Encouragement Corner

Section 2

by Charles Green, Jr.

Living Water at the Oasis
Living Water at the Oasis

Encouragement Corner
Section Two
by Charles Green, Jr.

The Process of Prosperity

Genesis 1:11
"...let the earth bring forth grass...the herb...the fruit tree...according to its kind, whose seed is in it...

From the beginning of time God has instructed man to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth and He placed in man and in the earth seed to accomplish that task. The words seed and kind reflect the fact that the earth will continue to produce all that we need if man will take heed to God's charge to tend and keep it. But I have come to realize that in order for something to grow something must be planted and God's people must realize there is a biblical principle that will work, if applied to every area of our lives whether spiritually, emotionally or naturally. That is the principle of "You reap whatever you sow" or "You get what you give" or "if you do it, then it will be done to you". We need to find our selves in God's Word as it concerns Sowing good Seed into the Kingdom of God and into the lives of others so we can Reap the Abundance of Goodness God has in store for us.

Webster says the word sow means to plant seed for growth especially by scattering or to spread abroad. The Greek word, speiro, means to scatter or disseminate. God has promised that as long as the earth remains seed time and harvest time will not cease (Genesis 8:20-22) and there are three simple ways we are to sow our seeds of time, talents and treasure. The three ways are tithing, offering and alms giving. The subject of giving has become a topic of controversy within the Body of Christ, but if we are to experience God's kind of prosperity, which is riches and wealth with no sorrow added to them, then we must begin to understand the principles of tithing, offering and alms giving. God not only what's us to be successful, but experience Good Success. Good Success is God's kind of success that the Psalmist spoke of when he said "blessed is the man who delights in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings for the its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does will prosper." Psalm 1:1-3 Now that's Good Success!!!

Malachi 3:10
"...bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house..."

The Greek word, ma'aser, means a tenth part of ones substance and was considered gifts to Lord that the law required. The tithe supported the priests and Levites since they continually ministered before the Lord in the Tabernacle and Temple, and it also supported widows, orphans, and foreigners (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). God promised that if we would just sow our tithe into missions and ministries that support the work of ministry, the poor and disadvantaged, He would pour us out such a blessing that there would not be room to receive it.

The Hebrew word for offering, minchah, means to give a gift or tribute and the scriptures tell us we should give for the service of the Lord (I Chronicles 29:3-14). We should honor the Lord with our substance and with the first fruits of our labors (Proverbs 3:9-10) but God will accept whatever a man purposes in his heart to give, but we need to know if we give sparingly we will reap sparingly (II Corinthians 8:12; 9:7).

The Greek word for alms, eleemosone, means mercy, compassion, benevolently merciful and refer to actions that are actually helpful. In I Corinthians 16:1-2 Paul instructs the Corinthians to lay aside something on the first day of each week for the collection of the saints. Laying aside expresses the concept of Christian giving in the New Testament. The Old Testament tithe did not seem to be adopted by the New Testament church, though Christ Himself taught it (Matthew 23:23-24). New Testament believers were encouraged to give liberally, but never a specified amount or percentage (Romans 12:8).

Scripture does say the believers were pleased to contributed for the poor among them and believed it was not only there duty to minister to their spiritual needs but to their material needs as well (Romans 15:26-27). Their money was not just financial aid from Gentile believers to Jewish believers, but an expression of the love of God to bring unity to the Church of Jesus Christ (Romans 11:16-18).

Paul also encouraged and exhorted the churches to support the work of the ministry by sharing in all good things with those who teach God's Word (I Corinthians 9:7-18; Galatians 6:6) for it is they who have been given the charge to give themselves to prayer and studying God's Word that they will have a word to encourage the heart and life of God's people (Acts 20:28-32). The scriptures tell us that great power and great grace was upon the infant church in the Book of Acts (Acts 4:33). They experienced the presence, power and prosperity of God and the scripture plainly states it was because they were of one heart and one soul, no one said the things they owned were simply theirs and theirs alone, but they had all things in common. Meaning they sold everything, even land and houses and brought the money to the apostles, so that no one among them would lack the things they needed (Acts 4:32-37).

Kingdom Prosperity is when everyone prospers and is in good health which will only happen when we live up to the commands of Christ..."Freely we have received freely we should give" (Matthew 10:8) and "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). It is time for the Church of the Living God (all God's people) to realize and understand that the Process of Prosperity is that of Seed Time and Harvest Time, it is in our giving that we will experience the abundance that God intends for us to experience in Christ. We must hold onto the promise that if we give it will come back to us, good measured, pressed down, shaken together and running over (Luke 6:38).

Scripture shows there are many aspects to giving in the Body of Christ and that every believer should be pleased to give in every possible way (II Corinthians 9:7). The key to experiencing God's kind of prosperity through our giving is to give cheerfully and motivated to glorify God, edify His people and horrify the devil and put him to flight (Matthew 5:16). The church should not have to sale chicken dinners; have fish fries, raffles or bingo to raise money to support the work of the ministry and spreading of the Gospel. God has given each of us seeds to sow and reap a harvest to more than support the work of the ministry (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Our giving is not only financial, but spiritual and emotional. We must learn to give love and acceptance, grace and mercy, forgiveness and compassion to all and remember God rewards those who obey His Word and diligently listen to His voice (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). We must never forget, God so loved the world that He gave the Seed of His Son and after all these years we are still reaping a harvest of blessings from that One Seed. Imagine if we took the Lord at His Word and scattered our seeds in the earth and in the heart of man (Malachi 3:8-12).

Peace & Blessings,

Brother Caleb

Section Two


Our Patient Pursuit of Prosperity

"Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant."
Psalm 35:27

"...the Lord blessed Abraham in all things..."
Genesis 24:1

When Abraham's servant introduced himself to Rebekah's family he said "the Lord has BLESSED my master GREATLY, and he has become GREAT (Genesis 24:35). If Abraham is the father of faith (Genesis 12:1-3), then by faith, we have become seeds of Abraham and heirs to his great blesses and his greatness. God's favor and blessing upon Abraham was not only extended to Isaac & Jacob, but to all who will, by faith, believe and obey His voice (II Corinthians 5:7).

Genesis 26:4-5
"...in you (Isaac) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; BECAUSE ABRAHAM obeyed My voice and kept My charge...

The Lord appeared to Isaac told him if he would live and dwell in Gerar, He would bless him and perform the oath which He made to Abraham. Scripture says Isaac obeyed, stayed and sowed in the land and that same year He reaped a hundredfold and the Lord blessed him (Genesis 26:6-12). Now you have to go back and read those verses of scripture for in them is a message to the Body of Christ at large. We have to open our hearts for God to speak concerning our place in ministry (Gerar). We have to open our spiritual ears and eyes that we can clearly hear the voice of God and kept His charge (Be fruitful and multiple; fill and subdue the earth; have dominion over every living thing). When we find our place in ministry and obey God's voice to plant ourselves in that field of service, God will bless us, cause us to begin to prosper, continue to prosper and become prosperous (Genesis 26:13-14).

Galatians 3:6-9
"...Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness...God would justify us by faith...so then those who are of FAITH are BLESSED with BELIEVING Abraham...

There is an account in scripture where Jesus heals a paralyzed man because of the faith of his friends (Mark 2:1-5). We need to know and understand Scripture clearly proclaims, we are spiritually blessed because of Father Abraham's faith toward God and his obedience to God. We will see those blessing manifest, in our life, when we learn to seek God's face, to know His will and way and obey His voice and follow His lead (Psalm 1:1-4). In the above verses the phrase "believing Abraham" can be translated, "believing as Abraham" for Abraham believed God in spite of his life, his age or his past. So faith in God is believing and obeying Him even when we can't see or understand what He is doing or where He is leading (Hebrews 11:8-10). God is in the process of causing us to begin to prosper, continue to prosper and cause us to be prosperous in all things, all we have to do is HEAR and OBEY His voice and STAY open for ministry (Romans 12:1-2; II Timothy 4:2).

This section is divided into 3 parts, with each part representing 1 week (3 weeks for the knowledge and power of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost and because we are 3 part beings, spirit, soul and body). Each day set aside time and space to read the devotion and study the scriptures (7 days for God rested on the 7th day for His work of creation was complete and by the Grace of God we are complete in Christ). A total of 21 days to help you form a habit of devotion to reading, hearing and applying God's Word to your heart and life. Enjoy the Journey

Part One

The Fragrance of Christ

"Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed"
Genesis 27:27

"The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon"
Song of Solomon 4:11

"His beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon"
Hosea 14:6

The Fragrance of Christ

II Corinthians 2:14-17
...through us God diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge...for we are to God the fragrance of Christ...

Paul used a Roman triumphal procession as a metaphor to praise God for always causing us to triumph in Christ (I Corinthians 15:57). A victorious Roman general would lead his army and captives down the street in a victory procession. Priests would follow the king carrying censers filled with incense dispensing the aroma, which represented victory for the soldiers and death for the captives.

God is our victorious general leading us in our walk of victorious living; Christ is our High Priest who by His Spirit and according to His Word releases us into the world as a sweet smelling sacrifice to God. We are the vessels God has chosen to use to release the fragrance of His knowledge of salvation in Christ and we become a sweet smell in the nostrils of God when we walk in love (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Break, Pour & Cover

Mark 14:3-9
...a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard...she broke the flask and poured it on His head...

It was customary in that time to anoint the head of your guest and give them water to clean and refresh their feet (Matthew 26:6-13). Anointing the head was an act of honoring them as your guest and washing the feet was an act of service while in your home. The woman could have simply opened the flask so the oil would have trickled out, but she BROKE it and POURED the oil to COVER the head and feet of the Lord.

As the alabaster flask was filled with oil and broken to be given as a sweet smelling sacrifice to our Lord, so God has chosen to use us. He has filled us with the sweet oil of His presence by His Word and Spirit and has chosen our troubles to BREAK us of our old ways (Colossians 3:9) so He can POUR us out (Acts 2:17-21) and COVER the world with the Love of Christ (I Peter 4:7-10).

Know and understand your trails come to break you of yourself and from this world so you can be a vessel God can release the fragrance of His knowledge and pour out the sweet power of His presence. Never forget God is working in the midst of all things and what your enemy meant for your bad God will cause to come together and work for your good.

Deny Self

Matthew 16:21-28
"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself...

The woman in Mark 14 with the alabaster box filled with costly ointment understood what it meant to deny self and substance to honor and serve the Lord. She understood being ridiculed over how she chose to bless the Lord. The flask was made of alabaster, a translucent stone used to make ornamented jewelry boxes and items of value.

The spikenard was a precious perfume from India made from plants that grow in the Himalayas Mountains (Song of Solomon 1:12; 4:13-14). The disciples begin to criticize her saying it could have been sold for three hundred denarii's and a single denarius's represented a day's wages for a common labor, so that was a sizable offering.

To confess we are Christians is to say we are "Christ Like" and Jesus willingly striped Himself of all His glory in order to save us from sin, death and shame. A hard realization for most Christians, is we are called to deny self, which means to disown ones feelings and well-being and separate ones self from the moral relationship to sin and live to fulfill the Cause of Christ. Others should see our labor of love and good works and be drawn unto God (Philippians 2:1-5; Romans 12:9-10; I Corinthians 10:23-24).

Endure Hardship

In Matthew 16 Jesus questions the disciples about who men said He was and who they said He was. He begins to share with them how He had to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things by the hands of the elders, chief priest and scribes, be killed and raised from the dead. In verse 22 it says Peter took Jesus aside and begins to rebuke Him, saying "God will save You from these things Lord!!! Those things will never happen to You." It is my experience that in times of trouble and hardship we to have a tendency to react like Peter did..."Lord save me from my troubles and don't allow these things to happen to me!!!"

Notice if you will, Jesus' response to Peter's statements..."Get behind me satan: you are an offense to me: for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men (verse 23)." When we are tempted to give up, give in and throw in the towel we need to remember, "God has not give us a spirit of fear (the devil is a liar), but a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7)".

Upon recalling that verse of scripture, we need to tell the enemy to get behind us and don't push, for we must endure our cross!!! We must endure hardship and self denial as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. We must begin to engage in spiritual warfare for the Kingdom and not be entangled with the affairs of this life, that we may please the one who enlisted us (II Timothy 2:1-7).

Take Up Your Cross

Matthew 16:24
"...If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross..."

The phrase "take up" in the Greek means to willingly carry something as a burden for someone else. The word "cross" in the Greek means affliction endured by godly people as a trial of their faith, to conform them into the Image of Christ (James 1:2-4). All of us stand in need of help along our journey of faith. When our loads get heavy it's encouraging to have a friend who sticks closer than a brother, to assist us when our arms are weak, are souls are worn and our spirits are weary.

When we, through prayer and support, bear the burdens of others they become refreshed and are able to pick up the pieces of their life and continue on in this FIGHT OF FAITH (I Timothy 6:12). Christ said no one has known a greater love than when a man lays down his life for a friend. He said the world will know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). We are to love in word and in deed for love is an action word that others should see, feel and experience when we help them carry the burdens of life.

Deliverance Through Endurance

Matthew 27:27-31
"...they stripped Him...they put a crown of thorns on His head...they mocked Him...they spit on Him...they struck Him..."

It is human nature to want to protect oneself from harm, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, but we need to know it is not the nature of Christ. In the midst of all the oppression and affliction, the scriptures say Jesus never tried to defend Himself in word or in deed (Isaiah 53:7-9; Matthew 27:11-14). This speaks of Christ willingness to die for sinners and demonstrates how we please God when we pick up our cross and patiently endure sufferings (I Peter 2:18-25).

Often times we want to complain and question God about our troubles, trials and tribulations and the more we murmur and complain the worse we seem to feel. It is only when we renew our minds and patiently endure our hardships and difficulties that God will send someone to help us continue on.

I believe God to send angels to minister to us (Hebrews 1:14), when no one else is around, just as He sent angels to minister to Christ after being tempted of the devil (Matthew 4:11). God promised to deliver us from all of our afflictions, but deliverance comes through enduring until God brings about change.

Law of Impressments

Matthew 27:32
"...they found a man of Cyrene, Simon...him they compelled to bear Christ cross..."

The word compel in the Greek is a technical word which refers to the law of impressments. The Roman government could press anyone into its service to carry a load as far as one mile (Matthew 5:41). The beatings, with out a doubt left Jesus weak, weary and worn making it hard for Him to bare His cross. Matthew records a Roman officer compelling Simon to assist Christ.

As recipients of Christ love we should be compelled to no longer live for self, but willing bear the burdens of others (II Corinthians 5:14-15). If we offer our lives to God as a living sacrifice He will place us in the right place, at the right time to bear the burdens of another.

Christ said when we come to Him we must take His yoke (a servants tool) upon us (join Him in His service to humanity) and learn of Him (become well versed in the way He lived to serve). He promised those of us who labor in His Word and Good Works, will be provided with relief and rest for our souls when we intercede for others (Matthew 11:28-30).

Part Two

The Example of Christ

"You became followers, having received the Word, with joy, so that you became examples"
I Thessalonians 1:6-7

"We worked with labor and toil night and day, to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us"
II Thessalonians 3:8-9

"Be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity"
I Timothy 4:12

The Example of Christ

Matthew 16:24
"Whoever desires to come after me...follow Me..."

Christ said there are three things we must do if we desire to come after Him, we must deny self, pick up our cross and follow Him. The word follow means to set one's focus on following the example of Christ (I Peter 2:20-21). Whenever Jesus chose and called a disciple He simply commanded "Come, Follow Me" and a Christian is simply a "follower of Christ". Jesus always warned those He called and scripture warns us, in answering the call of salvation, we answer a call to live a life of sacrifice, suffering and service. "He who loves His life will lose it...he who hates his life in this world will keep it..." John 12:25-26

The phrase "hate his life" describes one who serves Christ by using their time, talents and treasures to serve the needs of others. Jesus set the example of hating his life in this world by living a life dedicated to building up the Kingdom of God here in the earth. When Jesus washed the disciples feet he explained to them He did it as an example of service for them to follow (John 13:12-17) and He said blessed are we if we know these things and DO THEM. We follow the example of Christ when we submit to the Spirit and obey God's Word to rejoice in serving, suffering and sacrificing to fulfill God's will and complete His work (John 4:34-38).

An Exact Representation

Philippians 3:17-21
"...join in following my example...you have us for a pattern...for our citizenship is in heaven..."

The word pattern in the Greek means an exact representation of the original, which indicates Paul's life and the life we are called to live should be a direct reflection of the life Christ lived. Peter said Christ left us with an example to follow that others can easily see Him in us and use our life as a pattern to live and love by (I Thessalonians 1:6-7). In following Christ we have to remove our focus from things of this world and look to Christ life on earth, death on the cross and intercession in heaven and follow His example of being a sacrificial servant who rejoices in all things pertaining to the Kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:1-11).

Christ's life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension are all examples of how we are to live a life committed to serving, suffering and sacrificing. He said when we come to Him we must come to learn to walk and live a life dedicated to obeying God's Word, Will and Way (Matthew 11:28-30) and remember scripture tells us, Christ learned obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:5-9). We can take courage in knowing our troubles are all apart of coming after Christ and patiently enduring and rejoicing through it all is truly FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST.

The Good Shepherd

John 10:14
"I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."

In order to effectively follow the example of Christ we have to learn more about Him and not just reading His Word but we have to learn to listen to His voice and look for His leading. We have to learn to follow Him, as sheep follow a shepherd, for He said He is the Good Shepherd and His sheep know Him, know His voice and follow Him (John 10:11-16).

Jesus also said there were other sheep that belong to Him, who would hear His voice, which implies there are some of us who belong to the flock of God, but refuse to listen to His voice and follow Him (John 10:25-30). It is one thing to be a Believer of Christ, for devils believe and tremble at the Name of Jesus, but it is all together another thing to be a Follower of Christ. To follow Christ is to obey His voice in applying His Word to our heart and life and to be a Disciple of Christ is to follow His example in laying down our life for others (John 15:13).

To know Christ is to live Christ. When we live Christ others experience the Love of Christ through our good works and are drawn to our Good Shepherd. It's a good thing to love the Lord, but it is even a greater thing when we love Him in service to others (I John 3:16-18).

Christ's Sheep

Ezekiel 34:11-16
"...I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out...deliver them from all the places where they were scattered..."

The Apostle Peter said before we where saved we were like sheep that had gone astray, but now, through faith, we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls (I Peter 2:25). If we say we are Christ's sheep and He is the Shepherd of our soul then as the deer pants for the water so we should long after Him knowing He tenderly and wisely provides for our every need (Psalm 42:1).

If we say we are Christ's sheep and He is the Overseer of our souls we have to trust Him to be our guardian and protector who lovingly watches over us (Hebrews 7:22-25). If we don't have a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Christ, we need to fast and pray for God to stir up that desire and passion (Matthew 5:6).

Christ was sold out to reclaiming and restoring the lost sheep of God's flock and we have to sale out to fulfill the Cause of Christ (Mark 2:17). We have to be on a search and rescue mission to deliver God's people from everything that hinders them from walking in the abundant life of Christ (John 10:10).

Shepherding Sheep

Acts 20:28-31
"...take heed to yourselves and to all the flock...savage wolves will come in...to draw away disciples after themselves...therefore watch and remember..."

Jesus warned the disciples about thieves and robbers. Paul warned the Ephesians elders of the outside and inside threats to the church, but their warnings where not about the thief or the wolf. Both Jesus and Paul wanted the disciples and us to be able to recognize a true follower of Christ, which is seen in the fruits of their labor (Matthew 7:16). Paul goes on to tell the elders he gave them an example of how they should work to support the weak and reminded them that Christ said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:32-35).

The words of Jesus and Paul aren't just for those in leadership, but to all who name the name of Christ, for we all have been called to be Shepherding Sheep. We are called to be under shepherds (like an under study looks to, listens to and learns from another) to the Good Shepherd, seeking out and supporting the weak and lost in our communities and world (Mark 16:14-18).

Caring Connections

John 10:7-16
"...I am the good shepherd (Christ)...and there will be one flock and one shepherd..."

A sheepfold was a walled enclosure or high fence made with stakes, which had one door or gate. The doorkeeper was the under shepherd and often times given the responsibility of naming the sheep. The naming of the sheep was an ancient practice to help create a caring connection to the portion of the flock he had been given charge of.

We see this in the character of God the Great Shepherd, for He gives all His creation a name to show He cares and is connected to us (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26). "...the Head-Christ-from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, by which every part does its share, causes increase..." Ephesians 4:13-16

As shepherding sheep we have to see ourselves as one flock with a responsibility of caring for one another. It's not enough for us to believe in Christ but we have to join ourselves with Christ by joining ourselves with His Body here in the earth.

We have to commit ourselves to the work of the ministry, which is to help bring the Body of Christ to maturity so we can build up the Kingdom of God here in the earth. We have to learn to be fitly joined together, which means we get in where we fit in (find our place and position in ministry) and use our time, talents and treasures to further the Cause of Christ (Matthew 16:18-19).

Knitted Together

Colossians 2:19
"...not holding fast to the Head (Christ), from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase of God..."

In the book of Acts (the Book of Actions that is) the church begins to grow and increase daily because of their fellowship in fulfilling the Cause of Christ. In the Greek the word fellowship means having all things in common for a common purpose.

The infant church in the book of Actions understood the power of unity, oneness and sharing all they had to help build up the Kingdom of God, one heart and one life at a time (Acts 2:40-47). They sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among ALL, as ANYONE had need.

We further and fulfill the Cause of Christ when we connect ourselves to a portion of God's flock and commit our time, talents and treasures to help mature the Body of Christ, Prepare the Bride of Christ and help build up the Kingdom of God here in the earth (I Peter 2:4-10).

It is high time the church of the living God begins to walk worthy of her calling and do whatever it takes to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of Peace. It is God's Spirit that brings us together, but it is the thread of peace that keeps us knitted together caring for one another (Ephesians 4:1-6).

Part Three

The Prosperity of Christ

"Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love the Lord"
Psalm 122:6

"Those who trust in the Lord will prosper"
Proverbs 28:25

"It pleased the Lord to bruise Christ and Christ will prosper in bringing pleasure to the Lord"
Isaiah 53:10

Empowered to Prosper

Genesis 1:26-28
"...let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...male and female He created them. Then God blessed them..."

According to Hebrew grammar and ancient Middle Eastern knowledge the Hebrew preposition in the phrase "let Us make man in Our image" can actually be translated, "let Us make man as Our image. God created and placed us in the earth as living symbols of His power and reign. That is why God strongly prohibits image-making (idolatry) for He has already made us to be His image and it is we who are in His likeness, to reflect His majesty here in the earth.

Not only did God create us in His image and likeness, but He empowered us to rule and reign as His does, wisely and prudently, over all He created. To be blessed is to be empowered to prosper in every area of ones life and ministry here in the earth (Psalm 1:1-3). God wants to empower His people with dreams and visions of ministries and businesses to break the cycles of poverty and replenish and fill the earth with His goodness and mercy.

Rich in All Things

Proverbs 10:22
"The blessing of the Lord makes one rich & adds no sorrow"

The blessing of the Lord spoken of above, is the blessing pronounced on Adam in the beginning when God told man and woman to be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth. The same blessing was pronounced over Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and now the Body of Christ.

The blessing in all actuality was and is a charge to be a blessing to everyone and everything in the earth (Genesis 1:28). God has already blessed us with all things pertaining to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3) and He wants us to be rich in all things that we may use our time, talents and treasures to build up His Kingdom here in the earth (I Timothy 6:17-19).

Jesus said if we spend our time and opportunities to store up and build wealth for only ourselves we live our lives as fools and God's judgment on selfishness is clear (Luke 12:13-20). If we are only concerned with becoming rich in the things of this world and not rich in the things of God, what will we have when we get to eternity??? What we own in this life will be of no value in eternity for all earthly wealth is temporary and ultimately worthless (Matthew 6:19-21). We store up eternal wealth when we help others become rich in all things pertaining to life and godliness.

Abundance for Good Works

Deuteronomy 8:18
"...remember the Lord your God, for it is He who give you power to get wealth, THAT He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers...

We need to know and understand God not only empowered us to prosper and be rich in this world, but He has given us power to get wealth. Wealth is wholeness or completeness and that's why Paul prayed that our whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless until the coming of Christ Jesus (I Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Wealth is a continual state of health, wellness and prosperity and that's why John prayed that we would prosper in all things and be in health even as our soul prospers (3 John 2). God not only wants us to prosper, but continue to prosper and become prosperous that we might be a blessing to the poor and disadvantaged of this world. The Apostle Paul said it best,

"God is able to make all grace (God's favor and blessing) abound toward you, that you, may have abundance for every good work, that His righteousness endures forever" (II Corinthians 9).

Our Ministry as Spiritual High Priest

I Peter 2:4-10

The scriptures tell us God was in Christ reconciling the world to Him, which literally means God used Christ to change our relationship with Him from hostile to peaceful.

God changed His relationship with us by placing our sins on Christ and once we believe in Christ, God makes His righteousness ours and we become the Righteousness of God. As God's Righteousness we receive the call into His Ministry of Reconciliation (II Corinthians 5:12-21).

We have been chosen to raise up a Nation of Priest and Prophets to draw the world to God and draw God back to the earth (usher in His Glorious Presence- James 4:8). In the Old Testament God anointed and appointed Prophets and Priest to be His representatives before His people and to represent the people before Him.

The problem with their ministry was it didn't satisfy the requirements for true reconciliation, so God sent Christ to be our High Priest and Prophet to restore us back into our rightful place and position in God (Colossians 3:2-4). Now Christ has made us Spiritual High Priest with access to go boldly before the Throne of Grace to intercede for the world (I Peter 2:5-9).

Become a Servant

Scripture tells us Christ was the first of many (Romans 8:28-29) and Jesus tells us the works He did we would do and GREATER (John 14:12-14). His ministry as High Priest has made every born again believer Spiritual High Priest able to enter into God's Presence and offer up Spiritual Sacrifices on behalf of the world (Hebrews 4:16; 5:1-4).

Again, in the Old Testament, only the High Priest was able to enter into the Presence of God to make atonement for his sins and the sins of the people and only once a year, but as New Testament Believers we have DIRECT access to the Throne of Grace, by way of Christ Jesus our Lord (John 14:6). Oh, what a wonderful revelation to grab hold to...through Christ we have become the Temple, the Priest and the Sacrifice (I Corinthians 3:16; Hebrew 13:15-16) and we can fulfill these roles and responsibilities in and through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

In John 17: 1-26 the Word says Jesus told his disciples what the Father told him to tell them, and He did what the Father told him to do; His entire life was driven to fulfill the mission given to Him by God the Father in heaven past, and he denied himself completely on this earth. He gave up every desire to do or say anything that was not part of the plan and purpose of God; He gave up His life so the Life of God could be lived out in Him.

Christ took off His heavenly glory, clothed Himself in human flesh, made no reputation for Himself, but became a SERVANT, to fulfill the will of the Father (Philippians 2:5-8). This is our example to completely die to ourselves.

Stirred Hearts & Willing Spirits

Exodus 35:20-21

We must know and understand God has called us by name and filled us with wisdom, knowledge, understanding and all kinds of workmanship for His service (Exodus 35:30-31). We must never forget that to be chosen and called is a thing of great honor. He chose us before the foundations of the world to bring about change in this world through the sacrificial system of Christ. The New Testament sacrificial system is made up of our gifts and talents to draw all people unto God that He may draw near to them (Matthew 5:14-16).

If we are to see God's glorious Presence and Power released in the earth we, as the Body of Christ, must come together, bring all our gifts and offer them to God for the work of the ministry, to bring about unity and build up His Kingdom here in the earth (I Peter 2:4-5).

In Exodus Moses commanded the people to take up an offering but only from those whose hearts and spirit was willing...and it says both men and women came from all around the camp and brought MORE THAN ENOUGH for the work of the service, so much the craftsmen ask Moses to tell the people to bring no more (Exodus 36:4-7).

Willingly Work the Work

When Moses ask for an offering to support the build of the tabernacle, everyone came with what they had and not everyone had the same thing to offer, but what they had they gave as a FREE WILL OFFERING. Some were called to make the furnishing, others the fragrances and others the garments and coverings.

Then there were those who were called to serve the priests through the up keep of the tabernacle and the priests were called to minister continually before God in the tabernacle on behalf of the people. Again, if we are to be effective in our ministry as High Priest we must come together and bring our talents, and gift as an offering and present our lives as living sacrifices to God (Romans 12:1-2).

If ministry is to be effective we must find out what our gifts are. We have to know what God is requiring of us in building the Kingdom. In Ephesians 4:1 Paul exhorts us to WALK WORTHY OF OUR CALLING, but how can we if we don't know what it is...well Paul tells us WE ARE TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH THE BOND OF PEACE. What is your part today in keeping the unity of the Spirit? What gift can you present that will bring about unity in your home, workplace, society, and especially in the Body of Christ?

Night is coming so we must be more vigilant about presenting our gifts, offerings and working the work God created and called us to do while there is still daylight, cause when night comes no man will work. Our works will soon be revealed and rewards released. Is your heart stirred and is your spirit willing for the work of the ministry???


Power of a Dime

As I prayed about how to close this book, God brought back to my memory a word He allowed me to share at a Church Conference in Naples, Italy back in 2000. The theme for the conference was "A Church in Order for the New Millennium" and I believe this should be the vision of the Body of Christ as a whole today.

My task was to share how we have to line ourselves up with God's Word if we are to fulfill God's purpose and plan in these last days. We have to begin to apply biblical principles to every area of our lives if we are to be "A Church Ready for the Return of Christ".

We cannot expect to experience abundant life here in the earth, if we only apply God's Word in only parts of our life. In this day and age we have to be determined and driven to apply the whole counsel of God's Word to the whole of our life (Ecclesiastes 12:13). At that Church Conference back in 2000 I shared from the thought of "the Power of a Dime" or "the Knowledge of the Tithe".

III John 1:2
...I pray above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers...

If we truly believe the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God, then we believe men wrote and recorded as the Holy Spirit moved them (II Peter 1:20-21). So when we read John's prayer above we have to believe they came directly from the heart of God our Father. We can see these are the desires of God's heart when He sent the Prophet Jeremiah to encourage the heart of the captives of Israel, who were carried away to Babylon.

Jeremiah 29:10-14
...I will show you My concern for you and keep my promise...I alone know my thoughts toward you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about a future full of hope...

1. – to have a good and safe journey through life. To experience the fullness of the blessing of God, or to share in the good success that life has to offer, in order to be used by God to be a blessing to others (Romans 1:10; I Corinthians 16:1-2)

2. – to be healthy as oppose to needing to be healed; if one is healthy, one does not need to be healed. Likewise, if one needs healing one is not healthy, for something has interrupted their health. To be healthy is to be sound in spirit mind and body, to be physically well or whole (Mark 3:5; Acts 4:10; 27:34).

Psalms 23:1-6
...I shall not want...the Lord makes me to lie down in green pastures...He restores my soul...He anoints my head with oil...He makes my cup run over...surely His goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life...

The Psalmist paints a beautiful picture of how God, through Christ, will cause us to live a healthy, happy and hopeful life when we learn to obey His Word and follow His lead (John 10:7-9). Notice the writer begins with, "The Lord is my Shepherd", and he lists the benefits of following the voice and lead of the shepherd.

v.1...I shall not want for His plan is for me to prosper...

v.3...He restores my soul for He desires to see me whole...

v.5...He anoints my head with oil; makes my cup run over for He wants me to know more about Him so I can be more like Him.

1. God is our Heavenly Father who is concerned about our entire being. He is concerned about us spiritually, emotionally and physically. He wants us to experience the abundant life Christ promised.

John 10:10
...I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and life in all its fullness...

I Thessalonians 5:23
...may the God of Peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being, spirit, soul and body...

2. God wants us to come into a greater knowledge of Him as Father, Son and Holy Spirit for through a greater knowledge of Him we will have a greater knowledge of who we are, what we have and what we can do through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 4:13
...in the knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching the very height of Christ's full stature...

Colossians 2:3
...Christ Himself is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God's wisdom and knowledge...

God has sent His Word and Spirit to empower us with wisdom and knowledge to unlock the treasures of heaven in to our heart and life. The key to experiencing abundant life in Christ, is to apply the knowledge of God's Word to our everyday life by the power of His Spirit.

Deuteronomy 8:1-18
... faithfully obey all the laws that you may live, increase in number and occupy the Promised Land...remember it is the Lord your God who gives you the power (wisdom & knowledge) to get wealth...

1. Knowledge is power when knowledge is applied.

Proverbs 24:5
...being wise is better than being strong, for knowledge increases strength...

Hosea 4:6
...My people are destroyed because they don't acknowledge Me...

2. The wealth of the world belongs to God, which means it belongs to His Children.

Psalm 24:1-2
...the earth is the Lord's and the fullness there of...

Psalm 50:10-11
...every beast of the forest belongs to God...

Most of us cannot be trusted with the fullness of God's blessing, because we cannot be trusted to remember and honor Him with our abundance. In Deuteronomy Moses reminds the Children of Israel of four historical events that reflect God's goodness and mercy toward them. He reminded them to remember it was God who brought them out of Egypt and it was His presence that protected, preserved and provided for them in the wilderness. He said God sent them into Egypt and through the Wilderness to test them and reveal their true nature, to see if they would remain faithful to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

Moses goes on to explain how the Lord was about to cause them to occupy a fertile land, with rivers, streams, gushing underground streams and a land that produces good fruit in abundance. He warned them and God is warning us today how prosperity and wealth tend to cause us to reject God and His Word. As God begins to open the windows of heaven to pour out an abundance of good things, let us never forget it is He and He alone that have blessed us. Let us never forget to worship, honor and serve Him with our life and substance.

Leviticus 27:32
...the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord...

Malachi 3:6-12
...bring the full amount of your tithes to the Temple, so there will be plenty of food there...

The life of the Children of Israel and the Church of the living God should be a record of increasing obedience, but instead it is one of ever increasing disobedience. The prophet exhorted God's people to return to honoring and serving Him with the fruit of their labor and land. This too is the key for us today if we are to unlock the treasures stored up for us in heaven.

Deuteronomy 28:45-47
...the Lord blessed you in every way, but you would not serve Him with glad and joyful hearts...

The nation was cursed with poor production from their land and animals because God said they were robbing Him by not honor Him with their tithe. A proper heart response to God's goodness in our life is to joyfully and willing do His will. We need to know and understand that "the Knowledge of the Tithe", when applied to the heart and life of the Church, is the Power for us to prosper and live a health, happy and hopeful life here in the earth. When we learn to return to the Lord that which belongs to Him (the tithe of our time, talents and treasures) He promised to rebuke the forces that cause us to be unfruitful and release the power within us to walk in abundance here in the earth, that His righteousness will endure forever.

Peace & Blessings,

Brother Caleb

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