Author Archives: Michael Dennis

About Michael Dennis

I live in Austin, TX, married, two kids, and starting a new church

Relational Stewardship

Galatians 6:1, “1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Galatians is written by the Apostle Paul to a region of churches in Galatia, modern day Turkey, and in verse 1 you see the phrase, “Restore one another in a spirit of gentleness.”  The word, “restore” in the original language means to “equip, mend together, expose rips and tears, and build up in truth,” because even though we profess to be followers of Jesus, we still wonder into sin. Did you see that in verse 1?

We are a people who get caught up in sin. The word “caught” used in verse 1 means to be “overtaken by sin” or “ensnared by sin,” so that the Apostle Paul is describing biblical relationships as people who get caught up in sin, and then rally around one another to restore, expose, and build up in truth.

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Yearly Planning: Financial Stewardship

2 Corinthians 8:3-5, “3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.”

The first and second letter to the Corinthians is a real letter to real people from the Apostle Paul, and in chapter 8 the Apostle Paul references a local church in Macedonia (Modern Day Greece), and the Apostle Paul describes the Macedonian people as a people who are begging for opportunities to give away money.

In fact, in verse 3 the Macedonian people are giving away money according to their ability, and beyond their ability.  Isn’t that amazing?  Surely there is a layer in your soul pushing back and saying, “Well, when I have more money I will give away more money.”

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Merry Christmas: The greatest gift!

Isaiah 54:1, “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.”

Now, the metaphor of a woman being able to give birth to children is a powerful metaphor today, but in Isaiah’s day it would have been an even stronger description, because there was incredible pressure on women in the ancient culture to give birth to as many children as possible.

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Joy to the world: Merry Christmas!

Isaiah 9:3-4, “You shall multiply the nation, you shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.”

In verses 3 and 4 we see the “glorious light” of verses 1-2 personified as a person.  The you” in verses 3 and 4 is the “glorious light” that is going to “increase their gladness.  The word, “gladness” in the original language is the English word, “joy,” so that in verses 1 to 4 there is promise of a glorious light who is going to bring unimaginable joy and the glorious light is a person.

The glorious light isn’t a force. The glorious light isn’t a religion. The glorious light isn’t a philosophy to learn, but this glorious light promised in Isaiah 9 is a person to be known.

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Peace on earth: Merry Christmas!!

Isaiah 42:1-2, “1 Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the street.”

In Isaiah 41 the chapter ends with the God of Scripture describing the weak idols of their day like sex, power, comfort, and says, “Their worthless and empty” and in chapter 42, verse 1 we see the contrast of those weak, worthless idols with the word, “Behold.”

It is the God of Scripture clapping His hands to get our attention. These weak, worthless idols are going to fail you every time. They are going to give you an illusion of intimacy, comfort, and security, but “BEHOLD” My Servant will come and My Spirit will be upon Him, and He will establish justice on earth to all the nations.

Have you noticed how everyone is seeking justice for something today? Everyone is protesting something. Everyone is holding up signs. Everyone is getting fired for inappropriate behavior.

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How long will injustice go unchecked?

Malachi 4:2, “2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.”

In Malachi 4, verse 2 we see the word, “but,” because in verse 1 the Lord says, “Behold a day of judgment is coming” but “for those who fear His name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.”

It is important that every man, woman, and child is worthy of God’s judgment.  We have all offended a holy and righteous God.  We are all layered with arrogance and evil.  Surely if you want to yell at someone for cutting you on the interstate you can see how our sin is worthy of judgment.

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How do we respond to difficult seasons?

In the book of Malachi we see the people in Malachi going through difficult seasons.  They are being ruled by a foreign government.  They are rebuilding their homes.  They are restarting their economy.

As a result of this difficult season their hearts have become hard, and as a result their words have become hard, so that in Malachi we see them asking very practical questions, “What is the profit of keeping His charge?”  (Malachi 3:14)

The people in Malachi are asking, “What’s the point of giving our lives to the God of Scripture if life is going to be just as hard?”  In fact, the people in Malachi are looking at the wicked nations around them and seeing God’s blessings. (Malachi 3:15)

Look at the Lord’s response in Malachi 3:16:

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