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FAITH…

By on May 23, 2017

2 Thes. 1.11,12… that God may count you worthy of His calling and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith…so that the name of Jesus may be glorified in you in Him according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is God’s will for every believer. No man is justified by the works of the Law. Rom. 3.20 – By the deeds of the fix shall no man be justified in His sight. None is righteous on his own. Some try to mix things under the law with things of the Spirit, under the new covenant. It doesn’t work. False cults try to mix things of the Spirit with their cult. It doesn’t work. When you believe God, He justifies you. How do you get righteous? Instead of trying to stop sinning, you lose that desire. Believe, and you begin to receive the fruit of righteousness in your life.

Rom. 10.8 – the word is nigh thee. Jesus and the Word are inseparable. It is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2 Pet. 1.10 – be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome with the Word of God. The problem is to get your MIND to know it is true. If you don’t walk with Jesus, you will not make it. If you don’t make Him No.1, you are not a Christian. You cease from your own works to do the works of Him who sent you. You do the works of God.

Col. 2.7….As you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him… built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. Many believers will read and pray but not LISTEN. Know for certain. Be immovable. He will live and work in you. God’s will is for you to have even more faith than you have.

Don’t stand on anything but Word of God. In Christ, all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form and you have been given fullness in Christ…Believe and He will speak. DESIRE the Word of God. Desire the sincere milk of the Word.

1 Tim. 4.5 – everything God created is good. Col. 3.16 – Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. When Jesus dwells in you he will recall the words to your remembrance. Lord wants you grounded in ENTIRE Word of God. Some people don’t let it change the way they think, respond, the way they think about themselves and others. You can’t walk with Jesus if you are not in agreement with Him. Can two walk together if they don’t agree?
Luke. 17.21 – Kingdom of God is within you. He is right there to give you whatever you need. He will function through you. If people lived that now, it would be equally revolutionary. You have the calling. Let your good deeds shine. You become salt and light.

1 Cor. 14.12 – Try to excel in gifts that build up the church. You build through the Word of God and the Spirit. Lift up the person who is falling. Tell him you believe God has a plan for him. Reconcile. If you don’t reconcile, you are not Christ-like. Don’t point out problems. All things should be done to edify. You need to build and strengthen people. Encourage them to yield to the Lord.

2 Thess. 3.1 – …that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored. Let the Word of God have free course in you. 1 Thess. 4.1 – We instructed you how to live in order to please God. As you minister to others, you grow. When you feel down, tell someone else about Jesus. Give out of your need, and God will bless you.

2 Thess. 1.11 – it doesn’t have free course unless you let it out. Don’t stop up your pipeline. God wants you to do what Jesus would do if He were here. that God would fulfill His good pleasure in you. Say, “God speak through me.”

THE APOSTLE PAUL WAS SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE OF 2 THINGS HE NEVER DID!

By on May 16, 2017

When I read about the Apostle Paul in the Bible, I get charged up and all excited! He was just a regular person like you and me, and still he was so incredibly used by God!

I think that the Apostle Paul was one of the most successful people who ever lived. When you think about his walk with God, his revelations from God, all the people whose lives he impacted, and churches he planted…no wonder he had such great faith!

It’d be EASY to be full of faith with a life like that! When you read some of the things he wrote, you sort of catch yourself saying, “Easy for HIM to say; look how God was using him!”

But, Paul faced problems, lots of them. People were jealous of him. Others hated him. People misrepresented him. They wrote letters to his friends and converts and forged his name on them. You wouldn’t believe some of the things that they wrote and signed his name to! Can you imagine what stunts like that to your reputation?

Then, there were gangs that tried to murder him…and other people who were determined to wreck his reputation and have him locked up in prison. (They succeeded.)

Besides people problems, he had a lot of what some people would call bad luck. He was in three shipwrecks. Spent more than 24 hours floating at sea. He was robbed. Set up by his own people. Even by some of the church people.

No, Paul didn’t have it easy. He had problems. Lots of them. In Phil. 3:14, he says that he has to forget all the things he’s gone through and as far as the Kingdom of God goes, he has to PRESS…make an EFFORT.

He passes on to us this tidbit: If you want to keep your faith growing and if you want to have a satisfying, full, productive life, you have to PRESS, to PUSH, to TRY, AND KEEP ON TRYING.

Two things that Paul never did, that explain his incredible success – That’s right, it’s two things he NEVER did that made him a success in God. HE NEVER QUIT TRYING AND HE NEVER TRIED QUITTING!

Here’s the image that came to my mind when I pictured “pressing” in. First was a wine press, where grapes are pressed so that what’s on the inside of them can be brought out. The second one was more down home.

Have you ever wrung out your washcloth? Where you’re squeezing it and twisting it to try to bring out every bit of water that you put in it in the first place? The picture that came to me was of the hands of God wringing out a washcloth…except it wasn’t a washcloth, it was a Believer…and He was bringing forth every bit of living water that He had put on the inside of us! I bet you’ve felt like God was wringing you out more than once. Matter of fact, He seems to wring us out every time He uses us! (Sort of like you do with your washcloth.)

Like Paul, whenever you start believing God, and ACTING on your faith, things will start coming against you. YOU NEVER GET ANYTHING WORTH HAVING WITHOUT A STRUGGLE. You have to contend for it, …fight for it…press, or wring out when you DO, people will come against you. Misunderstood. Called a phony. AND THAT’S WHAT CAN BRING OUT THE VERY BEST IN YOU, if you never do what Paul never did.

See, the devil is out there trying his hardest to wear you down, frustrate you and get you to back down, to quit. He’s looking for your weakness. And if he can find it, that’s where he’s going to set up camp; at the door of your weakness.

And, if you’re going to make it, in this life or the next, there are things that the Lord will have to do in your spirit man…and you’re going to have to LET Him.

HOW GOD CAN USE YOUR SETBACKS TO PROPEL YOU FORWARD!

By on May 9, 2017

When defeat knocks the wind knocked out of you, it seems like you’ll never feel good again. You feel like you’ve let the Lord down, and now He’ll NEVER be able to use you.

Remember when Peter really blew it? He denied his Lord three times in a row, cussing and saying he had no idea who Jesus was! Once he realized what had happened, he wept bitterly. He was at the lowest point he’d ever been! The enemy had really knocked the wind out of him.

Later, when Jesus was raised from the dead, He confronted Peter about Peter’s true level of affection for Jesus. Then Jesus told Peter to get back in the race, and to keep serving the Kingdom of God.

What are some of the lessons we can learn from Peter’s defeat and how Jesus worked with Peter?

First of all, there’s the reality that problems and challenges are always going to be a part of our lives. So, we need to be armed and ready for them! We’ll always have some degree of opposition, setbacks, disappointment, or discouragement. That’s a fact of life.

Peter simply wasn’t prepared for how vulnerable he’d feel when a little servant girl asked him about his relationship to Jesus.

Then, there’s the fact that you’re GOING to make mistakes sometimes, bad judgement calls. You’ve been wrong before. So have I. We do our best, but there will be times that we make mistakes or are just plain wrong.

Peter was mistaken as to the form that his confrontation with his own weakness would be. He’d thought it’d be more dramatic, more of a life or death situation, where he’d be called on to die for hos Lord. But, he was mistaken.

To get back in the race, we have to do something that Peter also had to do: We have to not compare ourselves unfairly by finding other peoples’ strengths and comparing them to our weaknesses. When we do that, it leads to discouragement, fear and inferiority.

Peter had to choose to NOT compare his failure to the other disciples’ victories. Sure, he was the ONLY disciple who had openly denied Jesus. BUT, on the other hand, he was the only one who had ever walked on water…while the rest of them had sat in the boat.

That leads us to this: Examining ourselves. What ARE your strengths? What can you do well? Where are you weak, and where are you strong? How do you respond when faced with defeat?

What tactic does the enemy use to get you? 2 Corinthians 2:11 says that we’re not ignorant of the enemy’s devices. He DOES have tactics and strategies.

How do we know what they are? It’s as simple as, “What REALLY gets to you?” Where’s the crack in your armor? Once we know just WHERE the crack is in our armor, we know what to put BEHIND that crack to make up for it. So, it’s a matter of recognizing that area of weakness, vulnerability, and beefing up your defense in that area.

Next, Jesus told Peter to take aim at what he SHOULD be doing. Focusing on what you should be doing intensifies and uses your strengths. Plus, it’s always better than AVOIDING those areas that we feel like we’re not “good enough” to enter into.

Jesus also got Peter to look at the BIG picture. To understand that his failure was just a TINY part of his whole life, in light of eternity. You can’t let that one failure (or even that string of failures) set the theme for the whole rest of your life.

Peter failed during a time when he was trying to get closer to Jesus. Lesson: When you’re trying to get closer to Jesus, there are ALWAYS risks involved.

But we know this: you’ll never face a trial that you can’t handle, you’ll never be tempted above what you can handle in the Lord. And, you’ve already won the biggest victory when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord.

No one specific battle is going to make you or break you, but what you do as a RESULT of any battle COULD. Especially if it becomes a pattern that the enemy can predict. The only time a Believer is defeated is when he or she doesn’t get back up when knocked down.

So, get up! Your past failure can be the key to catching the enemy off guard! He thinks you’re licked! Now, by faith, YOU prove that HE’S licked! Jesus beat him when He died for you on Calvary, purchasing your redemption. Be bold! It takes faith to step out again when you’ve been beat, but that’s exactly the kind of faith that produces the most spectacular results!

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