Posts tagged ‘zone’

Living in the Zone: How is my Heart

Luke 6:37-38- judge not and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

If you want more of God,

4 things that keep our heart in the right place:

1. Deal with a selfish heart.

Deut. 15:9- be careful not to harbor wicked thoughts: the seventh year , the year for canceling debts, is near. So that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to The Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.

First off, wicked thoughts are not bad in themselves. It’s acting on those thoughts and being lead by them. We have to realize that we don’t give to get. We give to please God. We give so that God can change our hearts. Sure there are blessings involved in giving, but the blessing should never be the purpose for our giving. The reason He wants us to learn to give is so at we can be more like Him.

2. God wants to deal with our grieving heart

Deu. 15:10- do not be grieved when you give, because for this thing the Lord will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand.

Selfishness will attack you before you give. Grief will attack you after you give. God doesn’t want us to regret what we give, but to walk away in freedom knowing that we have done His will. In order for us to get to a place where we can give without grieving, we have to realize that everything belongs to God. Anything good we relieve in life comes from God. When we operate in knowing that everything belongs to God, we can give freely back to Him by giving to others. It’s how we thank Him for blessing our lives. When you truly believe that God is your source, it eliminates the grieving process. When we believe that He is our source, our perspective changes.

3. Develop a generous heart.

Deu. 15:14- you shall supply him liberally …
Luke 6:32-36- but if you only love those who love you, what credit is that to you? …….but love your enemies. Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great; and you will be a son of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful….therefore be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful.

In doing this, it breaks the miser spirit.

4. Develop a grateful heart.

Deu. 15:15- you shall remember st you were a slave in Egypt, and The Lord redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.

We must remember what God has forgiven us for, how he has sustained us, how much grace He has shown us…then it becomes easy to give our lives away to others.

Living in the Zone: The Principles of Multiplication (video) Robert Morris

Luke 9:12- Feeding the Multitudes with the fish and bread.

Understand that this was 5000 men, but women and children were not counted. There may have been almost 25-30k people altogether.

Principles of multiplication

1. It has to be blessed before it could multiply. What is the disciples had given out the food without Jesus blessing it? When we give our tithe, the rest of our money is blessed and God multiplies it.

2. It has to be given away before it can multiply. What if the disciples had eaten it after it was blessed instead of giving it away?

Tithing is NOT giving. Tithing is returning.

Living in the Zone: Who is First?

The foundation of putting God first is integral to our being able to move forward in blessing, and when we do place Him first, it sets off a chain reaction of His Spirit moving in our lives.

We can say that we place God first, but our actions will really tell the tale.

1 kings 17:8-14- this is the story of Elijah and the widowed woman. God told him to go to Zaraphath. When he got there, he asked for bread and water. The widow responded that she didn’t have them, but only a little flour and oil. She was actually about to prepare her last meal for herself and her son, and then they were going to die. Elijah told her to first make him a cake, then make one for her and her son. He then prophesied that her flour and oil shall not be used up until the drought ends.

This sounds crazy, but the best time to give to God is during a time of uncertainty. The fact is that everything around us is uncertain. The things that really matter are found in God, so we have to trust God to provide. We have to know that God is our provider.

This story is not about God sending Elijah to be fed. God didn’t need this woman to feed Elijah. God had fed him by ravens and angels. God could have fed Elijah through any means. What was really happening was that God was trying to set the widow up for a miracle that she could never have seen coming. He wanted to bless her, but first He had to test her.

Many times, God wants to do a miracle, but we never put ourselves in a position to receive it. The immature Christian says bless me first, then I will give. The mature Christian says that I will give to you first, then the blessings will come.

Gen. 4;2-7- the story of Cain and Abel. Cain presented some of his crops. Abel presented the best of his firstborn labs from his flock. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice, but not Cain’s. God told him that sin is crouching at the door of his heart, and that he must subdue it.

1. The heart of Cain- Jude 11- woe to them for they have gone to the way of Cain….they have run greedily…and perished in rebellion.

Cain was greedy and rebellious. He didn’t want to do it Gods way. When we don’t give God our first and best, we are operating in greed and rebellion. The blessing comes by honoring God to the fullest extent. We can’t live as if we make up our own rules and make up our own salvation. We also have to stop blaming others for our problems. We have to take responsibility for our mistakes.

Prov 19:3- people ruin their lives by their own foolishness, and then they are angry with The Lord.

Prov 3:9-10- honor The Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increases; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.

Ex 23:19- the first of your first fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of The Lord your God.

He wants the first ad best of everything we have.

2. The heart of Abel- Heb. 11:4- by faith, Abel brought a more acceptable sacrifice to God…though he is long dead, Abel still speaks to us by his example of faith.

God deserves the first. In EVERYTHING!

Josh 6:19- but all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to The Lord; they shall come into the treasury of The Lord.

Gen 22- God asked Abraham to give up his first and only son with Sarah.

Matt 6:33- seek first the Kingdom of God……and all these things will be added to you.

1 Cor 15:20- Christ is called the first fruit

Why does God care about the first fruits? God gave us HIS first fruit. He sent Jesus to us. God gave his best, thus He expects ours in return.

First fruits?- our first words every day, the first music we play in the morning, the first thing we read,

Living in the Zone: Do I Pass the Test

Acts 20:35- …….it is more blessed to give than receive. (Those who give are so much more happy than those who receive)

When you give, you begin to walk in a new spirit of joy! When we do not give, we become selfish and invite a selfish spirit to consume us. We become depressed. We lose sight of what God has done and is doing.

Luke 19:8- zack stood before The Lord and said “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back 4 times as much.”

When God is working in our lives, we desire to give.

1. Giving is the action verb of the Bible. The entire Bible is based on love proven by giving. God has given us everything and expects us to return everything. When we don’t give 100%, we get out of whack.

Matt 6:19-21- don’t lay for yourselves treasure on earth. They are only temporary me decay. Lay them up in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart also resides.

Malachi 3:6-12- for I am The Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, o sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers, you have gone away from my ordinances and have not kept them, return to me, and I will return to you.” Says The Lord of Hosts. “But you have said I. What way should we return? I’m what way have we robbed you, you ask? In tithes and offering. …..test me now in this,” says The Lord. “If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there will not be room to receive it.”

Basically, if we don’t pay our tithes and offering then we are living under a curse. Furthermore, tithing is still relevant. As God doesn’t change, neither do His statutes. Just because we are under grace changes nothing. It just means that our sins are covered by grace.

1. Tithing is a test.

2. It is a principal fostered before the law, during the law, and after the law.

3. Tithing is a biblical thing:
Gen 14:19-20- and he gave him a tithe of all- 500 years before the law was established
Gen 28:22- I will surely give a tenth to you
Lev. 27:30- all the tithe…is the Lords.
Matt 23:23….. You should tithe, yes…..
Heb 7:8 – here mortal me receive tithes, but there, He receives them, of whom it is witnessed that He lives.

When I tithe, it not only supports the local church, but Jesus receives them as we’ll.

4. Tithing is a blessing

2 Chronicles 31:4-5, 10 -the Israelites has gotten away from tithing, but then returned. When they began again, their harvest was blessed. They had enough and plenty left over.

We can do a lot more with 90% that is blessed than 100% that is cursed. What we give will be given back to us in an even greater abundance.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

“When God Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone” Sometimes God has to push us out of our safe place in order for us to experience what we need in order to do what He needs to do. He does this because He loves us. He makes us face the storms, because we grow during them. He makes us face the rough seasons. Matt 14:19-22- he feeds the crowd with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. They had 12 baskets of crumbs leftover. Immediately afterwards, He sends the disciples to go before Him to the other side, while He sends the multitudes away. 1. Remember you’re rowing by God’s instructions. Our step are ordered by God. We row because we are obedient to Him. Jesus sent them into the storm. God will sometimes push us right into the storm. God does not always cause our storms, but He is always with us in our storms. We must understand that while everyone else is on the sidelines, God is using the storm to reveal Himself in a better way. Matt 14:33- Peter walks on water, becomes afraid and Jesus saves Him. When they get back to the boat, the disciples now fully recognized Him as the Son of God. The disciples had seen Jesus do miracles, but it wasnt until the middle of the storm until they really saw who He was. This is a revelation that can not come from merely hearing. We can’t rely on anyone else. The only real revelation comes from having a personl encounter with God in our storms. Matt 14:23- after he dismissed them, Jesus went up to pray. He saw the boat and the storm was already starting. Winds were fighting against them. When the wind blows in our faces, and makes it hard to move, KEEP ROWING!!!! Cause God is right there. Just because we encounter a storm doesn’t mean that we have done anything wrong. We have to stop blming ourselves. 2. When you can’t see Him, He still sees you. Mark 6:46-48- Mark’s version. Jesus was on the mountain and saw them straining to row. Even when we can’t see Him, He never stops seeing us. God wants to see if we are still rowing or if we are giving up. The disciples kept straining to row. Many times God just wants to see if we are still willing. 3. When the rowing is rough, pick up some breadcrumbs. Mark 6:52- when the storm stopped, they still didn’t understand the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard. The miracle was so fresh, but they still became fearful. Jesus had just fed 30k people, but they didnt understand it. We have to pick up the memories of what God has done in our lives, and praise Him for that thing. Find the breadcrumbs and praise Him for it! Nobody understands your breadcrumbs but you. You must praise Him for them. In the hardest times, pick up those breadcrumbs and keep on rowing. 4. Always remember to welcome Jesus on board. Mark 6:48- he saw they were in trouble. At about 3am, He comes to them on the water. He intended to go past them, not get in the boat. It wasnt until they cried out to Him, that He got in. They cried out to Him and He drew near to them. We have to remember to ask for His presence.

Getting out of Your Comfort Zone

Who’s in Control?

In life we want to be in control. It starts at a young age and carries over into adulthood. We want to control what happens to us and when it happens. Part of getting out of our comfort zone is giving up control to God. It’s not easy. When things go bad, we wanna take the reigns back from God.

Josh 5: 13-15- Joshua asked a man, ” are you with us or against us?” The man was a messenger from God and told him that the land was holy.

1. Who’s side are you on? Moses had lead Israel to the Promised Land, but could not enter. Joshua lead them in and the first city was Jericho, a city of giants. He encounters a man with a sword, and theologians believe it was Jesus. Joshua questions him, and Jesus answers that He is the leader of the army of God. Jesus didn’t show up to take sides. He showed up to take control!

We have to stop asking Jesus to get on our side. We need to get on His side!! Jesus wants to take control.

As Christians, we must understand that there are only two sides, and neither of them is “our”side. The two sides are God’s and Satan‘s. We must align ourselves with the side of the Lord. Give up your right to be right and go with God!!

The church needs to quit taking sides and just align with God!

In verse 15, Jesus told Joshua to take off his shoes if he was on HIS side. There is significance in this. Moses was told to take off his sandals when he came to the burning bush. Now, the same happens with Joshua.

2. Have you taken off your shoes?

Some people have chosen to be on God’s side, but havent taken off their shoes. In Ruth, we see Naomi taking her daughters in law back to Israel. Boaz sees Ruth and wants to marry her. Ruth tells him that there is a relative who is in line fo dibs. The relative says he will marry her. Boaz convinces him not to do it.

Ruth 4: 7-8- a sandal was removed and given to another for confirmation. The relative took off his sandal, signifying his giving up rights to Ruth.

Deut. 25: 7-10- if a relative doesn’t want to marry his brother’s wife, the elders speak to him first. If thr answer is still no, the widow comes in and the widow must remove his sandal, and spit in his face. He is given a name was that indicated his loss of rights.

Jesus asked the disciples to remove their sandals and He washed their feet. Peter objected according to the law.

John 13: 8- Jesus answered, ” If i do not wash you, you will have no part with me”.

Peter had to give up his right to be right. Removing our shoes means we give God complete control!