Child Of God

You are the children of the Lord your God… (Deuteronomy 14:1). 

I am a child of the King of kings.
He is the King of Endless Supply.
He has no lack, no deficiencies, no quotas. 
He IS Abundance! 

So why would I live like a pauper—scraping by and scrambling to provide for myself? Why would I live like an orphan—with a scarcity mindset? 

My Heavenly Father knows what I have need of before I even ask, and He has already promised to supply for all of my needs (Matthew 6:8; Philippians 4:19).

As a child of God, I should have a joy-filled, peace-filled, abundance mentality. With this mindset I can…

I’m not trying to build a bankroll here. My inheritance is secure in Heaven. As a child of the King of kings, I can expect Him to provide all I need. 

I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalm 37:25) 

With the same measure I use to bless others, I will be blessed. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. (Luke 6:38) 

I need to live as a child of the Abundant King, not as a helpless orphan with no one on whom to call for help! 

John Maxwell On Abundance

Intentional LivingJohn Maxwell’s most recent book Intentional Living is chockfull of thought-provoking, life-changing lessons. Here’s what he wrote about changing our outlook from scarcity to abundance.

“Scarcity thinking has nothing to give. It is preoccupied with receiving. Scarcity thinking is all about me. It says, ‘There’s not enough to go around. I had better get something for myself and hold onto it with all I have.’ … People who live in the world of abundance think differently. They know there’s always more. … Abundance thinking is the mindset of people of significance, and it has nothing to do with how much they have. … Anticipation is a key that unlocks the doors to abundance thinking. ‘Doors?’ you maybe asking. ‘Don’t you mean door?’ No. Expecting there to be only one door is scarcity thinking. … Finding and going through one door is an event. Going through many doors is a lifestyle. That requires an abundance mindset. … Sadly, too many people have a scarcity mindset and lack of positive anticipation. As a result, they never open the first door. Unopened doors reinforce scarcity thinking and scarcity living. … Keep searching for doors and opening them. And remember that with each open door, your anticipation will increase and so will abundance. … No one experiences abundance while anticipating scarcity. So why not try of abundance?”

I have posted other quotes from Dr. Maxwell in Intentional Living here and here.

John Maxwell also shares a lot of quotes from other wise people, and I posted a few of my favorite here.

You can also check out my review of Intentional Living by clicking here.

C.S. Lewis On The Scarcity Mindset

C.S. Lewis at his deskWhen C.S. Lewis wrote The Screwtape Letters, he wrote as an experienced demon giving advice to his young, protege demon. In this writing, when he refers to the “the Enemy” he’s talking about God, and “our Father” is the devil.

“The Enemy’s demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father’s first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing up as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love’ is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy. The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and, specially, that one self is not another self. My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses. Even an inanimate object is what it is by excluding all other objects from the space it occupies; if it expands, it does so by thrusting other objects aside or by absorbing them. A self does the same. With beasts the absorption takes the form of eating; for us, it means the sucking of will and freedom out of a weaker self into a stronger. ‘To be’ means ‘to be in competition.’” —C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

Jesus came that we might have life in abundance; the devil wants to leave you competing for scarcity after he steals, kills and destroys. Choose God’s way. Choose abundance! Choose life!

Links & Quotes

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In The Screwtape Letters, in which an older demon is writing to an apprentice demon, the ‘Enemy’ is God, and the ‘Father’ is the devil. “The Enemy’s demand on humans takes the form of a dilemma; either complete abstinence or unmitigated monogamy. Ever since our Father’s first great victory, we have rendered the former very difficult to them. The latter, for the last few centuries, we have been closing up as a way of escape. We have done this through the poets and novelists by persuading the humans that a curious, and usually shortlived, experience which they call ‘being in love’ is the only respectable ground for marriage; that marriage can, and ought to, render this excitement permanent; and that a marriage which does not do so is no longer binding. This idea is our parody of an idea that came from the Enemy. The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and, specially, that one self is not another self. My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses. Even an inanimate object is what it is by excluding all other objects from the space it occupies; if it expands, it does so by thrusting other objects aside or by absorbing them. A self does the same. With beasts the absorption takes the form of eating; for us, it means the sucking of will and freedom out of a weaker self into a stronger. ‘To be’ means ‘to be in competition.’” —C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters

“Commend me to the Christian who says, ‘I bless God I am saved; now what can I do for others?’ The first thing in the morning he prays, ‘God help me to say a word to some soul this day.’ During the day, wherever he may be, he is watching his opportunity, and will do good if he can. He is concerned about his children: it sometimes breaks his heart to think that they are not saved. If he happens to have an ungodly wife, it is his daily burden, ‘O God, save my wife!’ When he goes to a place of worship he does not expect the minister to make sermons always on purpose for him, but he says, ‘I shall sit here and pray God to bless the word,’ and if he looks round the chapel and sees one that he loves, he prays for him, ‘God send the word home to him.’ When service is over, a man of this kind will waylay the unconverted, and try to get a personal word with them, and see if he cannot discover some beginnings of grace in their souls. This is how earnest Christians live; and let me tell you, as a rule, though they have the griefs of other men’s souls to carry, they do not have much grief about their own; they are watering others and they are watered themselves also. May this be your work and mine!” —Charles Spurgeon

“Paul wrote to the Ephesians about the true character of a healthy, growing church. He said nothing about numbers of people, size of budget, variety of programs and facilities, or whether or not it had a great worship band. He emphasized two characteristics—unity and maturity—which are in short supply in America’s churches today (Ephesians 4:11-16).” —T.M. Moore

Dr. George O. Wood says, “If even the angels do not know, and Jesus did not know, why do we have so many ‘date-setters’ even today? You can research and discover that there have been numerous false prophecies in the past centuries where authors and so-called prophets set a date for the return of Christ. Date-setters will always be wrong; you can count on it.” Read the rest of his post about Christ’s return here.

I like this: 5 reasons the church should embrace science.

Fight The New Drug asks: Is there a difference between pornography and prostitution?

Reciprocity

Listen to the podcast of this post by clicking on the player below, and you can also subscribe on AppleSpotify, or Audible.

Reciprocity is a big word that simply means: You will get what you give.

Hear me correctly. I’m not saying give more just to get more. It doesn’t work that way because that’s not true reciprocity; that’s just plain selfishness.

Reciprocity is giving to others just because you have it in your power—and in your heart—to give, and it will “bounce back” to you.

Reciprocity is from your heart. God makes sure you get the return blessings.

And, by the way, if you have something you could give but you don’t give it, your “bounce back” becomes a world that is smaller and smaller, with greater scarcity.

Reciprocity is win-win. Selfishness is lose-lose.

When you’re kind to others, you help yourself; when you are cruel to others, you hurt yourself. (Proverbs 11:17)

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. (Proverbs 11:24)

The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)

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Give It Away To Have More

It seems like we never have enough. Enough time. Enough money. Enough food. Enough friends.

As weird as it sounds—the cure to have enough is to give what you have away.

Imagine a drought … famine … despair. Lakes drying up and wells running dry. The dairy cows aren’t producing as much milk as usual, and the beef cows don’t have as much meat on them as they used to. The wheat fields aren’t growing as abundantly, and the corn is dry and mealy. Men don’t work as much, their wives don’t visit as much, and the kids don’t play as much.

Now, what if you found out you were going to be fortunate enough to host a VIP at your home? How do you prepare a decent meal? How do you think this VIP is going to react to the meager meal set before him? What if someone came from a distance away and brought you 20 loaves of freshly-baked bread?

Do you know how Elisha responded in these settings? He said, “Give it to the people to eat” (2 Kings 4).

Elisha shows up at his guests’ home and says, “Put the large pot on the stove and make some stew.” The large pot?!? Don’t you know we’re in a famine? Don’t you realize that we don’t have very much to spare?

Put the large pot on the stove and make some stew, then serve it to the people to eat,” Elisha said. He didn’t ask for the food to be prepared for himself, but for others. And not just a little stew either—he said make stew in the large pot. It’s interesting to me, too, that the householders had all the ingredients for a stew, but they were trying to stretch it out and make it last longer. They were hoarding what they had.

Then a friend arrives from a distant land bringing Elisha 20 loaves of bread.

Do you know how Elisha responded to this gift? “Give it to the people to eat.” Give it to the people?!? There are over 100 people here and we only have 20 loaves! That seems a bit cruel to just whet people’s appetites with so little; why don’t we just keep it for ourselves.

But Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat. Not only will they all eat, but there will be leftovers too.”

When we hoard what we have, we rob others. We rob ourselves too because we miss out on the blessing of seeing others satisfied, and we miss out on the miracles that God wants to do right before our eyes.

“Why does God bless us with abundance? So we can have enough to live on and then use the rest for all manner of good works that alleviate spiritual and physical misery. Enough for us; abundance for others.” —John Piper

So, when you think about it, don’t you really have enough time to help someone in need?

Don’t you really have enough money to alleviate someone’s suffering?

Don’t you really have enough food to satisfy someone’s hunger?

Don’t you really have enough love to make a new friend?

Don’t rob yourself by hoarding. Don’t buy into the scarcity mindset that looks away from others. The more you give away, the more you will have. Try it, it works!

Fill ’Er Up!

I sort of remember the days of full-service gas stations. My Dad would drive in and say, “Fill ‘er up,” and the gas station attendant would jump into action. Filling up the gas tank, cleaning the windshield, checking the oil level, and even checking the air pressure in the tires.

But, alas, those days of full service seem to be long gone, replaced by highly-efficient, less-personal self-serve stations. And I’m not necessarily talking just about gasoline stations either.

All of our lives seem to have become more efficient and less personal. We are a more do-it-yourself, leverage-technology kind of society today. And I wonder if the result is that many people aren’t getting filled up like they used to.

There is a well-known Bible story in 2 Kings 4. A widow is facing what would amount to foreclosure today. Except this foreclosure was on her sons. Her husband, a God-fearing man, had died and left her with debts she could not pay. The practice in that society was for her sons to be “sold” to pay off the debts. Her sons would have to work all day long for someone else, and whatever money they would have earned for their labors would go to the creditors.

In her desperation, the widow turned to the prophet Elisha. He asked her if she had anything of value in her house, and she replied, “Just a little oil. But not enough to pay off my debts.” The counsel Elisha gave her is applicable for our self-serve society today—

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few” (v. 3).

Elisha asked the woman and her family to humble themselves—ask all your neighbors. Sometimes this is one of our biggest hindrances: pride which keeps us from admitting we have a need. And this was no small task because she had to ask ALL her neighbors to, “Fill ‘er up!”

Elisha asked them to be persistent—don’t ask for just a few. Not just a jar here and there, but ask for every available jar to, “Fill ‘er up!”

This story shouldn’t just apply to times of desperation in our lives. Because maybe if we worked on being around our neighbors and asking what needs they have, and sharing our needs as well, maybe we wouldn’t get into such desperate situations.

In this story in 2 Kings, the oil stopped flowing only after every available jar had been filled. If I want God to continue to pour His oil of blessing into my life, He has to have room in which to pour. That means that I need to be pouring into others’ lives daily. Listen to the blessings when we, “Fill ‘er up!”—

I want you to know how delighted I am to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus here with me. They partially make up for your absence! They’ve refreshed me by keeping me in touch with you. (1 Corinthians 16:17-18, The Message)

In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you.(2 Corinthians 7:13, New International Version)

God bless Onesiphorus and his family! Many’s the time I’ve been refreshed in that house. And he wasn’t embarrassed a bit that I was in jail. The first thing he did when he got to Rome was look me up. May God on the Last Day treat him as well as he treated me. (2 Timothy 1:16-18, The Message)

Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people. (Philemon 7, New Living Translation)

Get around other “full” people and let them fill you up.

Seek out “empty” people and pour abundantly into them.

The more you pour out into others, the more room there is for God to pour into you.

God is always pleased when our lifestyle is one of “Fill ‘er up!”

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