Spiritual Posts

Increase of Faith, part 1

Increase of Faith, part 1

At the end of Paul’s famous passage about love in his letter to the Corinthians, he concludes, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13).  I’ve always thought of these as The Big Three: the foundational pillars upon which the rest of our Christlikeness is built. And so we’re going to end this study by exploring each of these in turn.

Scripture defines faith this way: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). For years, that verse meant little to me because I associated faith with a general trust in God. But it’s much more than that; faith is how we access the promises of God.

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Favor & Influence

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Favor & Influence

Declarations for Favor & Influence

  • As I pursue and find wisdom, I will find life and obtain favor with God. (Prov. 8:35)
  • Like Jesus, I am growing in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)
  • Instead of shame, I shall have double honor. (Isaiah 61:7)
  • I have been blessed with your righteousness, Jesus. And God’s favor surrounds me as a shield. (Ps. 5:12)
  • Because of Jesus, I have found favor in God’s sight.
  • Today I will experience the favorable year of the Lord — the day when salvation and the favor of God abound greatly (Luke 4:19)
  • As I fellowship with God and the Church, I will enjoy favor with the people in my community and be influential. (Acts 2:47)
  • The favor of God creates opportunities for me to minister to others and be an agent of Kingdom influence. (Daniel 2)

Increase of Favor & Influence, part 2

Increase of Favor & Influence, part 2

When Jesus read out of Isaiah 61 at the start of his public ministry, he marked the beginning of a new era: “the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:19), or as some translations put it: “the year of the Lord’s favor” (ESV). I particularly like how the Amplified Version fleshes out the meaning of this passage more richly:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah),
Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy),
to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the favor of God abound greatly]. (Luke 4:18-19, AMP)

In this era, salvation and favor abound greatly.

Increase of Favor & Influence, part 1

Increase of Favor & Influence, part 1

Throughout scripture, favor is one of the signature trademarks of the people of God. Time and again, stories chronicle seemingly ordinary people being placed in extraordinary positions of power and influence because of the favor of God upon their lives. Such stories illustrate that “with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

The first account of incredible favor in scripture is the story of Joseph.

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Generosity

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Generosity

Declarations for Generosity

  • Freely I have received. Therefore, freely I will give. (Matt. 10:8)
  • It is more blessed and brings greater joy to give than to receive. I will be a cheerful giver! (Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9:7)
  • God will produce a great harvest of generosity in me. (2 Cor. 9:11)
  • I will be generous, excel in giving, inherit land and bless my descendants. (Psalm 37:22, 26)
  • As I deal generously and lend, conducting my affairs with justice and discretion, it will be well with me. (Ps. 112:5)
  • God will generously provide all that I need so that I have more than enough to give. (2 Cor. 9:8)
  • I will not fear lack, for there is no fear in love. And perfect love has cast out all fear from my life. (1 John 4:18)
  • As I give and am generous, fruit will increase to my credit and there will be a harvest of blessing that will accumulate to my account. (Phil. 4:17)

Increase of Generosity, part 2

Increase of Generosity, part 2

The great thing about generosity is that it’s actually far better to be the giver than the receiver. Addressing the Ephesians, Paul quoted Jesus as saying, “It is more blessed [and brings greater joy] to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, AMP). The Amplified Bible offers insight into the word “blessed” and shows that it’s not just a vague sense of fortune or well-being—it’s a tangible, uplifting state and experience.

Generosity aligns quite well with the promises of blessing in Deuteronomy 28, as well. God said “You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath” (Deut. 28:12b-13).

Operating as a benefactor is what we were created to do and will give us great joy and deep satisfaction.

Increase of Generosity, part 1

Increase of Generosity, part 1

Kingdom wisdom, provision and generosity are closely related and intertwined. There isn’t necessarily a linear progression from wisdom into provision and then into generosity. The case could be made that generosity is a sign of wisdom, which then brings provision. Or that a spirit of wisdom provokes generosity and that brings provision. Or some other combination.

I chose the order of: wisdom, provision and then generosity, because I wanted to emphasize that those who have been entrusted with increasing provision and resources must operate in generosity. The end seemed to be the most suitable place to stress this point.

As a reminder, Jesus taught that those who don’t do anything with what they are given will eventually have it taken away. Being generous with the things given to us by God—be they material resources such as money, land and housing, or more immaterial things such as freedom, healing, wholeness, peace and joy—is an exceptionally strong theme in the New Testament and one that must be acknowledged soberly.

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Provision & Resources

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Provision & Resources

Declarations for Provision & Resources

  • Jesus has redeemed me from the curse of the law, that the blessings of Abraham might come upon me. (Gal. 3:13-14)
  • I will be faithful over a few things and God will make me rule over many things. Then I will enter into the joy of my Lord. (Matt. 25:21)
  • Jesus Christ was rich but for my sake became poor, that through His poverty I might become rich. (2 Cor. 8:9)
  • The Lord’s blessings make me rich and come with no sorrow or toil. (Prov. 10:22)
  • God’s blessings will come upon me and overtake me! (Deut. 28:2)
  • I will have all sufficiency in all things at all times and an abundance for each and every good work because God makes His grace abound to me. (2 Cor. 9:8)
  • My descendants will be mighty in the land and my generation will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in my house. (Ps. 112:2-3)

(If you’d like a refresher on why declarations are important to spiritual growth, you can read that in my prayers and declarations for the increase of the Kingdom.)