Sunday, January 29, 2012

God Our Motivator

by Charity Pence

This Week’s Verse: “For the Lord will be your confidence.” Proverbs 3:26a (NIV)

I was talking to a writing buddy of mine earlier this week, and he mentioned he was not feeling very motivated to work on his writing project. He was looking for reinforcement to know he wasn’t wasting his time. And I realized something. We all lack motivation at some point.

Our daily demands keep us running, and it’s difficult to come up with the energy to put forth in something when we’re not seeing any positive results. In Deuteronomy 5:32, God tells the Israelites, “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” (NKJ) But maybe you’re tripping on stumbling block after stumbling block. Or perhaps you’re working on a task God has called you to do, and you have an expectation for how it will turn out, but it’s becoming nothing like you imagined it would be.

When we get to this point, we often question ourselves. Is this worth it? Am I doing something wrong? Should I do something else instead? And that’s where Satan gets us. Rather than listening to the devil and his lies, we need to focus on God. “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37: 3-5 (KJV)

The fact is, what God asks us to do is not always easy. And we are human. We get tired, discouraged, scared. But Joshua 1:9 says, “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.” (NKJ) And that’s the truth.

Dear Heavenly Father, sometimes I get tired, and I wonder if I’m wasting my time. Forgive me for when I haven’t trusted in You as I should have. Strengthen me; help me to tune out the world so that the only voice I hear is Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Don’t let the devil convince you to quit. Trust God and God alone. He will be your strength and assurance.

Power Verses:
Zechariah 4:6b “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (NKJ) Psalm 121:1, 2 “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV)
Romans 5: 3, 4 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (KJV)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are You Robbing God?

by Charity Pence

This Week’s Verse: Deuteronomy 8:18 “But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” (KJV)

What do you think of when you hear about tithing? When the offering plate is passed around at church, do you just throw in a few dollars, believing that’s enough? Malachi 3:8 says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, in what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings.” (NKJ) Basically, this verse says we are robbing God when we do not tithe. To tithe means to give God ten percent of what we have. And I don’t think God is asking much from us.

It’s easy to make excuses for not tithing. Maybe we can’t afford to. Or maybe we think giving of our time is enough. But God’s word makes clear that we are to give ten percent of our money to Him. Not only that, He has promised blessings to those who are obedient. God even tells us to test Him! Malachi 3:10 goes on to say this, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this, If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

Imagine what God could do if we were more obedient in this area. We would be blessed, and we’d have more to offer to God, which would further His kingdom. Look at it this way. The more you give to the church, the more money the church has to feed the poor, to bring the Gospel to those who have never heard it, to give shelter to the homeless. And the list goes on. God doesn’t give us money so we can buy ourselves material objects. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t believe God wants us living in poverty. And I don’t believe it’s wrong to have nice things, provided we give to God first.

Proverbs 28:22 warns, “He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.” (KJV) So what are you doing with your money?

Dear Heavenly Father, I have learned the hard way what blessings we miss out on when we do not return to You what is Yours. Please forgive me for the times I have held back what I owed to You. And show us how we can be more obedient in this area. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

If you are not currently obeying God’s command to tithe, search your heart to determine why. What do you gain by holding on to your money? Give to God that which is His, and watch Him move!

Power Verses:
Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man shall abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich [at any cost] shall not go unpunished.” (Amp)
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.” (NKJ)
Proverbs 11:24, 25 “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.” (NKJ)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Called By God

By Charity Pence

This Week’s Verse: James 2:26 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” (NIV)

Have you ever taken time to consider what God has gifted you with? I’m not talking about material gifts; I’m talking about spiritual gifts. God has designed each one of us with certain characteristics that make us who we are, and we are to use those characteristics to further His kingdom. Romans 12:4 states, “For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function.” (NKJ) Chapter 12 goes on to list specific gifts that God has placed within His people. I once took an assessment ranking my gifts. The top three were serving, having mercy, and teaching.

Writing has been a passion of mine since junior high. When I first discovered my joy for writing, I never considered it was from God. But now I know it is my God-given desire. And when I agreed to take over this blog ministry, it was my way of putting together what God has equipped me with. I do not like speaking in front of others. I get nervous and trip over my words, become embarrassed and then more nervous. But I love to write, and I believe I can. And I enjoy being able to serve God by teaching others through this ministry.

I say all this because I have had something stirring in my heart for a long time. I have this feeling that something big is coming. Sometimes it’s hard to remember there is a spiritual battle taking place right now because we can’t see it. But Satan is working overtime. 2 Timothy 4:2-5 states, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (NKJ) These verses remind us that the time to act is now, not tomorrow or the day after. That being the case, we need to make sure we are doing our part to reach others for Christ. And we need to keep working even if we can’t see the results because God is working, too.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You for the gifts you have instilled in me. Help me to use those gifts for You and Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Applications: So what is your gift? If you don’t know, review Romans Chapter 12 and seek God’s guidance so He can show you the work He has called for you to complete.

Power Verses:
Philippians 4:9 “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (KJV)
I Corinthians 7:17 “But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.” (KJV)
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)