Daily Devotional – 7/20/17 “When the believers gather!”

Yesterday, I started to write the devotional, as I normally do but then I erased it. I started writing again and the same thing. I finally finished what I thought was an okay devotional but the spirit would not let me release it. So, I sat reading it over and over again until finally, I closed it without posting anything. Now, here I am feeling bad because I didn’t post but then I realized, sometimes the blessing is in just showing up. On last Sunday, I preached on the story of Paul, when he was stoned and left for dead. The bible says in Acts 14:20, “But as the believers gathered around him, he got up and went back into the town…” I pinned this scripture not because of what it says but actually due to what it does NOT say. See, it does not say the believers prayed, laid hands, oiled Paul’s head, spoke in tongue, danced or fasted but it says they gathered. See, beloved, sometimes the miracle is in the assembly and not the conversation. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Yes, there will be times for all the things listed above but every once in a while, there will be times that all you need to do is show up.

I don’t know who this is for but you need to stop being mad at the person who didn’t say what you needed when they showed up. You need to forgive that person for not doing what you needed but they showed up. Quit being upset because pastor didn’t say anything at your program, he showed up. The bible says, when the believers gathered Paul got up. And if I can be honest, the only reason you haven’t gotten up yet is because you’re listening for what’s being said instead of looking at the power of the gathering. Stop worrying about the number of people in your church, when the strength is in the believers who showed up. You’re worried about those who haven’t text you while going through but you’re missing those who showed up. Sometimes you need to stop listening and just look because when the believers gather, some things can happen. When the believers gather you can breathe again, you can get up, prison doors can be opened, blinded eyes see again, mute tongues speak again, cancer is healed, organ functions are restored, closed wombs are opened, debts are paid off and applications are approved … when the believers gather. Don’t lay hands, just gather together. Don’t speak, just show up. Don’t text, just come. Don’t post it on Facebook, just show up. For when the believers gather!!

Sunday’s Sermon : “You left me for dead!”

Daily Devotional – 7/18/17 – What do I tithe?

My daughter and I were having a conversation a few days ago about tithing. She had recently spoken to a young lady who said she stopped going to church because no one could explain to her how tithing went from fruits/vegetables and such to money. Before you go there, this young lady’s point was, why the churches of today are so focused on money when tithing wasn’t originally this. **Disclaimer, these are just my thoughts. ** Well, this is where my issue comes in because so many of our millennials are leaving the church in record numbers because they cannot get answers or understanding to things that matter to them. Personally, I was never taught how to tithe or how to know where and when to sow seeds; even though I was raised in the church. But, I do know that tithing changed to physical money when we, most of us, stopped basing our eating on what we harvested in the field. We work, therefore, we receive a paycheck that equates to money. So, the overall issue of tithing should not be whether it is money or harvest because your harvest is money.

Now, we move from this argument to the question that everybody has, yet not often asked, “How much am I really obligated to give?” Well, the bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, “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, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In other words, will I go to hell if I don’t tithe 10%? The short answer is no. What you tithe is between you and God and this is why you have to ask Him and let Him lead you because He can equip you with the ability to “tithe” more than 10%. The other question, “Do we have a responsibility to care for those over us?” Yes. The bible says in 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” Taking care of the worship places and those who lead them is a part of our ‘owe’ to God but what you give and when, is between you and God. Think on it like this. In your home, you pay bills. When you have other adults who live there, you often times, expect them to chip in on said bills in order to ensure the house runs. Well, in church, the leader is the head and he, along with you (members) have a responsibility to ensure the house runs. Thus asking you to tithe. Plus, you cannot get upset when your opinion does not count, on how the house should be taken care of, if you are not putting anything into said house.