…what you SAY!!!

Saying is not only speaking, it is CREATING!

Jesus said in Mark 11:22 & 23 that if we have FAITH in GOD, we could SAY…

The primary way we communicate is by speaking.  But did you know that words weren’t made primarily for communication but for SAYING?

Let me explain.  When we speak, we create! Yes!  You and I were made at the IMAGE and LIKENESS of GOD.  He created with His words and everything we now see and don’t see came into existence.  If we go to Genesis 1:3 we see that God didn’t say “It’s really dark!” He didn’t waste any time or words saying what He saw, He said what He wanted to SEE!!! He said “LET THERE BE LIGHT” and you know what happened next!!  He changed the circumstances around Him to see what He wanted to see-LIGHT!!

Now Jesus tells us that if we say to the mountain to be removed, we will have what we….SAY!!!  When we speak, we create the circumstances around us, good or bad.  But we have the capacity, like GOD, to create with our words.  Therefore, it is only a matter of having FAITH in GOD and deciding what we will SAY ALWAYS!!!

Decide today that your words will always be what you want to see created around you!! Decide:

“I will not just say, I will CREATE!!! With my FAITH in GOD, I will SAY, and SAY, and SAY ALL the GOOD things I want to see in my LIFE!!!”

Mark 11:22-26; Prov 18:20 & 21; Deut 30:19.

Expect to SEE

Don’t wait to see, EXPECT TO SEE!!!

We often hear “If I don’t see it, I don’t believe it.”  And this sounds intelligent enough, however did you know that it totally goes against what God wants us to do?

That’s right.  You see its very easy to get caught up in the frame of mind of ‘everyone else around us’ and to begin thinking logically, analytically, and even intelligently.  However FAITH is not something to be analyzed and have sense made of before it is applied.  No, faith is for the believer.  Faith does not require the use of your senses.  It does not need the aid of anything physical or mental for that matter.  It is a matter of the heart.

The heart?? Yes.  All it requires is a heart willing to believe.  When you got saved and were born again, you had to BELIEVE.  No other requirement.  Ephesians 2:8 tells us that you obtained salvation by grace, but it was accessed through faith!!!

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So how do you know you are saved??  You simply BELIEVE!!!  Now if you apply this same principle to every area of your life-BELIEVE ONLY-then things can change direction for you!

What do I mean?  Instead of waiting to see that healing manifest in your body, BELIEVE it is yours! (1 Pet 2:24; Is 53:4,5).  Instead of waiting to see your job promotion, BELIEVE you already have it!! In other words…don’t wait see, EXPECT TO SEE!!!!

Hebrews 10:35-39; 11:6

 

 

Over and Above

How often have you felt down in the dumps?  Like you’re not quite ready for another week to start, let alone another year?  How often have you felt like no matter what, you just can’t seem to get above the circumstances?  Now, how would you like to feel as free as the wind?  On top of the world? Like you can accomplish anything?  Like you can soar above every circumstance and nothing can knock you down?  Like no matter how turbulent life may seem, it is always well with you?

Well I have good news!  If you are a born again believer, if you have asked Jesus to be Lord of your life, YOU ARE ABOVE THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND NOTHING CAN STAND AGAINST YOU!!!!

You see, when Jesus was on the earth, He came with a mission.  Of course He came to give us salvation from eternal death.  Of course He came to save humanity from eternal doom.  But He also came to give us SO much MORE!! Among the many other things He did for us while here, He also came to give us PEACE! He said while on the earth that no matter how grim life seemed, no matter how hard hopelessness was staring us in the face,  HE OVERCAME THE WORLD!! image And not only did HE overcome the world, He gave us peace for living in this world!  You might say, “yeah He overcame, but why do I still have trouble then?”  Well, let’s note that He also warned us that there would be trouble in this world.  It’s not going away.  And yes I know, some might say “well that’s no help! Why didn’t He just take trouble away completely?”  Well, that may sound reasonable, but if you don’t have adversity coming at you always, how will you know then that you have peace?  If life is always smooth sailing, then what will you overcome? You wouldn’t need peace, you wouldn’t need the overcoming and saving power of Jesus Himself would you?  Ahh but what a difference it makes to walk the streets of this world, the devil coming at you with everything he has, and knowing in your heart that Jesus Himself not only overcame the world with all its trials and troubles, but that He also you left you peace like nothing else to keep you during times of trouble.  And He did it all for YOU.

So let’s commit today to not feel down in the dumps again.  Let’s commit to not allow life’s circumstances dictate how we approach life.  Say this today:

“Father, I thank you for the peace giving love of Jesus.  I thank you because I realize that no matter how difficult life may seem to get, I have the peace and triumph of Jesus NOW! IT BELONGS TO ME!!!”

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Remain in Him

Remaining in Jesus is something we hear about all the time, but as Christians, do we really know what this means?  If not, how do we find out how to remain in Jesus, and then carry it out?

Well, let’s start by recalling what John 1:1 says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  

Now, let’s look at verse 14:  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us…

Now that we see that Jesus is the Word, then it is easy to see, that remaining in Him, is equivalent to remaining in the Word.  Keeping the Word of God is really quite simple if we realize what that means.  In John 14:10, Jesus tells us that the wrods that He speaks are not His own, but the Father’s, therefore the works are also the Father’s.  Then in verse 15, He tells us:

“If you love me, keep my commands” NLT .

 In the following chapter, He gets a little more specific and states in verse 12:

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

And finally, He says in verse 16:

“You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit.”

In essence, keeping God’s command-His word- is equivalent to showing our neighbor the love of God.  How else can people know that God loves them if we don’t go show it to them?  So yes, we do need to keep our eyes and ears filled with the Word of God day after day.  He tells us this is His success formula in Joshua 1:8 NKJV:

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success.

However, keeping His word doesn’t only consist of reading the Bible and praying on a regular basis.  Keeping His word consists of that, AND showing our neighbor love, through the act of giving of ourselves to them.  Only giving to others will we be able to bear fruit, which as we saw earlier, is evidence of remaining in Him and loving Him.  BUt, we won’t know this unless we keep His word in our eyes and our ears.

Now it is worth noting that this is not a choice that we as Christians have.  It is His command to us.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, a  command is an authoritative order.  Jesus is our authority and HE has commanded us to love each other and to bear fruit-evidence of that love.  We can also go further and recall that Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works through LOVE and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith is is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

So now there we have it.  In order for our faith to work, we must act in LOVE.  Acting in LOVE keeps us in the Word.  Acting in LOVE helps us keep His commands.  Acting in LOVE keeps our faith working which is pleasing to God.   So I encourage you, let’s keep the words and commands of Jesus.  Let’s show the LOVE of the Father, which lives inside of us to the whole world and let’s use our faith because in doing so, we will be pleasing to the Father, and guess what?  John 14:21 says that He will show Himself to us.  image

 

It Had to Be Grace!

God’s grace is made known to us through the person of Jesus.  Romans 3:21-28 tells us that we obtained grace for redemption of sins through Jesus and it is because of Him that we are now justified.  Although everything in the Old Testament leads up to Jesus and even the Law of Moses was a shadow of what was to come, we need not have been living under that law, or even have had any knowledge of such law in order to obtain the grace now available through Jesus Christ.  As a matter of fact, we can-and do-obtain full and complete redemption through Jesus alone, independent of anything else.

Before we go on, let us see what grace really means.  According to the Newman’s Bible Dictionary, we can understand that grace is -“the favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it, in spite of what that person deserves.”

This is HUGE!!  It is ONLY God’s grace that has given us Jesus.  When we meet Jesus and believe in Him, we obtain everlasting salvation and it is then that we come face to face with God’s grace-His favor and kindness shown to us without regard of our worth.

You see, all of us carried sin inherited because of Adam’s treason in the Garden of Eden.  It is because he passed it down to us that we have sin upon us (Romans 3:23) and because of that sin we deserved nothing.  No redemption.  No forgiveness.  No restoration. Nothing. Ahh, but remember the definition of grace?  It’s HIS favor shown to me without taking into consideration MY worth.  God’s gift of salvation came to us as the embodiment of Jesus and He was given to us even when we didn’t deserve it!  (John 1:14).  That is why we can only be saved through Jesus.  We CANNOT be saved by behaving good or doing good deeds.  We CANNOT be saved by keeping the ten commandments even!  But because salvation is only obtained by grace, it can ONLY be accessed through faith!  Ephesians 2:8 & 9 NLT tell us:  “God saved you by His grace when you believed.  And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

If we could get saved by doing good deeds, then our salvation would be dependent on something we do.  And in that case, it would be our wage or pay for doing something.  (Romans 4:4; 6:23).  And this is exactly why we read in Romans 3:27 & 28 that our pride in doing good deeds in order to get into heaven is excluded, annulled, and forgotten.  In other words, absolutely no amount of good works will get us into heaven.

This is good because that means that I need not stress about doing good enough in order to ensure my pathway to heaven.  I need not worry about being well qualified in order to be saved.  All I have to do is believe in the GRACE of GOD shown to me through JESUS, and it is ONLY by this belief (faith) that I will access all of God’s grace, beginning with my eternal salvation.

Therefore, let us keep in mind the following:  I have not done anything, nor could I ever do enough in order to deserve God’s unmerited favor over me without consideration of my worthiness (aka grace).  But because of His grace, I can now have salvation through Jesus-the very personification of grace because of all He did-and can have and maintain right standing with God (Romans 5:1 &2).

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)

Prayer

When praying, there are few things I should keep in mind so that my prayers are effective.  Here are a few…

First, I should know that I do not pray in order to get my Father’s attention.  I already have it.  If Jesus died for my sins and so that I may have life abundantly (John 10:10) that means that God is very interested in me.  Therefore, I must have His attention always.  The Bible also tells me that without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God, and that I should approach His throne of grace with BOLDNESS (Hebrews 11:6; 4:16).  He is never too busy and is pleased when I approach Him in FAITH.

Second, pray in the name that’s above EVERY OTHER NAME!!! JESUS!!!!!!  He Himself told us in John 15:7 that if we remain in Him, we can ask for anything in HIS NAME, and it would be done for us.  Therefore, it is important we pray in FAITH, beleiving we have received what we have asked for in the Name of Jesus (Hebrews 6:12).

Third, I must know the Word of God so that I may pray according to it.  If I do not know what He says in His written word, then I will not know what His will is for me, and therefore cannot pray His will.  James 4:1-4 tells us that we don’t receive because we ask with the wrong motives, or because we don’t even ask!  Sometimes we think it’s selfish to ask God!  But we are told in 2 Peter 1:3,4 that He has given us ALL things for life and godliness and in 1 Tim 6:17 we are told that he gives us ALL things FREELY TO ENJOY.  That means that it is okay to ask Him, correctly, as He is the one that gives us all things anyway!

Last, if we still have trouble praying, or may know what to pray about but not exactly how to do it, I have great news!! The Holy Spirit can help!  He ALWAYS comes to the rescue!  As He is in us, and He is the very voice of Jesus within us (John 14:10,16,17), He can help us pray so we can do so according to the very will of the Father (Romans 8:26-28).  The only thing we have to do is look to Him and He steps right in.  He helps in our weaknesses.  What weakensses?  The weakness of not knowing how to pray!  He has it all covered!

So friends, let’s pray effectively! Let us keep in mind that we pray in order to communicate with our Father, and not to get His attention.  We pray in faith, in the name of Jesus, according the the will of God as it is found in His written word.  Still need help?  No problem!  Let us then look to the Holy Spirit to help us out and be our guide in prayer, and we will for sure pray the will of God every single time we pray.  Keeping these simple truths in mind will help us pray effectively each and every time!

Free in Christ

As born again believers, and as children of God, it is important that we take hold of a truth that belongs to us as. When we are born again, we are instantly made righteous (Rom 10:9,10; Rom 5:1; Gal 3:13; 2 Cor 5:21) and we have no condemnation upon us. But what if we still feel condemned, at fault, guilty or unworthy at times, either because of a dark past forced upon us, or even one we chose to live? I have GREAT news! There is no condemnation NOW…..!!

Let’s start by recalling that we are saved BY grace, THROUGH faith (Eph 2:8), and being saved through faith, we are also just and FREE (Romans 5:1).

Furthermore, Romans 8:1-4 (NIV) expands:

Therefore, there is NOW NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you FREE from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who DO NOT live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

If we really pay attention this is HUGE! It is important we take hold of this. Since we are now in Jesus, we are justified. That means that we are proved to be just. And since we now have right standing with God, there is absolutely NO CONDEMNATION for us! But notice it says in verse 4: who DO NOT live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Although it is true that there is NO CONDEMNATION NOW (by the way, every time you read that, it is NOW!!!) we may very well still be living with guilt and condemnation in our mind. This only comes by walking in the flesh, which is reflective of not renewing our mind. Romans 12:2 (AMPC) tells us clearly:

Don’t copy the behaviors of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

If we want to continually live in the mental state of freedom that was provided with the new birth, we MUST renew the way we think. With the new birth, we weren’t only saved from going to hell; we were also saved from being miserable here on the earth. So with renewing our mind, we must also put on our new nature, which is like God-righteous and holy (Eph 4:22-24). Retraining our mind to think the way God wants us to think isn’t as hard as we may think. The key is found in the Word of God.

Jesus Himself tell us in John 6:63 that His words are SPIRIT and they are LIFE. We are also told in Romans 10:17 that FAITH comes by HEARING. So what do we need to do? Its’ simple: Listen to the Words of God! They provide LIFE. The more we hear them, the more our faith will grow, the more life we will have, and our mind will simultaneously undergo renewal. The more faith we put in our ears, the more faith will be stored up in our heart, and the more faith will come out of our mouth (Luk 6:45; Mark 4:24; Prov 18:20,21; Mark 11:23; Matt 12:37). Soon enough, we will begin speaking like our mind is renewed- because it will be!- and we will be speaking the Word of God! Words of LIFE! NOT words of condemnation!

Now why is this so important? Because it directly affects the way we relate to our Father. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that we should come BOLDLY to His throne of grace. But if we always feel condemned by Him, if we feel guilt in our heart over anything, it is a lot harder for us to come boldly isn’t it? That’s why the devil wants to keep us in a mental prison. And one of the ways he does that is by sending us thoughts of guilt, worthlessness, shame and remorse. However if we know these truths, we will easily be able to grasp God’s love for us. He loves us so much, that not only did Jesus die to save our soul from eternal condemnation, but He also took upon Him the punishment for our peace (Is 53:5) AND He made us righteous before God by taking on our sinful nature. As if that wasn’t enough, He made it so that we can continually fight off the devil’s guilt trip on us through the simple act of renewing our mind!

Now, it is so much more clear to us what Romans 8:31-39 really means: No one can bring a charge against us, and no matter what our past holds, NO ONE and NOTHING can make God stop loving us! That is so powerful! Take a moment to consider this passage. The apostle makes mention of external issues-hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, or danger of sword (v.35 NIV)- none of these can make God stop loving us. We know He doesn’t put any of these things on us, so therefore it is a given that should these things present themselves in our lives, they are not indicative of the absence of God’s love for us. But then he goes on to make mention of spiritual and mental issues.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

Nothing in our life haunting us, nor anything in our future, not even the devil himself can make God stop loving us!!! Praise God for His love! Because in His tender love and mercy, He provided the solution to all the thoughts and feelings that the devil so loves to put on us. Taking hold of these truths, we are then free to come BOLDY, with CONFIDENCE before our Father and have a good, tight, continuous and uninterrupted relationship with Him.

Friends, let us keep this before us always. God our Father does not condemn us. And if we happen to mess things up, He still doesn’t condemn us. Rather He forgives us and loves us as if nothing ever happened (1 John 1:19). We have a good Father who drew us close to Him, to never be separated from Him, through the sacrifice of Jesus who made us righteous, holy, and blameless by taking on our nature. He lets us know that NOTHING can make Him stop loving us, and that we can communicate with Him always with confidence. He wants us to keep this truth ever so present by renewing our mind constantly through His words of life. Let’s live then as He wants us to- FREE IN CHRIST!