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For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.-MATTHEW 17:20

 Want of faith is the great cause of failure among Christians, both as to themselves and their work for others. In the mission field, mountains of exclusiveness which shut out missionaries have been removed. In ordinary life, insurmountable difficulties are graciously dissolved. In a variety of ways, before real faith hindrances disappear, according to the word of the Lord Jesus — "Nothing shall be impossible"

 Someone said to me once that they didn't have the faith I had because they thought I had special faith. But that's just not true! I don't have special faith. God has given me the same measure of faith He's given to you and every other believer. The only reason my faith looks like it works better is because I use it!

 If you've been living in the shadow of a mountain, waiting for God to give you some kind of special faith, make a change today. Step out and put the measure of faith you have to work moving the spiritual, physical, mental, or financial obstacles Satan has brought against you.

 Romans 12:3 says, God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Believe Him! Step out in faith about your faith

 

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9

The Colossian church needed understanding as much as that of Philippi needed unity.  The brethren were too easily duped and decoyed from the gospel.  We need in these days to know the gospel well, and hold to it firmly.  Many deceivers would mislead us if we permit them to do so.

Nothing could satisfy the apostle, either for himself or his hearers, but the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of peace.  The Colossians had knowledge, but they must have more.  It is the privilege of all saint’s to be filled with it. 

As the bright shining of the sun in the vault of heaven fills the whole world with light and heat, so the light of the Sun of righteousness is to illuminate our whole man (spirit, soul and body,) and, so that we might know the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

In a word, that we might have such a knowledge such a satisfaction of Divine things as the Spirit of truth can teach to man.

 

"...and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing." ISAIAH 10:27

This same principle of activating a power source applies in the natural realm.  For instance, plugging a fan into an electrical outlet on a hot summer day activates the power of electricity and causes the fan to cool the air.
However, if no one plugs in the fan, the fan won't work and the room stays hot.  In that same case, the power of electricity is present and available to cool the room, but it isn't being utilized or activated.  In order to tap into the power and cool the room, someone has to plug in the fan!

The electricity is already there; someone just needs to tap into it to activate it.  It is the same with healing.  We just need to tap into the power of God that is already available and activate it by faith in His Word! When faith is mixed with the power of God, the anointing breaks every yoke!
 
Luke 5:17, "And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them."
 
Notice that even though the power of the Lord was present to heal people, it doesn't mention one single person getting healed.  The only person the Bible records being healed in this account was the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of the house by his four friends (Luke 5:18,19).  And the Bible says Jesus healed that paralyzed man because He saw their faith (Luke 5:20-25).

The faith of the four men, plus the faith of the paralyzed man, activated the power of God to effect a healing and a cure in the man's body and the paralyzed man immediately rose up healed!!

The power of God won't do a thing in the world by itself.  It's inactive, inert, and passive until faith is mixed with it - until someone taps into it by believing and acting upon God's Word!  You see, faith gives action to the anointing or the power of God.  If there is no faith to give action to the anointing, nothing will happen!

 

"The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams." --Isaiah 33:21
 
Broad rivers and streams produce fertility, and abundance in the land.  Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests.  God is all this to His Church.

Having God she has abundance.  What can she ask for that He will not give her?  What want can she mention which He will not supply?  "In this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things."  Do you want the bread of life?  It drops like manna from the sky.  Do you want refreshing streams?  The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ.

If you suffer any want it is your own fault; if you are straitened you are not straitened in Him, but in your own bowels.

Rivers were of old a defense.  Oh! beloved, what a defense is God to His Church!  The devil cannot cross this broad river of God.  How he wishes he could turn the current, but fear not, for God abides immutably the same.  Satan may worry, but he cannot destroy us.  No galley with oars shall invade our river, neither shall audacious ship pass thereby.

"Behold, Thou art fair, my Beloved." --Song of Solomon 1:16
 
From every point our Well-beloved is most fair.  Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus.  How amiable are our trials when they carry us heavenward where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could give us!

Song of Solomon 4:8 We have seen Him from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and He has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen Him also "from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards," and He has lost none of His loveliness.  From the weakness of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, we have turned our eyes to our soul's spouse, and He has never been otherwise than "all fair."

Oh, noble and pleasant service to be for ever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus!  Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all His offices, and to perceive Him matchlessness in each?--to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of unequaled graces?  In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on His throne, in the garden and in His kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of angels, He is everywhere "altogether lovely."

Eternity shall not discover even a shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, His hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor, and His unutterable loveliness shall more and more
intoxicate all of paradise’s eternal minds.

 

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!

 

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. -1 JOHN 5:7
In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God...And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... -JOHN 1:1,14


How can I make Jesus Lord of my life?

Jesus is the Living Word.  And God has given us the written Word to unveil the Living Word to us.

Give the Word of God first place in your life.  By doing so, you are putting Jesus first!

Let the Word of God govern your life.  Let this Word be the Lord of your life.  Let the Word dominate you.  By doing so, you are really allowing Jesus to be Lord over you - because Jesus and His Word are One.

We are living in an age when we need to get serious about spiritual matters, and we need to learn what the Bible has to say about love, life, home, marriage, and children.

Let the Word of God be your guide in life.  When you do, you are making Jesus the Lord of your life.  His written Word becomes the Lord of your life.

 

"All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again." --Ecclesiastes 1:7
 
, time knows nothing of rest.  The solid earth is a rolling ball, and the great sun himself a star obediently fulfilling its course around some greater leading light.

Tides move the sea, winds stir the airy ocean, friction wears the rock: change and death rule everywhere.  The sea is not a miser's storehouse for a wealth of waters, for as by one force the waters flow into it, by another they are lifted from it.  Men are born but to die: everything is hurry, worry, and vexation of spirit.

Friend of the unchanging Jesus, what a joy it is to reflect upon your changeless heritage.  Your sea of bliss which will be for ever full, since God Himself shall pour eternal rivers of pleasure into it.

We seek an abiding city beyond the skies, and we shall not be disappointed.  The passage before us may well teach us gratitude.  Father Ocean is a great receiver, but he is a generous distributor.  What the rivers bring him he returns to the earth in the form of clouds and rain.

A man is out of joint with the universe who takes all but makes no return.  To give to others is but sowing seed for ourselves.  He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for his Lord, shall be entrusted with more.

Friend of Jesus, are you rendering to Him according to the benefit received?  Much has been given thee, what is your fruit?  Have you done all?  Can you not do more?  To be selfish is to be wicked.

Suppose the ocean gave up none of its watery treasure, it would bring ruin upon our race.  God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living unto ourselves.  Jesus pleased not Himself.  All fullness dwells in Him, but of His fullness have all we received.  O for Jesus’ heart of love, that henceforth we may live not unto ourselves!

 

Hebrews 3:12 & 13 “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
 
On the surface this verse may seem complicated, but the theme is really quite simple.  Here the writer is telling us that we who are believers need to encourage each other daily in order to keep unbelief out of the church.  It is our duty to encourage one another.
 
We know there is power in the spoken word.  There are many scriptures that tell us that what we say in the natural realm, what we say with our mouths, has great impact in the spiritual realm.  But did you know your words also have great impact in the physical realm?  That’s right!  Not only do your words carry power into the spirit world, but they make a difference right here on earth.
 
Hebrews 3:12 &13 tells us that we must encourage one another in order that there we will not be an “evil heart of unbelief” within us.  We must lift each other up and encourage one another in order to combat doubt.  Combat doubt through speaking the encouraging promises of God instead of the discouraging problems. 
 
One of the main reasons a person might have doubt is from a lack of the knowledge of the Word of God.  That’s why our encouraging words must be Bible based.  When I say we should encourage one another, I am not saying we are to lie or try to deceive ourselves.  I’m not talking about empty flattery.  But what I am saying is we must speak God’s Word daily to each other.  Whether we see the promise or not, we must speak the promise.  Speaking the promise is a key ingredient in faith.
 
Doubt feeds on ignorance.  When you don’t know God’s Word or His will, you will feed your doubt.  And, that is the opposite of what God told us to do.  He said we were to increase our faith, not our doubt.  That’s why we are to encourage one another with the Word of God.  The Word contains faith. 
 
Too often Christians will speak what they see instead of what the Word says.  That shouldn’t be.  We are not of this world, but we are now living in it.  We will always see the negative.  That’s why we are told in God’s Word to walk by faith and not by what we see.

 

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

Romans 4 is God’s own account of Abraham and his faith.  Here, the 18th verse says that Abraham believed.  He believed “...according to that which was spoken...”  He believed in that which was promised to excite his hope.  Hope here is put for the object of his hope--that which was promised.

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!

When opposition and contradicting circumstances have said, “No, you don’t have it,” stand your ground.  When feelings have said, “No, you don’t have it,” stand your ground.  When sight says, “No, you don’t have it,” stand your ground.

 Say from your heart, “I believe according to that which is spoken.  ” and “…that which is spoken is God’s Word! ”

6/05

 

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ll strengthen thee." --Isaiah 41:10
 
God has a strong reserve with which to discharge this engagement, for He is able to do all things.  Believer, till you can drain dry the ocean of omnipotence, till you can break into pieces the towering mountains of almighty strength, you never need fear.  Do not think that the strength of man shall ever be able to overcome the power of God.
 
While the earth's huge pillars stand, you have enough reason to abide firm in your faith.  The same God who directs the earth in its orbit, who feeds the burning furnace of the sun, and trims the lamps of heaven, has promised to supply you with daily strength.
 
While He is able to uphold the universe, do not dream that He will prove unable to fulfill His own promises.  Remember what He did in the days of old, in the former generations.  Remember how He spoke and it was done; how He commanded, and it stood fast.
 
Shall He that created the world grow weary?  He hangs the world upon nothing.  Is He unable to support His children?  Shall He be unfaithful to His word for want of power?  Who is it that restrains the tempest?  Does not He ride upon the wings of the wind, and make the clouds His chariots, and hold the ocean in the hollow of His hand?  How can He fail you?  When He has put such a faithful promise as this on record, will you for a moment indulge the thought that He has out-promised Himself, and gone beyond His power to fulfill?  No! You can doubt no longer.
 
O you who are my God and my strength, I can believe that this promise shall be fulfilled, for the boundless reservoir of Your grace can never be exhausted, and the overflowing storehouse of Your strength can never be emptied by Your friends or ransacked by Your enemies.
 
"Now let the feeble all be strong, And make Jehovah's arm their song."

 

And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.  
And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. 1Kings 17:1,4


Elijah leaps into the arena, like a lion from the hills.  Who he was, or what he had been, like the priest Melchizedek, we are not told.  He comes in thunder, and speaks lightning.  The times were fit for an Elijah, and Elijah was fit for them.

The prophet's name: Elijahu-- "My God Jehovah is he" (so it signifies),
"is he who sends me and will own me and bear me out, is he to whom I would bring His people back and who alone can effect that great work."

God is a good master, and never suffers his servants to starve.  He will provide for his own, even if all the land is wasted by drought.

"O God!  You who provide meat for the fowls of the air, will make the fowls of the air provide meat for man, any other dependence than on God will always be disappointed.  Let not our faith be wanting towards you Lord, since your care can never be wanting to us."

Whatever this day may bring, we too must spring into Godly declaration of claiming our promises knowing full well God will uphold His own.  The day is fit for God and you dear believer are fit for the day!

 

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.-John 14:21-23

 Two things are emphasized in this text:

 1.  "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them...," Jesus said.  Keep in mind what Jesus' commandments are.  Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you.  That ye love one another; as I have loved you..." (John 13:34).  There's no reason for you to worry about any other commandments.  Walking in love sums it all up, because the Word of God says, "...love is the fulfilling of the law" (Romans 13:10).  (If you keep Jesus' commandments, you will have fulfilled the rest of the commandments.)

 2.  "...shall be loved of my Father..."  If you walk in love, you are walking in God's realm, because God is love.  God's very nature, because He is love, compels Him to care for us, protect us, and shield us!

 

"The spot of His children." --Deuteronomy 32:5
 
What is the sweet secret spot which infallibly promises the child of God?  It is vain presumption to decide this upon our own judgment; but God's word reveals it to us, and we may tread surely where we have revelation to be our guide.
 
Now, we are told concerning our Lord, "to as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on His name."  Then, if I have received Christ Jesus into my heart, I am a child of God.  That reception is described in the same verse as believing on the name of Jesus Christ.
 
If, then, I believe on Jesus Christ's name--that is, simply from my heart trust myself with the crucified, but now exalted, Redeemer, I am a member of the family of the Most High.  Whatever else I may not have, if I have this, I have the privilege to become a child of God.
 
Our Lord Jesus puts it in another shape.  "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."  Here is the matter in a nutshell.  Christ appears as a shepherd to His own sheep, not to others.  As soon as He appears, His own sheep perceive Him--they trust Him, they are prepared to follow Him;
 
He knows them, and they know Him--there is a mutual knowledge--there is a constant connection between them.  Thus the one mark, the sure mark, the infallible mark of regeneration and adoption is a hearty faith in the appointed Redeemer.
 
Are you in doubt, are you uncertain whether you bear the secret mark of God's children?  Then don’t let an hour pass till you say, "Search me, O God, and know my heart."  Please do not trifle with this most important decision.  If you must trifle anywhere, let it be about some secondary matter: your health, if you will, or the title deeds of your estate; but about your soul, your never-dying soul and its eternal destinies, I implore you to be earnest.  Make certain work for eternity.

 

"Thou shalt be called, Sought out." --Isaiah 62:12


The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly in that we were not only sought, but sought out.  Men seek a thing which is lost upon the floor of the house, but in such a case there is only seeking, not seeking out.  The loss is more perplexing and the search more persevering when a thing is sought out.

We were mingled with the mire.  We were as when some precious piece of gold falls into the sewer, and men gather around and carefully inspect the mass of offensive filth, and continue to stir and rake, and search among the heap until the treasure is found.

Or, to use another figure, we were lost in a labyrinth.  We wandered to and fro, and when mercy came after us with the gospel, it did not find us at the first coming, it had to search for us and seek us out.  We, as lost sheep, were so desperately lost, and had wandered into such a strange country, that it did not seem possible that even the Good Shepherd could track our devious wandering.  

Glory to our Lord Jesus’ unconquerable grace, we were sought out!  No gloom could hide us, no filthiness could conceal us, we were found and brought home.  Glory to our Lord Jesus’ infinite love, God the Holy Spirit restored us!
 
The lives of some of God's people, if they could be written would shake our faith in all men.  Strange and marvelous are the ways which God used in their case to find His own.  

Blessed be His name, He never relinquishes the search until the chosen are sought out effectually.  They are not a people sought today and cast away tomorrow.  

Power and wisdom combined will make no failures, they shall be called, "Sought out!"  Any that should be sought out is and act of matchless grace, yet even more for ourselves that we should be sought out is grace beyond degree!  We can find no reason for it but God's own supreme love, and can only lift up our heart in wonder, and praise the Lord that this night we wear the name of "Sought out."

 

Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.
Philippians 1:27

 The word "conversation" does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world.  The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ.

What sort of conversation is this?

In the first place, the gospel is very simple.  So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits.  There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behavior, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty.  

The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian's life will be lusterless and valueless without the jewel of truth.  The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not.  We must be equally faithful and unflinching.  

 But the gospel is also very gentle.  Mark this spirit in its Founder: "a bruised reed He will not break."  Some who profess Jesus are sharper than a thorn bush; such men are not like Jesus.  Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts.  

 The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race.  Christ's last command to His disciples was, "Love one another."  We hope ever that a more real, hearty union and love finds it’s effect toward all the saints.  We strive deeply searching our heart for a more tender compassion towards the souls of the most wicked of men!  

 We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy.  It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement.  If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.  

 For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with His gospel.

 

These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work. --1 Chronicles 4:23

Potters were the not the very highest grade of workers, but "the king" needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay.  We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord's work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for "the king"; and therefore we need but abide in our calling, hoping that, although we are associated among and with the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with gleaming gold."

The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and common protracted work to do.  They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king's work.

The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside.  These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt "with the king" and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there.  No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can exclude us from communion with our divine Lord.

In visiting shanties and huts, swarming apartment complexes, we may go with the king.  In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus' fellowship.  It is when we are in His work that we may count upon His smile.  

All of you unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills even now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and injurious weeds have been transformed into precious flowers.

Dwell with the King for His work, and when He writes His chronicles your name shall be recorded.

 

...and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
-ISAIAH
10:27


The anointing the Bible is talking about here is the manifest power of the Holy Spirit.  We can learn an important principle regarding how the anointing works by following the ministry of Jesus.  In Mark 5 we see a demonstration of the healing anointing in the case of the woman with the issue of blood.

Mark 5:25-34, "And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years…  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him…."

There are in the account of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.  Those words are “virtue” and “faith.”  The Greek word “virtue” is translated dunamis or miraculous power or anointing power.

Jesus knowing immediately that virtue or power had gone out of him, looked around and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” Then Jesus turned around and saw who had touched Him, and said to the woman, “...Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee whole...” (Mark 5:34).

Some people say, “I thought that the power that flowed out of Jesus - the healing anointing - made that woman whole!  But Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has made you whole.”  Why did Jesus say that?

When Jesus asked, “Who touched my clothes?” the disciples said to Jesus, “...thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou who touched me?” (Mark 5:31)  You know yourself if you were in a crowd of people when everyone was pressing in upon you, you would get touched on every side.  But the power of God isn’t activated by just the incidental touch.

I’m sure there were many who reached through the crowd and touched Jesus out of curiosity to see if anything would happen, and nothing did.  The power of God also isn’t activated by curious touch.  No, Jesus said, “Daughter, THY FAITH hath made thee whole...” (Mark 5:34).  It’s the touch of faith that releases the power of God to flow!!

This woman started confessing and building up her faith before she touched Jesus.  She kept saying, "If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole."  Then she worked her way through the crowd and reached out and touched Jesus' garment.  At that point the anointing or virtue flowed into the woman's body and she was healed.

 

What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  -Romans 8:31-32

God and you are working together in carrying out His plan for the redemption of the world.  God can't fulfill His purpose without you anymore than you can manage exclusive of Him.  That's one reason why Jesus gave us the illustration of the vine and the branches.  The vine can't bear fruit without the branches, and the branches can't live without the vine.

This passage shows us the unconditional oneness of the Father God with His children.  It shows us the perfect fellowship and cooperation God's children enjoy with their heavenly Father.  It shows the mastery God's children have over the forces of darkness and circumstances.  And God climaxes this passage with verse 37: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
 
God is working dynamically on your behalf.  He is standing up for you.  He is aggressively fighting for you.  He is supplying all of your needs.  Out of the treasury of His abundant grace, He is giving you His wisdom and His ability!  This is the master argument in prayer.  If we understand its force we shall not be afraid of asking too much.

 

Full of Joy
John 16:24 "...Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
 
Doesn't it make you full of joy when you receive God's answer to your prayers?  It certainly makes us full of joy just knowing He will answer our prayers.

In fact, sometimes it is necessary to have the joy before you will have what you are praying for.  If you are trying to figure out a way to make matters work out in spite of asking God to do it, you are probably hindering His helping you.  The reason for that is that you are still trying to carry the load instead of casting it on Him.  If you are going to go ahead and struggle with the problem, it won't do any good to ask Him to handle it because you won't be praying in faith.
 
Philippians 4:6-7 (Good News Bible in Today's English Version) Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.
 
(Authorized Version (King James)) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 
(Moffatt) Never be anxious, but always make your request known to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; so shall God's peace, that surpasses all our dreams, keep guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
 
To be successful in praying we have to be thankful and full of joy even before what we are asking is manifested in the physical realm because we know He heard us. We have His Word on it ... "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."
 
Ephesians 5:20  (Authorized Version (King James)) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
 
(Moffatt) "and render thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ at all times and for all things."
 
In all of our real praise and thanksgiving the name of Jesus is the access to the heart of the Father.  If it didn't make any difference the way that you pray, why would Father God have inspired Paul to write these things in his epistles?  Do we say that these particular verses in the Word aren't important and yet John 3:16 for example is important?  We must believe that all scriptures are important and for our instruction in our walk with God.
 
It is not by our own power or holiness that we get our answer to prayer.  God doesn't answer our prayers because we are so good.  Prayers are answered because of Jesus.  He is the one with standing in heaven. He is our only way or approach to the Father.  We cannot get there any other way.  It is only in His name that we can come to God.  Jesus gave us the right and the authority to use His name.  The key to seeing answers to our prayers is through the mighty Name of Jesus.

 

"Sanctified by God the Father." --Jude 1
"Sanctified in Christ Jesus." --1 Corinthians 1:2
"Through sanctification of the Spirit." --1 Peter 1:2

 Mark the union of the Three Divine Persons in all their gracious acts.  How unwisely do those believers talk who make preferences in the Persons of the Trinity; who think of Jesus as if He were the embodiment of everything lovely and gracious, while the Father they regard as severely just, but destitute of kindness.

Equally wrong are those who magnify the decree of the Father, and the atonement of the Son, so as to depreciate the work of the Spirit.  In deeds of grace none of the Persons of the Trinity act apart from the rest.  They are as united in their deeds as in their essence. 

In their love towards the chosen they are one, and in the actions which flow from that great central source they are still undivided.  Specially notice this in the matter of sanctification.  While we may without mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein. 

It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit.  Still does the Lord God say, "Let us make man in our own image after our likeness," and thus we are "his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

See the value which God sets upon true holiness, since the Three Persons in the Trinity are represented as co-working to produce in His Church a heart of holiness.  And you, believer, as the follower of Christ, must also set a high value on holiness--upon purity of life and godliness of conversation.  Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit which is what makes you fit for the inheritance of the saints in light. 

Some would wrongly assume the gifts and fruits of the Spirit a matter of personal choice rather than an act of sanctifying power.  We must always purpose in our hearts to receive all of the presence of God in our lives.

This day let us so live as to manifest the complete work of the Triune God in us.

 

"Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away." --Song of Solomon 2:10

I hear the voice of my Beloved!  He speaks to me!  Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He would not have me spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest.  

He bids me "Rise up," and so He should, for I have been lying long enough among the meager provision of worldliness.  He is risen, I am risen in Him, why then should I cleave unto the dust?  From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I would rise towards Him.

He calls me by the sweet title, "My love," and desires me as fair.  This is a good argument for my rising.  If He has thus exalted me, and thinks that I am so beautiful, how can I linger in the tents of Kedar and find congenial associates among the sons of men?

He bids me "Come away."  Further and further from everything selfish, groveling, worldly, sinful, He calls me.  Yes, from the outwardly religious world which does not know Him, and has no empathy for the mystery of the higher life.  He calls me.  

"Come away" forms no harsh sound to my ear, for what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin?  O my Lord, I would that I could come away, but I am taken among the thorns, and cannot escape from them as I would.  

I would, if it were possible, have neither eyes, nor ears, nor heart for sin.  You call me to Yourself by saying "Come away," and this is easy to my ear and a melodious call indeed.  

To come to You is to come home from exile, to come to land out of the raging storm, to come to rest after long labor, to come to the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.  But Lord, how can a stone rise in the shameful deep waters, how can a lump of clay come away from it’s birth right in the filthy pit?

O raise me, draw me.  Your grace can do it.  Send forth Your Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until I leave life and time behind me, and indeed come away.

 

How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God.  --Psalm 139:17

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with solace.  God is always thinking upon us, never turns aside His mind from us, has us always before His eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it would be frightful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our heavenly Father. 

His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: thus it is a choice pleasure to remember them. 

The Lord always did think upon His people: hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured.  Our Lord always will think upon them, so their final resolve by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. 

In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us--we never roam beyond the Shepherd's eye.  In our sorrows He observes us incessantly, and not a shooting pain escapes Him.  In our labors He considers all our weariness, and writes in His Holy Scriptures all the struggles of His faithful ones. 

These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being.  Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for.  All the details of our little world are thought upon by the great God. 

 Is this precious to you?  Then you must hold to it.  Never be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter.  The Lord lives and thinks upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. 

The notice of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of kings!  If the Lord thinks upon us, all is well, and we may evermore rejoice.

 

REFUSE TO MISTRUST THE WORD OF GOD
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

I refuse to let any thought linger in my mind that comes against what I have asked my Father in prayer.  I constantly affirm and thank Him that I do have the answer.  If a doubt persists, I rebuke it in the Name of Jesus and command it to be gone.  I keep my mind on the answer.

Because doubt is of the devil, I resist it!

He cannot conquer you if you continue to resist.  Strong as he is, God never permits him to conquer the man who continues to resist him; the devil cannot force the human will.  He, who in the terrible name of JESUS, opposes even the devil himself, is sure to have a speedy and glorious conquest.  The devil flees from that name, and from his conquering blood.

I eradicate every mental picture, suggestion, feeling, notion or thought that does not foster my faith that I will have what I ask.  I enjoy only those things that do contribute to my faith.

Our thoughts are governed by observation, association and teachings.  We have to guard against every evil thought and every doubt that comes into the mind.  We must stay away from all places and things that do not support the affirmation that God has answered prayer.  Sometimes this means we have to stay away from those that teach more doubt than faith.

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

 

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.-ROMANS 10:8
 
God's Word is not a far away, unreachable goal for you to grasp. Romans 10:8 tells us no matter what you are going through, regardless of the lies of the devil, God can be relied upon to bring His Word to pass.
 
In Luke 21:33 Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My Words shall not pass away." There is nothing more secure, nothing more powerful and nothing more enduring than God's Word.
 
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word of the Lord is "...alive and full of power." Isaiah 40:8 says, "...the Word of our God will stand forever." And in 1 Peter 1:25 we know that "...the Word of God lives and abides forever...endureth forever, And this is the Word of God which By the Gospel is preached to you."
 
We need to make quality decisions. Words of failure, lack and confusion don't have to dominate our lives. We can walk in victory, abundance and peace each and every day. When we make a quality decision that God's Word is the final authority, we shut the door to failure and open the door to victory.
 
Jesus stood on God's Word found in Deuteronomy 8:3 and made it the last Word when He was in the wilderness and tempted by the devil to turn stones into bread. He said, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4).
 
Bartimeaus heard that Jesus had come to town, began shouting out for mercy. He refused to be quieted by the crowd, got the attention of God and was healed of blindness (Mark 10:46-52).
 
The centurion knew the power of God's Word and asked Jesus to "...speak the word only..." and his servant was healed (Matt. 8:8).
 
Mary, the mother of Jesus, said, "Be it unto me according to thy Word." and was blessed above all women (Luke 1:42).
 
The Bible is full of examples of great men and women like these that made God's Word the last word and received the miraculous. When you make God's Word the last word, you will see the invisible, believe the incredible and receive the impossible. You can shut the door to failure & open the door to victory

7/05

 

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We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.-2 Corinthians 4:13

Paul wrote, "We having the same spirit of faith..."

He didn't say, "to earnestly try to have," or "sacrificially praying for," or "your sincere attempt at hoping for"; he said, "having"! 

Having what?  The same Spirit of faith. And what manner of faith is that?  The kind that:
(1) believes, and
(2) therefore speaks.
Believe, and... speak; the truths of the gospel, without being disheartened by any trials we are exposed to.

Like the psalmist (Ps 116:10) we are moved by the power of faith; That is, I trusted in God, and therefore he has put this song of circumstance changing praise in my mouth.  Faith led them to give utterance to the motivations of their hearts.

Isn't that the same kind of faith Jesus is talking about in Mark 11:23?  Mark 11:23 "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

 

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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

Great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. -- Matthew 12:15
 
What a mass of hideous sicknesses must have plunged itself under the eye of Jesus!  Yet we do not read that He was disgusted, but patiently waited on every case.  What a singular variety of evils must have fallen at His feet!  What sickening ulcers and putrefying sores!  Yet He was ready for every new shape of the bullying monster evil, and was victor over it in every form.

Let the arrow fly from where it might, He still quenched its fiery power.  The heat of fever or the cold of swollen limbs; the weariness of palsy, or the rage of madness; the filth of leprosy, or the darkness of sightless 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 will with conviction heal me; and whatever the state of others whom I may remember at this moment in prayer, I have perfect hope in Jesus that He will heal them of their sins and their 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.  

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.  I go to Him at once in complete earnestness of faith.
 
Let me praise Him now as I remember how He fashioned His cures, which still brings Him the highest renown.  It was by taking upon Himself our sicknesses.  "By His stripes we are healed."  The Church is full of souls healed by our beloved Physician; and the inhabitants of heaven itself confess that "He healed them all."

Come, then, my soul, 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."

 

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

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

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

Be constant in attendance upon the gospel preaching, and be devoutly attentive while hearing, for it is the way by which faith comes.  God has provided the way whereby everyone can have faith.

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] 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.

 

As a minister of the gospel, my responsibility is to repeat what God says in His word.  I must do what He says to do and I must say what He says to say.

His Word is His will.  Look at the confidence God allows us to have in what we say when we speak His Word.  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.

We must be word-minded people.  Word-minded people are steady because the Word of God is steady.  Sense-minded people are ruled by how they feel as perceived by the five senses – what they taste, touch, hear, smell and see.  Sense-minded people are up and down emotionally.  “Yo-Yo” Christians…   They are driven by their senses and what we sense constantly changes.

If the Word of God is what you believe, you’ll be steady because the Word of God doesn’t vary.  God doesn’t say that one day He’ll bless you and the next day He’ll curse you.  The Word of God says it is His will to heal you.  Therefore, if you’re attacked with sickness in your body, you’re going to be steady because you know it’s God’s will that you be healed, set free, and live a wonderful life.  You’re going to be steady in your mind regardless of how you feel in your body if you are word-minded.

People who are driven by their senses say what they see.  When they feel good, they say they feel good.   When they feel bad they say they feel bad.  Sense-minded people only speak what they see.

Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we get what we say.  That means that if we keep saying what we see then we will keep seeing the same thing.  Nothing is going to change until something changes.  And if we keep doing what we have always done then we will always have what we have always had.  If we want change in our lives...  something must change. 

When sense-minded people see nothing changing in their life, they believe nothing will ever change, and they continue to speak that nothing will ever change and the result is – nothing changes.

Once in counseling with a person who was full of doubt and unbelief, He thought he was worthless and his life was a mess.  He spoke that he was worthless and his life was beyond repair.  After much teaching and explaining to him about how he would get what he spoke, his comment was this, “That may work for some people, but it won’t work for me.  I’ve tried to understand God’s Word, but I haven’t been able to and I don’t think I ever will.”  In the years since this counseling session, I must confess, he was right.   He received what he believed.   

Choose to speak the Word of God out of the abundance of your heart and not what your five senses tell you and you will begin to see victory in your life.

A fool's mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul.   Proverbs 18:7

 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?  or, What shall we drink?  or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  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. -Matthew 6:31-34

Added to you! Not taken away! That proves that the Father cares for His own. 

“Be not anxious” is the right interpretation. Do not think that you have to be anxious.  Do not for ever be following the worlds trinity of cares.  The questions in this verse are taken out of the lost man’s standard of distrust.  The children of God may quietly work on from day to day, and cast all foreboding cares from them.

God doesn't want His children to be anxious, or to worry.  God is saying, "Have no worry, no fret, not anxiety.  Because I am your heavenly Father, I know you have need of these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

Never anticipate troubles, each day has its own, and enough of them.  Yes, and enough grace comes daily to bear us through them.

That's what God our Father is saying!  If God is your Father, you may be assured that He will take a father's place and perform a father's part.  You may be certain that if God is your Father, He loves you, and He will care for you.  Praise God, I am glad He is my Father!  Is He yours?

 

Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. Philippians 4:15

Would you like to know how you can increase your income? Regardless of your status in life, there is a way.  Once you receive the Word of God, then you are responsible for putting it to work.

A minister reflected on a phone conversation with a gentleman
and were praying together for his business.  The Lord spoke to him right in the middle of my prayer and said, Ask him why General Motors didn't pay him any-thing last year.

Out of obedience to God. he said, "How come General Motors didn't pay you anything last year?" He was quiet for a second and replied, "Well, they didn't owe me anything."
And the Lord said, Tell him that's why I didn't pay him anything either.

That really opened my eyes! The Word says very plainly, "He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again" (Proverbs 19:17).  If we haven't been giving, then God has nothing to work with to increase us financially.

I want the Word to change your thinking from giving to giving
and receiving.  Don't just think in terms of giving.  The Apostle Paul told the church at Philippi that they alone communicated with him in giving and receiving (Philippians 4:15).

Do you say,
"Well, I don't think I should desire to receive anything back when I give.”

If this is what you are thinking, then your thinking
is wrong!  You wouldn't think well of a farmer who kept planting seeds and then let his crop rot in the field.  Giving financial seeds and not receiving a harvest is just as irresponsible.  There are people in this world starving to hear the saving message of the gospel.  God wants you to receive a harvest from the financial seeds you plant. You need to have an abundance of finances so that you can help finance the preaching of the gospel.

The Body of Christ should be the wealthiest, most powerful and most influential people in all the world. But we have turned the management of the world's finances over to the devil, and believing his lies is an indictment against us all.

This is a grand assurance.  God is the giver, his infinite glory is the store, Jesus is the channel, and the supply knows no limit.  What more can the most expanded desires wish for?  This promissory note from the Bank of Faith makes all believers rich beyond one’s dreams.

 

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

This is spoken in conformity to an opinion prevalent among the Jews, that there was a certain fallen angel who was called malak hammaveth, the angel of death.  He had the power of separating the soul from the body, when God decreed that the person should die.  There were two of these, according to some of the Jewish writers: one was the angel of death to the Gentiles; the other, to the Jews.  Thus: "There are two angels which preside over death: one is over those who die out of the land of Israel, and his name is Sammael; the other is he who presides over those who die in the land of Israel, and this is Gabriel." 

Sammael is a common name for the devil among the Jews; and there is a tradition among them, that the angel of death should be destroyed by the Messiah! 

"Satan said to the holy blessed God: Lord of the world, show me the Messiah.  The Lord answered: Come and see him.  And when he had seen him he was terrified, and his countenance fell, and he said: Most certainly this is the Messiah who shall cast me and all the nations into hell, as it is written Isaiah 25:8, The Lord shall swallow up death for ever."  This is a very remarkable saying, and the apostle shows that it is true, for the Messiah came to destroy him who had the power of death....

that He might paralyze him that held the dominion of death, That is the Adversary. -Hebrews 2:14 Rotherham

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 death, hell, and the grave!

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.

 

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. --Lamentations 3:21

Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency.  Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and enlarge upon every gloomy feature in the present.  Thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood.

There is, however, no necessity for this.  Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort.  That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs.  She need not wear a cap of iron, but rather she may encircle our head with a crown of gold, bejeweled as the stars of heaven.

Thus it was in Jeremiah's experience.  In the previous verse, memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul:  "My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me"; and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort.  "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope."  

Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other.  

If we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a spark which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort.  

There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy.  If we prayerfully stir the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and more importantly if we turn to the Word of Truth and the Throne of Grace, our candle will soon shine as before.

It is given to us to remember the loving-kindness of the Lord, and to rehearse His deeds of grace.  Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy.

As it has been said memory may be, "the bosom-spring of joy," and “when the Divine Comforter bends it to His service, it may be chief among earthly comforters.”

8/05

 

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"Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled." --Matthew 26:56

He never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings.  This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves.  

They are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf comes.  They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took off at first opportunity.  It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord's sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect loyalty.  But, let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did.

It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform.  It would have been to their eternal honor to have stood at Jesus' side right manfully.  They fled from honor, by God’s grace may I be kept from imitating them!

Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels?  They fled from their true safety.  O God, let me not play the fool also.  Divine grace can make the coward brave.  The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it.  These very apostles who were timid as rabbits, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them.  Even so the Holy Spirit can make my unpredictable ways brave to confess my Lord and witness for His truth.

What anguish must have filled the Savior as He saw His friends so faithless!  This was one bitter ingredient in His cup; but that cup is drained dry.  Let me not put another drop in it.  If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify Him afresh, and put Him to an open shame.  Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.

 

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 contemplated what it truly means to be in Christ Jesus?  Do you have a clear revelation of this?  Once you do, it will transfigure your life.

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 until the truth of them gets down into your spirit man.  They'll give you some powerful ammunition against the attacks of Satan.

When he 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!"

Christ and his covenant are the foundation of all the Christian's hopes.  A sad and terrible description is here; but who is able to remove himself out of it?  True believer, without trembling, reflect upon the misery of a person, separated for ever from the people of God, cut off from the body of Christ, fallen from the covenant of promise, having no hope, no Savior, and without any God but a God of vengeance, to all eternity?

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.  The distance from sin is infinite, and the nearness is intimate.  The blood of Jesus works marvels; it annihilates distance, breaks sown partition walls, and transforms aliens into sons.

 

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


Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armor of God, which he prepares and bestows.

Do you know your own strength?  Weightlifters are always trying to "become stronger."  They spend lots 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 is how strong our Lord is!  We do not need to try getting stronger or bigger than our enemy.  We are to be strong in the Lord!

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

Satan's most controlling 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 not to 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 and liar 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 of God forgave our sins and set us free"! (Col. 1:13-14)
(Living and Translators)

 

"When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." --Psalm 61:2

Most of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart; turned upside down and emptied; submerged and thrown like a vessel tossed by the storm. 

Discoveries of inward dissatisfaction will do this, if the Lord permits the great deep of our wantonness to become troubled and cast up mire and dirt.  Disappointments and heart-breaks will do this when billow after billow rolls over us, and we are like a broken shell hurled to and fro by the surf.

Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient comfort, our God is the harbor for the weather-beaten from life’s perilous travels, the hospice of the forlorn. 

He is higher than we are; His mercy higher than our sins, His love higher than our thoughts.  It is pitiful to see men putting their trust in something lower than themselves; but our confidence is fixed upon an exceeding high and glorious Lord.  He is a Rock since He changes not, and a high Rock, because the storm which overwhelm us roll far beneath at His feet.  He is not disturbed by them, but rules them at His will.

If we get under the shelter of this superior Rock we may defy the hurricane; all is calm under the leeward side of that towering cliff.  Such is the confusion in which the troubled mind is often cast, that we need piloting to this divine shelter. 

Thus is the prayer of the text.  O Lord, our God, by Thy Holy Spirit, teach us the way of faith, lead us into Thy rest.  The wind blows us out to sea; our grip has lost control of our course.  You Lord, You alone can steer safe into the fair haven.

How dependent we are upon You--we need You to bring us to You.  To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Your gift, and Yours alone.  This day Lord, be pleased to deal well with Your servants.

 

"Be that is in Christ Jesus." --2 Timothy 2:1

Christ has grace without measure in Himself, but He has not retained it for Himself.  As the reservoir empties itself, so has Christ emptied out His grace for His people.  "Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace."  He seems only to have in order to dispense to us.  He stands like the fountain, always flowing, but only running in order to supply the empty pitchers and the thirsty lips which draw nigh unto it.

Like a tree, He bears sweet fruit, not to hang on boughs, but to be gathered by those who need.  Grace, whether its work be to pardon, to cleanse, to preserve, to strengthen, to enlighten, to quicken, or to restore, is ever to be received from Him freely and without price; nor is there one form of the work of grace which He has not bestowed upon His people.

As the blood of the body, though flowing from the heart, belongs equally to every member, so the influences of grace are the inheritance of every saint united to the Lamb; and herein there is a sweet communion between Christ and His Church, inasmuch as they both receive the same grace.

Christ is the head upon which the oil is first poured; but the same oil runs to the very skirts of the garments, so that the meanest saint has an unction of the same costly moisture as that which fell upon the head.

This is true communion when the sap of grace flows from the stem to the branch, and when it is perceived that the stem itself is sustained by the very nourishment which feeds the branch.  As we day by day receive grace from Jesus, and more constantly recognize it as coming from Him, we shall behold Him in communion with us, and enjoy the great happiness of communion with Him.  

Let us make daily use of our riches, and ever draw near to Him as to our own Lord in covenant, taking from Him the supply of all we need with as much boldness as men withdraw money from their own bank account.

 

"Why are ye troubled?  and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?"
--Luke 24:38

 
"Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God?"  The Lord cares for all things, and the least of His creatures share in His universal providence, but His particular providence is over His saints.

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him."  "Precious shall their blood be in His sight."  "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."  "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose."

Let the fact that, while He is the Savior of all men, He is specially the Savior of them that believe, cheer and comfort you.  You are His peculiar care; His royal treasure which He guards as the apple of His eye.  You believers are His vineyard over which He watches day and night. "The very hairs of your head are all numbered."

Let the thought of His special love to you be a spiritual pain-killer, a dear comfort to your woe: "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." 

God says that as much to you as to any saint of old.  "Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."  We lose much consolation by the habit of reading His promises for the whole church, instead of taking them directly home to ourselves. 

Believer, grasp the divine word with a personal, appropriating faith.  Think that you hear Jesus say, "I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not."  Think you see Him walking on the waters of your trouble, for He is there, and He is saying, "Fear not, it is I; be not afraid." 

Oh, those sweet words of Christ!  May the Holy Ghost make you feel them as spoken to you; forget others for awhile--accept the voice of Jesus as addressed to you, and say, "Jesus whispers consolation; I cannot refuse it; I will sit under His shadow with great delight."

 

"She called his name Ben-oni (son of sorrow), but his father called him Benjamin (son of my right hand)." --Genesis 35:18
 
To every matter there is a bright as well as a dark side.  Rachel was overwhelmed with the sorrow of her own travail and death; Jacob, though weeping the mother's loss, could see the mercy of the child's birth.  It is well for us if, while the flesh mourns over trials, our faith triumphs in divine faithfulness.  

Samson's lion yielded honey, and so will our adversities, if rightly considered.  The stormy sea feeds multitudes with its fishes; the wild dense woods blooms with beautiful flowers.  The stormy wind sweeps away the pestilence, and the biting frost loosens the soil.  Dark clouds distil bright drops, and black earth grows gay flowers.  

A vein of good is to be found in every mine of evil.  Sad hearts have a peculiar skill in discovering the most disadvantageous point of view from which to gaze upon a trial; as if there were only one quagmire in the world, they would soon be up to their necks in it, and if there were only one lion in the desert they would hear it roar.

About us all there is a tinge of this miserable folly, and we are apt, at times, like Jacob, to cry, "All these things are against me."  Faith's way of walking is to cast all care upon the Lord, and then to anticipate good results from the worst calamities.

Like Gideon's men, faith does not fret over the broken pitcher, but rejoices that the lamp blazes forth the more.  Out of the rough exterior of difficulty faith extracts the rare pearl of honor, and from the deep ocean-caves of distress she uplifts the priceless coral of experience.

When her flood of prosperity regresses, faith finds treasures hid in the sands; and when her sun of delight goes down, she turns her telescope of hope to the starry promises of heaven.  

When death itself appears, faith points to the light of resurrection beyond the grave, thus making our dying Benoni to be our living Benjamin.

 

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa.
Jonah 1:3


Instead of going to Nineveh to preach the Word, as God directed him, Jonah disliked the work, and went down to Joppa to escape from it.  There are occasions when God's servants shrink from duty.  

But what is the consequence?  What did Jonah lose by his conduct?  He lost the presence and comfortable enjoyment of God's love.  

When we serve our Lord Jesus as believers should do, our God is with us; and though we have the whole world against us, if we have God with us, what does it matter?  But the moment we back away, and seek our own willful imaginations, we are at adrift at sea without a pilot.  Then we may bitterly cry and groan, "O my God, where have You gone?  How could I have been so foolish as to avoid Your service, and in this way to lose all the bright shining of Your face?  This is a price too high.  Let me return to my allegiance, that I may rejoice in Your presence."

In the next place, Jonah lost all peace of mind.  Sin soon destroys a believer's comfort.  It is as the poisonous leaves distilling deadly drops which destroy the life of joy and peace.  Jonah lost everything upon which he might have drawn for comfort in any other case.  

He could not plead the promise of divine protection, for he was not in God's ways; he could not say, "Lord, I meet with these difficulties in the discharge of my duty, therefore help me through them."  

He was reaping his own deeds; he was filled with his own ways.  Christian, do not play the Jonah, unless you wish to have all the stormy waves rolling over your head.  You will find in the long run that it is far harder to avoid the work and will of God than to at once yield yourself to it.  Jonah lost his time, for he had to go to Tarshish after all.  It is hard to contend with God; yet to yield ourselves at once is most blessed.

9/05

 

 

 

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Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity: for better is a neighbor that is near than a brother far off. Proverbs 27:10

A well and long tried friend is invaluable.  Him that has been a friend to your family never forget, and never neglect.  And, in the time of adversity, rather search out such a one, than go to thy nearest relative, who keeps himself at a distance.

Jesus was our father's best friend, let us not forsake him.  We shall never find a better.

Relationship ought to be a close bond, but, selfishness often comes in.  Jonathan was kinder to David than Joseph's brethren were to him.  Certainly in distress find your friend in Christ as he will have the heart to uphold and lift you up.  He will lead to the cross of our prevailing strength and the fountain of our stillness.  At the Altar of our Great and Loving God we find help in time of need.

 

For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. Hebrews 6:16

That is, an appeal to God.  One may never swear by one who is inferior to themselves.  The object in this declaration is to show that, as far as this could be done, it had been completed by God.  He could not indeed swear by one greater than himself, but he could make his promise as certain as an oath taken by men was when they solemnly appealed to Him.  He could appeal to his own existence and trueness, which was at any time the most solemn form of an oath, and thus put the mind to rest in regard to the hope of heaven’s promises.

And an oath for confirmation.  An oath taken to confirm or establish anything:

"This observation teaches us," says Dr. Macknight, "that both promissory oaths concerning things lawful and in our power, and oaths for the confirmation of things doubtful, when required by proper authority, and taken religiously, are allowable under the Gospel."

for confirmation--not to be joined, as English Version, to "an oath"; but to "an end" [ALFORD].  I prefer, "The oath is to them, in respect to confirmation (one's solemn promise or covenant; as in this, God's promise), an end of all contradiction, or "denial."  This passage shows:

(1)            an oath is sanctioned even more so in the Christian dispensation as lawful;

(2)            that the limits to its use are, that it only be employed where it can put an end to contradiction in disputes, and for confirmation of a solemn promise.

When God Promises health, prosperity, life more abundantly, and eternal life as a condition of His personal Word than there is now no argument; it is settled by God himself and this confirmation puts an end to doubting.  Whatever is lesser than God cannot take away or change God or his promise. 

There is no higher truth whether the lesser is: man, man’s words, or circumstances, experiences, or conditions of this present life.  Praise God He is the same and true yesterday today and forever!

 

"But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day... One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Joshua 23:8,10

He commends them as well as commands them.  A little thoughtful praise makes men all the readier to hear.  Separation from sinners was Joshua's lesson, and it is one which is not out of date or needless at this time.

Things are done by the Lord which are accomplished by His human instruments.  Men use the means, and God renders them successful.  When we stand steadfastly on the promise of God no matter how many enemies seem to be overwhelming your life or how weak or tired you may feel.  Your faithful steadfastness without wavering creates in you power to be successful in all your endeavors.

Stand today with great confidence in the power of God working mightily in your life.

 

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

Prayer is thus urgently recommended to us; we are asking of a Father, not of a tyrant, and that Father will employ all his wisdom and judgment not in repelling our pleas, but in doing for us exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or even think.

Would you, as a parent, plan, purpose, and will for your children to go through life poverty-stricken, sick, downtrodden, down- and-out, their nose to the grindstone life sentence?  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 his child.  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 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 passed away.

So complete has become Paul's identification with Christ that his separate personality is merged into that of Christ.  This language helps one to understand the victorious cry in Romans 7:25.  It is the union of the vine and the branch John 15:1-6.

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.  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!

Paul teaches us as he demonstrates his closest personal feeling toward Christ.  "He appropriates to himself, the love which belongs equally to the whole world.  For Christ is indeed the personal friend of each man individually."  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.

 

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 most Christians the inward man does not rule the outward man.  Being more carnal than spiritual because they are weak in grace.  Instead, the body rules the outward man.  

"Ye are yet carnal…and walk as men," Paul told the Corinthians.  They were living like people who had never been born again.

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?"

There are three things here worthy of note: being wrong in thought, word, and deed.  Envying refers to the state of their souls; they had inward grudges and disaffection towards each other.  Strife or contention, refers to their words; they were continually disputing and contending whose party was the best, each endeavoring to prove that he and his party were alone in the right.  Divisions, refers to their conduct; as they could not agree, they contended till they separated from each other, and thus rent the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Thus the envying and grudges led to strife and evil SPEAKING, and this led to divisions and fixed parties.  In this state well might the apostle say,  Are you not carnal, and walk as men?  You act just as the people of the world, and show no more of the Spirit of God than they.

Don't do it!  Refuse to live like mere men!  Live like the new creatures you are!  Determine to let the new man in Christ – with all that is in him – dominate your being.

 

REFUSE TO MISTRUST THE WORD OF GOD
I refuse to let any thought linger in my mind that comes against what I have asked my Father in prayer. I constantly affirm and thank Him that I do have the answer.  If a doubt persists, I rebuke it in the Name of Jesus and command it to be gone.  I keep my mind on the answer.

Because doubt is of the devil, I resist it!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

I wipe out every mental picture, suggestion, feeling, notion or thought that does not foster my faith.  I will have what I ask.  I enjoy only those things that do contribute to my faith.

Our thoughts are governed by observation, association and teachings.  We have to guard against every evil thought and every doubt that comes into the mind.  We must stay away from all places and things that do not support the affirmation that God has answered prayer.  Sometimes this means we have to stay away from certain churches that teach more doubt than faith.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.
(Good News Bible in Today's English Version) In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.

 

Joshua 1:8 (King James) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
(New Revised Standard Version) This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.


Before the Lord obedience is prosperity, and transgression is a root of bitterness.  In order to practical obedience, however, there must be a delight in the Lord's word.  Those who forget to meditate soon cease to obey; in fact their heart has never been truly in accord with the divine edict.

Jesus always used the Word to defeat the devil. I have that same weapon to fight the good fight of faith.  All we have to do in the face of temptation and doubt is to say, "It is written..." If the Word is firmly fixed in my heart, I am prepared for anything the devil might throw at me.  I can also find Father God's will for my life in that Word.  I can trust it for guidance.  It is the Word that gives faith.  (Romans 10:17) As I read God's Word and learn His will and do the word, I can appropriate His promises for every need I might have.

Those who are obedient to God lack no manner of thing that is good.

 

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. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have[them]. Mark 11:23-24

What liberty has our Lord given us in prayer!  How slow we are to use the power thus entrusted to us!

You have to know that there are two kinds of truth: sense knowledge truth and revelation knowledge truth.  Some think that truth only means anything you can see, hear, touch, taste, and hear (your sense knowledge.)  But the things of the Spirit cannot be touched with the senses.  All that we need; all that God's provision gives to us comes from the spiritual realm.  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3)

When the knowledge that I gain from my senses is in opposition to the knowledge I receive by revelation from God, I choose to believe the revelation from God.  It is a higher truth.  I live by what God says.  Faith receives it and creates its reality in my life.

Thus, when I pray, I believe that I receive that which I am asking for and I shall have it.  Literally, "that you receive it", speaking in the present tense, to show the certainty of the thing, and that it will indeed be performed.  My natural thinking may not understand, but I choose to walk by faith and not by my natural thinking.

10/05

 

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13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; James 5

Use the means available and pray.  Medicine and prayer should go together.  If we send for the doctor and his potions, why not send for the elders and their prayers?

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray]  The Jews taught that the meaning of the ordinance which required the leper to cry, Unclean! unclean! was, "that thus making known his calamity, the people might be led to offer up prayers to God in his behalf,"  They taught also, that when any sickness or affliction entered a family, they should go to the wise men, and implore their prayers. Bava bathra, fol. 116, 1.

In Nedarim, fol. 40, 1, we have this relationship: "Rabba, as often as he fell sick, forbade his domestics to mention it for the first day; if he did not then begin to get well, he told his family to go and publish it in the highways, that they who hated him might rejoice, and they that loved him might intercede with God for him."

Whether loved or feeling unloved God still makes certain you have an opportunity to find healing.  No one is so alone in this world that they cannot find a friend closer than and brother our Lord Jesus; nor are any so isolated they cannot find an elder dedicated to the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick.

Thus are we advised by these sages of the law to stay silent for only the briefest of times them make known your desire to be healed.  Make certain the enemies of the cross witness your full deliverance through the instrument of the prayer of faith.

 

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.  Joshua 1:8

Though God had promised that no man should be able to stand before him, yet it was on condition that he should use all his military skill, and avail himself to the uttermost of all the means, natural and heavenly, which God should place within his reach.  God will not refuse them who obey and stand in defiance of all obstacles.

Before the Lord obedience to His word produces prosperity.  On the other hand transgression of His word causes a root of bitterness.  In order to practice obedience there must be a delight in the Lord's word.  Those who forget to meditate soon cease to obey; in fact their heart has never been truly in harmony with the divine decree.

Jesus always used the Word to defeat the devil.  We have that same weapon to fight the good fight of faith.  All we have to do in the face of temptation and doubt is to say, "It is written..."  

If the Word is firmly fixed in my heart, I am prepared for anything the devil might throw at me.  I can also find Father God's will for my life in that Word.  I can trust it for guidance.  It is the Word that gives faith. (Romans 10:17)  

As I read God's Word and learn His will, I can appropriate His promises for every need I might have.

 

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind & tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. JAMES 1:6-8

The person whose mind is divided, who is not properly persuaded either of their own wants or God's sufficiency.  Such persons may pray, but having no faith, they can get no answer.  We stand firmly believing that GOD IS; that he has ALL GOOD; and that he is EVER READY TO IMPART to his children whatever they need.

I must be specific and clear about what I am seeking from God.  If I want my prayer to be answered, I have to know what it is I need or want.  There are other kinds of prayer.  I can worship the Lord and praise Him.  I can go into His presence to fellowship with Him.  

However, in a prayer where I want an answer, I must be definite.  This type of prayer does not take hours to pray.  I just decide what it is that I desire from God and make my request definite.  I spend a much longer time in prayer where I fellowship with Him, praise and adore Him.

 

"...Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24

The apostles with great frequency speak of the fullness of their joy--joy produced in just the manner promised by the Savior-- by the presence of the Holy Spirit.  And it showed his great love, that he promised such joy; his infinite knowledge, that, in the midst of their many trials and persecutions, he knew that they would possess it; and the glorious power and loveliness of his gospel, that it could impart such joy amid so many tribulations.

Doesn't it make you full of joy when you receive God's answer to your prayers?  Doesn't it make you full of joy just knowing He will answer your prayers?

In fact, sometimes it is necessary to have the joy before you will have what you are praying for.  If you are trying to figure out a way to make matters work even after asking God to do it, you are probably hindering His helping you.  The reason for that is that you are still trying to carry the load instead of casting it on Him.  If you are going to go ahead and struggle with the problem, it won't do any good to ask Him to handle it because you won't be praying in faith.

Philippians 4:6-7 (Moffatt) Never be anxious, but always make your request known to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving; so shall God's peace, that surpasses all our dreams, keep guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

To be successful in praying we have to be thankful and full of joy even before what we are asking is manifested in the physical realm because we know He heard us.  We have His Word on it ... "Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

In all of our real praise and thanksgiving the name of Jesus is the access to the heart of the Father.  If it didn't make any difference the way you pray, why would Father God have inspired Paul to write these things in his epistles?  Do we say that these particular verses in the Word aren't important and yet John 3:16 for example is important?  We must believe that all scriptures are important and for our instruction in our walk with God.

It is not by our own power or holiness that we receive answer to our prayer.  God doesn't answer our prayers because we are good.  Prayers are answered because of Jesus.  He is the one with standing in heaven.  He is our only way or approach to the Father.  We cannot get there any other way.  It is only in His name that we can come to God.  Jesus gave us the right and the authority to use His name.  The key to seeing answers to our prayers is through the mighty Name of Jesus.

 

"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

THE NAME OF JESUS IS THE ACCESS TO THE HEART OF THE FATHER
.  Blessed assurance, sealed with a double Verily!  Who will dare to doubt the efficacy of prayer?  In every instance the bible says to pray to the Father in Jesus' Name.  It is important that we pray according to the Word.

In the verse above Jesus said, "And on that day you will not ask me any questions."  Another translation says, "In that day you will not pray to me."  Jesus said to ask the Father in His Name.  This is the key that will unlock the door to answered prayer for you.

Of course you can tell Jesus you love Him and adore Him and thank Him for all His blessings.  But...to make requests, to petition or ask, you must ask the Father in the Name of Jesus.

Ephesians 3:14-15 says, "For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,"

It is not so important what church you belong to, but it is vital what family you belong to. We, the believers in Christ, are part of the family of God.  When taught of the Spirit they learned the power of the name of Jesus and with deep earnest would plead the name of Jesus with great prevalence.

 

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Ghost.”
Jude 1:20

“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself...” 1 Corinthians 14:4

We must have a most holy faith-the Gospel of our Lord Jesus, and the writings of his apostles, for your foundation.  We must have for our foundation all your expectations on these, and seeking from the Christ who is their sum and substance; all the grace and glory you need.

There is one phase of speaking with tongues in our prayer life that is not praying for someone else, it is not interceding for anyone else.  It is purely a means of personal spiritual edification.  It aids us spiritually and edifies us.  We all need this building upon our most precious foundation.  We cannot help others, we cannot edify others, unless we ourselves have been edified.

Praying in this manner has a three-fold value. 
First, it is a means of spiritual edification.  Thus it affects us individually.
Secondly, it is a means of praying for things about which we do not know.
Thirdly, the Holy Spirit helps us make intercession.

Speaking in tongues is not only an initial evidence of the Holy Spirit's indwelling, but it is a continual experience for the rest of one's life.  It is to assist in the worship of God.  It is a flowing stream that should never dry up.  It will enrich your life spiritually.

 

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death...” Romans 8:2  … “The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The prayer of intercession is not for yourself.  An intercessor is one who takes the place of another.  You are interceding for someone else. Romans 8:26

The Gospel of the grace of Christ, which is not only a law or rule of life, but affords that superior energy by which guilt is removed from the conscience, the power of sin broken, and its polluting influence removed from the heart.  The law was a spirit of death, by which those who were under it, because of their sin, were bound to loss.

Our ignorance shows itself in prayer, and is our great infirmity, as we cannot always tell what blessing we most require.  What a mercy it is that the Holy Spirit knows all things, and moves us beyond our understanding.  Praying in the Spirit we trust upon the Spirit for his guidance, and then we shall go in unto the Lord with an acceptable petition.

Every Spirit-filled believer can expect the Holy Spirit to help him in making intercession.  This intercession can be in the area of the Spirit where it deals with salvation.  It can deal with healing.  It also includes praying for things about which we do not even know, but the Holy Spirit has knowledge of them.

After a time of praying in the Spirit we will know whether we are praying in tongues as a means of building ourselves up spiritually (edifying ourselves) and worshiping God, or whether it is intercessory prayer.

On Occasion and sometimes over a period of time I have had a burden of intercession before I even know for whom I am praying.  I can tell when I am in intercession or travail for someone who is lost.  If you are taking the place of a lost one, you will have that same lost feeling in your own spirit.  And as we pray in the Spirit, interceding for that one, the Holy Spirit will deal with his heart and bring him under conviction of sin.

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:18

 

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have out against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.  Mark 11:25-26

Remember this when anger tries to hold you in its evil power.  Flee from it as from your mortal enemy.  Before we can expect an answer to our prayers, we must have a forgiving heart to any who may have wronged us.  

We cannot hold a grudge, we cannot stay in an unforgiving attitude, if we want our prayers to reach God's throne of grace.  Prayer will not work in an unforgiving heart.  A person can not have an effective prayer life and have anything in his heart against another.  Hatred harbored will stop praying cold.  Revenge will keep one from receiving from God.

The Lord reminds us that if this was necessary to the acceptableness of all prayer, much more when great things were to be asked and confidently expected.  We cannot afford to allow a root of bitterness, a bit of envy, a spark of revenge to get in there.  It will wreck our spiritual life.  It will stall our prayer life.  It will mar our faith and eventually shipwreck us.

God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. Right in the presence of the devil, Jesus is there.  Right in the presence of those enemies called doubt and despair; we can sit at the table of victory and deliverance with Jesus.  In the face of adverse circumstances we can believe that we receive.

 

"Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it." Jeremiah 1:12

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.

In learning to speak the Word of God over all of life's circumstances and situations, we find a freedom and a strength that only the truth of God's Word can bring.  There is an importance in speaking God's Word and expecting the results it promises.  Many of God's people treat His Word and even God Himself, as if they can manipulate their words and their faith until they find that perfect combination that will force God's power into action.

God’s revealed truth about the power of speaking His Word—is saying out of our mouths what He says and not what we want to say or think.  This is a plain, simple statement, and its meaning is clear. God watches over His Word—not my words, not your words, not the President's words, but His Word and His Word alone.

Not only does He watch over His Word, He performs His Word.  He does not perform my words, or your words, or the President's words.  He performs His Word.  Once we fully understood this principle, we found that we were set free from having faith in our own faith.

Our faith is restored in the one true source of power, the Word of God.

 

"And God SAID , Let there be light; and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

From the beginning of time, as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis, God has been teaching his children how to do what He does, the way that He does it.  He was and is the perfect parent, leading us by His example.  He says, "Do as I say, and do as I do."

God made the entire universe with us watching through His Word. 

In verse 6, "And God SAID, Let there be a firmament...." Then again in verse 9, "And God SAID, "Let the waters under the heavens be collected into one place, and it was so." In verses 11, 14, 24, and 26, God SAID again, and what He SAID happened! 

In the creation process He established a pattern for us to follow—a way of using His creative power, of doing things His way. When we speak His Word, things happen!

 

"And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.” Genesis 1:28, 29

This powerful principle of speaking God's Word can impact the salvation of lost loved ones and appropriate healing for ourselves and others.  But God does not stop with salvation and healing.  He wants us to speak His Word in every area of our lives—including our finances.

God blessed Adam and Eve and gave them instructions on how to keep and maintain their new gift.  Then He explained how to perpetuate that blessing throughout their lives, through seed.

This small but significant phrase, "While the earth remains, seed time and harvest" (Genesis 8:22).  Notice there are three entities mentioned in this brief verse: SEED-TIME-HARVEST.  Each one is important when it comes to our finances.

The devil hates when we plant the seed of our tithes and offerings in the soil of God's kingdom.  Psalm 112:9-10 says, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor and needy; his righteousness-uprightness and right standing with God endures forever; his horn shall be exalted in honor.  The wicked man will see it and be grieved and angered; he will gnash his teeth and disappear [in despair]; the desire of the wicked shall perish and come to nothing."

Apparently, our giving torments the wicked man (both on the earth and in hell).  According to the Word of God, it hurts him!  That knowledge alone is enough to motivate me to give and give and give.  I want to torment the devil all the days of my life, don't you?

After we plant our seed in faith, in due time we begin to receive our harvest—and the devil can't do anything to stop that harvest from coming.  When we call in our harvest by speaking the Word of God, that harvest must come.

To be strictly just is not enough, for God is love, and we must love our neighbor as ourselves: to give every one his due is not sufficient, we must act upon those same principles of grace which reign in the heart of God.  The promises of establishment and prosperity are bountiful to those who have proved their fitness to be stewards of the Lord by the right way in which they use their substance.

“God calls those things which do not exist as though they do exist (NKJV).” Romans 4:17

That is our example!  We have the power in our own tongues to transform the unseen realm into the seen realm.  When we call something out of the supernatural into the natural—whatever it is that we need—it must come to us!

 

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

The devil knows he can't steal our seed or our harvest if we obey God, speak His Word, and use our faith.  Therefore, he frequently targets a more vulnerable area, time.

The devil lies to us during the growing season—that waiting period between sowing and reaping.  He tries to make us believe that nothing is happening with our seed; that nothing will ever happen.  He wants us to doubt God's principle of seed-time and harvest.

But absolute proof of this principle is all around us.  When a farmer plants a crop in the spring, no one calls him crazy because he expects a full harvest on his seed in the autumn.  When a husband plants his seed in his wife, no one calls the couple crazy because they expect a harvest of a baby in nine months.

Waiting is difficult, I know.  Instant gratification has little advantage in maturing seed.  There is no way around the waiting period necessary to reap a harvest that is both healthy and mature.  A woman may want her baby to come earlier than nine months, but if that happens, she runs the risk of losing her precious harvest altogether!

When a baby comes too early we say there has been a miscarriage.  When we call in our supernatural harvest too early and fail to wait for its full realization, that's a supernatural miscarriage.

Time must be applied to the seeds we sow.  The waiting period is critical if we want to achieve the optimum growth and reap the most abundant harvest possible.  We don't want to reap too soon and miss the full maturity and blessing of the harvest God wants to give to us.

Of course, the devil will show up while we are waiting and try to talk us out of our harvest. When he does, we must rebuke him!  How long must we resist?  The Scripture doesn't say.  Sometimes a small amount of resistance will be enough to make the devil flee.  Other times we may have to resist and keep resisting.  But we can rest assured that he will eventually go, because God's Word says he must!

 

"Give and it shall be given unto you." Luke 6:38

What do we do while we wait?  Simple. We continue to plant!  In fact, if we continue to sow seed through our waiting periods, we will eventually enjoy a continual harvest.  We'll have so much seed in the ground that we will have ample time to wait on each harvest and still reap mature crops every day.

You might say, "But I haven't been giving. I haven't been sowing spiritual seed. Even if I start today, I will have to wait to reap anything."  That's true. There's no getting around the waiting period.  But while you are waiting on that first harvest to come to maturity, continue to sow, and you will find that you are busy harvesting during all your waiting periods in the future.

Start planting, and don't stop until Jesus comes back to take us home with Him!  There are so many places to plant your seed—so many excellent ministries and missions and godly causes.  Your tithe should go to your local church (or wherever you are regularly fed the Word of God).  Then your offerings can go wherever you feel led to plant them.

Pray and ask God where and how much to give.  The leading of the Holy Spirit is so vital to staying in the will of the Father, especially when it comes to our finances.  One thing we'll never have to ask God, is if He wants us to give.  The Bible is clear. God wants to bless us, and He can't do that if we are not obedient to give.  Regular, continual giving is vital to reaping a regular, continual harvest.

 

"Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it, and I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground." Malachi 3:10-11

A single Hebrew word can have multiple dimensions of depth and meaning.  The word tithe, for example, has a multifaceted definition.  On one level it means marked for destruction.  When I first saw this I was somewhat confused.  Marked for destruction sounds so negative, while I have always thought of the tithe as something extremely positive, a wonderful seed that produces a bountiful spiritual harvest.

When I prayed God took me to the Old Testament Book of Leviticus and showed me that the principle of tithing was first practiced with the sacrifice of animals.  In ancient Israel, when it was time to make a sacrifice, the Israelites went among their herds and marked for destruction the animals that were perfect and without blemish.  These were the ones they would give to God.  They tithed the very best that they had.

Does that phrase, "rebuke the devourer," bring a picture to your mind?  Can't you just see God standing in the face of your enemy, the devil, and rebuking him off of your harvest?  But without the tithe planted in God's good ground, His hands are tied.  God can't do for you what He wants to do.  Only when we are obedient to bring our tithe into the storehouse do we give God the legal right to rebuke the devourer for our sakes.

The tithe is really like a ticking time bomb.  If we hold on to it instead of giving it, it will explode in the area of our lives to which it's been diverted.

Let's say, for example, that you choose to hold on to your tithe one month because you don't have enough money to pay your bills.  Instead of planting that tithe in God's storehouse, you use it to make your car payment.  But the tithe, remember, is a ticking time bomb.  It is marked for destruction.  It will eventually blow up, and guess where?  In your car, most likely, perhaps in the form of a breakdown on the road and a pile of bills from the mechanic!

When we give our tithe to God the way it was intended, however, God takes that ticking time bomb and explodes it in the face of the enemy for us.  God rebukes the devourer for our sakes with our tithe, which is marked for destruction!

 

“May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you!”  Deuteronomy 1:11

In another facet of its meaning, the word tithe is described as the "warrior or prince" for the whole of our income.  In other words, our tithe is the leader of our finances.  Whatever happens to our tithe happens to all of our money.

When we give our tithe to God it goes before Him and is blessed by Him, and He multiplies it back to us in a harvest.  And since the tithe is the prince or leader of our income, God blesses the rest of our money at the same time.  Not only is our tithe blessed and multiplied; all of our income is blessed and multiplied!

When you tithe, you may go to the grocery store with only a little money left in your pocket and find many of the items that you need for the week on sale.  Someone might unexpectedly give you just the thing you needed, but couldn't find or afford.

The reverse, however, is also true.  Let's say you don't give your tithe to God.  You use it to pay your credit card bill, rationalizing that God wants you to have integrity and not owe anyone.  Instead of your tithe going to God to be blessed, it has gone to pay a bill.  And since your tithe leads the whole of your income, the rest of your money will end up going to pay bills too.

According to Jewish custom, who or what you give your tithe to is who or what you acknowledge as your lord.  When you give your tithe to God, you are acknowledging that God is the Lord of your life.  But when you give your tithe to pay bills, you are acknowledging that bills are the lord over your life; thus the phrase, 'Bills are lording over me.'  Surely no one wants bills and credit debt to be the ruling factor in their life!

In our family, we want God to be our Lord and Savior, so we always give at least a tenth of our income to the work of His kingdom.  We know that we can expect full harvests to come, at least one hundred times the amount of the seed, and sometimes a thousand times.  We have learned to stop limiting God when it comes to the size of the return. We expect our harvest to be like God, BIG!

 

"And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle. And the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land [making fodder more difficult to obtain]. So Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife, I beg you between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are relatives. "Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself; I beg you, from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if you choose the right hand, then I will go to the left. And Lot looked and saw that everywhere in the Jordan Valley was well watered. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gommorrah, it was all like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as you go to Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley and [he] traveled east. So they separated." Genesis 13:7-11

When given the opportunity to choose the land where his family would settle, Lot picked the best portion, the fertile valley of the Jordan River.  And to keep the peace, his Uncle Abraham (or Abram, as he was known) let him have it without resistance.  Abram took the rest of the land.

But while Lot may have taken the best land, Abraham got the blessed land.  Because he was obedient to God, Abraham knew that he was blessed, and he knew that everywhere he set his foot he would continue to be blessed.  He knew that he was doing God's will when he chose peace to end the strife in his extended household.  The lesser land that he accepted would surely invoke God's blessing, and he would ultimately come out with the very best.

When we choose the blessed over the best, the blessed will always end up better than the best!  And when we put our lives and our finances under the Lordship of God through our obedience and our giving, we, too will invoke the

blessing of Abraham.

 

Praise the LORD!  How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.  His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.  Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:1-3

When our family first began to give offerings beyond our tithe, we must admit, it took a commitment of our faith.  It just doesn't make sense to give away and expect to have more because of it!  But we're not talking about a natural principle; we're talking about a supernatural principle.  When we give, God gives us so much more.  When we sow our seed, God returns to us an abundant harvest.

We're confident that much of this teaching will become a revelation to you as you begin to pray over what God’s plan is for your finances.  God's Word has life in it.  God's Word is life.  Therefore, as you begin to speak God's Word out of your mouth—out loud so your own ears can hear what you're saying—life will come to your understanding.

Don't get discouraged too quickly and say, "I just don't get it."  You will get it, in every way!  God will respond to your act of obedience with a revelation of exactly what you need to know.

Setting you free in the area of your finances so you can reap a continual harvest is our greatest desire for you.  We know God has a great breakthrough in store for you as you commit to, “Speak the Word Over Your Family for Finances!”

11/05

 

 

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

Healing begins to flow in the Old Testament in Exodus 12.  Do you remember the account of the Passover lamb?  The whole family ate of the lamb, and the Bible tells us that when the destroyer came, he passed over the households where the blood of the lamb was seen on the door posts, where the people had partaken of the lamb.

The blood on the door posts saved the people from the destroyer.  After eating the lamb, the Bible says they left Egypt in great physical strength and with good health.  God took away sickness from the midst of them (Exodus 23:25.

Why did they not have any sickness?  The reason, I believe, was because they were full of lamb.  When you are full of the Lamb, I believe you receive strength and health.  They ate of that lamb, and there was no sickness in their midst.  The Bible talks of elderly people who marched out of Egypt in great strength and divine health.  Partaking of the lamb was not only for their forgiveness, it was not only to protect them from the destroyer, but it was also to give them strength and health.

Look to Jesus as your healer, but also look to Him as your strength—physical strength. Joel 3:10 says, ".. . let the weak say, I am strong." And David, in Psalm 29:1 says, "The Lord will give strength unto his people. . .."

We see the unfolding of it.  God saved His people from the destroyer (the devil) and gave them physical health and strength.

 

And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. 2Chronicles 30:20

 II Chronicles 30 relates how Hezekiah renewed the Passover.  The Israelites had not been eating the Passover, and when it was renewed, the king prayed for the sick “And the Lord harkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.”  It was in the eating of the Passover and in the king's praying that the nation was healed. 

Once again the lamb was connected with healing.  The Lamb of God brings forgiveness and healing.

Leviticus 14:25 And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot:

Cleansing was provided for the leper, and the preparation for cleansing included the slaying of a lamb.  The lamb brought salvation to the Israelites from their Egyptian oppressors, and the lamb also brought cleansing to them when they needed healing.  The lamb that brought deliverance was the same lamb that brought wholeness. 

When we partake of the Lamb of God, we enjoy salvation and healing.  The same Lamb provides both benefits!

 

". . . the people spake against God, and against Moses. . ." Fiery serpents came against the people and began to bite them.  The people became sick and were dying.  The Lord gave Moses a remedy:  "Make a brass serpent, Moses.  Put it high on a pole, and everyone who looks at it will be healed" Numbers 21

Jesus referred to that incident when He said, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up . . ."

God wants His people well, but it is up to us to make the decision to walk in health.  One thing that works against good health is murmuring.  Numbers 16 records how the Israelites murmured against Moses and against Aaron. Verse 49 says that 14,700 people died in the plague that followed the murmuring.  The Bible says that a lot more were going to die, but Aaron made intercession as a priest, and stopped the plague. 

Jesus is our great High Priest, and He has come down to the people to stop the plague of sin and sickness.  He does not want us to be sick.  He wants us to be healed.  He wants to improve our condition.

There was another time that the Israelites murmured. (John 3:14).  Everyone who looks to Jesus will be saved eternally.  When we lift up Jesus as Savior, He heals people of sin; and when we lift Him up as Healer, people are healed physically, just as the Israelites were healed physically.

People will be healed in your church when Jesus is lifted up as Healer.  If those people in the wilderness hadn't looked up to the serpent, they would not have been healed.  If you don't look up to Jesus to be your Healer, you will remain sick and in pain.  It is very, very important that He be lifted up as Healer, as well as Savior.

 

"Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 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 eagles" Psalm 103:2-5

You don't have renewed youth unless you have good things in your mouth.  If you murmur, you are going to be sick and cut short your life span, and you will be weak while you are alive.  But if you speak good things (who Christ is; what He's done) the benefits are that He forgives your iniquities, He heals you of disease, He redeems your life, He crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, He satisfies you with good things, and He renews your youth.

Those are the benefits of Jesus!  Don't neglect any of them. Don't say, "Well, He forgave me of my sins—that's enough."  Take them all.  They're all your benefits.  Step up for every one of them!

"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh"(Proverbs 4:20-22

God has given us the Word to bring life and to bring health.  We have the heavenly prescription for good health: attend to the Word by listening to it (which implies obeying it), reading it, and meditating on it.  God is always wanting to improve your condition by giving you health for all your flesh.

If you are not in the Word every day, if you are not confessing the Word, I don't believe that you have that health flowing through you all the time.  Jesus said, "My words are spirit and they are life."  If you are not using the Word, then I do not believe that you have that life flowing in you all the time.  I think that is one reason why Christians decay and fall apart, because they haven't kept the life principle of the Word in them all the time.

Have you noticed that sometimes when you get up in the morning the devil really hits you?  Maybe you had a bad dream, or things were not going very well, and the enemy talks to you and says, "This day is going to be a drag.  It's going to be terrible.  You've got all these things to do, and everything is falling apart around you."

When that happens, I pray and go through the Scriptures that I'm confessing that day.  After I'm through confessing the Word, there is something of life that begins to go around inside of me.  Then I think, "This isn't a bad day.  This is the best day of my life!"  The Word has brought life into the situation.  That's a wonderful principle, and we need to exercise it every day.

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" Luke 4:18-19

Very early in His ministry, Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read this scripture.  He was handed the book of Isaiah and read: He said that He was ". . To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."

What is "the acceptable year of the Lord"?  I believe it refers to the year of Jubilee, mentioned in Leviticus 25.  Every fiftieth year the trumpet was sounded and liberty was proclaimed throughout all the land.  Everyone who owed debts and everyone who was in trouble was set free to go back and claim their own land.  It was a beautiful time when everyone celebrated.

When Jesus stood up and said, "This is the acceptable year of the Lord," He was saying, "This is Jubilee! You can claim back all your possessions that Adam lost to Satan."  The brokenhearted could be healed, the captives could be set free, the blind could receive their sight, people who were bruised emotionally could be set free. 

Jesus was standing up, and, in a sense, blowing a trumpet and saying, "This is Jubilee!  There's Good News!  Get back all your possessions that you lost in Adam.  I've got them all back for you."  One of those possessions is divine health.  Jesus got it back for you.  Claim healing as your rightful possession.

 

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" Isaiah 53:5

You have every legal right to claim your healing, and I want to consider this carefully. In Matthew 8:17 there is a reference of Isaiah 53.  Jesus had just physically ". . healed all that were sick . . ." in that area, and the Bible says He healed them "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sickness."

Isaiah, spoke of the suffering Savior as the price for healing and forgiveness.  On the cross, Jesus paid the price for our transgressions.  It was on the same cross and by the same suffering that Jesus paid the price for our healing.  We have every legal right to forgiveness of sins because Jesus bore our sins for us.  We have the same legal right to healing because Jesus bore our sickness and carried our diseases.

Do you believe it?  Are you sure it's true?  Healing must be believed and received, just as forgiveness of sins must be believed and received.  The reason I know that is true is found in the first verse of Isaiah 53:  "Who hath believed our report?  and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?" 

Are you going to receive this report, or are you going to turn it down?  Receive it today!

 

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 1Timothy 2:1

Our God is the God of the impossible, but He also expects us to do our part and pray.  There are different types of prayer, and they each have guidelines.  We must know what to pray for, who to pray for, and how to pray.

The prayer of supplication is the kind of prayer that can be used in critical situations where there seems to be no other way.  I have used this prayer during times of crisis in my own life.  I don't want to make it sound like this type of prayer will solve every problem that you have, but when our requests line up with God's will, which is simply His Word, then He hears us and He answers.

Usually, I would have depended on Mark 11:24, "What things so-ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."  In a particular circumstance I didn't have the inner assurance I needed that when I asked I would receive.  When you know the will of God in a particular area, then you can also have faith for it. 

This circumstance would take more money than what I had, and many days had already passed.  I still didn't have the inner assurance to pray the prayer of faith.  I don't know if you have ever used Mark 11:24 and had nothing happen, but I have.

I though to have prayed the prayer of agreement with my friends using Matthew 18:19, "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."  Yet I had recently learned more about the application of the prayer of agreement and knew that the prayer of agreement may not be the most effective prayer to use in this situation.

My insight into the prayer of agreement came to me after a service.  The answer was startling to me because by the Holy Spirit saying, "This prayer is not for everything as it must have to do with something concerning the two of you.  Two people can't agree for Uncle John and Aunt Susy unless their situation also concerns them, but they can intercede for them.  When I saw this, I realized that I could pray the prayer of agreement with people but not for them. 

 

I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication Psalm 30:8.

If I didn't pray the prayer of faith or the prayer of agreement, exactly how I should pray.  First Timothy 2:1 which says, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men."

We're dealing with four types of prayer here, but they're in an order.
1. supplications;
2. prayers;
3. intercessions;
4. giving of thanks.

These four types of prayer work alone, yet 1Timothy speaks of a particular order.  God operates within a certain order, and it is our job to understand that order and follow its instruction.  Unfortunately, many people's prayer lives are out of order, and they simply don't work.  We need to follow God’s order so that His blessings can come into our lives.

Notice that all the prayers mentioned were plural.  They could be prayed collectively or individually, and could be prayed multiple times.  Some prayers, like the prayer of faith, you pray one time.  Other prayers, like these, you can pray over and over again.

This prayer in 1st Timothy 2 was for men (people), not money.  The people have the money.  In my situation, the banker was responsible for the money.  He was also the one entrusted with the authority to invest the money.  We prayed for him

Write the prayer out because the first word, supplication, means "petition."'  If we were going to petition the city, the state, or the U. S. government, it would be a formal written request.  Write out your prayer in the form of a legal petition.  Every time you make a statement, write a corresponding Scripture reference in the margin.

As you search the Scriptures to find the promises for what you are asking, your assurance of faith will build up.  After you are finished, pray through.  In this way you may develop a greater hunger for the Word, a stronger love for people, and a more intimate relationship with God.

 

"...if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." 1st John 5:14,15

 

We must first ask according to His will, and secondly, we must know that He hears us.  Both the Word of God and prayer are mentioned when Paul talks to the church in Ephesus about spiritual warfare.  In Ephesians 6, Paul expounds on the armor of God:

When Paul lists the armor, he talks about the defensive and the offensive types of armor.  The Word of God and prayer are the only two pieces of the armor that are offensive while all the other pieces are defensive.  It is when we are on the offensive with the enemy that we can do more than hold our ground.  When we take an offensive position, we can actually claim what rightfully belongs to us.

This is what the prayer of supplication does.

Most of the time, we think about the sword of the Spirit in our hand, but it is really in our mouths.  When Paul wrote to the church, he wrote a letter.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God praying.

This emphasizes that the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God praying.  Jesus is the Word.  Jesus knows how to pray, and He is powerful.  If, in turn, I use the equipment God has given me, the Word of God praying, His Words become my words.  I take His Word and pray it.

 

"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 55:11

Notice also that it is the Word of God "praying always with all prayer" (Eph. 6:18).  We have lacked knowledge in some areas, and God wants to expand our knowledge because knowledge is a vital part in living the victorious life.

Going further in verse 18, Paul says, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."  It is supplication in the Spirit for all saints.  We should pray for our brothers and sisters in the Lord and for one another.

It is literally Jesus' Word being prayed out or prayed through us.

The church prayed without ceasing. (Acts 12:517.) Peter was to die. (Acts 12:1-4.)  The church prayed using the armor of God.  They began in the morning and continued into the night.  God was at work, but they didn't know it yet.

"Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him."  Without ceasing literally means "stretched out" which "signifies earnest, fervent.   In supplications in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit begins to take over.  Although you may not pray in tongues, you pray by the power of the Spirit of God.

 

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom. 8:26,27.)

Peter was in trouble, and the church was down to serious business. This wasn't a passive prayer but an active prayer.  It was a prayer that brought supernatural deliverance to Peter while he was still in chains.  That very night while Peter was sleeping, an angel of the Lord came to him in the prison and said, "...Arise up quickly" (Acts 12:7).

The chains fell from Peter's hands, and he followed the angel out of the prison, through the gate, and out onto the streets.  Soon after, the angel departed from him, and he ran back to the group that had been praying for him without ceasing.  Their instant and earnest supplication for him throughout the night had literally saved his life.

The church had made their request according to God's will.  They had met the first condition mentioned in First John 5:14,15. They also met the second condition, which is to know that He hears us.  They continued in prayer until they knew that they knew.

The Spirit brings us to a place of knowing.  Once we know, nothing and no one can stop us from receiving the petitions that we desire of Him.  His Word and the witness of His Spirit make me certain it is already mine, and He won't deny His Word.

 

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren  Acts 1:14


The second kind of prayer mentioned in First Timothy 2, is often linked with supplication in other passages of Scripture.  .  Prayers, in First Timothy 2:1, means worship.

Spiritual worship, rather than mental or physical worship, is actually a form of prayer.  In John 4:24, it says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  As a spirit being, you worship a Spirit Being, so everything has to begin at that point.

The raising of hands, for example, may be worship, and it may not.  Are you thinking about the roast in the oven at home for dinner?  That is not worship but just raising your hands.  If you focus on God as the object of your worship and become more conscious of Him while raising your hands, then you are really worshipping.

The Holy Spirit helps you in your worship.  Your mind and your body simply fall in line.

You start with supplications which deal with the known will of God.  You use your mind to write down your supplication because it has to do with what you know.  Then you begin to worship.  Worship is the hookup that takes you from the mental realm into the spiritual realm of intercession.  You move from one dimension into another—out of the natural, logical, mental realm and into the spiritual realm as you worship.

First, you worship with your understanding, then, as the Spirit leads you, you worship using the language of the spirit, which is tongues.  One is in a known language while the other is in an unknown language.  Worship draws all thoughts to God, His power, and His love.  This worship coupled with prayer can only be attained in the Spirit.

 

"...we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" Rom. 8:26

As you worship or pray in an unknown language, the Holy Spirit begins to intercede through you for the things you don't know about.  Paul is talking about the Holy Spirit.  Jesus referred to Him as "another Comforter" in John 14:16.

Comforter in the Greek literally means "called to one's side.  Historically, the word comforter was used in a court of justice to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another's cause, an intercessor, advocate. 

The word another implies they are of the same sort rather than a different sort.  The Holy Spirit and Jesus are made of the same substance, and they work together along side us in the heavenly court of justice.

At a point while I am praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit begins to intercede through me.  The word, intercessions, as it is used in First Timothy 2:1, means "seeking the presence and hearing of God on behalf of others."  At one time, it was "a technical term for approaching a king, and is used for approaching God in intercession.

The Holy Spirit comes along side of you and helps you to pray.  Because He is a part of the Godhead, He knows all things and is able to pray for things that you don't even know about.  He will not pray anything against the will of God.  He can only pray the will of God.  When you finish, you know that you have prayed the perfect prayer and have covered all the bases.

Whenever I have finished interceding, I know that I know.  If I don't reach that place, I go back and worship God again.  Usually, I receive an utterance in tongues and interpret it.  Through the interpretation, God tells me what I have to do next so that I am never in the dark.  I either know I have it, or I know what to do next.  It gets rid of those "Well let's pray and leave it up to God" prayers.

In First Corinthians 14:15, Paul mentions a similar approach, "I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also."  By beginning with supplications then moving into worship and intercessions, prayer is taken out of the mystical realm and put into the spiritual order of God so that it can work.

 

Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 1Chronicles16:8

A natural response following the prayer of supplication, spiritual worship, and intercession is the giving of thanks.  In the giving of thanks, we express gratitude.  When you ask God for something He has promised you in His Word, you shouldn't have to be told to say, "Thank you."  Yet many petitions are not completed simply because they lack a word of thanks.

Today, we live in an instant society, and we want to approach God on that instant basis.  Then we wonder why it isn't working too well.  Anything worthwhile takes time.  If you are going to have a good marriage, it is going to take time.  If you are going to have a good church, it is going to take time.

You might say, "But God, I asked You.  How come I don't have it?"  You may have a bad attitude.  You may not have a thankful heart.  You need to be kind and gracious.  He saved you.  He healed you.  He filled you with His Spirit.  You have so many things to be thankful for.

Those two words, as small as they are, can make all the difference.

Psalm 118:1-29 is a biblical example of what is called the sandwich theory, which places the request in the middle of the prayer and thanksgiving.  David spends the first twenty-four verses of his prayer giving thanks to God because: He is good, His mercy endures forever, He answers when David calls on Him, He puts him in a large place, He is on David's side, He takes his part, He is his strength, song, and salvation, and finally, just because He has heard him. 

It is interesting to notice here that his petition is only one verse long:  "Save now, I beseech thee, 0 Lord: 0 Lord, I beseech thee, send now prosperity" (v. 25).  Then after he has made his request, he goes back to worshipping by thanking and praising God in the last four verses.  David was a man after God's own heart who prospered. David was more conscious of giving thanks unto God than of his need.

 

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand Matthew 3:1,2

God says only believe!

This scripture is saying; confess your sins, repent and let God be God.  God wants you to look to Him as your Source.  He is jealous over you!  He does not want you to depend on man to meet your need, but to look past man to the real Source of your supply —Jehovah Jireh, your Provider.

God does not like it when you bypass the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is hard for God to bless you if you put something else before Him.  He wants to bless you!  He wants to heal you!  He wishes to provide for you and your every need.

When your dear pastor reaches out in Jesus' name laying his hand gently on you and says, "Receive your healing," you are healed!  By faith in Jesus, you can receive your healing.  You are not waiting on man; you are waiting on God!  Your Source is God.

When people begin looking to man instead of God to meet their needs they debase themselves in order to have others supply their needs.

 

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 7:18, 19

Every human being is like a tree.  Like a healthy tree, you must bear good fruit.  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.

You have to bear good fruit, not just any kind of fruit.  It is not merely the wicked, the bearer of poison berries, that will be cut down; but the neutral, the man who bears no fruit of positive virtue must also be cast into the fire.

To bear good fruit, you have to have your faith and your doctrines mixed-up together with the love of God.  You have to love God.  You may say, "Don't we all love God?"  No, we don’t love God if we don’t bring Him gifts, and if we try to get the blessings of God in some other way than the way the Bible says.

"How do I bear good fruit?" you ask.  Pass out tracts, feed the poor, bless someone who needs something, bring lost people to church, tell your pastor you want to do something for God.  Get started now.  Always say, "I'll do anything for Jesus. "

The ministry of Jesus is your ministry.

 

"I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8
Norel Hayes
Not long ago, I was in Dallas holding a seminar. My daughter, Zona, was with me, helping with the book and tape sales. Zona owns two exercise studios and had a financial need for $3,000. She told me about it, but I didn't respond. I've taught her for years to trust God. Sometimes the pressure of a situation will nag at you so strongly that you will bypass God and look to a person — especially one who has what you need.

That night, Zona had a night vision — a vision that occurs when you are asleep. God speaks to your spirit and shows you what you need to see.  It's from God — not from the pizza you ate earlier!
The next morning, she told me about the dream she received, saying, "Daddy, Daddy, I don't like it!"  She said, "I dreamed I was an instructor in an exercise place."
"Well," I said, "that's what you are."
"But, Daddy, I was just an instructor in the exercise place and not the owner."

She continued to describe the dream. In it, there was a man who owned the place.  Because Zona needed financial help, she asked her boss for more money.  He refused and heaped abuse on her.  The dream had greatly upset her.  She didn't understand the truth that God was trying to reveal to her in this dream, but I immediately did.

I said, "Zona, Zona. That dream was for you.  God was showing you what happens when you prostitute your faith.  I've told you for years what to do, but you flounder around and look to man for help, and God doesn't like it.  Why don't you change?"

You might say, "That seems very harsh, Brother Norvel."  But, in these last days, God is revealing the truth so we won't have to stumble around in darkness for the rest of our lives. Yes, when I said that, it was harsh.  Sometimes the truth can be offensive.  But if we listen and apply it, it will always set us free.

Meanwhile, Zona sat in a chair mumbling tearfully, "Oh, Daddy, oh, Daddy." I said to her, "Zona, honey, little darling, Jesus loves you! Why don't you start thanking Jesus for what you want and Jesus will give it to you.  You can be free from your prostitute faith.

Don't go to man. God says, 'Forget not to give God thanks in everything.'  Why don't you do it?"

Crying, she said, "Okay, Daddy, I will, I will."

After this conversation on Saturday morning, we both began thanking Jesus for helping her. Later, she went to work behind the tape and book table during the seminar. Soon, a person walked up and said, "Zona, God has been dealing with me for two days.  Here's a check the Lord told me to give you."  She looked at the check —four thousand dollars!

If you get delivered from your prostitute faith, God will bless you as well.  You tie the hands of God when you look to man or refuse to come before the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, bow down before him and begin to thank Him for what you need.

What is the altar of God?  Isn't it a place to come and leave all of your cares and begin to thank Jesus for what you need or want?  This is what faith is all about — when you ask, believe and thank Him for what you received when you prayed.  When Zona thanked God in prayer for the finances she needed, she couldn't see or touch them, but she believed in her Source of supply.  Her faith and constant thanksgiving delivered them from the realm of the Spirit into natural manifestation.

All you have to do is to begin to recognize the great Jehovah Jireh.  God never stands in awe of your need or your circumstances, just your inability to believe when He has made things so simple for you . Nothing is too great or too small for God, the Father. He is waiting to pour out a blessing that you can't contain.  (Mal. 3:10.) But He is only moved by your unwavering faith.

Remember the word "only"?  Apply it with this principle: God is your only Source and the only one Who can meet your needs if you only believe!

 

But without faith it is impossible to please him... Hebrews 11:6

Faith brings God's power for whatever you need into your body, into your business, into your mind, into your spirit, into your children — into your life.  Your faith will bring His blessing for whatever you are believing God to do for you.

Impossible — that means it can't be done!  God will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5), but you can't please God with your life and begin to have His abundant life flowing through you if you don't have faith.  The Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 that ... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Romans 10:17 says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  You can't get faith any other way.  You must hear God's Word!  Then faith will come.

God releases the power only when He finds faith.  That is the way He has set it up.  Isaiah 55:8 says, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 

Since He is God, we should let Him do things His way.  A lot of people don't have very much respect for God.  They want to do things their way, so they don't get very much from Him.  They just stumble around, professing that they have faith, then keep wondering why nothing they believe for comes to pass.

12/05

 

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The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life.  Proverbs 10:11

Did you know that Mark 11:23 says you can have whatsoever you say if you say in faith and not doubt?  In fact, other scriptures say you will absolutely get what you say.  Every day you are confessing what you are going to get tomorrow.

If you don't like what you had for life today, change what you're saying, and you'll find that your tomorrows will be different.  Proverbs 18:21 says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue.  If we are confessing the Word of God, we are speaking life to ourselves and to others.  If we constantly confess the circumstances, we're speaking death to ourselves and those around us.

Mark 11:23: 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.

I guess I have read and preached this verse more than any other verse in the Bible.  The part where it says, “whosoever shall say unto this mountain…” 

God said to me: "Son, people are not talking to the mountains, instead they are talking to Me about the mountains."

You are supposed to talk directly to the mountain in Jesus' name — whatever the mountain is in your life.

 

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.  And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread."  But He answered and said, "It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" Mt 4:1-4

God gave us the Bible to get our thinking straightened out on how to fight the devil.  If you can't follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ you'll never find victory.

The battle always starts after the Spirit of the Lord comes upon you.  A young man that doesn't know anything about God will go out with three or four young boys on a Saturday night and try to pick up girls if they don't have a date. A lot of times it's hard to pick up girls. 

When they get saved and baptized in the Holy Ghost and start working for God, then girls try to pick them up all the time. Isn't that surprising?  The devil's nuts and does not play fair.  After the Spirit of the Lord comes into you, then the battle begins.  It's very important for one to know the Word of God.

Jesus had been fasting forty days and forty nights.  "But he (Jesus) answered and said, IT IS WRITTEN."  Say that out loud, IT IS WRITTEN.  That is your answer for the rest of your life.

We have to learn how to apply the Word of God.  The Word of God doesn't work for you unless you apply it.

When is the last time you read the Bible to the devil?  Every Christian should read the Bible to the devil.  If you'll read the Bible to the devil he will never be able to steal the patience of God away from you.  Possessing

The devil will bombard your mind and give you all kinds of excuses why you're not going to receive something from God. But if you'll just stand steadfast with patience and say, "Well it is written devil, that it's mine.  The Bible says I have it"; we must get rid of temptations in our minds using the Word of God.

Just say it boldly: "The Bible says I have it."

 

Then the devil… took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,

and *said to Him, Matthew 4:5 6

Now the devil will not quit tempting you the first time. 

Suppose you go to a service and walk up to the front and say, "Lay your hands on me Pastor, I want to be healed."  The Pastor lays his hands on you and maybe the power of God comes on you so strong that you fall flat on the floor and the healing power of God just surges through you. 

The devil will not leave this alone and give up.  In the next few hours to days the devil will come to you and tell you, you didn't get healed.  If the symptoms come on you again, that's when he tells you, "You didn't get it. You are not healed.”

That's when you need to rise up and say, "The Bible says I did."

If the devil keeps on harassing you, turn the Bible to Mark 16 and read it to him.  Say, "Devil, Jesus said right here to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.  I walked up to the altar by faith, and my Pastor layed his hands on me, so therefore, I have it.  It's mine.  It is written and I've already got it."

Scripture was fulfilled the split second when he laid his hands on you, you were healed.

Because it is written; verse 4: "But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

He said by every word, every word, EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.  That is the reason you need the whole God’s Word.  We all need to passionatly study the Bible and find out what it says.

 

Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, 'HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and 'ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'" Jesus said to him, "On the other hand, it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'" Matthew 4:5-7

Don't think the devil is just going to walk off and leave you alone and never come back and tempt you again.  Look what the devil says: "IF THOU BE THE SON OF GOD."  See, he said the same unintelligent thing, IF.

Notice the devil mocking Jesus here: "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."
Yes, the devil said, it is written. 

You must obey the Bible and do what Jesus did.  Don't let your mind wander away from God's Word. 

Jesus said unto him (the devil), “IT IS WRITTEN."

Say that out loud, IT IS WRITTEN.  Now remember as long as you live that is what you always say to the devil.  It is written, devil.  Get your Bible and read the Bible to the devil.  When you open up your Bible say, "Devil, I do have it because it is written and I'm going to read it to you right now." And then read it to him.

 

"Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him. All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."

You need the Word of God and the name of Jesus as long as you live on this earth.  Don't think you'll get to be a strong Christian sometime and the devil won't ever tempt you again.  Do not ever forget, the devil is going to come at you again.

He offered Jesus the whole world.  The devil doesn't offer you and me anything but junk.

"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

It is written in the Bible that I've got it. It's rightfully mine.  It's mine.  It is written.

That means that you fight the devil with the Bible.  You use Jesus' name and come against him and use the Bible.  Quote the Bible to the devil.  Make up your mind.  Be determined.

The eleventh verse shows you exactly what happens to you:
"Then the devil leaveth him."  That moment when the devil leaveth him, glory to God, "and behold, angels came and ministered unto him." 

If you'll stand and resist the devil in Jesus' name, tell him what the Bible says, he'll leave you.  If you keep on quoting the Bible to him and telling him, "it is written," he'll leave.  Then the angels will come and begin to minister to you. Praise God forever!

You have to stand in the devil's face and learn how to fight him.  Jesus (the Word of God) will stick closer to you than a brother.  The Bible works for you all the time, 24 hours a day, every day; but only for those that obey it.

I tell you, God gives you life, but you've got to find it.  You find it by opening up the Bible and studying it.  Ask the Holy Ghost to unfold it to you and to show you what you need.  He will, because He is the great teacher.

You can have what you believe the Bible for.

 

"Yes the devil has been trying to mess us up.  I see it.  It is written in the Bible that there is victory for us. It is written we don't have to put up with these problems."

Begin to confess with your mouth:  "It is written in the Bible, I have victory.  It is written, the victory is mine.

The victory is yours because you said it in Jesus' name.  The Lord Jesus Christ has bought for you and me the abundant life.  Jesus paid the price so you could have patience, contentment, peace and joy; that you could stand steadfast and not waver.

You have the nature of God in you and it is not His nature to be climbing over mountains all the time and falling into pits of temptation.  You have a right to live in peace.  You have a right to have the kind of life that Jesus has offered you. You have that right. You inherited it.  You are an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ. Jesus is complete victory. Receive that peace.

Say it gently to the Lord, "It is written, I do have what I desire in Jesus' name.  It is written.  Thank You for the Bible because the Word is truth.  Only the truth will set me free and keep me free in Jesus' name."

Say, "The words from my lips will be from this day forward, 'Satan you thief, IT IS WRITTEN, I have victory in Jesus' name."

 

"I will; be thou clean." --Mark 1:41

Primeval darkness heard the Almighty decree, "light be," and straightway light was, and the word of the Lord Jesus is equal in majesty to that ancient word of power. 

Redemption like Creation has its word of might.  Jesus speaks and it is done.  Leprosy yielded to no human remedies, but it fled at once at the Lord's "I will."  The disease exhibited no hopeful signs or tokens of recovery, nature contributed nothing to its own healing, but the unaided word effected the entire work on the spot and for ever.

We too may imitate his example and go to Jesus, "beseeching Him and kneeling down to Him."  Exercise your faith even though it should go no further than "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean"; and there need be no doubt as to the result of the application.

Jesus heals all who come, and casts out none.  It is worthy of notice that Jesus touched the leper.  This unclean person had broken through the regulations of the ceremonial law and pressed into the house, but Jesus so far from chiding him broke through the law Himself in order to meet him.

He made an interchange with the leper, for while He cleansed him, He contracted by that touch a Levitical defilement.  Even so Jesus Christ was made sin for us, although in Himself He knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

O that who suffer in pain and disease and all who’s sin  has kept them from forgiveness would go to Jesus, believing in the power of His blessed substitutionary work, and they would soon learn the power of His gracious touch.

That hand which multiplied the loaves, which saved sinking Peter, which upholds afflicted saints, which crowns believers, that same hand will touch every seeking soul, and in a moment make him clean.  The love of Jesus is the source of salvation and healing. 

He loves, He looks, He touches us, WE LIVE.

 

There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.  The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.  Proverbs 11: 24,25

He who gives to the distressed, he who tithes faithfully, he who disperses offerings liberally, in the true spirit of charity, shall get a hundred fold from God's mercy.  

How wonderful is the Lord!  He gives the property, gives the heart to use it aright, and recompenses the man for the deed, though all the fruit was found from Himself!

A man who distributes in the right spirit gets more good himself than the receiver of the bounty.  Thus it is more blessed to give than to receive.  So backward we are to works of love and charity, and so ready to think that giving undoes us, that we need to have it very much pressed upon us how much it is for our own advantage to do good to others

1. We shall have the comfort of it in our own heart: The liberal heart, the heart of blessing, that soul shall be made fat with true pleasure and enriched with more grace.

2. We shall have the recompense of it both from God and man: God will certainly return it in the dews, in the plentiful showers, of his blessing, which he will pour out, till there be not room enough to receive it, Mal 3:10.

3. We shall be enabled still to do yet more good: He that waters, even he shall be as rain (some read it thus); he shall be recruited as the clouds are which return after the rain.  He that teaches shall learn; he that uses his knowledge in teaching others shall himself be taught of God; to him that has, and uses what he has, more shall be given.

 

I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever. Psalm 86:12

When my heart is one, I will give you all of it.  Praise should never be rendered with less than all our heart, and soul, and strength, or it will be both unreal and unacceptable.  This is the second time in the psalm that David calls the Lord "my God", the first time he was in an anguish of prayer (Ps 86:2), and now he is in the rapture of praise. 

If anything can make a man pray and praise, it is the knowledge that the Lord is his God.

Eternity’s heart of gratitude will long praise.  God is never done blessing us, let us never be done blessing him.  As he ever gives us grace, let us ever render to him the glory of it.

A soul fired with desire to praise God, burns after both more perfect things and more lasting than we in ourselves are able to perform.

 

Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!  Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.  Bless the LORD, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the LORD, O my soul! Psalm 103:20-22

Finding his work of praise growing upon his hands, he calls upon "the firstborn sons of light" to speak the praises of the Lord, as well they may “for they best can tell.”  Dwelling near to that throne they see in nearer vision the glory which we would adore.

To them is given an exceeding might of intellect, and voice, and force which they delight to use in sacred service for the Lord of Glory. Let them now turn all their strength into that solemn song which we would send up to the third heaven.  

To him who gave angelic strength let all angelic strength be given.  They are his angels, and therefore they are ready to ring out his praises.  These majestic powers do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word.  Let those un-fallen spirits, whose bliss it is never to have transgressed, give to the Lord the glory of their holiness. 

They eagerly await for yet more commands, obeying as much by reverent listening as by energetic action, and in this they teach us how the heavenly will should evermore be fervently done.  Ready hearts to hear the voice of the Lord.

O that we could hear them chant the high praises of God, as did the shepherds on that greatest of all birth nights!


We stand as the voice of the Lord thus we speak His word with all might and power given to do and fulfill the word of God!

 

Wondrously show Your lovingkindness, O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand From those who rise up against them.  Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings Psalm 17:7 8

No part of the body more precious, more tender, and more carefully guarded than the eye; and of the eye, no portion more peculiarly to be protected than the central apple, the pupil, or as the Hebrew calls it, "the daughter of the eye." 

The all wise Creator has placed the eye in a well protected position; it stands surrounded by projecting bones like Jerusalem encircled by mountains.  Moreover its has surrounded with many inward coverings, besides the hedge of the eyebrows, the curtain of the eyelids, and the fence of the eyelashes.  The persecuted saint, is the apple of God's eye.

In addition to this, he has given to every man so high a value for his eyes, and so quick an apprehension of danger, that no member of the body is more faithfully cared for than the object of sight.  Thus keep me as protected and ready to respond, Lord, for I am one with Jesus, and so a member of His body.

Hide me under the shadow of your wings.  As the parent bird completely shields her brood from evil, and meanwhile cherishes them with the warmth of her own heart, by covering them with her wings, so do this with me.  For I am your offspring, and you have a parent's love in perfection. 

This last clause is in the Hebrew in the future tense, as if to show that what the psalmist had asked for but a moment before, he was now sure, would be granted to him.  Confident expectations should keep pace with earnest supplication

 

"He will give grace and glory." --Psalm 84:11

Overflowing is our Lord Jesus in His nature; to give is His delight.  His gifts are beyond measure precious, and are as freely given as the light of the sun.  

He gives grace to His elect because He wills it, to His redeemed because of His covenant, to the called because of His promise, to believers because they seek it, to sinners because they need it.  He gives grace abundantly, seasonably, constantly, readily, and sovereignly.  

He is thus doubly enhancing the value of this incredible windfall by the manner of its means of giving.  Grace in all its forms He freely renders to His people: comforting, preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting grace, He generously pours into our souls without ceasing, and He always will do so, whatever may occur.  

Sickness may transpire, but the Lord will give grace and healing; poverty may happen to us, but grace will surely be afforded and correct the injustice; death must come but grace will light a candle of hope of eternal life at the darkest hour .  How blessed it is as years roll round, and the leaves begin again to fall, to enjoy such an unfading promise as this, "The Lord will give grace."

The little conjunction "and" in this verse has a precious binding of the present with the future: grace and glory always go together.  God has married them, and none can divorce them.  The Lord will never deny a soul glory to whom He has freely given to live upon His grace.

Indeed, glory is nothing more than grace in its Sabbath dress, grace in full bloom, grace like autumn fruit, mellow and perfected.  How soon we may have glory none can tell!  It may be before this month of December has run out we shall see the Holy City; but be the time longer or shorter, we shall be glorified no matter what.  

Glory, the glory of heaven, the glory of eternity, the glory of Jesus, the glory of the Father, the Lord will surely give to His chosen.  Oh, wonderful promise of a faithful God!  Glory too can be had today, in this hour of deliverance from sickness poverty and death.  The manifested power of the Glory of the Lord finds even now a perfect time to bless.

Two golden links of one celestial chain: Who owns grace shall surely glory gain.

 

"The Lord's portion is His people." --Deuteronomy 32:9

How are they His?  He chose them, and set His love upon them.  This He did altogether apart from any goodness in them at the time, or any goodness which He foresaw in them.  He had mercy on whom He would have mercy, and ordained his faithful unto eternal life.

They are not only His by choice, but by purchase.  He has bought and paid for them to the utmost farthing, hence about His title there can be no dispute.  Not with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord's portion has been fully redeemed.  There is no mortgage on His estate; no suits can be raised by opposing claimants, the price was paid in open court, and the Church is the Lord's freehold for ever.  

See the blood-mark upon all the believers, invisible to human eye, but known to Christ, for "the Lord knoweth them that are His"; He forgets none of those whom He has redeemed from among men; He counts the sheep for whom He laid down His life, and remembers well the Church for which He gave Himself.

They are also His by conquest.  What a battle He had in us before we would be won!  How long He laid siege to our hearts!  How often He sent us terms of capitulation!  but we barred our gates, and fenced our walls against Him.  

Do we not remember that wonderful hour when He carried our hearts by storm?  When He placed His cross against the wall, and scaled our defenses, planting on our strongholds the blood-red flag of His omnipotent mercy?  Yes, we are, indeed, the conquered captives of His omnipotent love.  Thus chosen, purchased, and subdued, the rights of our divine possessor are inalienable: we rejoice that we never can be our own; and we desire, day by day, to do His will, and to show forth His glory.

 

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." --Isaiah 7:14

 

Let us today go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see Him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in Him, and can sing, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."

Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend; let us adore and admire.  Let us notice at the very first glance His miraculous conception.  It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son.  The first promise ran thus, "The seed of the woman," not the offspring of the man.  Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise.

Our Savior, although truly man, was as to His human nature the Holy One of God.  Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory; and let us pray that He may be formed in us, the hope of glory.  

His mother has been described simply as "a virgin," not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate.  True the blood of kings ran in her veins; nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise; but yet how humble her position and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Raptured splendor.

 

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Every thing in the whole of nature has its revolutions; summer and winter, heat and cold, rain and drought, seedtime and autumn.  There is the whole system of corruption and generation, alternately succeed each other, so that whatever has been shall be again.  

There is really, physically, and philosophically, nothing absolutely new under the sun, in the course of things of this world.  The same is the case in all the revolutions of the heavens.

The original is beautiful.  "Is there any thing which will say, See this! it is new?"  Men may say this of their discoveries, but universal nature says, It is not new.  It has been, and it will be again.

Knowledge is to be hard acquired.  In order to investigate the operations of nature, the most laborious discussions, and perplexing experiments must be instituted, and conducted to their proper results.  It is God's determination that knowledge shall be acquired in no other way.

We too must labor to enter the rest provided already.  We invent no new rest.  We may not pat ourselves on the back when we think we have accomplished the remarkable.  What was is… and what shall be is with us now.  We do invest ourselves into the study of God’s Word to find the hidden wealth given to those who would dare look beyond the veil.  

Does this remove the pleasure of discovery.  In no way for it is a life style of ever drawing close to God’s heart.  Filling our lives with the precious love of our Redeemer, Friend.

 

By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Heb 10:20  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:24

Yesterday we said there is nothing new only that which was created perfect in the beginning. 

We search for the knowledge of what was before, which sin and the guilt of sin despoiled and corrupted in the world which we now live.  We cannot change what sin has broken by will or by convincing ourselves that somehow “the law of sin and death does not apply to me.” 

Grace and only Grace allows one to see beyond sin to the truth of God’s creation.

This marvelous gift gives us clear vision without a consciousness of sin and its guilt continuing to shipwreck our faith.  We believe there is a truth of good that is beyond the knowledge of sin and death, good or evil.  Sickness poverty and death are the result apparent in the world today.  Yet my faith in God’s word says there is more.

We do not recreate only become as new again.  I am already healed because sin and its effect is now removed.  Though I am in my old body I can put on the newness by faith in God’s truth.  I am already prosperous not that I should create prosperity for it was so from the beginning.  God perfectly created; sin cannot not change God only our own circumstances.

The truth is God has forgiven sin and we can now live and move in what is new to us in experience, but truly already provided and eternal even before the foundation of this world and its corruption.

   

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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