A PLACE WHERE ALL OUT THOUGHTS ARE DROWNED

2 Cor.9:15 – Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Some things are just too good for words. That’s what Paul is saying in today’s short scripture verse. Paul had come to the conclusion in all of his searching after God, that His gift was beyond even his ability to describe. The Father’s gift of the Son, the Son’s gift of the Holy Spirit, both are too big and too good for words. Here is how Albert Barnes describes this gift.

“This is a gift unspeakably great, whose value no language can express, no heart fully conceive. It is so because

(a.) of his own greatness and glory;

(b.) because of the inexpressible love which he evinced;

(c.) because of the unutterable sufferings which he endured;

(d.) because of the inexpressibly great benefits which result from his work. No language can do justice to this work in either of these respects; no heart in this world fully conceives the obligation which rests upon man in virtue of his work.”

Barnes was stunned by the greatness and the glory of God. What does that have to do with His gift? The gift of the Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit give us a glimpse of the greatness and goodness of God. Jesus reveals God’s goodness by His unmatched love for us. The Holy Spirit touches on His greatness, the unlimited, eternal nature of God. We see clearly through His gift that God is great and God is good. We also see God’s love in the suffering and death of Jesus. This is a display of the amazing love of God. We also taste His love in the outpouring of His Spirit on us. The Holy Spirit is the manifest essence of the love of God. We also see the unspeakable nature of His gift in the effects it has on people.

A great example of the effects of His great gift was seen in our church this weekend. Two of our Mary’s Song graduates graduated from Bible College and were given ministerial credentials. For those that don’t know, Mary’s Song is our live in program for young women whose lives have come off the rails. For these women to be born again and transformed into women of God is amazing enough, but licensed ministers; that is just indescribable. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. Here is a bonus quote from Charles Wesley on today’s verse.

“A vast unfathomable sea where all our thoughts are drowned.”

SEED FAITH

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2Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

The Lord always manages to put the tools in our hands that we need at the proper time. It was 1977 when Parris and I moved back to New Orleans. We had no idea what was in store for us here, thankfully the Lord had a plan. We were planning on running a discipleship house in New Orleans, pastoring a church wasn’t quite on my radar yet. Just before we returned to Nola, my mentor, Mike McIntosh, gave me a copy of Oral Roberts’ book, ‘A Daily Guide to miracles- Seed Faith Living’. That book taught me a very important key that I desperately needed for my personal provision as well as the amazing resources I would need to build a church. Here are a couple of the keys I learned in reading that book by Oral Roberts.

“Give What You Have in Your Hand to Give, SEED FAITH. Note especially these three things as you study this passage. First, God is the One who makes all grace abound toward you and provides sufficiency in all things. All things beneficial for our lives come from God’s hands. Second, we are given sufficiency—even “bounty” so that we might do good works. We are blessed in order to be a blessing to others! The word “sufficiency” means “contentedness,” or “competence”—earmarks of the believer whose life is truly blessed by these characteristics as God increases him. And third, the God who gave you seed in the first place is the One who meets your basic needs, multiplies your seed sown into an abundance you can share with others, and increases you spiritually with love, joy, peace, and all of the other fruit of the Holy Spirit flowing freely in your life (“the fruits of your righteousness”).

How great is our God! We have no lack in Him—only potential!”

These simple truths were huge. First, the Lord is the source of your supply. No matter what channel He decides to use, your provision comes from the Lord. That is huge, look to Him alone for provision. Secondly, the Lord blesses you to be a blessing. Give back into your local church. This is your basic seed that the Lord uses to multiply back to you. We receive everything from God and literally give back out of His hand. The Lord will increase you more and more as you look to Him and partner with Him in your work.

FALLING ACORNS AND CRAZY SQUIRRELS

2Cor. 9:10 ¶ He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

God is an incredible giver. I saw it again, quite by accident, this week. I was walking my dog at my house, just enjoying the quiet outside and the beauty of God’s creation. Suddenly I heard this sound all around me. It was the noise of something dropping over and over again. It was all around me when I realized what it was. Acorns. The yard is full of oak trees and they were literally raining down acorns all around me. That’s when I was taken again by the excessive nature of God. Thousands of acorns in my yard. How many acorns do you really need for just a few trees? Seeds were falling down all around me and then I got it; the Lord provides for us by His seeds. God’s provision is constant and excessive, it never stops. Think of all the acorns in the world. They are not only seeds for sowing they are also food for the squirrels. Here is how Adam Clarke explains today’s verse.

“The word ‘epichoregeo’, he that ministers, is very emphatic; it signifies he who leads up the chorus, it means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm. Thus God is represented, in the course of his providence, associating and connecting causes and effects; keeping every thing in its proper place and state of dependence on another, and all upon himself; so that summer and winter, heat and cold, seed time and harvest, regularly succeed each other. Thus God leads up this grand chorus of causes and effects: provides the seed to the hand of the sower; gives him skill to discern the times when the earth should be prepared for the grain, and when the grain should be sowed; blesses the earth, and causes it to bring forth and bud, so that it may again minister seed to the sower and bread to the eater; and, by a watchful providence, preserves every thing. The figure is beautiful, and shows us the grand system of causes and effects, all directed by and under the immediate guidance and government of God himself.”
The Lord even convinces the squirrels to bury some of their acorns in the ground. I have to be as sharp as the squirrel, I can’t eat everything the Lord gives me, some of it has to be planted.

HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift! 2 COR. 9:15
SUCH A MERRY MONDAY! BY PARRIS BAILEY
Yesterday I had the pleasure of baptizing about 20 adults and children at our annual “FEED THE MULTITUDES EVENT”. Before I prayed with them to accept Jesus as their Savior, I asked about any need they might have. One lady and man were homeless and had lost their way. A little girl who stopped breathing at birth wanted to follow Jesus. My last baptism was a lady totally strung out on heroin praying for deliverance, then I baptized her 10 year old daughter who wanted Jesus. I couldn’t help be affected by the circumstances and the hopelessness they all had found themselves in and made me thankful because this easily could have been me. I just love REDEMPTION! The Apostle Paul again makes up some Greek Word that is only mentioned once to try to describe Christ himself. He is utterly indescribable! IF PEOPLE ONLY KNEW! The world may think that it has left the teaching of Jesus behind, but in reality Christ teaching is far ahead of the time. The Gospel is the guide of the human race. When we find Christ we never cease to make new discoveries in the unsearchable riches of Christ. Even we are full, there still remains abundant basketfuls to be taken up. For in Christ are hid ‘all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. MacClaren said, “When God gave us Him, He gave us a storehouse in which are contained treasures of truth which can never be fully comprehended, and which, even if comprehended, can never be exhausted. The mystery of the Divine Name revealed in Jesus, the mystery of His person, are themes on which the Christian world has been nourished ever since, and which are as full of food, not for the understanding only, but far more for the heart and the will, to-day as ever they were. He who has sounded the depths of Jesus most completely is ever the first to acknowledge that he has been but as a child ‘gathering pebbles on the beach while the great ocean lies unsounded before him.’ No single soul, and no multitude of souls, can exhaust Jesus; neither our individual experiences, nor the experiences of a believing world can fully realize the endless wealth laid up in Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega of all our speech, the first letter and the last of our alphabet, between which lie all the rest.”
It is easy to utter the words ‘forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, fellowship, eternal life; but who knows the depths of the meanings? I believe the half has not been told us, and everyone of us carries within himself unrevealed emotions, revelations and mysteries that Christ wants us to pursue! Let Christ be formed within me is my prayer. See you at the beach gathering those nuggets!

LEADER OF THE DANCE

LEADER OF THE DANCE

2Cor. 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

This verse is a great example of the Apostle Paul’s attempt to describe the indescribable. He says that that was actually his calling, to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. Paul had a history of experiencing things impossible to explain. It all started that day on the road to Damascus. He caught a glimpse of the Glory of The Lord, he spent the rest of his life trying to tell what he had seen. He also “knew a man” who was caught up into the third heavens and saw things that he couldn’t explain. That brings us to today’s verse Paul is trying to describe how our giving is connected God’s provision in our lives. He used an interesting word to describe it, epichoregeo. Here is Adam Clarke’s explanation of Paul’s use of this beautiful word.

“The word – he that ministereth, is very emphatic; it signifies he who leads up the chorus, from to, and to lead the chorus; it means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm. Thus God is represented, in the course of his providence, associating and connecting causes and effects; keeping every thing in its proper place and state of dependence on another, and all upon himself; so that summer and winter, heat and cold, seed time and harvest, regularly succeed each other. Thus God leads up this grand chorus of causes and effects: provides the seed to the hand of the sower; gives him skill to discern the times when the earth should be prepared for the grain, and when the grain should be sowed; blesses the earth, and causes it to bring forth and bud, so that it may again minister seed to the sower and bread to the eater; and, by a watchful providence, preserves every thing. The figure is beautiful, and shows us the grand system of causes and effects, all directed by and under the immediate guidance and government of God himself.”

This word, epichoregeo, describes someone who leads or funds a chorus or a production of some sort. This is a beautiful description of the dance of Creation. Everything God has created works in harmony with The Lord to bring about His purposes and to bring glory to His name. Paul is inviting the church in Corinth, as well as us today, to join in God’s supernatural dance. This is the place where God’s ministries are funded, our needs are met, and God is glorified. You see, He takes the seed that we plant, uses it to advance His work, and multiplies it back to us in the form of a harvest. In this harvest there is bread for our food and more seed for sowing. What an incredible God! What an incredible plan. No wonder Paul finished this portion of his letter with, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift!”

A THANKFUL LIVING

THANKSGIVING BLOG
BY ZACH PROSSER

A Thankful Living

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15, ESV

In just a few days, many will be commemorating Thanksgiving. Many will be with family, preparing Thanksgiving meals, enjoying Thanksgiving football games, and more.

The original Thanksgiving celebration reminds us of the triumph that comes through tragedy and true thankfulness that is produced in times of testing. Here’s a quote from Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrims at Plymouth who chronicled the first Thanksgiving celebration (written in modern translation):

“Our corn did prove well, and, God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn, and our barley indifferent good… Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week…many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted…And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

In a time when nearly half of those who traveled to this new land for religious freedom did not survive the journey, yet genuine thankfulness to God can be heard from those who survived and enjoyed His provision. When death and contagious diseases were rampant amongst the Pilgrims, thankfulness for the genuine freedom they had found brought hope of this new life.

Likewise, as believers, we have a freedom that comes in Christ. Romans 8:32 describes this incredible and inexpressible gift given to us: More than earthly provision and sustenance, even though these necessities He provides, but “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

Whatever circumstances this season may bring in life, our genuine hope is founded on the freedom that comes in Christ. Words cannot begin to describe the magnitude and overwhelming nature of the gift of Christ given for our ransom and new life. The more we meditate on and enjoy this heavenly gift, the more inexpressible He becomes and our natural affairs become more limited. Like the Pilgrims, our lives truly become a journey from this life to the next in this enjoyment of our heavenly gift. Our focus is no longer on temporary sufferings, but only on eternal bliss (2 Cor 4:18).

Allow a life of thankfulness to be produced as you fix your eyes on your inexpressible gift: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)

JOINING GOD’S CHORUS

JOINING GOD’S CHORUS

2Cor. 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

All of God’s creation is in constant movement, responding to the chorus leader, the Lord, in heaven. The ocean, sky, trees, the flowers of the field, and even the animals are engaged in God’s song which sometimes even resembles a holy dance. In today’s verse Paul uses a very descriptive word trying his best to describe the Lord’s provision for his sons and daughters. He describes it with the word epichoregeo. Look at the interesting definitions of this beautiful Bible word.

Clarke
The word – he that ministereth, is very emphatic; it signifies he who leads up the chorus, from to, and to lead the chorus; it means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm.
Strong’s
to be a dance leader,
Thayer
1) to be a chorus leader, lead a chorus
2) to furnish the chorus at one’ s own expense
3) to procure and supply all things necessary to fit out a chorus

It seems as if the scriptures point to a harmony of all of God’s creation, responding to God and responding to the needs of His creatures. We see the mom responding to the cries of her baby, the clouds responding to the parched earth below. We hear the cardinal crying out to the song of his mate in the early morning and the baby birds chirping out it’s cries for the morning worm from it’s mom. My beagle, Phoebe joins in this song every morning as she begins to sing out her morning song, knowing I will respond with her breakfast (she has me trained well).
Recently I watched a documentary about the African cats. One of the story lines was a cheetah raising her cubs. What an amazing relationship they had, the mom going to extreme measures to protect and care for her little tribe. She would cry out to her cubs, and they would respond with their cries of dependency to their mom. She continually risked her life against predators to care for her own.
This brings us back to our main story or song. All of creation responds to the directions of our Lord. The most amazing thing about all of this is His infinite care and concern for us, His children. He has gone to extreme measures to care for us. How extreme, He became a man and suffered and died for us on the cross. Today, He is listening for our cries. He is our heavenly high priest and His ears are open to our prayers. Just as the mom respond to her baby, the cardinal sings back to his mate, the cheetah calls out for her young, our Lord is calling out and responding to us. How can we stay silent? His silent song is almost deafening. Today, He is responding to every cry, creation itself is on call for His directions. If the animals respond to their young, how much more will our Heavenly Father respond to us? I think it’s time to join the heavenly chorus.

GOD’S CHORUS

GOD’S CHORUS

2 Cor 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

I was recently reading this verse and was struck by the provision of God in all things. He has revealed His generosity and His abundant supply in creation itself and how it functions. In our upside down world it is important for us to get hold of God and His ways of provision. Our world is in economic upheaval, we must trust in the Lord. Adam Clarke describes this best in His explanation of this passage, enjoy.

“The sower, as we have already seen, is he that gives alms of what he hath; and God, who requires him to give these alms, is here represented as providing him with the means. As in the creation, if God had not created the earth with every tree and plant with its seed in itself, so that a harvest came, without a previous ploughing and sowing, there could have been no seed to deposit in the earth; so, if God had not, in the course of his providence, given them the property they had, it would be impossible for them to give alms. And as even the well cultivated and sowed field would be unfruitful if God did not, by his unseen energy and blessing, cause it to bring forth, and bring to maturity; so would it have been with their property: it could not have increased; for without his blessing riches take wings and flee away, as an eagle towards heaven. Therefore, in every sense, it is God who ministers seed to the sower, and multiplies the seed sown. And as all this properly comes from God, and cannot exist without him, he has a right to require that it be dispensed in that way which he judges best.
The word – he that ministereth, is very emphatic; it signifies he who leads up the chorus; it means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm. Thus God is represented, in the course of his providence, associating and connecting causes and effects; keeping every thing in its proper place and state of dependence on another, and all upon himself; so that summer and winter, heat and cold, seed time and harvest, regularly succeed each other. Thus God leads up this grand chorus of causes and effects: provides the seed to the hand of the sower; gives him skill to discern the times when the earth should be prepared for the grain, and when the grain should be sowed; blesses the earth, and causes it to bring forth and bud, so that it may again minister seed to the sower and bread to the eater; and, by a watchful providence, preserves every thing. The figure is beautiful, and shows us the grand system of causes and effects, all directed by and under the immediate guidance and government of God himself.”

We can see His handiwork all around us. Just as He supplies for all of us through seedtime and harvest in the agricultural world, He lavishly supplies for us in the financial world as well. Sow your seed in His ground, then sit back and watch His chorus unfold before your eyes.

GOD’S CHORUS

 

I recently came across an interesting greek word. It is the word epichoreegoo. It means to lead the chorus. You can find this word in 2 Corinthians 9 :10 where it says that the Lord supplies seed for the sower. Adam Clarke made some interesting comments about this word. Clarke says that this word is very emphatic. It signifies he who leads up the chorus. It means also to join to, associate, to supply or furnish one thing after another so that there be no want or chasm. Thus God is represented, in the course of His providence, associating and connecting causes and effects; keeping everything in its proper place and dependence on another, and all upon Himself; so that summer and winter, heat and cold, seed time and harvest, regularly succeed each other. Thus God leads up this grand chorus of causes and effects: provides the seed to the hand of the sower; gives him skill to discern the times when the earth should be prepared to receive the grain, and when the grain should be sown; blesses the earth, and causes it to bring forth and bud, so that it can again provide seed to the sower and bread to the eater; and, by a watchful providence, preserves everything. The figure is beautiful, and shows us the grand system of causes  and effects, all directed by and under the immediate guidance and government of God Himself.

This truth is very powerful and applies to our lives on various levels. When a need is present in our lives or the lives of others, the Lord moves our heart to pray for the situation. He then responds to our prayers with His presence and love, His word of confirmation, and then begins to set in motion the circumstances necessary to answer the prayer.

In giving, the truth is seen very clearly. The Lord gives us various talents, he gives us employment that lines up with those talents. He blesses the company we are working for, and brings harvest to us. In that harvest there is bread for food and seed to sow. As we sow the seed, the Lord uses that seed to produce another harvest containing bread for food and seed for sowing. Who can fathom the wisdom and greatness of our God. From Him and through Him and back to Him come all things. His ways are way beyond us. He is leading the chorus. This is a chorus of redemption that those who are washed in the blood of the Lamb can only sing as He leads us in triumph.