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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Effort of Expectation

I've been thinking about the current sermon series I'm preaching entitled: Stepping into your new thing now!  Our church has been developing a healthy diet of the word of God around the subject of transformational living, cycle disruption and walking out our biblical expectation for our lives.  What an exciting time of sharing,sermonizing and measuring the results of a blessed life through the "grace stories" of those who have been affected by such a word.

I thought I should share a brief word about the latest revelation in this series of messages.  The Effort of Expectation focuses more on the effort from us to believe and walk out God's promise more than the expectation that the promise would manifest.  Our case study of the life of Abraham shows us that God's promise are packed with the word to carry out what is promised.  God appears, he commands, he promises this former idol worshipper that his life would be blessed beyond comprehension.  God doesn't show up with a "bag of blessings" just His word. 

I am humbled by the revelation that my expectation of God is commensurate with my faith in Him.  It is never an issue about what I expect from God; what is always at issue is my effort toward that expectation.  The Apostle Paul says in Romans 4 that "Abraham stumble not at the promise of God because he was fully persuaded that what God promise He was able to perform".   His confidence in God was assured by his effort to trust God for his promise.  Our expectation is linked to God's promise!  If Abraham failed in his effort to trust God ( offering up Isaac, interceding for Lot, etc) than his expectation of God would equally be diminished.   Abraham put forth 25yrs of effort to get one promise manifested. He never stop believing even though he at times faltered. He never diminished his effort to trust, obey, believe and walk out what God had commanded even though his expectation had no manifestation.

Other biblical characters like Noah, Hannah and Moses portray similar feat of effort; proving that they had great expectation of the Lord.  Build an arc in expectation of a flood.  Put forth an effort in prayer for a son when you are barren?  Effort is the evidence of faith.  We will always do what we believe no matter if its the right or wrong thing...we believe it.  Moses leads millions of Jews into a desert in expectation of finding a promise land.  Does your effort tell the story of your faith or lack thereof?

The effort of expectation requires diligent movement towards the expectation of the promise even when their is no evidence of it being fulfilled.

Great Expectation
Little Effort             =  DISAPPOINTMENT

Its perfectly alright to have great expectation from the Lord. Its not alright to have little effort.
You can have anything you want for yourself and your life if you CHOOSE  to participate in it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ARE YOU EXPERIENCING A BLESSED LIFE?

Our ministry this month will read, review and discuss Robert Morris book entitled: A Blessed Life.  I encourage every pastor to get a copy and share it with your local assembly.  The more we talk about being "blessed and highly favored" it creates for me a contradiction of terms and reality.  Our ministry is painstakingly reviewing the life of Abraham.  Preaching from the text of Genesis 12:1-4 points to God's intention to do great things in the life of this former resident of a pagan city.  While scholars and historians wrestle with how involved Abram was with this lifestyle, it yet places him in an environment that rejected active knowledge of God. 

My contradiction is how we seem to minister to members of the body of Christ who lay claim to transformation and blessing and cannot demonstrate the sustained blessing of God in their health, emotional life, family, neighborhoods or finances.  God's promise to Abram entails at least four "I will".  It would suggest that God was going to manifest the blessing in the life of this believer.  Yet manifested blessings are those that God delights to announce, produce and protect.  Throughout the life of Abram God consistently repeats his promise from Genesis 12. 

I believe that a blessed life leaves "breadcrumbs".  Our blessing should produce tangible proof of sustained peace, transformed communities, wealth accumulation and emotional vitality!  God's blessing on our lives is directly connected to how we "honor God" with our attitude, our priority position of Him in our lives and our money.

Your blessed life should be an attractive force to those who are intergrated into your life.  A blessed life will leave our children happy, our spouses happier and our communities thriving because of the blessing of the Holy Ghost in us.  Call me crazy, God's promise of a blessing to Abram resulted in measurable proof, sovereign protection, capacity building and a deeper worship experience that caused Abraham to thrive due to his personal generosity.

As you review your blessed life and join us for bible study this month as we read and wrestle with Robert Morris book; my prayer is that you will document the blessing of God and difference your bless life makes in the lives of others.

You're blessed!  Are your experiencing the blessing? If the answer is no; your missing link is the absence of honoring God with your life.  He's got a thing about being first in everything.  When you make "God First" you will experience a blessed life.