Archive for April, 2023

New Covenant Curse?

Posted: April 29, 2023 in Uncategorized

Let me begin by saying the word “kingdom” is sometime used frivolously from people who don’t always obey the King but enjoy the gain of using His word “kingdom”. Broken down the word “kingdom” is made up of two words. “King” and “Dominion” imply that we surrender to His authority. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy, a young pastor, that there were people who would have the appearance of godliness but not submit to the authority of the King. According to Paul, these trouble makers were the ones who showed godliness as a way to become wealthy with gain(1 Timothy 6:5).

There is nothing wrong with being Godly. In fact it brings glory to God and represents Him well when Christians live a life that is godly. However, when we apply godliness as a means for financial gain, instead of godliness for love, it robs from Jesus.

Follow me here, under the old covenant, you could rob from God by not bringing your tithed farm produce (add up all the spices, grain, and some theologians believe it equaled close to 23 percent), . I’m not going to dwell on this because there are plenty of books and teachings today by the millions still applying this old covenant teaching. Under the new covenant, it is possible to rob (curse) Jesus. “How can we rob Jesus?” Well, I’m glad you asked……

The Bible tells us in Galatians that if you are relying on works of the law, then you are under a new covenant curse. Doesn’t mean your bank account or crops are cursed like the old covenant. For new covenant gentile believers, this curse is impacting Jesus to rob Him of the glory He is due. Rely on the works of the law and Jesus is not glorified to the world that He became the door of Heaven and is wide open to every believer to pour out blessings because of faith in Him.

Galatians 3:10-12 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 

“Hang on Pastor B, why would you say tithing is the law?” Actually I didn’t say it, Jesus did and then He fulfilled the law on the cross and everything changed to faith in Him.

Matthew 23:23 NLT “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Romans 7:But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

The religious leader might say “See, Jesus said we should tithe!” Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law from the jews but to fulfill it. Once he fulfilled the law, he offered the new believer, by faith, a new spiritual heart with the new covenant law. Love is very generous and requires surrendering and compassion to be moved by faith. To give ten percent all you might need is a calculator, if even that. Often the prosperity preacher says you can purchase the favor of God or the removal of a curse off your money. Implying that just pay the mafia-like church and watch the protection and favor of God increase your financial gain. This kind of teaching robs and curses Jesus.

Remember the time the Apostle Paul taught tithing to all the new gentile believers in the church? Me either? “Well their money was cursed if they didn’t tithe”, says the mega pastor. Really? Not one mention from Apostle Paul to those new gentile converts in poverty about removing a financial curse in Acts, Romans, 1, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians……..oh wait….. (he must have not loved them by not teaching “tithing”- insert eye roll)….

Philippians 4:18-20 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Translation (mine): Thank you for the generosity and love gifts, my God will supply every need of yours because JESUS fulfilled the law on your behalf and deserves the glory!

Ok, Brandon, you are now in left field….. how will the church and kingdom get funded?” What if new believers were taught faith to listen and submit to King Jesus for godliness and love without financial gain? Then Jesus would not be robbed by the message and receive the glory and honor He is due.

This next generation will not put up with the “Emperor’s Clothing” in churches called tithing to remove curses, nor will they sit on the sideline and give nothing to the bride of Christ and His kingdom. There is a generation rising that is moved by faith, love, and compassion and Jesus will receive all the glory for their godliness.

As my wife and I get a year closer to a life of empty nesting, we reflect on some mistakes and some intentionality to recalculate our roadmap to parenting success. We remind ourselves and you, as a parent, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus which gives us the strength and power to realign our plans to Jesus. Defining success for your teens spiritual and mental growth will help you create a plan of success. Here are my top 5 common mistakes to avoid and success solutions for the growth of your teens spiritually:

Common mistake #5. Celebrate Natural Growth And Ignore Celebrating Spiritual Growth.

When a teen is celebrated greatly in a home for physical accomplishments more than spiritual growth, we often find a teen leaning to the world’s way of thinking. Solution: Don’t celebrate only their physical growth, education, and birthdays, celebrate even more their commitment to quiet time with Jesus, generosity to Jesus, them serving others, and their commitment to making disciples of Jesus. What we celebrate as parents in the home becomes a value in their life. 3 John 1:3, 2 John 1:4, Matthew 28:19

Common mistake #4. Surround Them With Worldly Mentors Instead of Godly.

When a teen has a coach or mentor who is investing in them, they are taking mental notes to how they will approach life in that same manner as them. If your teen’s mentor has the approach of being away from their spouse and church seven days a week for sports, drama, dance, martial arts, etc. it doesn’t matter if they profess Christ. That mentor’s fruit is a life of disobedience to King Jesus for not valuing discipleship and spiritual mentors in their life. Solution: Find Godly men and women mentors who prioritize their time for marriage and church discipleship and watch your teen enter their twenties making decisions to do the same. -1 Corinthians 15:33, Hebrews 13:17

Common mistake #3. Self-Centered Home Over Marriage-Centered

If the home revolves around the teens instead of the marriage, self-centeredness is brewing. Parents are raising adults that are passing through the home. Our marriage should be dreaming success together in the home more than just dreaming for our kids success. If the home revolves around the kids, then we will often find teens believing life revolves around them instead of Jesus. Solution: Marriage is God’s idea for a picture of the love of Jesus and His bride, show this to your teens and a marriage centered home full of love will cover a multitude of parental mistakes. Ephesians 5:25-27, 1 Peter 4:8

Common mistake #2. Choose The Cheapest Education Without Prayer

Besides your teen choosing a spouse later in life, one of the greatest decisions in their life is where they will be educated. As parents, we would never drop off our teen at a topless bar to make friends, but often we discover much worse friendships are happening in some public schools or private schools. If money make’s our decision in education without prayer, then money replaced our faith in God. Solution: Pray now for your teens future spouse and pray now for their next year’s education. For me than 15 years, my wife and I take a vision retreat every year and pray for each child and their education. John 10:27, Proverbs 22:6

Common mistake #1. Hide Your Personal Finances From Your Teen.

Transparency with our finances and generosity is a family secret, not a secret from our teens. To hide our finances as Christian parents is to set our teens up for moral and financial failures in life. Solution: Show your teen where your heart is focused by opening your personal banking account to openly discuss mistakes and successes. Include them in your family believing God for dreams that are always bigger than what is in your checking account. Then when they are on their own, they know how to apply their money and faith honestly in the same way or greater. John 15:15, Matthew 6:21, 2 Kings 22:4-7

Maybe you realize there are more common things to avoid raising teens that we missed, feel free to add them below in the comments. Encouraging you to not give up on your teens and know that God hasn’t given up on you. Cheering and rooting for you as Christian parents!

Heal the Home, Heal the World

Brandon Pollard

Young believers sometimes ask me, “Why Water Baptism?”. It may seem strange or weird for those who have never experienced it. The body of Christ and local church have been doing this for 2,000 plus years and the excitement for this first step of faith is still ever growing around the world. So let me give you briefly some Biblical truths to hopefully understand God’s heart for you a little more.

It’s God’s Idea: Jesus himself was obedient unto God’s plan for water baptism, before starting his ministry, being baptized by his cousin John. Then after his earthly ministry, Jesus gives his command to the disciples of water baptism before ascending into heaven.

Matthew 28:19  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

It’s An Action of Obedience: Water baptism is not the performance that brings salvation, faith in the performance of Jesus is enough. Being obedient to receive baptism can be similar to being married and putting on an outward wedding ring. Baptism is a symbol to yourself and friends that you no longer are the king of your own life and letting those around you know you were purchased at a very high price.

Identify With Christ and His Church: When you are water baptized, you are identifying with the death and burial of Jesus and being raised with Him in life. The world offers have thousands of identities, God offers believers one identity in Jesus. Once you are baptized into Christ, God’s word reveals you are in a community of believers, His church.

Romans 6:1-7 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin.

Excuse me, passing through!

Posted: April 13, 2023 in Uncategorized

Ever been in a crowded line and you have family up at the front of the line saving a spot for you? The people in line aren’t always excited that you are moving ahead of them. In fact some might even make rude comments to you or their friends. It’s honestly a weird feeling to say, “Excuse me, passing through to my family up ahead.” Sure you may have had to step away to use the restroom or grab a drink, but they don’t care about the excuse. They care that someone is moving ahead before them.

The Psalmist said he walked through the valley of the shadow of death and that he would fear no evil. As a child of God we are just passing through valleys. No need to build our home there or identify with a failure or evil. You have Jesus guiding you and yes He may bring other believers along with a map. Think about the Apostle Paul who was Saul and was blinded and needed a guide to pray over him and share more about Jesus. Then He spent years learning from the disciples and other mature Christians, who Jesus was for Him, before His ministry to the gentiles.

What if we have the “Just me and Jesus” attitude that some Christians carry or even Christian married couples (who are really just one flesh in God’s eyes)? Then we often find ourselves having been in the same valley for a long period of time. Without walking with Godly people that Jesus sends our way, we can find ourselves stuck in the valley of poverty and not passing through. Maybe stuck in the valley of sickness and need some Godly friends with faith to open a roof? How about the valley of isolation or the valley of depression? Many valleys are unavoidable for Christians who are in the world but shadows are not to be feared and valleys are made to pass through. Worldly friends will possibly make rude comments or unfriend you but ALL of Heaven is cheering you on to pass through the valley and so are we!