Guaranteed Growth

41369318_sWill 2016 be a year of marked increase in your spiritual life? Will you be able to look back at the end of the year and see the progress you have made? If this is your desire, then you must have goals to reach the result.

 

GOD DESIRES GROWTH in our lives as His children, just like any parent wants to see their children growing at a normal and healthy rate. “…desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” 1 Peter 2:2 KJV.

GROWTH OCCURS NATURALLY as we take in the proper nutrients, get the necessary exercise, and rest. A regular diet of anointed teaching, bible reading, prayer, serving, and relationship building will all result in steady growth into the fruitful Christian life.

GROWTH CAN BE HINDERED by continuing to practice sin after we have been born again. “…let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us…” Hebrews 12:2 NKJV. Sin is like the weeds in a garden that eventually outgrow and choke the living plants that would otherwise produce fruit. It must be eliminated.

GROWTH RESULTS IN GREATER PRODUCTIVITY as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Vine and Branches. “By this my Father is glorified that you bear much fruit, so you will be my disciples” John 15:8 NKJV. Being productive as a Christian means I am ever increasing in faith and the love that attracts and wins others to Christ.

GROWTH BRINGS THE GREATEST REWARDS in life as we are promoted in every area where we have achieved another level of maturity, wisdom, and skill. The people who enjoy life the most and add value to the lives of others, are the people who have the desire to grow and have set goals to reach the desired result.

GROWTH WAS THE GOAL of Jesus Christ while living on the earth and fulfilling the will of God for his life. “And Jesus increased (grew) in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 NKJV.

A Profitable New Year

47188658_s2016 can be our best year by following the instructions God has provided to insure profit in every part of life. Isaiah 48:17 ESV declares

“Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.’”

Here are six ways that you can insure a profitable year.

1. Profit from your Birthright. Genesis 25:32 KJV “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: what PROFIT shall this birthright do to me?” Esau was profane, irreverent, secular and temporal, and he had no appetite for spiritual things. Jacob had a spiritual appetite and was rewarded even though he had obvious character flaws. Jacob profited from his spiritual hunger which led to a great change of heart and blessed life. We have a birthright as well, being “joint heirs” with the “Firstborn of many brethren” Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17, 29). Maintaining spiritual hunger will result in a deepening relationship with Father God and entrance into all that belongs to us in Christ.

2. Profit from Faith. Hebrews 4:2 KJV “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well a unto them: but the word preached did not PROFIT them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” How do we mix faith with the message we have heard? By putting our faith into action as James said in James 2:17 Moffatt’s Translation, “Faith without corresponding actions is dead”. The Ten Lepers of Luke 17:11 put faith into action when they believed the word of Jesus and proceeded to “go show themselves to the priests”, acting as though they were “already healed.” Faith “calls the things that do not exist as though they already do.” Romans 4:17-20

3. Profit from Revelation. John 6:63 “the flesh PROFITS nothing, the word that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Jesus meant that His words didn’t come from human reason but revelation from the Spirit of God. His words could impart spiritual life to the followers. When we meditate on God’s Word, the information can become revelation to us. It is that revelation knowledge that brings impartation and transformation to our lives. We gain maximum PROFIT from revelation of the Word.

4. Profit from Chastisement. Hebrews 12:10 KJV “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our PROFIT, that we might be partakers of his holiness.” Our manner of life in Christ is just as important as our position of life in Christ. Every person born again will encounter the discipline of our Loving Heavenly Father who seeks to have His children bear His Image. This discipline keeps us from “turning aside to our own ways” resulting in unnecessary hardships we bring upon ourselves (Isaiah 53:6 KJV). Having a manner of life that reflects who He is in us is great gain. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 KJV

5. Profit from Good Works. Titus 3:8 KJV “…be careful to maintain good works… these things are good and PROFITABLE unto men.” We gain access into the lives of others by our good works among them, giving us the opportunity to share our faith and lead others to Christ. Good works do not improve our position in Christ, but good works improve our relationships with people of the earth. We may not be remembered for what we have believed, but we will be remembered for what we have done for others in His Name.

6. Profit from the Supernatural. I Corinthians12:7 KJV “For the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to PROFIT withal.” The nine Gifts of the Spirit are available to all believers to equip them for supernatural service in Christ’s Kingdom. When the Spirit of God is in manifestation everyone profits according to the teaching of the Apostle. The operations of the Spirit are the standard equipment of the New Testament believer, available for the asking, seeking and knocking. “Follow after charity, but desire spiritual gifts.” 1 Corinthians 14:1 KJV

Follow these biblical instructions for a Profitable 2016!

Dr. John Polis

Are You Lukewarm?

35050637_sOne thing that God doesn’t tolerate for long is a lukewarm believer (Revelation 3). Jesus warned the Laodicean believers that remaining lukewarm would result in being spewed out of God’s mouth (Revelation 3:16). This is strong imagery used to emphasize the seriousness of the matter. Imagine taking a drink of supposedly hot coffee or tea and finding it lukewarm, what would otherwise be satisfying now becomes nauseating and is not swallowed but rejected. What is a lukewarm believer anyhow? The text makes it obvious; it is trying to remain in neutral without making progress in one direction or the other. Many believers are in this category, trying to avoid any serious sins but not passionately seeking to advance in relationship with God. God says to us, “I will have you either hot or cold,” remaining lukewarm is not an option for a believer in Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:15). God will allow the lukewarm churchgoer to remain comfortable for awhile but will soon begin the promptings of Holy Spirit to relight the fires of passion for God by fasting, prayer, bible study, and fellowship with believers who are also passionate for Him. If the lukewarm believer resists the grace work of Holy Spirit to get moving again towards God with passion, Father God will remove some favor resulting in difficulties occurring that will cause the stubborn one to move towards God again. This would not out of desire for Him, but out of desperation for His favor to be restored. The Church of today is largely lukewarm. Few attend prayer meetings and others miss church randomly as though commitment to corporate activity among christians is optional. Many others spend God’s tithe on things other than what it is designated for by God, resulting in closed heavens over their lives. These kind of challenging things are not often mentioned because of the intimidation pastors feel. They often feel they will be accused of not having love or being legalistic. How then, do you explain these words of Christ in scripture? Can we just ignore them and continue on in a nauseating spiritual condition in the eyes of God and still think that we as individuals will enjoy all the blessings of the Kingdom, and we as a Nation of Christians will see God’s favor on our Country? That would be mocking God, and “God is not mocked” (Galatians 6:7). God is a loving Father for sure, He is the model of all parenting. He loves His children passionately and desires that same passionate response from them. As a parent, He doesn’t enjoy having to deal in discipline any more than I, as a parent would (Hebrews 12). But it is necessary because when we are living in neutral, we are also very vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. Not to mention that we are not useful in the Kingdom of God as ambassadors sent to disciple nations (Matthew 28:18-20). When we are living in neutral, we are forfeiting the rewards that could be obtained for faithful service to the King, for we will all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ to give an account of our lives as believers and be rewarded accordingly (2 Corinthians 5). How are you doing with this? God loves you too much to leave you in a lukewarm condition. I strongly urge each one to do as Jesus said if you are trying to live in neutral, “Repent and do your first works over again” (Revelation 2:5). Get back to your prayer life, bible study, church attendance, and giving, these are Christian vital signs, not rules and regulations. You will be glad when the fire of God is burning brightly in your heart and God is your first love again.

Obedience

38863682_sStep two in your Christian walk, after faith, is obedience.  We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9); we start out with faith and learn to receive “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” (GRACE).  That is great, but can become very one-sided if it’s all about “what He did for ME.”  Many believers never get beyond the faith and grace message because they never get beyond self.

We can be extremely blessed because of God’s grace that we receive by faith (not works), but never become mature Christians because maturity doesn’t come by faith, it comes by obedience.  Faith is all about what He did for me, but obedience is all about what I do for Him.  Maturity means taking responsibility for the work that Christ commanded (not suggested) that we do on His behalf (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).  Obedient people take responsibility for the work of evangelism, discipleship and shepherding the flock of God.  The people who are mature are ones that God promotes in His kingdom work, giving them favor and influence that turns people’s lives to God.  Don’t be deceived into thinking you are a mature believer because of God”s blessings of health and wealth.  You are mature when your hand is on the plough and you are working in the vineyard.  Not a popular message, but truth anyway.

Where are the laborers who are serious about obeying Christ?  If you teach people how to receive all God has for them, they will shout your praises, but when we start recruiting laborers for the harvest, the tone often changes.  I suggest every believer do a word study in the New Testament on “work” and “works”, not just faith and grace.  You will be shocked to find out that obedience and work are spoken of as much as faith and grace.

It’s time to stop postponing obedience while we are building the good life for self.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.  You are NEEDED in the work of God (Matthew 9:35-38).