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Archive for March, 2011

March 9, 2011

THE END OF THE WORLD-TAUGHT BY PASTOR JOYCE OLIVER

Transitioning Into the System of God’s Kingdom

 

The end of the world as we know it is near. Are you ready?

Since the day of Jesus’ ascension after the resurrection, Christians have been taught to prepare for His return.  Further, Christians have been instructed to look for signs that will serve as reminders of His glorious arrival to earth again.  Over the years, some Christians may have lost their interest in Jesus coming back since He has been warning us for so long.  But I strongly encourage you to take note at the world around you.  Jesus Christ is coming soon.  The church should prepare.

Signs of the End Times

Observe the events that are currently taking place in our world.

  • We are in the information age, and we have a rapid growth of knowledge (Daniel 12:4).
  • The Gospel is being preached today in every language to all tribes and people (Matthew 24:14).
  • We are witnessing the worldwide crash of the financial systems (Revelation 18:2-4).
  • We are witnessing a moral decline, even in the church (2 Timothy 3:1).
  • Technology is ready for the mark of the beast.
  • There is an increase of wars and hear about rumors of wars among the nations.
  • There is an increase of natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis etc.)
  • We are witnessing an outbreak of plagues like Aids, ebola virus, swine flu etc.

It is quite evident that the world system is collapsing before our eyes.  However, remember that all that the world is experiencing is not for God’s people.  His ultimate plan is for us to live above the demise of the world.  Yes, it is possible for you to thrive (not just survive) in what looks like the worse time for humankind.

Don’t Go Down in Flames

Avoid being swept into the ruin of the world’s system.

1.    Rise above the world’s routine of doing things and live!  Change your thinking; leave “Smallville” and enter the kingdom of God which can never be shaken.

2.    Trade in your failing marriage (leave the mindset, not your actual mate) and claim the Lord’s promise of an extraordinary marriage that model’s Christ and His church.

3.    Trade in the failing health care system that profits from illness, not wellness.  Instead, accept divine health!

4.    Trade in your dysfunctional family for the qualities of a strong one where characteristics like godly love, support, encouragement and submission to authority are present.

5.    Trade in mis-identity for a new identity in Christ.  Remember that we are secure in Him.

6.    Abandon the thinking of socialism (the financial divide) which is based on many poor and few rich.  Trade in the “lack” mindset for the wealth of the kingdom!

Code for Victorious Living

The world system is full of limitations that have infiltrated the church.  Be sure not to settle for the ordinary life.  Strive to live the supernatural life that God has predestined for you!

1. Go where God sends you and occupy the land!  The church has to leave the church (walls) at some point. As Christians, we have to invade the unmarked territory and let the world know that the supernatural power of God is in our hearts.  As you share the good news of Jesus, be kind yet shrewd.  And please don’t be that over-zealous Christian that runs people away (Mark 16:15)!

2.    Be committed to God first and on fire for Him.  Also, have integrity because the world knows hypocrisy.  We must apply our faith and walk in it.  Continue to influence the people around you until the entire world belongs to God.  As a Christian, you should rule wherever you are.  Remember that you are the influencer.  Win your area for the kingdom of God (Revelation 11:15).

3.    Satan wants to bog you down with distractions that don’t matter.   He also tries to make you feel unqualified to the point that you continue to work on improving yourself while never fulfilling your purpose.  Remember that God put you here for a purpose–a divine mission that He has called for you to complete.

If you plan on winning and ruling in life, then you must be faithful and consistent to the work of the Lord.  You cannot fulfill God’s purpose until you have released your personal will (your way of doing things).  When you are walking in your purpose, you are depending completely on the Lord to help you fulfill it.  This is how you become victorious in life and transition off of the world system.  This is how you will be prepared for the coming of the Lord.

Love,

Pastor Joyce

 

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February 16, 2011

The Case for the Tithe

Fact: Tithing is about relationship not revenue. It’s about understanding the grace extended to us through salvation, and that we need Christ every day.

Since the days of biblical times, giving sacrifices and offerings of financial goods have been a requirement of the Lord.  Tithing is not excluded from this list.  In 2011, the Lord has not changed His mind on the subject.  However, in the face of a plummeting economy, lack of employment, stacks of bills and mounding debt, a surprising number of Christians do not tithe.  Perhaps the reason is lack of faith, or the belief that it is an Old Testament practice not needed for modern living. Maybe the reason is pure unawareness or blatant disobedience.  I challenge you to abandon all these fruitless excuses.  What many Christians fail to understand is that tithing is a divine link established by God wherein we can be blessed beyond our wildest dreams or requests! Let’s enter the courtroom of the kingdom of God and examine all of the reasons that Christians should tithe.

Opening Statement

When we release our faith for tithing, perfection awaits us.  Money is a truth serum.  It lets us know where we are.  Further, money is a tangible identification of our work which is why people often form an attachment to it.  Yet from a Christian standpoint, money reflects our relationship with God.

Exhibit 1: God commanded Christians to tithe (Malachi 3:10)

Tithing was practiced not only in the Old Testament, but the New Testament as well. For example in the book of Acts, many members of the new church not only gave the required 10 percent, but they gave all of their possessions to support the building of God’s ministry.

Exhibit 2: God has to be number One in your life.

Remember the story of the Prophet Elijah and the widow he asked for the meal of pancakes?  It would have been easy for her to not cook the meal as it was the end of her supply.  But she would have been disobeying the voice of the Lord and missing out on one of the most historical blessings of the Bible.  To not tithe reflects a lack of trust in God.  You might as well say, “God, I’m sorry, but I don’t trust You.”

Exhibit 3: You must worship God with something of value.

It’s something about that 10 percent.  It’s just enough to get our attention.  We frown at a 10 percent discount at the store because it appears to be a small amount.  But we cringe at our paycheck when preparing to pay our tithe because it seems like so much.  Look at it like this: we are worshiping the Creator of the world and He gave His Son for us to have the best life; therefore, we should give our best (and at least what He required).  If you are not giving something of value, then you are not moving God (Revelation 22:20).

Exhibit 4: Each time that you tithe, you are reaffirming that God is your Source.

This shows that you trust the Lord, and that He is number One in your life.  Each time you don’t trust Him and disregard His Word, you are building up a habit of disobedience.  Then you’re in danger because your faith is chipping away; that’s just what the enemy wants.

Exhibit 5: Tithing is important for the corporate anointing.

Remember Achan in the Bible (Joshua 7)?  His disobedience to the Lord cost Israel a major defeat, and he and his family were stoned then set ablaze.  Simply put, when you disobey, it not only affects you but those around you as well.

Closing Argument

Determine in advance that you are a tither.  And remember that all of the thoughts and distractions that satan presents are irrelevant.  Tithing opens the windows of Heaven for you, so that you can live above the status of the world.

I rest my case,

Pastor Lawrence

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March 2, 2011

The Power of Forgiveness

Consider This: Did you know that the missing link to your healing could be unforgiveness? Forgiveness mixed with Jesus’ death gave you the right to be healed!

Forgiveness is not a popular word in our society.  In fact, revenge and retaliation are the world’s answers to offenses and wrong doings.   The world teaches that we have a right to hate our enemies and hold them in contempt.  That’s not how God sees it.  Refusing to forgive is acting in pride.  It reveals that your feelings and reputation are greater than anything. However, we should strive to think like Christ.  We should be working to deal with life by the rules of His kingdom.  Therefore, forgiveness should be a habit of Christians because it’s an act of spiritual thinking.  It means to absolve or free the person that hurt us.  It’s noble, kingly thinking; it’s like Christ.       (2 Timothy 3:1, Romans 5:6)

Why Do People Hurt Each Other?

We live in a world filled with people who are petty, insecure and even antagonizing.  Additionally, people can be insensitive, immature and self absorbed.  On the other hand, we have different perspectives on issues, general habits or differences of thinking that can be perceived as offensive.  But out of all of this, remember that satan looks for any opportunity to blow things out of proportion.  He wants to cloud our vision and trick us into accusing and hurting each other Be ware of His schemes (Matthew 5:21).

Why Forgive?

Forgiveness brings healing for you and the person that offended you.  It is an act of love.  Remember that God demonstrated the greatest act of love for you (1Peter 2:23).

Further, justice and judgment are under God’s authority.  To not forgive is to be in pride.  Pride causes us to take matters into our own hands; pride causes us to not trust the Lord.  Jesus knew that the flesh is never worth defending.

The Fruits of Forgiveness

Do you know why you were born?  What are you supposed to do on the earth?  Jesus was here on assignment, and He never lost track of that.  His acts of forgiveness are our pattern from God.  We live in an un-perfect world, so there will always be a time when you have to forgive and be forgiven.  Forgiveness flows from the blood of Jesus.  And as you participate in Holy Communion, the blood of Jesus becomes a part of your spiritual DNA; therefore, forgiveness should flow from you too (Ephesians 4:31).

The Consequences of Unforgiveness

Since forgiveness should flow like blood, it should never clot. If not monitored, a clot can be deadly.  Unforgiveness blocks you from your purpose, your healing and your harvest. After years of not forgiving, your personality becomes distorted and bitterness and anger set in.  Finally, unforgiveness binds you to your enemy.

Consider this too…

If you have an attitude of being thankful, forgiveness will be easy for you.  Removing the blame from your enemy shows that you are quick to love and are appreciative of the grace of Christ.  Further, forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.   So are you going to walk strong in the Lord or cower in the weakness of unforgiveness?

Love,

Pastor Joyce

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