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Friday, August 30, 2013

Growing In Faith

Hebrews 11:3

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

In a previous discussion our focus was Faithful Living Pleases God, but today's focus is growing in our faith. The question now becomes, How does one grow in his or her faith? We grow in our faith when we can accept God for who He is and His sovereign powers as He is the creator and sustainer of all that exist. His Spirit lives in each of us to enable us to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Christians journey is one of faith and we will face obstacles that require faith in God while trusting Him for deliverance. Many obstacles are permitted to grow our faith because God is preparing us for greater works in His kingdom building and our faith must pass the test. On a personal note, there were many times when I encountered situations where the only thing I could do was stand still, trust God and see the salvation of the Lord. Our faith grows each time trouble comes and we can go to God in prayer knowing that He is presence while believing with holy faith He will deliver.
 It took faith for the patriarchs of this chapter to act on God's command. It take faith for believers to answer the call of salvation as this is a faith journey because Satan is busy trying to disrupt our Christian faith and growth.
Walk with God and grow in faith.
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Faithful Living Pleases God

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is; and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Our scripture answers the implied question of what is required to please God. Faith requires believing what we cannot see as if it is visible. Believers must first believe that God is who He says He is and can and will do all that He promises. In order to please Him we must live by faith.
 What do we believe? Christians believe that God is holy, He is personal and infinite. Biblical notables and Christians the world over believe that yes there is a God who keeps His promises. Enoch's faith in God caused him not to see death but was translated by God Himself. Noah's faith caused him to build an ark when there was not a cloud in the sky and it hadn't rained in 120 years. These men had unshakeable faith in God and were rewarded by God; so will all believers.
Our faith holds the key to pleasing God as we see Him with our spiritual eyes. Believers who lived during Jesus' earthly ministry saw Him as human even though He was both human and divine, but many recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah who is God in the flesh and believed.
These questions come to mind, Do you believe God exist and have no beginning or ending? Do you believe He is a rewarder of the faithful who live holy lives before Him? Do you believe that in the New Jerusalem you will see God face-to-face and in His glory?
Faithful belief pleases God.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Effective Praying

James 5:16

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Our scripture text answers the implied question of what make prayers effective by stating the first step to effective prayers is confession of one's faults as we all have faults and have sinned which is short of the glory of God. The saying "confession is good for the soul" is true because the weight of sin is lifted when sin is confessed because it carries the weight of guilt. In the repenting process we are to confess our sins, ask for forgiveness and then turn from our sins. The same principal applies for our prayers to be effective whether praying for self or others. It is noteworthy to say, confessing one's faults is a form of healing in that it cleanses the soul. This make room for the Spirit of God to dwell with us as our bodies are God's temple and He cannot nor will He dwell in an unclean house.
The second aspect to effective praying is to honestly pray for self and one another while having faith that our prayers will be answered by God as He looks on the heart and know whether or not the prayer's prayer is sincere.
Third, we must ask in the authority of Jesus' name and we must align our will with that of God's will and His Word. Lastly, the prayer's life must be in harmony with God's statues.
Effective praying is removing all sin-barriers that will hinder the effectiveness of our prayers.
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Uplifting Insights: Give Yourself To Prayer

Uplifting Insights: Give Yourself To Prayer: Acts 6:4 We will give ourselves continually to prayer; and to the ministry of the word. Why must believers give themselves c...

Give Yourself To Prayer

Acts 6:4

We will give ourselves continually to prayer; and to the ministry of the word.

Why must believers give themselves continually to prayer? Let’s answer from these perspectives;
(a)Prayer has a long and rich history of being part of man's life as man has always prayed to his God. (b) Prayer is seen as an important part of all religions.
(c) Prayers are effective and are made in supplication with thanksgiving always for God's goodness, His grace and mercy. (d) Prayers are apart of the spiritual conflict that believers are engaged in with Satan. (e) Every victory that is won is on our knees through prayer as believers are to be persistent and have faith in our prayers. (f) Matthew 7:7-8 encourages believers to be persistent in asking, seeking and knocking on God's throne of grace while being confident that He hears and will answer. (g) When the Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost continued prayers were being made. (g) Jesus made prayer a vital part of His life; therefore, if Jesus prayed why not you and I. (h) Believers are encouraged to pray daily as this is our communication with God the Father and He enjoys communicating with His people.
When we pray God's Spirit falls on us, then we have the ability and desire to walk in the ordinances of God. Being clothed in the Spirit of God believers manifest the brightness of God's glory.
Give yourself to prayer, witness His saving power and establishes a closer walk with Him.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Keep God's Ordinances

Ezekiel 11:20

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh; That they may walk in my statues, and keep mine ordinances, and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

What prompted God to make such statement through His prophet Ezekiel? Wide spread sin was prevalent and Israel was failing to follow God and His commandments. Israel is God's chosen people and desired an imitate relationship with His people; therefore, He gave Ezekiel a profound message of promise to give the people. God is true to His promise. God made covenants with the nation of Israel which they failed to keep after promising they would. God decided to write His covenant in the hearts of men by giving them a new heart one where they would obey, walk in His ways and keep His commandments.
It is one thing to know God's requirements for holy living, but quite another to do them. God gives mankind every opportunity to live holy lives and be in fellowship with Him as He removes every obstacle. In doing so He put His Spirit in all believers. God's perfect will for man is evidenced by His plan of salvation which required redeeming man from the clutches of sin and Satan; accomplished through His Son Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit enables us to keep His ordinances.
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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Evidence Of Spiritual Growth

Galatians 5:22-23

…The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance; against such here is no law.

In our previous discussion the focus was Spiritual Growth is Righteousness; today's focus discussion is answering the implied question of what evidence there is of one's spiritual growth. Our scripture text provides the answer in that when believers walk in the Spirit of God and yield more control to the indwelling Spirit of God, then these attributes are manifested in our lives as these are character traits of the Triune God.
Let us look at some of the spiritual fruits that believers manifest because of our love for God and spiritual growth.  God loved us when we didn't love Him and provided for our salvation through His Son Jesus Christ who paid our sin-debt. There is unspeakable joy that believers have from being in fellowship with the Lord. There is no joy like the joy of the Lord as He Himself enjoys fellow shipping with His people. Then there is longsuffering which means patience in the sense God is giving time for repentance. Just as God is longsuffering with us we should be with one another. Everyday we witness the goodness of God in that He provides for our every need, protects us daily and throughout the day, then there is His gentleness even in His punishment He is gentle to bring about good in our lives.
Believers, bear fruit of the Spirit as we are of the tree of God's righteousness.
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Spiritual Growth Is Righteous Fruit

James 3:18

…The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If we were to define righteousness and peace we will find that both are related to God and His holiness. More specifically, righteousness is what's right, fair, and just by God's standards. God's standards are what all men will be judged as His ways and laws are superior to those of man. That being said, when man can live according to God's moral standards and His holiness then the person is bearing fruit of spiritual growth which is the goal of all believers. Therefore, biblical training is essential for all believers to live according to God's standards. Also, biblical training is crucial so that believers will not fall prey to every wind of doctrine that believers will encounter.
Let's look at the term peace, which pertains to the absent of conflict and we know that God is a God of peace, love, joy and harmony. God's peace surpasses all understanding in that the world didn't nor can it give lasting peace. This world is in constant conflict, but God's people are enjoying His peace, His joy, and love as there is no recession in God's economy. This is because He made provision for His people.
Let's close today's discussion by saying spiritual growth is evidenced by living according to God' standards and His moral values.
Display your spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Loving God With All Thine Heart

Deuteronomy 6:5

And thou shall love the Lord, thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

If the question was raised, Why must we love God with all our heart? God is the creator and sustainer of all creation both in heaven and earth. He is sovereign who knows all, sees all, and is every where and there is no problem that He can't solve. His love is inescapable and is beyond measure as this was manifested by Him giving His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to atone the sins of the world. It is noteworthy to say, God created man to be in fellowship with Him and God put His Spirit into man; therefore, God the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
God asks that we love Him with our total being and in doing so we have the ability to love Him in return as an expression of gratitude for all He has done and continues to do in our lives. We will come to know God and enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. We will be able to live according to His statues and commandments as this represents total obedience to a holy God. Loving God with our total being, believers can and will love his fellowman in obedience to Christ's command of brotherly love.
Loving God with our total being we receive an abundance of God's love, grace and mercy.
There is no love like the love of God; so love Him in return.
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