All the Peoples of the Earth Might Know

When we are faithful in our daily Bible reading and church attendance, we see how God ties everything together. Last night, Pastor Monte Knudsen was speaking about the times we live in. They are exciting times!

  • God chose our time and habitation, Acts 17:28-31.
  • God said He would gather the Jews from all nations, Ezekiel 36:24.
  • Israel would be born in one day, Isaiah 66:8.
  • Palestine became Israel on May 14, 1948.
  • Israel becoming a nation was a greater miracle than the parting of the Red Sea, Jeremiah 16:14, 15.
  • Since 1948, eight wars have been waged against Israel but they still stand.
  • The Jews lived all over the world for 2000 years and never lost their customs or faith.
  • Jerusalem was declared the capital of Israel on December 6, 2017.
  • The boundaries of Israel are clear based on landmarks found in Genesis 15:18-21.
  • You are not an accident!
  • What was your life created for?
  • You will be accountable to God, Acts 17:21-31.

Notes from Pastor Monte Knudsen’s sermon on December 6, 2017.

* * * * * * *

The verse from my devotional today talked about the Jews coming back from the land of the enemy, Jeremiah 31:16. It is another reference not mentioned in last night’s sermon.

All of these events are signs for us – the Gentiles. Just like the 12 stones, Joshua set up in Gilgal. They were taken from the middle of the Jordan River, at flood stage, when the children of Israel walked across on dry ground.

Joshua 4:24, “So that all the peoples of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, and you would fear the Lord your God always.” Modern English Version

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Number Our Days

“Countdown to Christmas” has started! There are Christmas movies on 5 different channels! How do I know? I record them all and it is quite the juggling act.

In the middle of the night, I was feeling stress about two Christmas presents I need to make. God told me to make them tomorrow. Funny, once I put them on my schedule, I no longer felt stress. I am actually looking forward to making them.

After my devotions yesterday, there were 2 items I wanted to work on every day. Then I thought of a third! Instead of getting overwhelmed, I got out my weekly planning sheets and scheduled everything.

I was pleasantly surprised to see I had over 2 full weeks before Christmas. I thought I only had 10 days because one family Christmas is a week earlier this year. The Christmas cards will be later this year, but they will get done.

Psalms 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Modern English Version

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When Moses Had Finished

We all know the feeling of satisfaction when we hand in our last assignment before Christmas break. Or finished the last test before graduation.

What about finishing the last bit of decorating before our wedding. Or putting the final touches on the nursery before our first child arrives.

If we knew our life would end tomorrow, what would we work on today? Have we finished the assignments God gave us? Moses did.

Deuteronomy 31:24, “When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book, until they were completed…” Modern English Version

Look at the time. It’s later than I thought.

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Being Careful

After seeing the commercial several times, I decided to clear my schedule and finish the website on godaddy.com. They make it sound so easy. But first, devotions.

Deuteronomy 28:1, “…diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today…” Modern English Version

Then I was scared.

I pulled up a chat window and asked several questions. After printing the conversation, I decided to just wait. I am in over my head. I don’t want to go any deeper. It may be an expensive lesson for me.

I looked back at my prayer list. When I prayed about this website, I asked God if I should do 1 year or 3 years. I should have asked if I should do it at all! I put my trust in man and that was a mistake.

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A Wise Teacher

I enjoyed school. I liked the feeling of accomplishment when I finished my assignments. I took pride in every “A” I received on a test. I liked the sneaky way they reinforced lessons: word search puzzles, crossword puzzles, drawing pictures, etc. God used similar tactics to teach the children of Israel His laws.

Deuteronomy 27:2, 3, “…you must set up for yourself great stones, and cover them with plaster. Then you must write all the words of this law on them,…” Modern English Version

Can you imagine collecting rocks and putting them together to make an altar without reshaping them? It would make a Rubik’s cube look like child’s play.

Covering the rocks with plaster and writing the laws on them would also write them on your heart. Later, I’m sure their children traced the letters with their fingers and read them out loud.

God is a wise teacher.

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Do It Now

When I read today’s verse, I went right to the office and got to work. I pulled our retirement paperwork out and added up the capital gains, interest, and dividends over the last year. I wrote earlier about tithing on it but had not totaled it yet.

Deuteronomy 23:21. “When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you must not be slow to pay for it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be a sin to you.” Modern English Version

David added it to our total interest and wrote a tithe check.

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You Must Not Go Back

I checked with my husband about tithing on our interest. We hadn’t. He surprised me by saying, “Let’s tithe on our credit card rewards!” I hadn’t considered that. Are we going overboard?

Then I read “The Word For You Today.”

“”If you want to measure the depth of your love for Christ, look at your calendar and your credit card statement….How you spend your time and money are the two best barometers of your true priorities.”

“All In” by Mark Batterson

Our income has always been modest and I have a tendency to worry about not having enough. They call that a “poverty mentality.”

“A man can only eat one meal at a time, wear only one suit of clothes at a time, drive only one car at a time.” Stanley Tam

We read about Stanley Tam in our devotions today.

“On January 5, 1955, every share of stock was transferred to God, and Stanley became a salaried employee of the company he started. Before he was through, Stanley gave away more than $120 million to the cause of Christ.”

“All In” by Mark Batterson

There were times in our life when we dropped below the poverty level. We received help with food and medical care. But, when our situation changed, we stopped using them. I actually got off of the WIC program while we were still eligible. It shocked the workers!

God is our source. He took care of us in 2015 when neither one of us was working!

Deuteronomy 17:16, “…You must not go back that way ever again.” Modern English Version

* * * * * * * *

“The very thing I had convinced myself was beyond my capacity was the very thing God wanted to do through me.” Steven Furtick

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All the Produce of Your Seed

Tithing.

Has there ever been a more controversial word?

When the sermon is on tithing, people say, “All the church wants is my money.”

God doesn’t need your money. He wants to know the level of your commitment.

Giving 10% off the top of your income says:

  • God is my source.
  • God provides a job to support my family.
  • God provides a way to make wealth.
  • God is my boss, my employer is His manager.
  • God multiplies the balance when I give the first 10% to Him.

Another form of giving is offerings. It is money over and above the 10% you tithe. Offerings are for missions, charity, and special projects.

God promises to bless the seed in our barns, (savings, investments). Earlier this week I shared how God blessed our retirement fund.

Today’s verse smacked me upside the head.

Deuteronomy 14:22, “You must be certain to tithe all the produce of your seed, so that the field produces year by year.” Modern English Version

Wait, did we tithe the interest in our retirement account? (I will have to check with my bookkeeper husband.)

Could it be our investments don’t prosper because we keep all the increase? I want my seeds to keep producing, don’t you?

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Always

The most dangerous phrase in the world is – “just once.”

  • All addictions start by trying something “just once.”
  • Multitudes of children are conceived from having sex “just once.”
  • LIves are lost from trying dangerous activities “just once.”
  • Diseases are contracted from exposure “just once.”
  • Many are in prison for breaking the law “just once.”

Everything we do starts small. We decide to do something “just once” and soon it becomes a habit and then a lifestyle. We are shocked and perplexed when we start to experience the consequences of a behavior we had only planned to try “just once.” Whatever seeds we plant becomes our harvest many times over.

God is unchangeable. He is the God of always. He said His Name is “I Am.”

Deuteronomy 11:1, “You must love the Lord your God and keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments always.” Modern English Version

The good news? The reverse is true. We build good habits by doing them “just once” today. Tomorrow we do it again and the next day the same. Before we know it, our lifestyle has changed.

We can do great things – difficult things – by starting small. But everything we build will crumble when we break God’s laws. We must keep them always.

©2009-2017 frugalfish.org

 

God Gives the Ability to Get Wealth

In a sermon a few years ago, Pastor Monte Knudsen shared a conversation he had with another man.

The man asked, “Are you blessed?”

“Yes.”

“Are you paying capital gains tax?”

“No.”

“God wants to bless your storehouse (savings, investments) so much that you pay taxes on the increase,” the man said.

I silently prayed, “Lord, give us capital gains.” (I don’t even know how they work!)

I continued to daily pray Psalms 112:3, “Wealth and riches shall be in his house,…” (Modern English Version) over our finances.

Last night, we met with our advisor to review our retirement allocations. She pointed to our smallest fund, 9% of our portfolio, and said, “You have capital gains in this fund.”

I was surprised. My prayers were answered! It amazed me because for decades we were only able to put 3% into retirement. David’s former employer added 1-2% to it for several years, but as his business was failing, he stopped. We have never touched the money and just kept adding our small percentage.

I was so happy and proud! We all know what pride leads to – a fall. I was headed for discipline from God.

Deuteronomy 8:11, 17, 18, “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I am commanding you today….Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’ But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today.” Modern English Version

I repented.

“…Read your Bible and begin to claim God’s promises in every area of your life.” 11-28-17 facebook.com/thewordforyoutodayusa

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