Archive for October, 2014

The Harvest in Waiting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Looking over the vast array of crops that had been planted with blood, sweat, and tears, the old farmer reached up and wiped the sweat off of his brow. As the sun beat upon his wrinkled flesh, a smile reached his eyes and a feeling of pride rose in his heart. Turning to walk away, he was reminded of the benefits from the time he spent working with every ounce of energy he could muster. The harvest was plenteous and ready to be reaped.

As he sat in his old rocking chair later that evening sipping hot tea, a familiar story gripped his heart. A story of a young man, who brought forth a beautiful harvest. He was used mightily of God—and showed the power and authority that is manifested when following after God.

This man was Joseph.

God used Joseph in many different ways. From a young child, Joseph was destined for greatness. It was quite possible that he did not know the journey he would take, or the harvest that God planned for him to bring forth. His purpose was not in figuring out what, or why. His purpose was to look to He who knows all things and “works everything after the counsel of his own will.” (Ephesians 1:11).

The old farmer thought about the troubles that befell Joseph along the way. God blessed Joseph with dreams that had deep, significant meanings. He was blessed with a father who loved him dearly. God blessed him with knowledge and wisdom. Yet, through it all, God kept from Joseph His intentions for why he was given the gifts he possessed. God was strategically planting seeds within Joseph’s heart, but it was not yet time to bring forth the harvest.

Joseph began to tell his family the dreams that he had. In one particular dream, Joseph told of sheaves that he and his brothers were binding in the field. His sheaf arose and stood upright, but his brothers sheaves made obeisance (gave reverence or respect) to his sheaf (Genesis 37). Even as Joseph was telling his dreams to his brothers, he had no idea what they meant. All the while, God was planting those seeds in Joseph’s life. The anger and jealousy of his own brothers caused them to sell him into slavery. He was sold into Egypt and stripped of all his life’s luxuries. He was then lied on by his master’s wife, even though he was a man of high moral character and allegiance to God. Because of this, Joseph was thrown into prison with little hope of ever being released. The “Master Farmer” was still constantly tilling the ground in Joseph’s life by using him even in the bleakest of situations. God was able to use Joseph to minister to two individuals in the prison by interpreting the dreams that were plaguing their minds (Genesis 40). Because of his commitment to God, Joseph found himself not only being released from prison, but being promoted to second in the Kingdom. He served directly underneath the King in authority. Even more, God used Joseph to bring life to sustain the entire land during a great famine.

Joseph was also used to deliver his own family. He saw his dreams come to fruition when his brothers bowed before him, pleading that he allow them to purchase food for the sustaining of their family. Joseph was used mightily of God! Time truly told of all of the victories that were won by the obedience and faithfulness of Joseph. The farmer sat in his old rocking chair and pondered the thought of harvest in connection with Joseph. He sat there, wondering what would have happened if Joseph would have tried to “jump the gun” on God’s plan. His mind was full of dreams that he didn’t understand. Trouble seemed to always find him, and he suffered greatly. What if Joseph decided to take matters into his own hands, and figure out for himself what really was going on in his life? Sometimes it is easy for us to try and reap the harvest before it is ready to be brought forth. We lack understanding that God intentionally takes us through seasons of growth. The stages of planting, watering, tilling, and waiting must take place before the harvest. Sometimes we want the harvest immediately, without going through the time of waiting.

Joseph had no idea what the harvest in his life was going to look like. He waited patiently upon the Lord, and in due season he reaped because he fainted not (Galatians 6:9). There are times when we go through struggles in life that we do not understand, and even times where we may question God’s judgment. One thing remains certain, “He makes everything beautiful in his time…”(Ecclesiastes 3:11). Nothing beautiful would have been thought to come out of Joseph’s situation, when all around him there was only trouble. In the beginning of his journey, God was there, and God knew what the harvest was going to look like—in the beginning of your journey, God was there too. He has been planting seeds in your life that are going to bring forth a bountiful harvest if you wait upon Him. Don’t seek to reap before the planting and the pruning are complete. Every situation in your life is being used by God to bring about a harvest for His kingdom. Nothing we go through is solely for ourselves; Joseph showed us this in his life of self-sacrifice. He was used to bring forth a harvest for the kingdom of Heaven, and that is still what God is wanting his children to do—bring forth a bountiful harvest for his Kingdom.

As the old farmer shut off his lights and headed to his bedroom, he once more peered out the window and looked over the many crops that were ready to be harvested. He thanked God for his blessings. He understood that the blood, sweat, and tears that were put into the soil were all part of the process to bring forth a bountiful harvest. We must learn not to curse the process, but allow God to plant seeds within us. Through seasons of diligent waiting, we will produce a harvest that is beyond anything we could have ever imagined!

Keys to Keeping it Together

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

When God Gets An Opportunity

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

God Sees Our Potential

Pastor Nave reminds us that God sees potential in our circumstances when we do not.  Something that seems to be an obstacle in our path, looks like an opportunity to God.  He wants to demonstrate His miraculous power in our lives today!

The truth is…we often allow our circumstances to shape our thinking, and possibly jade our perception.  We can’t always blame ourselves, because a lot that happens is not our fault.  But, we can allow God to come into our situation with His miraculous power, His grace, and love.  He can work in our circumstances, and the end result will be different.  It will be better!

It is the end of a story that matters most.  Your situation may not look like it has any potential, but God sees an opportunity to work a miracle in your life!  When you allow Him to do so, the end result is….you get a story that NOBODY can dispute!  Jesus healed a blind man and took an opportunity to re-write the end of his story.  All the man could say was “I used to be blind….but now I can see!”

Maybe you have a situation that needs God’s attention.  Even if you don’t see anything positive about it, God does!  He does all things well, and His ways are beyond our understanding!  Give Him an opportunity today and He will make the end result better in your situation!

The Foundation of God’s Word

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

What is the Word of God?

“The Foundation of God’s Word” is the first segment in the Foundations For Growing series. Our key verses for this study are found in Luke 6:47–48, with the focus being “…founded upon a rock.”

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭47-49‬ KJV)

How do we define the Word of God? We understand that:

1. The Word is the voice of God
2. The Word was dictated by God to the pen of human writers, and
3. We will never reach the end of knowledge and understanding found in any one passage of Scripture.

It’s important to realize that the Bible is the infallible, without error, divinely-breathed voice of God. God’s Word is relevant to every situation, and we must learn to study it, hide it in our hearts, and activate it in our life. We can find a firm foundation for our life in God’s Word—it’s alive and it continues to provide direction and new meaning to us daily.

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Taken from: Wednesday Night Bible Study, October 15, 2014

The Sermon You Preach to Yourself

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

What are you preaching?

The focus of “The Message You Preach to Yourself” is rooted in Matthew 9:20–22 and Luke 8:43–48. It is the story about a woman with an issue of blood, who had exhausted all her finances to seek a healing that no man could supply. Matthew 9:21 notes “for she said within herself, If I may but touch [Jesus’] garment, I shall be whole” (KJV). In our daily experiences and encounters, we may hear anointed words from a man or woman of God, moving lyrics from a worship song, or read the Word of God. But, nothing will make us take action more than the message we preach to ourselves. We must internalize what we hear from/about God, and apply it to our lives!

The woman in this story preached the most influential message to herself. She said, “I need to touch Jesus’ garment and then I will be whole.” She made herself the catalyst of her own miracle, and it was because of this message that faith arose in her! The woman made her way through the crowd to reach Jesus. When she finally touched his garment, virtue left His body (Luke 8:46) and she was made whole. Jesus then spoke to the woman and confirmed her message—it was her faith that made her whole (Matthew 9:22; Luke 8:48). We need to remember that we are our own greatest preacher, and when we respond to the Word, we will see great signs, wonders, and miracles in our lives each and every day.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Sunday, October 5th, 2014