SEED FAITH LIVING

Phil.4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

I had to relearn lots of things when I first began to pastor this church. I had spent four years in a Jesus Community working for various businesses run by the ministry. I had learned a hard work ethic and the importance of discipline but I had not learned to look to God as my source. In the community the bills were paid and food was supplied. All we had to do was study and put in a hard days work. That was all about to change when Parris and I came to New Orleans. Now we had to look to God ourselves, no one was providing for us. At least no one but God. Here is how Oral Roberts describes this phenomenon of looking to the Lord as your source of total supply.

“Turn your life over to God and start looking directly and personally to Him as THE Source of your supply. Although there are scores of scriptures from Genesis to Revelation concerning God as your Source, the key scripture is Philippians 4:19: “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Living in a man-run society and business community, it is easy to get the idea that man is your source of supply. This is where you miss the truth of God’s Holy Word. God often uses man as the means, but God Himself is the Source. All other sources are instruments only. Remember, in looking for your needs to be met, it’s not what is your source, but Who is your source. You may think it’s man you are dealing with, but he is only an instrument. You are dealing directly with God as the loving Being who is the Source of your supply. By looking to Him, you are confident, you are positive, and you are expectant that He will provide.”

It is important to look beyond parents, employers, or government programs for your provision. The Lord uses those things for temporary provision. After all He is the God of ravens and widows.

The second truth that came to us was just as important. Sow a seed in the work of God. God is the source of the harvest, He always uses seed as the tool to initiate the harvest. “Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, shaken together, and running over.” – Lk.6:38

THE PEACE OF GOD

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds—Philippians 4:7

The presence of God can have some strange effects on us. He comes in so many different ways. Sometimes, there is an uncanny awareness of peace when He comes. Not just the peace that comes from knowing everything is going to be okay, not even the awesome peace from being right with God. I’m talking about a different kind of peace, the peace ‘of’ God, the peace that God Himself enjoys. Jesus prayed for us that we would enjoy the relationship with the Father that He has enjoyed for eternity. Think about it, the nature of that relationship is entirely spiritual. We can enter into this life, the very life of God, as we draw near by the blood of Jesus. God’s peace, the peace that He enjoys, comes to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Here is a quote from A. B. Simpson about God’s peace.

“It is not peace with God, but the peace of God that [keeps our] hearts and minds. The peace which passeth all understanding is the very breath of God in the soul. He alone is able to keep it, and He can so keep it that “nothing shall offend us.” Is this your experience?

God’s rest did not come until His work was finished. Nor will ours. We begin our Christian lives by working, trying and struggling in the energy of the flesh to save ourselves. At last, when we are able to cease from our own work, God comes in with His blessed rest and works His own divine will in us.”

Has your day to day grind or maybe an unusual situation in your life taken away any sense of peace in your life? Stress and anxiety can lead to all sorts of other problems. Your solution is not a vacation (that often leads to more stress), not a toddy, or not even a shopping spree. There is a place of rest that remains for the people of God. As David said, “Today, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart”. Open your heart. It often begins with a scripture, one stands out to you, God is speaking. Then it moves into pondering the verse. Finally, it spills over into thanksgiving and worship. That is the place where peace moves in. You step into God’s arena, you begin to experience His peace. So today could be a really great day. Your circumstances may or may not change, but God’s peace is calling you in.

When the all of God belongs to me

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MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

-“I have the strength for all things in the One strengthening me.”

Phil 4:13

Have you ever fallen into the honey pot of Gods word. Do you ever listen to God’s word by audio for hours on end? So often I love to turn off the worship songs and turn on the audio bible. It seems it almost wraps me in his presence. I love to work outside in the gardens or paint inside with the word being played. Have you ever dug around in the endless commentaries available on your phone? Have driven around listening to sermon audio of the great Jonathan Edwards. It feeds my soul, straightens me out, and helps me cool my jets. Love the fact the all of God belongs to me.

Mclaren states – Paul here lets us catch a glimpse of the inmost secret of his power without which all exhortations to independence are but wasted words. He is conscious of a living power flowing through him and making him fit for anything, and he is not afraid that any one who studies him will accuse him of exaggeration even when he makes the tremendous claim ‘I can do all things in Him that strengthens me.’ That great word is even more emphatic in the original, not only because, as the Revised Version shows, it literally is in and not through , and so suggests again his familiar thought of a vital union with Jesus, but also because he uses a compound word which literally means ‘strengthening within,’ so then the power communicated is breathed into the man, and in the most literal sense he is ‘strong in the Lord and in the power of His might’. Then, all of God belongs to me, and the whole wealth of His aggregated perfections are available for stopping the crannies of my heart and filling its emptiness. My emptiness corresponds with His fullness as some concavity does with the convexity that fits into it, and the whole that He is, waits to fill and to satisfy me. There is no limit really to what a man may have of God except the limitless limit of the infinite divine nature, but on the other hand this great promise is not fulfilled all at once, and whilst the actual limit is the boundlessness of God, there is a working limit, so to speak, a variable one, but a very real one. The whole riches of God’s glory are available for us, but only so much of the boundless store as we desire and are at present capable of taking in will belong to us now. What is the use of owning half a continent if the owner lives on an acre of it and grows what he wants there, and has never seen the broad lands that yet belong to him?’

THR PEACE OF GOD

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds—Philippians 4:7

The presence of God can have some strange effects on us. He comes in so many different ways. Sometimes, there is an uncanny awareness of peace when He comes. Not just the peace that comes from knowing everything is going to be okay, not even the awesome peace from being right with God. This is a different kind of peace, the peace ‘of’ God, the peace that God Himself enjoys. Jesus prayed for us that we would enjoy the relationship with the Father that He has enjoyed for eternity. Think about it, the nature of that relationship is entirely spiritual. We can enter into this life, this very life of God, as we draw near by the blood of Jesus. God’s peace, the peace that He enjoys, comes to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Here is a quote from A. B. Simpson about God’s peace.

“It is not peace with God, but the peace of God that [keeps our] hearts and minds. The peace which passeth all understanding is the very breath of God in the soul. He alone is able to keep it, and He can so keep it that “nothing shall offend us.” Is this your experience?
God’s rest did not come until His work was finished. Nor will ours. We begin our Christian lives by working, trying and struggling in the energy of the flesh to save ourselves. At last, when we are able to cease from our own work, God comes in with His blessed rest and works His own divine will in us.

Oh! have you heard the glorious word

Of hope and holy cheer?

From heav’n above its tones of love

Are lingering on my ear;

The blessed Comforter has come,

And Christ will soon be here.

Oh hearts that sigh, there’s succor nigh,

The Comforter is near;

He comes to bring us to our King,

And fit us to appear.

I’m glad the Comforter has come,

And Christ will soon be here.”

Has your day to day grind or maybe an unusual situation in your life taken away any sense of peace? Stress and anxiety can lead to all sorts of other problems. Your solution is not a vacation (that often leads to more stress), not a toddy, or not even a shopping spree. There is a place of rest that remains for the people of God. As David said, “Today, if you hear His voice, don’t harden your heart”. Open your heart. It often begins with a scripture, one stands out to you, God is speaking. Then it moves into pondering the verse. Finally, it spills over into thanksgiving and worship. That is the place where peace moves in. You step into God’s arena, you begin to experience His peace. So today could be a really great day. Your circumstances may or may not change, but God’s peace is calling you in.

SUPPLIED BY GLORY

SUPPLIED BY GLORY

Phil. 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Paul wrote this letter to the church in Philippi from his imprisonment in Rome. The church in Philippi was a very special church to the Apostle Paul. It had been started in very unusual circumstances and had been the first church to stand behind the apostle in a significant financial way. Paul had been ministering in the region near Galatia and wanted to go over into Asia when he was stopped by the Holy Spirit. That was followed by a dream where someone from Macedonia was calling Paul to come help him. Paul received that as direction from The Lord and crossed the sea to go into Macedonia. The city in Macedonia Paul ended up in was Philippi. That’s when all the fun started. He had gathered together a small group of new converts and was ministering to those disciples when he encountered a fortune teller bound by demons. One thing led to another and Paul was arrested, beaten with rods, and put into stocks and bonds in prison (I am not talking about financial instruments). That night, Paul and Silas began to worship The Lord in the midst of their miserable circumstances, the Glory of The Lord fell down followed by an earthquake. Needless to say, the jailer became part of the growing congregation. Paul left town shortly after this incident leaving Luke as their pastor.
The church in Philippi began to support Paul immediately, their support apparently continued throughout Paul’s ministry. That brings us back to Paul’s letter and today’s verse. Part of the reason Paul wrote this letter was to thank this church and encourage them about God’s supernatural supply for their own lives. Here is a quote from Wuest, describing the supernatural nature of God’s provision.

“Paul hastens to assure them that they have not impoverished themselves in giving so liberally to the cause of the gospel. The word “supply” is the translation of the same Greek word translated “I am full.” That is, God’s treatment of the Philippian saints will correspond to their treatment of Paul. They filled full Paul’s every need to overflowing. God will do the same for them. The measure of the supply which God the Father has is determined by His wealth in glory, which wealth in glory is in Christ Jesus, an infinite supply. Translation: But my God shall satisfy to the full all your need in accordance with His wealth in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to God even our Father, be the glory forever and ever.”
I love what Wuest said about The Lord’s infinite measure of supply. Are you a supporter of the work of God? If so, this promise is also for you. My God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in Glory. If you are not a tither why not start today? Unlimited resources will support you all of the days of your life.

GOOD COMPANY IN A DUNGEON

GOOD COMPANY IN A DUNGEON

Phil. 4:10-11 ¶ But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned before, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

The most amazing thing about The Lord to me is how He can change the most unpleasant circumstances by just being there. Paul was describing being content in whatever circumstances he found himself in. Those words were written during his imprisonment, these are not the kinds of words we normally associate with imprisonment. Paul had a friend who was with him everywhere. Actually, when Paul was saved from a mob and imprisoned in Jerusalem, Paul said that The Lord “stood with him” while he was incarcerated. Paul was content because his contentment was found in Christ Himself. Charles Spurgeon speaks about being sustained and content even in adversity. Check this out.

“He who is a believer in Jesus finds enough in his Lord to satisfy him now, and to content him for evermore. The believer is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought, for he finds in religion such a spring of joy, such a fountain of consolation, that he is content and happy. Put him in a dungeon and he will find good company; place him in a barren wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven; drive him away from friendship, he will meet the friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

I often think fondly of the weeks after Katrina hit New Orleans. Now don’t get me wrong, these were very difficult days, but that is part of what made them so special. Parris and I had evacuated and when we returned to New Orleans our neighborhood was not open. Our neighborhood and our house had been flooded. During the months that passed before we could return home The Lord not only provided for us, He walked with us in a very real and unusual way. I never saw Him like Paul did, but I have to say The Lord stood with me. If we were honest, we have to admit that our hardest times often hold the fondest memories. It is in those times we experience the famous words “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.
So as I write these words I remember His hand upon me when I planted trees in the mountains for seven months in 1975 and 1976, He was that friend that sticks closer than a brother to me. I remember how He visited me with waves of joy in 1994 when I was being crushed by the financial crisis at our church, He became my joy unspeakable, my pearl of great price. He was sufficient in the crisis called Katrina, He was my constant companion in the mountains of Washington State, and He was my exceeding great joy when all hope was gone. Today, He is and can be all that and more in your life.

CHICKEN RANCH PRAYER

CHICKEN RANCH PRAYER

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil.4:6,7

I learned some of my greatest spiritual lessons working at B&C Egg Ranch near Kerman, California back in the 1970’s. I was a new Christian attending Bible school in Kerman, I had a lot to learn. I can remember be over whelmed with anxiety many times. I would spend many hours every day alone with God (except for all the chickens). In those moments of solitude, the Lord would meet me.
What kind of troubles did I have in those days? Just the ordinary variety, worrying about finances was one of my struggles. I was making minimum wage, a pregnant wife at home, tuition, rent, you know the drill. I was in a battle for survival. One of the greatest tools that I received in those days was scripture memorization cards. I would memorize and meditate on a scripture every day as I pushed chicken manure. What a life! On one particular day, today’s scripture was my memorization verse. That verse of scripture was a game changer for me. Wow! Don’t be anxious but pray. Not just any prayer, a petition, a very specific prayer. After bringing your request to the Lord, then you begin to pray the prayer of thanksgiving. Giving thanks to the Lord by faith for the answer, thanking Him before the circumstances changed. This kind of prayer moves into worship, not just any worship, but Holy Ghost extended worship. I have a fond memory of what happened that day. As I prayed about my circumstances and began to give thanks to the Lord, His presence came down on me. I began to sing, shout, and dance before the Lord. Sounds like church! I wasn’t at church, I was pushing chicken mess, singing to the Lord, shouting in other tongues, dancing in the poop. I was all alone, except for several thousands of chickens. I think even the chickens joined in that day, they were adding their songs to the Lord.
After this spiritual encounter, I realized something. The worry was gone. My circumstances hadn’t changed. I had been changed. I went back to the verse of scripture and then I saw it. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Did you see it? Did you see what happens after the prayer, after the supplication, after the thanksgiving? What happens? The peace of God that passes all comprehension guards your heart and your mind. The Lord actually sets up a guard post over your mind and heart. That is what I needed. I needed that peace more than money. That is what I needed then and that is what I need today. If you are troubled, don’t be. Pray a specific prayer, begin to give thanks for the answer, and watch God begin to take over.

THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS

SECRET OF HAPPINESS

Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
Phil.4:11-13 The Message

The most amazing thing about Paul’s statement about happiness is where he wrote these words. Paul was a prisoner in Rome and claimed to have found the secret of happiness, the kind of happiness that even works in prison. He seemed to be saying that his happiness did not come from his circumstances or his accomplishments. That sounds strange in our twenty first century world, we seem to place so much emphasis, even in our so called spiritual lives, in our accomplishments or circumstances which have been portrayed as the mark of God’s favor thereby the source of our happiness. That is not even close to what Paul was saying. He said that he had discovered a happiness in Christ or as Jonathan Edwards would say, happiness in the other world. Listen to what Edwards says about the happiness he had discovered in Christ.

“When so great a God dwells among a people, He not only is able to supply them with all good, but He Himself is the sum of all good. God is theirs, and therefore they are happy, if they have nothing else. If all other things fail, the enjoyment of God is sufficient to make them completely happy.”

That is exactly what Paul was talking about. He had discovered the recipe of happiness in life, God Himself was his portion, with that position, there are never any disappointments. I will never forget the question the Lord asked me after His visitation began in our church in NOLA in 1994. He clearly asked me “Am I enough for you. If you are never deemed successful or never have a large ministry can you be happy with only Me?” What a question. Before 1994, I could never have even considered such a thing, but after God had come down amongst us I think I began to understand what Paul found in prison and Edwards found in the Great Awakening. What was their common experience, God Himself had come down in their midst. His presence overwhelms our need for satisfaction in this world. He becomes our portion, and yes, I am content with “only” Him.

OVERFLOW

FILLED

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Phil.4:19

What would it look like to have all of my need; my spiritual need, my emotional need, my financial need, absolutely everything met by my relationship with Christ? That is what Paul is talking about in this verse, a kind of overflowing of God’s goodness effecting every part of me. He uses a powerful greek word, pleroo, in this verse translated in English as “supply every need”. Dick Mills has some powerful insight into this beautiful word.

“Pleroo is a verb infinitive meaning “to fill to the full.” It might be defined as “to cram the net,” “to fill up a hollow place,” “to cause to abound,” “to load down,” “to fill the stomach,” “to fill the void,” “to pay off a debt,” “to complete a person so that there is no lack in him.” By consulting certain key lexicons and translations, we could translate this verse to read: “But my God shall [liberally, fully, gloriously, amply, abundantly] supply all your need [by imparting richly and furnishing abundantly, in a lavish and magnificent way]….”
Try reading out loud as one composite verse all the above amplifications and I believe you will be quickened by the Holy Spirit to discover the immensity of God’s provision.”

What a powerful verse of scripture, loaded with revelation and insight into God’s goodness revealed in His multi-faceted provision. What kind of need are you facing today? Is it family related or maybe financial? Or maybe you have troubles haunting you from the past or even worries about tomorrow. Regardless of what your facing, the answer is always the same. Jesus Himself is more than enough to remedy every situation. He is all sufficient, all knowing, all powerful, ever present, and infinitely generous and kind. One encounter with Him and you will need no definition of fullness or sufficiency, you will see for yourself the fullness of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Christ Jesus will meet all of your need, fill to the full, furnish abundantly, by imparting richly, amply, abundantly in a lavish and magnificent way Himself who is more than enough.

Content

CONTENT

for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
PHIL. 4:11-13

These words were written by the Apostle Paul from prison. He said he had learned the secret of happiness and was content regardless of his outward circumstances. He had discovered that our life does not consist in our possessions, titles, accomplishments, or our station in life. Paul had learned that life itself was found in Christ and he could be satisfied despite adverse circumstances. Paul had found contentment in Christ alone.
Jonathan Edwards often spoke of the happiness that is only available from the Lord. In his sermon “God Amongst His People” he says, “When so great a holy God dwells among a people, he not only is able to supply them with all good, God is theirs, and therefore they are happy, if they have nothing else. If all other things fail, the enjoyment of God is sufficient to make them completely happy”.
This is one of the greatest, and yet, hardest lessons to learn in our Christian walk. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s our ministry went through some very painful experiences. Our local economy was suffering and it was effecting the church members as well as the church itself. The in suing problems caused anxiety and fear to set into my life. To me, it seemed as if all of the years of work were in vain, and there was a real possibility of losing everything. I had to take a real look at the possibility that ,that could take place. That was not a fun time. During this season, the Lord visited me and our church with an unusual outpouring of His Presence. What a contrast, in the physical world, nothing but trouble. In the spiritual world incredible, unspeakable joy. Then the Lord posed the question, “If you lose everything, am I enough for you?” What a question! I grappled with that thought for weeks, but came to the inevitable conclusion. “Lord, You are more than enough.” That was it. I was dealing with the greatest of all questions, “Could I be satisfied with Christ alone?”
This is the question we answer everyday, “Is Jesus enough?” Maybe you have not yet discovered the secret of total contentment, if that is the case, your greatest discovery and greatest joy in life is just ahead.