Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Responsibility Comes With Blessings
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Blessings are not miracles. Miracles are temporary, just for you, and can occur in unbelief. Blessings keep us out of crisis, 2. Blessings are abundance for you. 3. Blessings are abundance so you can be a blessing. 4. Blessings require responsibility. 5. Blessings are eternal. Space is limited so pick up your Bible and read along as we go through these Scriptures.
Deut. 7: 9 God's Covenant with those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Matthew 22:37-40 Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind.
Ezekiel 36:26-27: New heart, new spirit.
John 15:12 Love one another as He has loved us.
When you are saved you have Godís Spirit dwelling in you and you have a desire to follow His commandments. It is the New Covenant God promised and fulfilled. He not only gave us a way for salvation, but a way to walk in it - the infilling and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Salvation is the doorway to the walk. Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the power of the walk. Walking in love toward each other is the key.
In todayís society we are a "gimme gimme" generation. A really good example of this is the lottery. You put in a dollar and hope you win a million. Many Christians look at Godís blessings in the same way. They give a little of the control of their life, their time, their talents, and their money and expect God to give back in abundance. It doesnít work that way. Too many times we center on what we want and not what God desireís from us.
Total devotion and love, our worship and trust. Complete fellowship with Him.
As believers we are joint heirs and as joint heirs we have promises from God, He is legally, Covenant bound to honor. A Covenant is a legal agreement. It is a 2 party agreement. Each party has to keep his part of the agreement. Too many times believers want God to keep all of his part and they only keep a small part of theirs. Thatís not how it works.
God is faithful- He keeps Covenant as we saw in Deut 7. His Covenant with us is the most sacred form of agreement there is. God will keep his end. You have to keep yours. The key to everything is Godís love!
John 3:16 For God so loved the World. God loved us so much He gave that whosoever believed!
Salvation required an action.. You had to accept his gift of love in faith unto salvation and eternal life. It is the same with all the Blessings.
Keys: walks not, delights in, meditates then prospers.
He wonít direct your path if you lean on your own understanding.
One of the major ways we love and worship God is with our tithes and offerings.
Under the Old Covenant the tithes were used for 3 main purposes. To support the Levites, for the upkeep of the temple and to help the poor. Letís talk about this in light of the New Covenant. Letís first look at stewardship. A steward is a business manager in todayís terms, He manages the money and property of another.
Luke 12:42 We are stewards of what God has given us.
We are to be faithful stewards of all God has given us.
Our time - are you giving time to God?
Our family - Are you leading them in the paths of righteousness?
Our Home - Is it a Godly home?
Our talent - are you using the gift God has given you to further the Gospel?
Our money - Do you render unto God what is Godís.
Tithing is one of our responsibilities in this covenant agreement. It carries many blessing but also many responsibilities. We donít give in a legalistic manner, out of duty or obligation. This is not a cheerful giver. We give because we love Him and want to acknowledge His love, generosity and Covenant agreement with him. We worship with our tithes and offerings.
It is not a "gimme gimme". God will fulfill His part as we fulfill our part. Not when, but as! It is an obedient mutual exchange of love and blessing. We bless, adore and worship Him and He Loves and blesses us! It is a give, give situation. Not a give and take situation, with God giving and us taking. We are to love God - no matter what!
Mal.3:3 Return to God, donít rob God, pay tithes and the doors of heave will be opened. Jesus told us to render to Caesar what is Caesarís and to God what is Godís. Godís part is the tenth, it was Decided way before Moses, when Abraham paid the tenth to Melchizedek. I donít believe that part has changed. Paul tells us to decide in our heart what to give and give it cheerfully. All this leads back to fulfilling Godís commandment to love Him and each other. When you walk in love, trust God to be faithful in keeping his covenant, you donít have to worry so much about the return.
Luke 6:27. "But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28. "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
29. "To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30. "Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31. "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32. "But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33. "And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34. "And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35. "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
36. "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. 37. "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. We so many times just use the last verse and there is so much more to it. Yes, give and it will be given to you But!!! look at the preceding verses.
Godís Covenant is not a cafeteria of blessing - where you choose what part youíll keep and then tell God what part you need. You are responsible to do what He expects and asks.
Our first and most important responsibility that should pour out of our new spirit is spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We should be fervent in supporting this aspect of the ministry. We should support our local church, Our pastors and teachers, apostles and evangelists, missionaries, and reach out to the poor as the Word tells us to.
True fellowship with God is a totally giving attitude expecting nothing in return expect the promises of God. We have the right to expect God to keep his Covenant, but we have to keep ours. I think this is why so many people fail in their believing for the meeting of needs. So many times, I hear people say "I pay my tithes for years and nothing has really changed." But are you worshiping with your tithes, are you looking at what your responsibilities are. Are you being judgmental, are you walking in forgiveness, are you giving at the church, helping at the church. Or are you coming on Sunday mornings and answering the altar call time after time for someone to pray for you a job, a raise, etc.
Every Sunday at our church we say that confession, but we need to be in line with the word before we can walk in it. Then you can say that confession, which is reminding God of His promises to you and your obedience to Him, and He is legally obligated and faithful to fulfill it.
Matthew 6:33-33 Seek ye first the kingdom of GodÖ
Psalms 18:30 The Word of the Lord is proven.
The Philippians truly understood this concept.
Fellowship here is a type of partnership. The Philippians from the first time they heard the Gospel want all of it. They went after every bit of it with their whole heart. They supported Paul in his ministry to proclaim the Gospel. They were in fellowship with him, they were sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit to pray for him, and for his success in leading others to Christ. They also supported him financially.
They were walking in love toward all, praying for Paul to sow the Word and reap the fruit and it was their fruit as well as Paulís. They prayed for him, were lead by the Spirit to intercede for him. In times of dire straights they supported him financially.
This support of Paul was a sweet aroma, an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord,
And God supplied all their needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Let me leave you with a few thoughts. Love God with all your heart. Walk in love toward your brethren and your enemies. Worship with your talents, time and tithes and offerings. Expect and trust God to fulfill His part of the covenant because you have fulfilled yours.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.