Reserves

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11 NIV

Morning Moment

Reserves in the insurance industry are the monies set aside to pay claims. A company with low reserves could be on big trouble if too many claims came at once. A company with adequate reserves is hedged against hard days. They have a future.

How are your reserves in Jesus doing?

In Jesus, we invest in reserves. Our personal devotional time, fellowship in church, Bible study, praise, and service to the local church and to others build reserves. In all of this we are depositing faith actions of life against death actions of self ideologies and the world. The world will press us. Evil will tempt us. Our natural desires will drag us. The reserves of Life in Jesus defend and build us.

Worldview is Bought

Buy a lie. Live a lie. Buy a truth. Live a truth. Simple. Reckon, count, add up, deposit in your reserves that you are alive to God and dead to sin and live a Jesus worldview. Reckon, count, subtract, extract from your reserves that you are dead to God and destined to sin and mistaken living and self rule and live a normal world view. Choose. Break the lie pattern. Buy the truth. Invest in your future.

Faith Actions

Faith actions depend on God for results while moving forward. Our actions come from the deep well of belief. Faith is active and obedient. That is why Jesus responds to a woman this way.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:27‭-‬28 NIV

To say we believe in Christ, yet live against His wishes is a dangerous position. Do we really believe? We live what we believe. I can scratch my way into heaven through grace and forgiveness. I can live in joy and fulfillment through grace and forgiveness and faith and hope and love. Obedience emanates from a life lived in the love of Jesus. To say I love Jesus and live against His wishes is a dangerous gamble. My actions are based in death. I am counting myself dead.

Turn the Tables

Go ahead. Switch gears. Turn the tables. Put on Jesus, the Christ. Live in faith. Drop the self fulfillment cycle of destruction and doubt. Build reserves.

Let us pray:

Father, here I am. This is Your child. I have been bought with a great price. Let the words of my mouth and the testimony of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Let me forsake all others and cling only to You. Let my heart lock in and live with Your heart. Build in me solid reserves against hard days that I might find only joy and peace and fulfillment in You in this life and the next.

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The 20 Second Principle

This snippet of Paul’s perspective challenges.  What you believe comes out your eyes, your heart, your actions, your mouth, and every expression.  Lots of folks talk.  But when the door is closed, what words are speaking in your mind?  Are they faith?

2 Corinthians 4

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Light of Christ’s Gospel

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cast Down but Unconquered

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We arehard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.

13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

 

Wakings:  Each morning I wake with a song.  Really, it happens.  Right now it is, “I shall not be moved.”  and I am smiling, almost laughing.

The 20 Second Principle:  When something comes up I can’t fix or find a solution quickly (like 20 seconds), I put it to prayer.  My back fence blew down in the spring storms.  “God, when will I get time to dig new posts, put up fence, pay for it?”  Go for it, God.”  Yesterday, my wife exclaimed, “Where did the back fence go?” Someone took it away.  I was only going to fix two panels, but the entire fence was gone.  In it’s place were steel poles neatly spaced and professionally installed.  I imagine today an entire fence will appear.   All new.  All professional.  All paid for by the neighbor.  All free in Jesus.  Thanks, Father.

Someone asked about budget for an item at the church.  We are a mission.  People are just learning that time, talent, and treasure must be contributed for a congregation to thrive and reach out.  Money doesn’t fall from heaven.  It comes out of bank accounts.  We are dedicated for every dime to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ love.

So, I responded, “We don’t have any money so what do you need?”  Simple right?  The 20 second principle says, “I can’t fix it.  It needs done.  Give it to God and let Him show up.”

Last night, I set a budget. “Okay, God, this will work for the next 90 days.”  Today, I received an email from a legislator, who wants to help us reach families.  He’s sending the money.  It will be what we need.

I believe therefore I speak:  It really is that simple.  I believe God has my back.  I believe God  will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young (Isaiah 40:11)”  For me, that means if we are always adding new family and receiving new faith and new lookers, we will have what we need.

So what do you believe?  Really believe.