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1/04

 

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If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?-Matthew 7:11

 Would you, as a parent, plan, purpose, and will for your children to go through life poverty-stricken, sick, downtrodden, downcast, down- and-out, their nose to the grindstone?  No!  Assuredly not!

 A minister spoke about how difficult a time his younger brother had getting an education.  Their father left the family when this brother was six months old.  He graduated from high school during the depression by working 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift at a cotton mill and then going to school immediately after getting off work.

 In time, the brother married, had a son, and became a very successful businessman.  He said to the minister - "I'd rather let my boy die now than to have it like I had it.  But I'm going to see to it that he doesn't have it as rough as I did."

 The brother worked hard to provide a better life for his family than he had known growing up. Looking at it from a natural standpoint, he did all this because he loved them.  And that's what Jesus meant when He said that if natural men know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our loving heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him!

 

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.-John 15:1

 My heavenly Father is the Caretaker.

He is the Protector.

He is the Shield.

He is the Sustainer.

He in the Trainer.

He is the Educator.

 The Greek word translated "husbandman" involves all those shades of meaning.  As the husbandman trains the branches of a vine, so God trains the branches of the Body of Christ.

 And remember, God is Love!

 
For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.- John 16:27

Nothing can be stronger or more comforting than the fact that the Father Himself knows you, loves you, and longs to bless you. In fact, John 17:23 says that God loves us as He loved Jesus. What a staggering thought! Yet it is true! Jesus said it!

God the Father is your Father! He cares for you. He is interested in you individually - not just as a group, or a body of believers, or a church. God is interested in each of His children, and He loves each one of us with the same love.

Get acquainted with your Father through His Word. It is in His Word that you will learn about your heavenly Father, about His love, His nature, how He cares for you, how He loves you. He is everything the Word says He is. And He will do everything the Word says He will do.

 

Fight the good fight of faith....-1 Timothy 6:12

 The only fight the Christian is called upon to fight is the faith fight.

 If you're in any other kind of fight, you're in the wrong kind of fight.  There's no need to fight the devil - Jesus has already defeated him.  There's no need for fighting sin - Jesus is the cure for sin.  But there is a fight (enemies or hindrances) to faith.

 The greatest enemy top faith is a lack of understanding of God's Word.  In fact, all hindrances to faith center around this lack of knowledge, because you cannot believe or have faith beyond your actual knowledge of the Word of God.

 However, your faith will automatically grow as your understanding of God's Word grows (Romans 10:17).  If your faith is not growing, it's because your knowledge of God's Word is not growing.  And you cannot grow or develop spiritually if you are not growing in faith.

 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.-2 Corinthians 5:17

 We need to meditate on this verse.  If we do not understand the truth of what the New Birth is, it will hinder our faith and will keep us from receiving the blessings God intends for us to have. 

The spiritual nature of man is a fallen nature - a satanic nature.  Man received this satanic nature when Adam sinned.  And no man can change his own human nature.  But God can!

 It is vain for a man to profess affinity to Christ according to the flesh, while he is unchanged in his heart and life, and dead in trespasses and sins; for he that is in Christ, that is, a genuine Christian, having Christ dwelling in his heart by faith, is a new creature; his old state is changed: he was a child of Satan, he is now a child of God; he was a slave of sin, and his works were death; he is now made free from sin, and has his fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 

 He was before full of pride and wrath; he is now meek and humble.  He formerly had his portion in this life, and lived for this world alone; he now has GOD for his portion, and he looks not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen and calls those things that are not as though they are.  He was cursed; he is now blessed with health, prosperity and eternal life. Therefore, old things are passed away.

 When you became born again, something occurred inside you - instantaneously!  That old, satanic nature left you, and the very life and nature of God was created in you!  God created you as a brand-new creature - a new creation.  The man on the inside - the real you, a living spirit man - has already become a new man in Christ.

 So don't look at yourself from the physical, from the natural.  Look at yourself from the spiritual standpoint.  See yourself as a new creature in Christ.  That's how God sees you!

 

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;  And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.-Hebrews 10:16-17

 When God looks at you, He doesn't remember that you have any past - so why should you remember it?  It can hinder your faith.

 In talking with people, many have said, " Before I was ever saved, I lived such an awful life."  Some say they don't believe the Lord will do anything for them, such as heal them, or answer their prayers, because they lived such sinful lives before they were saved.

 When the sinner comes to Christ, he receives remission - a blotting out - of sins.

 And after a person is a Christian, he can receive forgiveness of sins that he may commit: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just  to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9).  How long do you think it takes God to forgive us?  Ten minutes?  Ten years?  No, God instantly forgives us!  And He instantly cleanses us when we come to Him according to this Scripture.

 

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ…For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?-1 CORINTHIANS 3: 1, 3

 With some Christians the inward man does not rule the outward man.  Instead, the body rules the outward man which defines the carnal Christians.  One translation of this text says "body-ruled" instead of "carnal."  Carnal Christians are body ruled. The deeper doctrines cannot be received by the weak, and it is wise to teach such the simpler truths only.

 "Ye are yet carnal… and walk as men," Paul told the Corinthians.  In other words, they were living like people who had never been born again.  I like the way the Amplified Bible translated verse three:  "… For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?" Consequently, they were utterly unqualified to discern between one teacher and another.

 Refuse to live like mere men!  Live like the new creatures you are!  Determine to let the new man in Christ dominate your being.  Only then may you grasp the truths that will set you free.  Blessing such a healing, prosperity and an abundant life come to the righteous spiritually wise through these truths.

 

Wherefore remember, that...at that time ye were without Christ...having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. -Ephesians 2:11-13

 Have you ever really thought about what it truly means to be in Christ Jesus? Have you ever gotten a clear revelation of that? Once you do, it will revolutionize your life. The distance was infinite, and the nearness is intimate.  The blood of Jesus works marvels, it annihilates distance, breaks sown partition walls, and transforms aliens into sons.

 You see, it's in Him that we're raised up from our sins. It's in Him that we're made to sit in heavenly places so that God can show us the exceeding riches of His grace. It's in Him that we're made the righteousness of God!

 If you want that revelation to explode in you, start searching out scriptures that refer to being in Christ. Watch for the words in Him, with Him, through Him, or in Whom. Mark those and meditate on them. They'll give you some powerful ammunition against the attacks of Satan.

 When Satan tries to tell you, for instance, that you're just a sinner and God doesn't want to be bothered with your problems, you'll know he is lying. You'll be able to answer him boldly and say, "Thank God, I was a sinner, but now I'm the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I've been raised up to sit with Him in heavenly places. Now I'm in Him and you can't touch me at all!"

 Be prepared the next time Satan comes at you with doubt, unbelief, and condemnation. Be ready to fight back with the scriptures about who you are in Jesus. You're sure to win once you truly know you're in Him!

 

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.- 1 John 3:20,21

 Does the Holy Spirit condemn you, if you, a Christian, do wrong?

 No. It is your spirit that condemns you. this is something we need to learn. The Holy Spirit will not condemn you. Why? Because God won't condemn you. Study what Paul wrote in Romans 8. He asked, "Who is it that condemns? Does God condemn? No, it is God who justifies."

 Jesus said that the only sin the Holy Spirit will convict the world of is the sin of rejecting Jesus (John 16:7-9).

 I've found that even when I've missed it, the Holy Spirit in me is the One who shows me the way out. He comforts me. He helps me. He doesn't condemn me.

 So it is your conscience, the voice of your spirit, that condemns you when you miss it.

 Therefore there is no condemnation to those who walk in the Spirit.

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. -Hebrews 11:6

 Without confidence in God--in his fidelity, his truth, his wisdom, his promises. And this is as true in other things.

 It is impossible for a child to please his father unless he has confidence in him. It is impossible for a wife to please her husband, or a husband a wife, unless they have confidence in each other. If there is distrust and jealousy on either part, there is discord and misery. We cannot be pleased with a professed friend unless he has such confidence in us as to believe our declarations and promises.

 The same thing is true of God. He cannot be pleased with the man who has no confidence in him; who doubts the truth of his declarations and promises; who does not believe that his ways are right, or that he is qualified for universal dominion. The requirement of faith or confidence in God is not arbitrary; it is just what we require of our children, and partners in life, and friends, as the indispensable condition of our being pleased with them.

 God has told us that without faith it is impossible to please Him, but He has also told us how to obtain faith. He has told us how faith comes.

 ROMANS 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 If we don't have faith, it is not God's fault. To blame God for our lack of faith is simply lacking knowledge of His word. God has provided the way whereby everyone can have faith.

 Faith for Salvation

 Faith for salvation "cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The Apostle Paul said that we are saved by faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

 But how do we get faith to be saved?

 ROMANS 10:8-10,13,14,17 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the hearth man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 We see here that faith for salvation comes by hearing the Word of God. Now relate that with Acts 11:13-14, "And he shewed us how he [Cornelius] how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.

 Cornelius was a good man, but he was not saved. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). As Cornelius had not as yet heard this glorious Gospel, he was not saved.

 God told Cornelius to send for Peter in order to learn the plan of salvation. The angel could not preach to Cornelius (Angels cannot preach - God sent men to preach.) But the angel could tell Cornelius where to go to get somebody "...who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved."

 Men are saved by hearing words. And that is because "...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." You cannot believe without hearing the Word.

 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -Hebrews 11:1

 In Hebrews 11:1 God tells us what Bible faith is. Moffatt's translation of this verse reads, "Now faith means that we are confident of what we hope for, convinced of what we do not see." Another translation says, "Faith is giving substance to things hoped for." Still another translation reads, "Faith is the warranty deed, the thing for which we have finally hoped is at last ours."

 Faith and hope go together; and the same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform all that he has promised to us in Christ; and this persuasion is so strong that it gives us possession and present completion of those things. It gives these promises a subsistence by the first fruits and foretastes of them: so that believers in the exercise of faith are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

 There are a number of kinds of faith. Everyone, saved or unsaved, has a natural, human faith. But here God is talking about a scriptural faith. He is talking about a Bible faith. He is talking about believing with your heart. There is a vast difference between believing with your heart and just believing what your physical senses tell you!

 Faith is grasping the unrealities of hope and bringing them into the realm of reality.

 For example, you hope for finances to meet the obligations that you have to pay. Faith gives you the assurance that you will have the money when you need it. "Faith is the evidence of things not seen." You hope for physical strength to do the work that you must do. Faith says, "The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid" (Psalm 27:1). Faith will say about itself everything that the Word says, for faith in God is simply faith in His Word.

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." GALATIANS 2:20

 When my Father God looks at me, He only sees Jesus! I am so identified with Christ in the eyes of my Father God that when He sees me, He only sees Christ! (When He sees me, He sees the anointed one.)

 According to Galatians 2:20 "I am crucified with Christ." (I died alongside Him.) The fact that you see me alive is simply because Christ's Resurrection Life took over when my old self died.

 My old self went to the cross with Jesus and died there. (Ceased to exist in that place)

 My old self was not worth trying to save, improve, restore, or pretty up. In God's eyes my old self was already dead before the crucifixion. But my old self could never be effectively killed (as far as his control over my life) until my old self went to the cross with Jesus.

 My old self had to die because God's Life could not be contained in him. My old self was unable to communicate with the Giver of Life.

 Neither Jesus nor my old self survived the cross! We both died!

 Jesus so identified Himself with me that death could not tell the difference. I am so identified with Him that life cannot tell the difference.

 

For if, because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness (putting them into right standing with Himself) reign as kings in life through the One, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. -Romans 5:17 AMP

 One of our greatest problems is relegating everything to the future. Think about the songs we sing: "When we all get to heaven..." Thank God we are going to get there, but we don't have to wait until we get there to enjoy God's blessings. We can have them now!

 Yes, we will reign with Christ then. But we don't have to wait until then! When does our text say we will reign as kings? Now! In life! In this life! How? By Jesus Christ!

 Paul used this illustration of reigning as kings because in the day in which he lived, they had kings. Each king reigned over his own particular domain. His word was the final authority. What he said went! He ruled. He reigned.

 The Word says that we. Why? Because we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. -EPHESIANS 6:10

 Do you know your own strength? Weightlifters are always trying to "become stronger and bigger.” They spend a great deal of time developing their muscles in order to increase their strength.

 The secret to our victory, however, is not in how strong we are ...it's in how strong our Lord is! We need not try to get stronger or bigger than our enemy ...we are to be strong in the Lord!

 We are not trying to acquire a victory; we are to stand in a victory already won!

 Satan's most powerful way of keeping you weak is to keep you from knowing the truth, for when we know the truth we are free! (John l0:l0.) Instead of believing a lie from hell, we recognize the lie and believe the truth! We become "strong in the Lord,” no longer "weak in faith". 

The Bible tells us in II Corinthians 2:11 to not be ignorant of Satan's way of doing things. Learn to recognize your enemy. He is the "Devil", which means he is your "accuser". He is also called "Satan", which means he is your "adversary". He is also called a tempter, murderer, thief, liar, fraud, and deceiver. When you are "strong in the Lord" you can stop him from having any power over you!

 Have you ever seen a policeman holding up his hand to direct traffic? A two-ton truck will stop for him! Now, we all know that the truck is "stronger" than the policeman. But, the policeman has something the truck doesn't have. He has the authority to stop traffic.

 Be "strong" in the authority that has been given to you In Christ Jesus! When your accuser tells you a lie, you tell Him the truth!

When your enemy tries to tell you you're a prisoner of your past, your failures, your sins or sorrows, be strong in the Lord and declare that you are free in the Name of Jesus! You have the authority to stop his "two-ton truck" from running over you!

 "For God has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan's kingdom and brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son ....And the Son forgave our sins and set us free"! (Col. 1:13-14) (Living and Translators)

2/04

 

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Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. -Hebrews 2:14
 ...that He might paralyse him that held the dominion of death, That is the Adversary. -Hebrews 2:14 Rotherham

 That he might subdue, or that he might overcome him, and destroy his dominion. The word destroy here is not used in the sense of closing life, or of killing, but in the sense of bringing into subjection, or crushing his power. This is the work which the Lord Jesus came to perform--to destroy the kingdom of Satan in the world, and to set up another kingdom in its place.  This was understood by Satan to be his object.

 Jesus put to naught the hosts of darkness! He paralyzed their death- dealing power! And when Jesus met John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus said, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive fore evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18).

 Keys represent authority. Jesus conquered Satan and stripped him of his authority. Jesus was the master of all hell!

 But Jesus did not conquer Satan for Himself. He conquered him for us. It was as though you and I personally had met Satan and had conquered him, stripped him of his authority, and stood a master over him.

 

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?...Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. -JOHN 4:10,11,13,14

 Bible scholars know that water is a type of Holy Spirit.

 Jesus Himself used water as a type of the Spirit. When Jesus told the woman at the well of Samaria that He was the Giver of living water, she got it confused with the water in the well - natural water.

 Then Jesus said, "The water that I shall give...shall be...a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

 He was talking running streams, in opposition to dead and stagnant water, the New Birth, the well of living water within the believer.

 The dead stagnant spirit of a man, his lifeless and hopeless soul by nature is like such a desert, or like a traveler wandering through such a desert. It is thirsting for happiness, and seeking it everywhere, but does not find it. It looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets its desires. Though a sinner seeks for joy in wealth and pleasures, yet he is not satisfied. He still thirsts for more, and seeks still for happiness in some new enjoyment. To such a weary and unsatisfied sinner the grace of Christ is as cold waters to a thirsty soul.

 

...Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. -James 4:7

 Submit yourselves therefore to God. That is, in his arrangements for obtaining his favor. Yield to what He has judged necessary for your welfare in this life through salvation the life that is to come.

 The duty here commanded is that of entire compliance in the provision of God in his grace. All these are for our good, and submission to them is required by the spirit of true humility.

 The reason for the command here, and in the successive charges to particular duties, is to show us how we might obtain the grace which God is willing to bestow, and how we might overcome the evils assignments against us. The true method of doing this is by submitting ourselves in all things to God.

 Every passage in the New Testament that deals with the devil always instructs us to do something about the devil. Never are New Testament believers told to only pray that God would do something about the devil. While we yield to God in all things, we are to yield to the devil in nothing.

 Here in James 4:7 "you" is the understood subject of the sentence. "You resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Notice it's not, "Pray to God for Him to do something about the devil." Nor is it, "Pray that Jesus won't let the devil get you."

 Also notice that the Bible doesn't say, "When you feel like it, you can resist the devil, and it will work for you." No. Whether you feel like it or not, the authority still belongs to you. You can't feel authority; you just exercise it!

 The Devil may approach you, whether by charm, by flattering promises, by the fascinations of the world, by temptation, or by threats. Act on James 4:7. Don't just consider it a fairy tale, but as the Word of God, which is to be acted upon. If you'll act on it, the devil and all his cohorts will run from you as in terror!

 

For if, because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness (Putting them into right standing with Himself) reign as kings in life through the One, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, the Anointed One. -Romans 5:17 Amplified

 In the time when Paul wrote this, kings reigned over certain countries or domains.

 You are to reign in your domain too. We have much more reason to expect it. It clearly accords much more with the administration of a Being of infinite goodness. This doesn't mean you're to reign or rule over other people, but you're to rule and reign in your life, in you dominion.

 You're to rule and reign over circumstances, poverty, sickness, disease - because you have the authority! You shall be triumphant over all theft enemies; you shall gain the ultimate victory; and shall jointly partake with the Captain of our salvation in his splendors of His dominion

 You have it through the One, Jesus Christ.

 Don't let the devil cheat you out of the blessings God intended you should have. God never intended that you should be poverty stricken and destitute. He didn't intend that the devil should rule and reign over your family and dominate them. Just get angry at the devil. Demand of him, "Take your hands off my children. You've got no right here. I'm ruling over this domain." If he resist, quote the devil Romans 5:17.

 

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. -COLOSSIANS 2:15

 And the hostile princes and rulers He shook off from Himself, and boldly displayed them as His conquests... -COLOSSIANS 2:15 Weymouth

 The Bible teaches us here that Jesus put Satan to nought and He triumphed over him. Another translation reads, "He stripped him." He was stripped of his authority over man.

 Yet more than stripped, he has no armor. He has literally lost his protection from our word attacks against him.  Of course he runs in terror when the over powering ammunition of God’s word comes out of your mouth

 In this text is an allusion to the treatment of enemies when conquered. They are spoiled of their armor, so much the word apekduomai implies; and they are exhibited with scorn, humiliation, contempt and reproach to the populace, especially when the victor has the honor of a triumph.

 To the former of which there is an allusion in the words deigmatizo en parrhesia, making a public exhibition of them; and to the latter in the words thriambeuo autos, triumphing over them.  The principalities and powers refer to the emperors, kings, and generals taken in battle, and reserved to grace the victor's triumph.

 When Jesus put Satan to nought and stripped him of his authority, it was you in Christ who did that work. Christ acted in your stead - in your place. He did it for you.

 What Christ did was marked to your credit. He did it as your substitute. (He did it in your place, and God marked it to your credit as though you were the one who did it!) Yet the devil is reserved for continual scorn, humiliation, contempt and reproach at our hands to show all principalities and powers we are the victors 

No, we're not immodest about what you are in the flesh. (We don't amount to much in the flesh.) We're talking about who you are in Christ.  The Word in you is equal to all that God is. There is no limit to your victories in this life except your faith.

 You can say, "In Christ, I conquered Satan. I stripped him of his authority. And when Jesus arose from the dead, I arose with Him!" I am victorious over sickness, poverty, and death. I am safe and protected on all my borders.  I rest a peace in my Saviors strong arms

 

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body... -Ephesians 1:22,23

 Some philosophizing teachers of the school of Simon Magus, in Western Asia Minor, had, according to IREN & AElig; US and EPIPHANIUS, taught their hearers these names of various ranks of angels. Paul shows that the truest wisdom is to know Christ as reigning above them all. We know the King our Christ is above all names subject to his kingdom though we cannot name them all.

 What a need there is for the Church to awaken to the appreciation of her powerful position and privilege - to be exalted to the place God wants her - to realize she is to rule over the powers of the air!

 How often the Church has failed in her ministry of authority, actually bowing down in defeat and being overcome with fear. We need see ourselves in heaven. For the Head and body are not severed by anything intervening, else the body would cease to be the body, and the Head cease to be the Head

 "...and gave him to be the head over all things TO THE CHURCH..." To the Church! The reason Jesus is Head over all things - the devil, demons, sickness, poverty, and everything else that's evil - is for the benefit of the Church! We need to sit reverently and meditate before these mighty truths so their tremendous meaning can grasp our hearts.

 In this attitude, the Spirit of Truth can lift us into the place where we can see the full meaning of what God's Word is saying: That God made Christ to be the head over all things for the sake of the Church, so that the Church, through the Head of the Church, might exercise authority over all things.

 

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power...Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead...hath he quickened together with him...
Colossians 2:10,12,13

 And therefore; and so. Translate in the Greek order, "Ye are in Him (by virtue of union with Him) filled full" of all that you need (John 1:16). Believers receive of the divine anointing which flows down from their Divine Head and High Priest (Ps 133:2). He is full of the "fulness" itself; we are filled from Him.

 Notice the expression "through the faith of the operation of God." Jesus was quickened (made alive) by the faith of the operation of God - add we were made alive at the same time. Which faith was produced by the operation or energy, or unction, or  anointing of God.  Believing is the act of the soul; but the grace or power to believe comes from God himself.

 It was God who raised Jesus from the dead. It was God who gave Jesus a Name above every name. It was God who blotted out "the handwriting of ordinances" against us, took it out of the way, and nailed it to His cross (Colossians 2:14). It was God who stripped the powers of darkness of their authority and handed it to the Son (Colossians 2:15). And it was God who quickened us "together with Him."

 In the mind of God, legally speaking, it was when Jesus was quickened and made alive, that we were recreated. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus..." (Ephesians 2:10). This fact of our re- creation becomes a vital reality in our lives when we are individually born again (made new creatures).

 Raised with Christ! Quickened with Him! Seated with Him! (Ephesians 2:4-6).

 

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. -Colossians 1:18

 We have recognized that Jesus is the Head of the Church, and we've exalted Him to His position of Power, all right. But do we see that the Head is wholly dependent upon its body for carrying out its plans. do we see that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. do we see that Jesus has authority over Satan's power. If this authority is ever exercised, it will have to be exercised through the Body. We have been so sure that we couldn't do anything, that we have left everything up to Christ the Head of the Church - and the Head is powerless without the Body.

 Take your own physical head as an example. It is powerless to carry out any of its plans without the cooperation of the body. Your head might see a songbook on the rack in front of you, but unless your body cooperates, your head will never be able to sing from that book.

 The ministry God wants to accomplish through His Son in this world will be carried out through the Body of Christ. And we - the Body of Christ - have the same authority the Head has!

 

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. -Ephesians 6:13

The message of the armor tells us how to take our place and maintain it against the devil.  And having done all, to stand. Rather, And having conquered all, stand: this is a military phrase, and is repeatedly used in this sense by the best Greek writers. "Having in a short time discomfited all our enemies, we returned with numerous captives and much spoil."

"Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth..." The girdle of truth is a clear understanding of God's Word. It holds the rest of the armor in place like a soldier's belt.

"...and having on the breastplate of righteousness." The breastplate has two meanings:
(1) Jesus is our righteousness, so we put Him on;
(2) The breastplate represents our active obedience to the Word of God.

"And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." This is faithful ministry in proclaiming the Word of God.

 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." This is complete safety by faith in the blood. No power of the enemy can penetrate the blood! Faith is the grace by which all others are preserved and rendered active, so it is properly represented here under the notion of a shield, by which the whole body is covered and protected.  Faith, in this place means that evidence of things unseen which every genuine believer has, that God, for Christ's sake, has blotted out his sins, and by which he is enabled to call God his Father, and feel him to be his portion.  It is such an appropriating faith as this which can quench any dart of the devil.

 "And take the helmet of salvation..." This is the covering of our Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation ornamented with hope protected in love.

 "...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." All other parts of the armor are for protection (defense); this one is to be used offensively against the enemy. He in whom the word of God dwells richly, and who has that faith by which he knows that he has redemption, even the forgiveness of sins, need not fear the power of any adversary.

 "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit..." You've got on the armor. Now you are ready for the prayer fight.

 

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. -2 Corinthians 4:3-4

 No man in his right mind would speed down the highway at 100 miles per hour past flashing red lights and signs that said, "Danger! Danger! Bridge Out!" But a man who was drunk or on drugs would.

 Likewise, no man in his right mind would go through life and plunge off into eternity and hell, lost. But people do it because the devil has them doped and blinded.

 Christ commands his disciples in preaching the Gospel to go to the LOST sheep. The Son of man is come to seek and to SAVE that which is LOST.  And such persons he represents under the parable of the lost sheep; to find that which is LOST, the good shepherd leaves the ninety-and-nine in the wilderness, and goes in search of it. The word more properly signifies, in all those connections, and in the parallel passages, not those who ARE LOST, but those who are perishing; and will perish, if not sought and saved.

 A minister was sharing about his brother's salvation. He said that he realized it was the devil who had his brother bound and was keeping him from being saved. One day the minister said, "Satan, in the Name of Jesus Christ, I break your power over my brother's life, and I claim his deliverance and salvation!"

 I find it hard to attribute to Satan the authority of god of this world but sadly the truth is those who are blind, and kept blind do not see whom they serve. We do not have control over human wills, but we do have control over evil spirits that blind men.

 

providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
II Cor 8:21

AMERICA IS A BLESSED LAND
According to a major university study, if we could shrink the earth's population to a village of precisely one hundred people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, here's what this town of one hundred would look like:

Fifty-seven would be Asians, twenty-one would be Europeans, fourteen would be from the Western hemisphere and eight would be from Africa. Fifty-two of the one hundred people would be female. Forty-eight would be male. Seventy would be non-Christian. Thirty would claim to be Christian. Eighty-nine would be heterosexual. Eleven would be homosexual.

Six people would possess fifty-nine percent of the entire world's wealth, and all six people would be from the United States of America. Eighty out of a hundred would live in substandard housing. Seventy of the hundred people in this village would be unable to read. Fifty of these hundred people would suffer from malnutrition. One would be near death. One would be near birth. Only one would have a college education. Only one would own a computer.

Anyone reading this has to stop and think how truly blessed those of us living in the United States of America are. We are part of a unique group. The reason is, we live in a blessed nation. This nation is blessed because the government was founded on the principle of "In God We Trust."

 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. -Colossians 3:1-2

 The elevation of the believer to be seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father took place potentially at the resurrection (Ephesians 2:5,6). Every heavenly blessing is yours (Ephesians 1:3). But you have to take your place there to enjoy them. The believer whose eyes have been opened to his throne rights in Christ may:

(1) Accept his seat, and
(2) Begin to exercise the spiritual authority that seating confers to him.

 As Elisha said to Elijah when about to ascend, "As the Lord liveth ... I will not leave thee"; so we must follow the ascended Saviour with the wings of our meditations and the chariots of our affections. We should trample upon and subdue our lusts that our conversation may correspond to our Savior's condition; that where the eyes of apostles were forced to leave Him, thither our thoughts may follow Him [PEARSON]

 The devil bitterly resents our entrance into his domain. He has been used to exercising authority and ruling over someone's life, so he will concentrate his forces against us when we come into these mighty truths. And no truth encounters such opposition as the truth of the authority of the believer.

 The only place of safety is to be seated with Christ in heavenly places far above all principality, power, might, and dominion. If the believer abides steadfastly, by faith, in this place, he cannot be touched by the enemy.

 Of ourselves we can no more ascend than a bar of iron lift itself up' from the earth.  But the love of Christ is a powerful magnet to draw us up

 

He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. -1 John 2:10

 Whenever you find yourself stumbling into failure or sin, check if love resides in your heart. Sit down with the Lord and ask Him to show you if you're in strife with anyone or if you've taken offense. If you have, the devil can come in and trip you up.

 Believers get upset with something the preacher says. He'll decide that the preacher is wrong and go off in a huff. He's in trouble. Mark 4:17 tells us the devil uses those kinds of offenses to steal the Word from our hearts. He causes us to get cross-wise with each other. Then he's able to pull the plug out of us and drain the Word like water from a bucket.

 Don't ever let that happen to you. If you hear a preacher or another believer saying something that rubs you the wrong way and you catch yourself getting offended say, "Oh no you don't. You're not stealing the Word out of me, you lying devil."

 Search the Word and listen to the Spirit within you and find out what you should do. If you still feel what that person said to you was wrong, pray for him.

 Remember, taking offense never comes from God. He says we're to be rooted and grounded in love. So reject those feelings of offense. Give yourself to that person in love and in prayer. You'll be able to walk right on through that situation without ever stumbling at all.

 

Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. -Psalm: 78:41

 Can you limit God? The Bible says Israel did. And we have limited God with our prayer life!

 John Wesley said, "It seems that God is limited by our prayer life. He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asked Him to do it."

 Why is this?

 God made the world and the fullness thereof. Then God made man and gave man dominion over all the works of His hands. Adam was made the god of this world. Adam, however, committed high treason and sold out to Satan. Then Satan became the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

 God didn't just move in and destroy Satan. If He had, Satan could have accused God of doing the same thing he had done. But God devised a plan of salvation. And He sent His Son, whom Satan could not and did not touch, to consummate the plan. Through Jesus, God redeemed mankind.

 Now authority has been restored to us through Jesus Christ - and when we ask God, then He can and will move. That is why it seems He can do nothing unless someone asks Him to do it.

 

And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? -Genesis 18:23-25

 God refused to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until He had talked it over with Abraham, His blood covenant friend!

 Abraham's prayer in this chapter is one of the most suggestive and illuminating prayers in the Old Testament. Abraham was taking his place in the covenant that God had made with him - the Old Covenant, the Old Testament.

 Abraham, through the covenant, had received rights and privileges we understand little about. The covenant Abraham had just solemnized with the Lord Jehovah gave Abraham a legal standing with God. Therefore, we hear Abraham speak plainly as he intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?"

 He knew the Judge of all the earth would do right. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be severe to destroy them, but for the sake of the righteous who might be found among them. And righteousness only can be made a plea before God.

 The obedience of faith makes room for God to deliver those whom are His righteousness. Faith Make us righteous and righteousness produces God’s promise of help.

 

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. -Hebrews 8:6

 All through the Old Testament, we find men who understood and took their place in the covenant. Joshua could open the River Jordan. He could command time to stand still. Elijah could bring fire out of heaven to consume not only the sacrifice, but the altar as well. David's mighty men were utterly shielded from death in time of war as long as they remembered the covenant. When you read about them, you think you're standing about "supermen."

 Nearly all the prayers in the Old Testament were prayed by covenant men. Those prayers had to be answered!

 The promises of the new covenant of grace are better, because strength and assistance is engaged for, and graciously offered, in order to enable us to perform the conditions of them:  The law required sinless obedience; the gospel accepts sincere obedience, and offers grace to perform it.

 The believer today has the same covenant rights as believers who lived under the Old Covenant. In fact, we have a better covenant established on better promises. Therefore, we ought to be able to do all that they did and more, because we have a New Covenant, a better covenant, established on greater promises and even more attainable through God’s intervening grace power.

 

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. -Isaiah 55:10-11

 So we are invited to trust in an effectual gospel which can by no means fall to the ground.  We have no cunningly devised fable put before us, but the infallible truth of God who cannot lie.  All things else may fail, but the promise of God will be fulfilled as surely as God is God.

 This truth should be used continually in prayer. It is the very backbone of our prayer life. No word that has gone forth from God can return to Him void.

 God said, "...I will hasten my word to perform it" (Jeremiah 1:12). A marginal note in the King James Version reads, "I will watch over my word to perform it."

 God will make His Word good if you dare to stand by it!

 The greatest answers to prayer I personally have received came when I brought God's Word to Him and reminded Him of what He had said.

 Praise God, He keeps His Word!

 

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
-John 15:7-8

 "If ye abide in me..." If we are born again, we do abide in Christ. If Jesus had said that and that alone, we would have had it made, but Jesus said, "...AND my words abide in you..."

 Jesus' words abide in us in the measure that they govern our lives - in the measure that we act upon them.

 If Jesus' words abide in us, we are bound to have faith, because the Bible says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). It would be impossible for Jesus' words to abide in someone and that person not have faith!

 Unbelief, or doubt, is a result of ignorance of the Word of God. If we live the Word, then when we come to pray, that Word dwells in us so richly that it becomes Jesus' Word on our lips. It will be as the Father's words were on the lips of Jesus. The joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast.

 

The Lord is...longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9

 We know that saving the lost is God's will - because it was to save the lost that Jesus laid down His life. It is not slackness, remissness, nor want of due abhorrence of sin, that induced God to prolong the respite of ungodly men; but his long-suffering, his unwillingness that any should perish: and therefore he spared them, that they might have additional offers of grace, and be led to repentance-to deplore their sins, beseech God's mercy, and find redemption through the blood of the Lamb.

 Therefore, knowing this, we should not pray, "God save my mother, if it is your will. Don't let her go to hell, if it is your will. If it is not your will, let her go to on to hell."

 No! We know God's will in the matter. God's will - His Word - makes it clear in such Scriptures such as John 3:16 and II Peter 3:9 that God's will is for men and women to be saved. Therefore, we can pray for the lost with great boldness.

 Believers especially can exercise great authority in praying for the salvation of their families. You can use this when praying for your family members: "This is the confidence that we have in God, that, if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. What I am asking for is according to God's will; therefore, He hears me. That is what the Word says.  And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. According to the Word, then, I have my petition."

 At that point stop asking and start thanking God. It's astonishing how well thankfulness works. That doesn't mean that your entire family will necessarily come to the Lord overnight, but as you stand in faith, thanking God, they will have every God given opportunity to come.

3/04

 

 

 

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But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.-Philippians 4:19

 It is God's will that our needs be met. ALL of our needs.

 Philippians 4:19 includes all your needs (all means all!), whether spiritual, physical, material or financial.

 Lest someone think that God is not concerned about our financial needs, this verse is in a context which discusses material and financial affairs. As read it and you will see that the Philippians had taken up an offering of money and goods to send to other Christians. Paul was telling them, "Because you have given to others and have helped them, my God shall supply all your need." So Paul was talking about material and financial matters.

 With what boldness, then, we can pray for finances to meet our obligations! Having all or our needs met is according to God's will.

 

"It [grace] has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world." (Titus 2:12, The Amplified Bible)

 When an athlete goes into training, he practices to improve his skills. He works hard, repeating the same motions over and over until they become what we'd call "second nature" to him.

 We understand how crucial that kind of training is in the physical realm. We know that you simply can't be a winner without it. But did you know we can train ourselves that same way where spiritual things are concerned?

 That's right! Hebrews 5:14 says we can train our senses to discern between good and evil. When you train, or practice, for something, you expose yourself daily to whatever it is you want to become. You practice it over and over until it becomes second nature to you. People who are lazy have practiced being lazy. People who are disciplined have practiced being disciplined.

 Spending time with God is "Spirit" practice. As you do it diligently, your spirit will grow stronger and will start to overcome the habits of the flesh.

 If, for example, you have trouble getting up in the morning to spend time with God before the busyness of the day begins, if you've been giving in to your flesh and staying in bed, then you'll have to start practicing getting up. The more you practice it, the easier it will be.

 Don't expect yourself to do it perfectly right from the beginning. Don't get discouraged when you stumble and fail. You're just out of practice. Get back on your feet and go at it again!

 Become a spiritual athlete. Put yourself in training by practicing the things of God. Build your spirit muscles through fellowship with Him. You will be surprised to find just how much of a winner you can be.

 

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. -Isaiah 1:19

 If you are willing and obedient, it is God's will that you have the best. (Of course, you can't walk in disobedience and enjoy the good things of God.)

 God is not a miserly. God certainly did not put everything here in this world for the devil and his followers to enjoy. Some people have the idea that if you're a Christian, you should never have anything, financially or materially speaking. Some believe that life itself stamps you into molds of poverty and defeat.

 But Jesus said, "If ye then, being evil [natural], know how much to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" (Matthew 7:11).

 Oh dear believer, God wants to give us good gifts! He wants you to have His best! He wants us to prosper and have the good things of this life! But we must cooperate with Him.  We must not piously resist His gifts but receive them by faith. Both good spiritual and good material gifts are given from God.

 

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. -John 6:38

 Healing the sick is God's will. Yet Christians who need healing have said, "Maybe God put this sickness on me for some purpose."

 Did Jesus ever put sickness on anybody? When people came to Jesus for healing, did He ever turn even one away, saying, "No, it's not my will. Just suffer a little longer. What until your piety gets deepened enough"?

 NO! Not once!

 Do you want to know what God is like? Look at Jesus. Do you want to see God at work? Look at Jesus! He went about doing good and healing (Acts 10:38). Do you want to know the will of God? Jesus is the will of God in action.

 We can pray for healing with great confidence - knowing it is the will of God.

 

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature...And these signs shall follow them that believe;  In my name…
they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. -Mark 16:15,17,18

 Let's stop and analyze this for a moment: Just which of the sick did Jesus say we were to lay hands on?

 Jesus just said "the sick" - period. 

 Then, if God were the author of sickness - if God did put sickness and disease on people - if it were the will of God for some to be sick - this statement would be confusing. Because in it, Jesus authorized us to lay hands on ALL the sick.

 If God weren't in the healing business, Jesus would have had to say something like, "Lay your hands on those that it is the will of God to heal, and they shall recover. And those it isn't - they won't recover."

 But, NO! God set the Church against sickness - PERIOD! 

 Faith needs no debate when it comes to obedience to the scriptures.  We must act so God can do the healing He so desires to do for so many in need.

 

Once I was talking with an older man about Jesus.  This man was very result orientated and he point blank asked me this question.  “What are the benefits of being a Christian?  If being a Christian is such a great thing, then what do I gain?”

In Psalm 103 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;”

 Here we are told that we are not to forget the benefits of God.  And then it goes on to list them.  Continuing on with Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

 Okay!  As a Christian what can we expect from God our Father?

  1. He forgives our sins.  When we accept Jesus, all the sin nature and all the sins we have committed are forgiven.  Jesus paid the price, once and for all.  We can be clean, and that’s a wonderful feeling.  All the guilt, pressure, and stress that sin brings can be gone.  It’s a benefit of being a child of God.
  2. He heals all our diseases.  When Jesus bore the stripes for our sicknesses, He paid the price in full for our healing.  All through God’s Word we find this one thing: God wants to heal all those who are His.  He is a good God and His will is that all who believe will be healed.  In James 5:14 the Bible says, “Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up.” 
  3. He redeems our life from destruction.  When things look like all is lost and there is no way of escape, God can make a way.  Psalm 34:6 says, “the poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”  When it seems like there is no way, God makes a way.
  4. He covers us with lovingkindness and tender mercies.  While we were in sin, He sent his son Jesus to die in our place, for our sins.  Why?  Because He loved us and continues to love and care for us. 
  5. He satisfies our mouths with good things.  He not only wants us to live, but he wants us to have good things.  James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.”  God is good and as Christians, He is our Father.  Then logic dictates our inheritance is beyond our comprehension and it is good.
  6. He renews our youth.  Many men have looked for the fountain of youth.  Ponce de Leon searched across the known and unknown world looking for the fountain that could give everlasting youth and life.  He looked in the wrong place.  God has it and He has given it to those who believe in His Son Jesus.  In John 3:16, Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

 There benefits to being a Christian.

 

...If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. -Exodus 15:26

 When Israel crossed the Red Sea and started toward their homeland, the Lord spoke these words to them and revealed Himself as Jehovah- Rapha, Jehovah-Rapha translated is, "I am the Lord thy physician," or "I am the Lord that healeth thee." God didn't put diseases upon Israel or upon the Egyptians. Jehovah-Rapha declares He is the Healer.

 The obedient believer should be kept in a state of health of body and peace of mind; and if at any time they should be afflicted, on application to God the evil should be removed.

 F. F. Bosworth, in his book "Christ the Healer," said, "This name [Jehovah-Rapha] is given to reveal to us our redemptive privilege of being healed...The fact is, that the very first covenant God gave after the passage of the Red Sea, which was so distinctively typical of our redemption, was the covenant of healing, and it was at this time that God revealed Himself as our Physician, by the first redemptive and covenant name, Jehovah-Rapha, 'I am the Lord that healeth thee.' This is not only a promise, it is 'a statute and an ordinance.'"

 

And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee... -Deuteronomy 7:13-15

 "And he will love thee..." Love thee! Love Thee! He will take away all sickness from you!

 Let's look at First Corinthians 10:11 to see if divine health is for us: "Now all these things happened unto them [Israel] for examples [types]: and they are written [Who are they written for - the Jews? No!] for OUR admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are to come."

 Deuteronomy 7:13-15 was written for my benefit. It was written for my admonition!

 

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ... -Romans 8:16-17

 Do you think the people who lived under the Old Covenant could be more blessed than those in the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ?

 Do you think that the Church, the Body of Christ, the Body of the Son of God, the Body of the Beloved, would struggle through life poverty- stricken, emaciated, wasted away with starvation, sick and afflicted, singing, "Here I wander, like a beggar, through the heat and the cold?"

 Away with such ideas!

 The Bible declares that we are joint-heirs with Christ! Sons of God! Children of God! In the Kingdom of God!

 This is a chain made of diamond links.  It leads us from the cradle of regeneration to the perfection of glory, by sure steps, each one firm as the throne of God.  Are we children?  Then we shall be glorified with Christ.

 We're not beggars! We're new creatures.

 

He brought them forth also with silver and gold; and there was not one feeble person among their tribes. -Psalm 105:37

 You can see from the Scriptures that it was God's plan for everything connected with Israel to bear the stamp of prosperity and success. Furthermore, disease and sickness were not to be tolerated among them. What a miracle that after all their toil and bondage they should all be in health.  They were all called to do God’s work in obedience, and therefore the Lord prepared them for it.

 And so it should be with the Church. Everything connected with the Body of Christ, the New Testament Church, should bear the stamp of prosperity, success, healing, surplus, and health.

 What God said concerning Israel, He said in so many words concerning the Church. Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation..." Scofield's footnote on the word "salvation" states that the Greek and Hebrew words translated "salvation" imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing, and health (soundness). The Gospel of Jesus Christ, then, is the power of God unto deliverance. It is the power of God unto safety and preservation. It is the power of God unto healing and health.

 

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. -Psalm 103:3

 “The sweet singer threads a few of the choicest pearls of mercy upon the string of memory, and casts them around the neck of gratitude, to glitter there while she sings the joyful praises of her God.” (Spurgeon)

 Disease came upon the children of Israel when they disobeyed the law. Forgiveness for their disobedience meant the healing of their diseases.

 It was when the children of Israel took themselves out from under the protection of their covenant by wrongdoing that their distresses came (Psalm 107:11, 17, 18). But when they cried unto the Lord, "...he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Psalm 107:19, 20).

 We have protection under our better covenant - but it is possible to take ourselves out from under the protection of our covenant. Our praises and gratitude turn our hearts back to the great lover of our soul.

4/04

 

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 the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. - Romans 8:2

 Dr. John G. Lake went as a missionary to Africa in 1908. The deadly bubonic plague broke out in his area. Hundreds died. He cared for the sick and buried the dead. Finally the British sent a relief ship with medical supplies and a corps of doctors. The doctors sent for Lake to come aboard. They asked him, "What have you been using to protect yourself?"

 "Sirs," Lake replied, "I believe the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. And as long as I walk in the light of that law of life, no germ will attach itself to me."

 "You had better use our preventatives," the doctors urged.

 "No," Lake said, "but I think you would like to experiment with me. Take some of the foam that comes from the victim's lungs after death and examine it under a microscope. You will find the masses of living germs remain alive for a while after a man is dead. Fill my hand with the foam and examine it under the microscope. Instead of remaining alive, the germs will die instantly."

 The doctors made the experiment and what Lake said proved true. When the doctors expressed wonder at what caused it, Lake told them, "That is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."

5/04

 

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James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

I would first like to apologize if you have asked to be removed from our list.  I have moved the devotional subscription list to another computer so I may be able to continue the devotionals as soon as possible.  Unfortunately I inadvertently imported an old list with the current list. Please forgive me and simply use the unsubscription link and I will remove your name as soon as possible

I will be going in for surgery on June 2nd and I covet your prayers.  I will restart the list as soon as I am able

6/04

 

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7/04

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But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. -HEBREWS 11:6

Thus God demands faith of us.

If God demands that we have faith when it is impossible for us to have faith, then we have a right to challenge His justice. But if God places in our hands the means whereby faith can be produced, then the responsibility is up to us as to whether we live by faith or not. God has given us His Word, and He has told us that ."...faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17).

F.F. Bosworth, an authority on healing and the author of the book 'Christ the Healer',said, "Most Christians feed their bodies three hot meals a day, their spirits one cold snack a week, and then wonder why they are so weak in faith."

The man who professes that it is his duty to worship God, must, if he act rationally, do it on the conviction that there is such a Being, infinite, eternal, un-originated, and self-existent. One must believe God is the cause of all other being; on whom all being depends; and by whose energy, bounty, and providence, all other beings exist, live, and are supplied with the means of continued existence and life. 

One must believe, also, that He rewards them that diligently seek him; that He is not indifferent about his own worship;  in that He offers fellowship through the adoration and religious service of men; and that He blesses, and especially protects and saves, those who in simplicity and uprightness of heart seek and serve Him.  This life style requires faith.

 

For with the heart man believeth... -ROMANS 10:10
...and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe... -MARK 11:23


Faith - real faith, Bible faith, scriptural faith - is of the heart, not the head. Not with the understanding merely, but with such a faith as is sincere, and will influence the life. There can be no other genuine faith than that which influences the whole mind. 

This faith unction includes the consent of the will, an inward, hearty, sincere, and strong consent.

Doubt as defined is (literally in the Greek) wavering doubt. Not a single act of doubt, but waves of doubt. Falling upon and then temporarily subsiding only to overwhelm again and again. 

This doubt can only be overcome by (literally in the Greek) continued faith. Faith when overwhelmed the same consistency of faith when seemingly small resistance.

What does it mean to believe with the heart? What is the heart of man?

It's not the physical organ that pumps blood through your body and keeps you alive. You couldn't believe with your physical heart any more than you could believe with your physical hand, eye, ear, nose, or foot!

Consider how we use the term "heart" today. When we talk about the "heart" of a tree, we mean the center, the very core, of the tree. When we talk about the "heart" of a subject, we mean the most important part of that subject; the very center of it; the main part around which the rest revolves.

Likewise, when God speaks of man's "heart," He is speaking about the main part of the man - the very center of man's being - his spirit!

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. -PROVERBS 3:5

1. God is the Fountain of all good.
2. He has made his intelligent creatures dependent upon himself.
3. He requires them to be conscious of that dependence.
4. He has promised to communicate what they need.
5. He commands them to believe his promise, and look for its fulfillment.
6. And to do this without doubt, fear, or distrust; "with their whole heart."

Your own understanding is simply your own mental processes - your own human thinking. In other words, we could read this verse, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own head." Your heart is the center and marrow of true wisdom.

Faith will work in your heart with doubt in your head! Many Christians are defeated because when a doubt enters their minds, they say, "I'm doubting." But Jesus didn't say, "...and shall not doubt in his head." Jesus said, "...and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe...

"(Mark 11:23). It's heart faith that gets the job done - not head faith. Some of the greatest miracles that have ever happened in my life came when I began to make such faith statements as, "I believe from my heart that I receive my healing" - even though my head was saying, "It's not so. It's not so!" Do you ever have trouble with your head? Then just trust in the Lord with all your heart (not your head), and lean not unto your own understanding!

 

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. -MATTHEW 18:19

The word, verily, is added here, in ninety-eight manuscripts., (many of which are of the greatest antiquity and importance,) seven editions, all the Arabic, the Slavonic, and several of the Itala.  The taking in or leaving out such a word may appear to some a matter of indifference; but, I am fully convinced Jesus Christ never spoke a useless or a needless word. My rule is not to omit one syllable that I am convinced (from such authority as the above) he has ever used, and to take in nothing that he did not speak.  It makes the passage much more emphatic- Again, VERILY I say unto you.  This addition of His word gives assurance of the absolute exactness of his promise. 

This is also a metaphor taken from a number of musical instruments set to the same key, and playing the same tune. Here, it means a perfect agreement of the hearts, desires, wishes, and voices, of two or more persons praying to God.  It also intimates that as a number of musical instruments, skillfully played, in a good concert, are pleasing to the ears of men, so a number of persons united together in warm, earnest, fervent prayer, is highly pleasing in the sight and ears of the Lord. 

Only in God's word can we find common ground for agreement.  Circumstances, personality and all other worldly condition finds only differences.  God's word guides us to unity, common possibility and common purpose.

Absolute agreement brings absolutely fulfilled promise.  Pray with eagerness to receive what the word of God promises. 

 

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. -Romans 8:37

In persecuting times saints are driven closer to their Lord, so that we enjoy a sweeter communion with him. No earthly trial can make Jesus forget the souls for whom he died; he changes not in the purpose of his mind or the affection of his heart.

If God's Word had just told us we were more than conquerors, it would have been enough - but it tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ.

Rather than saying, "I'm defeated," rise up and say what the Bible says about you. Say, "I am a conqueror!"

It may not seem to you that you are a conqueror, but your confession of it, because of what you see in God's Word, will create the reality of it in your life.

As we abide faithful in the new covenant of our God; HE is faithful to whom he has promised to support and make us more than conquerors. Sooner or later you will become what you confess!

You will not be afraid of any circumstances, if you make the right confession.

You will not be afraid of any disease, if you make the right confession.

You will not be afraid of any conditions, if you make the right confession.

You will face life fearlessly, as a conqueror!

 

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. - Philippians 2:13

Another translation of this verse reads, "For it is God who is at work within you..."

I like to put Philippians 2:13 together with I John 4:4: "...greater is he that is in you [and that means me]..." God is in me!

* What is God doing in me? He is at work in me.
* What is God working at? Both to will and to do of His own good pleasure.
* What is His own good pleasure? His pleasure is that I have
everything the Word of God says I can have - that I do everything the Word of God says I can do. God is enabling me!

God is in there, and I rejoice. My heart is glad that I can turn God loose in me. I can let God have the right-of-way in me. I can put God to work even to a greater degree in my life.

How can I do this?
1. First, I can do it by believing in my heart that God is in there,
and that the Word of God is true.
2. Then, I can boldly confess with my mouth. For I will not enjoy the
reality of what the Word states is mine or what I believe until I confess it with my mouth.

The Bible teaches that "...with the heart man believeth...and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation"

 

Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight.) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. -2 CORINTHIANS 5:6-8

The exile longs to return, the child yearns for his father's house, and so do we pant for our own dear country beyond the river in the court of unfettered worship, and sigh for the bosom of Jesus

"...confident, knowing..." I fancy this phrase! Not hoping. Not guessing.

Not maybe so. But knowing! Knowing that while "we" are at home in the body, "we" are absent from the Lord. Yes, His Spirit is in our hearts, crying, "Abba, Father," but Jesus Christ, with a physical, flesh-and-bone resurrected body is at the right hand of the Father in heaven. And when "we" are absent from the body, "we" will be present with Him there.

What a great joy for every true believer!

Faith supplies the place of direct vision. We shall have sight-the utmost evidence of spiritual and eternal things; as we shall be present with them, and live in them!

 

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. -John 6:35

Before Adam sinned, he walked and talked with God. Adam had fellowship with God.

But when Adam fell, his spirit became estranged, or separated, from God.

Since that day, in the life of every person born into this world, there is a heart hunger; a spirit hunger.

All that are drawn by the Father, all those who are influenced by his Spirit, and yield to those influences: for as many as are LED (not driven or

dragged) by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God, Ro 8:14. God sent word to proclaim his salvation to this people; and he accompanied their preaching with the influence of his Spirit. Those who yielded were saved: those who did not yield to these drawings were lost.

This heart hunger causes men to seek something to satisfy it. Some look to worldly possessions. Some look to false religions of this world. Yet nothing can satisfy this heart hunger but God.

Although this heart hunger may have driven a man to all kinds of things, it ends when he finds Jesus Christ and received eternal life and is born again, he becomes the child of God. Man then has a relationship with God! He can fellowship with God! His heart hunger is satisfied!

 

He restoreth my soul... -Psalms 23:3

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -Romans 12:1-2

Paul, writing to the born-again, Spirit-filled Christians in Romans 12, tells them to do something with their bodies and their minds. Man has a new Spirit when he is born again at the New Birth - but he still has the same old body and the same soul. He is to present his body to God, and he is to see to it that his mind is renewed.

The Hebrew word translated "restoreth" in Psalm 23 and the Greek word translated "renewed" in Romans 12:2 have just about the same meaning. For example, a valuable antique chair which looks like a wreck can be restored.

Afterwards it's still the same chair, but it has been renewed. In the spirit-man he is never restored; it's born again, or recreated. But his soul is restored when his mind becomes renewed with the Word of God.

The greatest need of the Church today is for believers to have their minds renewed with the Word of God. It is the Word of God that restores the soul, renews souls, and saves souls!

 

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. -ROMANS 4:18

 The faith of Abraham bore an exact correspondence to the power and never-failing faithfulness of God; for though, in the ordinary course of things, he had not the best foundation of hope, yet he believed.

 Read Romans 4 for God's own account of Abraham and his faith. Here, the 18th verse says that Abraham believed. What did Abraham believe? He believed "...according to that which was spoken..."

 Abraham did not believe according to what he could see. Abraham did not believe according to what he could feel. Abraham did not believe according to what his physical senses told him. Abraham did not even believe according to what his mind told him.

 Abraham believed according to what was spoken by God!

 Knowing this Scripture has brought me through many hard places. When opposition and contradicting circumstances have said, "No, you don't have it," I've stood my ground. I've said from my heart, "I believe according to that which is spoken." And "that which is spoken" is God's Word!

 

"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

It is possible that by serpents and scorpions our Lord means the scribes and Pharisees, whom he calls serpents and a brood of vipers, Mt 23:33, because, through the subtilty and venom of the old serpent, the devil, they opposed him and his doctrine; and, by trampling on these, it is likely that he means, they should get a complete victory over such: as it was an ancient custom to trample on the kings and generals who had been taken in battle, to signify the complete conquest which had been gained over them. Make no mistake about it, bad and deceptive doctrines STEAL, KILL, and DESTROY!

We must recognize this: God's plan is prosperity, health, abundance, peace, love and life. Satan's plan is poverty, sickness, lack, stress, hatred and death. And as strange as it may seem, the choice is ours. God's plan and Satan's plan are set before us and we must choose. Do we want life or do we want death. It seems like a "no brainer" of a choice, but surprisingly many are choosing death. Why should this be? We have been given authority.

A person can be given authority but unless that authority is exercised, it is useless. Satan is a liar and he does his best to convince Christians that they do not have authority over him. He uses fear and intimidation to cause Christians to step back and do nothing. But this should not be.

Jesus defeated Satan and made a public display of him. As a Christian you are a part of the body of Christ. You have nothing to fear. Victory is yours if you believe the truth and discard the lie.

 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. -PROVERBS 3:5

1. God is the Fountain of all good.
2. He has made his intelligent creatures dependent upon himself.
3. He requires them to be conscious of that dependence.
4. He has promised to communicate what they need.
5. He commands them to believe his promise, and look for its fulfillment.
6. And to do this without doubt, fear, or distrust; "with their whole heart."

Your own understanding is simply your own mental processes - your own human thinking. In other words, we could read this verse, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own head." Your heart is the center and marrow of true wisdom.

Faith will work in your heart with doubt in your head! Many Christians are defeated because when a doubt enters their minds, they say, "I'm doubting." But Jesus didn't say, "...and shall not doubt in his head." Jesus said, "...and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe...

"(Mark 11:23). It's heart faith that gets the job done - not head faith. Some of the greatest miracles that have ever happened in my life came when I began to make such faith statements as, "I believe from my heart that I receive my healing" - even though my head was saying, "It's not so. It's not so!" Do you ever have trouble with your head? Then just trust in the Lord with all your heart (not your head), and lean not unto your own understanding!

 

As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. -ROMANS 4:17

 God who quickeneth.  It is God himself that faith fastens upon: no other foundation can a man lay. Now observe what in God, Abraham's faith had an eye to-- certainly that, which would be most likely to confirm his faith concerning the things promised. 

 If Abraham believed according to what was spoken, exactly what was spoken? What did Abraham believe?

 When Abram (as he was then called) was 99 years old, the Lord said to him, "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee" (Genesis 17:5). Notice that God did not say, "I'm going to do it"; He said, "I have made thee."  Abraham did not argue nor stagger.  He simply believed.

 When God made Abraham that promise, Abraham was childless. But Abraham was told he was not to believe he was "going to be" (future tense) a father. Those people who are always, "going to" get something never posses it.  It is the same with the ones who say, "I’m going to lead someone to the Lord so they may receive their salvation, sometime." Or, "I’m going to receive my healing sometime.")

 No, faith is always present tense! Abraham had to believe he "was made" the father of many nations.

 For, you see, faith calleth those things which be not as though they were. That's what causes them to come into being.

 

“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.  Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22

Both flesh-the sinful dispositions of the human heart and born again spirit (the changed or purified state of the soul), by the grace and Spirit of God, are represented as trees. One tree yielding good the other bad fruit. The production of each tree being according to the nature of that tree. The tree is according to the nature of the seed from which it grew from.

Everything God has for us is joyful.  When He heals us, it’s a good, joyful thing.  When God prospers us, it’s a joyful thing!  But the unique thing about being a Christian is that we can have joy in the midst of sickness, financial trouble or any trial that comes our way. ( Dr. Larry Ollison, Ph.D)

First of all, the joy has already been placed within us as a part of the fruit of the spirit.  That happened when we became born again.  Secondly, we know that no matter how great the sickness, no matter how great the financial problem, no matter how great the trial, we can rest in the truth that God said He would deliver us.

In Psalm 34:19 the Bible says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Did you catch that?  God delivers us out of all of our afflictions.

The problem with joy is not getting it; it’s letting it out.  As Christians we have already been given joy as part of the fruit of the spirit.  So since we have it, it’s our responsibility to let it flow.  We have our hand on the valve that governs our joy level.

Therefore be imitators of God - copy Him and follow His example - as well-beloved children [imitate their father]. -EPHESIANS 5:1 Amplified

 Here is a model at once so attractive and so perfect that we may love and copy it at the same time.

 Abraham believed something he couldn't see. Thomas refused to believe something he couldn't see. Thomas' name isn't listed in the gallery of heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. But Abraham's name is.

 Someone might say, "Well, it would be all right for God to call those things which be not as though they were, because He's God. But would be wrong for me to do that?"

 If it's wrong for you to do it, it's wrong for God to do it! God is the most proper object of trust and dependence. God is a faith God. And we are faith children of a faith God. Because we are faith children of a faith God, we are to act in faith. And faith calls those things which be not as though they were! (Romans 4:17)

 

Division Hinders our Prayers

Jesus said, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19,

As Christians we need to be in agreement.  We must be in agreement with God.  We must be in agreement with the Word, and we must be in agreement with each other.

There is power in agreement and according to Jesus, if we ask God the Father, concerning anything, it will be done.  Now I know that when we read God’s Word, we must take the sum of the scriptures in balance.  And here’s what I mean.

Only when the conditions are met will God do what God said He would do.

This is the way it is with God.  He has filled His Word full of promises.  These promises are for you and for me.  He has given us hope and confidence that He will meet our needs.  However, we can not forget the requirements.

Now don’t take me wrong.  I know that we are living in a time of grace.  I know that we do not deserve the salvation that has been given to us.  But, even though the salvation is a free gift, we must still meet certain requirements.

So, when we read Matthew 18:19 where Jesus said, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven,” we must know that Jesus also made this promise conditional, and the main condition is agreement.

Satan does not want us to agree with each other.  First of all, He knows that when we as Christians do not agree with the Word of God, it leaves us without faith and when we don’t agree with each other, it leads to division in the church.  If Satan can get Christians to disagree, then he has weakened the prayer power of the church.  He accomplishes this through strife, quarrels and hatred.

Proverbs 12:10 says, “Hatred stirs up strife.” And Proverbs 16:28 says, “a perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates friends.”

God wants us unified and in agreement.  Satan wants to divide us and make us ineffective.

So, let’s agree.  As the church, let’s walk in love and understanding.  Let’s walk in the power of agreement and our prayers will be answered. 

   
8/04

 

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John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Your love for each other shall be such decisive evidence that you are like the Savior, that all men shall see and know it.

It shall be the thing by which you shall be known among all men.  You shall not be known by peculiar rites or habits; not by a peculiar form of dress or manner of speech; not by peculiar fastings, penance, and curious customs.

It is called new, not because there was no command before which required men to love their fellow-men, for one great precept of the law was that they should love their neighbor as themselves. It was new because it had never before been made that by which any class or body of men had been known and distinguished.

Here Jesus puts it on the line.  If we only love those who love us, we are no different than the world.  Even the people of the world who are not Christians love those who love them.  But we are to be different.  We as Christians are not under the old law.  We are under the new covenant.  We live under the law of love.

Jesus Christ himself had won the right to send it forth to the entire world under the sanction of his own example.  The reason for “love one another” is “even as I have loved you.”

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

 "Agonize the good agony.  Thou hast a contest to sustain in which thy honour, thy life, thy soul, are at stake.  Live the Gospel, and defend the cause of God.  Unmask hypocrites, expel the profligate, purge and build up the Church, live in the spirit of thy religion, and give thyself wholly to this work.” (Adam Clark)

 The only fight given to believers is the fight of faith. If you're in any other kind of fight, you have missed your calling.

 Jesus has already defeated the devil, sin, sickness, and death - Jesus is our new life of faith.  Jesus is the cure, placed in us, and given to the world so that the world may know who God is and that He is their answer. 

 We lay aside all hindrances to receive the joy and full assurance of our liberation.  We fight anything that would deny us the full attainment of God’s promise which may only be received by faith.

 To understand God’s word is to receive the power to conquer the enemies of faith. Paul encouraged his protégé Timothy to study the word so he would never stand ashamed or unprepared. “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty!” He who is “more than a conqueror” stands tall and unafraid!  Faith makes the believer “bold as a lion!”

 The believer must boldly profess that which God has finished in us!

 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. -MARK 11:25

Remember this when anger tries to hold you in its evil power, escape from this slavery as from your mortal enemy.

On this condition of forgivness, you shall have whatever you ask, without anger or doubting. Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

If there is doubt or unforgiveness , your faith will stumble and your prayers will be in vain! Jesus states emphatically that unforgiveness and doubt are the only stoppage to faith.

We should worship God thoughtfully; and if in the course of that thought, we remember that our brother has ought against us, we must stop. Matthew 5:23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee.

If we have wronged another, we are to pause, cease from the worship, and then quickly seek reconciliation. It is easy to remember if we have ought against our brother, but now the memory is to be turned the other way.

Only when we have remembered our mistakes, and made reconciliation, can we hope for an audience with the Lord.

The rule is — first peace with man, and then acceptance with God.

 

This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding),

He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more.
Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin.

Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus,        Hebrews 10:16-19
(amplified Bible)

The design of the atonement of Christ was "to perfect for ever them that are sanctified?" In regard to this, we may observe,

 (1.)          That it was declared that those who were interested in it would be holy, for the law would be in their hearts and written on their minds; and,

(2.)          That this would be complete and unending. The sins of believers would be totally forgiven;
their sins would never be remembered again--and

(3.)          Thus they would be "perfected for ever."

Remembrance of sin can only hinder your faith.

 So many I have known question their salvation because they have led lives that were not what they thought they should have been. They would have lived differently. They should have been more perfect in outward behavior.

 The sinner comes to Christ and he by faith not works receives remission of sin; a blotting out of sins.

 One must repent of sin and believe oneself to be forgiven.  If we never believe we are forgiven, then we live in sin consciousness, and can never rise above the power of the flesh to control us.  As long as our thoughts are tied to failure we are what we see ourselves to be.

 The miracle of faith is that God has given us a vision of ourselves perfected and thus miraculously giving us power to be what we believe. We then are free to worship without sin!

 

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. -MARK 11:23

Here is the lesson now. From the nature of the case offered by Jesus, that they might wish a mountain be removed and cast into the sea. Yet this thing would be far removed from anything which one may consider even something we could desire. 

 It is plain that not just physical but moral obstacles stand in the way of the progress of receiving promises from God. Jesus proclaims that no obstacle should be able to stand before an undoubting faith in God.

 Reverend Kenneth Hagin had been miraculously healed of a heart condition and incurable blood disease at the age of 17.

 The Lord told him to notice in the eleventh chapter of Mark, the twenty-third verse, that the word 'say' is included three times in some form and the word 'believe' is only used once?"

 Then the Lord said, "My people are not missing it primarily in their believing. They are missing it in their saying. They have been taught to believe, but faith must be released in words through your mouth. You can have what you say."

 The bible says our words come from our inner man.  Thus we speak what we believe.  If my heart is humbled before the Lord His word and His possibility will come from my mouth.  My words would then go beyond what I would presume I could desire, into the miraculous possibilities I have not yet even imagined.  God’s word declares nothing is impossible...

 What liberty God gives us in prayer!  Yet how slow we are to use this power entrusted to us! Faith is released through action. We release our faith by speaking the Word of God from the heart believing what God says is possible in His own Word.

 

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
-PROVERBS 6:1, 2

 As a believer you are the friend of the debtor, for whom, as being your friend, you become surety or you gave your word if he did not pay the debt you would; whereby you art in the debtors power, if your friend neglects or is unfaithful, you then are exposed to the payment of the debt.

 Jesus declared in John 15:15 we believers are His friend.  Jesus took over the debt in which He cannot be unfaithful yet it is left to us what our position is with the debtor (sickness poverty and death).  What we shall give ourselves to is left to us as friends.  Our words are the power that binds us to debt.

 Many Christians blame certain things on the devil, when actually they are taken captive by the words of their own mouths. One writer expressed it this way:

 You said you could not - and the moment you said it you were whipped. You said you did not have faith - and doubt arose up like a giant and bound you. You are imprisoned with your own words. You talked failure, and failure held you in bondage.

 Our words dominate us. That's what Jesus was saying in Mark 11:23: "...he shall have whatsoever he saith."

 Never talk failure. Never talk defeat. Never acknowledge for one moment that God's ability or power cannot put you over. If you do talk failure or defeat, you are acknowledging that God cannot and has not put you over in life.

 But thank God, He can! And He has! If you will believe right and talk right, you will walk in the reality of it!

 

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. -1 John 4:4

 You are under the influence of the Divine Spirit, and have overcome them-your testimony, proceeding from the Spirit of Christ, has invalidated all other words, testimonies of all lies, proceeding from the influence of Satan; for greater is the Holy Spirit which is in you, than the spirit which is in the world.

 The Holy Spirit lives within you to help you!

 He lives within you to strengthen you!

 He lives within you to comfort you!

 He lives within you to heal you!

 He lives within you to bring you prosperity!

 He lives within you to victorious in life!

 Let you words become positive confessions of your promised testimony instead of talking failure and doubt.

 

...And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature...giants...and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. -NUMBERS 13:31-33

 The promise of the kingdom of God is given to every believer; but how many are discouraged by the difficulties in the way!  A inactive heart sees dangers, lions, and giants, every where; and therefore refuses to proceed in the heavenly path. 

 Many of the spies contribute to this by the bad reports they bring of the heavenly promised life.  Certain preachers allow "that the land is good, that it flows with milk and honey," and even go so far as to show some of its fruits; but they discourage the people by stating the impossibility of overcoming their enemies. 

 Could it be that we are not good enough to receive.

 Could it be that God does not include this happiness in your life.  Ten of those twelve spies of old brought back "an evil report" too.

 

All doubt no faith makes Jack a dull boy.  Joel 3:9 ¶ Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up...

 God had already told the children of Israel that He had given them this land flowing with milk and honey. They acknowledged that it was, indeed, a land flowing with milk and honey. "BUT," they complained, "there are giants in the land, and we are not able to take it!"

 The treacherous spies gave an exaggerated report. The children of Israel confessed what they believed. They believed they couldn't succeed. Then their lazy hearts spoke up, "We can't." And they received exactly what they said!

 The two that said “we can” Joshua and Caleb though endurance and patience got exactly the victory they truthfully confessed.

 

We need to make one statement up front that we all accept is true. God hears and answers prayer! It does work. Even though there are a lot of people who most of the time, just make a stab in the dark at praying. They just go to God and gripe about their problems and then beg Him to take care of them, and then they call that praying and let it go at that. They are hoping against hope that somehow their prayers will get answered some way or the other. But.....the truth of the matter is that to pray successfully, we have to take our stand on God's Word and let heaven, hell, and earth know that God's Word is true and we believe it.

 We had better be growing in prayer. God often condescends to meet us on an elementary level when we first begin to learn His ways. But He wants us to grow up and meet Him on His own level. That is when we will see consistent success in prayer. According to the Bible there is a similarity between physical growth and spiritual growth

 1 Peter 2:2 (Authorized KJV) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

 (New Revised Standard Version) Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation—

 No one is born a fully grown adult. Each person is born a baby and grows up. As we mature in the Word we should be able to improve our prayer life.

 The child prays "Now I lay me down to sleep...." but the adult doesn't (or shouldn't) pray that way anymore. God will require more

of us now than He did even a few years ago. When light comes and teaching is given, God requires us to walk in the light of it.

 

Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21

 (1.)          He was endowed with a Divine and human nature--the nature of both the parties at issue, God and man.
(2.)          He was intimately acquainted with both the parties, and knew what was needful to be done.
(3.)          He was the Friend of both the parties. He loved God and man.
(4.)          He was willing to suffer anything from either party in order to produce reconciliation.
(5.)          He has removed all the obstacles which existed to a reconciliation.

 We have been given authority to use exercise dominion in the earth now that sin has been taken away.  This should not be a strange idea as we know that when God created man he gave him dominion over all the earth.  Even though man lost the authority to exercise dominion because of sin, Jesus reconciled us to the victory he has regained for those who are born again thus reconciled to God.

 We have power in the name of Jesus!  We have the power of God to use as he has given us the wisdom to use it.

 I John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

 We have been given authority over sickness, disease, poverty, stress and every evil thing that can come against us.  As a Christian, we have access to that power.    

 Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He said, And these signs shall follow those who believe:  In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 Jesus would never command us to do these things without giving us the power and authority to accomplish the command.

 

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. - John 16:27

 This love is called forth by God's eternal love in the gift of His Son mirrored in the hearts of those who believe, and resting on His dear Son.

 This is a warm and friendly love, used of God's love for the disciples, “because Ye have loved me" or loved and still love me warmly.”

 We see in scripture again and again this condition: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”  Man allows God to act according to our faith.  God can lonely act as we allow.

 A machine is perfect or complete when it has all its parts and is in good order--when there is no part of it inadequate. So the union of Christians, for which the our loving Savior prayed, would be complete or perfect if there were no controversies, no envying, no contentions, and no jealousies.

 It is worthwhile to speak clearly here how entirely the union of his people occupied the mind of Jesus as he drew near to death. By grave caution, and by His most tender appeals to God in supplication, he showed His sense of the value of this union.

 No promise is made complete without this love being manifest thus making our faith complete.  Faith’s work is always the result of profound love.

 

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed.  James 1:5, 6

 Wisdom signifies in general knowledge of the best end, and the best means of attaining it; but more so in Scripture it signifies the same as true faith, the thorough practical knowledge of God, of one's self, and of a Savior.

 God provides only good, and gives all good to every one that asks fervently.  He who does not ask thus does not feel the need.  The ancient Greek maxim may appear strange, but it is literally true: 

"The knowledge of ignorance is the beginning of knowledge."

 I must first find God’s promise to expose my need. Then when the need is apparent I may petition God for the provision.

 We must empty our selves of earthly wisdom to accept God’s wisdom.  Once wisdom is needed and asked for God gives perfect wisdom for every area of our life, spirit, soul, and body. We may show knowledge in the following ways:

 James 1: verses 1-4

  1. INTELLIGENCE,   the object of which is intuitive truths.
  2. WISDOM,             which is working to find out the best end.
  3. FORETHOUGHT,   which regulates our conduct through life.
  4. ABILITY,              which provides infallible rules to reason by.

 You have a choice.  You can say, “Well, I sure hope I have wisdom.”  But when you speak statements of doubt, you have immediately proven you were not in faith.  If God has said He will give you something (and the way He gives it to you is by His grace), then you must believe He did (by faith).  That means you believe, speak and act like you have the wisdom needed.

 Faith has to begin to exercise its miracle working power.  Faith says, “All right!  Praise God!  I’ve got that ability now.  I can make that decision now because I’ve got the mind of Christ.  God has given me wisdom.  Praise the Lord!”  Then when the situation you were praying about arises, you feel right making the right decision.

 Let us not hesitate, let us be resolute; no man can believe too much good of God!

 

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18

 In the 18th verse we see, "they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them." This does not mean that we are supposed to handle deadly snakes to prove our spirituality. It means that if we are accidentally bitten, as the Apostle Paul was on Malta, we too can shake off the serpent and claim immunity in the Name of Jesus.

 When this happened to Paul as recorded in Acts 28, we see that the people around fully expected him to fall dead at any moment. When there appeared no sign of the snake bite on his hand and he did not even become ill, the people around him knew that they had truly witnessed a miracle. 

In modern days there was a woman missionary in a foreign country who was stung by a deadly scorpion. They had no antidote for it and the sting of that scorpion had always meant death, so people watched her expecting her to swell up and die. However, she just shook it off in Jesus' Name. Because of it, many people received Jesus.

 The scripture also says, "And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm them." Again this does not mean that you go out and find poison and drink it to prove a point. It means that if you ingest something accidentally that is harmful; it will not harm you if you claim your immunity in the Name of Jesus Christ. Jesus also said,

 "They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." So we have been given the authority to lay hands on those who are ill and claim deliverance in the Name of Jesus. We know it is His will so we don't have to say, "If it is the Lord's will....."

 Notice that He said it is we who lay hands on the sick. We do the laying on of hands, not Jesus, not the Holy Ghost. We lay hands on the sick in the Name of Jesus or as His substitute. By the same token, we are the ones who speak in tongues. Some folks say, "But I'm afraid that was just me." Sure it was you.

 You have the right to speak in tongues in the Name of Jesus. You do the talking as much as you do the laying on of hands on a sick person. The Holy Spirit gives you the utterance, but you do the talking. This is the right of the born again believer in Jesus. It belongs to everyone, not just special ministers. The ordinary child of God has just as much right to use the Name of Jesus as anyone.

 Just remember, we do not have to struggle for faith. Some people think that if they just had enough faith, they could do these things. But notice that this passage of scripture does not say a word about faith. Jesus didn't say, "If they have enough faith..." He said, "These signs shall follow them that believe; In my Name they shall..." and He went on to enumerate our rights through His Name.

 We do not have to struggle for faith. It is simply a matter of claiming our rights and boldly using what we know belongs to us. The Name of Jesus belongs to me as much as my hands and feet belong to me. When I wake up in the morning, I don't pray for God to give me faith to get up and walk. I just get up and walk because I know my feet are there and they are mine. Certainly the Name of Jesus is just as much mine as my hands and feet are mine, and I can use His Name.

 

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only..." James 1:22
"If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it." John 14:14

 They had heard this doctrine; they had believed it; but they had put it to no practical use.  They put a sort of unintelligent, inactive faith in the place of all moral righteousness.  They imposed on themselves sophistical arguments; this is the meaning of the words.  They had reasoned themselves into a state of carnal security, and the object of James is, to awake them out of their sleep.

 True love to Jesus always shows itself by obedience, all other love is only a thing of the lips, and betrays a hypocritical heart.

 Some people pray and pray, but the results do not show that their prayers had any value. If you do not get results when you pray, then it is time to reexamine your methods. If you are not praying for results and expecting results, then there is no need to pray. 

Prayer is of the utmost importance. The whole crux of the Christian walk from the practical side is that one is in touch with the living God who hears and answers prayer. Just talking into the air is not prayer.

 The Bible tells us to expect results when we pray. Do we expect God to answer our prayers? If we are praying and getting no results, then we probably just have the form without the power. All of God's promises are available to us only through prayer, so if we don't have them it is because we have not made the prayer connection. If you are praying but not seeing any results, seek to find the trouble.

 We know that God is true. We know that His Word never fails. We know that the day of praying or of miracles is not over. We know that God has not gone bankrupt.

 We need to find out why this is happening, uproot any doubt and unbelief; pray as Jesus taught us to pray--to the Father in Jesus' Name--for Jesus stands in back of His Word. When we come according to God's Word, it cannot fail.

 

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.   Proverbs 15:4

 Here is an allusion to paradise’s tree, ets chaiyim, "the tree of lives."  What you say is important.  In fact, it is so important that our lives are better or worse because of the words we speak.

 A good tongue is healing, healing to wounded consciences by comforting them, to sin-sick souls by convincing them, to peace and love when it is broken by accommodating differences, compromising matters in variance, reconciling parties, bringing strength and miraculous healing to our flesh, calling those things that are not as though they are, calling a for petitions and request of God according to His word with all faith.

 This is the healing of the tongue, which is a tree of life, the leaves of which have a curative virtue, (Rev 22:2.) He that knows how to speak with this virtue will make the place he lives in a paradise.  The use of this tree was intended as the means of preserving the body of man in a state of continual vital energy, and an antidote against death.

 Our words are containers.  When we speak, our words contain power -- the power to build or the power to destroy.  Our words can contain faith that builds, or they can contain doubt and criticism that destroys.  And the interesting thing about that is this: we control the words that come out of our mouths.  We are the ones who determine whether we will build or destroy.

 Our words can create blessing or cursing and we will live in the state of our words.  Would I live in paradise with God’s blessing bringing healing to all parts of my life or would I be cast out of his presence?

 

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24

 Want of faith is the great cause of failure among disciples, both as to themselves and their work for others. There may be other specific disorders in certain cases, but this is the great and main cause of all failure: "Because of your unbelief." If there had been true faith, of the real and living kind, the disciples could have wrought any miracle, even to the moving of a mountain.

 Smith Wigglesworth once said that there is something about believing God that will cause Him pass over a million people to get to you. God is a faith God and we are faith children of a faith God. He works on the principle of faith. We are saved by faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). We walk by faith and not by sight. It is the prayer of faith that God listens to. Just remember that you have to believe and then receive.

 This is what faith obtains of the Lord at the present hour: her prayer is heard, and things impossible to herself are fashioned by divine power. Spiritually or literally the mountain is removed. Literally, at this hour the mountain stands, but faith finds a way round it, through it, or over it; and so in effect removes it. If that does not give remedy then God will literally level the entire mountain for your good faith.

 We must attend to the instructions of Godly order; receive before you believe. Receiving the gift fetches praise from the heart.  If I possess what I have asked and enjoy full assurance I can then rejoice; Not simply wait and hope that it may yet come.  True Godly faith grasps the truth in ones heart and cannot mistrust the Giver.

 We well may have the symptoms of sickness contend with, but, faith finds a way round it, through it, or over it; and so in effect removes it. If that does not give remedy then God will literally level the entire mountain for your good faith. 

Smith Wigglesworth said that with some people, if that for which they claim to be believing God doesn't come immediately, they are ready to give up. But, he says, this proves that they never believed God in the first place.

 

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
John 16:23-24

This is one of the truths which shall be more fully revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.   Ask In my name; and ye shall receive-all the salvation you do request; the consequence of which shall be that your joy shall be full-you shall be thoroughly happy in being made complete.

 The New Covenant had not yet come when Jesus spoke these words. He had not yet gone to the cross, died, been buried, risen from the dead, carried His blood into the Holy of Holies, or sat down by the Father's throne. He was talking of the day after all these things had happened.

No man had never been born again at this time. He had never been given the life and nature of God on the inside of him. All of this would be available under the New Covenant delivered to us by the Holy Spirit. He told His disciples that after He went to Calvary and was raised from the dead, the people are then to pray to His Father in His Name, not to pray to Him (Jesus).

 We are to use our new covenant mediator to speak legally to the Father. This instruction is that in that day we are not supposed to pray to Jesus.

Let us focus our attention on the word, "whatsoever," in verse 23 of the above passage. Often folks say that they are believing God for the answer to prayer "if it is His will." But this verse really makes no such condition. It says, "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you." It must have been His will; otherwise He wouldn't have said it.

Jesus talked like this so "...that your joy may be full."  There is a secret to this kind of praying. The key is in the words "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name..." We are to address prayers to the Father in the Name of Jesus. Use the authority of Jesus name to receive your answer to prayer.

 

“This man heard Paul speaking.  Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand up straight on your feet!’  And he leaped and walked.” Acts 14:9

 Mark 5, when the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” 

 Though pardon and salvation come to us through the Redeemer, and his work is the praiseworthy ground on which we receive them, yet the exercise, on our part, of faith in him, is the appointed means of obtaining promises .

 Then, in James 5:15, the Bible talks about the Elders praying for a person who is sick and it says, “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”  

 Faith plays an important part in healing, and if I was sick I would want all the faith I could get.

 Romans 10:17 says, “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

 We must also remember this.  In John 3 17 Jesus said that He did not come into this world to condemn it but to save it.  As Christians we must be like Jesus.  If someone has prayed for healing and it looks like they are not healed, the last thing we should do is make them feel guilty or inadequate.  When little could be done by Jesus in Nazareth, the Bible says that He continued to teach.  He didn’t condemn the people.  He taught them.

 The question is “Do we have to know God’s will before we pray?” 

 We must pray God’s will.  We find His will in His word and we should pray the Word.  However, when we truly do not know how to pray, we can pray His will by praying in the Spirit. 

 Romans 8:26 says the Spirit helps us pray when we don’t know how to pray.  And, of course, the Holy Spirit knows the will of God; so, when we pray in the Spirit we are automatically praying His will.

 First John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

9/04

 

 

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Ps 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

 " Whereunto I may continually resort."  Should the psalmist desire to have never-ending restoration?  Our necessities, our work, our desperate situation require it constantly.  We are commanded to pray without ceasing.  And if, while we acknowledge and feel the obligation, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind, we shall not be disappointed it.

 Loving him, as well as depending upon him, we shall find it good to draw near to God, and delight ourselves in the Almighty. We shall never find him inaccessible, when we want him.

There is a way to our "strong habitation," and we know the way.  There is a door, and we have the key.  No demonic guard or powerful angel can keeps us back; the dwelling is our own.  Who could dare prevent us from claiming all its spacious living quarters and contents?

Kings, however disposed, cannot always be approachable, owing to the incessant time consuming duties of office, the limitation of their powers, and the importance of keeping up a sense of their dignity.  They are only accessible at certain times, and with stately formalities

But, the King of kings allows us to come boldly to the throne of grace; and provides His own authority to complete for us every thing, by prayer and supplication, making our requests unto him.  We cannot be too persistent, or by our continual coming weary him.  We are welcomed at the table of grace always.

"Thou hast given commandment to save me."  Now observe his words.  The psalmist ascribes to the word and command of God a saving virtue, which no power on earth, none in hell, nor death itself can resist. Only give the command that I may be saved, and, in a moment, I shall be saved entirely.

Permit me to enter into Oh Lord, and be as much at home as a man in his own house, and then bear me up that I may remain in you as my settled dwelling place.

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NAS95)

You are the children of God, and He loves you; and because He loves you He will permit nothing to be done to you that He will not turn to your advantage.  Never take the execution of the law into your own hands; rather suffer hurt. 

The Son of man is come, not to destroy men's lives, but to save: be of the same Spirit.  When he was reviled, he reviled not again.  It is the part of a noble mind to bear up under unmerited disgrace; slight minds are quarrelsome and argumentative.

Leave the matter to the judgment of God; it is His law that is broken; and the infliction of deserved punishment belongs to Him.  Some think it means, "Yield a little to a man when in a violent passion, for the sake of peace, until he grow cooler."  Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

I will repay...
  In God’s own time and in God’s own way.  But He gives the sinner space to repent, and this longsuffering leads to salvation.

Exercise a forgiving spirit. We must have a kind and forgiving disposition. If we do not forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us. To inculcate this truth, and impress it upon our minds, God has made it our duty daily to pray, "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

 Forgivness in your heart allows God to act upon your faith. On this condition, you shall have whatever you ask, without wrath or doubting.  Unforgiveness prevents God from working through you.

 

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Matthew 9:38

Those who are fittest for the work are generally least fit for employment.  The man who is forward in becoming a preacher knows little of God, of human nature, or of his own heart.  It is, God's choice to thrust out such preachers as shall labor.
It is our duty to pray for our heavenly Father to do so. 

A minister of Christ is represented as a day-laborer: he comes into the harvest, not to become lord of it, not to live on the labor of others, but to work, and to labor all day.  Though the work may be very difficult, yet, there are good wages for those willing to work hard. The day, though hot, is but a short one. 

the flock of Christ should sincerely pray for the good Shepherd to send them pastors after his own heart, who will feed them with knowledge, and who shall be the means of spreading the knowledge of his truth and the blessed taste of His grace over the face of the whole earth!

 The subject of fasting, though slightly noticed in the preceding, should be considered.

 In all countries, and under all religions, fasting has not only been considered a duty, but also of extraordinary asset to acquire blessings, and to avert evils.  Hence it has often been practiced with amazing diligence, and abused for the most superstitious purposes.

It is worthy of remark, that these children of the Bridegroom, the disciples, did not mourn, were exposed to no persecution, while the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, was with them.  But, after he had been taken from them, by death and his ascension, they did fast and mourn; they were exposed to all manner of hardships, persecutions, and even death itself, in some of its worst forms.

Fasting does not change God but it does prepare our hearts for the ministry before us.

 

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

Now prayer lifts up her voice; proclaiming the daybreak.  Now the tide is turned, and the tears dried.  The mercy seat is the life of hope and the death of dejection.

This light can never be extinguished by man; the Lord is my salvation, my mainstay, my shield, and my defense; of whom then should I be afraid?

Confidence, hope, and joy, evidenced in worship to God.

 1.     The courage and holy bravery of faith.

 2.     The contentment in communion with God and the benefit experienced by it.

 3.     God’s gift of favor and grace.

 4.     Expectations from God are satisfied, and encouragement given to others to hope in Christ. 

 Let our hearts be likewise affected in singing this psalm.

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified) -John 7:37-39

That abundant out flowing of Jesus’ graces spoken of by Joel, Joe 2:28, which peculiarly characterized the age of Grace, was not granted till after the ascension of Christ.  This firstly was because the Holy Spirit in its fullness was to come in consequence of his atonement; and therefore could not come till after his crucifixion. Secondly it was to supply the place of Christ to his disciples and to all true believers; and therefore it was not necessary till after the removal of his bodily presence from among them.

Instead of depending on ceremony of drawing water let him come to me, the Messiah, and he shall find an ever-abundant supply for all the wants of his life.

The Holy Spirit today continues to supply all our needs of life even to this day.  He comes as our Savior to give us:

  • His eternal life, His omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent presence.
  • The Spirit of Glory and of God, as Creator, equal to, and one with the Father, Giver of all things
  • As Author of the new birth, the resurrected life of Christ
  • As the inspired knowledge of Scripture, the source of wisdom, the source of miraculous power in healing and miracles
  • He offers himself in appointing and sending ministers, directing where the gospel should be preached
  • As dwelling in saints the Comforter of the Church, sanctifying the Church
  • As the Witness of God’s presence, convincing of the lost of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment

Drink deeply of the wonder of the Gifts of God with full understanding and submission to His loving will.

And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;  The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.  I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.  2Samuel 22:2-4

How David loves God, and gives him the glory for his endless virtues.  There is none like him, nor any to be compared with him “Who is God, save the Lord?”  All others gods, all nations with all their power are counterfeits and imposters.

How he celebrates his God, and his relation to him, which he lays down as the foundation of all the benefits he has received from him.

"My strength and my power” the rock under which I take sanctuary.  He is to me as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land; the rock on which I build my hope.

Our humble dependence on God offering the prayer of faith to him with believing that we receive for all which is needed, is one of the best means of gaining benefit from trials while they last, and in due time a glorious deliverance from them.

And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing. Genesis 29:35

Yehudah, a confessor; one who acknowledges God, and acknowledges that all good comes from his hands, and gives him the praise due to his grace and mercy. 

 From this patriarch the Jews have their name, and could it be now rightly applied to them, it would intimate that they were a people that confess God; they speak it our with their mouth.  They acknowledge his bounty, and praise him for his grace.

God respects those whom men wrongfully disregard, and graciously invests such privileges upon them so as to fill their hearts with gratitude, and open their mouths in praise.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

The Psalmist has prayed against the sins of the mouth and of the heart. Let my mouth speak nothing but what is true, kind, and profitable; and my heart meditate nothing but what is holy, pure, and of good report.

Our words are framed by what is in our heart.  The recipe is simple Strength (Foundation Rock) and Redemption. Our heart must first believe that our Lord is our strength and has redeemed us from sin and then our words must agree.  Like a sacrifice without spot or blemish, offered up with a perfect heart to God; this God will accept.

If our words are filled with faith and love as befitting the redeemed then our words will be accepted by God. If on the other hand our words are filled with doubt and fear then they will not be accepted by God, because He believes each born again person is delivered from sickness, poverty and death.  We must speak God’s eternal truth. 

No prayer can be acceptable before God which is not offered up in God’s strength; through HIM who took our nature upon himself, that he might redeem us unto God, and restore the long-lost inheritance.

 

Ps 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

Sometimes it may appear deliverance is long delayed. In these seasons faith finds hope to wait upon God in quiet submission and humble obedience.  When the right time has come, he will cause the morning to shine.  The sun must break through at the exact moment it was prepared in the heavens to emerge in our sight.  It was never gone, just not visible for the moment.

Our comfort lies not in that which we can create, but in that which is with our God. Look out of self and its poverty to Jehovah and his riches of mercy’s provision.

 

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. Psalm 90:17

The lovely and perfect presence of our God can cast a sacred beauty upon our lives.  And yet this alone is not all the benefit of such an excellent nature.  There is a spiritual light, so beauty inspiring, that the plainest face which possess it, is radiant with a remarkable loveliness. A beauty which wins its way into the heart of those that witness it.

We mark with great earnestness this desire to enjoy this wonderful presence; and this sincerity is to establish a place where pure worship is restored.

We must not rest until it is made factual and we should stay close to its source that it may endure.

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.     Philippians 4:4

This particular exhortation is, that the joy of the believer should not be hindered by any afflictions that the wicked imagine and work against them.  

So is the joy of the world distinguished from our joy.  Be continually happy; but this happiness you can find only in the Lord.  Genuine happiness is spiritual; as it can only come from God, so it unfailingly comes from Him.  Paul repeats the exhortation, to show, not only his sincerity, but also that it was God's will that it should be so, and that it was their duty as well as their effect.

It is the privilege of Christians to rejoice, not at certain periods and at distant intervals, but at all times they may rejoice. they may rejoice if depressed, or even if oppressed by legalism.

The Christian, therefore, potentially may be, and should be, always happy. Even if everything else changes, the Lord does not change.  If the sources of all other joy are dried up, He yet remains faithful to us and our need.  

 There is not a moment of a believer’s life in which he may not find joy in the character, and promises of God.

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works  
Psalm 145:5


1. To praise God is a personal duty and an act of obedience: "I will."

2. Its true performance will enthuse others to engage in it: "And men shall."

3. The accompaniment of others in praise will bring great benefit and encouragement to ourselves.

4. Such praise widens and expands as it is given. Beginning with God's majesty and works, it extends to his acts, greatness, goodness, and righteousness.

Let us remember, that as we are pressed by circumstances in our present state, and we have limited faculties for grasping in its simple greatness the magnificent honor of the majesty of God.

 We know most of God from what we know of his doings in the believer’s lives.

Our Praise is our personal testimony of God’s power.  It is an encouragement for others to believe. It also establishes our personal faith re-firming our foundation of promise.

If we open our eyes, we shall have abundant evidence of the glorious honor of His majesty.

10/04

 

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My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life And peace they will add to you (Proverbs 3:1-2).

 Three eminent blessings are promised here in the Hebrew:

1. orech yamim- long days;

2. shenoth chaiyim- years of lives;

3. shalom- prosperity; i.e. health, long life, and abundance.

 Long life is a promise of God. Long life is a blessing from God. God wants you to have long days and an abundant life and we must understand this: We are able to control our time on earth.

 God has a plan for you. He has things He wants you to do for Him and for His kingdom. He wants you to live your life in such a way that others will be attracted to your lifestyle and desire to be like you. His desire for those who follow Him is prosperity, peace and abundance in all areas.

 Satan is the king of deception. He tempts us and tricks us into missing God’s blessing of long life by tempting us into disobedience.

  Mercy and truth; these include all true goodness.  Bind them about your neck; as a regal ornament.  Write them upon the table of your heart; that they may always remain there.

 Ephesians 6:2-3 tells us that if we honor our parents, then our life on earth will be long. This is one of the reasons that Satan seeks to destroy the family. Rebellion and contention in the home and the dishonoring of parents shortens our lives.

 It is true that the thief comes to steal, kill and to destroy. We must understand that we are the ones who are the target of his destruction. Everyday that a Christian walks on this earth in the fullness of God, he witnesses to the glory of God. We should seek out God’s Word, follow His commands, and do everything possible to add length to our days. And by living these days in the fullness of God and His Word, we bring glory to Him.

 

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. Psalm 147:3


This the Holy Spirit mentions as a part of the glory of God, and a reason for our declaring his praise.  The Lord is not only a Builder, but a Healer.  He restores broken hearts as well as broken walls.

 The mighty leaders of the great nations of the earth think themselves to be great through their stateliness.  Our Lord Jesus becomes so through his humility.  Behold, the Most High has to do with the sick and the sorry, with the wretched and the wounded!  He walks the hospitals as the good Physician!

 His deep sympathy for those who mourn is a special mark of his goodness.  Few will associate with the despondent, but our Lord chooses their company, and stays with them till he has healed them by his graces.  He is considerate to handle gently and heal broken hearts.

 Jesus himself lays on the ointment of grace, and the soft bandages of love, and thus binds up the bleeding wounds of those oppressed by sin.

 Whole heartedly we may praise him to whom he has given so gracious a restoration.

 The Lord is always healing and binding. This is no new work for him.  He has done it of old; and it is not such a thing of the past for which he is now weary of.  He is still healing and still binding, as the first were freed.

 Come, broken hearts, come to the Physician who never fails to heal.  Uncover your wounds to him who so tenderly binds them up!

 

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.  Psalm 89:1

 A devout resolve, and very commendable that a man is exercised when renewing his mind to the Lord and his covenant promises.

 Whatever we may observe or experience, we ought still to praise God for his mercies, since they most certainly remain the same, whether we can perceive them or not.

 Our sense knowledge sings but now and then, but faith is an eternal song. Whether others sing or not, believers must never give-up.  In them should be constant praise, since God’s love to them cannot by any possibility have changed, however circumstances may seem uncertain.

 We are not only to believe the Lord’s goodness, but to rejoice forevermore.  It is the source of all our joy, and as it cannot be dried up, so the stream ought never to fail to flow, or cease to rise up in darkness a sparkling light of song.

 We have not one, but many mercies to rejoice in, and should therefore multiply the expressions of our thankfulness.  It is our Lord Jesus who gives us our daily provision, and he is the all sufficient and immutable God.

 Therefore our rejoicing in him must never lesson. By no means let his treasury of glory be deprived of the continual proceeds which we owe to it. Even time itself must not suppress our praises—they must be hurdled into eternity.  

 Jesus blesses us with eternal mercies—let us sing unto him forever.

 

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.   Psalm 89:5

 The works that shall be wrought by this descendant of David shall be so plainly miraculous as shall prove their origin to be Divine.  Both saints and angels shall join to celebrate his praises.

 Thy faithfulness also; All your promises oh Lord shall be fulfilled; and particularly and prominently those which respect the congregation of the saints-the assemblies of Christian believers.

 Looking down upon what God had done, and was about to do, in connection with his covenant of grace, all heaven would be filled with adoring wonder. 

 The sun and moon, which had been made tokens of the covenant, would praise God for such an extraordinary display of mercy, and the angels and redeemed spirits would sing, "as it were, a new song."

 

Psalm 29:4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.  
...11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

There is no agent in nature so powerful as the voice of the Lord.  The voice of the Lord in thunder, lightning, earthquakes, and tempests is omnipotent.  Nothing can stand before it.  He speaks, and it is done, accomplishing his pleasure in heaven, on earth, and throughout all places of his vast dominion. 

None can stop his power, or say to him, What are you doing?

Prosperity in our secular affairs; success in our pursuits, and his blessing upon our fields and cattle.

The Lord will bless his people with peace.  He will give them victory over their enemies, and cause the nations to be at peace with them; so that they shall enjoy uninterrupted prosperity.

 The plentiful rain which God has now sent is a foretaste of his blessings and abundant mercies.

His voice disperses the chaos of crime and ignorance by the majesty of His word. He sheds light in the sinister darkness, and by the Holy Spirit to establish harmonious order where all was confusion.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

To many concern themselves about these wants with anxiety, as if there was no such thing as a God’s provision in the world.  They search great affection towards temporal things, as if we expected nothing of God.  Even forgetting to pray to God or consulting his will, as if we could do any thing without him.

This is to imitate the worst kind of unbelievers, who live without hope, and without God in the world.

All things shall be added. . .  They shall be cast in as an over plus, as advantages to the main bargain.

Seek that, to which other things are most positively connected. 

“A king said to his particular friend, 'Ask what thou wilt, and I will give it unto thee.'  He thought within himself, 'If I ask to be made a general I shall readily obtain it.

’I will ask something to which all these things shall be added:' he therefore said, 'Give me thy daughter to wife.'  This he did knowing that all the dignities of the kingdom should be added unto this gift." Schoettgen.

We seek supply form our Heavenly Father in Jesus name. This simple act of faith does in fact add endless supply to us.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you Mathew 7:7

 

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:4,5

He has preserved us from the pit of destruction.  Properly in the Hebrew would specifically mean: redemption of life by the kinsman.  This certainly takes a look forward, in the spirit of prophecy, to him who became partaker of our flesh and blood.  Jesus offered himself as our kinsman that he might have the right to redeem our souls from death by dying in our stead.

He changed our state and bestowed title of his estate upon us.  He than wove a crown for us out of loving-kindness and tender mercies.

Psalm 40:11 ¶ Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy loving kindness and thy truth continually preserve me.

This may encourage us to hope for victory over our spiritual enemies that seek after our souls to destroy them.  The roaring lion goes about continually seeking to devour.  If Christ has triumphed over them, we, through him, shall be more than conquerors.

Thus may we speak the good things of restoration that these spoken words of goodness are the source which renew our strength.

Ps 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

The girdle was a necessary part of the Eastern dress; it strengthened and supported the loins.  It served to confine the garments close to the body, and in it they tucked them up when journeying.

The strength of God is to our soul what the girdle is to the body.  The girdle was also an ornamental part of the dress, and from it the sword was suspended.

The warrior felt himself, when braced with the girdle of truth, to be compact in purpose, courageous in daring and concentrated in power; so that his course was a complete success.

We when so girder are undisturbed by disastrous defeat as to be called "perfect."  We have been made more than conquerors, a life such as this is worthy of the gospel.

Let us ascribe all the glory to him who girt us with his own inexhaustible strength, that we might be unconquered in battle and unwearied in our life’s journey.

And makes my way perfect; He directs us so that we do not go astray. He blesses us in our undertakings, and by Him the issue of our labors is crowned with prosperity.

 

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.  Genesis 32:28

The faces being manifested to him caused him to say, Genesis 32:30 "I have seen the Elohim (God in the plural form meaning 3) faces to faces, (i.e., fully and completely, without any medium,) and my soul is redeemed."

As a prince you have power with God; the Hebrew word employed here, and in the name Israel, has the two meanings of prince and contention, wrestling.  It was designedly chosen to unite these two ideas. 

This verse gives the meaning of the transaction of the prayer of faith. Jacob had wrestled with God in prayer, and prevailed; and thus he had also prevailed with the men whose anger he feared, as Laban and Esau.  

Fervency and perseverance in repentant, believing prayer, has enormous influence with God.  The prayer of faith prepares the way for deliverance from present trials, and furnishes the best preparation for all trials which are future.

We thus learn that we may wrestle with God according to God’s own word and always receive whatever we ask, believing we receive.  We must take note a believing prayer will not relent until we have what we ask for.  Whether it is in the realm of healing, finances, family members, or anything and everything we continue in faith believing we receive. 

 We truly have power with God and with men.  Our God answers the prayers of His chosen ones.

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22

This gives us an impressive check-book on the Bank of Faith, which we may use without restriction or limit.  How extensive are the terms: "all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing"!

If we are enabled to pray the prayer of faith, we shall gain the blessing, whatever it may be.

 This is not possible concerning things unpromised, or things not according to the divine will.  Believing prayer is the shadow of the coming blessing.  It is a gift from God, not a conjured image of the human will, nor a freak of idle wishing.  "Believing, ye shall receive;" but too often the believing is not there.

The power of absolutely working miracles was given by our Lord Jesus, and given in connection with a simple, unwavering confidence: "If ye have faith, and doubt not." God will work all miracles for us.

Before a living faith, unfruitful systems of religion will wither away.  By the power of undoubting confidence in God, mountains of difficulty shall be removed, and cast into the sea.

11/04

 

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"So she gleaned in the field until even." --Ruth 2:17

Let me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the precepts, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food.

The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater number of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation.

The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicing at the end of the day. I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me. I fear I have lost much already--O that I may be right in my estimate of my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence.

The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I. High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner.  I say down with ruling pride, you are a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment.

What the gleaner gathers she holds: if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day's work would be minimal.  She is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great.

How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing!

Do I feel suitably the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table.  She labors under the sense of necessity, and thus her stride is nimble and her grasp is firm.

I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.

"Great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all." --Matthew 12:15

 What a mass of repulsive sickness must have thrust itself under the eye of Jesus!  Yet we read not that He was disgusted, but patiently waited on every case.  What a singular variety of evils must have met at His feet! What sickening ulcers and putrefying sores!  Yet He was ready for every new shape of the monstrous evil, and was victor over it in every form.

 Let the arrow fly from what part it might, He quenched its fiery power.  The heat of fever or the cold of a tumor;  the exhaustion of palsy, or the rage of madness; the filth of leprosy, or the darkness of dimmed eyes--all knew the power of His word, and fled at His command.

 In every corner of the field He was triumphant over evil, and received the worship of delivered captives.  He came, He saw, He conquered everywhere.

 It is even so this day. Whatever my own case may be, the beloved Physician can heal me; and whatever may be the state of others whom I may remember at this moment in prayer, I may have hope in Jesus that He will be able to heal them of their sins and sickness.

 My child, my friend, my dearest one, I can have hope for each, for all, when I remember the healing power of my Lord;  and on my own account, however severe my struggle with sins and infirmities, I may yet be of good cheer.

 He who on earth walked the hospitals, still dispenses His grace, and works wonders among the sons of men:  let me go to Him at once in earnest.

 Let me praise Him as I remember how He wrought His cures, which bring Him most renown.  It was by taking upon Himself our sicknesses.  "By His stripes we are healed."

 The Church on earth is full of souls healed by our beloved Physician;  and the inhabitants of heaven itself confess that "He healed them all."  Come, then  publish abroad the virtue of His grace, and let it be "to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign which shall not be cut off."

 

"Brethren, pray for us." --1 Thessalonians 5:25

We desire to refresh your memory upon the subject of prayer for ministers, and we do most earnestly implore every Christian household to grant the fervent request of the text first uttered by an apostle and now repeated by us.

Brethren, our work is seriously significant, involving prosperity of body & soul or despair to thousands.  We are delighted to offer the whole of our lives to God on eternal business, and our word is either received unto life, or rejected unto death. A very heavy responsibility rests upon us, and it will be no small mercy if in the end we are found clear of the blood of all men.

As officers in Christ's army, we are the spectacle of the enmity of men and devils; they watch for our hesitation, and labor to trip one up. Our sacred calling involves us in temptations from which you are exempt.  Above all it too often draws us away from our personal enjoyment of truth into a ministerial and official consideration of it.

We meet with many difficult cases, and our common sense is questioned.  We observe very sad backslidings, and our hearts are wounded.  We see millions perishing, and our spirits sink.  We wish to profit you by our preaching.  We desire to be blest to your children.  We long to be useful both to saints and sinners; therefore, dear friends, intercede for us with our God.

We are dejected men if we miss the aid of your prayers, but happy are we if we live under the protection of your supplications.  You do not look to us but to our Master for spiritual blessings, and yet how many times has He given those blessings through His ministers.  

Ask again and again, that we may be the earthen vessels into which the Lord may put the treasure of the gospel.  We, the whole company of missionaries, ministers, city missionaries, and students, do in the name of Jesus beseech you

 "BRETHREN, PRAY FOR US."

 

"There fell down many slain, because the war was of God." --1 Chronicles 5:22

Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, examine this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old so is it now. If the war be of God the victory is sure.

The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could barely muster 44,760 fighting men, and yet in their war with the Hagarites, they slew a 100,000 men.  “...for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him.”

The Lord saves not by many nor by few; it is our duty to go forth in Jehovah's name if we are but a handful of men. for the Lord of Hosts is with us; He is our Captain.

They did not neglect buckler, and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these weapons.  We must use all fitting means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone.  The Lord is the sword and the shield of His people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in the fact that "the war was of God."

Beloved, in fighting with sickness, poverty, sin and death without and within; even with error —doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils and the devil's allies, you are waging Jehovah's war, and unless He himself can be worsted, you need not fear defeat.

Do not shrink back and cower before superior numbers, do not draw back from difficulties or impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps.

The battle is the Lord's and He will deliver His enemies into our hands.  With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale

Stand up for Jesus!  Stand with Him that overcomes.  Difficulties shall have a quick end.  We shall enjoy a crown of life for this day the noise of battle is the Lord’s.  With the King of glory we harmonize the victor's song.  We shall always reign eternally.

 

"A living dog is better than a dead lion." --Ecclesiastes 9:4

Life is a precious thing, and in its humblest form it is superior to death.  This truth is extremely certain in spiritual things.  It is better to be the least in the kingdom of heaven than the greatest out of it.  The lowest degree of grace is superior to the noblest development of the unregenerate nature.

Where the Holy Spirit implants divine life in the believer, there is a precious deposit which none of the refinements of education can equal.  Lazarus among the dogs is better than Cicero among the senators.  The most unlettered Christian is in the sight of God superior to Plato.  Life is the badge of nobility in the realm of spiritual things, and men without it are only unrefined or improved specimens of the same lifeless material, needing to be quickened, for they are dead in trespasses and sins.

A living, loving, gospel sermon, however unlearned in matter and uncouth in style, is better than the finest discourse devoid of unction and power.

 A living dog keeps better watch than a dead lion, and is of more service to his master. And so... the poorest spiritual preacher is infinitely to be preferred to the exquisite orator who has no wisdom but that of words, no energy but that of sound.  The like we hold precious in our prayers and the other but a religious exercise. 

 If we are quickened in them by the Holy Spirit, they are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, though we may think them not to amount to very much.  While our grand performances in which our hearts were absent, like dead lions, are mere decomposing flesh in the sight of the living God.

 Living groans, living sighs, rather than lifeless songs and dead calms.  The snarling of the dog will at least keep us awake, but dead faith and dead profession, what greater curses can a man have?  Quicken us oh Lord!  Awake us from so long a slumber.

 

"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst." --John 4:14

He who is a believer in Jesus finds enough in our Lord to satisfy him now, and to be content forever.  The believer is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought, for he finds in his faith such a spring of joy, such a fountain of consolation, that he is content and happy.

Put him in a dungeon and he will find good company;  place him in a barren wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven;  drive him away from friendship, he will meet the "friend that sticks closer than a brother."  Blast all his gourds, and he will find shadow beneath the Rock of Ages;  sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord.

The heart is as unquenchable as the grave till Jesus enters it, and then it is a cup full to overflowing.  There is such a fullness in Christ that He alone is the believer's all. The true saint is so completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he thirsts no more--except it is for a deeper medicinal drink of the living fountain.

In that sweet manner, believer, if you thirst; it shall not be the dryness of pain, but of loving desire.  You wilt find it a sweet thing to be panting after a fuller enjoyment of Jesus' love. 

 I heard one say, "I have been sinking my bucket down into the well full often, but now my thirst after Jesus has become so insatiable, that I long to put the well itself to my lips, and drink right on."  Is this the feeling of your heart now, believer?  Do you feel that all your desires are satisfied in Jesus, and that you have no want now, but to know more of Him?  Do you so desire to have closer fellowship with Him?  Then come continually to the fountain, and take of the water of life freely.  Jesus will never think you take too much, but will ever welcome you, saying, "Drink, yes, drink abundantly, my beloved."

 

"But He answered her not a word." --Matthew 15:23

Genuine seekers who as yet have not obtained the blessing, may take comfort from the story before us.

The Savior did not at once bestow the blessing, even though the woman had great faith in Him.  He intended to give it, but He waited awhile.  "He answered her not a word."

Were her prayers not good enough?  Never better in the world. Was her case not needy?  Sorrowfully needy.  Did she not feel her need sufficiently?  She felt it overwhelmingly.  Was she not earnest enough?  She was intensely so.  Had she no faith?  She had such a high degree of it that even Jesus wondered, and said, "O woman, great is thy faith."

See then, although it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does not always bring it instantaneously.  There may be certain reasons calling for the trial of faith, rather than the reward of faith.  Genuine faith may be in the heart like a hidden seed, but as yet it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace.

A painful silence from the Jesus is the grievous trial of many a seeking soul, but heavier still is the affliction of a harsh cutting reply such as this, "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."  Many in waiting upon the Lord find immediate delight, but this is not the case with all.

Some, like the jailer, are in a moment turned from darkness to light, but others are plants of slower growth.  A deeper sense of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon, and in such a case you will have need of patience to bear the heavy blow. 

Poor heart, though Christ lingers for a moment, trust Him.  Though the words are hard to hear, believe in the love of His heart.  Do not give up seeking or trusting our Lord, because you have not yet obtained the conscious joy which you long for.

Cast yourself unrelentingly before Him, and perseveringly depend even where you cannot see beyond this moment.

12/04

 

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I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high. Psalm 7:17

Praise is the occupation of the godly, their eternal work, and their present pleasure.  Singing is the fitting embodiment for praise, and therefore do the saints make melody before the Lord Most High. 

 The slandered one is now a singer: his harp was unstrung for a very little season, and now we leave him sweeping its pleasant chords, and flying on their music to the third heaven of adoring praise.

To bless God for mercies is the way to increase them.  To bless him for miseries is the way to remove them.  The good lives long for those who are thankfully improved.  No evil dies so soon as that which is patiently defeated.

 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

¶ And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Isaiah 12:3,4

Wells--not mere streams, which may run dry, but ever-flowing fountains "Out of his belly (that is, in and from himself)--living water" (Joh 4:14; 7:38),

This is an expressive image in a hot country.  On the last day of the feast of tabernacles the Jews used to bring water in a golden pitcher from the fountain of Siloam, and pour it, mingled with wine, on the sacrifice on the altar, with great rejoicing.

There shall be a latter outpouring of the Spirit like the former one on pentecost.  We shall know it believers, for within us shall the Spirit of the Living God flood our hearts and break forth in demonstration of the Holy Ghost with sings and wonders following.

If Penecost was world changing how much more awe-inspiring shall the latter outpouring bring the Gospel of salvation to all. 

Saints prepare your lives for the time is close.  Study God’s word and with joy draw deep from the wells of your salvation.

 

Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established blessed; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 2Chronicles 20:20

Some enemies are not flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness, with whom we may wrestle.  The whole world may be against us, and hate, oppose, and persecute, in one shape or another.  So that upon one account or another, for the most part, without are fightings, and within are fears. 2Corinthians 7:5

The method of God’s people in their distresses was to seek the Lord in prayer, and ask help of Him.  Prayer is a special piece of the Christian armor.  It is the remedy of believers, and which they often use to good purpose and great advantage.

Satan has often felt the damage of this weapon of our warfare, and dreads it.  Mary queen of Scots used to say, that she dreaded more the prayers of John Knox, a famous Reformer, than ten thousand armed men.  So effectual is the fervent prayer of the righteous, as for the bringing down the blessings of the covenant of grace upon them.

This power is reserved for the intimidating of our enemies, and for our protection from them.

The excellent prayer of Jehoshaphat begins with taking notice of the uncontrollable and irresistible power of God and of his being the covenant God.  All of this is to raise in our minds, and to encourage our faith and hope in him.

The saint needs to go on to remember God’s works of power and might, of grace and goodness, in driving the heathens out of the land, and giving it to the seed of Abraham for ever.  Thus is our hope concluded!

The Lord hears and answers the prayers of his people.  The believer’s eyes are to the Lord, and on him is their dependence.  We believers are assured of victory, even more so, we have no need to fight.  The Lord will fight for us.  We with nothing more to do, except to stand still and see the salvation of God.  So shall we succeed against your faith’s enemies, and obtain a complete victory over them

Consider the kind and nature of faith.  Though I have all faith; that is, all sorts of faith, which he supposes a man may have, and not have charity, love of true grace; he means all sorts but one, namely, special faith. This faith is expressed by the Lord God and his prophets.

Here is a faith of miracles, or of doing miracles.  The apostle has in view.  The prayer of faith gives the power of working miracles to confirm the word; power over unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases.

The advantage arising from this faith is clearly the establishment and prosperity of the believer in this life.  God will never say no to the faithful saint who believes that he receives.

 

The words of: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. Psalm 12:6,7

What a contrast between the vain words of man, and the pure words of Jehovah.  Man’s words are yea and nay, but the Lord’s promises are yea and amen.  For truth, certainty, holiness, faithfulness, the words of the Lord are pure as well refined silver. 

In the original there is an allusion to the most severely purifying process known to the ancients, through which silver was passed when the greatest possible purity was desired.  The dross was all consumed, and only the bright and precious metal remained.

The words of the Lord are so clear and free from the alloy of error or unfaithfulness.  God’s eternal word has passed through the furnace of persecution, literary criticism, philosophic doubt, and scientific discovery.  His word has lost nothing but those human interpretations which clung to it as alloy to precious ore. 

The experience of believers has tried it in every conceivable manner, but not a single doctrine or promise has been consumed in the most excessive heat.  What God’s words are, the words of his children should be. If we would be Godlike in conversation, we must watch our language, and maintain the strictest purity of integrity and holiness in all our communications. 

 We must hold fast to the profession of our faith which increases with the knowledge of God’s word.  There can be no miracle without it.  Many a saint has lived years before his age, as though he had thrown himself in faith’s eye to a brighter future, and escaped the mists of the murky present.

We hold to God’s word that we may agree with God’s plan for us and call those things that are not as though they were.  Not in a self deceiving manner but born of the truth of God’s word for us today.  Joy and rejoicing is our plan for today.

 

1Ki 1:40 And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.

Express orders were given by David for the proclaiming of Solomon as king.  The persons he entrusted with this great affair were Zadok, Nathan, and Benaiah, men of power and interest whom David had always rested in confidence and found them faithful to himself.

Adonijah (David’s apparent heir by birth) had passed by his invitation.  David them immediately orders, with all seriousness, to proclaim Solomon King.  They must set Solomon on the mule the king used to ride.  David tells them exactly where to go and what to do.

In God’s name, anoint Solomon king; for though he was not the firstborn, though he was a younger son, he was made king by divine appointment.  His title was contested, which made it necessary that with this declaration it should be settled.

This unction was typical of the designation and qualification of the Messiah, or Christ, the anointed one, on whom the Spirit, that oil of gladness, was poured without measure.

We too in Christ, as we are his body and have his authority in the earth, do rejoice also that the proclamation has been made!  We too rise with a great cry of exultation, though contested, we are named in the Lambs Book of Life. 

We then split the air (for it is the devil who is ...the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience Eph 2,2.)  We break through the domination of the fallen with our praise as we glorify the name above all names and rule in Christ power alone.

Praise God, we have been delivered and made fit to rejoice with great joy in the salvation of the Lord!

 

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep Romans 12:15

A sympathizing love:

Where there is a mutual love between the members of the Christ’s body, there will be a deep feeling for one another. True love will interest us in the sorrows and joys of one another, and teach us to make them our own.

There is a common mixture in this world, some rejoicing, and others weeping.  Some times of a sore trial, and other times of fellowship, also of brotherly love and concern and Christian sympathy we are heart moved to each other.  

 Not that we must participate in the sinful acts, but only in just and reasonable joys and sorrows.  We do not envy those that prosper, but rejoicing with them.  We are truly delighted that others have the success and comfort.  We do not despise those that are in trouble, but are deeply concerned for them, and ready to help them, as being ourselves in the body. This is to do as God does, who not only has pleasure in the prosperity of his servants (Ps 35:27), but is likewise afflicted in all their afflictions, Isa 63:9.

 

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16

A united love:
Labor, as much as you can, to agree in uneasiness.  If you come short of this, at that moment, agree in affection.  

Endeavor to be all one, not affecting to be at odds, and contradict, frustrating one another, but keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  Wish the same good to others that you do for yourselves;"

This we understand, to love our brethren as ourselves, desiring their welfare as our own.

We need to be perfectly agreed in laboring to promote the honor of our Lord Jesus  we shall be of one mind, being constantly intent upon this great subject.  Keeping our eyes fixed upon it in all you say, do, or plan.

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Romans 12:16

A condescending love:

Love cannot be without lowliness.  When our Lord Jesus washed his disciples' feet, he taught us brotherly love (John 14:31).  It was designed especially to indicate to us that to love one another reasonably, is to be willing to stoop to the unassuming offices of kindness for the good of one another. 

Love is a condescending grace.  Grandeur and love are poorly matched with each other.  Observe how it is pressed here

Mind not high things.  We must not be ambitious of honor and advancement, nor look upon worldly displays and dignity with any excessive value or desire.

When David's advancements were high, his spirit was humble (Ps 131:1): “I do not exercise myself in great matters.”  The Romans, living in the imperial city, which reigned over the kings of the earth, and was at that time at the peak of its splendor, were perhaps ready to take occasion to think the better of themselves.

Even the believers were tainted with this leaven.  Roman Christians would be ready to look scornfully upon other Christians.  The apostle so often cautions them against high- mindedness. 

"do not mind it, be not in love with it."

Published by Amazing Grace Ministries Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Distributed by Amazing Grace Ministries Publishing, Westchester. Illinois Unless otherwise indicated all Scripture quotations are from the Authorized / King James Version (KJV)  No part of these articles or  books  may be reproduced without written permission except for brief quotation in books and critical reviews.
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