Archive for October 2016

Romans 15:1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 

1 Corinthians 3:1,  And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?

The Corinthians had lost perspective. They were sowing and reaping, but not in the productive godly manner.

We are not spectators in the stand, We are players on the field. 

Spectators are criticizers. The perspective is much different when you are on the field and in the game.  We’ve made a sport out of Christianity, complete with favorite teams/churches, favorite players/preachers, favorite bands/praise teams, and favorite products. 

We are in the business of performing in the sense of doing God’s will in the service of blessing people.

1 Cor 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8 Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

According to the text, we are looking doing one of two options:

1. We Plant or Sow

2. We Water or support

Doing nothing is not an option

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Three Principles of Harvest

Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

PRINCIPLE #1 | THE POTENTIAL OF SOWING AND REAPING IS NOT LOGICAL. IT REQUIRES FAITH IN GOD

Small seeds produce vast produce, with more seed inside. (Show tomato photos) Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes, which are potato pieces cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes with at least two eyes.  The yield is 5-10 potatoes per plant. To

Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. 9  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Hebrews 11:6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

As people of faith, we must often do things that are illlogical or  "counter-intuitive," meaning that we don't think, respond, act as we feel, or do what is usual (2 Corinthians 5:7). We walk by faith and not by sight. We should become comfortable with doing opposite of “conventional" or worldly wisdom. Like pilots who must learn the necessity of flying by instruments, rather than by their physical senses and emotions. 

Illogical acts of faith include:

• Become exalted by humbling oneself

• Give away, gain more

• Sowing Seed to Reap a Harvest

• Being still to know what to do

• In everything giving thanks

• Love those who hate you

• Do good for those who do not treat you well

• Serve people who have less than yourself

• Rejoice when persecuted

Aviation is a good illustration of living by faith. The act of something heavier than air flying is illogical. When man first attempted to fly, they tried to build machines that acted like birds or built hot air balloons. Pilots have to train themselves to do things that are counterintuitive, yet they have to be practical, realistic, fact and reality based. They (and we) rely on scientific laws or principles such as gravity and lift.

Being prepared for the harvest requires receiving the rain, or the word, of God. There is early and latter rain in your life

PRINCIPLE #2 | WITHOUT PLANTING AND SUPPORT, THE HARVEST CANNOT COME

(Show tomato growing video)

James 5:7, Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. 

When you live in the Harvest principle, you will have seasons of rejoicing in receiving your harvest! 

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,Upon them a light has shined. 3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy; They rejoice before You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 

PRINCIPLE #3 | WITHOUT FAITH TO HONOR GOD WITH OUR FIRSTFRUITS, WE ARE NOT IN THE FULL WILL OF GOD

As God’s people, we understand the principle of "first fruits "which is bringing your first and best to God.  First fruits is the principle of dedicating our “first things” to the Lord, so that everything else can fall into their proper position. It’s about aligning ourselves with God’s order. 

Exodus 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. 

Exodus 22:29 “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.

Leviticus 23:9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11 NIV

Any time a “first” becomes a “second,” everything else is pushed into a different priority, creating disorder. Our foundation is putting the cornerstone, Jesus Christ, first. When we put God first, all priorities fall in their proper place

Proverbs 3:9 NIV, Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

“Seek” by implication means indirectly “to worship”

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Genesis 8:22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest,Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.”

John 4:31 Inthe meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But He said to  them, “I have food to eat ofwhich you do not know.” 33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Hasanyone brought Him anything to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to dothe will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. 35 Do you not say, ‘Thereare still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, liftup your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that bothhe who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying istrue: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which youhave not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors

You are predestined to reap a harvest on three levels:

In blessing (provision)

In favor (access and influence)

In changed lives (making a positive difference in people's lives)

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, youwill ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father isglorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

John 15:16, You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointedyou that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, thatwhatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things Icommand you, that you love one another.

Jesus appointed us to go and bear fruit. Being fruitful is one ofthe objectives of life.

1 With respect to blessing and provision, that is connected tosowing and reaping. It's not just about provision for ourselves but provisionfor the purposes of God.

It's not hard to have to enough for yourself, it's more difficultto have a enough to serve God's purposes and to be a blessing to others.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure,pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

This is the problem with the lack of giving tithes and offerings,it's not that we lack but that we cause the house of God and his purposes tohave lack. Of course, if we don't give to God we will have more for ourselvesin the short run, but in the long run and for God's purposes, we will lack inways beyond monetary and material fulfillment.

Malachi 3:8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!

But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes andofferings.

9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Eventhis whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there maybe food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If Iwill not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessingThat there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that hewill not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bearfruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts;

12 “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be adelightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.

2 Concerning favor and influence, the apostle Paul experienced harvest:

Acts 18:9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by avision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am withyou, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in thiscity.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word ofGod among them.

Operating in the kingdom of God also produces a harvest offavor:

Romans 14:17For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peaceand joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things isacceptable to God and approved by men.

3 We also operate in the harvest of changed lives.

Matthew 9:37-38, Then He said to His disciples, “The harvesttruly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.Therefore pray the Lord of theharvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Acts 18:10-11 shows the harvest of changed lives after leadingJustus and Crispus to the Lord.

7 And he departed from there and entered the house of acertain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door tothe synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lordwith all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you;for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and sixmonths, teaching the word of God among them.

Justus and Crispuswere two of the many people that God had in the city. I believe that God spokeprophetically concerning people in the city. God knows those who will acceptJesus, when the gospel is presented. But we don’t know. I called this the“Appointed Harvest”

Being prepared for the harvest requires receiving the rain, orthe word, of God. There is early and latter rain in your life.

JAM 5:7, Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of theLord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waitingpatiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.

When you live in theHarvest principle, you will have seasons of rejoicing in receiving yourharvest!

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a greatlight; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,Upon them a light hasshined. 3 You have multiplied the nation And increased its joy; They rejoicebefore You According to the joy of harvest, As men rejoice when they divide thespoil.

As gods people, we understand the principle of "first fruits"which is bringing your first and best to God.

Leviticus 23: And the Lord spoke to Moses,saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you comeinto the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring asheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave thesheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after theSabbath the priest shall wave it. 

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From Faith to Faith

Let Down Your Nets…Change Your Life

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Luke 5:1 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.

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