Monday, November 28, 2011

Five Ways To Give Thanks

Sermon Notes
Wednesday, November 23 2011

Sermon: Five Ways To Give Thanks
Sermon Text: Psalm 100 (NKJV)

1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise, Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.

The Psalmist comes on the scene with Thanksgiving on his mind. He is speaking of the importance of reflecting back on the might of God and projecting forward on the goodness of God.

Point 1: Shout It (vs 1)

Thanksgiving is done out loud. The more you THINK, the more you will THANK. The more you think, the louder you shout out your praise.

Point 2: Sing It (vs 2)
God is not a blues singer, so we must not come with sadness. The song you sing reflects the life you live.

Point 3: Know It (vs 3)

He knows you and He made you. This should give you a sense of “belonging” and make you proud to be a child of God. This alone should make you thankful.

Point 4: Enter It (vs 4)
You should be coming to church with a spirit of thanksgiving. You must also be thankful outside of church because this prepares you for when you do get to church. When you have a thankful spirit outside of church, you’ll already have a praise on the inside of you that is only elevated when participating in the worship service.

Point 5: Continue It (vs 5)

Your praise should be equal to His mercy that endures forever. Your praise should be consistent with what God is doing in your life. There should never be a time in your life when you’re not giving God praise.

Conclusion:

Be thankful everywhere and in everything, for God is good!

THANKSGIVING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!

Pericope: Habakkuk 3: 17 – 19
Sermon Text: Habakkuk 3: 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Introduction/Context: “The average person ate 4500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. Most people ate turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato pie. Most people spent $365.34 while shopping on Black Friday. It is easy to say thanks when you have a full table, a full stomach, and money for shopping. What about when there is nothing?
In our text it is not the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but it is days before the Babylonians are about to take over Jerusalem and turn her full stomach into an empty situation. Due to the sin in Israel’s lifestyle, God has permitted the Babylonians to take over and has put a word into the mouth of Habakkuk. The situation is bleak and everything is about to change. Their reality is penned in verse 17 of this text. The trees and fields are barren; there are no grapes on the vines; no sheep in the pen or cattle in the stalls.
Yet, Habakkuk makes what seems to be an outlandish statement in verse 18.” I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
How is he able to give thanks on an empty stomach? An empty stomach includes more than just food. It can be a situation. How do you give thanks when things are rough? When things aren’t going well that is when we need to give thanks the most. Habakkuk gives us a three step road map to giving thanks on an empty stomach.

Point 1: God gives me Strength to make it. Vs.19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength.
The first thing Habakkuk said was God was going to give him strength to make it. Notice he did not say stuff. Habakkuk realized that stuff could not help him. It could not offer encouragement in the time of trouble. Like the grapes or the fig, stuff can be gone with one move but strength is what will get you through. God will never keep his strength from you. He gives it freely. Even when you are in your most weaken state God will replace your weakness for his strength.

Isa 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Cor 12: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” This is a paradox. When you are going through things, you don’t feel like praising but the way you make it through is to praise. Don’t mistake having to feel praise to say it. If you say it long enough you will feel it.

Point 2: God makes my steps Steady on rocky ground.Vs. 19 he makes my feet like the feet of a deer.
The next thing Habakkuk said God would do is make his feet like deer. Habakkuk is trying to create a picture of a goat perched high on the edge of the mountain just by his feet. He has no thumbs and can’t grab the rock. His feet allow him to be steady and stand safely on the edge. When things are not well in your life, God will give you deer feet. He will make you able to stand on the edge and look over the cliff. Destruction will be on the other side, but you will not fall. When things go wrong in our lives, we tend to want to go to flat ground. We should however look to go higher. Your situation is taking you higher not down. It may seem a little scary and you may be afraid. It is ok to be a little afraid. As long as you let that fear causes you to go hard after God.
A story was told of Muhammad Ali being on a plane. As the stewardess asked everyone to fasten their seatbelts, he noticeably unbuckled his belt. When asked again to please buckle the belt he replied, “Superman doesn’t need a seatbelt”. The attendant replied,” he doesn’t need a plane either. “Don’t be like Superman. Buckle up around Jesus. He will take you through the situation to another dimension.

Point 3: This is not my last Stop. Vs. 19 he enables me to go on the heights.
This is not the end. It is not forever. There is an expiration date on your situation. It will end because your going higher. Give Him praise! Habakkuk had just been given a vision from God of a future world that was coming. Habakkuk has human emotions. Notice he raises life question in 1: 2 How long Lord must I call for help… and in 2: 2 God answers write down the vision and make it plain… Include the date you write it, songs, and scriptures God gives you. In time the vision will speak. You will NOT be defeated. It is not in the scriptures for believers. He will make all things right in his time.
We must express lament and praise. They complement each other. The things in your situation may not be good but it’s not to be denied. You can’t know the power of praise if it is denied. When you accept praise can take hold and take you the place you should be.
It is ok to question God. When you do it puts you on a quest.

When you are on a quest three things happen:
(a) you put demands on God. Include scripture in your demand. God responds to His word.
(b) you deepen your commitment
(c) you drive to a new level of living with/for Him.

Conclusion: Look at how Habakkuk ended his quest! vs. 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Frank Boreham, in one of his books, tells of a conversation he once had with a somewhat naive and Pollyannish woman named Jeannie. He said to her, “Jeannie, supposing. . . .” Before he could finish his question, she said don’t start that suppose stuff. When those thoughts come knocking at the door of my mind I just slam the door and I don’t answer it. While this may have been good worldly advice, Habakkuk had a better response. He said come on in because I am going to rejoice anyway. Suposes will come your way and you have to respond with a resounding , I will rejoice anyway!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

SERMON OUTLINE: THANKSGIVING ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!

Pericope: Habakkuk 3: 17 – 19
Sermon Text: Habakkuk 3: 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Sermon Title: Thanksgiving on an Empty Stomach!

Introduction/Context: “The average person ate 4500 calories T In our text it is not the Sunday after Thanksgiving, but it is days before the Babylonians are about to take over Jerusalem and turn her full stomach into an empty situation. Due to the sin in Israel’s lifestyle God has permitted the Babylonians to take over.

Point 1: God gives me Strength to make it. Vs. 19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; The first thing Habakkuk said was God was going to give him strength to make it.
Isa 41: 10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Even when you are in your most weaken state God will replace your weakness for his strength. 2 Cor 12: 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Point 2: God makes my steps Steady on rocky ground. Vs. 19 he makes my feet like the feet of a deer The next thing Habakkuk said God would do is make his feet like deer.

Point 3: This is not my last Stop. Vs. 19 he enables me to go on the heights Habakkuk had just been given a vision from God of a future world that was coming. Notice Habakkuk raises life question in 1: 2 How long Lord must I call for help… and in 2: 2 God answers write down the vision and make it plain…

When you are on a quest three things happen:
(a) you put demands on God,
(b) you deepen your commitment
(c) you drive to a new level of living with/for Him.

Conclusion: Look at how Habakkuk ended his quest! vs. 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior Frank Boreham, in one of his books, tells of a conversation he once had with a somewhat naive and Pollyannish woman named Jeannie. He said to her, “Jeannie, supposing. . . .”

Friday, November 25, 2011

DEVOTION: SPACIOUS PLACE...THE ACTION PLAN

Spacious Place: The Action Plan...James 1:22

A DEVOTIONAL BY MINISTER EVERETT HOLMON...EDITED BY BISHOP GEOFFREY V. DUDLEY, SR.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says

Have you ever wondered why God would allow us to get down to our last, and then expect us to respond to His word and tell us to do something that does not make sense in our natural mind?

Can you imagine how Joshua felt when God told him to send the priests, not the soldiers; to march around the city and blow horns (Joshua 5:2-5) or what went through Naaman mind, when he was told by the man of God to go wash in the in the Jordan (2 kings 5:1-15). In both cases the men obeyed and received their victory.

What is your story, has God told you to plant in a time of famine, to give food when there is barely enough to feed your own family, or to tithe when there is no money left in the bank until next pay day and you have other obligations to meet.

Why is it that God demands so much from us when it seems we have so little? Because God want to take us to a spacious place by helping us learn to put action behind the very words we hear and speak. When we obey God’s word, it triggers four truths to activate our action plan in order that we may enter into the spacious place.

First, it triggers our trust in God. Secondly, it triggers a release of blessing over our life. Thirdly, it triggers a deeper dependency on God. Lastly, it triggers an investment made into eternity in the kingdom of God. When we put a demand on God from His word he is obligated to act on his word and when God put a request on us we are obligated to act on his word through our obedience.

It is important to listen to what God’s word says, but it is more important to obey it. To do what it says. To that end, are you willing to put into action the words God has spoken to you?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place...Action Plan Notetaker

Living in the Spacious Place Action Plan NoteTaker

Working definitions: Spacious Place- worry free, not care free
Poverty Spirit-when you believe your situation and life circumstance is bigger than God.

Living in a Spacious Place: Rehoboth Part 2: Genesis 26: 1 – 4, 12 – 15, 1 Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 2 The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. 3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring[a] all nations on earth will be blessed. Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him. 15 So all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the time of his father Abraham, the Philistines stopped up, filling them with earth.
Context: In our text we find God at work turning a famine into a Spacious Place. As you know the only way God can get anything done on earth he has to work through obedience people who trust him. The person he chooses to work through in our text is Isaac. Isaac trust God and obey him even when it doesn’t make sense. Isaac obeys and trusts God even his haters are everywhere and do some pretty bad things to stop him from moving to his Spacious Place.

1. Isaac ________ even when it was a famine. Eccl. 11:4, Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
2. Isaac __________ __________because his belief in the word __________ into obeying the word. _______, _________, and _________ go hand in hand.
3. Isaac quickly recognized_______, __________, and the _________spirit _____ __________ ________from them.
4. God made ________ for Isaac-__________! What is your __________?
5. We ________ and ______ ____________ but we do not ___________ to God’s word He is waiting to make you a Spacious Place.
What will you change ___________ so God can change your ___________ _____________.
Living in the Spacious Place: Don’t Get it Twisted: Luke 16:19-31, 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Context: In order to get the context you must read. This is not a parable because Jesus uses the name of someone; it is considered a true event by many scholars. Luke 26: 10 – 14. 10“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” 14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
In response to the Pharisees sneering, the Greek means they looked down there nose at Jesus, Jesus tells them a story about somebody they know. We know this story as the Rich man and Lazarus.
6. The Rich man never _________ into the ________.
7. The rich man got it ___________.
8. Jesus did not __________ the rich man’s___________. Jesus the rich man’s lack of investing into the kingdom.
9. Jesus wants us to give to _______ ________ and for ___________.
• Matthew 6:19,“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
• Matthew 10:42, And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Living in the Spacious Place: How to defeat the Poverty Spirit: 1 Kings 17: 7 – 16, 7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.
Context: Elijah had prophesied there was going to be a famine and drought in the land for at least seven years. It’s at this time God instructs Elijah to defeat the spirit of poverty. The land is full of lack. There is lack of water. Lack of food. Lack of faith. Lack of people walking with God. Lack of prophets speaking faith to break hold of lack over the land because Jezebel was killing them off. 18:4 Even a 100 prophet’s were hidden with food, water, and supplies because the land was so full of lack and poverty spirit prevailed. Elijah finds a woman who must act on faith to unlock her preordained destiny.

10. It was _________ __________ the widow would be blessed she simply had to _________.
11. God needed a ___________to _________ ___________during the famine.
12. She had to ____________ her life ___________ __________ it before he _________ ___________.
13. God ________ his __________ even in a __________.
What famine are you in? What do you need to reorder in your life?

Living in the Spacious Place: Poverty Spirit a 3 Play Act: 2 Kings 8: 1-6, Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” 2 The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. 3At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi. 5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
Context: Another widow woman obeys the man of God this time it is Elisha. had already obeyed him and believed in God when she is prayed for her dead son who came back to life. Now she is set for a spacious place- total restoration for what the enemy took from her.

14. Because of the widows ___________ God restored ____________.
15. The widow had to obey in a __________ and __________ times.
16. Gehazi ____________ his _______ __________and ________ ________for the widow.

Living in the Spacious Space: God’s Money Managers: Luke 21:1-4, As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Context: Jesus watches a widow give everything and commends her on her investment into the kingdom. Jesus also commends: compares/criticizes what others gave who had far more. This smart widow was a wise money manager.

17. How _______ do you _________ into the kingdom?
18. When you ____________ to God it’s not a “_________ _______”
What is your action plan?
There is a “famine” in America-jobs are scarce, the economy is in serious trouble. This is not a time to trust politicians or man’s economy. This is a time to hold on to God and obey his word.
19. Are you “_________ __________ ____________” of trust or giving _________ _______ __________ and not ____________ through __________ and giving generously?
20. Have you ___________ the ________ along the way and need a __________ ___________
21. Are you ___________ in your soul and not sure where you will _______ _______? Yes or No

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: God's Money Managers OUTLINE

Sermon Text: Luke 21: 1 – 4 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.A 3“I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Sermon Title: Living in the Spacious Place: God’s Money Managers
A Barna research study back in April 2000 found that only 8% of Christians give 10% of their income or more.
According to statistics, in American Churches the breakdown of giving looks like this:
20% of members Give 80% of all funds
30% of members Give the other 20%
50% of members Give nothing – ever!
Imitator-mimics others stewardship.


1. Modeler—gives when there is an example
2. Conformer—gives because of tax benefits and personal gain
3. Individual—gives in proportion to what God has given him/her
4. Generous Giver—recognizes that all one posses belongs o God and derives joy from giving
5. Mature giver—focus on God then on others concerned with his/her treasure in heaven than treasure on earth and is content with daily provisions
1. Give Politely
Matthew 6:1 - 4 1 "Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that you are giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
2. Give Plentifully
2 Corinthians 9: 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
3. Give Progressively
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Phil 4: 19 And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory…

4. Give Positively2 Corinthians 9:7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

DEVOTION: SPACIOUS PLACE...DEFEATING THE POVERTY SPIRIT 2

Devotional - Living In The Spacious Place: Defeating The Poverty Spirit
By Minister William Witherspoon; Edited by Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley, Sr., D.Min.

Malachi 3:10 King James Version (KJV) 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 New International Version (NIV) 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

On a stormy night in August a child is born. His mother lovingly cradles him in her arms and gazes with sheer adoration into his face. She carefully considers his every feature and thoughtfully commits each one to memory. She notes his long eyelashes, fat cheeks, puffy little hands, and curly locks of hair. This is love at first sight.

While rocking the child to sleep and humming a lullaby, she pensively considers the life she is holding in her hands. She reflects on how precious he is and what she must do to take care of this precious life that has been placed in her hands. On that single thought, her smile slowly melts and turns into a stoic stare. She starts to frown as her thoughts reluctantly transition from the peaceful places in her mind to the chaotic reality of cursing bums, arguing crapshooters, gangs, gunshots, and police sirens. For now, she and the baby are currently living in a damp, dilapidated, and partially condemned apartment building.

Only moments ago in her mind, she was in a beautiful place. One might call it a spacious place. A place where she did not have to worry about where the next meal was coming from or how she would make ends meet. There were no worries of "will these food stamps feed me and the child".
The mother thinks to herself and whispers almost inaudibly "I know God has more for me than this". She reflected on how the Lord had always provided for her family despite the destitute poverty in which she had grown up. She thinks to herself and remembers that before the baby was born, she had dreamed of owning her own home, working a good job, maybe even owing her own business.

We often think of dreams as mental events that happen at night while we are sound asleep. Sometimes we errantly label a young person that has concocted and verbalized a seemingly inconceivable Idea of doing something great as being full of dreams. At first glance, we may believe that both types of dreams lack possibility, but the truth of the matter is that only one type of dream lacks possibility.

On the other hand, the young mother in our story had a dream or vision of a better life. Undoubtedly it was a cold hard fact this young mother's current living situation was hostile to the fulfillment of her dream. However, if we look at her circumstances and desires in light of Gods truth, the path leading to the fulfillment of her dream was only obscured by the overgrowth of situation and circumstance.

DEVOTION: SPACIOUS PLACE...DON'T GET IT TWISTED

DEVOTION: Living in the Spacious Place-Don’t Get it Twisted
Written by Bro. Robert Goodwin
Edited by Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley, Sr., D.Min.

Luke 16: 19 – 31, 19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ 25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ 27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

In 1997, Home Depot stocker Billie Bob Harrell, Jr. won a $31 million Texas jackpot. Living in a spacious place is not just about living in wealth… To the former Pentecostal preacher, $1.24 million per year was a gift from heaven. He bought a ranch, six homes for himself and family, and a bunch of new cars. After the initial glory subsided, however, Harrell found himself losing and loaning money at an alarming rate. Like many winners, he had trouble saying no to those who ask for his funds. As a result, Harrell’s life became too stressful to handle. He divorced his wife. Less than two years after hitting pay-dirt, he committed suicide.

“Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me,” he is quoted as saying shortly before his suicide. (Source; Business Pundit)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11)

Because of his grace and because of his mercy, I’m grateful I can “count” my “Blessing” (per day) from Heaven.

“GOD” will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in “CHRIST JESUS”. (Philip. 4:19)

As the rich man made no cash advance into treasures of heaven and had nothing to draw-misplaced, misunderstood use of wealth today can have disastrous outcomes. Spacious Place-worry free not care free, don’t get it twisted.

DEVOTION: SPACIOUS PLACE...DEFEATING THE POVERTY SPIRIT

DEVOTIONAL BASED ON: Living In The Spacious Place: Defeating The Poverty Spirit

Written by Minister William Witherspoon – Edited/Approved by Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley , Sr.

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 7:7-12 New International Version (NIV)7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Trust God and be led by his word into a dream or spacious place.
The same choices hold true for us as the body of Christ. We may look at our situation and circumstances and choose to serve a life sentence as a prisoner of the poverty spirit, and never trust our Lord to guide us towards our spacious place. Alternatively, we could shed those heavy and unsightly shackles and wholly trust the Lord Our God to lead us out of the captivity of our current impoverished situation and into the spacious place, he has for us.

The word of God says in:
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

We must always remember that the poverty spirit is there to keep us from entering our spacious place. Just like the woman in 1 Kings 17: 7-16, God is willing to perform a miracle in our lives if we are willing to trust him. God gave us the vision therefore he will supply the provision if we follow him.

This week consider praying with a thankful heart for a submitted obedient spirit that is open and willing to do the work of kingdom building. If you trust God, you may just find that your spacious place is much closer than you think.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: How to Defeat the Poverty Spirit Pt. 2

Sermon Notes
November 9, 2011

Sermon: Living in the Spacious Place: How to Defeat the Poverty Spirit Pt.2
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 17: 7-16

7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day of the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ 15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.

By design, the poverty spirit is there to keep you from entering the spacious place. It disguises itself in the form of friends and family members who say these things: “That house is too big for you”. “… I’m just looking out for your well-being” “That’s enough…”

In this text, we see that not only does the widow have a poverty spirit, but the land had a poverty spirit as well.
Working definition: A poverty spirit is when you believe your situation is bigger than your God.

Step 5: Rise to the Challenge (vs 9, 12)
God had already put a blessing on the woman’s life, she just hadn’t risen to the challenge. The same is true for us, if we are captivated by the poverty spirit it becomes difficult to believe and follow what God is telling us to do. If left to ourselves, we would be okay with being average. Learn to listen to your spirit and not your friends.

Step 6: Eradicate Your Routine (vs 13)
The widow had a daily routine. Routine means “rut”. You must change your routine. If your routine is to worry, you will only reap worry. Stop asking others for advice, more likely than not, they want you to remain where you are. If you have been waiting for something to happen and it hasn’t, check your routine. Your routine must put God first; He will make the rest happen.

Step 7: Prime the Pump (vs 13)
You must do something for God first. The source is limitless but it takes a little to access it. In the widow’s mind, the little seemed like a lot. Often times, we want God to give us limitless blessing but we have yet to give Him the little. Stop trying to hold on to the little. God will supply all of your needs.

Step 8: Promise Keeper (vs 16)
Our biggest issue with God is that we are not sure He is going to keep His promise. How God shows He is a Promise Keeper:
1. God swears on himself (Hebrews 6:13)
2. He puts the word above His name (Psalms 138:2)
2. He is not a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)
3. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promises. (2 Pet 3:9)

Yes, your back will be against the wall. This is what builds your faith. Every now and then there has to be a drought so you can see God work.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poverty Spirit a 3 Act Play OUTLINE FOR NOTETAKING

Sermon Text: 2 Kings 8: 6
Sermon Title: Living in the Spacious Place: Poverty Spirit a 3 Act Play
Act 1: 2 Kings 8: 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
(a) She has history with God…her son was raised from the dead
(b) She obeyed the word from the man of God
(c) Gehazi learned his lesson about how a poverty spirit will make you want others blessing and not believe God for yourself
(d) Gehazi pushes others to come into their spacious place

Act 2: Luke 21: 1 – 4 As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.A 3“I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
1. Imitator-mimics others stewardship.
2. Modeler—gives when there is an example
3. Conformer—gives because of tax benefits and personal gain
4. Individual—gives in proportion to what God has given him/her
5. Generous Giver—recognizes that all one posses belongs o God and derives joy from giving
6. Mature giver—focus on God then on others concerned with his/her treasure in heaven than treasure on earth and is content with daily provisions

Act 3: The third act in this play is your ACT. Will your giving reflect you believe God can bring you out even in the most austere times? Notice how almost every situation when God was going to take someone into a Spacious Place they were in a famine, drought or some other tight time. God used giving to gauge their faith. Once he saw their giving he saw their faith and took them to a Spacious Place. You posses the power to leave where you are or stay. Remember giving is not a question as to whether it is biblical to tithe and give liberally. So I am not trying to convince you of the rightness of it. I am trying to help you trust God in your famine. 2 Corinthians 9: 6

1. Give out of your Poverty
Luke 21: 4 all these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

2. Give Purposefully
Matthew 6:19-24 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

3. Give Pragmatically
In Malachi 3 God is angry. One of the things that has happened is that His people have not honored him with their money.
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

Conclusion

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: How to Defeat the Poverty Spirit

Sermon Notes
November 6, 2011

Sermon: Living in the Spacious Place: How to Defeat the Poverty Spirit
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 17: 7-16

7 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 “For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day of the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ 15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.

There are times in our lives where we just don’t have enough. Examples: we don’t have enough time to do what we need to do or we don’t have enough money to pay the bills. The moment when you don’t have enough, you have a poverty spirit.

In this text, we see that not only does the widow have a poverty spirit, but the land had a poverty spirit as well. She didn’t have enough faith to overcome her situation. The definition of a poverty spirit is when your situation is bigger than your God.

Step 1: Don’t Be Afraid (vs 13)
Elijah knew that the woman was afraid by her actions and wanted her to deal with her fear. Fear is where the poverty spirit grows.

FEAR acronym:
F-alse
E-vidence
A-ppearing
R-eal

A.)Fear eliminates faith-whenever God gets ready to do something big, he says “fear not”
B.)Fear freezes you
C.)Fear causes you to fixate on your problems-the more you think about it, the bigger the problem gets

Step 2: Go Home (vs 13)
Elijah told her to go home because that’s where the spirit of poverty lived. The only way you can have faith is that you have to do something.

It is at your home where you learn if you’re going to have faith or live in your poverty situation. Many times we have the mindset of: “my level of living should be everyone else’s level of living as well.”

Step 3: Obey The Word (vs 13)
Elijah wanted the woman to change around her routine.

God will put you in a situation where you MUST use your faith. Sometimes God has to get you to your last, so you can learn to put him first.

Step 4: Watch God Show Up (vs 16)
God has promised some things over your life and he will bring it to pass with your obedience to the word. He will show up and be there EVERY day.

Conclusion:
Many times God has spoken something over your life, but you need a man of God to challenge you and push you past where you are.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: How to defeat the Poverty Spirit pt 2 OUTLINE

Sermon Text: 1 Kings 17: 15, 16 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

Sermon Title: Living in the Spacious Place: Defeating the Poverty Spirit Pt 2

Definitions: Spacious Place—worry free not care free; Poverty Spirit—When you believe your situation/circumstance is bigger than God

Step 5 Rise to the Challenge vs. 9 & 12 Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food. As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied…

Step 6 Eradicate Your Routine vs. 13…Go home and do as you said. But first…

Step 7 Prime the Pump vs. 13…But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. Elijah asked her to prime the pump.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Step 8 Promise Keeper vs. 16 For the jar of flour was not used u and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah
• That’s why God swears on himself. Hebrews 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
• That’s why he puts the word above his name. Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
That why he left you a written record of what he has done in the past.
• He is not a man that he should lie. Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
• 2 Pet 3: 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Living in the Spacious Place: How to defeat the Poverty Spirit OUTLINE

Pericope: 1 Kings 17: 7 – 16
Sermon Text: 1 Kings 17: 15, 16 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.
Sermon Title: Living in the Spacious Place: How to defeat the Poverty Spirit
Context/History:
Step 1: Don’t be afraid. Vs. 13
(1) Fear eliminates faith
(2) Fear freezes you
(3) Fear causes you to fixate on your problems
Step 2: Go home. Vs. 13
Step 3: Obey the word vs. 13
Step 4: Watch God show up vs. 16
Conclusion:

Gods got it Part 5

Pericope:   1 Sam 1:3-8 Sermon Text:    1 Samuel 1:11  And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’...