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This is Your Year!

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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.

God’s Word – The Seed Of His Blessing (By Andrew Wommack)

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God’s Word – The Seed Of His Blessing

By Andrew Wommack

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A true revelation of God’s Word is the single most important element of a victorious Christian life.

The Word of God often refers to itself as a seed. There are a total of forty-four verses in the New Testament where the Greek word “sperma” was translated “seed.” This is the same word from which we derive our English word “sperm.”

To conceive and give birth to the miracles you need, you must first plant God’s Word like a seed in your heart. Conception cannot take place without first planting the seed. There has only been one virgin birth, and the birth of you’re miracle won’t be the second.

I constantly meet Christians who pray and believe for God’s intervention in their lives, but remain frustrated with the results. It’s because they are missing the seeds of conception; they just don’t know God’s Word.

In Mark 4, the Lord taught three parables which illustrate that the Word is to the kingdom of God what a natural seed is to a harvest. The first of these parables, the story of the sower, is the key to unlocking all the Word of God (Mark 4:13). If we don’t understand these truths, Jesus said we won’t understand any of His other parables.

There are many life-changing truths in these parables, but one fact must be understood to get the full benefit of this teaching. The Lord used the comparison of His Word to a law of nature that is unchangeable, not an institution of man.

Here’s what I mean. You can cheat or manipulate nearly all systems that men have created. The legal system can be beaten, letting the guilty go free. Our educational system can be beaten, passing students who haven’t really learned the material. But you can’t change seedtime and harvest.

What if a farmer waited until he saw his neighbors reaping their crops before he sowed for his crop? Regardless of how sincere he was, or the justification for not sowing his seed at the proper time, he would not reap a crop overnight. The law of seedtime and harvest cannot be violated.

This is why our Lord chose to compare the way His Word works to a seed. There is a germination process of the Word of God in your life that takes time and can’t be avoided. In the second parable of

Mark 4, Jesus said in verses 26-29,

“So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.”

The seed is the Word of God (verse 14), and the ground is our hearts (verse 15). Our hearts were created by God to bring forth fruit when His Word is planted in them. Just as a seed has to remain in the ground over time to germinate, so the Word of God has to abide in us.

Jesus said in John 15:7,

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

What would happen if you planted a seed in your garden and then dug it up each morning to see if anything was happening? It would die and never produce fruit. You have to have faith that the seed is doing what God created it to do.

Some people put God’s Word in their hearts for a day or two, but if they don’t see fruit almost immediately, they dig up the seed through their words and actions and wonder why it didn’t work. You have to leave it in the ground over time. Then, there are also different stages of growth.

Mark 4:28 says,

“First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”

Many people are impatient, wanting to bypass the growth cycle and get the full ear right now. I’ve actually had to tell people that what they were believing God for was not going to happen, not because the vision wasn’t good, but because they were expecting a complete ear of corn immediately.

For example, one of our Charis Bible College students came to me who had never held a job, had been in a mental hospital, and had lived on welfare his whole life. When he heard the teaching on prosperity and vision, he started dreaming big. He had a plan to buy and renovate an old hotel. The total cost would be over four million dollars.

It really was a grand plan. I complimented him for the fact that he was dreaming and told him to keep dreaming big. Then I told him that it might work for someone but it wouldn’t work for him. Why? Because this person had never believed for a dime before. There has to be “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”

You may think that’s not so. It’s possible that he could have won the lottery or the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. It’s possible, but that wouldn’t have been God. God’s kingdom operates on laws, like the laws that govern the fruit-bearing process of a seed. God will not give you the full ear of corn if you haven’t seen the first blade.

That’s the way God’s kingdom works. And this is precisely the reason most people don’t see God’s best come to pass in their lives. They think that since God loves them, He will just grant their request regardless of whether they put the miracle of the seed to work or not.

Look at what happened after Jesus taught His disciples these principles of the seed.

Mark 4:35 says,

“And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.”

In a sense, Jesus was giving them a test. On the same day that He taught them the principles of God’s Word as a seed, He gave them a seed. He said, “Let us pass over unto the other side.” He didn’t say, “Let us go halfway across and drown.” The disciples had a seed from the lips of the Creator that gave them authority over the creation.

What happened? A two-hour trip turned into a fight for the disciples’ lives. Instead of using the seed the Lord had given them, they did all they knew to do in the natural and then got put out with the Lord.

They said in verse 38,

“Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

This wasn’t a cabin cruiser. Jesus was in an open boat full of water (verse 37) sloshing all around Him. He was well aware of their plight and yet was trying to sleep. They wanted Him to pick up a bucket and bail or row or do something.

How did Jesus respond? Did He apologize and say, “I’m sorry guys. I was really tired”? No!

Instead He said, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?” (verse 40).

Jesus was telling them that they should have stilled the storm. If they would have operated in faith instead of fear, that’s exactly what they could have done.

The Lord did His job by giving them the seed of His Word. Their job was to take the seed and make it work. Instead, they doubted Jesus’ love for them and thought He wasn’t pulling His weight. Likewise, we often complain to the Lord, “Don’t You love me? Why aren’t You healing me or prospering me, etc.?”

God has done His part; He has given us the Word. For example, the Lord doesn’t give us money directly. Deuteronomy 8:18 says that the Lord gives us the power to get wealth. The power is in His promises, His Word. As we plant those promises in our hearts, the truth of His Word germinates and prosperity comes.

Healing operates the same way. There are numerous scriptures that get the point across that God’s Word is health to all our flesh. Here’s two:

“For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh” (Prov. 4:22).

“He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Ps. 107:20).

Yes, a person can get healed without planting God’s Word in their heart. It comes through the prayers of others with the gifts of healing (1 Cor. 12:9), but it is not God’s best. We should never be too proud to ask for help, but the proper way to get healed is to take God’s promises of healing and plant them in our hearts until they release their life-giving power into our physical bodies.

This law of seedtime and harvest operates in every area of our lives. If we will plant God’s Word in our hearts, then allow the seed to germinate and the plant to grow to maturity, we will reap the fruit of a harvest. That is God’s best!

I cannot tell you strongly enough how important it is that you know God’s Word and that you plant the seed of His Word in your heart long before you need the fruit of the harvest. It could mean the difference between prosperity and poverty, or even life and death. I believe this is so important that it’s the very first class I teach to new students at CBC every year.

My teaching series A Sure Foundation will help you understand the power and importance of God’s Word in your life. It will help you go beyond the “touchy-feely,” emotion-based thinking that many mistake for faith. It’s not about what you feel; it’s about what has been planted in your heart and come to full fruit. It’s the foundation to receiving the promises of God.

So, make this year your personal Year of the Bible and build a sure foundation in your own life. It will be the best decision you have ever made.

Letter on the Economy (Annette Capps)

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The WORD is Stable!

Unstable markets, unstable world economy…Let’s focus on something that is stable…the Word of God and not fixate on the fear that surrounds us.

My Dad tells the story of how during a dry year when he was farming, he prayed for rain for his cotton crop. One particular field had no means of irrigation. As he was driving and praying for rain, he noticed that one spot in the field looked greener than the rest. God spoke to him and said, “Would it be OK if I just caused the moisture to come up under your crop rather than rain from above?” Of course my Dad replied, “Whatever you want to do is fine with me!”

That year the cotton made 1 bale per acre on that field where other farmers only made ∏ bale or less.

Sometimes we become so fixated on the problem or what we believe the solution is that we are not open to alternatives. God is not limited to our ideas of how to fix things. The real issue for Charles Capps was not rain; it was a good cotton crop.

Our real issue today is not the stock market or the credit crisis. The real issue is how we can prosper and succeed in spite of world crisis. God’s Word has not changed. God’s laws have not changed. The same laws of giving and receiving, sowing and reaping, seedtime and harvest still work in October 2008 as well as October 2007.

The spiritual principles that enabled you to pay your house payment, buy your gas and feed your family still apply no matter what the economy. God’s Word drives your economy! Choose kingdom principles to dominate your finances!

I encourage you to continue in faith, not being moved by what you see, hear or feel but what you believe…God’s Word. You are the seed of Abraham through Jesus Christ and His blessing rests on you.

The immoveable, unchangeable Word will work for you as you speak it and stand fast in faith.

God Bless You Richly,

Annette Capps

Understanding the Tithe (Kenneth Copeland)

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“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 3:10-11).

This is God Himself speaking and He is saying, “Prove Me in this.” This is the only time in the Word where God instructs us to prove Him, and it is the one area where most people have withdrawn from proving God.

Tithing was instituted under the Old Covenant as a way for God to communicate His blessing to His people. The word tithe means “tenth or ten percent.” Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase.” Tithes are to be given from the first fruits, from the top— the gross, not the net. A person who does not tithe is robbing God and is operating under a curse (Malachi 3:8-9). The first fruits of our income is God’s; it is not ours to use to pay bills.

Tithing is different from seed-faith gifts and offerings. The tithe is your 10 percent that God commands us to give—gifts and offerings are above and beyond it. Some people want to give “as the Lord leads them” instead of tithing—but the Spirit would never lead you against His Word. The Word says to tithe.

Tithing is not only an Old Covenant command, but also a New Testament blessing and privilege. Hebrews 7:8 says, “Here men that die receive tithes. But there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.”

In the Old Covenant, God’s people would place their tithe—the first fruits of their increase—in a basket, present it to the high priest, and say to him, “I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us” (Deuteronomy 26:2-3). They spoke their redemption.

According to Colossians 1:13, we have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son. As believers, we are living in the kingdom of God. We have entered into our inheritance in Jesus Christ and possess it in His Name. Jesus is the High Priest of the New Covenant. When we take our tithes to our High Priest and speak our redemption, He receives them and then presents them to the Father (Hebrews 3:1, 7:8).

When we stand on our covenant with God and exercise our rights as tithers, we lay a foundation for success and abundance. Satan has no chance against us. Tithing the tithe rebukes the devourer! When we resist Satan in the Name of Jesus, God’s rebuke is in action. God told the Israelites their words were stout against Him. They were confessing lack and want. It is important to speak our redemption in order for the tithe to produce.

Where you place you tithe depends on where you are receiving your spiritual food. God says to bring the tithes into the storehouse. That is where the food is—where a pastor, an evangelist, an apostle or some other ministry is in operation. When you give, you are not giving to an individual, but for the furtherance of the gospel. Since your tithe is God’s money and since Jesus is the One who handles and receives it, you should always pray and let Him tell you where it should be put to work.

Creative Success (Prophetic Word by Barbara Wentroble)

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Fight Fear With Creative Success

“There is one word that defines the emotions of huge numbers of people today – fear! An associate recently told me the story of a man who came into his office. The man’s knuckles were white as he held a few dollar bills in his hand. He was filled with fear of losing the last of his finances. Many people today may not be holding onto dollar bills in their physical hands but do have clenched fists in their emotions.

When our security is based on feelings that find security in the current provision then we are living in fear. Truly successful people do not live from the security of earning enough to make themselves comfortable. Successful people prefer to earn income based on the results they produce. They are willing to settle for a less secure income and are willing to work on commission or other means of income that reward the results of their efforts.

During these unstable times, let go of any fear or insecurity in your emotions. Look for new ways that you can be rewarded for your efforts. Believe in yourself and your ability to create new streams of income. Rather than continuing in a season of fear, let this be a time to transition into a season of creative success!”

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