Have You Got It?

<strong>Have You Got It?</strong>

Have you received the thing for which you most recently and fervently prayed?  The answer should always be YES!  Why?  Because the Bible says so!Let’s read these Scriptures:Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  (Mk 11:24 NIV)  Believe that you have already received what you need and faith operating in you will bring it to you!  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.  (Mt 21:22 KJV)  When we pray and ask the Lord to give us something based upon His Word, we must always mix our prayer with the faith that we have received at salvation.  If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  (Joh 15:7 NASB)  Keeping God’s Word (the Bible) ‘before you’ means reading it regularly—daily—and memorizing and meditating upon it.  As we make these habits a part of our Christian lives, we may ask WHATEVER we need, and it will be done.  Hallelujah!Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 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 Joh 5:14-15 NKJV)  Note first of all that this Scripture passage mentions our CONFIDENCE in God; this is crucial.  Once, we have that confidence and we pray according to God’s Word—which is His will—then we are positive that we have received our prayer requests.  Praise the Lord!But those who seek the Lord lack no good thing..  (Ps 34:10b CEB, emphasis added)Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield.  You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.  (Ps 84:11 CEV, emphasis added)

Both of the verses above from Psalms say that we, as followers and disciples of Jesus Christ, will never be denied any good thing.  What a joyous and blessed security our Savior has given to His children.  God bless you!

Hidden with Christ in God

<strong>Hidden with Christ in God</strong>

How are we “hidden with Christ in God”?  Let’s explore this thought.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Col 3:3-4 NKJV)

As believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the law of sin and death.  (Rom 8:2)  We are set free from the power of sin. (Rom 6:7)  Since we are ‘dead’ to sin—or spiritually separated from it through salvation in Jesus—our lives are encompassed or contained in Jesus Christ. 

All of this simply means that we are in union with Jesus, our Savior.  We are one with Him.

On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.  (Joh 14:20 AMP)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  (Gal 2:20 ESV)

As you can see from the two verses shown above, it is clear that we are forever in union with Jesus, and securely enfolded by our loving heavenly Father.

After a little while, the world no longer is going to see Me, but you are going to see Me; because I live, you also will live.   (Joh 14:19 NASB)

Being in union with Christ means that the past, present, and future aspects of our life are now and forever tied up and remain in union with Christ, and it began at the Cross when we died with Him. The condition of our lives may appear to contradict this truth, when difficulties rain down upon us, but no matter what life throws at us our union with Christ is 100% secure. 

(Source: https://dailyverse.knowing-jesus.com/colossians-3-3)

All of this reassures us to realize that we are safe and secure in Jesus.  He is our rock, our fortress, deliverer, strength, shield and our stronghold.  (Ps 18:2)  May God bless your day!

Our True Daily Bread

<strong>Our True Daily Bread</strong>

Bread is a symbol of many things.  In the Old Testament, the Lord provided bread from heaven when His people were wandering in the wilderness after escaping from Egypt.  (Ex 16:4, 14, 31)  In this context, bread was a forceful symbol of God’s provision for His people. 

For decades in America, the husband in a family was referred to, in informal terms, as the breadwinner.  Even now, bread is a synonym for money.

Let’s read what God’s Word says about bread.

Give us today our daily bread.  (Mt 6:11 NIV)

Give us day by day our daily bread.  (Lk 11:3 ASV)

Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:  ‘No one can live only on food.  People need every word that God has spoken.’ ”  (Mt 4:4 CEV) 

In the above verse, Jesus reminds us that we need to know and love God’s Word as much as we do our daily food.

Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  (Joh 6:31-35 ESV)

In John, chapter 6, Jesus clearly declares Himself to be the true bread from heaven.  Through faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we become partakers in eternal life.  It is vital to maintain an ongoing faith in Jesus and an ongoing relationship with Him because we need to depend upon Him continually for our every need. 

The Lord Jesus proved Himself to be forgiving, merciful and loving to those who followed Him.  He was a fount of wisdom and grace, and being in His presence provided a powerful blessing.  He was also the hand of God who healed the sick, maimed, deaf, blind, and hurting.  People received deliverance and miracles and wonders through the ministry of Jesus Christ.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Heb 13:8)

 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.  (1 Cor 10:16-17 NIV)

When we partake of the Communion elements, we are remembering the sacrifice and obedience of Jesus. Through the ceremony of remembrance—which is the observance of Communion—we declare our unfailing gratitude to God for the precious gift of salvation that we have received.  Praise the Lord!

We Shall NOT Lack

<strong>We Shall NOT Lack</strong>

The Scriptures tell us that we shall not be in need nor have a shortage of daily provisions.  In fact, the Bible says that we who seek the Lord won’t lack ANY GOOD thing.  Wow!  What a precious and powerful promise that is.

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

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give favor and glory, for no good thing will He withhold from the one who walks uprightly.  (Ps 84:11 MEV, emphasis added)

The verse above goes on to say that NO GOOD THING will the Lord deny from those who walk uprightly.  Hallelujah!  This applies to believers because we are justified through Jesus Christ, our Savior.  Jesus is our righteousness. (Jer 23:6)  Also, spending time reading and meditating upon God’s Word cleanses each one of us daily.  This means that we may claim this verse for ourselves.

. . . for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.  (2 Pet 1:3 NASB)

This passage in second Peter, above, is very clear that the Lord has already given to us everything that we would ever need for a righteous and holy life through our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  (Rom 8:32 NIV)

This is a resounding declaration by the Holy Spirit that every believer who has accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord has been FREELY given ALL THINGS.  This is a mighty promise from God the Father to every believer.  Believe it and stand upon it. 

Rejoice in God’s promises and blessing to you, and worship Him with thanksgiving.  You are blessed.

Have No Fear of Death

Have No Fear of Death

We should not fear death as unbelievers do, for we have a Savior and Redeemer who keeps His word.  We know that we will only temporarily be separated from our loved ones, as we wait for them in eternity. 

We have hope beyond the grave because we know that Jesus conquered death.  (See Act 2:24; Heb 2:14; 2 Tim 1:10; Rev 1:18)

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  (1 Thes 4:14 NIV)  The word “asleep” here refers to the death of the body.

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.  (Isa 26:19 NIV)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  (Phil 3:20-21 NIV)

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.  (1 Thes 4:17 NIV)

Death to the believer is an exit from the limitations, the perils and the bondage of this life.  For the Christian, death is a transition from a frail, impermanent dwelling which is exposed to disease pain and peril to a permanent palace, eternal in the heavens.  (2 Cor 5:1)  

Death is the Christian’s coronation, the end of conflict and the beginning of glory and triumph in Heaven.  (2 Tim 4:8)  Hallelujah!

The Love of Money

The Love of Money

People who have an unreasonable love of money and a lust to accumulate it have fallen into a trap with inbuilt dangers.  These dangers plunge people into ruin and destruction.  The enemy of our souls uses this extreme love of money to control and rule the world, and even to destroy many Christians.

Let us turn to the Bible:

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.  This too is meaningless.  (Eccl 5:10 NIV, underscoring added)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.  (1 Tim 6:10 NKJV)

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.  (Mt 6:24 NIV)

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  (Lk 12:15 NIV)

Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.  (Mt 6:19 ISV)

From the Scripture verses above we learn:

  • When a person loves money, they can never have enough.
  • The love of money can drive people to commit sin and to perform evil deeds.
  • The love of money can drive people away from faith in God.
  • We cannot serve two masters:  we must choose to serve God or to serve money.  We cannot serve both.
  • Be on guard against covetousness (greed, materialism, avarice).
  • Learn to value eternal things over and above real estate; savings accounts; stocks & bonds; and possessions.  When we value the eternal, we please God.

Money is not evil.  It can be used for good or evil.  King David was wealthy, but it didn’t control his heart. 

Do not give your heart to money or allow your monetary concerns to control your decisions or your actions.  Tithe and give offerings faithfully as the Lord guides you.  Be generous and help others wherever and however you can as the Holy Spirit directs you.  Use your abundance to bless and help others and to earn the blessings of God in response.  Don’t be stingy with your prosperity.

Be content with what you have and with your situation in life.  If you would like things to change, pray and ask for God’s direction.  He will hear and answer your prayers.

Don’t rely upon or trust in money.  Trust in and put your faith in the Lord and in His Word.  Obey the Lord and His Word and maintain a loving relationship with our Savior. Cultivate an eternal perspective.  We all must remember that wealth cannot go with us into eternity.  But Jesus will be with every believer throughout eternity as long as their relationship with the Lord is alive and vital at the time of their death.  Hallelujah!

Do We Have Ears that Hear?

Do We Have Ears that Hear?

If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear. (Mk 4:23 NKJV)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  (Mt 11:15 NKJV)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  (Rev 2:29 NKJV)

The Scriptures talk about people having “ears to hear” quite a bit.  What can that mean to us as believers?

Do you know that God is always speaking to His people?  And our relationship with our Savior is based, as any true relationship is, upon communication! 

To quote Kris Vallotton (Bethel Church, Redding, CA), “Communication is probably the single greatest vehicle of any relationship.”  Prayer is part of our communication with God and listening for His voice is the other part of that two-way communication.  It is our responsibility to do the listening!  Pay attention because the Lord’s voice will often be quiet and unobtrusive. And He may speak to you in ways that you don’t recognize.

Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  (1 Kgs 19:11-12 NKJV, emphasis added) 

The wonderful thing about God is that He may use various ways to communicate with us.  He uses the Scriptures to communicate clearly with us, but he may also use any of these other methods as well. 

  • Visions:  The Lord may give us visions which are simply images and concepts that play upon the screen of our imagination within our minds.  Visions frequently require interpretation.  So, when the Holy Spirit uses this method to communicate, we need to ask Him to clarify the meaning of the vision.  (See Acts 2:17-18)
  • The still, small voice of the Lord:  This can be perceived as a transient thought, an abrupt but strong impression, or an inner perception of a message from the Lord.  (See 1 Kgs 19:11-13)
  • Creation:  The very creation that God made speaks to us of His power, strength, creativity, provision, and beauty.  Pay attention to any message that the Lord may give you through His creation.  For me, when I was a brand-new believer, I was asking the Lord to show me His love.  I was out with my fiancé driving on a country road.  I kept looking at the beautiful sky above me that was just full of large, puffy, billowy clouds as far as the eye could see in EVERY direction.  As I was observing those clouds, a church song came into my heart in which the chorus includes the phrase:  Sweep over my spirit forever, I pray, in fathomless billows of love!  (Song Wonderful Peace, lyrics by Warren D. Cornell, music by W. George Cooper – 1889) 
    The Lord used nature to communicate His great love for me with the image of fathomless billows of love that were demonstrated to me by the huge, billowing clouds before my own eyes—as far as the eye could see in every direction.  To this day, 50 years later, I have never forgotten that message from the Lord that was just for me.  I cherish it.
  • Circumstances:  God is able to speak to us and to direct us through the circumstances of our lives.  He can open doors of opportunity, or close them, as a way of directing us.  However, we can easily misread a blockage that has been erected by the enemy and think that it is God directing us.  But we would be wrong.  Consequently, we should always seek wise counsel from our Pastor and from other mature believers whom we know very well, and who know us.  Also, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us about every step we need to take in our lives.

So, look back upon your life and recall the times when God used any of these various methods to speak to you or to direct you.  Or, you may have a new example of how God communicated something to you.  But the important thing to recognize is that there is communication flowing in your relationship with the Lord.  Thank and praise the Lord for it! When you can receive such communication from God and ACT UPON IT, then you can be assured that you DO have ‘hearing ears’!  God bless you.

God Will Save

God Will Save

The Bible tells us again and again and again that God is our Savior.  No one saves but God.  It is He who will save us.

For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.  (Isa 33:22 NIV)

Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!  Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.  He will come and save you.”  (Isa 35:4 ESV)

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.  (Mt 1:21 NKJV)

This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.  (Lk 2:11 CEV)

The definition of savior is “a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.” 

Another definition is:  “ . . . (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.”

God foretold the coming of a Savior, and He has fulfilled His Word.  Let us rely upon, put our faith in, and cherish His holy Word.  God be with you.

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Persist in Faith for Christ is our Hope

Because we have a living Hope who is Jesus Christ, the righteous One, we need to persevere in our faith.  We should also pray diligently for answers to our needs.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  (Rom 12:12 NIV)

Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.  (Ps 62:8 NKJV) 

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing . . .  (1 Thes 5:16-17 NKJV)

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27 NIV)

Glory to God!  God is our refuge—our safe haven and our protector. 

The tomb couldn’t hold the living and victorious body of our Savior.  Jesus lived a holy and sinless life on earth. 

He appeared to many people several days after He had been crucified bearing the wounds of the cross.  When He did, Jesus demonstrated power and victory over death.  Jesus is ALIVE.  Glory to God! Jesus is our hope because He is alive; He is almighty; and He has reconciled us to God the Father.

Set Apart

Set Apart

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself:  the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.  (Ps 4:3 KJV)  We have been “set apart” by God.

Moreover, when you divide the land by lot into inheritance, you shall set apart a district for the Lord, a holy section of the land; its length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits, and the width ten thousand. It shall be holy throughout its territory all around.  (Ezek 45:1)  God instructed the Israelites to “set apart” land for Him that would be considered holy.  In present times, we believers have become His dwelling place—the “land” set apart for God!  (1 Cor 3:16, 17; 6:19)

What does it mean to be set apart for God? 

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . . (1 Pet 2:9)

It means that we who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are God’s special people, and we are called to proclaim His praises and His good news of salvation to all people, everywhere.  We are Christ’s ambassadors on the earth.  (2 Cor 5:20)

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)  This is a promise of God to His chosen people—those who are set apart for Him.  Every promise in the Bible is for us!  These promises are our inheritance. (Ps 119:111)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  (2 Cor 7:1)  We who have Jesus as our Savior—and are set apart—are called to holiness.  (1 Pet 1:15, 16)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:10)  What constitutes “good works”?  Good works are actions which are pleasing to the Lord.  Because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior (we are set apart), He becomes the origin or source of our actions.  Christ is the root cause of everything, and good works are the fruit!

In conclusion, we are set apart as special to God.  Because we are, we walk in holiness and good works to the glory of God.

Note:  This is a reprint of our blog article dated 03/20/2017.