This is a guest post by Michael Glover, my twin brother. He lives in Wasilla, AK, with his wife Megan, and their 2 high maintenance cats. He is about to become a Father, loves CrossFit, and is emerging as a disciple of Jesus.
My wife, Megan, and I are going to become parents sometime in the beginning of December.
Exciting, scary and scary, but we cannot wait!
When we found out we were having a baby girl something clicked in my head. An unexplainable protective ferocity enveloped my soul.
People keep telling me I need to buy a shotgun. Are you kidding me? I will take care of business just fine with my bare hands, and you better believe I’ll … well never mind.
As new parents, of course our baby, who we’ve named Sophia Grace, will be the best-behaved child since baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes.Not like those other kids, in fact she will probably start discussing the ins and outs of Jesus’ teachings during His time on earth by the time she is two years old.
You know – just the typical aspirations and goals new parents have, which will go straight out the window as soon as she smiles.
However, there is something we are serious about: providing for all her needs (God willing).
Recently we discussed the different investment options and financial strategies available to allow our baby girl to be set up for success later on in her life.As important as our financial plan (Megan’s job) is to us. We have already begun putting our trust in an investment option that guarantees returns, which will far outweigh our meager investments.
Yes, we know through experience this works.
What is it?
We have invested in the shepherd of our souls, our Pastor.
Black and White
We are emerging disciples of Jesus Christ, and as such obey His Word to the best of our ability.There are scriptures and even books of the Bible open to interpretation and scholarly examination, but some things are Black and White issues.
- Black and White: John 3:5 (KJV) – Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- Black and White: “Deu 6:4 (KJV) – Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD:
- Black and White: Gal 5:14 (KJV) – For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
- Black and White: Mal 3:8 (KJV) – Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
- Black and White: Pro 3:9 (KJV) – Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
- Black and White Promise: Mal 3:10 (KJV) – Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].
- Black and White Promise: Pro 3:10 (KJV) – So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
I love Black and White issues. I grow from Black and White promises.
Why? Not because of the guarantee God gives us, but through His process He stretches my spirituality and gives me the strength to grow in faith and favor.
So for the sake of time, I will just assume you understand this, and honor it. I am not a judge, but come ‘go’ or ‘no go’ time I don’t want God to tell me, “Ye robbed me”, Malachi 3:8.
1 Timothy 5:17-18 tells us, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine …The labourer is worthy of his reward.”
Moving forward, when I think about my beautiful daughter, Sophia Grace, I look at Proverbs 3:9-10 (AMP) to see what benefits she will get from our tithes.
Solomon says, “Honour the Lord…with the first fruits of all thine increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
What? Why would I even hesitate?
- He says we will have plenty. You know God blesses those that obey his word? Simple. Guaranteed. Tight.
- He blesses those that bless others. Wow. Deep concept? No, but powerful, and underutilized. You see God makes a habit of blessing his faithful givers with more and more blessing, so they can give back more and more blessing. I like that kind of system.
- Wait, I am talking about Sophia, what about her? Solomon said, “… and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Eph 6:4 (KJV) – “… but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord … Sophia will grow up in a home bursting forth with ‘new wine’.
John 16:7 (AMP) describes the Holy Ghost as, “the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby).”
About the time Sophia reaches her teenage years, the devil will begin to show her all the world has to offer.
Fun? For a while.
When that happens you had better believe Megan and I will have done our best to instill in her what thus saith the Lord to His people. We want her addicted to the Word of God.
However, when we cannot help her, the Comforter will! When she can’t tell us how she feels, the Counselor will speak to her. From an early age we want Sophia to begin experiencing and selling out to, “who’s I am and whom I serve.”
But it’s 10% of my income. Are you kidding me?
Get it? How much is my daughter’s soul worth to me? Get it yet?
Okay, if you’re still reading, I am going to take this concept a step further.
It’s called “Sowing seed” into your Pastor’s ministry.
Sowing seed is sacrificial giving, offered to God, with an endgame in mind.
Elijah had just finished mocking 450 prophets of Baal by himself. Faith? Yeah. After he ‘repaired the altar’ (another time), he had 12 barrels of water poured over the altar.
Remember, this is taking place in a season of extreme drought. Sowing seed.
After God answered his prayer with a consuming fire, Elijah turned to Ahab, 1Ki 18:41 (KJV) – And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for [there is] a sound of abundance of rain.
Why did Elijah order them to pour 12 barrels of water on the altar, in a season of drought?
He was sowing seed. You want rain? Sow water.
Here was his process:
- He “Sowed seed”.
- Prayed in faith, for a consuming fire.
- Then talked to Ahab, telling him he could already hear the rain coming.
- Positioned himself to receive (For me, that’s right behind my Pastor).
- Confirmed the miracle at the first sign of return.
- Saw his seed being returned, “pressed down, shaken together and running over…” Luke 6:38 (AMP).
- Received spiritual blessing and power, (outrunning a chariot) as a result of his “Sowed Seed”.
- It’s not a one time deal, you continue to give as you’re blessed.
Sorry about being boring, but sowing seed produces both spiritual and physical blessing. When Megan and I arrived in Palmer, we did exactly that, we sowed into our Pastor’s ministry.
What? How does that work?
Malachi 3:10 (KJV) “Bring ye all the tithes into the store house, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not OPEN YOU the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
For once Mr. James said it right. It’s not I WILL OPEN UNTO YOU: It reads I WILL OPEN YOU!
Think about your chest opening up, and God pouring blessings into your soul! Not only does God bless us with finances, He promises to bless us with much more valuable treasure – spiritual blessing.
That’s what my wife and I did when we “sowed seed” with a sacrificial offering to our pastor.
You know what that opened up?
- It gave our Pastor the ability to minister directly to us each time he preaches God’s Word. Every time we have heard him preach, God has spoken to us. Sometimes, just about word for word what I was going through.
- It allowed us to connect to our Pastor’s vision, to connect with his purpose, one voice, one aim. Matthew 18:19 (AMP) “Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever (anything and everything) they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
Symphony? I thought you needed an orchestra to create a symphony? Just two people unified in purpose sounds like many voices! Do your prayers for your family become many voices?
It’s time to start investing in your children, by investing in your Pastor.
Here is the endgame I talked about: When we can’t reach her, and she’s acting crazy like women tend to do from time to time, my Pastor will be the one that hears from heaven and acts like a conduit between God and Sophia!God will use him to direct His good pleasure and our little investment will reap a heavenly reward.
Sounds good to me.
How much is your family worth?