Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Discover Your Calling!

Discover Your Calling!
by pastor Rich Allcorn

The key to provision in your life is being "in the will" of God.  If you are where you are supposed to be, then God's "provision" is there for you.  In much the same way as our military sends troops out.  We airlift provisions for them.  We don't just leave them stranded there, with no provisions?  No!  We provide them with food, ammunition, fuel, and whatever else they may need to get the job done!  And God is no different! 

God actually "wants" you to succeed!  Sometimes I feel that we have forgotten that!  God does want you to succeed!  He wants you to "make it" in the calling that He has placed upon your life!  And to do that, you have got to have provisions ... to succeed, to prosper, and to continue in the call! 

Let's take a look at an example of  this in the Bible.   
Luke 9:1-6  [New American Standard Bible] 
And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to heal diseases. 2 And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and to perform healing. 3 And He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. 4 "And whatever house you enter, stay there, and take your leave from there. 5 "And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them." 6 And departing, they began going about among the villages, preaching the gospel, and healing everywhere.

Luke 10:1-16 
[New American Standard Bible]
1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 "Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 "Carry no purse, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. ...

Luke 10:17-20 
[New American Standard Bible] 
17 And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.

Jesus sent them out - They returned victorious! 
Notice in the above versions of Luke chapters 9-10 that Jesus was in the habit of sending them out ... without "anything"!  Not only did He do this to the disciples, but he did it to the seventy others who were in training under him!  He sent them out with only the clothes on their back!  I like what one translation says of Luke 9:  ""Don't load yourselves up with equipment.  Keep it simple; you are the equipment." 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the "things" we think we need to get the job done that we forget ... God only needs "us" ... to be obedient, to be willing, and to be "there" - to get the job done!

Until next week, spend the rest of this week considering your life, and your willingness to God's calling.  Are you holding off waiting for the proper equipment?  Do you have "things" that you think you need ... to begin?  I've been there! 

Give these some consideration.  Pray over it. 
And let's pick up here next week. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bringing Your Faith to Harvest

The key to success in life is "living by faith"!  The Bible is constantly encouraging us in this, with the assurance that the children of God "live by their faith"!  And in these past few weeks we’ve discussed your “Now Faith”, and the “Quality Decision” that it takes to “activate” it!  We also discussed “Living By Faith”, a lifestyle that is “advanced living”!  It requires new thinking, and placing a watch over your words, to ensure that you are always speaking “in-line” with your faith.  This week we are going to discuss “Bringing Your Faith to Harvest”!   
Mark 4:14-20  [NASB] 
The sower sows the word.  And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 

And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. 

And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world , and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

Your Heart Condition Is Vital to Your Success! 
Notice that, in each of the examples above, the “heart condition” (in other words the condition of the soil) was extremely important to the final outcome of the seed!  In example #1, the heart (soil) was not at all prepared to receive the seed, and the seed itself became prey – it was “eaten up” by the devourer – those nearby.  This could be birds, animals, etc. but the real issue is, the seed did not even take root! 

In example #2, the roots never got a chance to take hold.  You see the heart (soil) was polluted with other things that are contrary to the Word of God and His ways (rocks).  The heart was “hardened” by these things, and like the rocky soil, the seeds had very little chance of success. 

In example #3, the heart had other things in it’s life that were just as important, some maybe more.  These things were already established (pre-existing) and therefore had an advantage over the new seed, and they choked it out! 

In example #4, however, the seed fell onto a heart that was well-prepared for the word of God (good soil)!  It has been meditating the Word of God, and in fellowship with the Father.  Notice also, that the results varied!  Some produced 30, some 60, and some 100-fold!  That means that the “degree” of time you spend in the Word of God, in prayer, and in fellowship with the Father, have a great deal to do with not only “whether” you get a harvest but “how much” you get IN your harvest! 
John 8:31-32  [King James Version] 
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;  and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Jesus told His disciples, and those around Him that He was teaching, that they were only His disciples “if” they would continue in His Word!  Are you a disciple of Jesus today?  Are you in regular meditation of His Word?  Do you skip meals regularly?  Then why skip your “spiritual meals”?  Your spirit man needs food just as much as your physical man does.  And don’t forget the caveat (bonus, special treat) that Jesus mentioned!  He said that by meditating in His Word, we would then “prove” ourselves to truly be His disciples, and that we would “know the truth” and that very “truth” that we had learned would set us free! 
I think we’ve all got some work to do … so, let’s “get busy” and prepare that soil for harvest!

Living By Faith

The key to success in life is "living by faith"!  The Bible is constantly encouraging us in this, with the assurance that the children of God "live by their faith"!  Galations 3:7 and Romans 1:17 to name a few, ensure us that we are only truly the children of Abraham if we "live by our faith". 
Galations 3:7  [Living Bible] 
You can see from this that the real children of Abraham are all the men of faith who truly trust in God.

Galations 3:7 
[Amplified Bible]
Know and understand that it is really the people who live by faith who are the true sons of Abraham. z

Romans 1:16-17 
[New American Standard Bible] 
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."

New Thinking is Required! 
When you were a sinner, as an unborn-again man (or woman), you had no idea about how you lived.  But your thoughts and your motives were based on fear.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, however, you were "born-again" through "faith".  The Bible says it by grace (God's free gift) through "faith" that you are saved!  And with this new life you now have to practice "new thinking"! 
Ephesians 2:8-9  [New American Standard Bible] 
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
But salvation is not just a "one-time" event!  It is a "way of life".  You are to be "living" that life ... of faith, working out your salvation, as Paul puts it in Philipians 2:12.  Here Paul says that we are to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling"!  That means we have a "life" that we have to live ... a "walk" ... a "way of life" that we are to follow!  That way is the way of living the life of "faith"! 
Philippians 2:12  [Amplified Bible] 
... work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).

I know this blows holes in many of folks "I can live like I please now" theory, but it's true!  You have to "walk" the talk!  Paul said in fact that "faith without works is dead"!  If you are not living and "working" your faith, then you're not living the life of faith.  Your faith is "dead"!  Don't jump on me about this, Paul said it!  But wouldn't you rather know now, so that you can do something about it?  (rather than later, when it's too late!) 

So, we have learned about our "Now faith" in Hebrews 11, that it is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things that are not yet seen! We have also discussed the fact that your faith has to be "activated".  You have to put it into motion, or into action!  This is done with a "firm & quality decision", of which there is no turning back!  It's a decision "already made". 

If you remember about faith, you know that faith works just like "seeds" and everything works on the seed principle where faith is concerned.  So we know that we must apply and live by our "now faith", with a singleness of purpose ... a decision by which there is no turning back.  And we have to practice that life ... daily!   

Spend the rest of this week considering your life, and your daily actions.  Ask yourself, "What can I do to apply 'faith' in my life today?"  Make this a practice!  Challenge areas of your life where 'fear' still exists, and replace it with firm & quality Bible-believing 'faith'! 

It Starts With a Decision!

Any action that you are about to take, whether it be by word or deed, is going to first require that you make a decision to take that action!  In working with faith you need to keep in mind that the only decision that will work with faith is what Kenneth Copeland calls "a firm and quality decision".  I like to call this decision a "decision already made"! 

Let me explain this further:  
When you make a "firm & quality decision", you are deciding that once-and-for-all, you are going in a particular direction.  It does not matter what your experience has been, or what you may know (in the natural) through knowledge or maybe through here say, you "have decided" that you will proceed in a particular direction.  As a result, you are making what is called a "firm & quality decision" ... one that will put into motion, an "action", that will surely bring about results!   

You must "decide" on a course of direction. 
With a "firm & quality decision", you have to give careful though and consideration to what you are about to set in motion.  This decision is not carelessly made or concocted in a momentary notion!  No, it is one of "quality", with "firm resolve" behind it!  Once made, you are "committed" to this direction!  Once you decide and speak the decision out loud (in a form of declaration), the matter is set into motion!  There is no turning back!  There is no second guessing, no "well yeah, but what if"!  IT - IS - DONE ... period! 

That is why I like to call this a "decision already made"!  You see, once you've made this decision, you have literally placed a bit in your mouth, and have purposed your course!  And, like the horse that will try to turn aside from the road to graze on some fresh green grass that just happened along the way, the "bit" will pull your head, and your focus, back on-track, and on the course you have "already decided" to take. 

"Now faith" is the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things that are not yet seen! (Hebrews 11:1)  If you understand anything about faith, you know that we're dealing with "seeds" here ... and that everything works on the same principle of a seedtime & harvest.  When a farmer plants his seed, he continues about his business, knowing full well that the seed will produce what it was created to produce! 

If, however, that farmer were to dig that seed up, this whole entire process would "STOP"!  The seed would die!  Why?  Because when you dig up the seed, while it is in the process of performing it's task, you interrupt the cycle!  The elements that are at work to make the seed successful are interrupted! 

The farmer who understands the "seed principle" has already made his "firm & quality decision" before he ever planted his seed.  When temptation comes his way, or doubt and fear, he he remembers that his decision is "already made"! 


Why?  Because he has faith that the seed will do what it is supposed to do ... it - will - produce a harvest!

So, when applying your "now faith" you have to understand what it means to make a "quality decision", of which there is no turning back!  In order for the "seed" of your "now faith" to work, you have to let it alone!  You have to let it do it's job!  And that job is to produce you a harvest!   

Remember, "now faith" is the tangible "evidence" of what you've prayed for!  And when you tend to lean towards doubt, or fear of failure begins to come your way, your "now faith" is your "assurance" that your "now faith" is still at work!  It is still there in the ground (you can't "see" anything happening) and it is producing your harvest!

Rich Allcorn Ministries and WORD CHURCH Ministries
Written by Richard A. Allcorn © Copyright 2009 - All rights reserved.

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