Being Strengthened & Established

<strong>Being Strengthened & Established</strong>

As we live our daily lives as believers and followers of Jesus, there should come times when we are strengthened and established, or recognized, in our faith.  Let’s take a look at some Scriptures concerning this topic:

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.  (Rom 1:11-12 NKJV)

Paul was writing to believers in Rome, saying that he wished to see them in order that he could impart [pass on] a spiritual gift to a number of them, and that he could encourage them in their faith—and be encouraged himself by them. 

First of all, do you realize that praying for each other is encouraging? 

And do you also realize that by praying for one another, we may reveal our own spiritual gifts and may even pass them on?  Well, it’s absolutely true! 

But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.  (Rom 15:29 NKJV)

Paul was confident that when he saw the believers in person, that he would be operating in the FULLNESS of the blessing of Christ’s gospel.  What faith!  This demonstrates the confidence of a man who relies completely upon the Word, and lives his life accordingly.  Glory to God!

So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.  (Ac 16:5 NIV)

When we are strengthened in our faith, we can’t help but share our experiences and testimonies with others.  When we do that, other people visit our churches in order to discover what is happening.  Their curiosity is provoked, and they want to investigate for themselves.

When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  (Ac 19:6 NIV)

Praying for people, as you touch them, is a biblical and correct form of prayer.  This verse tells us that when Paul did this, the people that Paul touched came under the influence and presence of the Holy Spirit.  As a result these same people actually spoke in tongues and prophesied.  Hallelujah!  These are biblical results and we should be encouraged by them, and use them as our example.

A key tactic we can use to strengthen our faith is to read the Bible, and to the meditate upon it daily.  God bless you.

God’s Comforts

God’s Comforts

What are God’s ‘comforts’ as mentioned in Psalm 94:19?  From my study of this passage, the word refers to the promises of God, and the ability to remember and to mentally reenact our prior experiences of God’s care and kindnesses to us.  Such thoughts give us consolation, and they revitalize our minds and our thoughts.

In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.  (Ps 94:19 NKJV, emphasis added)

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.  (Isa 66:13 NRSV)  The Lord promises to comfort us when we are distressed.

From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  (Ps 61:2 NASB)  During tribulations, we must allow our hearts to turn to the Rock of our salvation, Jesus Christ.

Just as I am satisfied with the choicest of foods, so my lips will praise you joyfully.  When I think of you in bed, I will meditate on you in the night watches.  (Ps 63:5-6 ISB) 

A good life habit to cultivate is to praise the Lord joyfully AT ALL TIMES, under all circumstances.  It will bring us joy and it will strengthen our faith.  When we can’t sleep in the night, we should meditate upon the Lord and upon His Word.  God promises in many places in the Bible that He will comfort us and that the Holy Spirit is our comforter. 

Turn to the Lord and trust Him to soothe and to encourage you when painful life experiences threaten to sink you.  He will not fail you.

The Importance of Words

The Importance of Words

The Bible is unambiguous about how important our words are.  The unique thing about words is that they affect not only the HEARERS but the SPEAKER as well.  We would do well to not only read these verses but to meditate upon them.

Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.  (Pro 15:4 MSG) Words can cut and maim or they can heal and comfort.  Words can be constructive and informative, lending courage and information to the hearer.

A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!  (Pro 15:23 NIV) If we make positive, uplifting remarks it brings us joy and is received as a benefit by the hearer.

By his fruitful speech a man can remain satisfied, and a man’s handiwork will reward him.  (Pro 12:14 ISV) When our words bear the fruit of encouragement, peace, and joy, we will eventually earn a reputation as an encourager and a person full of faith.

Whoever gives an honest answer kisses the lips.  (Pro 24:26 NIV) Honest words, spoken in love, carry a blessing to the spirit of the hearer.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.  12 As an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover to an obedient ear.  (Pro 25:11-12 MEV) Those who wish to please God and be good examples to others should speak the whole truth, utter appropriate praise, reflect wisdom, and edify the listeners; these words will always be “fitly (properly) spoken.”

Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.  (Eph 4:29 NASB) This verse reminds us that we should not speak any nasty or unpleasant words.  Instead, our words should edify (enlighten, improve, inform) the listeners so that those who hear will be honored, enhanced, or blessed.

As we honor God’s Word by obeying it, the Lord will show His pleasure and bless us in ways that we can’t imagine.  Spread kind, life-giving words wherever you go today.  Praise the Lord!

Guard Your Faith

Guard Your Faith

How would we guard a treasure?  Would we put it in a bank deposit box; a secret vault; or in a guarded safe?  Naturally, we would do all that we could to protect our valuable property.

What about protecting our spiritual treasure?  Are we just as diligent?  Do we value it properly as we should?  

What is our spiritual treasure?  It is our saving FAITH in Jesus Christ which gives us new life on earth and an eternity in heaven with the Lord—where we will receive a crown.  We’ll be in eternal blissfulness in the splendor of God’s presence.

So what does the Bible say to us?

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.  (1 Cor 16:13 NIV)

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  (1 Tim 6:12 ESV)

 I have fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.  (2 Tim 4:7 CEB)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  (Eph 6:10 NIV)

In life hardship and heartaches come our way but, thanks to Jesus, we are never defeated, never without hope, and never alone because our lives are in the hands of God.  He is our defender and protector.

We’ve been given a treasure, but we need to guard it strongly.  The devil wants to destroy our saving faith.  He wants to make us doubt in our minds, to confuse our understanding, and to lead us off course to false treasures which have no value whatsoever. 

But we rely upon the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is eternal truth, and nothing will prevail against it.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Scriptures and remind ourselves of the wonderful gift of salvation that we have received, we will learn how to use our spiritual weapons referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

Here are just some of spiritual our tools:

  • We must take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5) – this means that we must monitor our thoughts and reject those that contradict the Gospel.  We need to train our minds to remain centered upon Jesus.
  • Be sober-minded and watchful.  (1 Pet 5:8)
  • Submit ourselves to God and resist the devil.  (Jas 4:7)
  • Put on the armor of God in order to stand successfully against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:10-12; Eph 6:14-18)
  • Authority to tread on serpents and scorpions.  (Lk 10:19)
  • Meditate upon excellent things that are worthy of praise.  (Phil 4:8)
  • The blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony.  (Rev 12:11)
  • The Holy Spirit within us is greater than the devil.  (1 Joh 4:4)

With these impressive spiritual tools, we are more than able to guard our faith victoriously.  Hallelujah!

Do You Want Wisdom?

Do You Want Wisdom?

Who is wise?  Let him understand these things.  Who is prudent?  Let him know them.  For the ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them.  But transgressors stumble in them.  (Hos 14:9)

To be wise, we must seek to understand God’s precepts and ways.  Understand means to perceive the intended meaning of His Words and His ways.  Another definition states that to understand means to apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of something. 

Therefore, in order to be wise in God’s sight, we will clearly apprehend the character, nature, and subtleties of God’s Words and His ways—and His personality. 

If you don’t feel that you’ve arrived just yet at that place, then study passages from the Bible every single day.  Meditate upon what you’ve read.  Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding and to give you wisdom.  He will answer your prayers.

He will open the eyes of your understanding and give you revelations into the Word of God and into God’s loving nature.  Hallelujah! 

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 02/23/2017.

Can Anything Separate Us from God’s Love?

Can Anything Separate Us from God’s Love?

Here’s something positive to focus upon and to meditate upon.  God’s love for us is stronger than any force that would try to interrupt it or stop it.  His love for us is eternal, unfailing and sacrificial. 

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Rom 8:38-39 NKJV)

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.  (Eph 5:2 NKJV, underscoring added)

“I made your name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love you have for me may be in them and I myself may be in them.” (John 17:26 ISV)

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  (1 Cor 13:8 NKJV)

Most human beings desire and need to feel loved.  It is a normal and healthy need that I believe our creator God instilled in us.  And since God is love (1 Joh 4:8), He is the perfect One to fulfill the need that we have for love.

From the Bible verses I’ve included above, you can see a small sample of what God has to share with us in His Word about His wonderful love.  The best way to learn about His love and the enduring nature of it is to read and to meditate upon His Word.  His Word is not only His promises to us but His Word is also His will for us!

God has created each one of us to be in a loving and lasting relationship with Him.  Turn to Him when you need comfort and reassurance.  Pray to Him when you need human arms to hold you, help you and to comfort you.  He will send you some friends or relatives who will be able and willing to meet your need for love.  Glory to God!


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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!

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.

God’s Counsels

God’s Counsels

Our Lord has given us His counsel and wisdom through His Holy Word.  We can’t enjoy these benefits of salvation if we don’t pay attention to the Bible and obey it.

O Lord, You are my God.  I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isa 25:1, emphasis added)

So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels.  13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways!  (Ps 81:12-13)

So that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.  20 Have I not written to you excellent things, of counsels and knowledge, 21 that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?  (Pro 22:19-21, underscoring added)

It’s a dangerous thing when man is permitted to walk in his own counsels, according to Psalm 81:12-13, above.  Counsels means advice, guidance, assistance, direction or warning. 

God’s counsels are blessings in our lives, and we need to recognize this truth.  We need to hunger and thirst for His counsels. 

The Bible says that God’s counsels are faithfulness and truth. (Isa 25:1)   What beautiful and blessed encouragements that the Lord, our God, bestows upon His people!

Faithfulness means truthfulness, reliability, loyalty, and commitment.  Truth means reality, integrity, and honesty.  What precious blessings these qualities are to all believers who pursue them and desire them! 

Only as we obey the Word and fill our hearts with passages from the Bible will we come to know and understand the counsels of God.  As we memorize and meditate upon the Word of God, our faith will be strengthened and we will grow in wisdom.  We will become qualified to answer with words of truth when people question us about our faith, or about the Bible.

As we honor and obey God’s word, by diligent search and study of God’s Word, we will sow God’s precious counsels into our own lives and hearts.  And the longer we walk with and serve the Lord, the more evidence we will see of this taking place in our lives.  And we will grow in wisdom, mercy, and understanding.  God bless you!