Christian Living

Boost your budget by missing worship?

If you miss worship on the first day of week, does that mean your pocket has a little extra in it to spend the rest of the week?

If you answer yes, you have the wrong answer.

Giving as we have been prospered means exactly that – giving as we have been prospered; not giving as long as we show up to worship!

If we miss worship one week, but we prospered that week, then a portion of our prosperity from that week still belongs to God. And to deny that portion of worship is to deny the God who calls us to worship Him (1 Corinthians 16:2). EA

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)

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You can’t have a Rainbow without the Rain…or can You?

You can’t have a rainbow without the rain is the ole’ saying. But is it true? I guess it depends on where you’re at. If you’re talking about life on Earth, the saying definitely holds water.

Cloudy days and storms are the norm in mankind’s life (Job 14:1). Rich, poor, man, woman, young, old, red, yellow, black or white – no one is exempt from heartache, pain, disaster, disappointment or death. Physical conditions and resources may limit the detrimental experiences that we face, but no earthly condition in and of themselves exempts us from all the trials of life.

So the idea of not being able to have a rainbow without the rain reminds us that grief is inevitable, but grief can cause us to look at the blessings of life in a brighter way by reminding us that the storms don’t last forever. Sweet tastes much sweeter after a dose of something bitter!

But did you know the Bible promises a rainbow without the rain? You won’t find it on Earth though – only in Heaven, after we live faithfully through the rain that tries us. EA

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.” (Revelation 4:2-3)

The Best Wireless Connection in the World

No coverage maps are needed to show where God is able to hear prayer:

Where can I go from Your Spirit? or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

The possessor of a voice heard around the world is the possessor of an ear capable of hearing and understanding every language in the world:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3)

Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

So when it comes to praying to God, it’s not a question of can he hear us – the question is, “Does he hear from us?” EA

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Spend Your Time Wisely

What’s the time? It’s always short!

Not only because we’re mortal, but because most of us are busy: jobs, kids, school, house maintenance, hobbies, helping others, family events, and, last but not least, our obligations to God and the church.

Add in the other time-consuming things that you can think of in your life and we can all understand why something has to give in our schedule.

But our spiritual obligations shouldn’t be forced to pay the price by swapping eternity for the temporal time budget. Remember, the things we purchase with our time don’t come with a return-receipt.

So keep these thoughts in mind the next time you have to decide whether you’re going to spend your time on the temporary world or the everlasting spiritual. Use wisdom. EA

redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

What happened?

Walking on water and changing water to wine.

Lifting up the dead and opening the eyes of the blind.

Healing the sick and feeding thousands with a handful of food.

What happened when all of this was done?

The miraculous and supernatural? No doubt!

But beyond these elements there was also the testing of hearts.

Some saw the miracles and an opportunity to make it big in the world. But Jesus’ desire was for the miracles to reveal how big Israel’s opportunity was to get right with God.

What do we do with the blessings that God sends our way? EA

I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. … Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”” (John 6:15, 26-27)

You have 24 hours to…

Odds are that the vast majority of you who are reading this have more than 24 hours to live.

But what are you going to do with the 24 hours that you have?

Are you going to…

  • give a word of encouragement?
  • mend broken bridges?
  • help someone in need?
  • turn off the TV to read God’s word?
  • put down the phone to read God’s word?
  • serve the church the way you’re called to?
  • live like you had 24 hours to live?

You’re going to do something over the next 24 hours.

It’s up to you to do what needs to be done (James 4:13-17). EA

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Let the word sink down and settle you

And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.” (Luke 9:43-45)

There may be times when the message of God’s word is hard to understand, but when this happens he wants us to do one thing – meditate on what he’s said and trust what he’s saying.

Our imperfections may cause our understanding of how things will work out to fall short of God’s desire, but nonetheless, the importance of remembering and trusting remains the same (Psalm 119:147-149). EA

And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:18-20)