Famine Of Righteousness Part 1

 

Famine Of Righteousness

Worship goes far beyond, just having an emotional experience. It is during worship one can actually experience a closer spiritual encounter with the Lord. Worship includes adoration, exaltation, magnification, glorification and the giving of thanks to the Lord! Webster defines worship as; an extravagant respect admiration or devotion to an object of esteem; reverence paid to a divine being or supernatural power.

RESET!

Everyday is a precious gift from the Lord.  Your personal  daily devotion to the Lord  is important! God can meet you right where you are.  Regardless as to what is happening in this world or what is,  or is not going  in your life; GOD STILL  DESERVES  to be honored, praised, thanked & worshipped! He can help you meet the challenges that life presents. He can help you rise above them all.   Begin to live everyday starting now: ” TO GOD BE THE GLORY! ” 

 

God’s principles for life, living, His Church, marriage and the family as well as “True Worship” are continuously being abandoned.  God wants each of us to seek Him first. Everything that we will ever need we can discover in Him.  

 

GOD IS!

God is Omniscient therefore He knows all things spoken or unspoken. There is no fooling God.  If you think you can you are only fooling yourself. When you truly believe this you will begin to think and live differently. 

 

God is Omnipotent; meaning all power! God so deserves pure unadulterated worship & praise. God created us to worship Him. It is we who need Him. He did not program us like computers or make us to be robots.  He has made each of us uniquely different.  We have our very own temperament. It is out of His love and mercy that He allows us the freedom to choose to worship Him. This is not the same as being religious.  You can worship just about anything.  However, the true worshippers must worship God; “ In SPIRIT and in TRUTH.

 

God is and always will be eternally everlasting. He wants us to live a life of worship. We  are living in the midst of an invisible war zone.  The battle is not ours.  God is able to keep us in the midst of it. However, we must learn to seek Him daily and stay adorned in our spiritual armor. This is why each of us  need Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Have a spiritual feast. Daily partake in His Word!  Begin to really;  “lean & depend on Jesus.” For He wants us to live our lives to please Him. “ For though we live in the world we do not engage in war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world…” II Corinthians 10.

 

Ezekiel is a great example of a man that chose to live a life of worship and obedience to God.  This is not always easy. He was  no doubt  a “peculiar” man.  It is a conscious choice to live apart from the world yet, remain within it. Despite what was going on about him, he lived what he preached, proclaimed and prophesied. Look about us and see all that is happening.  Today it is also so very important too that your main focus for life and living for the Lord become your main priority. Instead of just focusing only upon  the here and now begin to look deeper.

 

This is why worship is so very important. “Be still and know.” When your life is built upon the “Solid Rock” principles of the Lord’s Word you will be able to endure and press  onward.  Even in this day and time when much is going on, do not  compromise your godly principles and values. We must learn to TRUST GOD regardless of what happens. As children of God He still wants us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3.

 

Today we are currently experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”

 

One must only visit the corridors of scripture to see time and time again the consequences of what happens when the world, a nation, His Church, politicians, or a group of people ignores what God has to say. Ezekiel was willing to forego the praises and misunderstanding of God’s people. He did not receive a warm reception, nor was he welcomed or celebrated. Yet he moved all throughout the people serving the Lord.  They instead had chosen to accept and embrace the ways of the world.

 

Our devotion to the Lord must be more than talk. Sometimes it requires that we make grave spiritual  sacrifices.  Such as time in personal devotion and more  time with the Lord in His Word. We are to; ” Be in the world but not of the world…” We must at times forego the support of others. Less dependency upon being accepted by the masses and more focus on honoring God. Less time seeking to be understood  yet striving daily to understand the Lord and His  marvelous living Word. 

 

We should continually be drawing near to the Lord. 

 

Many are  pressured to think  in terms of giving  sacrifices of material goods or money.  Often  to the point some neglect to tend to their  own home life.  Their place of worship has actually become a place to escape? To some their little kingdoms?  This is due to many church assemblies have become very material in regards to their constant concern for things for the building.  There is nothing wrong to want a nice place of worship.  But consider the cost before you build. Is it or will it be a continual burden you must bear. Not everyone is spiritually mature… Please do not continue to fleece the sheep of God… Depending on the assembly, often tithes are used  to determine one’s worth or their level of  participation and influence…

 

Malachi is often used to enforce the Tithe.  It is important to study the Word to know what the Tithe was for and what it actually was…   Malachi  was the last Old Testament Prophet/Priest sent  to Israel by God.  He spoke strong rebukes to both the priests as well as to the people. They had faltered in their commitments to the Lord.  He called them to “REPENT!”  After Malachi there is a silence of 400  or more years.   God will make a way for us to do whatever He calls us to do.  “…Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not…  Malachi 3 

 

Things in themselves are not bad.  And it is good to give! But, In some cases money has become some congregations primary focus.  Keep in mind; “God loves a cheerful Giver!”  

 

Does not the Lord say; “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added…” Matthew 6   Well this is true for the assembly of the Church as well.  When the Tabernacle which was a grand tent  was assembled, they carried it  from place to place. Notice all the things that were in the Tabernacle?  What they did?  What they did not do? What was not allowed?   There are 50 chapters devoted in the Bible to the Tabernacle.  13 in Exodus,  18 in Leviticus  13 in  Numbers,  2 in Deuteronomy. It was known to be a place  to gather together to worship & praise God.   It was dedicated as a special place set apart to honor our Lord God;  Yahweh!   

 

The main focus and top priority  was always to worship GOD! Think about it  when Solomon built the Temple.  All that he needed to build the  place of worship was already provided…   For hundreds of years there were no places of worship built  for the Church of God to assemble.  The Disciples and the Apostles built no places of worship…  Jesus built no place of worship.  It is your choice to build a place of worship. Therefore trust God!

” Know ye not that; Our bodies are the Temples of GOD! “

 

There has been a priority shift.  Many other things are now included in worship? Some places of worship are more like community centers.  Some of everything goes on in the name of the Lord!   It is important to know GOD and HIS WORD for yourself.  Focus more on Him rather than your issues. Allow Him to strengthen your faith and trust in Him. Think deeper upon the spiritual disciplines.  Our future and eternal life rest in the Lord.  We are each accountable to God for what we do.  Know what God requires of you.

“THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!”  

 

God speaks to His people in many ways.  

 

God never forgets those who are faithful!

 

The name Ezekiel means; God is strong or God strengthens! True success in a spiritual sense is not how the people respond to us, but it is how we respond to God! Ezekiel was called to an “obstinate and stubborn” group of people. We too are often called to share our faith with unkind, ungrateful, disrespectful , rude, hard, harsh and spiritually abusive people… Yet, God Our Father has promised to; ” NEVER LEAVE NOR FORSAKE US!”   It is vitally important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. ALL of His promises are true! ” GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU/US! “ The Lord wants us to share the Gospel regardless as to how we might be perceived, even today when we are today in this world are experiencing a “famine of righteousness.”

 

When studying the book of Ezekiel if you look closely you will see just how closely it relates to what is going on in the world right now. Ezekiel genuinely wanted the people to understand who God is. He was sent to the children of Israel to remind them of God’s principles for life, living and worship. The children of Israel were not a nation who did not know God. They had just become “rebellious”. They had turned their back on God and instead embraced many of  the ways of the world. Ezekiel went to great lengths to get their attention. For over two decades he wrote, preached, warned and pleaded with God’s people to return to His principles.

 

In reading Ezekiel one must not be so removed from him that he is thought of as a fictional character with an irrelevant message. To embrace the overwhelming genuine concern he exudes one must put on  their spiritual ears and listen attentively. Ezekiel tremendously, ferociously and vehemently cries out as he prolifically expounds God’s Truth. Since he had been labeled as being “strange” the people were quite reluctant to listen.

Ezekiel wanted the people to return to God.  We too should want the people to return to God!

See Part 2


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God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Jesus Christ is the WORD in flesh. He has all power. There is no power principality or anything that is not subject to Him; yet He humbled himself to be the only flawless perfect example for us. He died on the cross for the sins of the world. He then arose from the dead with ALL POWER! His purpose was to make us aware of the importance of developing an intimate personal relationship with God through Him.

When you accept Christ Jesus into your heart, the Comforter; His Holy Spirit will direct you and teach you all things as you grow spiritually. Yet He always gives you the liberty and freedom to choose.

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

Today there is much discussion as well as questions in regards to giving. How much, when to give and to who should it be given. Should you give to missions, church ministries, or charities? Is the money used to further the Gospel or to just maintain the building and activities? Should it matter to you how the monies are used? Is tithing commanded? Do we tithe our gross or our net?

When we give be it our money, material possessions or time it should be done responsibly. I believe in supporting ministries who focus upon spreading the “Gospel.” This actually equips others to live victoriously. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world them and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24 We are stewards of whatever God puts or allows in our possession. I also believe when you seek His direction, He will direct you how, when, who and who not to give to.

When I read the scriptures I see how Jesus saw that the needs of His disciples were met. The scripture even says they “lacked nothing.” You often hear; Well, Jesus was poor. Jesus didn’t even have a place to lay His head.” Did you forget when Jesus was a growing child He lived in a home with Joseph and Mary his earthly parents. When He became of age His mission was to further go forth fulfilling the Will of Our Heavenly Father. “He who was rich became poor so we might become rich”. I don’t think He pulled money out of His pocket to pay the little lad for his lunch he used to feed the great multitude. I think it was out of the mouth of a fish that His disciple found money? The point is giving is not just monetary. Money is the system that the world uses to exchange goods or services.

You should not manipulate people to give to God! The Lord does not need anything from us. We all need Him! God wants us to give our lives to HIM. To daily live to please HIM. There is nothing wrong with giving but it should not be under compulsion or out of guilt. When monetary giving is usually the primary focus of the Church it is usually because of something material man wants to do or accomplish. If or when there is a need simply say so and let those who are led to give accordingly. Have FAITH in GOD to supply “ALL your needs”

There is much division over the proper way of giving. There is also an often unspoken bias. I have seen many sides of this within the Church over the years. There are those who lean towards believing you are entitled in somewhat of a hierarchy of privileges based on tithing.

Tithes are often mandated from the clergy and widely encouraged. Chances are you will not be able to really participate unless you pay tithes. You are often considered to be robbing God.

In the Old Testament the priests did not receive an inheritance therefore they were taken care of by the tithe. They did not necessary give a tithe themselves. Does this mean that if tithes are received should a minister not then receive a salary? Biblically speaking the tithe was not always necessarily monetary; it was given from the yield of crops and animals etc…

“Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Eat the tithe grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the reverence of the Lord in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. so that you may learn to revere the Lord God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry the tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his name is so far away, then exchange the tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like; cattle sheep….” Deuteronomy 6. The Bible is clear that the tithing is to actually remind us to always put GOD first.

Your giving is personally between You & God!

Were tithes collected when the children of Israel were in Babylonian captivity? To whom was it distributed? It is important in these “Last Days” we are certain of what we are preaching, proclaiming, saying or teaching is Biblical. For we will all have to answer to HIM.

To give or not give tithes as a tenth of your money is a bone of contention for some. Is this because there is an underlying fear that some will not give to the support of the local church ministry if not? Can you distribute your tithes among several ministries? Not everyone involved in the monies always keep this information private. I have seen resentment on both sides. Some who elect to tithe feel slighted when others don’t or entitled because they do? LORD HELP US!

“GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER!”

It is important to spend time with the Lord in His Word!

“Remember this; Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give and not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work..” 2 Corinthians 9.

God is more than able to meet your personal needs as well as the needs of His Church. Let the Lord lead you in your giving.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and everything will be added unto you”. Matthew 6 If you put God first in you life He will provide whatever you need as well as some of your wants. The scripture says if you ask anything in His Will He will give it to you. You don’t have to beg, steal, manipulate, brow beat or coerce anyone. Don’t be envious of others. If you are not content with your blessings; take it up with God. “To whom much is given much is required.” Just remember persecutions come with blessings.

We often make decisions and don’t consult God. Or we consult Him and don’t listen. When we begin to feel the consequences of those decisions we want a fast relief. The problem is many don’t want to seek Him first! We often want something or want somebody to give us something that may not be in God’s will. This should not be…

Since God is omniscient (all knowing) He knows what we need before we even ask. Had you ever thought perhaps I’m not quite ready for what I’m asking for? Or perhaps my priorities aren’t right, or just maybe the time isn’t quite right? I believe when God puts something in your possession He will give you the wisdom how to handle it as well. So therefore, readily repent when the Lord shows you something. This is how you grow in His Grace.

Money comes and money goes even when you are very responsible. There are many variables that can come in to play beyond ones control. Therefore seek to be a prudent steward of whatever the Lord allows in your possession.

Is God your source? Well what’s the problem? The “love of money is the root of all evil which while some coveted after, have erred from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Know that there are people who will do anything for money. Money in itself is not bad or evil. You see you can love money and not have any. You can also have a lot of money and not love it! Just to name a few of many in the Bible, remember Abraham, Solomon, Queen of Sheba, Joseph and Job to name a few? I think they had spiritual and material riches? But they also had the right priorities. It is God that gives the power to be rich.

I can never express enough the importance of having an consistent avid personal prayer, worship and bible study time. It will enhance your life tremendously. It will help you be a good steward. It will increase your spiritual discernment. It will also free you when others try to manipulate you to give or do anything out of guilt. When you grow spiritually your desire to give will as well. But you will receive much persecution when you don’t give your time and money when, how, and how much they think you should. This is why it is important to seek direction from the Lord.

Just know that God knows your heart and He will direct you. Be careful who and what you support. It is not necessary for others to understand or see what you do. God knows your heart and your intentions and He really does see everything. It is your obedience to Him that will cause you to reap bountifully.

God truly is a GOOD GOD. He has left no stone unturned to prepare us through His Word instructions for righteous living and giving. When you accept Him as Lord and Savior remember; “He WILL supply all of your needs according to HIS riches in Christ Jesus.” Begin to give as He instructs. Remember again what Paul tells us in Corinthians; “But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord and not man.

Please the Lord and be a cheerful giver whenever you give!

This is what the LORD teaches us that HE requires of each of us as believers;

“O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of Thee, but TO DO JUSTLY, and to LOVE MERCY, and to WALK HUBMBLY WITH THE LORD.” MICAH 6

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