This past Sunday, Grace and Love Church welcomed our incredible brother, Kevin Gomez. Kevin shared an incredible word on hunger. While we were five days away from our third annual “Atmosphere” conference, Kevin’s word on hunger gave us all the mentality and fire to carry us the remainder of the days until our conference.
Psalm 73: 25-26
In the New American Standard Bible (NASB) version David says that “… [God is] my portion forever.” Understanding that God is our potion leads us to understand that, like David, God is our desire and our reward. The complete fullness of our God is our portion/desire. When we begin to hunger for God a process takes place: our hunger leads to encounters, our encounters reveal God, and the revelation of God places a hunger in us. When you hunger for God, you go before Him and tell Him “I want more of you.” When this process takes place, dreams begin to stir within us. Hungering for God not only places dreams within you, but it also expands the dreams you have. When you dream and hunger, you give your dreams to God so that He may sustain your dreams.
Some dreams that you have are seen in the lives of the generations that come after you. David dreamt and desired to build a temple for God. That dream, however, was reserved for David’s son, Solomon. When you dream, the dreams God places within you are not only for your own edification, but also for the edification of those around you, and those after you. Hungering for God creates a realm of inheritance (dreams) that are not just for you, but are also for those all around you. When you hunger for God, you expand the kingdom of God. God has taken care of necessities, and places a hunger in you so that you can express your desires to Him.
Hunger in the Kingdom gives birth to desires. When you begin to desire, you find that your desires are met within God. God rewards those who seek Him, and fulfills the desires He has placed in you. He has made it easy to have your desires fulfilled (He creates these desires, and draws you to Him so together you can fulfill your desires or dreams). Sustaining hunger comes through constant surrendering to God; it looks like constant encounters with Jesus and saying you choose Him above all things. God has placed dreams and desires in you, and He has placed a hunger in you for Him. He has called you into a lifestyle of intimacy and co-laboring with Him. Don’t be afraid to dream and bring your dreams to God, because your dreams will expand the Kingdom and edify all those around you.
Reign In Life
During tonight’s Encounter service, we reviewed the story of Adam & Eve and the Tree of Knowledge. If you tell someone not to do something, chances are that person will go ahead and do it; it’s one of the mysteries of the human condition. Eve was deceived by Satan to eat the fruit off of the tree, but her desire was not to sin but to be more like God. Her love and desire for God was turned around by deception. Adam then partook of the fruit as well out of love for his wife. Adam’s actions then opened the door for sin and death to enter the world.
God gave judgments to both Adam and Eve, hers including the promise that her Seed would crush Satan’s head. From the actions in the Garden, Satan was given authority to rule humanity with sin and death for a short time. Now the world is able to make things look good when they are actually not good. But nothing is good enough like God.
Many may wonder, why was the tree there in the first place? If the tree wasn’t there, things would be different and we’d all be living in paradise. As great as that sounds, free choice sounds better. God wanted His creation to love Him by choice. He said, “Choose Me among all your choices. Even with this beautiful tree I have placed in the Garden, I want you to trust and choose Me.” But there is hope, as always. God knew Jesus would come to save humanity. This free gift was not like the offense. With the one offense, many have died. With Jesus, many more are given the choice to live forever. God has seen all our mistakes, but through grace (Jesus Christ), we are justified nonetheless. God is calling us to reign in His Kingdom just like Adam once reigned in the Garden of Eden. As children and heirs to His throne, we reign in the Kingdom of Heaven with Christ. Remember, His Kingdom is here on earth as well. We have the ability to change the atmosphere.
Sometimes, we are not used to God’s goodness. Sometimes, it’s easier for us to believe the opposite. We think, “Something good is happening right now, that means something bad is coming?” Why? Something good is happening right now because God is good! His desire is that we would bask in His goodness. Get used to His goodness. We either choose to live by Adam (the offense), or we choose to live by Jesus (the obedience). All good things are freely given – righteousness, justification, forgiveness, grace, mercy, etc. Be obedient like Christ Jesus and welcome God’s love.
Verse 20 in Romans says that when sin is multiplied, grace multiplies more. The law gives sin power because the law gives people something to break; however, God’s beautiful grace diminishes sin’s power (I Corinthians 15:56-57). Jesus Christ gives us complete freedom and victory!
What sweet, sweet worship we experienced today as Grace Love Worship led us through songs of rejoice & exaltation. We strive to proclaim God’s goodness everyday. He is the one who chooses us and places a calling on our lives. Let’s live to see His name on high!
“You Are What You Eat”
Take a moment to remember, cherish, and celebrate all that God has given and all that He has done. When we allow ourselves to surrender to God, He takes care of the rest. But as humans, we sometimes feel a need to do works because we think life would be too good to be true without them. In verse 28 of John 6, the Galileans ask Jesus, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus’ response? “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” Our only job, our only requirement is to believe. Jesus was sent to the world to ask us for anything; He came to give us everything. We end up doing more than we should and expecting more and missing the miracle. In this same chapter, the Galileans just watched as Jesus performed a miracle and fed the multitude with just 2 fish & 5 loaves of bread. And yet, they still asked Jesus to perform a miracle so it would be easier to believe in Him!
Belief & faith can be hard concepts to accept because it means the release of control of us, and putting complete trust in someone who cannot be seen. The easy thing to do is work, but it’s harder to believe. People throw the word “believe” around nonchalantly. But we need to put our belief on the One, the true God, on being children of God. We’re looking for signs like the Galileans when we just need to believe. Yes, believers, Christianity is that simple.
In verse 31, the crowd compares Jesus to their fathers: “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” They are telling Him that He could do more.Jesus responds in verse 32, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” He tells them that it is not a man, but God who has fed them and will continue to feed them, physically & spiritually. The crowd then requests, “Always give us this bread.” That is where we need to live. In that mindset, in that belief - that is where we need to be. That is the type of hunger we need to have. There are limited lusts & treasures that we continue to yearn for because we’re not eating the bread of life. But when we eat of the unlimited bread of life, we are filled. The Galileans said they were given manna from Heaven. The literal meaning of manna is “what is it.” They didn’t know what it was; they had questions. It was in John 6 where we get the answer. The answer of manna – the “what is it” – is Jesus! With Jesus, we never hunger or thirst. Believe and hunger for His bread of life.