Prayer & Faith

Prayer & Faith

Prayer that arises from faith in Jesus in our hearts accomplishes wonderful and mighty blessings.  Another beneficial tool that believers have is anointing people with oil, and laying hands on them in prayer.  In the Scriptures, oil represents the Holy Spirit.  In the New Testament the laying on of hands was associated with Christ healing the sick (Luke 4:40)

Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  (Jas 5:14-15 NIV)  In this case, we are encouraged to ask the elders of the church to pray for the sick after anointing them with oil.

And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. (Mk 6:13)  This passage is referring to the apostles’ doing good works, including casting out demons, anointing the sick with oil and healing them.  Praise God!

And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him.  (Ac 28:8)  The Apostle Paul laid hands on Publius after praying for him, and healed Publius.

These are procedures that the apostles used, because they had seen Jesus Christ (our example) using them.  Modern believers should use these same methods and practices in order to see the same results.

Remember, all signs, wonders and miracles are a result of faith in Jesus Christ and in focusing upon Him and His love and mercy.  Faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) and we should cherish it, value it, and thank and praise God for it. Hallelujah!

Sow Righteousness

Sow Righteousness

The concept of sowing and reaping is an important one in the Scriptures.  We are instructed by the Lord to sow righteousness.  How may we do that?

The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.  (Pro 11:18)  We are taught by God’s Word, that those who “sow righteousness” will have a certain reward.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  (Gal 6:7)  We are warned that whatever we sow, we shall also reap. 

In other words, if a person sows corn, they will produce a corn crop.  If they sow malice and hatred, they will gather heartache and sorrow.  If we sow love and mercy in order to honor the Lord, then we will harvest blessings for ourselves and our children.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  (Gal 6:8)  If we satisfy our own fleshly desires and sinful nature, we will collect only decay and death as a result.  But if we will sow to the Spirit (or sow righteousness), we will harvest eternal life and many of God’s blessings along the way..

The Bible makes it very clear that the seed that every believer should sow is the Word of God.  When we sow the Word of God, we sow righteousness.

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  (1 Pet 1:23 NIV)

The seed is the word of God.  (Lk 8:11b NIV)

Sharing our testimony with other people, inviting people to visit our church so that they can hear the Good News, and praying for the salvation of people that we know are also beautiful ways to sow righteousness.  Praising God and supporting the Kingdom of God financially, as well as doing good works, are other righteous seeds to plant.  Blessings upon you!

Working Hard Has Benefits

Working Hard Has Benefits

We can’t bring any glory to the Lord or to the Kingdom of God by being lazy.  There is no honor in laziness, nor is there any glory in being idle.  I want to make it clear that I’m NOT talking about people who yearn to work, who have searched rigorously and urgently for employment, but haven’t been able to obtain it.  That’s not the same thing. 

What these Scriptures are addressing are people who prefer to be idle, and those who choose to engage in gossip and spreading rumors rather than performing true, diligent labor.  

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.  (Pro 14:23 NIV)  This verse teaches us that working hard brings us the benefit of being paid for our labor.  Those who only talk about working, but who actually do nothing, earn no wages and can buy no groceries.

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.  (2 Thes 3:10-11 NKJV)  This excerpt from 2 Thessalonians demonstrates the truth that people who won’t work will have nothing to eat.  In addition, when people don’t work they have lots of time on their hands which the enemy can turn into opportunities to sin against God.  While all sin is displeasing to God, the sin of gossip displeases the Lord greatly. It is the reason that the Scriptures describe such persons as busybodies.

And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.  (1 Tim 5:13 NKJV)  Here again, the Bible warns us about idle hands and minds being turned toward evil, unrighteous pastimes. 

As we see from Proverbs 14:23 (above), the Holy Spirit says that ALL hard work brings financial gain and advantages to the ones who work diligently.  The Bible encourages believers to work hard, to be responsible and kind, and to live honorably within our communities so that we are an asset to them.  God will reward us with His blessings as we live obediently to His word. Praise His Name!

Jesus Reveals the Father

Jesus Reveals the Father

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Mt 11:27)

All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.  (Lk 10:22)

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  (Joh 10:15)

Jesus has a distinctive and unmatched relationship with the Father.  Since His relationship with the Father is personal and direct, ONLY Jesus can accurately disclose God the Father to us. 

How has Jesus revealed the Father to us?  Through His life and through His acts, He has displayed His Father’s character and heart for all to see and understand.  Here are just a handful of gifts that the Father has given to believers:

  • Love (Joh 3:16; 1 Joh 3:1)
  • Freedom from Guilt (Rom 8:1)
  • Health, healing (Ex 15:26; Isa 53:5; Mt 12:15;Lk 5:17)
  • Daily benefits [blessings]  (Ps 68:19)
  • God hears and answers our prayers  (1 Joh 5:14-15)

As we study the Word of God and think deeply about it, we gradually learn more and more about the character and nature of God.  And the more we learn of Him, the more confident that we can be in the fact that He loves us; that He enjoys blessing us; and that He’s always with us.  Have a wonderful day!

Make Known God’s Glorious Deeds

Make Known God’s Glorious Deeds

We are called, as the people of God, to publicize and advertise to all of the earth the wonderful, glorious, praiseworthy deeds of God among men. 

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!  (Ps 105:1 ESV)

Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted.  (Isa 12:4)

. . . and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel . . .  (Eph 6:19)

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—  (Ac 2:22)

What should we make known about God?  Here are some ideas:

  • His attributes (personality, nature, behavior)
  • The blessings of salvation; the advantages of a relationship with the Savior (as outlined in the Bible)
  • His miracles, signs, and wonders performed for mankind (both in Bible times and since the Gospel was first preached, even up to this current day)
  • The multitude of God’s mercies (which are new every day)
  • He is our Intercessor, Advocate and Mediator (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 12:24; Isa 55:16; 1 Joh 2:1)

It is a fact that the Lord wants us to broadcast everything that we know about the Lord and about His free gift of salvation.  The Lord wants His works, deeds, and miracles to be remembered and to be made public, for His Word says it quite plainly.

He has made His wonderful works to be remembered . . .  (Ps 111:4a)

God bless you!

My Shield and My Glory

My Shield and My Glory

The Scriptures tell us about the depth and blessings of our relationship with our Savior and Redeemer.  God tells us that He is our shield (armor, defense, protection) as well as our glory.  Any praise, appreciation, exaltation, or credit that we receive in life is thanks to His life and presence within us.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  (Ps 3:3 NIV)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.  (Ps 119:114)

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”  (Gen 15:1 ESV)

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  (Ps 62:7)

According to these passages from the Bible, God is present in us and with us in these capacities:

  • He is the One who enables us to lift up our heads without fear or shame,
  • As our Hiding Place,
  • As our Reward,
  • As Savior,
  • As our Strength, and
  • As our Refuge.

Glory to God!  We have reason to rejoice and to praise and thank our God continuously.

Pay Attention to the Wisdom of God

Pay Attention to the Wisdom of God

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; 18 for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips . . .  (Pro 22:17-18)

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.  34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.  (Pro 8:33-34)

My son, pay attention to my wisdom; lend your ear to my understanding, that you may preserve discretion, and your lips may keep knowledge.  (Pro 5:1-2)

As we read these passages from the Bible shown above, we can clearly see one theme shining through which is that we need to pay attention to and obey the Wisdom of God. 

The Bible is filled with the wisdom of God from the beginning to the end.  As we fill our hearts and minds with God’s Word, we will learn about God’s nature and goodness as well as about His eternal wisdom.

As we choose to obey God’s will and to yield to His wisdom, we will experience God’s blessings and prosperity.   As we continue to yield to His Word throughout the course of our life, we will acquire a merciful and loving heart toward others, and a deep desire to bless other people.  This is truly the outworking of God’s life and Spirit within us.

Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24, 30), and in Him, this wisdom is available to us.  Glory to God!

Benefits of Salvation

Benefits of Salvation

The Lord has given His people, those who have accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord, many precious promises which inform us of the benefits and blessings of salvation.  Today we’re looking at several of these promises.

The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10)

Wow!  This passage says that those who seek the Lord will not lack ANY good thing!  What a promise, and what a commitment!  Were you aware of this promise?

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4)

This Psalm says that as we delight in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our hearts.  This is a powerful promise from God!  What is it that you desire in life?  Go to the Lord in prayer and tell Him what you desire and what you need.  He will hear and answer your prayers.  (1 Joh 5:15)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  (Ps 84:11) 

This Scripture in Psalm 84 is very much like the one in Psalm 34, shown above.  It’s reminding us that God withholds NO GOOD THING from the people who live upright, righteous lives.  All who have accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord have been justified and made righteous by the blood of Jesus.  Jesus has become our righteousness.  (1 Cor 1:30)  This is a promise that you may claim for yourself.

Take these verses—these promises from God—to Him in prayer and ask for Him to fulfill them in your life.  Persevere in faith and patience, and you will receive the very things that you’ve requested in order to bring glory and honor to God, the Father.  (Joh 14:13-14)  Hallelujah!

Stumble?

Stumble?

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.  (Ps 119:165)

What does “stumble” mean as used in the Bible? 

It means:  1) to err; to slide into a crime or an error; 2) to have a moral failing; or 3) to place a blockage in someone’s way causing them to sin.

As the verse in Psalm 119 above says, when we have the peace that Jesus has given to us and we love God’s Word, then nothing has the power to cause us to sin.  Hallelujah!

My son, let them not depart from your eyes—keep sound wisdom and discretion; 22 so they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck.  23 Then you will walk safely in your way, and your foot will not stumble. (Prov 3:21-23)

As we keep the wisdom and discretion that comes from reading and memorizing God’s Word in our hearts, those words are life itself to our souls.  They provide grace to our behavior and character; they give us strength and sure-footedness.  And they prevent us from stumbling.

He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  (1 Joh 2:10)

When we love our brothers and sisters in Christ, we live in the light where all of our actions are open to view.  And in our actions, as we live for Christ and serve the Kingdom of God, there will be nothing for someone to see as an invitation or a cause to sin.  This is just one of the many blessings that living a holy life, committed to serving Jesus Christ gives to us.  Thank You, Lord!

The Blessing of God’s Correction

The Blessing of God’s Correction

Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.  (Job 5:17 NIV)

Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law . . .  (Ps 94:12 NKJV)

My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.  (Pro 3:11-12 NKJV)

What?  How can anyone consider correction or criticism to be a blessing?  When we think about this in the terms of a loving parent correcting their child whom they love, it becomes somewhat easier to comprehend. 

In reality, if parents don’t teach children the truth about traffic lights, crossing the road, or even consideration for others, those kids will be in danger of some serious harm.  So, in this way, we can see that the parents’ correction and teaching is a true sign of their great love for their children.

In the same way, God corrects us in order to save us from some future harm of which we are unaware.  He is correcting us in order to keep us on His path of righteousness.  The Bible saysIn the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.  (Pro 12:28)  In the pathway of righteousness there is no death—in any form—not developing or even embryonic. 

Those who will not hear and obey God’s correction will not end well according to the Word.

He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.  (Pro 10:17)

Happily, God’s usual forms of correction are to use a Scripture verse, our conscience, a timely sermon, or a quiet word from a Christian brother or sister to correct us.  Sometimes He will use a loving and caring family member to warn us of danger.  This is always a sign of the person’s love and concern for us. 

We need to be sensitive to these forms of God’s correction, and to welcome them as a sign of His great love for each one of us.  And most importantly, we need to OBEY these promptings from our Father God.  God bless you.