Faith and Wholeness

Faith and Wholeness

Notice that faith and wholeness are connected!  Even in the natural realm, if a person doesn’t have faith in their medical team or the medical facility’s reputation, their healing will be impaired or slowed.  If a person doesn’t believe that they WILL get better and if that person doesn’t talk about getting better, then their body will begin to obey their thoughts and their words.

Notice what the Bible teaches us repeatedly about the power of faith.

And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.  (Mk 10:52 ESV)

But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.  (Mt 9:22 NKJV)

And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”  (Mk 5:34)

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.  (Mt 5:28)

Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.  (Lk 1:45, emphasis added)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— (Eph 2:8)  Each believer has been given the gift of faith.  Let us use this precious gift.

We must place our faith in Jesus Christ!  We must exercise our faith in the power of the Word of God!  We must trust in the powerful, unrelenting, unconditional love of God for us.  He is our Healer; He has compassion [mercy] upon each one of us at all times.  God cannot lie (Tit 1:2), so receive the promises of the Bible as guaranteed! 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy . . .  (Ps 103:2-4) 

The Meekness of Wisdom

The Meekness of Wisdom

Wisdom is a gift from the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:8)  How can wisdom be characterized as meek?

Let’s understand meekness as it was understood in Bible times.  True meekness is power under control such as when a horse is trained to accept a saddle and to obey the will of its rider or owner. 

The training of the horse does not make the animal less strong.  The submission of the horse does not make it less strong.  Neither the training nor the act of submission makes the horse less than he was when he was running untamed.  It actually makes him more valuable and useful!  That’s something to think about for several seconds.

Jesus was described as meek, and yet He had supernatural power available to Him.  All He had to do was to speak to access His miraculous power, but He didn’t do it.  He humbled Himself to the will of His Father to complete His assignment to become our Redeemer.  He was as meek as a Lamb.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.  (Rom 12:16 ESV)  Jesus did associate with the lowly and actually became lowly by becoming a man!

Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.  (Pro 26:12 NKJV)  Spiritual wisdom is actually a connection with the heart of God.  There is no room for haughtiness or pride when we understand that any wisdom we have is given to us directly by the Lord.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  (Jas 3:13-17, emphases added)  The meekness referred to here is two-fold:  our submission to God’s will combined with our knowledge that the wisdom that is given to us is God’s own wisdom.

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.  (1 Cor 3:18)  Jesus seemed foolish to many of the people in Biblical times.  Some felt that He should have defended Himself.  Others wanted to fight and to start a battle.  But Jesus, obeying the wise plan of His Father, didn’t do those things.  He was in complete control of Himself out of love for His Father.

Notice that James 3:17 names the “wisdom that is from above,” meaning that it is from God, and the verse talks about what personifies this spiritual and supernatural kind of wisdom.  Jesus did personify heavenly wisdom by being pure, peaceable, gentle, yielding, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality or hypocrisy.  Jesus was meek as well as wise.

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus actually became for us “wisdom from God”!  Jesus embodies wisdom.  Jesus’ life in each one of us contains the wisdom of God.

 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—  (1 Cor 1:30)

Jesus is the perfect example of the Meekness of Wisdom.  Glory to God!

How Do You Value Your Soul?

How Do You Value Your Soul?

When all is said and done—when we all reach the end of our lives—what value do we place upon our own soul?  How can we each understand right now, in the present, what we will realize at the end of our life?

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?  (Mt 16:26 ESV)

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  (Lk 12:20 NKJV)

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  (Mk 8:36-37)

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?  (Lk 9:25)

As these Bible passages point out, what good is it to be wealthy, influential, highly educated or well-traveled if, after it’s all finished, we lose our own soul in eternity?  If we think that’s okay, then we do NOT place any value whatsoever on our soul or upon our very self.  God values human beings and we need to learn from Him to value ourselves very highly.  Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for each and every soul who accepts Him as Savior.

God created man in His own image!  What great value God places upon each one of us.  Another verse says that God gave mankind dominion or authority over all of the earth.  (Gen 1:26-27)  He put mankind in a place of authority over the planet.

God says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  (Ps 139:14)  God Himself forms each and every newborn baby.  (Ps 139:13 ESV)  Having a child is accurately thought to be a reward from God.  (Ps 127:3) 

God so loved and valued each one of us that He sent His only Son to redeem all of us.  (Joh 3:16)  This precious gift of redemption must be accepted and received, individually, to be able to take effect in our lives.  The Lord warns us to be fearful of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Mt 10:28)  The Lord is talking about the enemy of our souls, Satan.

The advice the Lord gives us concerning our souls is this:

  • The law of the Lord (God’s Word) refreshes the soul (Ps 19:7) – read, study, and meditate upon the Word of God, the Bible.
  • Pleasant words, like honey, gives sweetness to the soul and health to the bones. (Pro 16:24)  Speak pleasant words to others and over your family and over yourself.  These words will truly bless everyone.
  • The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible passage in 3 John 2: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.  (emphasis added)  We need to pursue those habits that contribute to the prosperity of our immortal souls!

We should live our lives in close relationship with Jesus, and obey His Word in order to be blessed.  We reveal that we value our souls very highly by this lifestyle, and God will bless each one of us for it.  Praise God!

Sun of Righteousness Dispenses Healing

Sun of Righteousness Dispenses Healing

Who is the Sun of Righteousness?  It is Jesus Christ and He demonstrated this truth by performing signs, wonders, and miracles while He lived on the earth.

But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. (Mal 4:2)

He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.  (Deu 32:4)

According to Your name, O God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.  (Ps 48:10) 

But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.  (Isa 5:16)

“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.  (Jer 23:5 emphasis added, see also Jer 33:15) 

Jesus fulfilled each and every one of these Scriptures.  As the Son of Righteousness, Jesus healed the elderly, the poor, the widowed, and the rich equally.  He didn’t just heal one kind of disease but ALL kinds of disease.  He demonstrated His unlimited power as well as the unlimited, unconditional love of His Father for all mankind.

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.  (Mt 4:23, emphasis added – see also Mt 9:35)

Jesus also healed people spiritually by feeding the Good News of the Kingdom to them (Living Water).  He healed the broken in heart.  (Ps 147:3)  He healed demon-possessed and demon-oppressed people by delivering them.  He healed and restored the bent and broken ones.  He gave voices to the mute, and cured those with unclean spirits.  (Mt 15:30; Lk 6:18)  Some people received healing by just touching the edge of Jesus’ cloak!  (Mk 6:56)

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  (Ac 10:38)

The book of Acts tells us that people who need healing are “oppressed by the devil.”  That’s not just an old-time, backwards way of saying that people were sick.  No, I believe that this is a revelation from God for us.  Recognize that pain, sickness, and suffering are all tools of the enemy.  He comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy according to the Bible. (Joh 10:10)

As followers of Jesus Christ, by faith we must trust Him and KNOW Him to be our healer.  God has said:

. . . for I am the Lord that healeth thee.  (Ex 15:26 KJV, end)

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases . . .  (Ps 103:3 KJV)

The Righteous Give Generously

The Righteous Give Generously

Today, I’m sharing a large number of Bible verses that address the concept of giving; and in particular, how generously the righteous give and share with others.

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously . . . (Ps 37:21 NIV)

The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.  (Deu 28:12 NKJV)

A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.  (Ps 112:5)

But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.  (Isa 32:8)

Give to everyone who asks of you. and from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.  (Lk 6:30)

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  (Ac 20:35)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.  (Heb 13:16, emphasis added)

It’s occasionally very helpful for us to revisit themes of generosity and giving in order to re-center ourselves in the will of God.  The Lord whom we serve is a God of abundance, prosperity, and overflow.  He loves to bless us and to give us everything that we need and everything for which we ask.

God enjoys seeing us operate and flow in His brand of generosity!  He actually receives glory and honor when the righteous give generously in various ways.  Of course, we all know that one form of giving is financial, monetary giving. 

We can also give and share our blessings with others by:

  • Spending time with them, ministering to them with our presence;
  • Cleaning the home of a disabled person or a senior citizen;
  • Giving someone who needs it but can’t afford it an all-expense-paid vacation;
  • Making some payments on a needy person or family’s mortgage;
  • Paying for a new roof for someone with a leaky one;
  • Praying with and comforting those who are grieving;
  • Driving someone to a medical appointment; and
  • Faithfully praying for God’s provision for those in need.

A major component of giving is faith.  We need faith in God and in His Word in order to give with joy.  As we give, we trust God to bless us when and as we need Him to.  According to Acts 20:35, it is more blessed to GIVE than to receive.

We all can hear from and receive creative ideas from the Holy Spirit on how to give generously.  The Lord loves us to use our own creativity in this area as well, so within whatever means you have, seek God for how you can bless someone else.  Hallelujah!

God Brings to Nothing Things That Are

God Brings to Nothing Things That Are

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  (1 Cor 1:28-29 ESV)

God has chosen the people that are despised—objects of contempt—to “bring to nothing” things that are! 

In Bible days, God used Gentiles, after they became followers of Jesus Christ, to annihilate the works of the enemy through the working of miracles.  Whatever believers do in serving the Lord does not give them grounds to boast, but rather, it reminds us that we are servants and vessels in the hands of our King.

He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, and sets others in their place.  (Job 34:24 NKJV)  In our modern day terms, the Lord breaks powerful, rich, and influential people by exposing the truth about them in very public ways.  With others who are on the same paths of greed and dominance, He sets them in their place and wakes them up to God’s power when they see their friends endure public exposure and humiliation.

The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
  (Isa 2:11 NKJV)  No human being is entitled to be haughty.  The Lord alone deserves praise, honor, and exaltation. 

Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead.  (Isa 37:36 NKJV)  This is a shocking but real example of God bringing to nothing things, and people, that exist in order to fulfill His own plans.

You shall seek them and not find them—those who contended with you.  Those who war against you shall be as nothing, as a nonexistent thing.  (Isa 41:12 NKJV, emphasis added)  The Lord is the divine judge of all, and He is the only One who decides when a human being has had all of the chances that He has allotted to them. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.  (Ps 32:10 NKJV)

Glory to God!  Those who are in a close and obedient relationship with Jesus as their Savior and Lord are surrounded by mercy, protection and the blood of the Lamb!  In humility and thanksgiving, with fear and trembling, it is our honor to serve the living God.

Strive for Peace & Holiness

Strive for Peace & Holiness

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  (Heb 12:14 ESV)

. . . let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  (1 Pet 3:11 NKJV)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called sons of God.
  (Mt 5:8-9)

But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.  (1 Tim 6:11)

STRIVE means to struggle, do your utmost, and to make every effort.  So the Bible is instructing us to pull out all the stops to be at peace with everyone and to live holy lives so that we will see the Lord. 

We want to turn away from evil, and live moral, virtuous and upright lives.  A certain path towards good is to look for peace and to take every opportunity to promote and to practice peace.  Jesus said that peacemakers would be called sons of God.  (Mt 5:9)

The Holy Spirit leads us to flee evil, vice and iniquity.  The Holy Spirit will inspire us to chase after and to exercise righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.  The Lord also gives us His empowering grace in order to live each day victoriously and with joy.

The Bible reminds us in several passages that the Holy Spirit is our teacher.  (Lk 12:12; Joh 14:26; 1 Cor 2:13)  We need to allow Him to teach us and to lead us in the paths where He wants us to walk.  Submit to the Lord’s wisdom and guidance joyfully.