Today, God has given you a gift. A gift that He has given everyone on the planet. A gift of time. A gift of 365 days. Although the charismatic prophets will be telling you this is the year of this and that – breakthrough, financial release, the wealthy place, the abundant return – and the cheers will go up from the people who believe that changing calendars leads to a fresh anointing – it’s simply not the case. This year is a gift to you and it’s up to you what it is.
It can be the year of breakthrough – if you renew your mind.
It can be the year of the financial release – if you get some financial wisdom and give generously and in faith and love
It can be the year of the abundant harvest – if you sow the abundant seed
At Tree of Life Dagenham we are calling this year “The Year of Identity” – but that’s not because God is going to give us an identity in 2014. Christ gave us all an identity as the righteousness of God when He died and rose again on the cross – He welcomed us into the family of God and now our identity is linked eternally with His. All we are doing is choosing to focus on it, preach on it, sing about it, study it, enjoy it and watch it manifest in our lives as our souls line up with our spirits. It’s going to be really exciting.
In Watford we are calling this year “The Year of Healing” but that’s not because God suddenly decided – hey, I’ve got a new calendar, let’s heal some folk. No – all healing was accomplished 2000 years ago when Christ bore our sicknesses and diseases. It’s not by this year you were healed, it’s by His stripes you were healed.
In Guildford we are calling this year – well certainly the first half of it because we are going to nail this in less than a year – Crossing Over. We are going from fort to castle – we are growing into what God has prepared for us. But it’s not that God hasn’t prepared a land of promises for us – it’s just that this is the year we are going to embrace it and enjoy it by focusing on it and renewing our minds to it.
So – this is your year. It is what you choose it to be. It will be the harvest of the seeds you sow. So, I want to on this first day of the new year give you five kinds of good seeds that you could sow this year and mean that you will enjoy an abundant harvest:
1. The seed of YOUR WORDS. Jesus said the sower sowed the WORD. If you want a good harvest you have to learn to speak good. This is a challenge for this year: get 10 Scriptures that sum up what you want from God – healing, finances, and so on. Personalize them – if it says “My God shall supply all your needs” you turn it into “My God shall supply all MY needs”, if it says “By His stripes you were healed”, turn it into “By His stripes I am healed”. Repeat them every morning and every night. That one action alone will totally change 2014 for you.
2.Financial seed. If you don’t tithe, start tithing this year. Not because you have to or because God is going to get to but because you believe God’s Word and it says that if you give it will be given to you pressed down shaken together running over …. and you know that you can give more generously than a dead man under law. Try it and see the results. In April, we are running a 90 day tithing challenge – tithe for 3 months consistently – if you are not blown away by the change then your money back. That’s how much I believe in this. If you do tithe, think of something outrageous to give and believe that God supplies seed to the sower.
3. The seed of time. What you do is what you become good at doing. Want to become better at playing the guitar – put some time in. Want to become better at being a friend – put the time in. Want to become better at preaching – put the time in. Want to become better at knowing God’s Word – put some time in. What you invest time in will flourish. What you ignore and neglect will wither and die. Today, choose what you want to cultivate in 2014. You cannot do everything – so decide what is important. We go on and on about being well rounded, but a squash ball is well rounded but if you needed surgery you wouldn’t want the surgeon using a squash ball, you would want a blade that is not well rounded but sharp. You have a choice in life, well rounded or sharp. Sharp is more useful and more valuable. Focus on what you want to do and invest time in that.
4. The seed of “NO”. I honestly believe “no” is the single most anointed word in the world. It has the powerful to release destiny, set you free, give you a future. An extra doughnut is saying “eat me”. No. A friend wants to gossip about the pastor. No. A guy starts to come on to you when you are married. No. All sorts of negative thoughts are trying to nest in your head. Your flesh will want to have a pity party – tell it no. Often our lives are a mess not because of what we are not doing, but because we are doing too much and are too busy. Churches fail because they have too many meetings, businesses fail because they are trying to do too many things. Stop being swept away – find out your destiny and say no to everything else.
5. The seed of love. This is the seed that often produces the quickest harvest. Try smiling at someone – they almost always instantly smile back. Go and take someone out to the shops and buy them some new shoes. Go and buy someone some flowers, some shopping, a new computer game. Go and mow someone’s lawn. Right now phone the first single mother who comes to mind and offer to babysit one night this week and let her go out. Pay her to babysit her child. Let’s decide to try and outdo each other in being the most loving people on earth this year.
Sow those seed and this will be the year of harvest. Don’t sow them and it’s still the year of harvest. It’s just 100 times nothing is still nothing.