Thursday, August 29, 2013

Approved Workmen

2Timothy 2:15
15Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The Holy Spirit had been giving me this scripture over and over for the last 48hours and I had been waiting to see what He wanted me to do with it. When He brought to my remembrance a ministry for children I was once involved in at a former church called AWANA (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed). The program is for children starting at age 2 - high school. The ministry does several things. It teaches leadership skills for both adults and children but its primary purpose is to teach children the Word of God using fun methods and rewarding them as such. It also taught them the value of working hard, saving for something valuable and responsibility. It really is its own ministry outside of Sunday school and a lot of fun. I was called a "listener" for the "Truth & Training" group which is for grades 3-6. This was again one of the backdrops that God used to set me up as Sunday school teacher. My job was to listen to the students when they were ready to be tested on their knowledge of the Word to see if they learned it. If they got their questions right I had to mark it and then they were to show their leader in the class. If they did not get it correct then I had to tell them to go back and study. But at no point could I urge them on or help them in the listening scenario. The children had to get it right for themselves. Each booklet contained life scenarios where the Word was to be learned and applied. With each booklet they completed they earned what is called AWANA bucks which they could use in the AWANA store once per quarter to buy fun games, posters, etc.

If children as young as age 2 could learn about the Bible and grow up understanding the Word of God and how to apply it to show themselves approved and have the Word in them, then it means adults can too. No age is too young or too old to understand the Word of God and show yourself approved to God and not be ashamed. But you have to want it. The children were excited because they had something to work towards. In adult life, the rewards are not only the crowns obtained in heaven, but Jesus also gives crowns in our present life too. The crowns are called blessings. Blessings can range from little to gigantic. Our Lord is no respecter of persons and will pour out blessings in His time frame. But the greatest blessings come with operating in obedience out of faith. This means that you are willing to mix faith as faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God and applying it to your life. It means you move from hearer to doer and learn it for yourself. Are you willing to be one of God's approved workmen?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What is More Important?

Luke 19:8
8Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."

Zacchaeus was not able to see Jesus through the crowd like everyone else because he was "under tall".  He wanted so much to see Jesus that he climbed up into a tree to get a glimpse of the one who performed miracles and healed many. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector but was not well liked. Jesus knew Zacchaeus by name when He saw him and told him that He had to be at Zaccchaeus' house. Zacchaeus was so overjoyed and so happy that Jesus wanted to dine with him that he was willing to give away the wealth he obtained and even restore to those he took from wrongfully. Now that is a move of God!

How so? If you recall the Rich Young Ruler that came up to Jesus in Matthew 19:16 asking what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus said to obey the commandments. The ruler asked which ones? And Jesus began to recite them. And the young man stated he had kept them all since he was young so what was he lacking. And Jesus told him to give away his wealth. The young ruler was sorrowful the word says and he walked away.

The difference between Zacchaeus and the Young Ruler, one was willing and didn't have to be asked. The other when asked, couldn't because his heart was tied to his possessions. Jesus wants our hearts tied to Him. No matter what Jesus asks of you, He'll know where your heart really is. If you are unwilling to give up whatever it is, then you have shown Jesus that it is more important than Him which means you have made it your god. It doesn't have to be wealth either. It can be a spiritual gifting, it can be a person, it can be anything you have set your heart on so much. Zacchaeus was ready for Jesus. God tested Abraham the same way. The gift he gave him, Isaac, God wanted to know did he love Isaac more than he loved Him who gave the gift. Nothing should be more important. Are you ready for Jesus?

Monday, August 26, 2013


Deuteronomy 28:9-10

9"The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10Then all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.

One of my favorite songs by the famed gospel singer, Fred Hammond is called "Blessed". The chorus of the song says,

"We're blessed in the city
We're blessed in the field
We're blessed when we come and when we go"

The song is based on Deuteronomy 28. The Lord offered up these words through His prophet Moses to the people of Israel. The Lord told the people of Israel that they would be blessed as He promised if they kept His commandments. Not only would they be blessed but their children, the work of their hands and everything under their possession. The purpose of blessing them would be not only for their obedience, but also so the name of the Lord would be glorified. And because they were to be called by the name of the Lord, all others would walk in fear of them.

According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, to bless can be defined as 1) to consecrate, 2) to sanctify with the sign of the cross, 3) to invoke divine care for, 4) Praise, glorify, 5) to confer happiness upon. So to be blessed means that you are divinely cared for and happiness is upon you and that what you are doing will give Him praise.

Now the Word of God is the same yesterday as it is today. As said by Jesus himself, He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill the law. He is "the living word". Therefore the Word is still valid in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. So you too can be "blessed" as well as your offspring and everything you touch. Yes, you are already blessed because you woke up this morning and can take a breath. But to walk in the blessings the Lord spoke of through Moses means you are willing to be obedient to God. You are willing to do what He has called you to do no matter who does or doesn't like it, no matter what naysayers are before you. Your main concern is what the Lord your God says for you to do and you go forth in it. When you do, He surely will bless all that He says for you to do because you are doing it in His name and He must be glorified. He will not let His name be put to shame. So if you are acting as His agent and you do as He said, He will make your name great and that of your offspring for His sake. Yes parents, this is a good portion of the inheritance you are to leave to your children as stated in Proverbs. The inheritance of blessings you leave them starts with your obedience to the Lord.

P.S. If you have a Facebook account, WE NEED YOUR HELP!! The documentary film you saw last week that i was just in that features other overcomers which was written & directed by Ratliff Events has just been entered into a film contest!! We need your help to vote!! And Spread the word by going to