Pastor George Black, 4-23-17

Opening Scripture: Acts 2:1-4 NKJV  “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2} And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. {3} Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. {4} And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Introduction: The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplished more than just our redemption…it set in motion a new dispensation of Grace and the Church. Easter opened the door for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to empower the Church to finish the work that Jesus started.


  1. Easter changed everything because of the resurrection of Christ. He then appeared to his disciples for forty days discussing the Kingdom.

Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Bible tells us that Jesus spent forty days of intensive instruction with His disciples on the Kingdom of God. We could call this a spiritual boot-camp to prepare them for the incredible journey they were about to take. What an amazing time this must have been. And even though we have no direct record of what Jesus taught them during this time, we can assume that the disciples transmitted His teaching in their preaching and epistles, some of which is found in their New Testament writings. However, the most significant take-away we know of is the command by Christ to wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit before attempting to build the Kingdom of God.

Acts 1:1-5 NKJV  “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, {2} until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, {3} to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. {4} And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; {5} “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”


  1. Jesus taught the disciples of the coming of the Holy Spirit, that He was coming to help them after His departure.

Jesus was WITH the disciples, but the Holy Spirit was IN the disciples. This is the glorious transition that occurred following Easter. Jesus told the disciples He was returning to the Father, but that He would not leave them without His help. As a matter of fact, Paul the apostle said “without Him I can do nothing.” So how were these new apostles going to continuing building the Kingdom of God? Jesus promised them a “Helper.” He was referring to the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, who is also referred to as the “Spirit of Christ.” In other words, the Heavenly baton was passed to the Holy Spirit when Jesus returned to Heaven, and He came to finish IN the disciples what Christ had started WITH the disciples. Jesus Christ was now IN the disciples by the Spirit of God, not just with them. This is the very reason He taught them that they would do the same works He did, even greater works. Greater? How can you do greater miracles than opening blind eyes, raising the dead, or curing the disease of leprosy? Jesus meant greater in number. Why? Because He went to the Father and sent back the Holy Spirit to indwell His followers. Instead of just one person doing miracles and building the Kingdom, there would be many, because now Jesus can fill every believer by the Holy Spirit and do the same things through the believer that He did. These signs shall follow them that believe…

A. John 7:37-39 NKJV “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. {38} “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” {39} But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

B. John 14:26 NKJV “”But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

C. John 16:7-16 NKJV “”Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. {8} “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {9} “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; {10} “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; {11} “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. {12} “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. {13} “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. {14} “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. {15} “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. {16} “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

D. Luke 3:16 NKJV “John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After we memorize John 3:16, we need to memorize Luke 3:16. Jesus has promised to save us in John 3:16, but He also promised to baptize us in the Holy Spirit in Luke 3:16.


  1. Jesus ascended to the Father 40 days after His resurrection, and sent back the promised Holy Spirit 10 days later on the Jewish Festival Day of Pentecost.

A. Pentecost means “fiftieth day”, and occurs 49 days after Easter Sunday, but 50 days including Easter Sunday.

B. Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again during the Jewish festival of Passover.

C. Passover began when the Death Angel visited Egypt and killed all the first-born sons. The only ones spared were those who had marked their doors with the blood of a lamb.

D. As a result of this last judgment on Egypt, Pharaoh let the Israelites go into the wilderness to worship God.

E. Forty-nine days after the Exodus, while in the wilderness, God gives them the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. This day later becomes the day of Pentecost. On the same day God gave the Israelites the Law of Moses, Jesus now sends them the Holy Spirit, the only One who can empower us to keep the Law.

F. Pentecost is also known as the Festival of Weeks, or Festival of Reaping, or Festival of First Fruits. In other words, it was the Festival commemorating the early harvest, in anticipation of the later harvest. This reminds us that the glory of the later house will be greater than the former.

During this festival it was customary to wave sheaves of grain from the early harvest before the Lord. This reminds us that because Jesus was raised from the dead as the first-fruits of those who died, but the rest of the harvest is on the way. There is a glorious resurrection awaiting every believer who has died in Christ.


Conclusion: What happened after Easter set in motion the most incredible journey of faith that has swept around the globe, with over 2 billion and 200 million people confessing to be Christian in our world today. But our job is not over. As long as there are lost people in world, nation, state, city, neighborhood, we must continue the work of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus died and rose again for our redemption, but He sent the Holy Spirit back to empower us to take this redemption to every man, woman, teenager, boy and girl. You are not alone. Jesus is no longer WITH us. But we actually have something even better. He is now IN us. Greater is He that is IN us than he that is in the world. Remember: I can do all things through Christ!


Invitation: You can receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit today.




by Cindy Bice


The song goes, “Happy Holidays, the merry bells are ringing, happy holidays to you!”

While the holidays can be the happiest time for some, it is also the saddest time of year for many.  I encourage you to be mindful of others during the holidays.  You may feel awkward at first, but let God’s love win in reaching out to others!

It’s easy to focus on us 4 and no more especially with how busy our lives can be.  Be different this year.  Include some way of helping others in your Christmas Season this year!

I have friends and family who purposefully reach out to others during Christmas in different ways.  One shares a Christmas dinner party and gifts with orphans.  Another joins with others in feeding the homeless.  Another bakes bread and festive goodies to share with neighbors and elderly folks.  There’s also Church outreaches you can be involved with in sharing Christmas with others in many ways.  

There are many who could use a helping hand, a generous heart, and a warm meal.  If you know someone who is alone for Christmas, you can give them a call, invite them over for a meal, or include them with your festivities.

One Christmas was very memorable for our family.   We knew a precious family who was in need so our family went Christmas shopping for them.  We bought gifts we thought they each would enjoy.  After wrapping them, we wrote a note and told them that God was thinking of them and Jesus loved them very much.  It was a joy to our children to share Christmas with others without expecting anything in return.  We did this privately and in secret.  

Christ is the reason for the Season!  Share Jesus love with all you see!

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, what whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal live.”

PICTURE: Kauai Marriott Resort

SONG: Joy To The World, Celtic Women https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDmIddF7DfQ


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:


#43, BE BOLD



by Cindy Bice


Be bold in the Lord and in the power of His might!

I recently saw a picture of a cat looking at its reflection in a puddle of water.  What the cat saw was a lion!

If you were looking at your reflection, what would you see?  Would you see a victorious warrior or as defeated and insignificant? Look at yourself through eyes of faith and see yourself the way God sees you.  He sees you through the work that Jesus wrought on the cross.  When God looks at you, He sees you whole and victorious!

How you see God directly affects how you see yourself! Our perception is our reality.

It doesn’t take long in reading the Bible to see what a mighty God we serve!  He is awesome in power!  King of kings and Lord of lords! 

In a day when we are pushed and shoved to be politically correct, I encourage you to stand for Jesus.  Be bold in your faith and don’t ever shy away from sharing the hope that Jesus has placed in your heart.  No one can ever take away your testimony in what the Lord has done for you!

When we moved to Hawaii, I overcompensated being considerate of others who believed differently from me so much so I found I wasn’t saying anything about my precious Lord. By living my Christian life by example so others can see Him in me, I found the Lord opened doors for me to share the hope I have in me with others.  I also welcome any and every opportunity when the Lord opens a door, I walk right through it. 

Being bold for the Lord does not mean that you are obnoxious and rude.  What it means is you don’t shrink back from sharing Jesus when given the opportunity.  You won’t win many souls for the Lord knocking them over the head with your Bible, but sharing the truth of the Gospels with the love of God in a thoughtful way, will make the hungriest soul want to know more! 

Don’t hesitate to share the hope you have in your heart with others!  You don’t have to defend the Gospel.  By sharing your testimony of faith in Jesus, you have the potential to make a difference in someone’s eternity!

Be bold and know the Lord is with you!

Ephesians 6:19 (NKJV) “and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,”

1 Thessalonians 2:2 (NKJV) “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.”

Joshua 1:9 (NKJV) “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

PICTURE: Kauai Marriott Resort

SONG: Morris Chapman and the Maranatha singers – Be bold, be strong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYZ880P5-Jk


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


Treat others the way you want to be treated.

As Christians, we are blessed to have experienced the unconditional love of God! Because God loves us and fills us with His love, we can love others!

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Think about the attributes of God’s love for us and practice those thoughtful attitudes towards others.

Have you ever been mistreated?  I have.  Did you want to lash back?  My first response at the time was fear for what was done and then I quickly understood they did not see me as I saw them.  Rather than fear them, I chose to forgive and continued to show the love of God by my actions and attitude.  (Every situation will be different and should be treated accordingly.) 

On other occasions, I have felt like slapping people for being cruel and mean!  No, I didn’t actually slap anyone, but I sure felt like it!  When cruel injustice is done, it’s very hard to be civil.  In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to allow our emotions escalate to anger and we may say or do things we will greatly regret and are not able to take back.

What do you do when you are provoked or have been wronged?  It depends on the situation. Serious situations may require your dialing 911 for help.  You may need to speak to a Guidance Counselor.

When you let anger and hate fill your heart, that’s what is going to come out in your actions and words.  When you let God’s love fill your heart, that’s what is going to come out in your actions and words. 

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Rather than react, we can choose our response. Before saying anything, take a breath and pause.  While doing that, ask yourself Will it help or hurt what you’re dealing with?   

Luke 6:31 (NIV) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

1 John 4:7,8 (NKJV) Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

Ephesians 5:2 (ESV) “And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

PICTURE: My husband and I at Dukes Restaurant in Kauai

SONG: Brandon Heath – Your Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vbg2dpX-EY


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


God is not an afterthought.  Choose Jesus first before everything else!

Life can be very full and busy.  Before you know it, the day has ended and you still haven’t taken time for Jesus. Jesus needs to be the anchor to our souls and our firm foundation that we build our lives on.  Without Him in our daily lives and on the throne of our hearts, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

I used to have a hamster and he had a wheel he would run on in his cage.  He would run and the wheel would turn, but he never got anywhere.  Do you ever feel exasperated and frustrated like you aren’t getting anywhere? Break the insanity cycle and make a change!  Put Jesus first before any and everything else! 

You may not feel like you have time to include a moment of prayer or a brief Bible devotion, but without these how can you hear God and find direction for your life? 

There are many distractions in our lives that can get us off track from what we need to be doing.  Take time to step back and look at your life.  You may need to make some changes. Remember to put Jesus as your first priority.  Ask yourself the importance of each item and prioritize accordingly.  You may be able to let go of some things or just trim off the time they are taking.  For example, you may need to take 30 minutes from watching tv to allow time to pray and read your Bible and have a few family moments too!

Choose Jesus first. You’ll be glad you did!  He’s our peace, He’s the joy of our Salvation.  He gives us strength when we are weak.  He fills our hearts and lives with hope.  He is our firm foundation! He is with us always!  

Acts 17:28 (NIV) “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Psalm 119:30 (KJV) “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

PICTURE: Waterfall in Dukes Restaurant in Kauai

SONG: Desert Song, Natalie Grant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuNCtsm6YvA


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


If there was ever a time we needed the Lord, it’s now! 

Now is the time to humble ourselves before God. 

It’s time to humble ourselves, pray, and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.

How do you humble yourself? 

It’s something you choose to do.  It shows in your attitude and actions. God gives us a free will and it’s up to us to acknowledge Jesus is Lord of our lives.  When we do that, we are putting Him on the throne of our hearts and we live our lives to please Him.  Our attitude needs to be, “Not my will be done, but Thy will be done.” When you humble yourself, you are preferring the Lord over your own desires.  You are putting Him first.  You are letting God be God.

My husband and I were in the process of building and buying our first home.  We were both so excited! One day I felt like something was wrong and so my husband and I prayed and read our Bibles seeking answers.  The Lord gave us our answer and told us not to buy the house.  We humbled ourselves by choosing what God told us over our own desire in buying the house.  Months later we discovered the whole neighborhood had dropped drastically in prices because the water was bad. If we had insisted on having our way in what we wanted, we would have been in a big mess, but by humbling ourselves before the Lord and being obedient to His instruction, we were spared. 

1 Peter 5:6,7 (NIV) “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

James4:6 (ESV) “But he gives more grace.  Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Matthew 23:12 (ESV) “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Isaiah 62:6 (NKJV) “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night.  You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,”

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

PICTURE: Kauai Rooster

SONG: If my people, Jimmy Owens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPY-CrPtdKw


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


To the degree you are filled with Jesus will be the degree your light will shine. 

Just as Jesus is a beacon of hope for all, we are lights shining hope in a hopelessly dark world.

Have you ever been to a candle light service? One person shares their lighted candle with the next person and it continues until all have their candles lit and a once dark room is then filled with light!

Your light makes a difference!  You may be the only light some people will ever see up close and personal!  You can make a difference in someone’s eternity!   

Be ready to share freely the Good News of the Gospel with others.  You have hope that others need.  Your life is a light and it’s up to you how dimly or how brightly your light shines.

Sharing your testimony is something you can do and no one can ever take that from you! 

When possible, join with others in prayer for our country, its leaders, its future.  Proclaim and declare the word of God over our nation.  Pray with your church families and with your own families. 

How do you let your light shine? 

Your light shines when you are living your life following Jesus.  He is lifted up in your heart and life.  It’s not only what you say, but especially what you do. Your light will be seen in your actions and Christ like attitudes. 

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) “You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 12:46 (NIV) “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

Ephesians 5:8 (NIV) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light.”

Psalm 27:1 (NKJV) “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV) “Arise, shine; For your light has come!  And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.”

PICTURE: Staghorn Fern, Kauai

SONG: Shine Jesus Shine by Don Moen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OIwSQmyCg4


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


Is all you see darkness?  Then let the Lord turn on the light!

God’s word is a beacon of light shining brightly dispelling all darkness in our hearts and lives.

Light dispels darkness.  It also uncovers what has been hidden in the darkness.

When God speaks, by his glorious word that is the light into our lives, he breaks the power of darkness and we are changed.

His words are full of light!  There is peace, love, hope, and life.  There is no place for fear, doubt, confusion, torment, or turmoil.

Let the word of God dwell in you richly.  Be full of the word of life.

Jesus is the word made flesh.  It is in, through and by Him that we have our being.  We are complete and whole in Him.

How do you turn the light on?

Pray.  Read the word of God.  Personally, ask the Lord to shine his light into every hidden area of your heart and life to dispel all darkness.  Repent of what is exposed.  Turn and go the other way in following Jesus.

The entrance of His words bring light!

Genesis 1:3 (AMP) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Psalm 119:105 (KJV) “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

John 1:1 (NIV) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Colossians 3:16 (KJV) “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

PICTURE: Kauai Coffee Beans

SONG: Let there be light/Brian and Katie Torwalt, Jesus Culture https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Let+there+be+light%2FBrian+and+Katie+Torwalt


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





by Cindy Bice


No matter what you are going through I encourage you to set your heart and mind on the Lord.  Trust wholly in Him.  He is the peace in your heart, mind, and life!

I woke up with Isaiah 26:3 on my heart this morning and the Lord ministered peace to my whole being!  I pray this devotion brings encouraging hope and peace to you in your life!

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

When you focus on the waves, you may get sea-sick or just sink in the situations you’re facing.  When your mind is focusing on Jesus, who is the Lord of the waves, then you’ll have peace because you are trusting in Him!

Does this mean you have a la la la attitude and don’t deal with real life?  No!  It means as you are walking through life, you trust the Lord with your whole heart and your mind is set on Him. 

I’m at a time in my life when many my age are retiring.  It seems my life, in the contrary, has picked up its pace. Although it’s very exciting, I’ve felt discombobulated because so much is happening at once.  Being in the middle of transition can be very challenging.    

Thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk the walk He has for us! He’s right there every step of the way in our Life’s journeys!  We are in need of our blessed Savior every step of every day and He is our Peace!

Trust in the Lord with your whole heart!  Set your mind on Him!  He is your perfect peace!

PICTURE:  The top of Waimea Canyon, Kauai

SONG: Grace Flows Down by Christi Nockels and the Passion Band https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YWiH90AYhU


Cindy Bice

Cindy Black Bice, Aloha Garden Bible Study

“TIMES OF REFRESHING” Garden Bible Study in Hawaii

Please contact me via my Facebook for more information:





By George W. Black

When we say “Jesus is Lord,” we may not always consider the far-ranging dynamics of His Lordship in our daily lives.  God spoke to my heart recently that “whatever you surrender to God comes under His covering, blessing, and protection; and whatever you do not surrender, does not.”

I have been meditating on that thought for days because of its profound implications. I felt it was a Word of wisdom to me personally, so I didn’t want to let it “fall to the ground” unexplored.

Various stories in the Bible that affirm the joy of divine surrender began to emerge in my thoughts, such as Jesus in the Garden before the passion of the Cross. He asked His Father if there was another way to accomplish salvation, His humanity bearing heavily on the moment as real as ours. Then He transitions His prayer to complete surrender with one word, “NEVERTHELESS.”

Surrender is always an act of worship, a giving of oneself fully and completely to another. Jesus set the example for us. He could have called 10,000 angels to rescue Him, but He chose the Father’s plan over His personal desire.  Just has John the Baptist had decreased so Christ could increase, so too now we find Jesus choosing to decrease so that the Father’s plan could continue.

“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

But let us not forget the example of faith that Jesus Christ set for us, and that we can continually look to for strength and courage, to say no to self, and yes to the Father’s plan. Jesus saw beyond the moment of temptation through the eyes of  faith. He looked to the reward.

“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Surrender has it’s own rewards. For instance, when I surrender my life to follow Christ, I may not always do it perfectly, but it means that I am now looking to Him for His wisdom, guidance, etc. My faith and surrender place a demand on God that He responds to by perfectly covering me, blessing me, and protecting me.

In particular, when I surrender my body to Christ as a living sacrifice, this means that it is now His body, and that I want to follow His plan for it. This means using it for His purposes, taking care of it according to the clear teaching of Scripture, exercising it, feeding it good things, resting it, and fasting  it as He directs.

The next time you say Jesus is Lord of your body, ask yourself, is He really? Have I really surrendered to His plan for health and a long life?

Whatever we surrender to God comes under his covering, blessing, and protection. I want to be an obedient disciple that brings glory to God. I also want the health and long life necessary to do it well, so I have to come to the place I say, “nevertheless, not as I will but as You will.”

Sometimes fasting is the hardest thing I do. When I can’t even skip a meal, that tells me who is really in charge…my flesh. But God’s grace is sufficient. It’s not about beating myself up about it, its about recognizing my need for surrender. When I surrender, grace flows to the low place. Grace is God’s ability to do His will. If I am willing to receive His grace, I can always do His will. Thank you Jesus!!!

What about surrendering our finance to Him as an act of worship? I find so many people driven by fear in this area, and fear is of the flesh. We must be good stewards by recognizing that it all belongs to Him in the first place. What a joy and privilege it is to surrender our finance to Him and ask for His wisdom and guidance on how to handle it.  When you make God your financial partner, He becomes responsible for you. But we can’t say Jesus is Lord of finance, and not do the things He tells us to do.

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord,Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6:46

I remember a life-lesson on surrendering my finance early in my ministry. Cathy and I had driven several hundred miles to preach for a rural church in Louisiana, both Sunday morning and evening. We had some great services and everyone was blessed. However, Cathy and I were in trouble financially. Our house mortgage was overdue, and we were already getting the notices and phone calls. I felt helpless as the provider of my family. I was sure God was going to use this weekend trip to bless us with a good love offering.

I was wrong. When the deacon of the church handed me a folded check at the end of the evening, I could hardly wait a few minutes to open it and see what the church had given us. I was desperate.

When I opened the check, it was for $100.00. Needless to say, my heart just sank. We needed over $900.00 just to pull even with our bills, and would still not have anything for food or utilities.

Suddenly God spoke to me and said “sow it.” I heard Him as clear as day, but my flesh did not want to say “nevertheless.” So I argued with Him. I said, “God you know our situation. We spent more money than that check on gas and other expenses just making this trip. If I sow this money, we will have nothing to go home with, and I don’t know how I could ever tell Cathy I had given it away.”

It’s kinda funny when we think we can argue with God. But we do. He asked me one question in response that put me in my place. He asked, “will that offering meet your need?” Slowly I admitted, “no Lord, it won’t meet my need.” Then He said again, “sow it.”

BAM! Faith came up in my heart and I suddenly realized what He was trying to get me to do. He was giving me seed to break the curse of lack off my life. Now I had the choice of either eating my seed or sowing my seed. I surrendered and finally said, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

There was a man in the service that night who had just gotten saved in prison, and was a new release. Right after God told me to sow that money, he came over and began to talk to me and share his vision of starting a prison ministry to go back in with Bible Studies and discipleship training. I asked him if $100.00 would help him get started, and he about shouted he was so excited. He said that $100.00 was exactly what he was praying for to get started. I reached into my pocket and pulled out that folded check, signed it over to him, and put it in his hand.

God heard his prayers and used me to meet the need. That $100.00 wouldn’t meet my needs, but it met his needs. What an amazing God we serve.

I felt the smile of God as I left that place, but then I had to tell Cathy on the way home. As we pulled onto the highway, I told her how much the offering was, and what God had instructed me to do with it. Cathy is a woman of great faith. I had underestimated her. She said “good; God will take care of us some other way.”

Within a week we received a special love offering in the mail from someone who did not know the situation we were facing. It was a check for $1,000.00 that completely covered our past-due mortgage and some other things. The note said that God had laid this donation on this persons heart, and it happened about the same time we had sown our offering. I cried.

Whatever we surrender to God will have His covering, blessing, and protection.

Surrender in every area of life has its own rewards. Why does God ask us to surrender to Him? Because He is a good, good Father who knows what is best for us.

“If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” Isaiah 1:19








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