We are living in a time of great acceleration. In speaking about the coming New Year, God reminded me of scriptures from Amos 9:13, Leviticus 26:5, and Joel 3:18. Through both scripture and some amazing practical confirmations, He is revealing that 2017 is to be a year when “the plowman overtakes the reaper.” Scarcely will your seed be sown before you see the harvest from it! You will have a thought in your heart and almost immediately see the provision of the Lord for it.
“The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter in law. “He has not stopped showing His goodness to the living and the dead.”
~Ruth 2:20, NIV
What is the best thing God has ever done for you? Apart from your salvation, when in your life have you been most aware of the goodness of God?
Malachi 3 contains a wonderful promise of abundant blessing for those who "bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house." (Malachi 3:10, NKJV.) Israel (in context) and the church of God (by extension) are promised that the windows of heaven will open and there will not be enough room to contain the blessing God gives us economically. I know this to be true, and have seen God bless me personally as He has changed me from tightwad to tither! (You can read some of my financial testimonies here.)
Yet with many Scriptures, the Holy Spirit often reveals deeper layers of meaning to us as we grow. His job is to break us out of the "boxes" we put ourselves - and God - into. One of the things He is revealing now is that we must move beyond the "financial blessing" box described here and see that God is looking for our hearts, not just our wallets. Giving is secondary; all giving flows first from the heart. Tithing is not just financial, but also personal.
There is a deception in the church today that concerns me. Like all deception, it is based on a measure of truth. But taken too far, it changes from a helpful tool for understanding spiritual seasons, to a prison in which we lock fellow believers and throw away the key.
There are two questions every believer must deal with in their Christian life. The first is: "Why aren't I bearing more fruit for the Kingdom of God?" The second is more troublesome: "Why does a good God allow evil and suffering in the world?"
When I married my husband Kevan, one of the first things he said to me was: “Everything I have is yours.” I had been living happily on my own for a while, working in a downtown Boston ministry, making my home in the suburbs, and enjoying a life shared with church, family and friends. I was decidedly not pining for a husband, as young women often do, and was fairly independent and self-sufficient. I can honestly say I liked being single!
"The Blessed Life." How eagerly we seek it, and how elusive it can seem! Rare are the times when we actually reach those "ideal moments" we long for in life: sipping a piῆa colada on a tropical beach, taking a year's sabbatical to pursue a passion, or enjoying the luxury of an overflowing bank account! Far more common is the struggle to overcome, the sense that we are barely keeping up.
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.