Fishing for Results

Pete: I love being able to come here every week, don’t you?

John:  I sure do. I look forward to it all week.

Pete:  We have had some real good times fishing in this boat.

John:  We sure have, I can remember fishing right over there and do you remember the time we were out here fishing and…It seems as though we never had a dry week back then. We always were blessed with catching fish.

Pete:  Why, I remember when we had this place full of boats and God was blessing, giving us success and adding to the number of boats every week. Everybody was catching.

John:  Yes and we learned a lot about fishing then too.

Pete:  We did. I wonder what’s changed? (pause) Well, it’s time. We better head back and lock up the old boat. But I’ll see you out here next week – same time, same place.

John:  I’ll be here. We’ll do it again.

Did you recognize this conversation? It is repeated over and over in churches around the nation every week. Only it is not about fish and boats. The conversations are about people and effective ministries. And always about the past, how good it used to be. Pete’s last question was, “I wonder what’s changed?”

Since researchers tell us that eighty to ninety percent of our churches in North America are plateaued or declining today, I would venture to say the organizational health of the church is one of the main changes we see. Organizational health has close ties to and incorporates spiritual health as well. I spend much of my time these days talking with and assisting some of these churches.

I agree with Patrick Lencioni that most organizations, churches included, focus on intelligence rather than the overall health of the organization. Through a series of discussions, reading assignments, and assessments many of the churches that I work with arrive at the understanding that the organizational health of the church is in dire need of adjustment and change. Those who make the necessary adjustments find relief and begin to implement strategies to turn around the health – spiritual and organizational health – of the church.

The spiritual health of the church must take priority in each situation and throughout the turnaround journey. One mistake many churches make is misinterpreting spiritual intellect for spiritual health. Information, facts and figures does not equate to spiritual health any more than having grocery store ads in the pantry equals food on the table.

Information, facts, and figures may bring knowledge and intellect, but not until you apply that knowledge in an effective manner will you see productive results. Effectual strategic planning bathed in prayer is required to produce positive, lasting results leading to spiritual and organizational health. The key ingredient for improvement and success is not knowledge or resources. The key ingredient is the health of the organizational environment.

In reality the real deficiency of declining or plateaued churches is not intellect or knowledge, but the lack of organizational health.  A healthy organization has checks and balances, principles and values in place to assist in making healthy decisions. What are the true core values of your church? On which biblical principles do you operate as a church? Are those principles and values incorporated into all checks and balances in place? If so your church is a healthy, growing church. If your church is plateaued or declining then these three areas need serious consideration.

For more information on these three or on organizational health for your church contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries for information and to order your copy of Reaching the Summit: Avoiding and Reversing Decline in the Church.

1000 Marbles

Saturdays. How much do we enjoy Saturdays (or whatever day we take off from work). A day we long to kick back, relax, do what we want to do with no interruptions. We might get up before the family, fix ourselves some breakfast, coffee and then sit back and read the paper. Or maybe spend the day at the golf course. But does this day include the family, those close to us that possibly we have ignored during the week or just too tired to spend time with and hear about their needs?

I recently read a story about an older man that called into a Saturday morning talk show. He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to the show’s host by the name of Tom.  The host had been explaining to his audience how busy his weeks were and that he never had time for his family.  The caller said, “Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re really busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well at the station but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet.”

He continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when the caller began to explain his theory of a “thousand marbles.

“You see, I sat down one day and did a little math. The average person lives about 75 years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on the average, people live about 75 years. Then, I multiplied 75 by 52 and I came up with 3,900 which represents the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their lifetime.”

He explained further by saying, “Stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was 55 years old to think about all this in any detail and by that time I had lived through over 2,800 Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be 75, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to the toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up visiting three toy stores until I was able to purchase 1,000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right in my workshop. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.”

“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.”

“Now let me tell you one last thing before I hang up and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday, then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones.   It was nice to talk with you Tom. I hope you spend more time with your loved ones. Have a good morning!”

You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even Tom didn’t have anything to say for a few minutes. The caller had given everyone who was listening a lot to think about.

Do we get so wrapped up in our work or our personal pleasures that we ignore our very own family? Is the golf course more important to us than taking our wife to breakfast on Saturday or playing with our children or grandchildren?

Do you need to run out to the toy store and pick up some marbles?

Author unknown – This story comes from my archived files.


Spiritual Growth and Revival Experienced at These Churches

Reaching the Summit not only strengthens and redirects your church it increases spiritual growth in members along the way. Today’s post contains comments from Pastors and church members who have recently completed the Reaching the Summit process.

“This also has been a most enlightening time of ministry for me as I have seen each individual’s passion for Christ grow tremendously as well as their passion for the church to go from a good church to a great church. I am prayerfully looking forward to tracing God’s hand from this point forward as we begin to truly climb the summit for the glory of Christ.” Pastor Bill

“(Due to surgery) I had time to read, time to study, time to pray. All of which were important to me before, but now have become a vital part of each day. The process is painful. At times almost unbearable…The honest viewing, assessing, and discussion cut to the heart. God though, was and is always faithful. Through the chapters He has revealed His good plans for us. I was amazed how He took 7 people, brought us together, guided us in His direction, and we found ourselves all on the same page, striving for the same goal – His purpose being completed in our church and other’s lives. “ Melanie

“I think the understanding of what our biggest problems were has allowed us to address them individually and get us back on track. Also, this process has allowed us as a church to discover ourselves and what our best qualities are…But the biggest thing I feel this process has done for our church is equipped us with the right people for all tasks and given them all servant’s hearts.” Adam

“This process has helped me realize my pastor needs to be supported more. It has shown me that without the member’s support the vision will be harder to fulfill. Our church body has realized the Pastor has a vision and it will move forward…” Trenell

“I am so excited to see that our church is changing spiritually. I see a new, calm spirit in our church. We are growing as a spiritual unit. During the process we have baptized several new members, our Sunday School attendance has increased, we had an excellent Vacation Bible School, we now have a youth choir and a Friday night ministry, new leaders have come on board and they are eager and excited about ‘reaching souls for Christ.’” Aquilla

“While attending Reaching the Summit I was able to gain insight on how established churches have been successful. There are many things to take from this journey that will help me streamline the process for continued growth in Grace Missionary Church. Having the ability to open our minds to growth while hurdling over any obstacle constructively gives a direct path for success.” RJ

“Our church is at a point of spiritual unity that we have not been at for several years. We had naturally drifted away from evangelism and the Reaching the Summit activities allowed us to pull people back in.” Tim

“My first thoughts of the Reaching the Summit process is that it was long, slow, and did not move quickly enough. This was due to my professional training…But as I read back over my notes I found that they were jam-packed full of important information that will help as we move forward with this process. This process has made me more aware of being patient and waiting on God and His timing.” Terri.

“Reaching the Summit is a great tool for ministry. It gave our church an open and honest assessment of who we are and how we arrived where we are today. Personally it has given me the assurance to stay true to God and He will lead me.” Robin

“Reaching the Summit has been a real blessing to me. For me personally it has given me a lot of confidence that I didn’t have, from one of the first exercises where we had to write devotions. A little selfishly I feel like it’s done a lot for me.” Jodi

“Reaching the Summit began somewhat rocky for our church…But from that point God took over. I knew Satan fought it so much in the beginning that God was going to do something. I’ve seen God take a church that was in serious decline…Our chairman of Deacons recently said, ‘our people now have hope.’ Some of our (Reaching the Summit team) meetings have been revival meetings. If you’re a pastor who’s looking for something to help you turn the decline around in your church, God is using Reaching the Summit.” Pastor Ken

For more information on Reaching the Summit and how it can help your church or ministry organization contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries on the internet. Visit the website for more interviews (written and video)and watch for more on this blog site.

Hired Beyond Human Expectation

“How did you get hired?” I was asked this question by a corporate recruiter three to four months after he interviewed and hired me into a management position with the second largest hard-lines retailer of its kind in the nation. My only response to him was, “You hired me.” It was true. After going through the interview and testing process this man made the final decision.  So, why  did I find myself sitting in an office across from this man from corporate office being asked this question?

The tone of his voice had declared he was not second guessing his decision. I was not underperforming. In fact I was moving through the management training program at an accelerated pace.  His response to me when I said, “You hired me.” Was, “I know I did. But you cannot get into the management training program with us (company) without a college degree or coming up through the ranks of one of our stores which takes years.” I knew this from the interviewing process and was surprised when I had received the call that the job was mine if I desired. He went on to say, “You have neither. So, how did you get hired?” He said it with a slight smile.  I believe he knew as well as I did at that moment that this was a God-thing. Somehow God had blinded this man and other decision makers through the interviewing process – blinded them to the company policy and my lack of meeting those requirements.

The management training course was a 10-12 month process. I completed it in less than six months and was in a store supervising the sales floor and operations. During my seven year tenure with that company God blessed me tremendously and grew me greatly. The leadership training this company provided for it’s leadership was second to none in the western hemisphere. In fact it was so good that other companies were continuously stealing away this company’s leaders with higher pay, benefits, and other incentives. I had several opportunities to leave. God would later show me why He had me there for the seven years.

Retail management is very demanding on your time. I often worked 80-100+ hours a week while also serving as youth minister for a growing church. At one point my wife and I began praying for God to move me out of that company and into a position where I could better serve Him. Instead of moving me out, God moved my supervisor out. He accepted a position at the company’s main offices. This was not a bad or evil man, though his actions sometimes seemed a little vindictive or perhaps spiteful. We were relieved at his transfer but not certain what the next supervisor would be like.

While sitting in my office one morning I saw my new supervisor for the first time as he entered the office hallway carrying a box into the empty office across the hall from mine, that was to be his office. I went over to introduce myself and as soon as I said my name he turned to me and said, “I hear you like to go to church. From now on when it is your Sunday to work, you come in after church.” Wow! What a change from the man who previously occupied this office. It was at that moment that I realized God was telling me He had heard our prayers. And He was clearly telling me that he was not finished with me yet at this company.

Over the next three to four years I was able to see the hand of God at work with opportunities to share not only my Christian walk, but also scripture, counseling, and leading persons to faith in Christ. At one point a discussion arose among the sales people and other employees as to what was the impardonable sin. Apparently after some time of discussion a couple of employees came to me and I was able to write a two page paper on the topic (sharing the gospel in the midst) and gave it to be distributed amongst the employees who desired to read it.

About three years after I left the company and was serving full time in ministry at a local church my path crossed with one of my former employees. This young man had been a good employee for a couple of years until one day he used bad judgment. That day I terminated this employee for theft. But now some five years later when we met he told of his current life situation including his engagement to be married. Then he asked if I would perform the marriage ceremony. This man that I had terminated – I had fired – was asking me to perform his wedding ceremony. I agreed and during our second pre-marital counseling session, he and his fiancé accepted Christ as personal Lord and Savior of their lives. They began a new walk together as one and one with the Lord.

You never know how or when God is going to use you. Don’t close the door because you want something better or because you do not believe that you belong. God has far greater vision than you or I. Keep praying and keep your eyes on God. He will lead you into opportunities that you never dreamed possible. So when a question comes to you similar to, “How did you get hired?” don’t fight it. Instead, smile, look up and say, “I’m ready Lord. Let’s do this!”

Strong Leadership is Giving From the Heart

When you hear the word giving, what comes to mind? Why does money stand out? While reading this post, I want you to do me a favor. Do not envision it in terms of money. Giving is of the heart. There is no money in any person’s heart, is there?

John 3:16 does not say, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave money.’ No, He gave His Son – His only Son. His giving was sacrificial. Sacrificial giving is of the heart.

You give to someone or something you love. I do not approach my wife each morning and say, “Pam, I love you, and here is $20 to show my love. She does not do this to me, either. Nor do you to your spouse, or children.

How do you express love to your spouse and children? Love is expressed through actions, acts of service and devotion. Love is from the heart. Therefore, giving in love is from the heart.

The same is true with anything you love. God and ministry are no different. Israel’s King David loved the Lord, God. He gave not only treasure, he gave His all. He poured His life into preparing for future generations as well as the generations he served.

In 1 Chronicles chapter 29, we read how service to God started with King David and moved through the order of leadership to the people of Israel.

 “Then the rulers of the fathers’ households (heads of the twelve tribes), and the princes of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the kings work, offered willingly… And whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord.” 1Chronicles 29:1, 5b-9, 17b

Notice the chain of leadership. First the King gave, then stepping down through the chain of leadership, each gave, and they gave willingly. They were not forced to give.

Remember, giving is of the heart. When we give from the heart, we influence others to do likewise. Every person is in leadership. Each person is influential in someone’s life. You have influence in the lives of others. Someone is watching you and being influenced by your actions. Every action you make in front of or on behalf of others is giving of yourself.

King David gave not only his riches; he gave his all because of his love for the Lord. He knew all he had was because of the gifting from God. We too are indebted to God. Because of His love for us, we are indebted to give of ourselves to Him. Because of our love for Him, we want to give. Everything we love, we sacrifice for – our spouses, our children, our career, our ministry and our Lord.

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

Our giving to God and His purpose in our lives today not only meet the needs today, but also the needs of future generations. Your willing obedience to be a servant leader in ministry and in your life’s God-given purpose today has an eternal impact on today’s generations and generations to come.

Leadership is perhaps the most important purpose of our gifts and our giving. You have the ability and power to influence many others – those around you today and many other lives in the weeks, months, and years to come. Your actions and speech are influencing those around you. They will carry what they see in you and will influence others who will influence others also. Are your actions an influence of gifting that will lead to eternal rewards for those who follow you?

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” Douglas M. Lawson

My prayer is that you will be a leader who gives. Give of your all to make someone a better person than you are today. This is the true sign of great leaders. Will you be a great leader giving your all – from the heart?

For more information on this topic and becoming a better leader/influencer contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.



You Are An Eyewitness

Leighton Ford, one of Billy Graham’s associates, said one time, “I was speaking at an open-air crusade in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Billy Graham was to speak the next night and had arrived a day early. He came incognito and sat on the grass at the rear of the crowd. Because he was wearing a hat and dark glasses, no one recognized him.

“Directly in front of him sat an elderly gentleman who seemed to be listening intently to my presentation. When I invited people to come forward as an open sign of commitment, Billy decided to do a little personal evangelism. He tapped the man on the shoulder and asked, ‘Would you like to accept Christ? I’ll be glad to walk down with you if you want to.’ The old man looked him up and down, thought it over for a moment, and then said, ‘Naw, I think I’ll just wait till the big gun comes tomorrow night.’

“Billy and I have had several good chuckles over that incident. Unfortunately, it underlines how, in the minds of many people, evangelism is the task of the ‘Big Guns,’ not the ‘little shots.’”

It matters not if you are a “big gun,” little gun, or even a sling shot, if you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, part of Gods purpose for you is to share with others – share of your belief in Christ and what He has done in your life.

Each one of us, God’s believers, has a story to tell. It is the story of God in our daily lives. And God desires, even compels us to share that story with others. I believe one of the reasons God does not take us to heaven as soon as we accept His plan of redemption for us, is that He desires for us to share with others the joy and excitement of a changed life – a life changed because of God’s outpouring of love to us.

If you are a believer in Christ there are people in your life, your circle of influence that God desires you to reach with your story. It is your story that is needed in their lives, not one from your pastor or Sunday School teacher. My story will not accomplish the task. God wants you to experience the joy of sharing, the satisfaction of blessings from obedience to Him for sharing.

When you purchase a car and you enjoy and appreciate it you do not return to the dealership to learn how to tell others why you like it so much. You share from your own experience how it handles, the comfort of the ride, and the gas mileage. It is your experience that you share with others. You are the eyewitness and the person who has experienced the ride.

As a believer you have a story to share. You are an eyewitness to God’s unfolding love in your life. No one can dispute what you have personally experienced in Christ. Share your story. Share with others what God has done and is doing in your life. You have a story to tell and God gives you each day an audience waiting to hear. Share your story with the passion God has imparted on you. A person’s eternity may depend on it.

It’s Truly a Transforming Experience

While having lunch with a group of ministers recently I was asked, “What are you seeing around the country – trending in the churches?” My first response was, “Well, there are still a lot of churches in decline.” Immediately, one of the other lunch attendees replied, “But you are seeing a lot of positive results, right?”

“Absolutely,…” I replied. God is alive and well and we are seeing many great and positive events and transformations happening in His churches. Personally, I have just finished walking for one year with six churches who have gone through the Reaching the Summit process. Each one of these churches has recognized areas of needed adjustment and implementation. Two more churches will be completing the process within the next two months. Every one of these churches is better equipped for effective ministry in God’s kingdom.

In the Reaching the Summit process we take a serious look at the reality of how the church is functioning. After this we begin to look at biblical principles and the adjustments needed in the current church practices to align with those principles. Each church undertakes what we call a Vigorous Face to Face Summit with Reality.

As a church walks through the process, of which prayer is a number one factor, practices, issues, and factors surface that have been holding the church back from being the greatest church God created them to be. Often times these factors or issues are underlying and have not been noticeable or uncovered for decades as the church has slipped through the phases of decline.

The Reaching the Summit (RTS) process is carried out in such a way that the Holy Spirit reveals these factors, issues, and practices to the church pastor and the RTS team members and not from the coach (consultant). Through healthy debate, prayer, and research the team and other church members procure a viable solution or adjustment of practices within the church ministries. The solution is always based on biblical principles, not on other church models. We use the mantra, “Do not copy models, Capture principles!”

Each church is unique. Therefore outcomes from the RTS process is differing for each church. Churches can experience an increase in baptisms, conversions, attendance, and membership, organization and structure change, outward focused ministries geared specifically for their community, using unearthed gifts, talents and abilities from within the church. For some churches the greatest outcome is to get all the ministries on the same track: all the wheels on the train of ministry turning in the same direction for the first time in decades. Each church identifies their true core values and a vision that some say is the game changer for their church. The vision retreat we send pastors on has been highly touted as one of the key elements of turning around these RTS churches. (We take a different approach to identifying core values and vision for the church)

A team member from one of the churches who recently completed the RTS process said, “It is truly a transforming experience!”

For more information on how your church can have a Reaching the Summit experience contact George Yates and visit the Reaching the Summit web pages of SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.


Love That Never Fails

There was a doctor who told the little boy that he could save his sister’s life by giving her some of his blood. “Johnny, are you sure you want to give your blood for Mary?” the doctor asked. The boy hesitated for several moments; his lips trembled as tears filled his eyes. His parents and the doctor assured Johnny that the procedure would not be very painful and would be over with quickly. Finally, he smiled bravely and said, “Sure Doc. I’ll give my blood for my sister.” As the transfusion took place, the little girl began to respond immediately. Parents, doctors and nurses erupted into cheers and applause. When the ordeal was almost over, Johnny’s brave little voice was heard, “Hey, Doc, when do I die?” A stunned silence fell across the room. The doctor and parents suddenly realized what Johnny was thinking. Johnny thought when he gave his blood to his sister, he would die – a very high price that he was willing to pay.

If you found out that you had the only bone marrow transplant to save the life of a loved one, what would you do? Would you keep it to yourself? Would you hesitate before deciding? Likely, in this scenario you would not hesitate, you would gladly give of your bone marrow to save the life of your loved one.

Giving bone marrow is like giving blood. Your body will reproduce the marrow you need to sustain your life within a couple of days. Therefore, by giving of your bone marrow, you lose nothing. Quite the contrary, you gain. By giving of yourself – your bone marrow – you gain the extended life of your loved one.

You may never be asked to give some of your blood or bone marrow to save your sister’s life (or any other loved one). But my guess is just as little Johnny willingly stepped up to donate his blood to save the life of his sister you would likely do the same.

If you have the joy of Christ living inside you, you too are like little Johnny. Whatever gifts, talents, and abilities God has bestowed on you is to be shared with others. These are not given to you for your own glorification or gratification, but to glorify God by sharing them with others, to build others up. And the great ideal here is that whatever you give away of your gifts, talents, and abilities, you lose nothing. In fact you gain. The more you use what God has blessed you with, the more He will bless you in return. The more you use these abilities and talents for the glory of God the more Joy of Christ will be imparted to you.

Love that never fails is willing to pay a great price and make a great sacrifice. Love that never fails is yours to receive and yours to give.

For more information on knowing the true Love of Christ contact George Yates and visit SonC.A.R.E. Ministries.


The choice is yours. The ________ you choose to wear each morning will guide…

Each day you awake to a plethora of choices. What to wear, what to eat for breakfast, whether or not to wash your hair, so many choices. Perhaps the most important choice each morning is your choice of attitude. You may not consider it each morning the same as you do your wardrobe, but you willingly make a choice of attitude every day. That choice you make each day before you leave your bed room sets the pace for how you act and react to each situation throughout the day.

You give particular attention to what you will wear each day before you leave the house selecting items that will coordinate with one another. Why would you not give the same particular attention to the attitude you will wear for the day? While considering this recently I was reminded that I am made in the image of God (our creator). If I am made in His image and in His likeness and His greatest attribute is Love, should my attitude not reflect that same Love?

Have you considered what affects your choice of attitude on any given day? Certainly, your past will have a bearing on how you choose to embrace the day; the way people treated you yesterday. Your life circumstances will certainly modify how you redirect your outlook. For each of these consider asking yourself why. Why? For what reason should I let yesterday challenge the way I choose to embrace today? How much thought do you give today to the clothing you wore yesterday? Odds are, you do not give one thought to what you wore yesterday. Why? Because that was yesterday. At the end of the day you tossed those soiled clothing items into the hamper.

Today is a new day with fresh clean clothes. The same is true with my attitude. What happened to me yesterday is history. I cannot change the past. I learn from it. Use what will profit me to be a better, stronger person today. But all in all the past goes into the hamper. Today is a fresh start with a fresh clean attitude.

I begin today washing the impurities of yesterday away and down the shower drain. I should also do the same with the impurities of the mind. In fact, I do just that. Many mornings I pray those last two statements while in the shower. “Lord, God Almighty, just as the water and soap is washing the impurities off my body and down the drain, so wash the impurities of my mind, the things that I let bog me down. Wash them away O Lord. Wash them down the drain and forever away from me.”

I choose to have a positive attitude each day. Not only a positive attitude, but also an attitude of gratitude. I am blessed and I know God has a plan for me. His word says His plan is for me to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). Therefore I know God’s plan and desire for me is good and for good things. Anything that happens otherwise is not from God, but of the world, from my adversary – God’s adversary.

Simply because I choose to have a positive attitude does not mean I do not face negative people and situations. I face them just like everyone. However, with a positive attitude, I know God is with me and will see me through those situations and tough conversations. After all, His plan is to see me prosper – to grow in His likeness. I like that. It gives me reason to smile and have a Great attitude.

Your attitude is much more than how you view the world around you. The truth is the people around you are defining you according to your attitude. Your attitude is how the world sees you.

The choice is yours. The attitude you choose to wear each morning will guide your actions and interactions throughout the day and you will be defined by the attitude you have chosen for yourself.


Are You Receiving Spiritual Blessings?

At times I sit in wonder and amazement at the fact that God would use me. I know who I was as a young man, who as a skinny teenager did only what I had to do to get through high school, barely getting by.

I think on the things God has done in and through my life. Not only the material blessings and a wonderful wife and other friendships; but all that He has given me in wisdom and knowledge. It may not be much in the world’s eyes, but I am so grateful because I know from whence I came. On top of all these God has poured out on me spiritual blessings beyond my imaginings. Look at what the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 1:3-4.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings which are to be found in heaven, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we might be holy and blameless before Him.

Paul refers to Christians as the chosen people of God. We see three chains of thought here. I use the term chains because they are three ideas (blessings) connected by God’s grace to us. I want to look at the first link in that chain.

Paul’s first thoughts are on the Fact of God’s choice. Paul never thought of himself as having chosen to do God’s work. He always thought of God as having chosen him. It would not be so wonderful or miraculous that man chose God; the wonder is that God chose man. God chose me! This is why I sit in amazement and wonder.

God chose us, His children, believers, to bless us. He chose us to bless us with the blessings, which are to be found in heaven. This passage tells us that God has poured out His blessings on us, delivering them by His Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ daily as we live for Him. We can experience spiritual blessings in this life, and according to our obedience even greater spiritual blessings await us in heaven. This passage uses the past tense saying God has already poured out all these blessings.

Please understand Paul is not speaking of financial or material blessings in this passage. God bestows material blessings on everyone, causing the sun to shine and rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous alike. We see these blessings and rejoice in them easily. They are physical, touchable. However, Paul is speaking here of something much greater than material blessings.

 The Spiritual blessings the Apostle Paul is referring to do not belong to everyone. They are reserved as the limited possession of the Christian, God’s chosen people. Spiritual blessings will enhance your life far greater than material blessings. 

Who are these chosen people of God? According to scripture, (Romans 10:13) everyone who will call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:9 says, The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God has poured out these heavenly blessings for all who have and will call on the name of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the one who channels these blessings to us from the Father through the Son. Not to know and depend on the Holy Spirit’s provision is to live a life of spiritual poverty. You must first know the Holy Spirit. The only way to do this is through salvation in Christ Jesus. Unless you have the witness of the Spirit you cannot draw on the wealth of the Spirit. It’s like having the nicest, newest TV and never plugging it into the wall. Without the power source you will never receive the benefits that TV can give.

The same is true with God’s Spiritual blessings. Are you plugged into the Power source of the Holy Spirit?