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Thoughts Archived > Deserving? Think Again.

17 Jul 2016



July 17, 2016

Deserving?  Think Again. 

Acts 14: 14 - 18




But when Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening, they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people shouting, "Friends, why are you doing this?  We are merely human beings like yourselves!  We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.  In earlier days he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left himself without a witness.  There were always his reminders, such as sending you rain and good crops and giving you food and joyful hearts."  But even so, Paul and Barnabas could scarely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.










There has been a longstanding concern in some Christian communities regarding Pastors, Preachers, Ministers, Priests, having inflated egos, the belief they are 'due' the best of the best, that they should rise above and 'show' their net worth, so people might think they are close to God, having been more richly rewarded for their good works.

Pastors, Preachers, Ministers, and Priests.  Do NOT allow this to happen to you!

Anything you do should be done for God.  Anything received from God is a gift.  Does God ask you to share it with others?  Yes.  But he will not ever give it to you to gloat, show off, imply you are better than others, or closer to God, nor to 'lord over' others.  And God best not find that you are living in luxury, if you have parishioners who are barely surviving.

The only thing you are 'due' is God's gratitude, IF, you are sharing him with others, and obeying him.

Let me say this another way.  God may bless you financially, or gift you in other ways.  Should you keep it all?  No.  You should share what you have with others. I'm not saying you cannot have fine things: a quality home, car, decor, health, food, clothes. But you should NEVER rise so far above that you appear 'higher up', or are, untouchable, unreachable, set apart, unavailable.

No one is perfect. Everyone sins.  All are equal in this.  But choose to make every effort to do all things in accord with God.  'If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.'  Galatians 5:25  

In some ministries, I see major funding projects established for countries around the world.  There are shanties on edges of large cities.  And U.S. churches are funding them.  Why aren't their own cities doing this?  They might be.  They might not.  But there are folks right here in America with churches, even mega churches, who will not assist those in need.  They'll pray for you.  They'll tell you to find a local church, who can't support you, or assist you, because they have to meet their overseas funding budgets, or pay their own bills.  This is so wrong on so many levels I cannot possibly cover them all here.

Churches should have a budget, display the budget, how it is being met monthly, to include the percentage the Pastor will be paid, and the overage beyond savings to meet the future expenses should be fed back into the immediate church family and surrounding area.  We must start investing in our church family and also reach beyond....locally. 

The Good News should NOT just be given about Jesus. The Good News should also be about how one can be helped - practically.  The gifts given should be shared with others, if you are receiving them, but the message should always be clear that, the gifts you receive are being accepted as coming from God with gratitude, and, to God we should give gratitude.  Also, the gifts from God will be for all God's people.

Do not fall victim to the wiles of Satan and allow your ego to be inflated thinking you are better and 'due' and must 'show' you are 'someone'.  You are someone - no different nor better than anyone else.

Paul and Barnabas clearly indicate all who share the Good News are equal.  Sacrifices are not necessary, they are worthless acts. It is not sacrifices who will give you salvation and God's gratitude.  Neither is it rising above others, that will allow you God's gift of salvation.

John the Baptist told people to ask for forgiveness of their sins and be baptized as an outward profession of their inward confession...cleansing.  Then he pointed the way to Jesus.  It is the receiving of Jesus into your heart as the Messiah - the Savior of the universe that is the next step toward salvation.  It is the giving of yourself to God that will allow you to receive God's gratitude.  But it is OBEYING God, Jesus, Holy Spirit that will insure your salvation and God's favor.  Beware, you CAN lose your salvation.  Read John 15.  Read also Matthew 3:11-12,  Hebrews 6:4-6 and 10:26-27, James 2, 2nd Peter 2:20-21, James 1:22-27.   And then read what Jesus said in Matthew 13:33-43.  And please don't forget that Jesus said you must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  See Matt 3:11, Mark 1:7-8, Luke 3:15-18, also 24: 44-49, John 1:19-34, Acts 1:4, Acts 2: 1-21, 32-33, 38-39, Acts 4:23-31.  Then Acts 5:32, 7:51-53, 8:14-17, 9:17-18, Acts 10: 44-48, 11:11-18, etc.

Family in Christ Jesus, in your gratitude SHARE, don't sacrifice, with all others.  Jesus already sacrificed....himself....for us.  Be grateful to those who share the message.  Gift them, but be sure those you gift are giving to others as well.  

Luke states that 'In earlier days God permitted the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without a witness!  There were always reminders of who he was, that he was, how wonderful he was, so that you would turn to him.  He sent rain, and good crops, gave food and joyful hearts.  He does that still today, and also gifts you with these things to show his gratitude.

Share the Good News, remind others of the witness of his love and gratitude.  Share also the good gifts you receive with others.  And know that sacrificing unto another is not necessary, nor is it right according to God's new laws as outlined in the New Testament, which is documented history.  Nor should you be so selfish as to not help others with their burdens, or lord your gifts over others, which may or may not even be from God (think on this, pray earnestly, listen closely).  Be equal, share equally what you receive and don't accept sacrifices. 

Most importantly, give the Good News to all, so that others may bear witness to all having received the Trinity: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, into their heart, mind, body, spirit and soul.              






  Let Us Pray


Lord God, Lamb of God, Comforter & Teacher forgive me of my sins, heal me and make me whole, baptise me with the fullness of your love Jesus and baptise me with Holy Spirit.  Todays message was intense....as it should be from time to time to remind us we are to OBEY you.  And doing all things in your name. Lots to study, lots to let go of that may have been learned differently than your Word states, your heart intended.  Holy Spirit didn't just 'happen' 'back then' for 'only then'.  Holy Spirit baptized believers with fire....thousands of people....and continues to do so for every believer willing to receive him today.  There are many church factions who refuse to believe Holy Spirit is alive and well and functioning today.  I pray that folks will review the references I provided to learn more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and do futher research on their own.  God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, I am so grateful to have received all of you into my heart, my life.  I could not have made it through life to this point without you. Nor loved to the degree I do, given the gift of who you are to others, been healed of so many things, been able to praise you from the depth of my being. I am so grateful to have experienced your grace and mercy in the receiving of my loved ones into heaven.  I am so grateful for all you've done in my life and given me.  May the world experience the depth of your love as I have.  Father God, heal us in America.  We are a hurting nation, a frightened nation.  Heal everyone in the world, Father God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. Protect us from the evil one, Satan.  Thank you for being you.  I love you!  I praise you!  I thank you!  Amen.       






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Let us hear from Paul as he prays:  

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.  And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him.  May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now glory be to God!  By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages.  Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NLT         




Scroll down to read Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving...'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'.




Definition of a Christian:  Anyone who believes in God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, and accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Regardless of church name or religious affiliation. 

'All who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him.  There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all Christians - you are ONE in Christ Jesus.'  Galatians 3: 27


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Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.  And be sure of this:

I am with you always, even to the end of the age."




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  Our Continual Cause


It is time to reach into the community and the world around you to see wherein lies the greatest need.  As you choose to focus on these areas, do so with a servant's heart.  Whether the need is for children, adults, animals, the earth, or any cause in between that will help those in need, ask God how you can best serve his needs, what path you must take, and how long you should persevere.  Sometimes we are to be in the lives of others merely as stepping stones.  Sometimes we are to touch those lives forever.  Whatever journey you are called to take, whatever team you will be a member, know this:  God is with you always...even til the end of time.  He loves you, is grateful for you, and will help you along life's way, especially if you are helping others along theirs, persevering with a servant's heart.  


Please accept my sincerest thanks....and God's....and may God richly bless you ! 




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  One last thing....


Jesus' Prayer of Thanksgiving

'The Unforced Rhythms of Grace'


"Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  "Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth.  You've concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls, but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people.  Yes, Father, that's the way you like to work."

Jesus resumed talking to the people, but now tenderly.  "The Father has given me all these things to do and say.  This is a unique Father - Son operation, coming out of Father and Son intimacies and knowledge.  No one knows the Son the way the Father does, nor the Father the way the Son does.  But I'm not keeping it to myself; I'm ready to go over it line by line with anyone willing to listen."

"Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn how to live freely and lightly.


Matthew 11:  25-30

  The Message


And the people said,










I now write most prayers in the position of ' I ' (first person) because most people are sitting at their computer alone, not in groups, and it allows those reading and praying to personalize the prayer as coming from them going to God.  Variations may appear on holidays when families may wish to use the prayer provided.  I encourage you to pray your own prayers as well.


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996.  Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.  All rights reserved.


NOTE:  I said it long ago, but let me say it again.  If you are wanting to lead a group, start a church, or are confined in an institution, or live in a country where the Gospel is not preached, and you don't know what to say or how to say it, and yet feel led to share, teach, or preach, besides just reading straight out of the Bible and sharing what God puts on your heart, please feel free to share any or all of what I've written, if it will help you, as long as you include where it comes from, due to copyright laws.  Jesus gave God's love and healing freely, as well as his message.  Our responsibility is to get the Word out to those who need to hear it.  If what I've written....by the power and direction of the Holy Spirit....or what he has said through me....has helped you, it may help others that you know.  You are welcome to share it.  God calls all of us to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.  Please share it with the fullness of love that God, Jesus, Holy Spirit....and I....have given it.  Amen!




Bible Authors & Minister