Increase of Provision & Resources, part 2

Increase of Provision & Resources, part 2

Earlier I shared that while God is an extravagant giver, He is looking for faithful stewards to whom He can entrust His resources. Now, we often receive from God what we don’t deserve because of grace. But Jesus makes it clear in his parables that He brings additional increase to those who have done something good and purposeful with what they have already been given.

The parable of the talents is one of the more insightful lessons on this topic.

Increase of Provision & Resources, part 1

Increase of Provision & Resources, part 1

When Solomon prioritized wisdom above all the other things he could have requested from God, God not only answered Solomon’s prayer, but threw in a few freebies as well.

Because you have asked this thing… I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. (1 Kings 3:11-13)

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Wisdom & Understanding

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Wisdom & Understanding

Declarations for Wisdom & Understanding

  • Like Jesus, I am increasing in wisdom. (Luke 2:52)
  • The Lord grants me wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Prov. 2:6)
  • Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore I will get wisdom! And in all my getting, I will get understanding. (Prov. 4:7)
  • God has showered me with His kindness, along with His wisdom and understanding. (Eph. 1:8)
  • Thank you, Father, for giving me a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.
  • Whenever I lack wisdom, I will ask of God and He will provide it generously. (James 1:5)
  • I will teach and counsel others with all the wisdom I am given. (Col. 3:16)
  • As I steward the wisdom God provides, He will increase my wisdom and set me before people of influence. (Dan. 2:20-23)
  • I will serve others with humility and integrity with the wisdom I am given. (1 Kings 3:6-9)

Increase of Wisdom & Understanding, part 2

Increase of Wisdom & Understanding, part 2

Few things in scripture are as straightforward as the process of increasing in wisdom. James writes quite plainly: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). He does follow that promise up with a condition: the asking must be done in faith. But that’s true for anything we’re pursuing in the Lord. “The just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4).

Generally speaking, most things in our lives simply take time to develop, such as character, giftings and spiritual fruits. But James suggests that wisdom can be obtained in large doses.

Increase of Wisdom & Understanding, part 1

Increase of Wisdom & Understanding, part 1

Shifting gears a bit, I’m going to spend some time focusing on being stewards of what we are given. When discussing God’s commitment to bringing increase in our lives, the slope towards self-centeredness and what we are “getting” can be slippery. So care and balance is needed as we traverse these topics.

God’s generosity and goodness are exhilarating and empowering topics. He’s a giver and a rewarder and there’s no changing that about Him. But what He expects in return is faithful stewardship. And the key to being a good steward is wisdom and understanding.

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Joy

Prayers & Declarations for Increasing in Joy

Increasing Joy Declarations

  • Jesus, I will experience the fullness of joy that comes from Your presence. (Ps. 16:11)
  • I will be filled completely with joy and peace because I trust in You. (Rom. 15:13)
  • You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have turned my sorrows into joy. (Ps. 30:11)
  • The joy of my salvation is constantly being restored in my life. (Ps. 51:12)
  • I will grow and experience the joy of my faith in increasing measure. (Phil. 1:25)
  • As I’m faithful in the little things, I will enter into the joy of my Lord. (Matt. 25:21)
  • By the Spirit, joy is inside me and cannot be taken away. (John 16:22)
  • Jesus’ good news brings me great joy! (Luke 2:10).

Increase of Joy, part 2

Increase of Joy, part 2

Jesus starts His most famous teaching with what have become known as the Beatitudes. Nearly every translation starts them out with “Blessed are the…” or “Blessed are those…” statements. While there’s clearly consensus that these are accurate translations, the problem is that words like “blessed” can become cliché and rather vanilla in our Christianese.

What if I were to tell you that the same root word (makarios) is sometimes translated as “happy” or “joyful”? Would that put a different spin on the verses?

Increase of Joy, part 1

Increase of Joy, part 1

Joy was the final pillar Paul mentioned when telling the Romans what really matters in the Kindgom. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,” he said, “but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).

True joy has one foundation: God’s presence. “In your presence is fullness of joy,” David eloquently penned. “At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11). It’s in His presence that we experience the love, affirmation, safety, peace and hope that lead to joy.

God’s presence is what we were made for. And because of Jesus, God’s presence is what we have. We can expect to experience perpetually increasing joy in our lives as we grow in our understanding of His Spirit’s enduring presence.