A Symbol and a Source of God’s Blessing | Dennis Burke
 
Recap
 
Living Word’s Guest Minister Dennis Burke taught a message entitled, “A Symbol and a Source of God’s Blessing.” He shared that it is understood that as members of the body of Christ, we have a clear sense that we are living in the last days. And even if these are not the last of the last days, we understand that these are our personal last days. So we must treat this time with a sense of commitment and a sense of design from the Spirit of God for our lives to make an impact, to make a difference. In fact, that’s what we’ve been designed for! 
 
Dive Deeper
 
Dennis started his message with a scripture from Zechariah to talk about the kind of impact that God wants to use your life to generate.
 
Scriptural reference:
Zec 8:12, “For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you” (NLT).
 
The word peace comes from the word shalom. The word shalom is translated many places in the Bible as peace, but in this verse, the translators wanted to add the concept of peace and prosperity. The words “peace and prosperity” help encompass how far the shalom of God is intended to take a personal life.
 
God said, “I am planting seeds of peace among you.” Everything in the kingdom of God functions through the system of sowing seed, with the expectation that the seed is going to grow and produce greater fruit.
 
In John 14:27, Jesus talked about this peace: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.”
 
Jesus left us with a peace, but not the kind of fragile peace of the world. It’s the kind of peace that comes from God Himself, a calm confidence that He is on top of things… that He will turn things around to fulfill His plan in our lives. He will not allow our lives to be destroyed or to experience lack. He wants us to have both peace and prosperity.  
 
Peace is more than just a calm confidence. God’s peace is a force… an overwhelming force that turns things. God’s divine peace is not just to feel better about a situation or have the calm that can come from the presence of the Lord; it includes that substance of the Spirit of God that comes to turn things around so that what has been chaos can become an overwhelming turn of events to see what peace is really all about.
 
Dennis read the rest of the passage in Zechariah 8:12–13, “For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. 13 Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer!”
 
He emphasized verse 13 which says, “among other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a curse nation.” He said, “I believe this is a Rhema word for us right now.” No longer the chaos… no longer the curse… no longer being a symbol of what the curse of trouble and hardship looks like. That would no longer be part of our lives.
 
Though this is speaking to the Jewish people who returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity, we can also apply to our lives personally. Perhaps your life doesn’t look as though the blessing of God is evident. You’ve experienced challenges, maybe some chaos that Satan’s tried to activate in your life.
 
The words of God do not diminish in power. We can take this word for ourselves. Any promise that God makes, He wants you and me to know that it is active and alive for today. And His truth has an impact on us because we’re part of the family of God.
 
We will no longer operate under a curse! Sometimes you just have to put your foot down and say, “I’ve been putting up with this nonsense for too long. I’ve been allowing myself to just let it happen. But no longer! I’m making a shift.”
 
The beginning of a new year is a great time to make the shift, to make the determination that you’re not going to allow these things to weigh you down.
 
Read About It
 
Zec 8:12–13, “For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. 13 Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!”
 
John 14:27, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.”
 
Discussion Questions
 
Take a moment to examine your life. Does it reflect the kind of presence of peace and prosperity that comes from God?
 
However, perhaps after examining your life, you find it full of chaos and trouble. What steps can you take to experience God’s supernatural peace and prosperity?
 
Perhaps after examining your life, you find that parts of your life are full of chaos and trouble, yet you are experiencing peace and prosperity in other parts of your life. How can you get all the parts of your life to align with God’s desire for you to experience both peace and prosperity?

Recent Sermon Notes

Grace Unveiled: For the Promise to Be Sure  #12 | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim gave his 12th installment on his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” The Old Testament law always produced the wrath of God as a consequence for disobedience. No one outside of Jesus Christ had the ability to keep Old Testament law! Yet there are many Christians that try to live their lives according to Old Testament law. And they are failing. Pastor Jim went on to explain why in his message subtitled, “For the Promise to Be Sure.”

Grace Unveiled: To Whom the Lord Will Not Impute Sin  #11 | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim continued his series on Romans entitled, “Grace Unveiled.” This 11th installment of the series entitled, “To Whom the Lord Will Not Impute sin” picks up at Romans 4:6: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.” Pastor Jim carefully unfolded what it means for God to not impute your sin. Essentially, this scripture is saying, “Blessed is he who stepped over that line and the burden of what he should get for crossing that boundary is taken off of him.” That guy is blessed!

Light Be | Russ Kalenberg

This past Memorial Day weekend, the Living Word congregation was blessed to hear special guest minister Russ Kalenberg preach his message entitled, “Light Be.” In the beginning, Genesis says the world was a chaotic mess, a scene of disorder and confusion. Does that sound familiar? The world today is very much a chaotic mess, a scene of disorder and confusion. What is the answer? It’s the same as it was in the beginning! “Light be!”

Grace Unveiled, #10: Credited to Your Account | Jim Hammond

Pastor Jim preached the 10th installment of his series entitled, “Grace Unveiled,” a study of the book of Romans. This message subtitled, “Credited to Your Account,” finishes up the study of the sin problem and then begins a study of the solution to man’s sin problem—which is Romans 3:21–22, “…faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.” Pastor Jim said, “The reason why Paul spent so much time talking about the sin problem is because you can’t understand the solution if you don’t understand the problem.”

At Wit’s End | Jim Hammond

Have you ever been “at your wit’s end?” When you’ve exhausted all your emotional and physical resources and have nothing left to give, what do you do? When the Apostle Paul was at his wit’s end, the Lord gave him direction saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Pastor Jim went on to expound on when we are at our wit’s end, how we can lean on His grace.