HOW TO LIVE A STRESS-FREE LIFE?
To be blessed means to experience God’s supernatural power working for you. It means living stress-free. Too many people are overwhelmed by finances, living under the cloud of debt, living above their means, and feeling the pressure to fulfill other people’s expectations of what you should have and do. Too many people are not living in the lane of spiritual rest, contentment, or what I would call the simple way of life that Jesus teaches in the gospels. God has so much for each believer in Christ, but we must practice the principles of the Bible. We have to apply them in our life so we can reap the results of them in our soul and family.
Just take a moment and let this passage sink in…read slow and digest certain words and phrases in your mind and heart.
Malachi 3:6-12 I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
There are two legs to the Blessed Life.
- GENEROSITY is the first leg, which is the tithe, but God want to be first. The practical way we can demonstrate that God is first in our life, is when we get paid, we give the first tenth (first 10%) to God’s storehouse, which is the local church. When we do that, He blesses the rest. My wife and I practice this and have seen this come to pass in our own lives. God redeems the rest. God can make it stretch and He can provide in supernatural ways.
- STEWARDSHIP is the second leg of the Blessed Life. We take good care of what we have, we live on a budget, and we learn to live in contentment. We ask God to help guide us with this process and ask Him to give us wisdom and favor in all areas of our life. If you ever need counsel or help, do not hesitate to contact the church.
There is another dimension of generosity in the Bible that you need to understand, and that is offerings and the gift of giving. You see both of these in Scripture. I love this verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7 “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.” I love how Paul instructs us to decide. When it comes to giving offerings, it’s something we need to pray about and decide. It’s not an impulse decision, it’s a calculated budget decision. God blesses us when we step out and give offerings. He honors our faith and does amazing miracles. We should make it a regular spiritual habit in our life, asking God, where He would have us be a blessing? You also see the gift of giving in Romans 12, where God has called some, specifically to give extravagantly to Kingdom Projects to accelerate the church on the earth because of their generous giving. We actually have a Legacy Dream Team. If you feel you have the gift of giving, you can contact the church if you want more info on the Legacy Dream Team.
My prayer for each one is to experience God’s hand on your life, and I believe that happens as you obey God’s word. This is a test of faith, but God is gracious as we learn to obey His word. We don’t live in condemnation but allow His word to move us to action and to trust His word to produce fruit in our lives.
PASTOR BILL KIRKPATRICK