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) 

We Are His Offspring: His Children

We Are His Offspring: His Children

All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord are children of God.  Here is what the Bible says.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name . . .  (Joh 1:12 NKJV)

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, for we are also His offspring.  (Act 17:28 KJV)

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith . . . (Gal 3:26 NIV)

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  (Rom 8:14 NIV)

The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are His children.  (1 Joh 3:1 NIV)

Characteristics of Children

  • In Christ, we are children of God through faith. As such, we are able to feel an affectionate, devoted, and respectful confidence in our Father God.
  • We know that we are greatly loved by our Father. We recognize that we are precious to Him.
  • We have a spirit of ready obedience to our Heavenly Father—because of our love for Him and His love for us. We have an earnest desire to obey Him because we trust that His plans for us are totally good and always in our best interests.

Advantages that Children Receive

  • We are in a loving relationship with our Father, and are continuously surrounded by His supernatural and miraculous favor.
  • We are forgiven, cleansed, and free from bondage.
  • We are entitled to fellowship and communion with our Father.
  • Our Father gives us wise counsel and teaching by the Holy Spirit.
  • Exceeding great and precious promises have been given to us by our Heavenly Dad. We are encouraged to “ask and receive so that our joy may be full.”

Trust God to pour out the benefits of salvation in Jesus Christ upon you.  Because we are His children, He invites us to turn to Him and ask Him for everything that we need.  Put away any timidity, and with loving trust and assurance, ask Abba Father to meet your needs right now.  God bless you.

Humility and Wisdom

Humility and Wisdom

Humility and wisdom are two attributes that are praised in the Scriptures.  Blessings are frequently mentioned in connection with them.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  (Pro 11:2 NIV)  Humility and wisdom are frequent companions!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  (Jas 3:13 NIV)  This verse informs us that humility comes from wisdom.  As a matter of fact, a person with humility coupled with the fear of the Lord will experience riches, honor, and life.  (Pro 22:4)

Toward the scorners He is scornful, but to the humble He gives favor. The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.  (Pro 3:34-35 ESV)  To people who are humble, the Lord gives favor; and the Lord bestows honor upon the wise.

Only we are capable of humbling ourselves; no one else can do it for us.  When we humble ourselves, the Lord promises to exalt us.  (Jas 4:10 NKJV)  The Bible reminds us that if we don’t humble ourselves, the Lord will do it for us.  (Mt 23:12 ESV)

James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for it because He will generously answer our prayer.  Scriptures state repeatedly the many blessings that God bestows upon those who are wise.  See Ps 111:10; Pro 3:13-18; 4:6-7; 14:16; 16:16; 24:3-7; Lk 21:15; Jas 3:17.

Because the end of the ages is approaching, all believers must live carefully and intentionally for the Lord.  Let us each take inventory of our strengths and our weaknesses; and if we are lacking in wisdom or humility, take steps to mend our ways. 

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  (Eph 5:15-16 ESV)

God Satisfies Us with Good Things

God Satisfies Us with Good Things

. . . for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  (Ps 107:9 NIV)

Psalm 107 is a song of praise to God for His many blessings.  He gives food and drink to the hungry and thirsty.  Praise God!

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

When we focus upon the Lord and upon His promises to us, and ask Him to provide what we need, believers will receive answers to prayer. 

. . . who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free. . .  (Ps 146:7)  The Lord feeds and delivers all those who trust in Him.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.  (Mt 5:6)  Those who crave God’s spiritual blessings shall be filled or overwhelmed with them thanks to the salvation that God has supplied through Jesus.

He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.  (Lk 1:53)  We can trust that when we are hungry or needy for God’s help and deliverance, He will faithfully meet all of our needs through our Savior and Lord, Jesus. 

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.  (Ps 103:5)  By God’s generous hand, believers can retain youthful vitality like the eagles. 

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 verse insists upon the goodness of God by stating—unequivocally—that there is NO GOOD THING that God will deny to or withhold from the upright. 

If you are a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, then you are justified by the blood of Jesus and you qualify as “upright”!!  These precious and reliable promises are for you.  Hallelujah!

Banner of Love

Banner of Love

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.  (SOS 2:4 NKJV)

In the Bible, many times when the word banner is used, it is referring to a flag.  Armies carry flags and kingdoms display flags to identify and declare several things: 

  • The identity of the King who rules in a certain country and in whose name a particular army fights;
  • The identity of the kingdom to whom an army has pledged its loyalty and steadfastness;
  • The identity of the kingdom that has supplied (and will continue to supply) an army;
  • The identity of the King and the kingdom which will protect an army or a country.

In the instance of the verse shown at the top of this article, the word banner has additional implications to those mentioned above:

  1. The King signified by this banner is King Jesus (the King of Kings and Lord of Lords), who has established His banner, authority, and might in LOVE;
  2. The Kingdom that displays this banner of love not only supplies food, armaments, and other supplies but it also supplies grace to its army and to its people;
  3. This banner represents a Kingdom of loveliness, security, unity, and loyalty;
  4. One of the seven names of God, Jehovah Nissi, means “The Lord our Banner.” (Exodus 17:14-15) The Bible reminds us that God is love.  (1 Joh 4:8, 16b)  Praise the Lord that His banner over us is love!

In John Gill’s Exposition on Song of Solomon 2:4, he says:  “ . . . the covenant of grace and the Scriptures of truth may be thought of as a banqueting house, well stored with blessings, and promises, and rich provisions; which, to be led and let into, is a singular kindness . . .”

As the children of God, we are a blessed people and I recommend thinking about this at length. 

What About Prosperity?

What About Prosperity?

Did you realize that the Bible has a lot to say about prosperity?  Do you understand that God intends for His people to prosper?  Here are a handful of Scriptures on the topic:

Who is the man that fears the LORD?  Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. He himself shall dwell in prosperity, and his descendants shall inherit the earth.  (Ps 25:12-13)

Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.  (Ps 122:7)

His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. (Ps 112:2-3)

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.  (Pro 13:22)

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.  (2 Cor. 8:9)

These precious promises from God’s Word are a gift to each and every believer.  Trust God to bless you and to bless all of the work of your hands.  (Deut 16:15)  The Lord will cause you to increase and to be blessed.  (Deut 28:4; Isa 51:2) 

Our Father God is the only One who has the power to bless you and to cause you to prosper.  Trust Him for these blessings, and take Him at His Word.  You’ll be thankful that you did! 

Other passages about prosperity to check out

Deut 8:18; 28:1-2, 8; 33:19; Eccl 5:9, 19; Job 36:11; Ps 65:11; 68:6; Pro 8:21; 10:4, 61, 22; 11:25; 22:4; 24:3-4; Isa 48:17; 55:2-3; 60:5, 11; 61:6; Jer 31:14; 33:9; 2 Cor 9:8; Eph 1:18-19; and Phil 4:19.

God Comforts the Disheartened

God Comforts the Disheartened

Our God cares deeply about each and every one of His children.  He cares about every facet of our health, and He ministers His love to us.  But how can we grab hold of His love?  How can we receive His help?

One way is to meditate upon His wonderful promises to us, so that we may come to know Him fully.  Here are a number of Bible passages that speak about how God demonstrates His love to us, especially when we’re downhearted or depressed. 

We need to use our faith in order to rest upon these promises.  Ask God to help you and to infuse you with fresh faith for the battle.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.  (Deut 31:8 NLT)  The Lord never leaves us—nor will He fail us.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.  (Ps 34:17 NKJV)  We need to KNOW that God not only hears our prayers, but responds to them.

I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.  He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God;
many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.
  (Ps 40:1-3 NKJV)  We do need, sometimes, to wait for the Lord’s solutions to materialize in the natural realm.  But this verse assures us that our deliverance shall come, and that it will motivate us to sing a new song!  And our deliverance shall be so mighty that everyone will notice it, and rejoice with us in the Lord!  Some people will even be fearful of the Lord, when they see what He has done.

Why are you in despair, O my soul?  Why have you become restless and disquieted within me?  Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.  (Ps 42:11 AMP)  This passage reminds us that we need patience, and that as we wait for God’s solution, we should praise the Him.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you. Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you.  (1 Pet 5:6-7 RSV)  Throw all of your worries down at the feet of Jesus, and acknowledge that He loves you and is working on your behalf.  As we respectfully wait for God to lift us out of trouble (which is called humility), He loves the fact that we put our trust in Him at all times—despite what things may look like in the natural realm. 

 It’s impossible to please God without faith because the one who draws near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards people who try to find him.  (Heb 11:6 CEB)

Our faith tells God that we believe in Him, in His existence, in His promises, and His reliability.  Our faith pleases God, and He deeply rewards ALL those who find Him in the midst of life’s difficulties!

Blank Checks

Blank Checks

Most people know what is meant by the term “blank check.”  It implies an invitation to use however many funds or resources we may need.  And these resources are supplied by the person or persons who own the checking account against which the blank check is written.

Our God has given us His Word which is full of testimonies and also promises of blessings.  Quite some years ago, while teaching a class, I realized that many Scriptural promises were exactly like a blank check!  I began referring to them as the “Blank Check Bible Verses.”  To encourage you to search out some of these precious promises on your own, I’m going to share a handful of them here with you!

But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.  (Ps 34:10b)  There’s no boundary on what good thing, but rather the opposite with this verse!

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)  The word “benefits” can mean blessings, payments, grants, allowances, profits, etc., etc.  Notice that we’re “loaded” [filled; packed; heaped; stuffed; and even overwhelmed] with these benefits DAILY!  This is quite a blank check!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  (Mt 7:7)  Do you understand the blank check nature of this verse?

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Mt 19:26)  There is no limit to the word ‘ALL’ is there?

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will [His Word], He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1 John 5:14-15)  The words “anything” and “whatever” are two more words that do not imply limits of any kind.

To date, I have discovered 25 such verses in the Bible, and I urge you to continue hunting for more of these wonderful promises from the heart of our loving God.  Happy hunting!

Love Is the Gift of God

Love Is the Gift of God

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  (1 Joh 4:8)

LOVE – the single most important thing in life and in eternity.  There’s no way that we can “love too much”!

Firstly, God is love—as shown in the verse above.  That’s why it was easy to make the statement above that love is the single most important thing in life and in eternity.  This is true simply because God IS love—and HE is the most important Being in life and in eternity.  I believe that without God, mankind would have no concept of love.  God IS love—pure, perfect, unconditional, unending love. 

God chose to create us with a free will.  We can choose to obey Him or not; and we can choose to love God or not.  But when we DO love God and serve Him, He causes amazing things to happen in our lives. 

Here are just some of the wonderful things that God provides and does for those who love and serve Him:

  • Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful . . . (Ps 31:23) He preserves [maintains, upholds, sustains) His people.
  • Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. (Ps 91:14)  God will deliver us when we’re in trouble; and He will set us on high.  God made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus—that is being “set on high.”  (Eph 2:6)
  • I love the Lord, because He has heard My voice and my supplications. (Ps 116:1)  God hears our voices as we pray to Him.  And another verse in the Bible (1 Joh 5:14-15) says that when we know that God has heard us, we know that He has given us the very thing for which we have prayed.  Glory to God!
  • The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. (Ps 146:8)  The Lord gives sight to the blind; straightens those who are bent over and removes their burden; and He loves us.  The Lord is our healer.  (Ex 15:26; 23:25; Isa 53:4-5; Jer 30:17; Jam 5:14-15)
  • That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries. (Pro 8:21)  Wisdom (represented as a person) is speaking in this verse, and all wisdom comes from God Himself.  So this verse says that God causes those who love Him to inherit wealth, and He fills their bank accounts. 

This list includes verses from the Old Testament only, but there are even better promises in the New Testament for us!  My point in this discussion is that LOVE is a hugely important gift to consider.  And there are even bigger and better indications of God’s love for us in the New Testament.  Search out those hidden treasures for yourself!

We know that God loves each one of us.  But in addition to His love, He has allowed us to love and to be loved by fellow human beings.  That is one of God’s chief gifts to us.  The reason it is so key is because every ounce of love that we either feel for another or receive from another is a reminder and a representation of God Himself—who is love. 

Treasure, cherish and appreciate every single person who loves you and whom you love.  Enjoy the fact that you’re able to love other people, and that you’re able to receive and to experience their love for you.

Love—it’s a gift of God to each one of us.

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Does Living for God Yield Benefits?

Are there really benefits given to those of us who live for God and His Kingdom?  The Scriptures tell us that there are!

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits . . . (Ps 103:2)

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation.  (Ps 68:19)

What might some of those benefits be?  

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.  (Ps 34:22)  This is God’s promise to redeem the essence and character of His servants, as well as that—as we trust in Him—we won’t be scorned, abused, or belittled.

. . . and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.  (Ps 37:19b)  In famine, the Lord says that He will quench our hunger.

. . . but the Lord upholds the righteous.  (Ps 37:17b)  . . . for the Lord upholds him with His hand.  (Ps 37:24b)  The Lord supports, defends, and encourages us.  Praise God! 

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite [crushed] spirit.  (Ps 34:18)  The Lord comforts and heals us when we’re brokenhearted or feel crushed in spirit.

All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.  (Isa 49:26c)  The Lord will demonstrate to everyone that He is our God by showing His power on our behalf.

The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints:  they are preserved forever . . . (Ps 37:28a)  God will never forsake us but He will save and sustain us always.

For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.  (Ps 5:12)  God surrounds us with His blessings, esteem, kindness, and approval.  Thank You, Lord!

Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain [protect; support; defend] you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. [shaken]  (Ps 55:22)  As we share our concerns, problems, and heartaches with the Lord, He’ll protect us and prevent us from getting pushed around (bullied) by the enemy or by our circumstances.

And these are only the benefits from the Old Testament!  There are more and BETTER benefits recorded in the New Testament.  (Heb 8:6)  Hallelujah!