Great Faith

The same faith that Jesus has, is the same faith that we have.  We have God’s faith in us.  It is not a natural human faith; it is the faith of God.  Galatians 2:20 (KJV 1900) says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  Paul said he lived by the faith of the Son of God, not his faith in the Son of God.

When we hear the Word of God, and we choose to receive it, the faith of almighty God enters us to believe the Word.  We were saved by using God’s faith to receive His grace.  Romans 10:17 (NKJV) says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  The problem is that we don’t use the faith that has been given to us…..we use little faith, great faith as it says of the Centurion soldier.  Jesus was speaking of how much faith He saw.

John 14:12 (NKJV) says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

How could we do the works of Jesus if we didn’t have the faith of Jesus?  When we get born again, we automatically get the Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22–23 (KJV),  “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Faith is listed!  Meditate and keep telling yourself that you have the faith of God in you.

-Pastor

Love Makes the World Go Round

Most of my Christian life, I’ve thought that I never had enough faith.  Faith is not the act of trying to make God do something for us.  It’s just responding to what God has already done.  Grace declares, “It is finished, the work is done,” and faith responds, “Thank you, Jesus for doing it for ME!”  However, our faith will not work if we don’t know how much God loves us!  Galatians 5:6 (KJV) says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

If your faith feels deficient, then your revelation of how much God loves you is deficient.

-Pastor

How to Build Yourself Up

Most sermons that I’ve heard about building yourself up, point to the following scripture in Jude.  Jude 20–21 (NKJV) [Maintain Your Life with God] says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,”  So, according to this scripture, praying in tongues will build you up.  I fully believe this, but you have to look more closely!  The scripture doesn’t have a period, it has a comma.  It continues to say, “keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  If we want to build ourselves up and stay on top, we need to remind ourselves that God loves us.

How?  Start off by meditating on the fact that God loves you.  No matter what you’ve done, He loves you unconditionally.  We actually don’t even have to say that God loves us unconditionally because if love isn’t unconditional, it isn’t love.  Keep yourself in the love of God by confessing and meditating on everything that God has done for you.

Philemon 6 (KJV 1900) says, “that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”

Here are some confessions to start you off!
God has made me the head and not the tail, above the circumstances, not beneath them. [Deut. 28:13] I have favor with God & man. [Lk. 2:52] I am Blessed. [Deut. 28:6]

You can visit our website for some awesome scriptures on your true identity!
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-Pastor

Scary Scriptures

John 15:2 (NKJV) says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  This scripture sounds like God might take you out, and I don’t mean out to dinner!  If there is ever a scripture that sounds like God is mean, we need to dig a little more into the Word, because God is always good.

When you look up the Greek word for “takes away,” the Strong’s Concordance says this:
Strong’s 142 [Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon] airō (ah´-ee-ro): takes away
1 to raise up, elevate, lift up.
1a to raise from the ground, take up

So that scripture should translate like this, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He lifts up; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

My wife has blackberry vines that are growing everywhere.  The other day, she saw a vine full of berries that was laying on the ground. So, she picked up the vine and put it on the trellis so the berries wouldn’t rot.  She lifted it up because the vine couldn’t lift itself up.

There might be times when you feel like you can’t even lift yourself up. Don’t worry, your heavenly Father will lift you up.

Trust and rest in Him!!

-Pastor

 

God Will Lift up Your Head

Sometimes you might feel defeated and run down, with no energy to do anything.  At that time, God will lift you up.  David was surrounded by his enemies, and even his own son was out to get him, but God lifted him up.

Psalm 3:1–4 (NKJV) [The Lord Helps His Troubled People: A Psalm of David When He Fled from Absalom His Son.] says, “‘Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.  Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah – But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah’”

So, always know that God is always there to lift you up in your darkest hour.

-Pastor

Experience the Love!!

Why should we pray and read our Bible?  Not only to get to know God, but also, to know how much He loves us.  If we are going to walk in the fullness that God has already given us, we have to know how much He loves us.  Ask God to open your eyes to see and experience His love and then you will see more of the manifestation of His fullness that He has provided for you.

Ephesians 3:14–19 (NKJV) says, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

God wants us to experience His love, not just know about it.  When we experience His love, we will see the manifestation of the fullness of God.  It will be effortless to walk in His blessings.

-Pastor

 

Self-Effort Determines Blessings?

I used to think that the more I prayed and read my Bible, the more blessings and favor I would have from God.  I thought that if I stopped the reading and praying, the favor and blessings would stop too.  Well, that is a lie.  No, I’m not advocating to quit reading and praying, but our blessings and favor are not riding on that.  They are riding on Jesus, and if you’ve received Him, then you have it all.

2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV) says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”  Yes, you should read your Bible and pray, but not for the purpose of God blessing you.  We will talk about why you should read and pray in the next blog!

-Pastor

Not Feeling It?

There are times in our walk with the Lord, when we might feel a little bored.  It seems that it’s hard to pray and that we don’t get anything when we read the Bible.  So, we usually just plow through and use pure will power.  That only lasts for a time, and then you just coast along.  Instead of just not doing anything, why don’t you just tell the Lord the truth?  “God, I’m bored with our relationship…I don’t feel like praying or reading the Bible.”

Hint…He knows that anyway!

Then ask Him to help you.  Tell God that you want your walk with Him to be better.  It takes humility to do that and guess what the Bible says?  Psalm 10:17 (NKJV) says, “Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear,”

God will help you.  He will prepare your heart and He will hear you!!  God wants to be involved in preparing your heart.  Isaiah 50:7 (NKJV) says, “‘For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.’”

Humility is an essential ingredient in the preparation of our hearts.

-Pastor

Forgiveness Before and After the Cross

Matt 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  This sounds like you must earn God’s forgiveness through works of forgiveness. How are we to interpret this scripture?

Jesus gave different responses to people who thought they were righteous because of their own self effort.  He was setting a high standard for the self-righteous so that they would see their desperate need for grace.

The truth is, we cannot earn God’s forgiveness.  The measure of forgiveness we need is far greater than any forgiveness we could show to others.  Do you think that Jesus put a price on forgiveness?  Jesus paid for the price of forgiveness in full, when he died on the cross.

Before the cross, forgiving others was required to receive forgiveness from God. However, that standard changed through His death, burial and resurrection.

This is why Paul said in Ephesians 4:31–32 (Passion), “The Holy Spirit of God has sealed you in Jesus Christ until you experience your full salvation. So never grieve the Spirit of God or take for granted his holy influence in your life. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”

I’m not saying forgiving others is not important; it absolutely is very important.  If we don’t forgive others, it causes us to have toxic thoughts toward others and that is so harmful to us.

God is not withholding forgiveness.  He paid the price in full on the cross, but we must believe it.  When we do, the grace of God will flow and help us to forgive anyone who offends us.

Forgiveness is a result of knowing that you are forgiven.  It is easy to forgive because God has forgiven us.

-Pastor

 

Forgive Like Jesus

Colossians 3:13 (NKJV) says, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”  How did Christ forgive you?  He forgave you before you even asked for it.  Of course, it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t believe that.

Unforgiveness is a form of bondage.  It’s a grace killer.  If you don’t forgive others, you’ll have trouble experiencing the forgiveness that God has already provided for you.  It’s not that God is holding back on forgiving you.  He has already forgiven “all” of your sins, but if you don’t respond to what He has done, it’s like He never did it.

Grace has been poured out, but it takes faith to apply it.  So, we can also say that forgiveness has already been poured out, but it takes faith to apply it to our lives.  Believe that you are and always will be forgiven by God your Father.  We need to believe and be mindful that we are always forgiven, so it will not be hard to forgive others like He has forgiven us.

So, if there is someone who has offended you, don’t wait until they ask for forgiveness.  Just be like Jesus and forgive them before they ask for it.  If we don’t forgive, we will have toxic thoughts living in us.  As we read in Switch on the brain, toxic thoughts are physically dangerous to us.

Forgiveness is a result of knowing that you are forgiven.  It is easy to forgive because God has forgiven us.

-Pastor