God is Not Just a Bystander

What is your view of God? Some people see Him as a mere observer or a bystander; someone who is watching your life go by, but not taking part in it. In this view God is seen as more of a score-keeper, someone who is just watching your life, seeing the decisions that you make and keeping a record of your performance in order to judge you.

With this view of God, it is very difficult (or even impossible) to have any kind of real relationship with Him. You can never really have any closeness with someone who has real power to affect change and offer assistance, but refuses to act, and instead just uses your pain to judge you. Would you even want to have a relationship with someone like that?

The real question is, is this idea of God truly accurate? Is this the picture of God that we see in the scriptures?

We will explore this today; and the answer may surprise you.

The New Covenant Perspective on Money, Tithing and Giving (part 3)

Welcome back again to the third and final part of our series on the topic of money, tithing and giving; specifically the New Covenant perspective on these topics, because it is so very important to actually have the proper spiritual perspective in all things – including money, that it was time to look at them honestly with fresh lenses and firmly on the solid foundation of Grace in Christ Jesus and the freedom which He has given to us.
In the previous two parts of this series, we first saw that money in-and-of-itself is not evil – and we also saw that our Heavenly Father is a generous giver who actually enjoys blessing us in every area, including our finances. He wants us to be healthy and wealthy; not only so that we can have pleasure enjoying the life that He has given to us (which He does want us to enjoy) but also so that we will have health and wealth to be generous with and share the love and blessings of Christ with others as well, as His ambassadors.

Then in the second part, we examined tithing, and saw that the old customs and Old Covenant system have been done away with in Christ, as He is the ultimate sacrifice, payment and tithe.

Now today we will complete this series by looking at true New Covenant giving, founded on the finished work of Christ. Giving freely, based on His love, and your new identity in Him.

Do You See Jesus as a Provider?

The title of today’s study might seem a bit silly at first, but it’s meant to cause us to honestly stop and think. Each of us carries with us a certain perspective of God – a perspective that has been shaped by the events of our life, the doctrines and traditions we have learned, and the general thoughts and feelings that we have on a day-to-day basis.

The question found in the title of today’s study, is one that each of us must ask… Do we actually see Jesus as a provider? – because it is one of the ways which He has clearly revealed Himself. A provider in every single way and sense of the word.

In some cases, there has been push-back against the idea of seeing Jesus as a provider, because they say “it makes God into a genie” – some have felt that it is flat-out wrong to ask God for things, or that it is somehow greedy, selfish or worldly. Others have been taught that God really doesn’t care about provision, because that is too carnal, and God only cares about spiritual things. But again, is that how He has revealed Himself? Is that the picture He has painted Himself as in the scriptures?

Today we will take a look at the picture of Jesus as a provider, as demonstrated in scripture, and see a crucial aspect of Himself, that is sometimes ignored, but one that He wants us to see and receive, as much as any other.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 1)

Many times I have heard people express to me, “I just don’t know what God wants! I just don’t know His will!”. Usually this is in regards to some type of situation, especially one concerning divine intervention. And this problem while common, is easily solved by simply knowing more about God and His nature and character.

That statement has offended some in the past, and they’ve gotten angry and said “are you suggesting that I don’t really know God!?” – to which I have responded with an honest: “not as well as you could.” Because God has made Himself known, even through the very names by which He calls Himself.

To God, and to the ancient Israelites, names were very important – they weren’t merely stylistic choices as we make them out to be today; rather names carried great purpose and meaning.

So today in this study I would like to share with you, the names which God has given Himself for us to know, and by these, we would get to know Him more, and understand His character and will, through the names which He has made Himself known to us.

Effective Ministry When Led By the Holy Spirit

All across the world, ministers are studying hard, stressing and struggling to lead the flock and come up with fresh food to feed the sheep, usually multiple times per week. This term “fresh food” can be a bit confusing, in that it is not that parts of the Gospel are stale – no, God’s Word is always fresh, but that the Holy Spirit has a specific word for the people at that specific time, and there are many ministers today who find it difficult to know what that word is and how to deliver it to the people; or worse, they have utterly given-up.

So today, as part of our series on leadership, we are going to be studying how to have an effective ministry that is led by the Holy Spirit (which is the only way one can be truly effective). This applies not only to pastors, but also to every minister and indeed each one of us as well as we go about our day and encounter areas to minister and share Christ with others as well.