RECEIVING AND GIVING OUR SUPPLY

Receiving and giving our supply

 

Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

 

As Christians we are called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord Isaiah 61:3. In fact we are described as trees almost three times more than anything else. Trees get a supply of water and minerals through their roots from where they are planted. God has spiritual supply for you in His house. Psalm 92:12-14 says, “12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.” Only the planted flourish and only the planted bring forth fruit. It is not where we planted ourselves, but where God plants us.

 

We not only receive supply but also give supply God has given us. Supply being ministered or provided by Jesus Christ the Head through each member in the Body of Christ is the cornerstone of increase. The supply causes the Body of Christ and a local body of Christ (Local Church) to increase with the increase of God Colossians 2:19, “And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered (fully supply, aid or contribute), and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.” Weust’s translation of Colossians 2:19 reads, “and not holding fast the Head out from whom all the body, through the instrumentality of the joints and ligaments, being constantly supplied with nourishment and being constantly compacted together, increases with the increase wrought by God.”

 

God sets everyone in the Body (1 Corinthians 12:18) as it pleases Him and plants everyone in the local church to not only receive from Him but to also supply. This receiving and giving makes for a healthy Christian life. It is time to get planted and not only receive your supply but also give your supply:

 

  1. SPIRITUAL SUPPLY

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

 

  1. FINANCIAL SUPPLY

2 Corinthians 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; 12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

 

  1. SERVICE SUPPLY

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

  1. TALENT AND SKILL SUPPLY

Exodus 35:31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; 32 And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, 33 And in the cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of wood, to make any manner of cunning work.

Exodus 36:1-2 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded. 2 And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:

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TASTE AND SEE

 

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Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 107:8-9 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

 

When we get saved, we get our first taste of the goodness and mercy of God. It is only a taste and only the beginning of it because Psalm 23:5, 6 tells us God has prepared a table for us in the presence of our enemies and that goodness and mercy would follow us all the days of our life   In the New Testament the Bible says there are things He has prepared for us that our eyes have not seen or our ears heard 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10. When will we experience them? God builds us up and brings us what He has prepared for us by revelation (illumination) of His Word. Personally as we feed upon His Word at home and corporately as we hear His Word in the Church, that feeding and hearing the Word helps to transform our lives and renew our minds.

 

There is something unique and special about the Word we hear at Church. The Word we hear at Church is designed by God to help us grow in knowledge, redeem the time, and get back lost time. A preacher on average typically may spend ten to fifteen hours of study (some more and some less) gathering revelation from the Word of God through prayer and gives it to us in an hour or more. It is really more than that because they are drawing from their years of experience beyond the immediate time of study. Church can be the best investment of time we can make all week. Remember the richness, goodness, and fullness of our salvation is only gained through knowledge revealed by the Spirit of God from the Word of God. We can do what is one of the most time redemptive things anyone can do which is go to Church. We cannot afford to miss what God’s prepared for us, so go to Church and taste and see that the Lord is good.

 

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INTO THE KINGDOM

Into The Kingdom

 

Colossians 1:12-14 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

 

Receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord makes us members of the Body of Christ, the Church, saints, and citizens of the Kingdom of God. Colossians 1:12-14 says, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” There is a Kingdom that now is (Hebrews 12:28; Colossians 1:13) and which is to come (2 Timothy 4:1).

 

In the Kingdom which now is:

  1. Jesus is King.
  2. His primary agenda is to advance the Kingdom.
  3. The Kingdom advances by getting people saved then making disciples of saved people.
  4. The key agent and current expression of the Kingdom is the Local Church.
  5. All citizens are to seek first the Kingdom of God and all its righteousness.

 

This includes supporting the economy of the Kingdom. An economy is a system of interaction and exchange or mode of operating. The word economy can be traced back to a Greek word “oikonomia,” and literally means the management of a household or family affairs; an administration; an arrangement. It comes from a root word “oikonomos,” which means a manager of a household or a steward. A steward isn’t an owner but manages the resources of another. To operate in the Kingdom economy is to be a steward and to be a steward is to operate in the Kingdom economy. Stewardship involves a responsibility given to manage, authority to do so, and at some point in time accountability for ones management.

 

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IN THE CHURCH

 

To All The Anto Local Church Christians

We are living in an age of lawlessness and a time period described in the Bible as perilous times. There are some professing Christians who have even gone so far as to say that there is no need to be involved in the local church, there is no need for pastor’s anymore, and all we need is a personal relationship with Jesus. They say things like, “We do not go to church; we are the church, so it does not matter if I attend church services.” Yes, the church is a spiritual body of believers called the Body of Christ and we are the Body of Christ.  Yes, we are to be the church wherever we go. Yes, the church is the assembling of the “called out ones” which can be in any place not just a building but 1Timothy 3:15 ALSO calls the house of God (or meeting place) the Church. It also distinguishes the house of God (the meeting place) from individual believers and their behavior in it.

 

1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

 

The local church was not a man’s idea that will fade away or be replaced by some so called “new thing” God is now doing. It is a part of the requirements found in Scripture for every person who calls Jesus their Lord and Savior. Aside from the command not to forsake the assembling of ourselves from Hebrews 10:25, consider the following verses that would indicate the church is also a location and place we go to. Notice the phrase, “in the church” in these verses:

 

1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together IN THE CHURCH, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.

 

1 Corinthians 14:19 Yet IN THE CHURCH I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

 

1 Corinthians 14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence IN THE CHURCH; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

 

1 Corinthians 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak IN THE CHURCH.

 

Colossians 4:16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also IN THE CHURCH of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

 

That is a very interesting phrase to those that excuse themselves from going to church because they say they are the church. Sorry, but we are the church and we go to church. In over 35 years of pastoring, I’ve found it is always the local church that takes the hit for the little excusing phrases people use. The late Dr. Lester Sumrall said, “If you want to find what God is into, find out what the devil is fighting the most.” I believe the local church would qualify for that.

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A BODY TO DO GOD’S WILL AND WORK

 

 A Body to do gods Will and work

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy WILL, O God.

 

John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the WORKS which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

 

Jesus our Lord and Savior came to where we were in our fallen state on Earth to die on the Cross as a sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sins of the world. He also came to do the works of God as He went about preaching, teaching, healing, and delivering oppressed humanity from the oppression of the devil and the destructive curse. First John 3:8 also adds “… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. God the Father prepared a natural human body in the Earth for Jesus to do God’s will (Hebrews 10:5, 7) and to do God’s Work (John 5:36).

 

We are now the Body of Christ and we are in this Body to do God’s Will and Work.  What God did through a Body called Jesus He wants to do through a Body called the Church. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father John 14:12.”

 

God planned for all the Body of Christ to do God’s will and work in the Earth. His plan was for all members of the Church, which is His Body, to become producers not just consumers.  We are not in the Body just to have and experience something but to do and produce something. God has foreordained that we are to produce (Ephesians 2:10). Being a producer is more than a call it is built into us.  We are created to multiply.  It is in our nature (Genesis 1:26-28).  God chose and ordained us to be producers or to bear fruit (John 15:16).

 

When it comes to a local Body of Christ or local Church, being fruitful and productive it takes everyone or as Ephesians 4:16 says, “Every joint supplieth according to the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh increase.”   When the members of the Body find their place and function, churches reap and keep the harvest and have fruit that remains. Members of the Body of Christ need to answer the call of God to the service or ministry and function in their spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11,12; 1 Corinthians12: 7-11).  Great churches are built by great Believers not great sermons.

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THE POWER OF ONE

 

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We are supposed to support one another as Christians and one of the reasons for God putting us into a local church in relationship with others is for that support. That is not to say that we do not have to learn to stand alone especially in the midst of these perilous times in the Last Days. Don’t underestimate the power of one person making a decision or a stand and being able to turn a situation around.

 

Remember David in 1 Samuel 30 before he became King faced the devastation to his home and the captivity of his family and possessions when returning with his men to his home in Ziglag. His personal loss and the abandonment of his men left him alone in facing the devastation yet he encouraged himself in the Lord his God 1 Samuel 30:6. As a result the families and possessions of his 600 men was totally recovered. It was the power of one person making one decision that turned things around for many others.

 

Think about Jesus, one man’s obedience brought righteousness to all that believe:

Romans 5:15, 17, 19 says, “15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

The NATURE of that One who made a difference for many for righteousness is within every Believer to be a difference maker as well.

 

The FAITH we’ve been given and dealt can also function alone with no support. It is a stand alone faith:

Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Other people’s lack of faith, faithfulness, and support does not nullify or make of no effect the faithfulness or fidelity of God over His Word. Our faith in that Word will work with no outside support from others and can in fact work even in the midst of opposition from others. Sometimes when we make a stand by faith in God’s Word we look for our friends validation, or for everyone to agree, or believe in what we believe. It is as if we are saying their vote of confidence helps make it happen. God doesn’t need to send a sign through them to support what He said. He is God all by Himself and as Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Stand and do not quit. Quitting only brings relief from responsibility; fighting the fight of faith can bring the kind of victory that relieves everything 1 John 5:4

 

 

In the Prophet Ezekiel’s day God was only looking for one man that could PRAY, intercede, or stand in the gap to make up a hedge to spare the nation from judgment. Ezekiel 22:30 says, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” He wasn’t looking for a thousand, a hundred, or ten who could pray but “a man.” Don’t underestimate the power of one man’s prayer.

 

The Apostle Paul while facing persecution, trial, and imprisonment he was totally abandoned with no one coming to his defense or advocating for him. He experienced the STRENGTH of God when alone or standing as one. Second Timothy 4:16-17says, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.” God’s strength can work when we are all alone. It needs no support and can be renewed even on our worst day and weakest moment Isaiah 40:29-31.

We can experience victory by the power of one.

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THE FIERY DARTS OF “PITY THYSELF”

 

QUENCH THE FIERY DARTS OF SELF PITY

1 Samuel 30:6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.

Bad things sometimes happen even to good people. David faced the misfortune of devastation to his home and the captivity of his family and possessions when returning with his men to his home in Ziglag, the city given to him by King Achish (1 Samuel 27:6). There is nothing that hurts more than things that can hit us on the home front and the devil knows it.  David became distressed not only from the devastation but also because his own men placed the blame on David and were talking of stoning him. His biggest battle is not an outward enemy like Goliath whom he defeated at an earlier time, but an internal enemy. Will he give in to self-pity, give in to feelings of being a complete failure, listen to the lies of the accuser, or will he stand alone dependent only on God.

David in 1 Samuel 30:6 resisted the temptation to yield to self-pity, refused to become self absorbed and focus on himself. With no one around, no family, friends, no one showing any love or singing his praises, who will encourage David to go on? David encouraged himself in the Lord and found strength in the Lord his God. Facing an opportunity to despair, instead of self-pity and giving up, he chose to continue for the sake of all who would be adversely affected if he quit. David enquires of the Lord and God says without fail he will recover all and to pursue his enemy (1 Samuel 30:7, 8). In 36 hours they recovered all just as the Lord had said (1 Samuel 30:17-19). Keep in mind David conquered this inner battle with self-pity before he became King who would rule. It was a severe testing of his character while on the brink of his greatest blessing.

The challenge to us is what will we do when we face misfortune and sorrow? Will we encourage (strengthen) ourselves in the Lord for our sake and the sake of others we love as David did or will we feed on our sorrow and misfortune and sink deeper into self pity?

Self-pity means to over-indulgently feel sorrow for your own suffering and misfortune. The dictionary definition is to pity oneself and especially a self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes. We experience something that is a misfortune and it brings sorrow to us but then we continually feed upon our sorrow in our thought life instead of feeding on Jesus’ victory over it (Isaiah 53:4).

From my own experience I’ve learned that self-pity can be a stronghold we’ve become accustomed to use for attention or punishment. When we yield to it, we should ask ourselves: Whose attention do I want, and is it working? Who am I angry with and trying to punish?

Self-pity is easily one the most destructive and addictive attitudes that is so easy to slip into.  I believe it is one of the devil’s favorite fiery darts to Christians to whisper in their thoughts “pity thyself.” It is also a temptation to enter into self induced misery or self-indulgent sadness. Remember Jesus in Matthew 16:21 when He announced His approaching death and suffering, Peter said, “Be it far from thee, Lord….”  Those words literally mean “pity thyself Lord.” Peter spoke those words but Jesus recognized their source as being from satan and said, “Get thee behind me satan: thou art an offence to me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Jesus discerned Peter’s counsel as a temptation from satan to indulge in self- induced misery.

Unlike David, we live on the victory side of Jesus’ Cross and can walk in victory because of what Jesus has done for us. We don’t have to yield to the feelings and thoughts of self-pity. We need the eyes of our understanding enlightened to see satan’s device of self-pity to get us so overwhelmed and consumed by sorrow that it breaks our spirit (Proverbs 15:13; Proverb 18:14) and we quit. He wants us to think and feel we are hostages and powerless victims because of our misfortune but the devil is a liar and a defeated foe. We are not victims who are powerless to do anything. We can quench every fiery dart our adversary throws at our thoughts (Ephesians 6:16) and by the grace of God bounce back from any setback.

We have mighty weapons at our disposal. Second Corinthians 10:4, 5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

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