Blessed

Psalm 3: 8

Thy blessing be (is) upon Thy people.

God’s blessing is upon you right now. That’s great news, don’t you think? Imagine, If you will, standing before God and Him blessing you. Is that image a blessing to you? But, what is the blessing and what does it mean to have been blessed by God?

God’s blessing is an empowerment. What would you expect the result to be if you really stood before Him and received a blessing? It would be something grand, wouldn’t it? You would imagine that His blessing would endure also. It would never wear off. Don’t you think it would be imbued with power?

God put His blessing on you so that you would have power to meet every circumstance of life. The blessing empowers you to overcome all obstacles. God’s blessing causes you to succeed in every area of your life. If you are a child of God, then His blessing is on already on you. You don’t have to earn it. Further, knowing it is on you might change the way you think about your circumstances. Don’t expect to fail, expect to succeed. Expect favor on you. Expect His blessing to follow you everywhere you go and be sure to thank Him for it every morning.

My God 

Philippians 4: 18

But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied.

Philippians 4: 19 is a well known scripture, but I am amazed at how few people seem to know verse 18. They both talk about God’s supply but from two different postures. First let’s look at verse 19: “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Paul, in writing to the church at Philippi, taught that the God of Paul would meet the needs of the Philippians because of the gifts they had sown into Paul’s life and ministry. He said to them, “Because you have met my needs, my God will meet your needs.” This is a very basic principle of how God’s kingdom operates. When you give into a ministry, God is obligated to you. God called Paul into ministry and then the people Paul ministered to took care of meeting his needs. That obligated God to take care of their needs. That is why Paul said, “MY God shall . . ..” His God promised to bless everyone who blessed him (Genesis 12: 3).

That is the first level of God meeting your needs and it is the most basic. As you minister to the needs of the ministers, God causes your seed to multiply back to you. After we have mastered this level, then we move onto glory land. That is where Paul was. He had moved off of verse 19 and onto verse 18, “I am amply supplied.” See, Paul knew who his source was, and he knew that he could always rely on God to meet his need. You won’t move onto verse 18 until you have mastered 19 though. I would like to see the entire body of Christ over into verse 18 where it is no longer my God who will meet your need but rather your God. Isn’t that great? And God is going to more than supply your need. You will have everything in full, an abundance, and be amply supplied. You will have more than enough. Then you will have more blessings which you can sow into other people’s lives and ministries you can support. Giving will be such a way of life for you that you will barely even notice that you are doing it. You will be blessed and a blessing. May it be.

Above and Beyond

Ephesians 3:20

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.

Not only is God able to do more than we ask or think; He is willing, and I can prove it.

This is a small story about something that isn’t important. At some level, though, I think it is all the more powerful in that it shows how our Father cares about all the things in our lives, even the small ones.

My roommate and I have begun to unpack our Christmas decorations to get ready for the Christmas season. I have a painting which I had framed last year. When I tried to hang it this year, I discovered that the hanger didn’t fold down correctly. Bummer! It made the painting stand out from the wall such that the wire could fall off the hook.

Additionally, roommate bought a print this year to hang over the fireplace. It came with an odd sort of hanger, not the typical wire. The problem there is that this print will temporarily replace the picture that usually hangs over the mantle. So, as I looked at it, I thought that having two sets of hangers would be undesirable and the second set might even show when we put the regular painting back. So, I decided to take both prints to Michael’s where I had the one framed last year. I was hoping they would repair that one at no cost, but it’s been a year so it is reasonable that I might have to pay for it. No worries, I figured. The other one, the new print, well, of course I would have to pay to have the hanging system on it changed out.

The bigger concern was how long we might have to wait to get the prints back. Again, it is not a big deal since we are ahead of schedule but not being able to hang the one above the fireplace would make it a challenge to move forward with decorating the mantle. These are all little things, right? And yet, sometimes it is the accumulation of lots of little things which burden us.

So, my roomie and I packaged up the two prints again and off we went to Michael’s. Along the way we said a prayer about this hiccup in our decorating plans. Phrased differently, we asked, we asked our Father to be with us and to be in this situation with us. Now, He is able to do beyond what we ask or think, but step one is inviting Him into the situation, and that is what we did. We asked Him for Michael’s to repair the one from last year at no cost and, most importantly, for us to be able get both of the prints back in a reasonable time. We were thinking, worst case scenario, it would be nice to have them back by Saturday.  It was Thursday.

We arrived at the Michael’s framing counter with our arms full of boxed prints. First, we unpackaged the painting from last year. Before we could say a word, the gentleman behind the counter said, “Oh my, someone had a moment!” He saw more than we could even comprehend about how things should be done. He was very positive, wouldn’t disparage the person who put the mounting hardware on last year but also clearly was not satisfied with how it was done. He immediately took the painting back to the work room to repair it. We just looked at one another with questioning looks upon our faces. “Is he fixing it right now?” I asked. Sure enough, he came back a few minutes later with it repaired. What!!!  I didn’t expect that.

Then we unboxed the new print. The worker saw the hanger system and explained its use to us. He also thought it was uncommon to have that type of hanger on this type of print. He agreed that the simple wire would more than suffice and that way we could use the hanger that is already in the wall. Now, the big question, how long was it going to take to get this print back? Would you believe he picked up the print and, again, headed back to the workroom? I thought, “He is probably just going to put it back there and then come write up a ticket” except he didn’t immediately return. We looked at each other and today’s verse came to my mind. We started saying how great our God is and that Jesus is so cool.

We were both so thrilled, not so much about the prints, though. What was so exciting is that our Dad showed up on the scene for us. His hands were upon the situation and us all. He was paying attention to the details of life and His presence seemed to resonate loudly through the store. I think others must have felt His presence too.

Soon the clerk came back and placed the print on the counter. He helped me box it back up in its many layers of corrugation. Once packaged again, I turned to the clerk and asked, “What do I owe you?” He raised his hand, shook his head, and said, “Nothing.” Okay, so I already knew Dad was in the situation, but I was still surprised at this additional blessing. I thanked the gentleman and blessed him. He smiled, thanked us and we turned to go, still a little in shock at how amazingly well the situation worked out for us. I know God is able and willing to do exceedingly above and beyond all I can think or ask, but He really surprised me this this time. Not only did we get our prints back, repaired right then on the spot but we weren’t required to pay for any of it.

The morale of the story for me was two-fold. First, when you think you’ve thought big enough, think again. Second, pray about everything. Don’t get weird and holy about prayer. Just tell your Father what you are hoping for, what result you would like. Then, get out of the way and be astonished at what He will do. It is so fun watching Father move through our lives. Yep, it is great to be blessed.

Blessed to Bless

Genesis 12: 3

And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse.

I remember reading this years ago and being amazed by it, and frankly, a little bowled over by it. This speaks about the blessing which is on you as one of God’s children.

Here is the wisdom and understanding from God and it is a two-sided coin. First, as you sow, so also are you going to reap. When you bless God’s people, God blesses you. Second, those who bless you will, likewise be blessed. As for the curse, it doesn’t pay to impede God’s chosen because the blessing will also be hindered. When others come against you, you can honestly feel sorry for them because they have chosen the curse rather than the blessing.

God told Abraham that he would bless all who were a blessing to Abraham. Although this is an Old Testament scripture, you can hear God saying this to His children today. God will take it upon himself to bless the people who bless His kids. This couldn’t be more obvious than when it is applied to our ministers. God has made it His business to bless those who care for the needs of His called servants. The Apostle Paul made this point in the fourth chapter of Philippians.

This is the revelation the children of Israel had when they committed themselves to caring for the supply of the temple which we saw in last week’s scripture. In their gratitude and admiration for God they undertook to supply His house knowing full well that God would then meet all of their needs. You see, their first thought was no longer on themselves and meeting their own needs. They transcended that. They saw how the kingdom of God works. Therefore, they devoted themselves to constantly sowing into the temple. God had already bound Himself with His words. He was obligated to prosper them. And here is the really good news. God is still bound by His words. He cannot do anything contrary to His words. “Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?Numbers 23: 19. That is to say that what He promised to the Israelites is what He also promised you because He cannot change His words. He said He would bless those who bless His inheritance which is you and me. So, therefore, when you bless God’s kids, He is obligated (and delighted) to bless you. So, learn to be a blessing so that He can pour out His desire upon you.

And just a word on the last part of the scripture. Mind what you say about God’s elect. A curse is not only people sitting in a circle putting a curse on someone else. It is also more than profane language. When you talk bad about the child and/or servant of God, you are treading on very Holy ground to God and that seed will bear a crop just like your good seed does. Do not let your words bind you to misfortune. Be a blessing and allow God to bless you.

Shift Gears

Psalm 30: 2      GW

O Lord my God, I cried out to you for help, and you healed me.

What do you hear when you read this? I can hear emotion and waves of relief. David’s anguish turned into relief. You almost want to take a deep breath for him.

This verse reminds me of 2 Kings 20: 5, “I’ve heard your prayer. I’ve seen your tears. Now I’m going to heal you.” Oh, I love that one. Of course, I believe we should speak words of faith. I think we should be strong in our belief. There is a time, though, to cry out to God. However, one of the things I have learned by reading David’s psalms is that although he may begin with the most forlorn language you have ever heard, he always ends his song in praise and thanksgiving. There is something powerful to be gleaned from that. Cry with all your heart. Bare your soul to the Lord (not to others), but when you are ready, when your grief and despondency have waned, shift into affirmative language about the greatness of God. What does that look like?

You may begin by telling God how sick you are, how bad you feel and how desperate you are. Keep it up, tell him everything. Just pour out until you have emptied yourself. Then, shift gears. “Father, though I feel sick, alone and like I will never fully heal, I know that you are the healer. I know that you sent your word and healed me. Father, the Word tells me that I was healed by Jesus’ stripes and Father, I thank you. Thank you for sending your beloved to earth to take all my sin, sickness and pain. Thank you, Jesus, that you bore, on your body, the stripes by which I am healed. Father, I confess before you that I am healed. Jesus has made me whole. I am not cursed but rather blessed. I am blessed coming in and blessed going out. I am blessed when I lie down and blessed when I arise. I am blessed, Father, when I inhale and when I exhale. You promised your healing power and Jesus has fulfilled every one of your promises. I may look sick, but I am healed. Father, I claim this healing blessing which you have provided for me. I declare, in Jesus’ name and by his precious blood, that the healing power of the Ezekiel river is running through every vein, capillary and vessel in my body. Every cell of my body is saturated with the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, and I declare and decree, in the name of Jesus, that I am whole. I am healed from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. And I thank you Father. Thank you for your love and for your faithfulness. Amen.”

Copy that down. Print it out. Read it out loud when you aren’t feeling your best and speak loudly. Say it until you feel the belief rising up within you and then say what you wish to see manifested. “My knee is healed, praise God.” “I shall live and not die and will proclaim the goodness of the Lord.”

Cry out to the Lord with a loud voice. Complain, moan, groan and whine, but then shift gears. Get in sync with that power which is within you and proclaim the healing in your body. End with thanksgiving and praise. You are going to feel better. I promise.

Calling All Believers!

Matthew 9: 28, 21: 22

And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this? If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Yesterday I sent you an unusual Word of the Day, unusual because I have never before asked you to give to this ministry. That wasn’t easy for me but there was a specific reason I made that suggestion and request. First, if you are being fed by this ministry, you should support it, but that is not why I wrote you as I did yesterday. I wrote to you trying to get you blessed.

Why am I anointed to teach the gospel? And for whom? Why did God give me that anointing of increase Sunday? All the anointing that is on me was given for you. I don’t benefit from the anointing on me. I benefit from the anointing that is on Jesse. However, no matter what gifts God sends, it up to each one of us to receive them. So, I want to tell you another story.

A couple of years ago, I decided to test God on this finances thing. You see, we all have trouble believing. As you can see from today’s verse, Jesus couldn’t always get around people’s doubt. Anyway, I took one dollar and sowed it. I prayed over it, I declared, and I put God on notice that I was going to see what He would do. Well, very shortly thereafter I received a check for fifty dollars. Okay, I was expecting one hundred but, where else do you get that kind of return on your money. So, being quite serious about sowing, I sowed the entire fifty dollars. Guess what ministry I sent it to. Jesse Duplantis Ministries. I sent that fifty dollars as soon as I got it. I was working on something. So, then I sat and waited. I was expecting the hundredfold return. And I waited and waited. I began to tell Father, “Hey, you owe me some money here.” Still nothing. Then one day I heard the Father’s voice say to me, “I will make it up to you on your truck.” Well, the thing there was that I wanted a new Tahoe, but I couldn’t afford it. So, I waited some more. Then I reminded Father, “You owe me money!” Again, I heard Him say, “I will make it up to you on your truck.” Okay, fine, but didn’t He understand that I couldn’t afford a Tahoe? How was He going to make it up to me? This went on and I held on though I couldn’t see anything coming in. Some days I was despondent. Other days I was full of faith. Through it all, though, He gave me the strength and tenacity to hold on. Now you see why I titled yesterday’s Word of the Day as I did. I understand. Anyway, time went on and I could see no way I would be able to afford a new Tahoe, but that is the vehicle my heart was set on. Well, long story short . . . you would like the looks of my pretty new Tahoe. I got it in December, and I still don’t know how it happened. What’s more, I got a new stationary bike for indoor training and sold my old Tahoe for the amount that I was going to donate it for. All of this happened within a week and it was purely the blessing of the Lord. Dad isn’t a liar!

Now, what are you going to do? “Do you believe that I (Jesus) am able to do this?” “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” So, who are my believers? Do you believe God is able to do something for you? Some of you sowed yesterday as soon as you read the Word of the Day. God bless you! I am going to pray a prayer over those donations that will rock the walls of hell. Some of you didn’t sow a gift to Ivey Ministries. Why? Why didn’t you? Do you not believe that Jesus is able to bless you? Are you having a battle with doubt? What do you think? You are not the only one to doubt. If you read Monday’s Word of the Day you know that the Lord said to each of us, “Those speculations, wonderings, worries, all those mental gymnastics, must be brought to kneel at Jesus’ feet.” See, all that matters is what Jesus says.

But here is the hard part. Do you believe him? I mean really believe him? Are you willing to risk something on his word? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is,” as the saying goes. Don’t think I don’t know how hard it is to do, but sooner or later we have to decide where we are going to stand. Are you a believer or are you not? Are you going to let Jesus bless you with this special blessing he has for you? Who wins in your heart faith or doubt?

God is able to make all grace abound to you, but you’ve got to get in the game. You have to choose to be a part of this. I am screaming with my outdoor voice that God is doing something here. Let Him include you. Be a part of the blessing. Do you believe?

Hold On Brother!!!

2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 8

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

Guys, we’ve got to pause the Healing Words of the Day because God has something to say. God, your Father, wants to get money to you. He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Word of the Lord is saying. God wants to talk about money, so get ready to shout. If you have a problem with money and church, repent quick, before you get to the next paragraph because Father God wants to speak to you and bless you. Please do not reject the Blessing of the Lord.

Now hear this!!!! I got back from my sabbatical Saturday. I had a GREAT time with the Lord, and He ministered many things. Interestingly enough, a bunch of it was about finances. It was a definite surprise but a welcome one. I got home in time to go see Jesse Duplantis at Agape Faith Church in Clemmons, NC on Sunday. Whoa! It was good. It was anointed and brother, you would have to be dead not to have felt the anointing in there as Jesse spoke. Glory to God! What do you suppose he spoke on? Finances. God kept right on with the theme of the whole week.

Jesse Duplantis has an anointing of increase on him. People have talked about it for years. He gives away so much, but God just keeps blessing him. This man tries to out give God. Well, guess who’s winning. But I have not gotten to the good part yet. Hold on!!

Now I’ve already told you that Jesse is a giver. He told us he was going to give the offering back to the host church. He wasn’t going to take the gift offering back with him. Nice. However, before he let us give our offering, he wanted to pray over it and bless that ministry and its leaders. What happened next is important to you!

Jesse asked us all to raise our offering envelopes. Then he walked up to me and asked me if he could borrow my offering. He just wanted a point of contact to pray over that offering. Of course, I said, “Yes,” and extended my envelope towards him. He reached out, but he didn’t take my envelope. He took my hand and laid the envelope in my hand. I scooted forward in my chair a little and he said, “Yeah, stand up.” So, I stood up! He took my hand with the envelope in it and covered it with his own hand and started ministering to me. He started praying about the hundredfold return (Matthew 13: 8), bless God!

But wait. I had a problem right there. I had just returned from the mountains and had burned through most of my cash. I forgot to get more money, so when I opened my wallet to get out my offering I just groaned. “Well,” I thought to myself, “I will just give all I have.” I didn’t think of it then, but God has brought it my attention since that in giving all I had, I was like the widow with the widow’s mite (Mark 12: 41) and she blessed Jesus with her giving.

But, back to the story, when Jesse started ministering the hundredfold return my insides roiled and I thought about that measly amount of money in the envelope. Aargghh! In that split second, I was intensely remorseful that there wasn’t a big bill in that envelope and mad at myself for not thinking ahead. You know what? No sooner did I think, “Oh darn” than Jesse, looking right at me said, “I didn’t say a hundred times. I said a hundredfold! This isn’t math. It just keeps folding and folding and folding.” WHOA! Father totally heard my thought and my regret and answered it immediately!

Here’s what I want you to know, Jesse wasn’t just praying over my offering. If you had been there, you would have seen that. It was clear that something was happening. Jesse was praying over my money and ministry. Now, here is the part that is important to you. His anointing of increase got shared to me and this ministry. Let that sink in. God has anointed this ministry for increase. That isn’t just about increasing the ministry. Read the passage above. This is about increasing you. I am to share this increase. That is why the anointing was shared with me. This is how God is going to get blessing to you, through Ivey Ministries. Now isn’t that exciting?!

Read today’s passage again. It is powerful. In fact, it is what Jesse spoke on Sunday. It went off in me then and I hope it is going off in you now. And, I understand how this works. So, you better believe that I sent off a big check to Jesse today! I am getting in on the increase. I want to reap bountifully so I am giving bountifully.

I have never asked any of you for money, but I am going to say today, “Give, so it can be given back to you.” Don’t give grudgingly. If you can’t be happy in it, don’t send money. I want cheerful givers just the same as God, but, if this ministry is ministering to you, sow into it. When we receive your donation, we will pray over it with this anointing present on us for the increase back to you. Maybe you don’t need money, but maybe you have an unsaved family member. Maybe you need healing in your body. Whatever your need is, or your want, let us know and we will lay hands on your offering and petition the Lord, our God, for the hundredfold increase.

God wants to bless you. Listen to me. This is how God is getting the blessing to you. Believe and receive. Let the Lord do all He wants to do. Cooperate with Him. One other thing. Do not delay. Do it now!