Be Steadfast

Be Steadfast

Be steadfast in your spiritual life.  Steadfast means unwavering, unfaltering, loyal, devoted, or constant.  So how can we be steadfast and in what ways?

. . . rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer . . .  (Rom 12:12)  Continue in daily prayer interceding for yourself and for other people and for our leaders—both spiritual and national.

For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.  (Gal 5:5)  As we eagerly wait for the return of Jesus (or to arrive in heaven ourselves), wait with a sense of anticipation, eagerness and joy. 

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  (Joh 16:33)  The Lord warns us that we’ll experience tribulation somehow, at some point in our lives, but that we should be cheered up knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world.  So be loyal and stalwart in believing the truth of this Scripture.  Remember that the Lord is with you and that He fights FOR you.  (Deu 3:22; Josh 23:10)

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  (1 Cor 15:58)  Be devoted to thriving in the work of the Lord, knowing that one day you WILL receive your reward.  The “work of the Lord” involves ministering to others (by prayer, service, or helps); sharing the gospel with others; and baptizing new believers or bringing them to church so that they can be baptized in water.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.  (Ac 2:42)  Be unwavering in having fellowship with other believers; in sharing meals with them; in taking communion with other believers, and in prayers with them and for them. 

Above all, rejoice in hope! 

Faith is a Gift

Faith is a Gift

Remember that faith is a gift from God!  It is a precious gift and vital to our daily life in the service of the Kingdom of God.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God . . .  (Eph 2:8 NKJV)

Each and every believer has been given a measure of faith.  Be sure to make good use of what you have been given.  Use your faith constantly either for yourself or on behalf of other people, which is the highest and best use for this beautiful gift.

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  (Rom 12:3 NKJV, emphasis added) 

Some believers have even been given an unusual gift of faith that stands well above the norm.  To all such believers, I encourage you to pray, pray, pray for other people and help them to receive everything that they need from the Lord—the chief need being salvation!

. . . to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit . . . (1 Cor 12:9 NKJV)

We must serve God by USING the spiritual gifts that He has given to each and every one of us.  It is our responsibility and our joy to discover what our spiritual gifts are and then to use them in spiritually productive ways on behalf of the Kingdom of God and of His people. 

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  (1 Cor 13:2)

We must use all of our spiritual gifts—whatever they may be—with LOVE!  God is love (1 Joh 4:8), and all who serve His kingdom must flow in LOVE. 

Note that love is the FIRST fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23.  God bless you!

We Were Washed & Sanctified

We Were Washed & Sanctified

God’s Word has given us great and precious promises which belong to every believer.  We need to study and comprehend all of the priceless treasures that we have been given.

“On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.”  (Zech 13:1 NIV)

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  (Ps 51:7 NKJV)

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.  (1 Cor 6:11 NKJV)

Jesus suffered at the hands of His enemies; shed His blood on Calvary; died a shame-filled death; and was resurrected on the third day and ascended into Heaven.  By fulfilling His calling on this earth, He not only purchased salvation for every person who accepts Him as their Savior and Lord.  He also is our source for continuous cleansing, washing, and sanctification.

Jesus is the living Word of God. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (Joh 1:1)

He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  (Rev 19:13)

Jesus is the fountain spoken of in Zechariah 13:1.

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’  (Joh 7:38 ESV)

Jesus cleanses us from unrighteousness.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 Joh 1:9)

Through Christ we are justified.

. . . and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.  (Ac 13:39)

Through faith in Christ we are sanctified.

. . . to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.  (Ac 26:18)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.  (Rom 3:28)

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . .  (Rom 5:1)

Let us rejoice and praise the Lord for the benefits and blessings of our mighty salvation!

An Everlasting Covenant

An Everlasting Covenant

Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  (Ezek 37:26 NKJV)

From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.  I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.  (Jer 30:19 NIV)

For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.  (Zech 2:5 KJV)

A covenant is an agreement, pledge, bond, or contract.  The Bible reminds us that God cannot lie (Tit 1:2) and that His Word is tested and true.  (Ps 119:140, 142)

God’s promises to His people, based upon the passages above, are that:

  • He will establish us;
  • He multiplies us;
  • He gives us His peace;
  • He lives within us;
  • He will bring us honor;
  • He guarantees that we won’t be disdained;
  • He protects us as a wall of fire; and
  • He is the glory within us.

He will establish us by confirming that our faith us genuine and that our relationship with Him is legitimate.

He multiplies us by adding other believers to our numbers, and by giving us literal children of our own, as well as spiritual children whom we parent as spiritual mentors.

He gives us peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:7) because He is the Prince of Peace.  (Isa 9:6)

He lives with every believer because we are individually (and collectively) the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (1 Cor 6:19)

How does God bring honor to any believer?  Some of the ways He will honor us is by hearing and answering our prayers for other people.  When we lead people to accept Jesus as their own personal Savior, we are being honored by God.  When God performs signs and wonders in response to our prayers for someone, he is honoring us.  He is responding to the genuine faith that we are using by praying on behalf of other people.  Hallelujah!

The final three promises are that we won’t be disdained; that He protects us; and that His glory is within each of us.  These are things that we have to simply trust Him to perform.  We don’t need to do anything about them; we just need to continue in our relationship with Jesus Christ and keep on serving our Savior, who is a Covenant-Keeping God.  Glory to God!

Where is God?

Where is God?

Then his people recalled the days of old, the days of Moses and his people—where is he who brought them through the sea, with the shepherd of his flock?  Where is he who set his Holy Spirit among them . . .  (Isa 63:11 NIV)

. . . just as I promised your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt. Don’t worry. My Spirit is right here with you.  (Hag 2:5 CEV)

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.  (Zech 4:6 ESV)

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.  (Heb 13:5 NKJV)

For all of us who wonder, “Where is God?”  The Scriptures have given us answers as we can see from the passages shown above.

The Lord, who created us in His own image, has promised that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us.  In the midst of sorrow, pain, and challenging circumstances, meditate upon these Bible passages. 

When we fancy that God is far from us, and is not moving in any way to help us—we must realize that we are mistaken.  We are in too much pain or in too much worry to see the truth.  The enemy of our souls will do everything within his power to prevent us from seeing the truth—that God is with us at all times. 

God is supplying His grace and His mercy to whatever our situation is.  He is operating in the spiritual, unseen realms to bring us to His victory:  for which Jesus has already paid the complete price.

Meditate upon the stripes that Jesus bore; the painful crown of thorns that were beat into His head by Roman soldiers; the cross that He carried for miles; and the ignominious death that He suffered all for you and for me.  After Jesus’ death, the mighty power of the Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead, and carried Him to the right hand of God in heaven. 

Jesus fulfilled His destiny, so that all human beings would be able to have a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord.  He has promised He is with us to the end of the age.  (Mt 28:20) Oh, joy!

Worthy to Be Praised

Worthy to Be Praised

My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits.  (Ps 71:15 NKJV)

I will praise you every day; I will praise you forever and ever.  (Ps 145:2 NCV)

On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.  People will speak of the power of Your awesome acts, and I will tell of Your greatness.  They will burst forth in speaking of Your abundant goodness, and will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.  (Ps 145:5-7 NASB)

I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  (Ps 18:3 NKJV)

These passages from the Bible remind us of one vital truth: 

That God is worthy to be praised!

Worthy means commendable, admirable, exemplary, and excellent!  God is the model of who is eligible for praise and what sort of being has earned praise.  He is the standard against whom all persons will be compared and judged!

When we meditate upon God’s glory, splendor, majesty, and His works, we cannot PREVENT ourselves from breaking into spontaneous praise and adoration.  It bursts from us in an unstoppable flow, and causes us to shout joyfully praising God’s righteousness.  Hallelujah!

And this is the same God who has provided salvation as a free gift to all of mankind.  All He asks in return is that we place all of our faith, hope and trust in His Son, Jesus, who is our Savior and Redeemer.  What a deal!

A Wise Life Lesson

A Wise Life Lesson

An angry king is like a roaring lion.  Making him angry may cost you your life.  (Pro 20:2 NCV)

If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.  (Eccl 10:4 NIV)

As messengers of death is the king’s wrath, but a wise man will appease it.  In the light of the king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.  (Pro 16:14-15 NKJV)

A “king” or “ruler” as used in these verses, refers to someone with power and authority over other people.  In modern times, that could represent a Prime Minister, Senator, President (whether of a nation or of a private company), employer, supervisor, manager or foreman.  A person’s boss has a measure of power and authority over them.  Anyone, even a parent, who has power or great influence over the events of our lives would fit into this description.

The life lesson here is to recognize the importance of these types of people in our lives.  It’s wise to learn what makes such influencers happy, what displeases them, and what soothes them.  Further lessons to be learned from these Scriptures are:

  • Don’t underestimate the significance of such people in our lives;
  • If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Rom 12:18 NIV)  We should strive to keep our relationships with “kings and rulers” peaceful.
  • Don’t leave an uncomfortable situation; remain calm; and work to placate (pacify, soothe) the influencer.
  • Pray for God’s supernatural favor with everyone, especially these types of people. 
  • Endeavor to earn favor by working hard, showing respect and following instructions.

Lastly, remember to ask God to give you the grace that you need in order to maintain peace in these relationships.  May God continue to bless you every single day. 

What Makes the Enemy Run?

What Makes the Enemy Run?

What makes enemies run away?  The presence of the Living God! 

What about God’s presence in us and with us causes our enemies to “perish at His presence”?

When my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at Your presence.  (Ps 9:3 NKJV)

This verse tells us that the enemies begin to run away (‘turn back’) and then they fall and then they perish (or die).  God’s power, perfection, and glory have this devastating effect on those who work in defiance of God and of His will.

You will make them turn their backs when you aim your arrows at them.  (Ps 21:12 NCV) 

They run from God in fear and terror because the enemies of our souls are aware that God is always victorious, and His arrows never miss their targets.

You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.  (Ps 18:40 NIV)

The explanation for this verse is that the enemy (satan) sets ambushes for people and aims arrows of lack, sickness, strife and fear at God’s people.  God’s arrows are the power of His spoken Word, His living Word, and His written Word.   With the power and authority of Jesus Christ and His finished work of salvation, the Lord overcomes and overpowers the enemy easily as we trust in Him, and speak His Word in faith and power into our circumstances.

Rejoice in the goodness and the mighty power of our God!

Savior & Deliverer

Savior & Deliverer

Our God is our Savior and our Deliverer.  His Word is full of His promises to us, and it also contains the testimonies of many believers who have experienced the Lord’s saving power and deliverance.

The Lord will save me when anyone tries to hurt me, and he will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. Glory forever and ever be the Lord’s. Amen.  (2 Tim 4:18 NCV)

But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One.  (2 Thes 3:3 NCV)

God saved us from these great dangers of death, and he will continue to save us. We have put our hope in him, and he will save us again.  (2 Cor 1:10 NCV)

These Bible verses remind us of some wonderful truths about the God whom we serve:

  • God saves us from those who try to harm us;
  • The Lord will make sure that we arrive safely in heaven;
  • Our God is faithful;
  • God’s grace will give us strength and protect us from the enemy of our souls;
  • God has saved our souls, and will continue to save us day-by-day; and
  • As long as we put our hope in Him, He will continue to save us time after time.

There is no God like our God!  (Ex 8:10; 1 Sam 2:2; 1 Chr 17:20)  Let us give Him all of the glory, honor, and praise!

God’s Great Love for Us

God’s Great Love for Us

Something that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, may not meditate upon enough is His great love for us.  This article will help us focus on that today.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.  (Isa 54:10 NASB)  The Lord is saying that even when immovable objects (like hills and mountains) start shaking and even being removed, that His loving peace and kindness will NOT leave His children.  The Lord says that He has compassion upon us.  What a blessed promise!

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.  (Mt 18:20 NIV)  When believers in Jesus come together and meet as Christians, the Lord reminds us that He is right there among us.  His presence abides with us.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Heb 13:5 NKJV)  This is the Lord’s promise that He will never leave us nor abandon us—under any circumstances.  This is a promise that can be relied upon.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  (1 Cor 6:19 NKJV)  Here the Bible reminds us that all who have accepted Jesus as our Savior, have become the temple of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit lives within the children of God.  We are children of God.

Rejoice in the precious promises that God has given to all who love Him.  Take some time to reflect upon God’s great, abiding love for you, and thank Him for it.  God bless you.