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Hope is in your head and Faith is in your heart. Here’s why you MUST have both!

By on January 16, 2018

You might get discouraged in your faith sometimes. When it doesn’t seem to be working like it should. Or, when you pray and it seems like little or nothing happens. Then, it’s easy to feel down and alone. Almost like there’s something wrong with you, because “everybody else” prays and gets answers.

We teach a lot about faith. We try to teach the whole counsel of the Word of God. I know how it feels when we’ve believed for something and it doesn’t come. I know the sting of disappointment and how it feels to be discouraged.

But, those are times that you and I need to link another dimension to our faith. Faith and action usually are enough to bring to pass even the most difficult answers. But, there are times when you need to operate on an additional level. That level is the arena of HOPE.

See, hope isn’t the same as faith. Faith is a spiritual substance up in your heart, or your inner spirit, but, hope is a product of the renewed mind. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:25 to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The prophet Jeremiah told the secret of maintaining hope. It’s what you think on, or feed your mind on continually. He said, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” (Lamentations 3:21).

This is why 1 Thessalonians 5:8 talks about the “breastplate of faith…and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.” Faith pertains to the heart and hope relates to the head.

Hope is “a believing for good; a certainty that things will improve” or get better. Hope is the essential ingredient of optimism. Hope has to do with confident expectation.

Hope is forever. Hope is one of the three eternal substances mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:13. “Now abideth faith, hope and charity… “it says, “now abide.” Hope is for NOW.

FAITH ORGINATES IN YOUR HEART, IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. HOPE IS A PRODUCT OF THE RENEWED MIND, OR THE THINKING PART OF YOU.

Hope has to do with a present way of interpreting the unseen, or dealing with the future. Romans 8:24-25 says, “hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for what we see not, then with patience we wait for it.” so, hope deals with the unseen and causes us to have enough patience to receive the promises that God has prepared for us.

Hope is the stabilizing force that establishes your faith. Hebrews 6:19 says, “Hope we have as an ANCHOR of the soul.” That means it’s a stabilizing influence in your soul.

When you give up hope, you begin to drift and faith has nothing to give substance to.

That’s what gives you the right direction in life. Remember, the word “righteousness” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “right-wiseness”, or going the right direction.

You can’t run the race if you’re heading the wrong direction. That’s why you need hope. Hope helps you to run in the right direction. 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Know ye not that they who run in a race all run, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” Hope sets the direction so you can run in a way that wins the prize. “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 3:14).

Both of these verses emphasize that you have to be heading the right direction. Without hope, you just run randomly, and in circles, like a dog chasing its tail.

In all these Bible metaphors for making it in life, there is the sense of direction; going somewhere, instead of just staying in a rut. They’re drenched with feelings of hope and the promises of rewards for effort.

Walking in faith, being filled with hope is all about having a clear sense of direction, a vivid picture of what you want to see come to pass. When you’re walking in the Spirit, you have direction in life; you have goals.

You and I couldn’t even drive, if we didn’t have a sense of direction and a knowledge of where we wanted to go. Hope is like the steering wheel in your car. It sets the direction of the wheels. Faith is like the wheels. It gives substance to the movements of the steering wheel.

The Word of God, the Bible, is the map – it gives you the fixed direction to set your hope by.

Here’s how you fit it together. You’ll find that 2 Corinthians 4:18 says “…we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When you read the map (your Bible), it points you to some place you might not have seen yet. Because you believe the map, you steer your wheel in the direction it tells you. You can’t SEE the place you’re heading, but you make certain turns and get on specific roads because you’re following the map. You’re literally dealing with the unseen.

Those actions based on that road map are what takes you from the place where you are to the place that you had only seen by faith.

Romans 12:2 “…Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” As your mind becomes renewed to the Word of God, hope comes. You begin to understand how good life can be with God ruling your life. You begin to understand that, no matter where you are in life, you can get to where you need to be, by renewing your mid, and walking in faith and hope.

The Word of God gets down in your spirit and produces another substance, called faith. Faith, Hebrews 11:1 says, “is the substance of things hoped for.” So, in your mind you have hope and in your heart, you have faith. In the passenger part of your car, you have the steering wheel. On the outside, you have the wheels that take you where you want to go.

You have faith, the substance of the things you’re hoping for, in your heart. And, “out of the heart are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). “From reading the Word of God, your mind gets hope, which is what leads to faith in your heart. Your renewed mind tells how to ACT on what’s in your heart by faith. “…Do all that is in thine heart, for behold, I am with thee according to thy heart (1 Samuel 14:7).

Doubt and unbelief say, “Don’t get your hopes up.” Faith says, “Read the Word, get your hopes up so I can rise up and bring it to pass. With God, all things are possible.” Let your faith cause you to ACT with determination, to act with diligence and to sow abundantly.

Sowing in Hope. Hope is what causes you to SOW. A farmer who KNOWS he has good ground sows bountifully. Since he knows his ground is good, he wants to make certain, to be diligent that EVERY seed gets sown.

In more urban terms: If I showed you a place where they would give you $50 for every $2 bill you could find, I bet you’d trade in every $2 bill you’ve ever saved. Then, you’d go and try to get them from your bank. You’d mention it to your friends and neighbors. You might even offer them $5, $10 or even $20 for their $2 bills!

Why? Because you’d have hope, you’d have faith and that would make you act with determination; it would make you as diligent as possible. “The thoughts (where hope is) of the diligent tend only to plenteousness (Proverbs 21:5).”

Give your mind to the cleansing thoughts of the Word of God. Be filled with Heaven’s thoughts! Dare to believe God that you’re saved, and shake off that old carnal behavior! Dare to hope in God that He’ll fulfill every word He’s spoken to your spirit! Dare to ACT on the hope that God puts in your mind and the faith that He fills your heart with…and be BLESSED IN YOUR DEEDS!

Render Unto God that Which is God’s!

By on January 9, 2018

What does God want out of you? What does He expect? What can you give Him that He really needs or wants? What can you give or do that will satisfy God?

Jesus summed up the answer to these questions when some people asked Him whether or not God wanted us to pay our taxes. Jesus asked them to get out a coin. Then He asked, “Whose image is on the coin?” they answered, “Caesar’s image is on the coin.”

Jesus responded with a powerful command: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” this is in Matthew 22:21.

Rendering unto Caesar. This means that as a Christian, you can I have to respect and obey the authority that’s over us. Give Caesar what’s his.
Rendering unto God. The coin had Caesar’s image on it. But what has GOD’S image? YOU do! You’re in the image of God, and Jesus is saying to give yourself unreservedly unto God.

Is He asking too much? You tell me. He gave us life, gives us food, lets us breathe His air, drink His water, enjoy His sunshine and rain; He gives us people to love and who love us. He’s totally good to us.

That’s why Romans 12:1 says “to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.” As good as God has been to me and you, giving our bodies and our lives IS our reasonable service.

First Corinthians 6:20 says, “…ye are brought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” See, your life, your body and your spirit ALL belong to God.

When you get saved, you give up YOUR life in order to take up HIS life. It’s a letting go of yourself to take hold of Jesus Christ. The more of your life you lay down, the more of HIS life you take up. Like Jesus Christ prayed, “Not MY will, but THY will be done.”

Not MY way, nut God’s way. That’s what it means to be saved. It’s rendering my body to God to be a temple of the Holy Ghost. It’s having your body become the dwelling place of God, or the House of God.

Jesus said in Matthew 21:13, “My house shall be called the house of prayer.” Your body, the temple of God is to become a place of prayer, a place of fellowship, communion, holiness and sacrifice to God.

This is what happens when you present yourself to God. When you perform your reasonable service to Him, you stopped being ruled by THIS world, and you become transformed by the renewing of your mind. It’s the old thinking, the un-renewed mind that gets you in so much trouble and hassle.

We’ve been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and translated INTO the Kingdom of God’s dear Son. It’s this renewing our minds to the things of God that enables us to experience, or prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God in our lives (Romans 12:2). The only way to know the will of God for our lives is by giving Him our lives.

In Galatians 5:24, it says, “They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and our old lusts for alcohol, drugs, sex, money and power. Instead, we have (past tense) crucified the flesh and its desires.

This is what the Apostle Paul is talking about as his personal present day experience as a Christian. In Galatians 2:20, he says, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…”

It’s something that YOU have to do. It’s not done in your life till YOU reckon your flesh crucified and Jesus Christ resurrected on the inside of you. It’s a choice that you make. “I crucify my flesh with its affections and lusts!”

When Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me, “He wasn’t just talking about making a few trips to the alter. He says it’s a big day-to-day determination. That’s why He also said, “If you CONTINUE in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.”

Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who saith unto me “Lord, Lord.” Shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the WILL of my Father which is in Heaven…”

Offering up our souls, minds and bodies to the Lord of His use – the sacrifice He’s asking for in Romans 12:1. It’s the “rendering unto God the things that are God’s” that Jesus was talking about.

Every time you bring something in your life under the Holy Spirit’s control, you’re making an offering or a sacrifice. You’re sacrificing YOUR will and YOUR body and YOUR feelings to God. It’s pleasing to God, when He sees you flat out pick up your cross and deny yourself for His will.

It’s giving up what you can’t keep to get what you can’t lose. And, this is where prayer comes in. Jesus made prayer the number one priority in His life. You have to get the victory in prayer first. Then, it comes from the inside to the outside.

This is why so many Christians are up and down, and unstable. They don’t get the victory in prayer. It’s easy to AGREE with what God is saying to us, but it makes us miserable when we KNOW but don’t DO. That’s why Jesus said in John 13:17, “If ye KNOW these things, happy are ye if ye DO them.”

Satan tempts you to yield to the flesh, but God is calling you louder to yield to His spirit! Jesus said, “watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation, the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).

Render unto God what is God’s! That’s your reasonable service! Don’t let the devil lie to your brain and tell you that God doesn’t have a higher level to walk in! if you listen to that lie long enough, you’ll start believing it! Listen to the truth of God’s Word and believe the truth!

When you feel like you don’t have what it takes to face what’s set before you…

By on January 2, 2018

I was reading about where Jesus was teaching one day, and there were 4,000 people gathered to hear Him. Then, Jesus called His disciples to Him, and told them that He wanted to FEED the multitude. Well, that’s normal. Jesus cares about people and wants them to be taken care of. But then, he sprung a BIG one on the disciples. He asked them how much food THEY had! He expected THEM to provide what He needed to feed the multitude!

If you’re like me, you can relate to how the disciples must have felt. It seems like Jesus expects us to do the impossible…and with so little to work with at times!

The disciples didn’t have very much to offer. They had exactly SEVEN loaves of bread. For 4,000 people. In fact, they KNEW they didn’t have what it takes to feed the multitude.

We feel like that sometimes; like we don’t have what it takes compared to the demands and expectations that are put on us. It gets to be too much. But they gave their 7 loaves to Jesus anyway.

And, when their little bit was put into Jesus’ hands, I noticed that Jesus was THANKFUL for that little bit. He blessed it and then it WAS enough to feed the multitudes…

When you GIVE what you have to Jesus…when you commit it to Him, He’s able to MULTIPLY it, and make it so that it MORE than meets the need.

Now, if the disciples had held onto their bread, there wouldn’t have been enough for the 12 of them. They had to let go of it, to take a chance with it. You have to USE what you have, and your need will get met, as well as the needs of those around you.

By the way, Jesus didn’t take their loaves and turn them into a bunch of New Testaments and pass them out to the hungry multitudes. Their need was food, and He gave them food. He meets you where your need is, not somewhere else. Later in the same chapter, Jesus and the disciples are making a boat trip. And the disciples forgot to bring bread. Then, Jesus told the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.

THEY thought He said it because they forgot to bring bread with them for their journey. (There was only 1 loaf on board.)

Jesus had made a statement, just a simple statement and the disciples immediately felt like He was criticizing them. They put themselves under condemnation. Just like you and I do.

So, Jesus asked them some questions. He asked them WHY they thought He was criticizing them. THEN HE ASKED THEM SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THEIR VISION AND THEIR HEARING.

Here’s what He was saying, “Your LACK isn’t your problem. Your problem is with your SEEING and HEARING. That’s the problem – what you’re looking at and what you’re listening to. The problem WASN’T that they only had one loaf of bread. If 7 loaves were enough to feed 4,000, than 1 loaf was certainly enough for 12 disciples and 1 Master!

The problem isn’t with your LACK, it’s with your SEEING. With that you’re looking for…You’re looking for how short you’re falling, how much you’re missing it by, and all the bad things that are happening to you and the rest of the bad things that you see are heading your way.

Reminding them of when He fed the 4,000 with the 7 loaves, Jesus asked them, “Did we run short, or did we have enough and THEN some? YOU tell ME. How is it that you don’t understand? WHEN GOD IS IN SOMETHING, IT GETS BIGGER AND IT BECOMES WHAT YOU NEED IT TO BE. MY FATHER IS A GOD OF ABUNDANCE.

Don’t you know the law of the Spirit? Didn’t you learn that our God gives more than enough? More than the minimum? That MY God supplies your need according to His RICHES, not according to your need? That His supply ISN’T based on how small your need is and how LITTLE: He can get by with giving you, it’s based on HIS greatness and HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus!

Jesus is saying here, in light of the feeding of the 4000 with 7 loaves of bread, “Don’t you understand that your CIRCUMSTANCES aren’t what limits you? Didn’t you SEE that what happens in the natural is a RESULT of what’s happening in the spiritual? Didn’t it SPEAK to you at all when you heard me give thanks for the little that we had, and then I fed the 4,000? And, didn’t you understand why the Pharisees are so fruitless once you heard the way they talk?”

When Jesus took the 7 loaves, He wasn’t seeing that He didn’t have enough: He saw the abundance that there is in the spirit realm. He could see that even the little they had is ENOUGH, when it’s mixed with faith.

A lot of your problems can be coming from the way you see things – your life, your circumstances, the other people in your life, and even how you see God.

What you see is determined by what you are looking for and where you stand. When Adam and Eve were standing in the presence of the serpent, they were looking for what God had withheld from them and they saw that they were naked. They were in the middle of paradise and all they could see was what they didn’t have. The more you see what you don’t have, the less you’re going to have. Next thing you know Adam and Eve had nothing.

On the other hand, God told Abraham that if he could see it, he could have it. What you are able to receive is relative to your vision. (Gen. 13:15) God told Abraham, “All the land that you see, you can have…” That’s why God wants to increase your vision, to enable you to begin to SEE the possibilities, and then the opportunities that are before you. If you don’t SEE it, you won’t receive it.

That’s why where there is no vision, people perish…they SEE nothing, they receive nothing and they die. You might be dying right now. You just can’t see any way out, you can’t see how things could be any better. GOD WANTS TO TOUCH YOUR EYES AND GIVE YOU VISION…SO YOU CAN START SEEING AND THEN START RECIEIVING WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN SEEING.

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