Archive for April 2013

Kingdom Ethics & Integrity

Link to message notes: http://www.newcovenant.org/Kingdom_Ethics_Integrity.pdf

Our conduct in the house of God should be governed by the Word of God and by biblical standards and ethics that are the generally accepted in the Body of Christ. According to John 15, Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. We are a like a vineyard with vinedressers who manage, prune, and purge the branches of the vine. These beneficial “cutting” actions provide:

1) The best growing experience for all the branches 2) The removal of dead “branches” and the improvement of fruitful “branches” of our lives 2) More fruitfulness for the vine as a whole

Biblical standards and ethics also provide a basis for excellence and success in the workplace and within the greater, better part of society.

Ethics defined: Rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: Such as medical ethics; Christian ethics.

Integrity Defined: Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

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God made man (male & female) on the sixth day. Our original design gives insight on our purpose and best destiny. We don't have to live superficial lives because something great lies within. Gen 1:26-31

God’s original design for you: 1. Be fruitful: Fruitfulness 2. Multiply: Multiplication 3. Fill: Remove void, bring fullness 4. Subdue: Overcome negative factors for yourself and others 5. Dominion: Maintain control through appropriate authority, responsibility, and accountability. Care for others. Maintain good order. Lead. 6. It is God who provides “I have given you every herb...” 7. God said that man (as He intended us) was: "Very good"

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Principles for Increase

Mark 4:26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.

Four Principles from Mark 4:26-28:

1. The kingdom of God, and your life, functions on the principle of Seedtime and harvest. a. Gen. 8:22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and nigh hall not cease.” b. “...a man should scatter seed...” c. The harvest, or results, we get from life come from the seeds of action that we plant, or of what others plant for us. d. This is also true for financial blessings for ourselves and our church.

2. A seed, once planted, gains the power to produce and increase. a. We don’t know how this happens, since we cannot see and it is not possible to be aware of every process. b. One thing is certain, if we have not planted any seed, we won’t have any harvest. c. None sowers only benefit, or leach, off the efforts of others d. This is what the Lord meant by asking this question, “Will a man rob God? Question: “How have we robbed you?” Answer: “In tithes and offerings.”

3. Increase comes in stages. “For the earth yields crops by itself.” Expect and look for signs of increase. When you see the “blade” make your plans for increase and continued sowing. a. We don’t how this happens, since we cannot see and it is not possible to be aware of every process. b. Don’t let fear and stinginess keep you from your greater blessings and, more importantly, greater benefits for God’s work.

4. Our goal is not only to have success and more money, but to have “good success” and to establish God’s covenant in the earth a. Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” b. Deuteronomy 8:17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ 18 “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

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Jesus spoke a parable describing the conditions of the people’s hearts in relation to God’s word, or the seed. How you handle the seed of God’s is the most important thing that you handle.

Matthew 13:1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Look at what Jesus said in regard to The Purpose of Parables:

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

Notice the characteristics of “them;” 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15  For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a] heal them.’[b]

Characteristics of “you” 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Hearing and receiving is a matter of both conditions of the heart and God’s timing (Kairos).

He describe four conditions of soil, or of the heart: Three bad and one good.

1) Wayside is an unreceptive place: In Palestine the fields were in long narrow strips; and the ground between the strips was always a right of way. It was used as a common path; and therefore it was beaten as hard as a pavement by the feet of countless passers-by 2) Stony was shallow. It is a then layer of soil over limestone rock 3) Thorny was full of weeds and distractions. Luke 8:14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. The thorny ground was deceptive. When the sower was sowing, the ground would look clean enough. It is easy to make a garden look clean by simply turning it over; but in the ground still lay the fibrous roots of the couch grass and the bishop weed and all the perennial pests [like crab grass], ready to spring to life again. Every gardener knows that the weeds grow with a speed and a strength that few good seeds can equal. The result was that the good seed and the dormant weeds grew together; but the weeds were so strong that they choked the life out of the seed. 4) Good ground was tilled and ready to receive seed. Which condition describes your heart?

Operating in your authority requires a heart prepared like a good garden or farm field. There’s a lot that God wants to do through us and with us.

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