Take What God Has Given

on 8/30/2010

One time I was on one of those hater websites that was talking trash about several preachers. They had a clip, that I must admit even surprised me a bit; where Kenneth Copeland basically said you don't have to earn your money. His said something like, "Did you earn Jesus? Did you earn salvation? Did you earn the Holy Spirit? Then why do you have to earn your money?" I'm sure I'm not quoting it perfectly, but it was very similar.

I admit that I thought, "Whoa, that's not right." But now I think he was right. Let me explain. (By the way I hate websites devoted to preacher bashing.)

Let us begin by agreeing that salvation is the greatest gift that man could ever receive. Remember that it is a "free gift" as Romans tells us. We don't receive this by works, lest any man should boast. But it is by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God.

While we were yet sinners Christ died for us, and in this way God shows His amazing love for us. Who would die for a bad person? God did. So you never earned Christ, none of us did. In fact we could never come close, so Christ was freely given to us all, sacrificed to God for us. So we have two questions to answer? Just how do we make Jesus' Sacrifice personally applicable, and what all did Jesus' death provide for us.

I hope you know the answer to the first, you make Christ' sacrifice applicable to your life, and you receive Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, when you confess with your mouth that He is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10). You don't earn this; you simply believe and confess what God's Word already says. Then you receive Christ for yourself. Now what about the second question? What all did the death of Christ gain for us?

Did it provide for our physical health? Well by His stripes we were healed. Did it provide for our righteousness? He who knew no sin became sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Did it provide for our financial situation? He was made poor so that we might be made rich. Did it remove us from every area of our lives that sin has touched? Absolutely! We are delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are redeemed from the curse of the law, because Christ became a curse for us.

Now you didn't earn your salvation? Why do you think you could earn anything else that Jesus did for you? Consider also the Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus sent Him to the world. You can't earn Him either. You must now realize that everything you will ever receive from God you receive like you did salvation, "by grace, through faith." You can't earn anything from God, so don't even try.

What are you trying to earn? It's true, when you work for men there is nothing wrong with earning money from them. But why would you try to earn from God? What could you earn? God wants to give you everything as a gift. If He spared not His own Son on the tree, will He not with Him also freely give us all things?

You can't earn the Holy Spirit. You can't earn salvation. You can't earn healing or health or provision or any other promised good from God. They are promises, and they are all yes and amen in Christ. They are gifts that God wants to give; you must stop trying to earn them. In fact, I believe that God is lately telling me that my attempts to earn things are blocking my actually receiving them.

Remember, we are interested in fundamental mindset changes here at EFG, and I believe we've found another. I MUST STOP TRYING TO EARN FROM GOD! Will I earn a ministry? Will I earn more money? Will I earn my health? NO, NO NO! I can only TAKE what His outstretched hand holds open to me. I can’t earn anything.

So there you have it. Does not God's Word promise so many wonderful things? You know it does. Now stop working to impress God, as if you will do so well God is going to make His promise manifest in your life. How many of you can say, “I worked and worked and worked and then it happened?” I know I can't. I can say that on some issues I built and built and built my faith, and then something happened, but I never earned it in that sense. I only increased my faith, so that I was able to take what God has already given.

And let's think about increasing our faith. Do you increase your faith by asking over and over and over? I know I don't. I increase my faith when I study God's Word and become more secure in His promise. When I got a hold of "Great shall be the peace of my children," I knew that everything would be o.k. with my wife's pregnancy. It's not that I've earned that reality, but now my faith in God's promises is sure, and I've taken what God has already provided, great peace for my children. And not to repeat, but why is that promise true for me? Because all the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ.

So I know I've said this before, but God reminded me again - I must stop trying to earn what He has already given. I can't, and I'm wasting my time. Rather, by increasing my faith that it's already available, and claiming that I have it now (read again Mark 11:23-24), I actually take what God has given. Now it's mine. Now it will manifest.

How do you know that you have something, like healing when your body still hurts? Because God's Word says you do. That's the place of faith - the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And without faith you won’t receive anything from God (James 1:6-7). Without trusting that you have the promise while it is still unseen, without believing you have the substance of a promise still hoped for – you will never receive anything from God.

Now let me make one last point. As I was considering this today I kept saying to God - "Are you saying that even sinful Christians can enjoy what you've already provided?" As I've heard Paula White say, "You can't claim promises and violate principles." Here is what I believe God showed me. It's true that God's promises are yes and amen to all Christians. So it's true God's good gifts are available to every Christian, even those living in sin. They didn't earn the gifts; their bad behavior won't withdraw God's hand. Remember, your works have nothing to do with it. But you must not forget the operation of seedtime and harvest.

While God's hand is outstretched towards you, it is still true that while the earth remains seedtime and harvest will never cease. You are going to reap what you sow, and you are going to reap harvests on ungodly seeds. Are you in sexual sin or continual pride or strife? Are you greedy? What sinful seeds do you sow? (I hope none.) You must know that those seeds will bring forth harvests, and those harvests will block your enjoying the manifestation of God's promises.

For an easy example, if you are defiling the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6) by eating poorly, smoking, drinking and engaging in sexual immorality, don't be surprised if you harvest poor health. And also don't be surprised if that harvest blocks the manifestation of God's promises. I wouldn't begin considering which will trump, God's good promises or the harvests of sin. Are you seriously going to look in the mirror and say, "I sow all these bad seeds but should be experiencing this particular blessing?" The idea is to get the two principles working together to benefit you and the world.

So remember, you can't earn anything from God. So stop trying. Concentrate instead on building your faith and taking what God has already given. You do that by trusting His Word and boldly declaring you already have what God has promised. That’s faith. "God supplies all my needs, By Jesus' stripes I WAS healed." Sow the right seeds while doing this, and you will begin to see all of God's promises manifest in your life.

2 comments:

Toyin O. said...

Amen. We reap what we sow!

Anonymous said...

If only everyone realized this, the world would be a whole lot better off, yea, nay. Daniel JoS. Wozlek

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