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Archive for January 2013

7

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

True Repentance Or Sorry For Getting Caught?

Welcome back. Today, we continue with Part 2 of our latest series; "God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?" See Part 1 for the full list of seven points described in "A Method To God's Mercy". We'll start today with Point 1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at the heart and knows if it's real or not.

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

God bless America, the land of the free, the home of the brave. It's also a country where so many public figures lie, deny and hide any wrongdoing until the evidence against them is so overwhelming that they have no option but to confess. After initially denying any involvement in any discretion whatsoever they end up with their backs against the wall. At that point, they suddenly claim to be sorry for what they've done, the people they've hurt and the trust they've abused.

After sometimes years of denial they instantly strike a tone of true penitence as they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. However, as many of us may have already figured out, some of them are not repentant at all, they're just sorry for getting caught. Why? Before their sins were exposed to the world they had no desire to stop what they were doing wrong. That's exactly what God sees and that's the criterion He uses to choose whether or not to show mercy.

Joel 2:12-14(NKJV) - “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

Why did God tell those people not to rend their garments anymore? In those days people would tear their clothes as an outward display of repentance. Apparently, many were doing it as a mindless, religious exercise and God was having none of it. If His people were truly sorry for what they had done, He needed to see it in their hearts. They needed to be saddened by their sins. Their hearts needed to be broken for breaking His heart. They needed to be real.

..... and cut! God had enough of the acting so He said; "I'm not impressed. Quit ripping your clothes and repent for real this time."

So what's true repentance anyway? In The Bible, the word "repentance" is the English translation of the Greek word "metanoia" which means "change of mind" and "to repent" is "to change one's mind for the better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins". Repentance is also a translation of the Hebrew word "nocham" which means "sorrow." Therefore, when someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it.

Case Study #1 - King Saul (Israel's First King) - An example of what true repentance is not!

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

1 Samuel 15:10, 11, 20–29; 16:1 (NLT) - Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the Lord all night..... Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?” “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”..... Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.”

Wow! King Saul had it rough. God kicked him off the throne and already picked his replacement. Come on, God, why didn't you forgive him? He said He was sorry, didn't he? What happened to your mercy that's everlasting? As we say in Trinidad, "Gih de man a bligh nah?" which means "Come on, give him a chance." If you have the time, why not read all of 1 Samuel 15 so you can understand what's really going on here. Whenever we question God's justice we do so from a position of ignorance. We know He is just so if we don't agree with His judgment it's because we don't know the whole story or we don't see it from His superior perspective.

1 Samuel 15:1-3(NLT) - One day Samuel said to Saul, “It was the Lord who told me to anoint you as king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord! This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has declared: I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation—men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and donkeys.”

Those were King Saul's instructions and God was careful to be very detailed so there would be no confusion. When Saul was finished with the Amalekites they should have only been a memory. However, King Saul had a plan of his own. He destroyed what was worthless and kept the most valuable goods as well as the king. There was no room for error in this assignment from The Lord but somehow King Saul created some for himself. Let's study this account and squeeze some of the wisdom of God out of it by asking a few pointed questions.

Why didn't God have mercy on King Saul? In light of the definition of true repentance that I shared with you earlier was King Saul truly repentant or just sorry for getting caught? What was the first thing King Saul did when the prophet Samuel accused him of disobeying God? What was the second thing He did? Did He lie, deny and hide or did He confess right away? Let's take a closer look at this exchange.

Truly Repentant Or Just Sorry For Getting Caught?

Lie #1

1 Samuel 15:13-14(NLT) - When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the Lord bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the Lord’s command!” “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.

Saul started things off with what we call a bold faced lie. He acted like he was naive and with a smile on his face told Samuel that he had obeyed The Lord. However, it looked like those sheep, goats and cattle wanted no part of the lie so they started making as much noise as they could. If Saul was about to go down they were not going down with him. I could imagine what they must have been saying in their animal language; "Baaah, Saul, you better stop lying! Mooo, Samuel, we're over here. Bleat, bleat! Get us out of this mess." Stop laughing, this is serious. 🙂 Let's continue watching this drama unfold. Since Saul was caught red handed I guess it was time for him to come clean, right? Check this out.

Lie #2

1 Samuel 15:15(NLT) - “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the Lord your God. We have destroyed everything else.”

Whew, it's for a sacrifice? Now it all makes sense. Ok, everything's fine. For a moment, it actually looked like Saul disobeyed God but with an explanation like that surely God would be appeased or would He?

1 Samuel 15:16-19(NLT) - Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the Lord told me last night!” “What did he tell you?” Saul asked. And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The Lord has anointed you king of Israel. And the Lord sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ Why haven’t you obeyed the Lord? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the Lord’s sight?”

As the lie left Saul's mouth, Samuel told him to be quiet. The Lord had compassion on Saul and reasoned with him asking him why did he disobey. This was a perfect chance for him to fall on his face and start crying. The game was over, he was caught. Just repent already.

Lie #3

1 Samuel 15:20-23(NLT) - “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.”

Saul insisted on lying again and that's when God dropped the hammer. It was over. He gave Saul three chances to repent for his sin and not once did he repent. He lied, denied and tried to hide but refused to repent. Do you realize that each time God accused Saul of sin, he tried to deflect it? Instead of taking responsibility for his actions he either lied, made excuses or blamed other people. That's not true repentance.

Saul's Judgment

1 Samuel 15:24-29(NLT) - Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.” But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the Lord’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!

After attempting to lie his way through the entire process Saul eventually gave up but it was too little, too late. God was done with him! By the time Saul decided to confess his sins, God had already made up His mind and was not going to budge. He knew that Saul was only sorry for getting caught. As I said earlier, "When someone truly repents there is an admission of guilt, a complete disdain for what was done, Godly sorrow and a brand new mindset concerning the issue. If any one of those were missing, it was not true repentance and God would not accept it." Saul was missing all. God had no mercy to give him because he refused to repent.

When God chooses or refuses to show mercy to someone it's none of our business to question Him. There's always a story behind God's judgment and He doesn't owe any of us an explanation.

1 John 1:9(NLT) - But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

My friend, if God exposes your sin, don't make excuses, lie or try to cover it up, just repent and He will forgive you. It's really that simple so why do some us make it so complicated? Are you truly repentant or just sorry for getting caught? We'll continue from here next time.

22

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

Psalm 94:18(KJV) - When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

I have a confession to make. This was The Word of The Lord for yesterday but I chose to release, "What's Your Philosophy?" instead. This is such a deep topic that I tried to wiggle my way out of it. Nonetheless, I need to obey God. I know the story of Jonah and since I prefer to eat fish instead of the other way around let's get back to the series at hand. If God wants us to focus on His mercy right now that's exactly what we're going to do. 🙂 Therefore, this is a continuation of our current series on The Anointing. Click here for the previous article, "When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue." Today, we're going to continue the study with some thoughts that came out of that blog.

Exodus 33:19(KJV) - And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Romans 9:13-15(NKJV) - As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.”

Wow! That's intense. God said He hated Esau but loved Jacob. Read Malachi 1:1-3 for the direct quotation from God. That's exactly what He said. Wow! Why did Jacob get God's mercy and not Esau? Hmm... That definitely makes me think. To whom does God show His mercy? That's a simple question. God shows mercy to whomever He chooses. He makes the rules and we just have to live by them. Good, that's it for the day. See you tomorrow. 😉

.... and we're back. Seriously, for the last few days I wrestled with this question in my heart. Why is it that certain people get more chances after they slip up than others? Some people live in sin for decades without facing the judgment of God while others slip up once and are instantly chastised. God is no respecter of persons according to Acts 10:34 so there must be some method to His mercy. Maybe it's beyond our human understanding but since He wants us to study it, let's try to understand what He shows us. Everyone reaps what they sow but how soon or how much is a reflection of God's mercy.

Let's start by defining the word "mercy" as it's used in The Bible. According to "Strong's Lexicon" it appears in many places in The Old Testament as the word "chanan" which means "to show favor, be gracious or pity." So why is it that after people disobey God's directions, some are shown great favor or pity while others are not shown as much? Is it completely random or does God have a method to His mercy?

Before I go any further let me clarify something that may trigger confusion. This topic is not about salvation or your eternal destiny. That's covered by The Blood of Jesus as long as you're saved according to Romans 10:9&10. However, after salvation there are certain principles which still govern life on earth before the return of Jesus Christ. According to Apostle Paul's letter to The Church in Galatians 6:7-8, whatever you sow you shall reap. They were already Christians so if this principle applied to them, it also applies to us.

I'll list a couple points today and we'll address them in detail starting tomorrow. You can meditate on these scriptures and prepare your heart as we dig into this topic. Get ready to dive into some deep revelation from the scriptures. We have to do this and we have to do this now. It's on God's heart so it needs to be on our own too.

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others?

A Method To God's Mercy

1) God only accepts true repentance. He looks at people's hearts and knows if their outward repentance is real or not.

Joel 2:12-14(NKJV) - “Now, therefore,” says the Lord, “Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him— A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?

Proverbs 28:13(KJV) - He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

2) God judges people based on what they know. Every man is not treated equally.

Luke 12:47-48(NKJV) - And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

1 Timothy 1:12-14(KJV) - And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

3) Those who have shown mercy to others will receive mercy from God. His Kingdom is based on seed, time and harvest.

Psalm 109:14-17(NKJV) - Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be continually before the Lord, That He may cut off the memory of them from the earth; Because he did not remember to show mercy, But persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, so let it come to him; As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.

Matthew 5:7(KJV) - Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

James 2:13(NLT) - There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

4) People who judge themselves before receiving God's judgment get special access to God's mercy.

1 Corinthians 11:31-32(NKJV) - For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

5) People can inherit mercy because of their family history.

Deuteronomy 7:9(NKJV) - “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Psalm 18:50(KJV) - Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.

Luke 1:50(KJV) - And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Luke 1:70-75(KJV) - As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

1 Peter 2:9-10(KJV) - But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

God's Mercy - Why Do Some Get More Than Others

6) God's decision to show mercy is affected by a person's relationship with Him. Certain people access more mercy than others.

Exodus 20:5-6(KJV) - Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Psalm 25:10(KJV) - All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 32:10(KJV) - Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

Psalm 33:22(KJV) - Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

Psalm 86:5(KJV) - For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 103:11(KJV) - For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

7) God's mercy and truth go together. When people accept God's truth, they unlock His mercy.

Genesis 24:27(KJV) - And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master's brethren.

1 Kings 3:6(KJV) - And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

Psalm 85:9-10(NKJV) - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.

Proverbs 3:3(KJV) - Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

Proverbs 16:6(KJV) - By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

2 John 1:3(KJV) - Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

That's enough for today. There is so much more to say but I don't think we can handle any more today. It looks like we're at the beginning of a very long series. I invite you to stick around and see where The Lord will take us. Let's take our time, launch out into the deep and try to understand more of God's mercy tomorrow.

1

What's Your Philosophy?

What's Your Philosophy?

It's a new year. Are you ready to get down to business and accomplish some big things? If yes, then let's start the journey right now. Today, I'll do something special. I'll give you a sneak peek into one of the new books I'm currently writing.

Excerpt from "Limitless ....... - .... God-Given Potential" (Complete name hidden for obvious reasons);

Who am I? That sounds like such a simple question. Still, some of us spend all of our lives searching for the true answer. When you don't know who you are you build your life on the shakiest foundation possible. Each challenge you face in life openly asks you that question. Depending on your response you will either rise to the challenge or fall as a result of it.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.- Proverbs 4:23 NLT

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he... - Proverbs 23:8 KJV

The Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word philosophy as the following:

1. The study of principles underlying conduct, thought, and the nature of the universe.
2. The general principles or laws of a field of knowledge
3. A particular system of ethics
4. Composure; calmness

Your philosophy of life is the system of principles which form the framework of your worldview. From it you get your perspective on everything you encounter. It's this perspective which then determines your reality. Simply put; “You think so therefore you are.” If you don't purposefully develop your own philosophy of life, one will be given to you.

I first heard of this concept from my father while growing up. As an excellent Bible teacher, leader, consultant, businessman and motivational speaker he continually emphasized and demonstrated its importance. He would often ask the congregation of his church in Diego Martin, Trinidad; “What's your philosophy of life?”

As a child, I only understood his point in a limited fashion but that all changed as a young adult. For a season of my young adult life I became obsessed with understanding the secrets of success. I invested time into studying the lives of very successful people. I researched their life-stories with a special emphasis on what they said during in-depth personal interviews or discussions.

This revealed some fascinating things. Many people who shape culture, break barriers or change the course of history are philosophers with strong convictions. They see the world from a unique perspective then dedicate their lives to creating the reality they perceive. They also use whatever resources are available to promote their worldview.

We may only notice what they achieve but it's their philosophy which makes them different. That being said, how do you develop your own philosophy? How you see the world affects what you think needs to be changed but how you see yourself affects your role in implementing that change. Consequently, your philosophy is a direct reflection of your identity.

What's your philosophy?

We'll continue from here tomorrow.

3

When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue

The Heart of The Anointing

We started off the year with a fascinating study of The Anointing. It's also this month's topic in the devotional "New Every Morning" published by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. Click here for yesterday's installment, "Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?" It's a fascinating topic that can take us a lifetime to exhaust.

Nonetheless, when I asked The Lord for His Word for today, He said, "When The Lord's Anointed Go Rogue". Throughout history, many have received The Anointing and then completely rebelled against The One who anointed them. Let's study what happened to them.

Today's blog comes directly out of my latest book, "Faith Science". If you haven't read it yet. You're missing out. 🙂

Samson: The Connection between Obedience and the Anointing

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine or strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for this child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
Judges 13:3–5 kjv

And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. And the spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
Judges 13:24–25 kjv

The angel of the Lord prophesied to Samson’s mother before his miraculous birth, and it defined his life. As long as she believed what was said, it came to pass. Our hypothesis states that biblical faith is “complete trust in the invisible evidence provided by the Word of God confirmed by commensurate action.” This story is interesting because it shows us the truth about the invisible anointing and how one prophecy controlled the future of Israel.

There was nothing Samson did to deserve it, but God used him to teach the Philistines a lesson and deliver Israel. Study Judges 13 and 14, and you will see a man with total disregard for the things of God. All the same, God used him and turned his anger and lust into tools of despair for the Philistines. Samson must have looked like a regular man because few were intimidated by his appearance, but when the Spirit of God came upon him, everything changed. He knew what God had said about his life, and his faith in those words was all he needed.

And the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house … And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and the cords, that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.
Judges 14:19, 15:14 kjv

God used Samson’s temper to put a beating on the Philistine army. Even so, he always places limits. There was only one instruction that Samson had to follow to keep the anointing. Unfortunately, one day he disobeyed it. Out of all the case studies in this book, this one demonstrates what happens when the gift of God’s invisible anointing is abused.

And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up this once, for he hath shown me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. And she said, “The Philistines be upon thee, Samson.” And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, “I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself.” And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him. But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.
Judges 16:18–21 kjv

Have you ever heard the story about the straw that broke the camel’s back? If not, let me give you the short version. The load on a camel was increased to its maximum capacity without any problems. Somehow, the wind blew a single straw on top of the load and the camel collapsed with a broken back. Was it the straw that broke the camel's back? Well, yes and no. Yes, because if it wasn’t there the camel would have been competent to carry the load. No, because it was all the other weight that caused the camel to be fully loaded in the first place; the straw just topped it off.

I know that God is forgiving and his mercies endure forever. However, there comes a time when he has had enough. People can push him but one day they will wake up without the power of the Holy Ghost. They might try to do the same thing they used to do successfully, but at that moment they’ll fail. If they have no anointing, they have no superhuman ability. Samson was caught in the trap set by the enemy and did not even know what hit him. That’s because the anointing is just like the blessing of God. It’s invisible and cannot be evaluated with human senses. Interestingly, Samson was not the only man to openly lose the anointing.

When The Lord's Anointing Go Rogue

Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel saying, “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.” And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night. … And Saul said unto Samuel, “Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.” And Samuel said, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
1 Samuel 15:10, 11, 20–23 kjv

Saul disobeyed a clear instruction from God, which tipped the scale just like Samson. God knows the standard he set for Saul, and eventually he decided to act. If you pay attention to legal proceedings, you would understand the role of a precedent in the decision made by a judge. If a similar case was given a specific verdict sometime before, the judge is compelled to do the same. God made the same decision with Samson’s case as he did with Saul’s. What do you think he’ll do with one of us? The good news is that God always responds to repentance.

And Samson called unto the Lord, and said, “O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines.” And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
Judges 16:28–30 kjv

This is a great way to end the case study on Samson’s faith. God will restore his purpose into your life once you reject your sin and return to him. Samson ended his life with a bang (pun intended) because he repented and repositioned himself to be used by God. If Samson, with all of his imperfections, was recorded in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11:32, there must be room for you. The lesson learned from the faith of Samson is that God responds to repentance.

19

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

Click here for our response to last Friday's question; "Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?"

We received the following question from Martin;

So you are gifted when you can naturally do or perform a task like singing or playing football from childhood. The anointing is basically when someone can perform or fulfill a particular task or act like street evangelism or open air preaching with the Power of the Holy Spirit. Am I correct? So next question, How can you recognize when you are operating by the anointing? Does the anointing display itself as something that you could never see yourself doing? Or does it empower a gift that you already have?

Martin, that's a great question. It's really my purpose for writing this month's devotional in "New Every Morning" published by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. For the last week of the devotional, my focus was on identifying the tell-tale signs of The Anointing. I also did an in-depth series right here on the site a year ago. You can read it here. I'll summarize the main points for you today.

The Anointing is not about what you do. Not because someone does "church-related" activities well means the person is anointed. Open-air preaching or street evangelism can be done using natural ability. People hold open-air political meetings and get people to respond in droves. Additionally, top marketing companies know how to release street teams to "evangelize" communities in order to push their products. That has nothing to do with The Anointing.

The Anointing is measured by the results of what you do. In other words, you can't just watch someone do something well and assume that if it's not church related then it's natural ability and if it's church related then it's The Anointing. The proof is in the results. What happens as a result of what is done? That's how you recognize The Anointing!

The Anointing Test

1 John 2:27(KJV) - But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The Greek word used here for anointing is chrisma (khris'-mah) which means an unguent or smearing, i.e. (figuratively) the special endowment ("chrism") of the Holy Spirit:

The Anointing is the residue of The Holy Spirit when He rests upon someone. As a result, if you want to recognize The Anointing you just need to know how to recognize The Holy Spirit in action.

1 John 4:1(NLT) - Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

It doesn't matter how spiritual someone looks or sounds that does not mean they're operating by The Power of The Holy Spirit. It's the last days. Deception is everywhere. The Holy Spirit is not the only one empowering people to do supernatural things. You have to be very careful.

Ask Donnell - How Do I Recognize The Anointing?

1) The Spirit of Discernment

1 Corinthians 12:7-11(KJV) - But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

If you already operate in The Power of The Holy Spirit you have it easy. The Holy Spirit inside of you can recognize The Holy Spirit in someone else. If you pay attention to His voice inside of your heart He'll either give you peace or a sense of uneasiness when you encounter what may seem to be The Anointing. In fact, that's the reason behind this entire message series that I've been sharing since last year.

I once heard a popular gospel singer refer to another popular gospel singer as one of the most anointed men in gospel music. Immediately, The Holy Spirit inside of me said, "No way! There's a difference between being gifted and anointed." Within a matter of months "this most anointed man" came out of the closet as a practicing homosexual. He could still sing like a bird but his ministry diminished to nothing. He released another album and his music sounded the same way it did before but something was missing. There was no anointing. He was done!

2) The Anointing Sets People Free

Isaiah 10:27(KJV) - And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

2 Corinthians 3:17(KJV) - Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

One of the most obvious signs of The Anointing is the liberty that it brings. A natural gift can move you emotionally or even blow your mind but only The Anointing can set you free. It's the residue of The Holy Spirit which destroys yokes that have you bound. It's The Spirit of The Lord who breaks the hold of the enemy on your life. It's The Anointing which delivers you from bondage. It's the "chrism" of God which can set you free and keep you free. If you have struggled with any sicknesses, addictions or strongholds in your life and have been set free as a result of someone's ministry, you encountered The Anointing.

3) The Anointing Lifts And Strengthens You

Psalm 16:11(KJV) - Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Nehemiah 8:10(KJV) - Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

In God's presence is the fullness of joy. This is not merely a temporary feeling of emotional happiness because you don't need God's presence to be happy. Winning a hundred million dollars in the lottery can make you happy. What you get in God's presence is The Joy of The Lord. This joy strengthens you from deep within. When someone ministers under the power of The Anointing it builds you up from the inside. You might walk into the room worn out and fatigued but when you encounter The Anointing you get the strength to move on. It encourages you and leaves you stronger than you started.

4) The Anointing Impacts Your Heart

Luke 24:31-32(NKJV) - Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

John 6:63(NKJV) - It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

A third sign of The Anointing is what it does to your heart. When Jesus Christ, The Anointed One, spoke to some men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 His words burned in their hearts. Anointed words are Spirit Words. They expose your heart! They have power! If you walk into a place where The Anointing is flowing you're inspired to go deeper in God and if you're in sin you will be convicted.

The Anointing inspires you to be a better Christian by cutting to your heart. When you hear or see someone operate under The Anointing it penetrates your heart. It moves you toward God. Also, there is no way you can be walking in sin and not be convicted by The Holy Spirit. So when you're in His presence expect to feel extremely uncomfortable with your sin.

5) The Anointing Cannot Be Denied

Luke 4:17-21(KJV) - And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Jesus was anointed when He walked the earth and He proved it. You cannot deny when you're in the presence of The Anointing because you cannot deny when you're in the presence of The Holy Spirit. The Anointing changes you. You cannot walk out the same way you walked in. If you're moved emotionally but you walked in messed up and walked back out messed up you may just have encountered an awesome natural gift. Gifted people can temporarily sway your emotions by an unusual display of skill or a moving performance.

Only The Anointing gives you lasting change. When your burden is taken away and your yoke is destroyed you just encountered The Anointing. When your spirit man is strengthened and you are empowered to move forward in the things of The Lord you just encountered The Anointing. If you're bound, weak, broken and struggling in sin it sets you free, gives you strength, heals you and helps you to walk right. There's no denying it!

Martin, when you know what to look for you'll always be able to recognize The Anointing.

6

Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?

Ask Donnell - How Do I Know Where I'm Gifted?

We received the following question from Kathrina;

hi Donnell…. happy new year!

hmmmm i have been struggling with this for a long time and i even get sad when i think about it. then i read “new every morning” and the first thing is you talking about gifts… what have i done with my gifts?. i dont know what is my gift or gifts…. this bothers me alot because i feel like i am not pleasing GOD at all. i serve in church but i dont know if any of the ministries i’m apart of brings out my gifts or giftings. o this frustrates me! how can i identify my gift(s) ???

Kathrina, this is a great question. Let's dive right in.

Romans 11:29(NLT) - For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

There are two main types of gifts; natural and spiritual. Your natural gifts were placed within you at your natural birth and your spiritual gifts were placed within you at your spiritual rebirth. As a result, you have to discover two sets of gifts. Your natural gifts or talents are sometimes revealed at a young age, especially if you're in the right environment. Your spiritual gifts are revealed while you serve in the ministry. Spiritual gifts are a result of The Anointing. Even if you're not sure where you are spiritually gifted just serve as The Lord leads you. Ask Him to reveal your spiritual gifts as you need them to operate in ministry. According to James 1:5-8, He will answer you.

To discover your natural gifts start by asking the people who have known you all of your life like your parents. Did they notice anything come naturally to you but not to others? Is there something you can do much better than the average person? Are you just a "natural" at anything at all? Natural talents have to be both discovered and developed. You may be gifted in a particular area but it you don't develop that gift you may not ever realize the full extent of that gift.

Romans 12:5-8(KJV) - So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

To discover your spiritual gifts just keep serving The Lord in your local church as you are doing already. As the need arises you'll be able to tap into those gifts. You won't always get to serve in a department that perfectly aligns with all of your gifts. However, stay faithful right where you are and trust The Lord to order your steps.

Sometimes, The Lord will speak to your leaders and they will assign you to do certain things in The Church for this very reason. If you obey and serve, certain gifts on the inside of you will be unlocked. You may discover things about yourself you would have never known otherwise. Once you discover those gifts, put them to work for The Kingdom of God.

8

Unlocking The Sevenfold Blessing of The Tithe

Unlocking The Sevenfold Blessing of The Tithe

Malachi 3:10-12(NLT) - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies. "Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies.

Today is a continuation from yesterday's blog; "Ask Donnell - Does The Tithe Fit Into Our Modern Economy?"

I'm not going to waste your time or mine by making stuff up. I have to tell you the truth. Give 10% of your gross income first then ask questions after! Stay out of doctrinal debates about its relevance and obey God's directions. I've tithed and I've not tithed. In my own life, I have taken up the challenge and put God to the test. During a two year period, while making almost the same amount of money I proved God. Without a doubt, I can testify of a marked difference between the year that I decided not to tithe consistently and the year I got back on track.

Money was so tight that first year that I realized it was impossible to tithe and pay all of my bills. However, what really happened was "the chicken and the egg" effect. Which came first... the chicken or the egg? Money was short so I didn't tithe and because I didn't tithe, money remained short. Then at the end of the year, I was hurting so much financially that I needed a miracle. I decided that I needed God so much that I had to tithe. Guess what happened? When I made the decision, God opened my eyes.

I found the money I needed to tithe out of the same money I was already making.

After one major adjustment in my budget, 10% of my income was free and I started tithing again. The next year was totally different. The struggle was over. With joy, every time I got paid, I took out the tithe and placed it in my local church. I can't explain how much my heart overflowed with satisfaction to be a tither again. Now let me explain how things worked out for me and why it will work for you if you become a tither.

1) The windows of heaven will be opened for you.

When heaven is open over your life, good things start happening. The first time the heavens were opened in Genesis 7:11. God flooded the earth, killing every rebellious person but saving Noah and his family. The second time God we see open heavens was in Deuteronomy 28:12. God promised to rain goodness on His people, blessing all that they do so that they would lend and not borrow. The third time was in 2 Kings 7 as God brought deliverance at the hands of some unlikely heroes. I could continue but you get the point. You want God to open the heavens for you.

2) God will pour out a limitless blessing on your life!

The blessing was first given to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1:22 and enabled them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. Unfortunately, they lost it due to disobedience but it returned in the life of Noah in Genesis 9:1. Then God officially gave it to Abraham in Genesis 12 and through Christ, extended it to us in Galatians 3:29. There's one main blessing but many aspects of it. You don't want to limit your life by missing out on the blessing of the tithe. If you think this one only applies to The Old Testament then you should forget about every other blessing in there too.

3) Your crops will be abundant!

I'm not a farmer and it's quite likely that neither are you. However, we all have investments of some type. God promises to ensure that your investments work out well if you're a tither. The year I returned to tithing my financial investments starting turning around. Over a three year span I had lost thousands of dollars in certain investment funds and God gave me an idea. I sold them all and against popular opinion, bought funds which invest heavily in Government bonds. That's a horrible idea when the economy is booming because they go nowhere but the remarkable dividends and consistent increase in value have offset years of losses. The tithe didn't magically make my investments work. They opened up heaven and God blessed me with an idea. I executed the idea and the numbers started looking good.

Unlocking The Sevenfold Blessing Of The Tithe

4) God will guard your crops from insects and disease.

In the middle of a recession, you probably won't be buying many new "big ticket" items. As a result, you need what you already own to last. This is God's promise to the tither. If you give Him 10% of what you earn, He will open heaven, bless you, give you ideas and keep your investments safe. God will tell you which items you own need extended warranties. Sometimes they're a waste of money but other times they're great ideas. In Deuteronomy 29:5, God said that He preserved the clothes and shoes of His people for forty years in the wilderness. Can't He do the same for you in a recession?

5) Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe!

If you tithe, whatever you've invested time and energy into will mature exactly the way it's supposed to. One of the first signs on the recession in The US was the sudden loss of value in people's retirement funds. Some lost much of their life's savings in a matter of months as the stock market plummeted. As a result, retirement was postponed for those who could keep working because they needed the money.

Others were so desperate that they pulled out their 401K plans before they matured and instantly lost at least an additional 30% of their value. Instead of letting panic ruin years of savings, God showed me how to protect my money without pulling it out before maturity. He will do the same for you.

6) Nations will call you blessed!

When people begin to see how well you handle the pressure of a recession you will develop a reputation. While others can't find jobs, God will show you favor. While banks are foreclosing on your neighbor's houses, you will be completely calm. While folks complain about having no money, you will struggle to keep quiet because you don't want to hurt their feelings. Nobody likes a "show-off" but if you have the blessing of God on your life, they will notice. Your decision to tithe might be done in secret but God will reward you openly.

7) Your land will be such a delight.

Are you ready to live delightfully while gloom hangs over the lives of others? Then start by embracing the sevenfold blessing of the tithe. This could be the best season of your life if you let God have control of your money. You don't need to remain stressed out over something that's an easy fix for God. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God richly gives us all things to enjoy. It also says in Romans 8:32 that if God could give up the life of His only Son for you, won't He give you all other things?

In sum, I have argued about the tithe with many people over the years. However, the debate ended when God told me to look at the lives of people and use that to judge the strength of their arguments. Very few of the Christians I've seen argue against the tithe walked in the kind of blessing I desire for my life. However, many of those who agreed with the system God set up had exactly what I was looking for. Which side will you choose? It's a down economy so why don't you look up?

14

Ask Donnell - Does The Tithe Fit Into Our Modern Economy?

Ask Donnell - Does The Tithe Fit Into Our Modern Economy?

We received the following question from Claudia;

I was just reading the discussion topics in gospel.com, and I was amazed to see that there is a current feeling among brethren that the tithes to God is no longer relevant. The Apostles, you and Bible instructions have reinforced that this giving is mandatory. So what is the big move or change in the society that is now bringing on this feeling? Claudia

Claudia, thanks for a great question. I know you only recently submitted it but I feel like The Lord wants me to deal with it today. It's obviously a priority to Him. Why don't people think tithing is relevant anymore? It's simple. They don't want to do it. As a result, they can easily find several reasons why they should not. They can even support them using the scriptures.

However, that doesn't mean their actions are any reflection of God's heart. People also use scriptures to support their drinking habits, lack of church attendance, polygamy, racism, slavery and a myriad of sinful habits. You get the point? Only if your heart is in the right place, will you be able to discover God's Will on any contentious issue. Read Romans 12:2.

Here are some of the top reasons I've heard;

1) Tithing is from The Old Testament

2) Tithing is under the law

3) Jesus never talked about tithing

The best place to start teaching The Church on tithing is the tithing Chapter. Can you guess which one? Leviticus 27? No! Malachi 3? No! Those two are good but when used alone they can be discredited using the three reasons I listed above. There's one Chapter in the Bible which gives a big picture perspective on tithing which transcends all the rhetoric we tend to hear from the tithing critics. Believe it or not, it's actually in the New Testament. Take some time and read all of Hebrews 7. Once complete, you will discover why tithing is relevant today. Here's what it says.

1) Tithing started long before the law was ever created.

Genesis 14:18-24(NLT) - And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. 19 Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered.” 22 Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I solemnly swear to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from what belongs to you. Otherwise you might say, ‘I am the one who made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept only what my young warriors have already eaten, and I request that you give a fair share of the goods to my allies—Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre.”

Tithing was first reported in Genesis 14:20 when Abraham tithed to Melchizedek who was a priest long before the priesthood was ever created. Tithing took place generations before Moses was born and since God first gave the law to Moses, it took place long before the law was created. This first and original system of tithing has nothing to do with the law.

Hebrews 7:1-4(NLT) - This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. 2 Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” 3 There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God. 4 Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle.

How was it possible for a priest to exist before the priesthood even began? That's easy. This priest was no ordinary man. He had no beginning nor ending to His life. He had no ancestors. He just showed up as the king of a place called Salem. 🙂 Since He never died, He must still live on. However, in The New Testament, He goes by a different name. Take a wild guess who He is. Also, He was called the King of Peace then and is called Prince of Peace now (See Isaiah 9:6). His name starts with "J" and ends with "us."

Hebrews 7:5(NLT) - Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham.

Many years later, the law of tithing was introduced. This type of tithing was compulsory and is generally assumed to be irrelevant today by many critics. The Levites collected the tithe from the people of Israel.

Ask Donnell - Does The Tithe Fit Into Our Modern Economy?

2) Tithing is a process of exchange and does not have to be mandatory to be relevant.

Hebrews 5:6-7(NLT) - But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. 7 And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.

Even though tithing was included in the law, it did not come from the law. Therefore, when the law was fulfilled in Jesus, it did not bring an end to the system of tithing. Nonetheless, since tithing for Abraham was not mandatory as it was with the law, why did Abraham tithe in the first place? What's the whole point of tithing if you're not under a law forcing you to tithe?

The tithing process is one of exchange. The person who gives the tithe does so in exchange for a blessing. In Abraham's case, he gave the tithe to Melchizedek who in return gave a blessing to Abraham. This pattern is only followed in Malachi 3 but did not originate there. Malachi 3 only elaborates the type of blessing God promises in exchange for the tithe. God doesn't need to force you to tithe when you understand the benefits.

3) One system of tithing is superior to the other.

Hebrews 5:8-10(NLT) - The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. 9 In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.

Forcing people to tithe is a part of the law which required the Levites to collect it. However, the Levites gave tithes in the loins of Abraham making the system of tithing Abraham lived by superior. The lesser always tithes to the greater. Abraham wasn't forced to tithe but since he understood how the system worked he knew he had to tithe. It's God's heart for His people to bring Him the tithe because just like Melchizedek did for Abraham, God wants to bless each person who gives Him a tithe. Even the Levites tithed to Melchizedek and they didn't have to.

4) The superior system of tithing has a new high priest.

Hebrews 7:11-17(NLT) - So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? 12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. 13 For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. 14 What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe. 15 This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. 16 Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

Abraham tithed to Melchizedek. Under the law, the Israelites tithed to the Levites. Now, in the age of grace, we tithe to Jesus who is our modern version of Melchizedek. The system of tithing Abraham used is alive and well today but with a new high priest whose name is Jesus. Therefore, every time you tithe you are exchanging your money or goods for a blessing that only Jesus can give. With a deal like that nobody should have to force you to tithe. You either want the blessing of Jesus or you don't.

Ask Donnell - Does The Tithe Fit Into Our Modern Economy?

5) The inferior system of tithing by law is over but the new system of tithing by covenant lasts forever.

Hebrews 7:18-22(NLT) - Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. 19 For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him, “The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.’” 22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God. 23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

When people argue to say that tithing by the law is no longer relevant you should agree with them quickly. However, when they construe that all tithing is irrelevant, Hebrews 7 assures you that they are completely wrong. As long as Jesus is your high priest, He continues to collect the tithe. When He's no longer your high priest you can stop bringing Him the tithe. Also, if you don't want the blessing He has to offer you can also stop tithing.

6) Jesus actually said that you should tithe.

Luke 11:42(NLT) - “What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Obviously, Jesus puts love before tithing. In fact, He puts love before everything but that doesn't mean He crossed out tithing. He just wants to ensure that our priorities are in the right order. Jesus said to the Pharisees that they should not put tithing above treating people right and showing love which is understandable. However, He was very clear that He supported tithing when he said the following; "You should tithe."

7) The best way to prove tithing's relevance is to do it.

Malachi 3:10-12(NLT) - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

God dares you to tithe. He put His reputation on the line and has guaranteed results whenever you tithe. My father always says that experience can beat an argument any day. That's what Malachi 3 is all about. People can argue all they want about tithing but until you have put God to the test all you have is an argument. That's why they will never win. We have experience. They have arguments. Tithing works and that's the best reason why it's relevant today.

This blog will continue tomorrow with some more about the blessing that comes from tithing. If I were you, I would keep tithing and keep getting blessed by Jesus.

6

Is That Really The Anointing?

Is That Really The Anointing?

Today we continue our study from the month of January in the Daily Devotional, "New Every Morning" published out of Trinidad and Tobago by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. For each day of the published devotional we will attempt to elaborate on some of the key points mentioned and/or meditation scriptures.

2 Timothy 4:1-5(KJV) - I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

1 John 4:1(NLT) - Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

I once watched a popular televangelist preach a message that I will never forget. After just a few minutes I realized that it originated somewhere other than God's heart. However, his charisma and eloquence easily masked that minor detail. For much of his message the crowd was on its feet. Eventually, even I was on my feet too but for a different reason. It was time to turn the TV off. I had enough.

Here's a short quote from "New Every Morning";

The Church is full of all types of interesting characters. Some are genuinely anointed of The Lord while others are not. Also, many times we underestimate people who walk in a powerful anointing and overestimate others who are merely gifted in their particular area of ministry. Because a man can sing, preach, dance or play an instrument does not mean the residue of The Holy Spirit rests upon him. It could just mean that he is naturally gifted. God may have given him the gift and that's about it.

Check out this video;

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Are You Anointed For What You Do?

Wow! The Cracked Door Conference 2013 is finally over and I must say it was by far the best in our approximately 8 year history. Additionally, I'm the featured writer for the month of January in the Daily Devotional, "New Every Morning" published out of Trinidad and Tobago by Divine Destiny Worship Centre. For each day of the published devotional we will attempt to elaborate on some of the key points mentioned and/or meditation scriptures.

Romans 12:5-8(NKJV) - so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

In today's study the following question must be asked, "Are You Anointed For What You Do?" According to Romans 12:5-8, all of us have been graced with certain abilities and are expected to use them to bring God glory. Since we're all one body in Christ but many parts it's important for each of us to always be in place for the body as a whole to function properly. Have you been doing your part?

Here's a quote from "New Every Morning"; "Sometimes, due to an urgent need people may step out of where they are called to help out in other areas. However, that should only be a temporary measure. At some point, everyone needs to operate where they are anointed because that's where they will be at their best. Today, why not consider your own life. Are you anointed for what you do or are you doing what you have been anointed to do? Think about it."

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