2018, The Year Of Increased Growth
Forward Thinkers, a menu may have several options to choose from but in 2018, I’m ordering Increased Growth and I’m highly recommending you do the same.
Appetizers to prepare you for the main meal:
Psalm 115:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Luke 17:5 New Living Translation (NLT)
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
Forward Thinkers, they asked Jesus to show them how to increase their faith so they would be able to do all things in faith and receive all things through faith.
Forward Thinkers, teaching expands our capacity to believe and receive. I don’t desire to have an ‘I Receive It’ church pep rally every Sunday but my goal is to build a generation of Believers through the teaching of God’s Word that will live by faith to receive it, live with structure to keep it and increase it, and to live on purpose so others can be blessed by it.
Scripturally speaking, I believe we can all agree that God has the ability, the willingness, the desire and the capacity to bless us abundantly above all that we could ever think, ask, or imagine.
Forward Thinkers, there is a question that needs an answer.
If it is God’s desire to bless us by increasing us then why is it that we are not receiving the increased blessings that God desires for each of us to have?
We know there’s not a shortage in heaven and that heaven will never run out of the promises and provisions promised to the children of God.
Forward Thinkers, if there’s no shortage of resources in heaven then the problem lies here on earth with our capacity to receive what heaven desires to release to each of us. We limit ourselves.
The Main Course:
Luke 5:3 New Living Translation (NLT)
3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[a] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
Forward Thinkers, notice Jesus taught first before He increased Peter. If you have a teachable spirit, the Spirit of God can promote you and increase you out of lack, debt, depression, sadness, or sickness.
Peter was having a bad day at the office. Peter was feeling unsuccessful. Peter didn’t have anything to provide for his family. Peter was on empty.
Jesus could have spoken a ton of fish into Peter’s life but Jesus didn’t come to offer welfare but to teach us how to fare well.
Jesus knew Peter needed to enlarge his thinking to increase before He could increase him.
Luke 5:4-5 says:
“Now when he had left speaking (teaching), he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a great catch. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
Forward Thinkers, Increased Growth came into their lives once they understood the teaching of faith allowing them to increase their capacity for God’s blessings to flow.
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Peter might have been skeptical but because of what he heard, he decided to step out into the unknown.
Forward Thinkers, here’s another question: Did Jesus make the fish appear?
No, the fish were there all the time. The increase was always there; Peter just had to have his capacity to receive, increased.
The fish were there but Peter had to change his mind set…..He said, “Master we have toiled all night long….but at your word, we’ll let down the net.”
Peter’s faith had increased, causing his capacity to increase.
The Side Dishes
1) Ask God to Increase You Mark 11:24, James 1:5-6
Forward Thinkers, we must be bold enough to ask God to increase us in 2018 because the bible says if we ask in faith, we shall receive. Jesus often said it shall be done according to your faith. I believe we will never ask beyond our level of faith and when we do ask outside our level of faith, we cancel our request with fear and doubt. In 2018 we must ask in total faith.
2) Come Out of Your Comfort Zone
Forward Thinkers, notice Jesus challenged Peter to go deep. Sometimes we limit our increase because we stay in our comfort zone too long. In 2018, if you are believing God with me for Increased Growth, you must be willing to leave your comfort zone and launch out into the deep. Remember, growth also brings growing pains and if you desire to remain comfortable, maybe you are not ready for Increased Growth.
3) Change Your Vision
At first Peter only saw the empty nets but his faith increased at the teaching of Jesus and his vision changed. Stop looking at what didn’t work the last time and increase your faith to see what God sees. Moses saw a big Red Sea but God saw an opportunity to open up a massive highway to victory. David saw a giant but God saw a testimony of victory. The people saw a buried Jesus but God saw a resurrected victory. We must increase our ability to see things not as they are but as they could be if we work our faith.
4) Think Differently Proverbs 23:7(KJV)
The bible is clear; so as a man thinks, so is he. In 2018, we must think differently if we desire to produce different results. Peter was thinking defeat but once he changed his thinking, his actions changed also and the combination produced increase. The way you think will determine the way increase comes into your life or stays out your life. You must think you can do all things through Jesus Christ and operate daily like you believe it.
5) Remove Yourself From Negative Talk
Peter said, Lord we’ve been out here all night fishing and caught nothing. Remember the 12 spies God sent out into the Promise Land to bring back a report and 10 came back talking negative and 2 came back declaring we can do this because there is nothing too hard for our God? History records the 10 with the negative talk died in the wilderness but Joshua and Caleb, the two with the positive report, entered into the Land of Promise. Two very important increase moves you must make in 2018 are 1) remove negative self-talk and 2) remove yourself from negative talking people.
6) Seek Positive Relationships
When Peter connected with Jesus, his life changed for the better and increase flowed into his life. Notice the bible says the other boats connected to Peter were also overflowing with fish. In 2018, surround yourself with people who can teach you how to increase and also position yourself to show others how to increase. Who you have in your circle directly affects the increased growth potential of your circle.
Forward Thinkers, while I was preparing this week’s lesson, I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number and the caller identified himself as a young man I used to pick up for church 10 years ago when we were in the strip center on Airtex Blvd. He reminded me that he was handicapped and couldn’t walk on his own but every time I’d pick him up, I’d encourage him that one day he would walk again and he said he wanted me to know he walked to his seat at church last Sunday and he was a witness that God still moves in 2018.
Finally, my nine-year-old granddaughter, Harmonee and I, were at IHOP this week which has become a tradition between the two of us but this trip was very special. She ordered for herself which was no big deal because she has been doing that for some time but when the meal arrived at the table, she cut her own waffles and poured the hot syrup for herself for the first time; then she looked up at me and prayed over our food. I asked her why she didn’t let me cut the waffles and pour the hot syrup for her as I’ve done all her life and her response blessed me. She said, “PaPa, before we left home, you helped me with my homework because it was new to me but you’ve already taught me how to cut waffles and pour syrup.” My little girl then said, “PaPa, I’m growing up.”
Forward Thinkers, it’s time the teaching of God’s Word produced Increased Growth as we grew up in the things of God.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located at 200 W. Greens Road, Houston,Texas, 77067. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.