Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

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The most joyful people I have met are believers that are great at showing people Jesus. Some believers have never experienced this joy and others experience it daily. Our vision as a church is to equip disciples of Jesus to receive, give and serve in grace. Giving is not only financial and includes giving your testimony to others about the power and love of Jesus! Freely you have received, freely give.

Why is your testimony so powerful? It’s how we overcome the evil one (the accuser). By the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony. Notice it doesn’t say your pastor’s testimony or your favorite teacher’s.

Revelation 10:10-11

10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 

So the question I would like to answer is this, “How do we simply share our testimony and get results?” Here are 3 practical tips to win more people to Jesus.

  1. Be a good listener.   I purposely put the cartoon of Garfield above because so many people want to share the good news but are terrible at listening. God has called us to be fishers of men.  Listening opens the heart of the unbeliever to return the favor of listening.

James 1:19 

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

2. Practice your testimony. Ever felt like you stumble over your words, I certainly have before. We feel more confident and we are more precise when we have repeated a statement or story. Preparation prepares the atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to impact people’s hearts.

1 Peter 3:15

…..And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always BE READY to explain it. 16 But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. 

3. Don’t be long-winded and get to the point.  In the verse above Peter says to share in a gentle and respectful way. So respect the person’s time and be gentle. When we see people yelling on the corner with signs about the anger of God, we know in our hearts this is not impacting anyone to receive the love of Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 5:3 

 Too much activity gives you restless dreams; too many words make you a fool.

 

My prayer is this week you experience the joy of witnessing and planting seeds. You may not always see the results right away but trust that the Holy Spirit may send others to water and God always does the growing  (1 Corinthians 3:5-8)!

In His grace,

Brandon Pollard

http://www.graceforeternity.com

 

 

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“What’s up with Christians and believing Jesus is real?” One atheist man said to his other atheist friend.  “I don’t know, I think they are all nuts!” said the other male friend. “I do know a Christian that I work with and he says he has the best sex life in his marriage because of Jesus.” “Really?” Long pause and silence…. “Where did he say he goes to church?” – (Mark Gungor, Laugh your way to a better marriage)

Since the launch of our church, over 5 years ago, hundreds have been led to Jesus for the first time. Many leaders would be the most excited that they were a part of the new, born again process to lead people to Jesus. My favorite and most exciting thing to be a part of is to watch Jesus heal a person’s home life and marriage. In our church, we have seen Jesus restore multiple divorced couples to re-marriage and those on the brink of divorce renew their vows. Ultimately each couple would admit that self-righteousness was the greatest enemy of their marriage. Self-righteousness is self- focused and keeps score and yet when we are Christ-focused and what He did for us, we can’t help but lay our lives down because when we were still sinners He died for us.

Many have witnessed this next generation uneasy to lay their lives down to marriage. Young men and women want the benefits of marriage but can choose to live together and often refuse the commitment. This has been happening for years. Did you know the institution of marriage is God’s idea for us to have the best sex life ever?  When young people have been impacted by being raised in an environment of a bad marriage then we can’t be surprised when they are reluctant to marry. People often reject God’s institutions because they have seen an unhealthy environment. We don’t heal from what we reject and the absence of something, we heal from who we accept and the presence of someone (2 Corinthians 3:17). His name is Jesus and he wants to heal our sex life!

Can marriage be unhealthy in a Christian home? Absolutely! I have met atheists that have better marriages than some believers. I can promise you that this is not what Jesus intended. I also know that this is not the majority of marriages. The majority of Christian marriages have a way better sex life than singles or celebrities that trade their wives every six months. I have heard experts say, “Single people don’t even know what they are doing.”   Jesus desires His people to have the best sex life under His idea of marriage and what if the world knew they did? It may be time for the church to rise up and the redeemed of the Lord to say so!

Equipping Disciples of Jesus to Receive, Give & Serve in Grace,

Brandon Pollard

http://www.graceforeternity.com

As a child, I always enjoyed the Superman movies.  I envisioned myself as the hero from another planet, saving the world with my super strength. Fighting evil and rescuing the weak from catastrophe. Is it possible something is placed inside children to want to be the hero?

When Jesus came to the earth, He used phrasing like, “You have heard it said, but I say….”. He was fantastic at dismantling religious thoughts to create kingdom thinking. In one instance He is asked by his disciples, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”.  Then He finds a child close by and places the kid in the middle of the disciples. With all eyes on the kid, Jesus dismantles religion by saying, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Is it possible the disciples looked at the kid and were not impressed? Could this kid have possibly had a runny nose as many kids do? Maybe his clothes were torn from playing so hard? I spent nearly five years volunteering in kid’s ministry, teaching all ages of kids. Is it possible the kid smelled? What was Jesus trying to do when referring to this kid about the kingdom of heaven?

The disciples possibly regarded the child standing next to Jesus according to the flesh. It is possible they still had old covenant thinking and judged by his outward appearance.

7 People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.1 Samuel 16:7

Here are two consistent God-given qualities I believe all children possess at birth:

1. All children love to receive (see birthdays or Christmas time). When we are aggressive as children to receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness from our Father, we will reign in life and the kingdom of heaven.

17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:17

 

2. All children desire to be a hero (see costume dress up and favorite movies). When we received Christ by faith, we became born again (an adopted child of God) and received the kingdom of heaven, thus becoming the heroes of the earth. Jesus entrusted us with the keys to His kingdom.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.2 Corinthians 5:16-20 

 

Is it possible that Jesus knew, when pointing out the child, the disciples would become born-again children, faithful to receive and faithful to be heroes in His kingdom?

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. -2 Corinthians 1:3-4 

Did you know that Heaven knows you as the child hero on the earth? Receive His comfort and give His comfort today!you_are_known-title-1-Standard 4x3.jpg

 

 

At Grace For Eternity Church, we have never asked for tithing but grace giving. The difference is we believe the new covenant changed the old covenant “law” of tithing to giving generously by grace. Anytime money is mentioned in our church or among Christians in DFW, we often hear the question, “What about tithing?” Tithing is defined as giving ten percent of your income to the Lord. The word tithe means “tenth” in Hebrew and was a law and taxation in the old covenant. In the new covenant, the early church didn’t levy tithing, it wasn’t about percentages but principles. In the new covenant, it wasn’t about the amount but attitude. Before the new covenant in Matthew 23:23, Jesus said to the Pharisees that “tithing” was a matter of the law (and less weighty matter of the law). Since Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but fulfill it, he encouraged those under the old covenant to continue tithing. Now fast forward to after the cross and the resurrection and we, believers, have a new covenant and something many churches around the world call “grace giving.”

At GFE Church we do believe giving generously to the church testifies to the world our love for believers. GFE Church is a practical place to gather and giving helps us to equip and bless the saints.

There are 5 principles/attitudes of grace giving in the new covenant:

  1. GIVE FIRST –1 Corinthians 16:1-2 ESV Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
  2. GIVE PROPORTIONATELY – 2 Corinthians 8:1 ESV We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints
  3. GIVE GENEROUSLY – 2 Corinthians 9:10-12 ESV 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
  4. GIVE CHEERFULLY2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
  5. GIVE WILLINGLY– 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 

We believe that Jesus, inadvertently, can be robbed of His glory by teaching mandatory tithing benefitting freedom from curses. Need spiritual protection or a blessed life? Yes, Jesus through the cross provided that benefit as well, not the law or the tithe. So why give if there is nothing personal to gain? When the church (two or more) come together, it’s practical to join our heart through giving and it takes finances to equip believers.

Under the entire new covenant in the Bible (from the death and resurrection of Jesus through Revelation) we have only one mention in Hebrews regarding tithing. The verse recalling Abraham tithed once the spoils of war (as a concerned pastor I ask you to please don’t go to war with your neighbors and give the ten percent winnings of their belongings to our church).  I believe the author of Hebrews was making a point that we have a greater high priest in the order of Melchizedek.  The context of Hebrews was to bring glory to Jesus as our great High Priest and some teachers have taken that verse and say “see tithing is mandatory under grace to be blessed!” If tithing is mandatory under grace then why didn’t the Apostle Paul remind the young churches how to live a blessed life by tithing, have supernatural protection and stay away from curses? 

There was extreme poverty in the early church, even persecution. There are some that believe Paul could have stopped all of that with a good teaching on tithing?  Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law but fulfill it. Please understand that the law was given by God to protect the people. We absolutely should not commit adultery, however, life in the spirit empowers us to do more in our marriage than not commit adultery. Grace empowers us to love our wife and be intimate relationally. Life in the Spirit helps us to love the Bride of Christ and be intimate relationally. The new covenant is better than the old and the new covenant empowers us to not only give ten percent but be cheerful givers to the church in unity with other believers.  There are hundreds if not thousands of great teachers teaching the new covenant “grace giving” in healthy and growing churches around the world!

 

Pastor Brandon Pollard

http://www.graceforeternity.com

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For years growing up in the church I would question my heart motives and whether or not God could change my heart that week. I felt that if I had a great week seeking Jesus and life was full of blessings then I credited having a changed heart. But then trials and tribulations would come and those blessings were shaken and the seeking of Jesus was harder because He obviously wasn’t changing my heart. The circumstances and behavior in my life must be due to the wickedness of my heart? I could hear the preacher giving glory to his blessed life and church because “it’s all about the motives of the heart.” We would end men’s meetings and accountability time asking, “How’s your heart?” I would cry out to God in tears and ask him to change my heart! At the age of 30, my body was dying and I was averaging 3 hours of sleep at night and I blamed it on the condition of my heart. Why wasn’t God changing my heart?

Fast forward to today and I feel healthier in my body in my forties than I did in my twenties and thirties. What changed? I believe, this is the greatest question you can ask when reading the Bible or looking for answers! 

Jesus revealed truth to me and I want to share it with you in case you believed the same lie I believed. The lie, that your heart is wicked, that it needs to be cleaned comes from actual scripture in the old and new testament. “Wait, Brandon, you just said that a lie can come from the Bible? I can’t keep reading this blog, it’s sacrilegious!” In case you are still reading, I will make it clear that the Bible is not the one lying but the father of lies knows it backwards and forwards, the enemy’s favorite thing is to twist scripture to the believer and use scripture to lie to them! Let’s begin with some scripture you may already have heard or read in church that would lead us, the believer, to believe we have a wicked heart in need of cleaning:

Psalms 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick: who can understand it?

Genesis 6:5 ESV

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

 

I can hear the enemy now yelling at you, “See, you are nothing but a sinner with a wicked, evil heart!”

Even Jesus said in Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Well you have never seen God with your natural eyes so you must not have a pure heart, right?

But let’s not take scripture out of context, because when we do we are left with a con. We have to ask the question, “What changed?”

Galatians 3:23

Before faith came, we were kept under law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

 

Before faith in Christ Jesus all of us were under the law. We all had wicked and evil hearts. King David didn’t have the promise of the Holy Spirit sealing him or Jesus to give him a new heart. He and other prophets had a glimpse though, that God’s promise of a new covenant was coming!

Ezekiel 36:25-26 ESV

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.

 

When I gave my life to Jesus as a young boy, I didn’t feel like I had a new heart. Certainly my body didn’t change? Maybe you have asked the same great question, “What changed?”

Well scripture let’s us know we are made up of body, soul and spirit. Our body didn’t become new and certainly our soul (mind, will and emotions) didn’t become new. So what changed? Our spirit and spiritual heart. Ever notice that since you became a Christian you can’t enjoy sin? The real you is born again with a new heart and the Holy Spirit and you are now hidden with Jesus (1 Peter 1:20-23, Ephesians 1:13).  Your new heart wants to please the Father. Your soul must be renewed to remember who the real you is. Paul said the old you is dead, crucified with Jesus and buried. So God is not trying to clean your heart, He killed it. He also doesn’t talk to your old zombie hearts but the new heart to remind them of this:

Colossians 1:21-23

And you, who were once alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard,

It takes faith to believe Jesus is your righteousness, holiness, sanctification. You must come before him by faith. What doesn’t take faith is to continue to ask God for a clean heart, to ignore the cross and focus on sin consciousness instead of Christ consciousness. This is called self righteousness and takes absolutely no faith but a religious victim mentality that says “I am just a sinner.” This is a slap in the face to what Jesus did on the cross. A believer is a saint that is in the spirit. We as believers have a choice to not walk after the flesh (sin) but after the spirit (Jesus). So our position is who we are, we are in the spirit. How do we walk after the spirit and not the flesh? Everything we do as believers we must do by faith in Jesus Christ, that something changed when we became born again…….our hearts!

Listen to our “New Hearts” teaching podcast here

Click here for our new book!2

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Does any one remember the three stooges and the hilarious scenes in the doctor’s office?  Moe takes an over sized hammer to test the knee reflexes of Curly. Of course reaching back he hits Larry, then he hits Curly and the genius comedy that is slapstick begins.

Did you know there is a “knee jerk reaction” that happens when we talk about the generosity of God. The medical word for where this term originated is called mono-synaptic response. The hit to the knee causes the thigh muscle to stretch. This stretch sends a signal to the spinal cord and then to the thigh muscle. So it never gets to the brain. It is not a thought out decision to react to the plexor/ rubber mallet but a serious problem (possible disease) if there is no reaction. We all have a reaction when we hear of God’s generosity. This reaction is in the backbone of our perception of God, quite possibly clouded by our circumstances and our opinions. It takes faith to go through trials and tribulations and still believe God is generous!

Jesus declared the Lord’s anointing has a purpose, a mission to proclaim the Lord’s favor, to heal the broken hearts, preach good news to the poor and to set captives free. Jesus didn’t just come to pay for the sins of the world for those who believe to get to Heaven but to bring Heaven to earth and restore the perception the human race had of His Father. Often people think Jesus is kind, loving and full of grace, but God the Father is harsh, condemning and sending natural catastrophes to judge the world today. Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” When Jesus said, “I did not come to judge the world but to save it” this was the Father’s idea and plan from the very beginning. His plan was to generously give His son’s life to become our sin so that we would become His righteousness. Paul called this an abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness! He also said in Romans 8:31-35,  “If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

We are learning to walk by faith in God as a disciple of Jesus. The very backbone/foundation of our belief hinges on the questions, “Is God generous? Is He good and gracious?” Our knee jerk reaction to His generosity and grace to others will immediately tell us about our backbone and perception of Him. It is really difficult to be generous to others when you believe God is not generous. Be encouraged fellow believers, Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Pastor Brandon Pollard

http://www.graceforeternity.com