How to Multiply the Kingdom of God

Summary: Be being thankful for what we have, we can then multiply it to advance the kingdom of God!

Recently, I did a post on declaring God’s truths into the atmosphere while at work.

I would ask the Father what was on His heart and then release it into the atmosphere!

It would look something like this, “In Jesus name, I declare and release God’s redemption to Ohio.”

I thought that was pretty cool that I could do that and then God helped me to take it a step further!

The word multiplication began to bubble up inside of me. So I began multiplying what was on the Father’s heart!

Example: Thank you for the redemption you have shown me in my life and in Jesus name, I declare and release God’s redemption in a tenfold fashion over Ohio.”

It didn’t stop there! I thought God wanted more and I went up to 100x God’s redemption over Ohio!

This is following God’s commandment to us to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).

It really is a simple process and we can use Jesus as our example when he multiplied the fish and bread.

Matthew 14:19 says, Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Notice it was when he gave thanks that when the multiplication occurred. It is about being thankful no matter how small or insignificant something may seem.

Here is an testimony from my own life.

Last year, I was thinking about financial breakthrough and there was a penny on the ground.

I felt the Holy Spirit say pick it up and say thanks! So I did! Next thing I knew I found a dime. It clicked that was a ten fold financial breakthrough! Then it snowballed into larger area amounts.

Later in the year, there was a $15,000 debt I incurred. I went back to the penny moment and applied the principle of giving thanks.

4 and half months later I was debt free with less than $10,000 of income coming in and being laid off from work two weeks after finding out about the debt!

A true miracle. Praise God!

And it started with giving thanks over a penny!

So the next time you have a thought of having a little of something, stop and be thankful!

Only have a little bit of joy in life, Great. Be thankful.

Only have a few friends in life, Awesome. Be thankful.

Only have seen God’s goodness a tiny bit in your life. Sweet! Be thankful.

And then multiply it to those around you and it shall come back to you!

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of multiplication that you have shown me. In Jesus name, I declare and release the gift of multiplication to every reader. Holy Spirit, help us be good stewards of this gift to advance the Kingdom of God and to destroy the works of the enemy. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

Application and Comments: What has God given in your own life in a small amount? How can you be thankful for it and then multiply it out to your family, neighborhood, city, nation and world? I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Making Progress, Not Perfectionism

Summary: It can be tempting to wait until everything is perfect before beginning something new. However, this often is not the case in life. So instead of reaching for perfectionism, reach for progress.

Last month, I felt God challenging me to upgrade the blogging experience I have been doing. Truthfully, I did not have an idea of where to begin. There was a short season where I kept waiting until everything “lined up”, before I would move forward.

I am glad that was a short season because I could have been waiting a long time!

Fortunately, I ran across something called the 30 Day Blog Challenge that has helped to make me recognize the importance of progress and not perfectionism.

Philippians 3:12-14 puts it this way:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I thought I had to have the “perfect” graphics, posts, following, etc to move forward with this venture. By me just taking a step forward each day, I feel momentum building day by day.

How relieving!

When I lie down at the end of the night, if I hear the thought progress come in it has been an great day!

Challenge: Is there something in your life that you are waiting for the stars to align before you make a step? Let me encourage you to take the first step today and trust the Holy Spirit will guide you to where He is leading. I am sure it is exciting!

Prayer: Father, I thank you that you don’t want perfectionism, but are so pleased when we take steps of faith. And Holy Spirit, I pray that you instruct us and teach us in the way we shall go and to counsel us with your loving eye upon us. In Jesus name. Amen.

Comments: What is something God is calling you to take a step in today. I would love to hear about it in the comments below..

P.S. I purposely left two periods on that last sentence to break perfectionism 😉

Declaring Truth Over Your Life

Other than the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I like to think the most “historic” event is Kent State’s (my alma mater) 2012 football team!

A team that went 40 years without reaching any bowl game and then came with a 2OT loss of reaching the Orange Bowl (one of the top 4 bowl games in the country)

But it didn’t start that way. Back in late 2010, Kent State hired Ohio State assistant Darrell Hazell to change team with a culture of losing.

The 2011 campaign began like most campaigns and they held a 1-6 record coming into the bye week.

I sensed something was different though. Loss after loss, during the post game press conferences Coach Hazell would say, “This is good football team”.

I thought he was crazy after losing a 9-3 game, but I sensed a tide was turning!

Finally the bye week came, they made a small tweak on the offensive line and put their 2 future NFL offensive linemen next to each other. And it made all the difference in the world. The once inept offense began scoring points. They would go on to win 4 of their last 5 games to finish 5-7. There was a lot of momentum for a team mired in its losing ways.

The 2012 season went on to be a season for the ages. They began the season 11-1 before losing in double OT in their conference championship game and losing their bowl game and finished 11-3.

As great as the 2012 season was, I recognize the work for that season was planted in 2011. They spoke of being a good football team before it actually happened.

As I reflect over my own life, I see so many characteristics myself and the 2011 KSU football team.

I reached a point earlier this year when I was shooting a basketball outside and I felt Holy Spirit say, “Marc, remember the 2011 and 2012 Kent State football teams?”

Me: “Yea.”

Holy Spirit: “How did that start?”

Me: “By declaring they were a good football team?”

Holy Spirit: “Correct. How about you start speaking that over yourself?”

Wow! Talk about a revelation.

So I took that basketball, shot it and said, “I declare I am God’s masterpiece.” (Ephesians 2:10) Airball! I didn’t care much. I trusted I was on to something. Day in and day out, I began speaking truth over my life whether I felt it or not.

In June, I felt like I had reached my own “bye week”. and made some tweaks. I felt like I was in the middle of another sub par year of where I wanted to be in life. It felt like a 2-4 season up until this point.

I had been in the Word, praying in the Spirit and worshipping, but I began developing a daily routine.

Little by little, the tide began changing in my own life. I am beginning to have victory in consistency, hearing from God, being obedient to the Spirit’s promptings, work, finances, answered prayers and serving

What happened?

Well like the 2011 Kent State football team the pieces were there, they just had to be rearranged and I had to let God rearrange my life.

My encouragement to you today is this, whether you feel it or not, start declaring God’s truth over your life. Start speaking to your identity in Christ or claim a promise from God. Praise God in the midst of a storm. Get in a habit of doing it.

Prayer:

Father, I praise and thank you how you speak to us each in a personal way. In Jesus name, I ask you speak to every reader in a personal way so they can experience what it is like to be victorious in Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

The River of God

Yesterday a friend and I went kayaking on the Little Miami River. It was the first time I had been kayaking and it was such an amazing experience, especially with the high water!

There are so many ways to see the character and nature of God on something like a kayaking trip. Here are 4 takeaways from the trip.

Soon after we began the trip there was a branch of the river that split off and then came back to the main part.

So once I got caught in the current the kayak and I got swept right into some brush and I fell into the river.

Now my sandals fell off as well and I saw one floating down the river. About two hundred yards later, both sandals were caught by a log! Even though I slipped, God still had my back (or feet in this case!)

First lesson: (Psalm 37:24)

“Though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

How amazing is it that both sandals ended up right in the same place?!

As the trip continued, my friend and I noticed a large tree whose roots were exposed by the river, but the root system was so deep and wide:

Second Lesson (Jeremiah 17:8)

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water, That extends its roots by a stream And will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.”

God wants us to be so rooted in our identity in Christ that when a challenge comes we can co-labor with Him for solutions and not be moved by circumstances.

I mentioned the river was high so the kayaking was pretty effortless outside of guiding the kayak. The current carried us down the river.

God desires for us to abide in Him.  In this case, the river represents God. My friend and I could have hurried through the trip, but then we would have missed out on enjoying the beauty.

Third Lesson (John 15:5)

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

Lastly, there was a section where the wind turned on us and the water began choppy. We actually had to paddle through.  This reminds me of how we our co-laborers in Christ. We cannot just expect God to do everything, while at the same time we can’t do it on our own. We were invited to co-labor with God. What an honor!

Fourth Lesson (1 Corinthians 3:9)

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Between the lessons and great conversation with my friend, kayaking was an amazing experience to learn about the goodness of God! Thank you Jesus!

 

The Dangers of Lukewarm Christianity Part 1

As I continue to renew the mind, I have pondered, “God, I wonder where I would be if I did not grow up in a lukewarm Christianity environment.”

I really do not think God cares much if a child is wearing a dress suit to church or shows up wearing a bathing suit with sandals. He is much more interested in their heart posture.

And God is not just interested in His will being done, but our will as well! All He asks is we surrender to His will and then our desires can become His desires.

This is illustrated in Exodus 32:7-14, God wants to show His wrath on His people for worshipping a false idol. Moses reminds God, how He said He would multiply the descendants of Abraham and not destroy.

Notice what Exodus 32:14 says, “So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.”

What does this show? God wants a relationship with us and the best relationships start with friendship! He wants to co-labor with us.

For example, earlier this year I felt a prompting from God that I would be moving from my parents house in the fall time. This was back in the winter though! A lot has changed since then! I claimed (and continue to) my identity in Christ! We are heirs of God, co-laborers with God, friends of God, etc! I began started to live a supernatural lifestyle on a new levels.

I explained to God that I do not feel staying with my parents is healthy for my continued growth or my relationship with my parents.

After explaining to God the situation, I could feel a shift going on me! He was listening to me. I wasn’t just a robot who obeyed every command of God and did not have a say.

Lukewarm Christianity has a tendency to put God in a box that limits Him.  I really feel it would be best for a person to have never known Christ and be saved at age 30 then be saved at an early age, but grow up in a legalistic background.

Why? Because the young kid has to “unlearn” to “learn”, while the new believer can just “learn.”

Let’s all do ourselves a favor and let God out of the box.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for being our friend. Thank you for not being someone that gives orders and expects us to obey like a robot. I thank you for your kindness and your humor that you have. And Father for anyone reading this with that desires to  free of legalism, in the name of Jesus, I break off legalistic and religious mindsets off of them right now. And in Jesus name, I loose a spirit of revelation of how creative you are and how creative you made us. Amen.

Claiming Your Inheiritance With God

Yesterday, I was meditating on God’s Word about us being a heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

And on a spirit and heart level, it hit home deep! I was curious to see what this meant.

The definition is, “someone who has been appointed to receive an inheritance.”

What?! How amazing is that?

God owns it all and it all belongs to us because we belong to Him.

So since God owns it all, why do humans have a tendency to want to work extra hard? The secret is to enter into a place of rest in God. It is resting with God, where we can find out the steps God wants us to take (Psalm 4:8). It is in rest where we can surrender to God.

For example, if a person is in $50,000 in debt, natural reasoning is to work overtime/ get a second job to pay it off.

The more I understand my position in Christ, my identity in Christ, and all the spiritual blessings we have in Christ, the more I realize that belief of getting the second job/working overtime to pay off the debt is the result of an unrenewed mind.

The second job/working overtime are options, but they are not the only way.

Using the $50,000 debt as an example, let’s try this as an approach:

“God, I am going to continue to be faithful at work where I am right now, but working extra hours means less time for me to spend alone with You, with family, serving Your Kingdom and enjoying life outside of work. I need balance in life.  

Father, as an heir with God and co-heir with Christ, in Jesus name, I claim an inheritance to pay off this debt so I can continue to partner with you in advancing the Kingdom of God. Thank you Holy Spirit for guiding me to make decisions to advance the Kingdom of God. Amen.”

Now start asking God what already belongs to you through His son Jesus!

Prayer: Father God, I thank you for all you are doing in each of our lives. I pray that each reader who reads this becomes so rooted in thier identity in Christ and can walk out this amazing life out with confidence. In Jesus name, I impart wisdom to each reader for any challenges they are facing and ask you to double that wisdom. Thank you Holy Spirit for always comforting us. I pray all this in Jesus name. Amen.

Addicted To Joy

It was about this time last year when God gave me a first glimpse of what true joy feels like.

I can remember it very well. I was at United Dairy Farmers and when I when I swiped my debit card I felt a surge of energy that I had not experienced before.

Since that moment, I have not experienced that feeling, but I now I know it is there. I cling to that moment in my moments of depression. I cling to that promise from God that I am just scratching the surface of this unchartered territory into joy.

As believers, we should all be living lives full of so much joy that it spills over to the people that we encounter. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Whether you are aware of it or not, God has a plan for your life. It’s the best plan. It’s a plan that will fill your life with so much joy that you can’t wait to give it away.

We can change our world if we find all find our joy. I know too many people that are going through the motions of life. They wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner, have a beer and call it a day. There is so much more to life than that.

If you have never asked God to show you His plan for your life, I encourage you to do so. I gurantee it will start you onto the path to a life of joy. Let us be part of that remnant that can change the world.

 

Living a Manageably Depressed Life and How to Break Free

As I continue to see my depression lift, I have been struck over how I really believe that I I have lived a “managebly depressed” life for the first 24 years of my life.

I say managebly depress because I believe there are a large majority of people just going through the motions of life and they live their lives based off of the media and not the Word of God.  I know I sure did.

If you were to ask me two years ago “How am I doing?,” I would have replied, “Great! I got a well paying job. Just bought my first house and I have two friends that help pay the mortgage. And great friends.” While that was true, on the inside I was miserable, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. And I sure didn’t want to talk about my issues.

It wasn’t until about this time last year until God gave me a glimpse of joy. I had heard about joy, but I can say I didn’t experience it until last year. It was when I bought an ice cream and when I went to pay for it that I felt this energy radiate throughout my body.

Not accustomed to that feeling, I was spooked out by it I ventured back to my “safe zone” (which really wasn’t that safe).

I wonder how many of us live our lives in the safe zone. We have one foot in the Kingdom of God, but one foot in the secular world. We are afraid to live out God’s purpose for our lives.

Just my personal opinion, but I believe there are many people that go to work each day just to earn a paycheck. I can see it on their faces. If they would be honest with themselves, they wouldn’t be there if they didn’t have to be.

The good news is there is a way out. Just repent of your sins and ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and make Him your personal Savior. Then step back as God reveals His awesome plan for your life.

Then your “work” will no longer become just a place to earn a paycheck, but it will have purpose because you know you are doing what God has called you to do.

God is a good God that wants so much more than for you to “just earn a paycheck”!

God Has a Plan For Your Life, Part 1

Have you ever stopped to think that God has a plan for your life? I know it was something that boggled my mind my entire life. I can remember thinking, There are 7 billion people on this planet. How could God possibly have a plan?

I know my thoughts were something like:

I just help to sell insurance. I’m not capable of doing God’s work. I don’t even want to allow God into my life. I can live this life on my own power and strength.

Well I can remember that it was June of 2013 when I finally surrendered to God’s plan for my life. And it was at a time when things were going seemingly well in my life. I just bought my first house, first “big boy” job, dream relationship and just finished running my third marathon of the year.

I can remember praying: Heavenly Father, as great as everything is in my life, I still feel like something is missing in my life. Show me what it is.

And that was it. Nothing more and nothing less. It was a simple prayer.

Little did I know that when I had my wisdom teeth taken out a few weeks later that the anesthesia would help to send me into the deepest of depressions that would lead to a suicide attempt 9 months later.

As a look back at the past few years, I can see why God allowed that to happen in my life. It now allows me to relate with people that are in a deep recession.

I believe I am being called to preach at some point in my life (I will cover that in my next blog). Could you imagine if I was being called to preach and not being able to relate to people that are in a depression?

Approximately 700,000 people attempt suicide every year, approximately 30,000 complete that suicide attempt each year and about 30 million live in depression. And that is just in the United States!

Now I will be able to relate with depressed people that are attempting to end their life. But the first step involved me getting on God’s plan.

The next blog will cover reaching out to those people that may be floundering in life and may not even know it.  It is the people that go to work with no real purpose or passion for what they do in order to “make a living”. God Bless!

On Eagle Wings

Do you ever worry about how the future is going to play out? More than likely, there is some area your life that you worry about. Whether or not it is finances, health, or relationships, etc. there is probably some area that you worry about. I know I should do.

Let me direct you to one of my scripture verses about worry. It is found in Matthew 6:25-27:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

On my way home after church service, my eyes were caught by the “birds of the air”. Maybe for the first time this verse came to life for me.  The birds looked so peaceful just gliding through the air. There looked to be minimal effort on their part.

I believe this how our Heavenly Father wants us to live, with minimal effort. He wants us to relinquish control and turn over control to Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to be more like the birds of the air. Help us to soar in our lives like the eagle. Lord it was you that told us that worrying wouldn’t add a single hour to our lives. I pray you sink that message deep into every reader. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!