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City of Joy

City of Joy t-shirts are still available! Pick up a shirt on Sunday night!

City of Joy T-Shirt back

City of Joy T-Shirt back

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BREAKTHROUGH! | Joshua 6:20-22

BREAKTHROUGH!

Joshua 6:20-22

What is breakthrough?
What does breakthrough look like?

Breakthrough is…

  1. A shift in our circumstances.
  2. A victory over what has stalled us in our move toward our destiny.

Consider what happened at Jericho..

  • Walls crumbled and fell.
  • Men walked straight into the city.
  • The city was completely captured.
  • The Israelites took what was given to them by

More breakthroughs will still come!

Breakthrough is a supernatural move of God to take us into that which has been held against us or kept us from our destiny.

Breakthrough is a YES moment!

For Athens Link – which is all of us – we have been seeking the Lord’s guidance for a place to worship, bring community and life to others.

We are in the seventh month after God led Cindy and me to be open to a change from this house. We have loved ministering here, but God has more plans for Athens Link.

We have shared this vision for Athens, and you have joined us. We have pursued doors that became shut – that is okay.

Change is sometimes uncomfortable.

Change certainly releases us into the unknown.

But…God is all about movement, moving forward, stretching us because He does not want us to be comfortable – He wants us to be perfected through Him.

To see the revelation of this Breakthrough, we need to remember how we got to that point.

A reference point, an awareness of what had been going on with our lives, is what we should celebrate too.

As a church body, we have been called to invite the Holy Spirit to empower us so that our lives will be transformed, and we take the Kingdom into Athens and the Nations.

Let’s track back for a few moments to recall our reference points that we have been discussing over the past several months:

We are…

  1. Called out: While our destiny is proclaimed at birth, we have the freedom to choose to walk in that destiny.
  2. Empowered with New Identity: God’s desire is to see each of us walk in greatness. We are to live in a spirit of generosity, serving, and in the Spirit.
  3. Connected to see what the Father is doing: Jesus wanted to be in alignment with His Father. So we, too, don’t want to go without Him. Prayer is Job One.
  4. Hear His voice to be “strong and courageous”: Sometimes we will be called to take territory that is occupied by the enemy. Our movement must be forward.
  5. Move into new territory: The Israelites knew the promised land would be theirs to occupy, BUT, they would have to fight for it. Athens Link is about to embark on an adventure to take new territory on Baxter Street.
  6. Take risks and defeat giants: We are in the position of totally trusting God because He has to be our provider as we take new territory. Risk takers have No Fear – they have FAITH.
  7. Seeing revelation through the Father’s perfection: On July 7th, that is the 7th day of the 7th month, we had Breakthrough in Double Portions.

The number 7 means Perfection, Completeness; Fullness.

Not only did we sign a contract for one building on Baxter Street, but the Lord delivered another building to us!

In His extravagance, He has more for us than our finite minds could have imagined.

We know this is important to the City and citizens of Athens and to the Body of Christ. We want to be careful how this purchase is communicated to those who may not understand what is happening in these events, and the impact these moves will have on lives, directly and indirectly.

Lastly, we need “all hands on board” to help us “to charge straight in and take the city” like we read in Joshua. Everyone participated in taking Jericho.

There are short time frames, building inspections, money to be raised to enable us to get to the closing table, and then even more money to be raised to complete the transition of both buildings into what God intends to do there.

We are thankful for your prayers, support, and look forward to honoring the Father for what He is trusting with us to do on Baxter Street.

Breakthrough is a YES moment to cherish as it reveals:

  • more is to come;
  • completion is another step closer;
  • we are called to pursue and fight for what God has for each of us and the church body.
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Taking Ground, Part Two | ALF Message by Cindy, Summer 2014

TAKING GROUND – SUSTAINING CONQUEST – PART TWO

ALF, and the church in general, has had an open invitation to take ground and live in His promises for well over 2000 years. This privilege was purchased for us by Jesus through the cross and released through His triumphant resurrection. So what I am sharing now is nothing new – but I do believe that the church has been awakened to her destiny. We are finally being intentional about going after inheritance and promise as a people and as individuals. This is very exciting and very challenging at the same time. As noted in the word, the Israelites didn’t have to do battle until they arrived at their Promised Land. Release from Egypt and time in the desert was all about identity (who we are and who God is). But the sleeping giants awaken the minute we are poised at the Jordan.

Most of us don’t like conflict, risk, or challenges we can’t control. If we don’t press through those fears we will NEVER gain our inheritance nor live in all that He has promised. We are born as believers, from the very beginning, to be fruitful (bear fruit), multiply (add to His family – evangelize), and rule over the earth. Conquest is in our DNA. We must take ground. Victory is assured as we live in the flow of His life. The only thing that counts in conquest is the continuing presence of God. We must be a people of His presence.

Last week I shared from Joshua chapter 1:1-9 regarding the first 2 parts of this study. Part 1 –“Entering In- Crossing the Jordan” –has to do with presence and unity. We must follow Joshua- Yeshua- into the land of promise. And we must help our brothers get their land- i.e. be just as excited about other churches/individuals taking ground as we are about ourselves taking ground. Part 2 –“The Conquest – what is required” has to do with having faith and courage, knowing our enemy (not flesh and blood), and wielding the right weapon (binding the Word to our hearts). The one who is surrendered internally to the Lord, will never surrender externally to the enemy.

This week we will take a look at the last 3 parts of this study: (3) God’s Strategy; (4) Revival and Harvest; (5) Occupying New Ground /Sustaining Conquest. Our focus will be on Joshua chapters 2-5.

GOD’S STRATEGY

Joshua Chapter 2- The first time the Israelites came to the edge of Canaan they sent in 12 men to spy out the land. Two returned with a positive report –Caleb and Joshua. Without unity Israel lost this opportunity to enter into what had been promised. They spent the next 40 years in the desert and all died but 2.

In the book of Joshua we now have a new generation that has been desert tested. Desert tested people are usually ready to take risk and to do whatever it takes. Let me tell you– taking ground is not for sissies. You stick your neck out there- you dare greatly and begin to walk in your promised land- there IS a push back. There is an attack. But it’s worth the fight. And it’s a fight you are meant to win IN HIM and IN HIS ways. So let’s look at God’s strategy…

JOSHUA 2:1-4 Joshua sends in 2 men to spy out the land – especially Jericho. Knowing your opponent is the sign of a good general. We must trust God but be aware of what we are up against. This is wisdom. We must count the cost. It’s as if God wants us to see the impossibility of the task so we can embrace Him to do the impossible. He gets glory!!

So #1 – God calls us to impossible tasks

#2 – God is known for choosing unlikely heroes

  • Joshua – Moses’ assistant – why him? Because he is hungry. He never leaves Moses’ side. Hungry people lead. Joshua became a great general.
  • Rahab – Rahab is a prostitute and a Canaanite/Gentile. She hides the spies. She takes the side of the Israelites. She proclaims God as the God of Heaven above and on earth beneath. She is grafted into the lineage of Jesus as the great great grandmother of David. DON’T EVER COUNT ANYONE OUT. God has a knack for choosing the least of these…the least likely…for HIS GLORY!

#3 –Miracles //God’s testimonies lead the way- Joshua2:8-11

Rahab shares:

  • Lord has given you Jericho- and the land. (what an encouragement!)
  • Fear of you has fallen on the people
  • She has heard the Lord’s testimonies – what He has done. Miracles make a way in unbelievers’ hearts. Miraculous power encounters are game changers .They take the enemy out! And bring the hungry IN.
  • She proclaims Him as God of Heaven and Earth.
  • She is convinced and committed.

So God’s strategy involves the following – (1) God calls us to impossible tasks as we take ground. Only He can make a way. (2) God uses unlikely heroes. They are often no-names, forgotten, and the least of all. But they are hungry and they respond to Him. (3) Miracles, power encounters, and sovereign moves of God make a way!! We need to partner on every level with His strategy.

REVIVAL AND HARVEST

Chapter 3:14-17 – Israel crosses the Jordan as a prophetic act of possession. No turning back. Note a couple of things. The Jordan is flooding its banks. It is revival time, and the revival waters are flowing. Second- it is the time of harvest. Revival brings the harvest. What is already happening in the supernatural is mirrored in the natural.

Quote from a revivalist “When life’s situations have flooded the banks of your human experience it is likely that revival and harvest are at hand.”

Flooding is messy. So is revival. It’s out of control. We have to let go and really trust. We have to do crazy things like lead people through impossible situations such that if God doesn’t show up we are toast.

The priests with the ark step into the Jordan by faith, trusting, as a new generation, for a way through. God pulls it off. They cross on dry ground. Faith has pulled on Heaven’s reality. Revival and harvest are always accompanied by impossible situations. As we go forward in faith He is lifted up through these impossible situations… to draw all men unto Himself.

The Israelites are now in the promised land. Now begins the battle to fully live and occupy what has been promised. This is the enemy’s worst nightmare. No wonder there is so much warfare involved.

OCCUPATION- LIVING IN THE PROMISE

Chapter 5:2-12 – Before their first battle in this new territory the people of God camp at Gilgal. They don’t start fighting right away. God has some things for them to do.

  • The men (new generation) have to be circumcised. Can’t enter the battle, nor occupy the promise, without the sign of their covenant with God cut into their flesh. Most vulnerable place for a man. And I don’t get the timing. But now it’s even more impossible for them to be soldiers at the top of their game. God gets even more glory. I don’t think they will ever forget that God said stop, get ready for battle, circumcise yourself. God’s ways not our ways – they are higher! And we can only enter in with a circumcised heart.
  • They celebrate Passover (when God destroyed the enemy and saved His people). On the next day the manna ceases and they taste the fruit of the land. They taste and see that God is good. They taste the land and now they will fight for it. They have entered a new season of fruitfulness and blessing. And yet there is war. But it’s a war they have already won in HIM.

Chapter 5: 13-6:1

This is one of one of my favorite passages of Scripture.

Love this question that Joshua asks. It is never really answered. “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He says “No” – and tells Joshua who he is. “I am the commander of the army of the Lord.” Key component-àthe Lord’s army is present. Unseen forces are at work on our behalf. His presence, His angels – victory is assured. Joshua had to be undone.

Lord, open our eyes to your forces at work on our behalf. May we see the fruit of our faith declarations and our contending prayer!

Joshua’s response – He fell down and worshiped. He is now positioned to listen, to receive and to obey.

Joshua asks, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” “Take off your sandals for you are on HOLY GROUND”

Taking ground, conquest, occupying the promises of God – never forget that this is HOLY GROUND. We are in His presence. It’s all about worship and focus on Him.

Chapter 6:1 – Jericho is SHUT UP. There is NO WAY IN. Impossible. What does the Lord say as Johsua faces a city all shut up? “See I have given Jericho into your hand, it’s King and mighty men of valour”. SEE. SEE GOD’S WAY. God opens doors that no one can shut. And He shuts doors no one can open. Things aren’t always as they seem (word John had in a dream in Bali).

How will the conquest and occupation take place in regards to Jericho?

It will entail a week of prayer walking, worship, and a shout of triumph.

Sounds like key elements of a great strategy for the walls of our city to come down!!

So what have we learned about TAKING GROUND and CONQUEST!??

  • We must be a people of His presence and live in unity
  • We must be strong and courageous
  • We must know our enemy
  • We must wield the sword of the Spirit – bind His WORD to our heart
  • God calls us to impossible tasks
  • God chooses unlikely heroes
  • God’s miracles, testimonies and power encounters open doors and lead the way.
  • Revival and harvest are messy and out of control like river waters flowing over banks. We have to let go and embrace the mess. Embrace not knowing. Embrace HIM
  • Circumcision – flesh man must die. Spirit man lead.
  • Promises bear fruit and the land is worth fighting for
  • God brings down walls through worship, prayer and a shout of triumph.

 

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Taking Ground-Sustaing Conquet | ALF Message by Cindy, Summer 2014

Have you been feeling a backlash lately?

I believe that the body of Christ is experiencing a backlash because we are in an increased season of “Taking Ground.” We are intentionally going after inheritance and promise as a people and as individuals. We have awakened sleeping giants!

In these seasons of conquest we know that victory is assured as we continually surrender to Him. But we will be targeted nonetheless. And there is a price to pay.

We are going to do a 2 week study of “Taking Ground” as we consider the book of Joshua chapters 1-5. There will be 5 parts to this study as follows: (1) ENTERING IN- crossing the Jordan; (2) THE CONQUEST- what is required; (3) GOD’S STRATEGY; (4) REVIVAL BRINGS HARVEST; (5) OCCUPYING NEW GROUND- sustaining conquest.

JOSHUA Chapter1: 1-9

In the OT everything is a type of what is to come and to be fulfilled in Christ. So keep this in mind as we study conquest (or “taking ground”).

ENTERING IN

Two principals of “entering in” –entering in requires His presence and it requires unity in the body

(1)  PRESENCE-Moses is dead. The man of law cannot take the people into their inheritance. The law cannot inherit the promise. Jesus does that- as He fulfilled the law through the cross and thus released the promise for us. So Joshua is chosen – Yeshua—à meaning Jesus. Joshua is a type of Christ foreshadowed. Joshua takes the 2nd generation of desert tested Israelites into their promised inheritance.

So the 1st principle of “entering in” is that Christ takes us in. In fact, the only thing that counts in conquest is the continuing presence of God. God promised Moses that His presence would go with him (Ex: 33:14), and that He would give Moses rest (Sabbath, promise, inheritance).

For Joshua/ Yeshua the promise of presence is reiterated and actualized in time. And this is true for us also IN CHRIST. If He has promised it then it is already ours!

In verses 3-5 we see the following 3 promises for Joshua (and therefore for us) as he enters into conquest with PRESENCE:

— (1) The land is already theirs. Wherever the soles of their feet tread, He has given it. Passing over the Jordan and entering in is a prophetic act of possession. Now there is no turning back. The Israelites are taking in time what has already been given in eternity. Question – what is your Jordan? Have you crossed your Jordan and entered in?

— (2) No man can keep them/us from what God has promised. In fact the only person who can keep you from entering into your conquest and into your inheritance is YOU.

— (3) His promise of presence is sure. He will not leave or forsake His people. He promised Joshua (and us) that “I will not leave you or forsake you. As I was with Moses, so I shall be with you.”

Again, the only thing that counts in “entering into the conquest” and sustaining the conquest…is the continuing presence of God. His presence allows us to enter our promised rest as we face giants, obstacles, unchartered territory, fear within, accusation, and varied/sundry problems.

(2)  UNITY- Interesting key here, about entering into conquest, is the need for unity. Three tribes (Reuben, Gad, and ½ Manasseh) are given land on the other side of the Jordan. But they are commanded to help their brothers (other 9 ½ tribes) conquer their land before they can rest (vs. 14-15).

Unity is a key principle for “entering in” and for sustained conquest. There is a real sense in which we must not rest until our brothers and sisters rest with us. We must be just as excited about others taking ground as we are about ourselves taking ground!

So what does this mean for us?

We have personal ground to take and corporate ground to conquer. We have God given dreams to fulfill and inheritances to be realized. Do you know what the greatest regret of a dying person is? It is this -“I didn’t live my dreams. I played it safe.” Wow. I don’t want to have that regret.

In order to gain our inheritance, and take ground, it will require that we be a people who live in His presence. Only Jesus can take us IN. Secondly, you and I will not conquer our territory alone. We will need the help of our brothers and sisters. And they will need our help. Presence and unity are two keys to entering into, and sustaining, conquest.

This really points back to the one command that fulfills all the law. Love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Seek first His Kingdom and everything else will be added unto you. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Lone rangers won’t make it. We need God and we need each other. We GET to live and thrive and enter all that is promised to us (really good stuff) as we live with Him and with people. Presence and unity – keys to entering in!

THE CONQUEST

Reread – Joshua 1:6-9

3 principles of conquest: faith/courage, knowing your enemy, and wielding the right weapon.

(1)  FAITH and COURAGE- Conquest demands courage because the warfare is intense and the giants are big. Courage is not the absence of fear…but going forward in spite of fear. Faith is the substance we stand on as we conquer IN HIM. This faith is rooted in Him and in what He has promised.

Conquest involves going after what He has promised and has already given into our bank account. We have to go get it. And it never comes without some pain. There is a price to pay as we conquer in His name. The enemy occupying God’s land dies hard. And this enemy can beat us anytime we fall back on our own skills alone. Victory comes only from trusting in the Lord.

(2)  KNOW YOUR ENEMY- Our enemy is NOT flesh and blood. Our enemies are rulers and principalities in dark places. They are spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places which influence flesh and blood (you and me) – people God died for and people whom He loves. We will NOT attain our inheritance through destroying people.

Instead, our victory is assured through the Lord as our hearts are yielded to Him. God empowers the weak and helpless (us) as we hold on in faith, keep His promises, and remember who He is and who we are!

(3)  WIELDING the RIGHT WEAPON – Our offensive weapon is truth. It is the sword of the Spirit. Our battle, at its core, is a spiritual battle. So the WORD of GOD is key to our victory in conquest. We must learn to obey it, to meditate upon it, and to declare it.

As we obey His word, God’s promise is that we will prosper. As we meditate on His word the truth moves from our head to our heart. The truth becomes part of who we are –it forms us into His likeness (huge victory). As we speak His word, His truth, we empower our own faith. Faith comes by hearing His word, His truth. His words in our heart and mouth become declarations which shift atmospheres.

Waging war is less about binding demons and more about binding His word- His truth- to our hearts. It is about living in His truth and His presence (one and the same). We can’t have external victory if there is internal warfare (not living in Him and in His truth). The one who is completely surrendered to the Lord will never surrender to the enemy.

God promises to honor those who honor Him. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to honor him.

So what does this mean for us?

You and I have a territory to conquer. It will be your greatest joy and involve overcoming your greatest fears. You will have to be strong and courageous. Playing it safe will end your conquest. Risk must become your new norm. Because FAITH is spelled R-I-S-K. Faith in Him, and in what He has promised, will take you in. Only you must be strong and courageous. Nothing ventured, nothing gained – that is a Kingdom truth.

Know that your enemy is NOT people. If you find yourself constantly offended and mad at people you are in enemy territory. You and I will never fulfill our destiny by intentionally destroying people. Our warfare must be aimed at what is influencing flesh and blood. And our focus is always on Him. We must allow Him to work through us to conquer those dark forces at work in heavenly places which influence people (including us). Love never fails.

Last, our weapon is truth. The truth sets us free and sets others free. The word must become part of who we are and it must shape our vision, our choices, our understanding and our relationships. It MUST inform our conquests because it is the weapon of victory. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.

I hope that I have whetted your appetite today to take ground by living in His presence, valuing unity (part of something bigger than yourself), being strong and courageous, knowing your enemy, and living in His truth.

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Wisdom for Living: Kingdom Employment and Finance | ALF Message by John 4.13.14 | Part Three

This is part three of three of a three part blog on Wisdom for Living: Kingdom Employment & Finance.         Part One      Part Two

Kingdom Finances

Matthew 6:33, 34: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Planning is good. Worry is bad.
Planning is listening to God and seeking Him. Worry is to fear the circumstances.

When we examine our finances and spending, we can readily see an expression of what we value and what are our priorities.

What we value will be our priority.

Do we really value Kingdom living?

How we live will not only impact each of us, but it will give life and hope to others.

Remember Joshua, trusting God to take Joshua into the new land brought life and an inheritance to a nation. One man again impacts the history of a people.

Our lives can have a similar impact on others.

Financial Kingdom Principles:

  1. Seek God for advice in all decisions. Seek Him and wait for the answer.
  2. Be wise and be prepared for the future. God always has a plan; He is not reactive to the moment. So, we should plan too.
  3. Debt is not always good stewardship.
    1. Yes, long term mortgages might be necessary, but have a plan to have that mortgage paid off before it matures.
    2. Pay for your monthly expenses with the mindset to pay off any credit card usage in the next month. Don’t carry a balance. It will become a habit to “let it ride”.
  4. Do what you say you contracted to do.
    1. When you make an agreement, your integrity is on the line.
  5. Be organized and diversified.
    1. Do what you agree to do when you should do it.
    2. When married, recognize who has certain strengths
  6. Be willing to look for advice.
    1. Be teachable.
    2. Share financial decisions.

Stewardship for the Body by the Body: Tithe and Offering

Tithe and Offering are Kingdom principles, so we all are under the responsibility to give back. These are also principles that move us into a lifestyle of generosity and away from a poverty mentality (this latter mentality leads one to think there is not enough; to only look out for oneself, and to believe “I can’t”)

But, we get to decide which lifestyle we want to enjoy here on earth:  one of generosity or one of poverty.

Our choices now impact eternity and because we are already in eternity, we will see the effects of our generosity.

Bill Johnson has said: “If I fight with generosity, I fight with my identity. Generosity is the lifestyle of Kings and Queens.”

We have a generous heavenly Father. If our inclination is to not be generous, we are fighting with the image of God in us.

Tithe:

Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops;…”

A tithe is what God expects. Tithe is 1/10 of our first fruits. First, not last or leftovers, not after taxes or costs.

But, if you have a question about tithing, take it to the Father to hear Him. We do not make our decisions only by what we hear on earth.

This is a Kingdom matter, and God is the ultimate source on what we are to do with our harvest.

A harvest is the result of something you have sown with the Father. It is for you and others to enjoy and reap the benefit.

It is honoring to God when we let Him speak, not just confirm what we think. We can find ourselves justifying our actions rather than hearing from God.

First fruits: This is calling us to not give our leftovers, but ordering of what is more important. Giving leftovers won’t be a sacrifice.

Do we rank our possessions over a right relationship with a good Father?

Offering:

Our offering is a sacrifice above the tithe that shows our priority is God. It is a picture of us moving in a spirit of generosity.

Sacrifice, with a joyful heart, opens us to receive special blessings and protects us from greed, self-protection, and self-sufficiency.

Our tithe and offering are a calling to prioritize God.

If we are willing to share and give away what He has given us, then there will be no limit on what He pours through us.

Some say we are to tithe our money, time, or talents. I believe we are to tithe and offer all three to God. Each are a gift from Him in the first place.

Final thought:

Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Define yourself through the Father, seek how you are to follow your destiny, and how you will impact others for Jesus by seeking, trusting, and living out a life of generosity toward others.

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Wisdom for Living: Kingdom Employment and Finance | ALF Message by John 4.13.14 | Part Two

This is part two of three of a three part blog on Wisdom for Living: Kingdom Employment & Finance.         Part One

We are continuing the series on Wisdom for Living: Kingdom Employment & Finance.

Mark 4:25: “Whoever has will be given more, whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

It is not how much we have, but what we do with our resources that we sow.

Mark 4:26-29:He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

As we gain wisdom for living in any area of our life, we must:

  • Sow (give up what we have)
  • Rest/sleep (permit God to work over time)
  • Harvest (share the benefits with others)

Through this whole process of sowing, resting, harvesting, there is continual movement that we sometimes don’t realize because God, unknown to us, is moving while we rest.

Galatians 6:7: “..A man reaps what he sows.”

This is true in all aspects of our life. How we work in our jobs; pour our resources back to God; live a life of integrity are all important. We are to be sowing into others, not just living for ourselves.

Love and Faithfulness:

Solomon puts it this way in Proverbs 3:3. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

  • Love is the Hebrew word “HESED” which means loyalty, grace, mercy.
  • Faithfulness is the Hebrew word “HEMET” which means rock solid integrity.

In employment and with finances, loyalty and integrity must always be practiced. As we desire to honor the Father, we respond by being loyal and loving with whoever we are in relationship: employers, spouses, friends, family. Our lives are to be lived in a way which exudes loyalty to the Father, and reflects the integrity of His Son.

Read Proverbs 3:3 again, but insert the words that define love and faithfulness.

“Let loyalty and integrity never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Working with HESED and HEMET:

What is my responsibility to provide for my family or myself?

Employment is good. Employment can take several forms: work for money, work for the Lord in missions, giving ourselves to others for their benefit.

We are called to work, to be productive. But, don’t look at your circumstances. Look at your calling if you are not in a position to be employed at this time. None of us are second class citizens in God’s Kingdom.

When we say to our employer, “I am willing to work for a certain wage”, we are putting our character is on the line.

Are we going to exhibit “HESED” and “HEMET”: loyalty and integrity in our efforts and our commitments?

Today, there is a short term outlook on how long we will commit to a job.

This is dangerous because it may tend to have you work with limited effort and a self-defined time line that may not be God’s time line.

He may not have us in a job just to earn a living (probably not), but to be there to impact the life of someone else.

His idea of prosperous living is giving Kingdom life to others so that His Son’s life was worthwhile for all of us. When we honor others, we honor the Father and what He desires to do through us. Another word for this is: SERVE.

We are to honor our employer.

Over the past one hundred years, there has been a more pronounced break between employer and employee honoring each other. The Christian community has participated in this too. This has created a short term view point of responsibility by employees and employers.

There is a balance that we need to find between employment and responsibilities for relationships within our family and self.

Take it from one who has really blown it with an imbalanced life between job and important relationships. Be aware that we should take care of ourselves and our important relationships. Don’t be overwhelmed by time spent on the job.

Get your balance from the Father. Many of us have learned our sowing methods from earthly fathers, but we should seek to do what the heavenly Father is doing. As we do that, we will honor our parents because He will take care of that for us.

Right Order of Relationships:

There is a correct priority order of relationships for our lives:

  1. Father in Heaven/Faith
  2. Family (spouse, children, original family)
  3. Friends (fellowship)
  4. Fitness (personal health)
  5. Finances (employment; prosperous life of giving)

Keeping our relationships in this order will lead us to experience a fulfilling life of Kingdom living.

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