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April 26, 2016, 11:01 AM

On What is Your Faith Based

Where does your faith rest?  Or put another way, on what is your faith based?

“So that your faith would not rest of the wisdom of men, but on the power of God”  I Corinthians 2:5

Even as members of the Church of the Living God, we as believers are prone to struggle in our faith.  If we are truly saved and on our way to Heaven, we have been given faith enough to believe God, through Jesus Christ sacrifice on the cross has saved our soul.  If it is true that we have enough faith to trust God in death, why then do we struggle to have enough faith in God to face life?

Christian, we must walk in a relationship with God dictated by faith.  We serve a God that is able to do far more than we can even dream, let alone think to ask!  (Ephesians 3:20)  Yet, there are times we don’t even ask because we don’t believe by faith that He will either answer, or do what we ask.  

Somehow we get disillusioned into believing that God cannot act because He did not act in the way we thought He was going to act.  Or we think He did not act at all because we quit looking for Him to act, even though He was at work around you the whole time without our noticing.  We get disillusioned because we hear preaching that God will give us the desires of our heart, without hearing the message that God will give us the desires of our heart when our desires are lined up with His desires for us.  

When we realize that God loves us enough to say no to our request, our faith will be increased.  When we learn that knows, wants and will do what is the very best for us, we will be more prone to allow Him to tune our heart and desire to that of His.  Then we will have our eyes opened to the fact that He is a loving God who delights to shower us with blessings for His own glory.

Somehow we often allow our faith to be based and determined by our own understanding or the wisdom of man.  When we must learn that God’s ways are not our ways and that His ways are far above our ways.  (Isaiah 55:8)

Instead of basing our faith on what we think, understand, or perceive we are to base our faith on His power.

How is your faith?   Where is it based?  It only takes faith as a mustard seed to move mountains, but our faith must be based on the mountain that is the power and person of God!

 




April 18, 2016, 2:24 PM

Work For the Night is Coming


The message is a simple one:  Those who are saved of God have not only been called to be saved but have also been called to do the work of God.  God uses the church to be the hands of and feet of Jesus.  We are to be emulating the Savior in our desire to do the work of God.  As  He said:

"I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." John 9:4

God is at work all around us, whether we can see Him at work or not.  He desires to involve us in His work.  He will call us to be part of what He is doing.  When we are in a loving close relationship with Him, we make ourselves useful and He will speak to us and call us according to His perfect plan and purpose. 

We must believe that God wants to speak to us, will speak to us, and that we can know that it is God speaking as well as understand what it is He is saying.  The saints of Bible times knew that God was speaking and what He wanted them to do, and today we can know the same. 

God can speak to us however He chooses, and He will speak to us personally.  However we must realize that: The fact that God DOES speak to us, is far more important than HOW He speaks to us.  The Holy Spirit will speak to our heart and usually speaks through His Word as we read it and hear it, but He can also often speak through the church, circumstances and others.  The key to knowing that it is God is that whatever we think The Holy Spirit is saying outside of the Word of God will always be confirmed in the Word of God.  

When God speaks to us, He calls us to be involved in doing the Work of God.  But we must always be aware that it is not what we can do for God that is important, it is rather what God can do through us that is critically important and lasting.  

We must find where God is at work and join Him in the Work that He is doing. 

But How do we find where God is at work?  That is an excellent question, I am glad you asked!

A daily relationship with God that is seeking Him with all your heart is how You will find God.  Prayer, reading your Bible are all part of that seeking, but while you are looking for where God is working, look for things that only God can do.  

Things only God can do:

 Draw people to Himself
 Cause people to seek Him or Seek the truth (looking for answers to life)
(John 6:44)
3.    Reveals all truth (John 14:15-17)
4.    Convicts the world of sin
5.    Convicts the world of righteousness
6.    Convicts the world of judgement
(John 16:8)

Only God can do these things.  When you someone who is asking questions or seeking answers about life or when you find someone to be under conviction, you can know that it is a God thing.  There is no reason to pray asking if it is God, you will know it is God. 

When God nudges your heart, and you see where God is at work, obey right away to His prompting.  There is no greater blessing on this earth than to be part of of what God is doing.

Make yourself available to God so that you can get involved in the work of God before night falls. 




April 8, 2016, 6:54 AM

Let God Exceed Your Need!

Whatever it is that you are going through, no matter how big, no matter how dark, no matter how bleak; God’s grace is greater. 
Look again at those last 4 words. If we believe them, and if we believe the God who promised them, then they bring overwhelming comfort; because that is exactly what God’s Grace does.


How often I personally need reminded of Paul and his “thorn in the flesh.” We don’t know exactly what it was that was plaguing one of the greatest men of faith in the Bible but whatever it was it so bothered Paul that over and over again he asked God to remove it. But God’s answer was a surprising one.


“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” II Corinthans 12:8-9a


In II Corinthians God, in answer to Paul’s pleading, essentially said: I am not going to remove it, instead I am going to give you something greater, something that will meet exceed your need. God promised more grace. Essentially he promised more of Himself, more strength, more endurance, more satisfaction in Jesus. So much so that it would overwhelm the hurt and need caused by the “thorn in the flesh” Paul was dealing with.

 
We tend to spend a good portion of our time, strength and energy avoiding trials and escaping trials when they come. When faced with a difficult situation, in our flesh we want it to be over quickly. That is a normal response. It happens to everyone, even Paul. But it is in the trial that when we look to God and call on Him that He gives us something so amazing that Paul was moved by the Spirit to write these words.


“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” II Corinthians 12:8b-9


I am not suggesting that I long for trials and troubles. What I am suggesting is that when they come, take heart. For if we look to God we will experience an amazing miracle of God. Either He will deliver us from our pain, or as He did for Paul. He will exceed your need by His grace and power. 


Turn to Jesus for your every need and enjoy the Grace that he provides that is greater than whatever it is you will ever face.




April 4, 2016, 12:56 PM

Victory over our Failures

Have you ever failed? We all have.  If you have never failed in life it is only because you have never tried. 

No one knows how to help you in your times of failure as Jesus does.  Jesus will not overlook your shortcomings, sugar coat the truth, or just pat you on the back and encourage you to do better next time.  He can give you victory over your failures. 

 "And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.“ - Luke 5:5 

Peter had been fishing all night without any success. It wasn’t that he had only caught a few; he had caught nothing!  Peter was a skilled fisherman.  Jesus could have said, Peter don’t worry about it.  He could have said don’t feel bad, it happens to everyone at some time or another.  No, Jesus told him to go out deeper and fish again in another place.  When Peter obeyed, he caught so many fish that he had to get help to drag them in!  How humbling that must have been for Peter! Here was this carpenter’s son telling this outspoken professional fisherman how to fish!  Failure stings.  It hurts and it is not something we like to dwell on or for want for others to know about. 

However Jesus often gets our undivided attention when we fail.   We turn to Him wondering where we went wrong, what happened, and why. He does not just move on, or distract us from our failures.  He often takes us back to the place of our failure and defeat in order to build something good into your life.  He takes your failures and turns them into lessons in victory!  Maybe you have failed so miserably that you want to just forget about it. Maybe you attempted a task in your own strength.  Maybe you took the wrong path, turned right when you should have turned left.  Maybe you thought you did everything right, but did not get the result you thought you would get.  No matter the reason, what we must understand is that it is not the failure that is the focus, but rather what we do next after the failure.  Will we look to the master?  Will we obey the master?  He will not just abandon us to abandon all hope at our failure.  He will help you learn from your failures and experience the difference He makes when He guides your life.  When you try in God’s strength you find that success is always possible. 

When you fail, don’t give up.   Look up to the Master.  

When you fail, don’t give up.   If you give up you missed the teaching moment of the failure.

When you fail, don’t be afraid of failing again. Instead Look to Jesus.  Ask Him to pick you up, get you going, and guide you to the place where He wants you.  

When you do, you will find that you are on the brink of major victory over your failure.  Because that is what He can do if we let Him…He gives victory.

 




April 1, 2016, 10:19 AM

Great Moments from Quiet Moments

The greatest moments this world has ever known, where preceded by quiet moments.  

Jesus Christ payment in full for the debt of sin by dying on the cross was preceded by a quiet moment of fervent prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Peter preaching at Pentecost and the resulting salvation of 3000 was preceded by the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples as they gathered in an upper room for a time of quiet prayer.  

The feeding of the 5000 by Jesus multiplying 5 loaves of bread and two fish were preceded by Jesus praying and blessing what was given.  

Peter, in prison and scheduled to be executed was delivered by an angel in the midst of the prison.  But his delivery was preceded by a group of people gathering together to pray for his release.

Over and over again great moments have been preceded by quiet moments of prayer.  The power of Heaven is opened with a quiet moment of honest prayer.

Prayer is not a substitute for hard work…Prayer is the work!  God does things in and though our lives through prayer that he does in no other way.  Turning to God through honest, pure, and fervent prayer releases by faith the power of God to do the mightier things than we could ever imagine.  As we pray and our attention is turned to God, we are receptive to aligning our lives with His will.  

God does not equip us and work in us to do His will with power as we are racing off to our next appointment.  His power in our lives only comes through prayer. 

There used to be a time when there were certain special people who were known to others as Prayer Warriors.  Perhaps they were your grandparent, parent or Sunday School teacher.  Maybe it was a pastor, missionary, friend, or an elderly neighbor.   Almost everyone has known someone like that who never would have claimed to be a powerful prayer, but everyone that knew them would ask them to pray for them even they asked no one else, and prayers got answered!

While those people seem to be fewer and farther between, they don’t have to be.  The same God who answered the prayers of those precious, humble warriors of prayer is the same God who lives, reigns, and answers prayer with power to day.  The significance of those prayer warriors was that they lived a daily relationship of prayer and obedience to Him.   If we are willing to surrender to God and walk with Him with all our heart we can be such a prayer warrior.  

It begins by being a child of God and continues by spending time with Him in prayer.  The greatest moment of your life is when you become a child of God through Jesus shed blood on the cross and becoming a child of God is preceded by a heart prayer of repentance and belief in Jesus as Savior.   

The same heart of prayer will lead to other great moments just as they always have.  

Won’t you stop for a quiet moment of prayer today?  Trust God, call on Him and just watch as God does great things in and around you!


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