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

Focus on Effect | Mac Hammond

Pastor Mac began a new series entitled, “Focus on Effect.” He started off by telling us the topic of the new series is something we probably think we already know about, but in fact, we don’t know enough about it as we probably should. The scriptural reference was 2nd Corinthians 4:17–18: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Though Pastor Mac has taught on this passage before, he said he’s “gotten a glimpse of a different side of this mountain. And I’m seeing it from a perspective that has really impacted me in a positive way.” He added, “And I want it to be that way for you all as well.”

Are We in the Days of Noah? | Jim Hammond

Jesus’ disciples asked Him what the signs will be of His coming. Jesus said it will be like it was in the days of Noah: “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Fellow believers, we are in the days of Noah. All they thought about in the days of Noah was eating and drinking and the like. They were not thinking about the flood that was coming. So it is today!

A Deception of Palestine | Jim Hammond

This past weekend, Pastor Jim ministered a special God-directed message for the congregation entitled, “A Deception of Palestine.” He talked about how there is a division in the body of Christ worldwide, where believers are allowing themselves to become deceived when it comes to the present and ongoing deception regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It’s important that Christians do not allow themselves to be persuaded by worldly and ungodly leaders and news systems. It’s important they know what the Word of God says and exalt it as God’s truth.

The Seven Mountains of Influence Lance Wallnau

This last weekend, we had a very special guest minister, Lance Wallnau, at our weekend services. Lance is well known for his revelation of the “Seven Mountains of Influence” and how these mountains of influence shape and change the world. He preached about how God is calling the church to make disciples of nations. And in order to do that, we need strong, territorial churches that are raising up believers to go out and become the “head and not the tail.” Lance basically taught on the same thing at all three services but much of the information he shared in each service differed. So in light of that, if you want to hear his full message, it would be beneficial for you to listen to all three messages.

World Harvest | Pastor Lynne Hammond

This past weekend, Pastor Lynne shared her excitement about church planting and about world harvest. Sadly, most Christians never even think about world harvest. She pointed out that world harvest was the very first prayer assignment Jesus ever gave His people. It says in Matthew chapter 9 that when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them. He turned to His disciples and said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” We are to pray that God would send out laborers into His harvest. World harvest… that is the first prayer assignment Jesus gave to the church. Pastor Lynne went on to talk about the 10/40 window, what it is and how we can pray about it.