn’t want grace. I mean, we did want grace, but we wanted to add it to suffering. We wanted to add suffering by carrying the cross. So, our teachings misled the next generations. We didn’t see the cross as grace. We saw the cross as a mark of our religion. We suffered for the Lord, and as we suffered for the Lord, our self-righteousness and our pride would come out. We used the cross as an excuse to treat ourselves badly and to consider that valuable. That was the Asian church—to consider suffering as spiritual. The generation above me, those preachers and workers in the church, are all tired and worn out. Toward the end of their ministries, they are not only in bad health, but their hearts are filled with bitterness, disappointment, and complaints. So, when I heard about this message, I realized we really [needed] to repent. So, on behalf of my [generation], I say sorry to the next generations."

This pastor then took a deep bow to those listening, and in response, they applauded him. He continued,

"When a father starts a family, he tries to make an inheritance for his children. Right? Jesus Christ has done everything on the cross and brought us the great grace. But we have taught people to suffer. We have not only taught them to suffer in their hearts but also taught people that they have to have a hard life to be more spiritual. That is our misunderstanding—our misconception of ministry. We couldn’t, at that time, enjoy life. So, our clothes would get old, and if we bought new clothes, there was a constant condemnation that would fall on us. We didn’t understand or comprehend the grace of God. We lived under fear because we feared people’s judgment and we feared people’s criticism. We thought that if we did more, God would be pleased. We didn’t understand how to come back to the rest of God. But through this study, we understand what grace is. Grace is the power of God released inside of us, and He is going to set us free in mind, body, and soul."

Christians in Asia are being set free with the good news of grace because of the translation efforts of Charis World Outreach. A portion of the donations to Charis World Outreach goes toward translation projects that enable people to receive the Gospel in their native languages. In every part of the globe, people are being equipped to teach the Word and are being mobilized to launch and establish new Charis locations. If you aren’t already involved, join the movement! People all over the world are waiting to be set free.

Monday
Apr182016

An Excellent Spirit

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego has always been one of my favorites. As a child, I loved the story’s sense of adventure. As a teen, I was moved by the three Hebrew children’s determination and conviction. But as an adult, it’s the hidden part of their story that speaks to me.

In Andrew’s new teaching, An Excellent Spirit, he talks about this hidden part of their story:

Everybody would like to have the benefits that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had. [But] it says right here (Daniel 6:3) that the reason he was promoted was because he had an excellent spirit…. Everybody would like [promotion] , but not everybody does the things that produce an excellent spirit…. God is not the one who determines whether you have an
excellent spirit!

I’ve seen the truth of that statement in my own life. When I turned sixteen, I prayed for a job. And when God gave me the opportunity to work somewhere besides fast food, I jumped on it.

I started working for minimum wage, wrapping Christmas presents in a ritzy gift shop downtown. Sooner than anticipated, the holiday rush was over, and my hours dwindled. With no other skills to speak of, it began to look like I would lose my job. So, I made a point of learning new skills every time I was on the schedule. I cleaned the windows. I swept the floor. I took out the trash. I dusted shelves. I spent all of my time organizing supplies or finding lost merchandise in our behemoth of a storage room. And I kept my job.

All that time spent in the backroom made me very familiar with our product, and before long, my coworkers started asking questions to which I knew the answers. My confidence grew, and I began taking on more responsibilities. I learned how to display merchandise, write tickets, and work the cash register. I learned how to manage customer accounts and interact with them on the phone. I even started placing reorders. Soon, my boss took notice.

Andrew says,

I’m telling you, God made every one of us to succeed. Now, this is relative to what God’s will is for you. He may not call you to do [what I’m doing], but He has called you to greatness…. If you’re working in a business, God wants you to be the best worker there is. If you [work] with an excellent spirit, as Daniel did, I guarantee you, it would be just a short period of time until somebody would see that excellence, and they would set you over the entire deal.

It’s true! One day when I arrived at work, my boss called me into her office to give me a list of jobs to complete while she was gone. “Roxanne,” she added as we finished, “I just officially made you the manager. See you when I get back.” I was seventeen.

He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

Luke 16:10

Discover the characteristics of an excellent spirit with Andrew’s new teaching, An Excellent Spirit. This teaching is also available to watch on the Gospel Truth broadcast. Prepare to be positioned for promotion today!

Share a comment below if this has inspired you.

Monday
Apr112016

Worked Up over Nothing

How dare they? After everything I’ve done… That was really unprofessional. I’m obviously not the one at fault here. On and on the thoughts continued through my head.

I was on a work assignment a few years back, and two of my coworkers had told their boss that I had a bad attitude and was rude to them. Can you believe it? The truth is, I had been calmly and politely letting them know that I had only so long to get my assignment done. Their joking and laughing was delaying me from accomplishing anything, so I simply suggested that we stay focused. I’m not sure they appreciated hearing that from someone so young.

With every thought I entertained, my frustration grew—until I reached a point where I had become the victim of a “grand injustice.” And it was up to me to make it right. It would have worked out great, too, if it hadn’t been for that still, small voice on the inside, telling me that I was wrong.

In Andrew’s latest teaching, An Excellent Spirit, he explains it this way:

If you allow offense, bitterness, and discouragement to function on the inside of you, it limits what God can do in your life. If you are going to see promotion, you have to maintain a good attitude—an excellent spirit—regardless of what other people are doing to you, regardless of what your circumstances are.

Obviously, what Andrew says here is not what I was about to do. But in that moment, I realized that I was choosing bitterness instead of the great plans God had for me. I wanted His plans much more than my offense, so I immediately cast it over to God and allowed His peace to rule in my heart once again. Trust me—peace is much lighter than offense!

In Andrew’s teaching, he continues,

A person with an excellent spirit is a person who doesn’t identify just with the crowd. You aren’t following the crowd, but you have a personal relationship with God. You know who you are in Christ. You know what He wants you to do, and you have a direction for your life. You have a compass. You aren’t going to compromise, and you aren’t going to change directions (Mark 11:23) . If you have a mountain in your way, you’ll cast it into the sea or you’ll draw on God’s ability to climb it and go over it, but you aren’t going to take a detour. This is an excellent spirit.

I went to my boss and apologized for what happened and assured him that I would never want to come across in such a manner. He assured me that he knew the problem wasn’t with me and that I was not to worry about it. I had gotten all worked up over nothing.

When challenging situations come our way, we have a choice. We can either allow our hearts to become bitter and puffed up, or we can trust God and obey His commands.

Learn how to live a life of excellence with Andrew’s new teaching, An Excellent Spirit. You can also watch this teaching on the Gospel Truth broadcast. This teaching will prepare you for a life of promotion!

Please post a comment below if this blessed you.