Growing Faith

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Ro. 10:17.  The word of God teaches that for one to obtain faith, the individual must first hear.  Now in-order to hear, one must listen.

There are many things we listen to through out our days, weeks, months and years.  What we hear, and when I say hear, I mean really listen to.  That which we’ve allowed to enter our soul.  An individual can have faith in things, such as money, power, job, family, etc.  How does this happens?  Most often it’s because of what has been heard and experienced.  Let me give you an example.  We’ve heard and seen things on the television about money.  We’ve heard stories about people with money and the power of money.  All of this can increase desire and faith in money.

The word of God is explicit.  It teaches that we should hear the word of God to increase our faith.  The word can be heard from ministers, other people, or most importantly ourselves.  The minister must preach the truth of God’s word.  However, every person must position him or herself accordingly, to hear the word of God.

When individuals testify about the works of the Lord in their lives, it is up to us to listen and hear.  In listening, faith can be encouraged and strengthen.

As we read the word of God, our spirit and soul hear the word coming from within.   This strengthens and grows our faith.  This is the number one method recommended by the word.  As one read the word, the Holy Spirit (if you are a believer) brings about illumination, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and faith is strengthen.  An unbeliever is convicted and must become a believer to receive the Holy Spirit.

Faith in every believer is going to be tested.  This is where many people falter.  We do not like to be tested.  The word of God tells us that we will be tested.  Abraham was tested with his son, Jacob was tested with his brother, Joseph was tested with Potiphar’s wife, sold into slavery, thrown into jail, Jesus was tempted by the devil.  We will be tested to prove to ourselves and God that our faith is genuine.

Are you listening to logic rather than believing in God?  Where is that logic coming from?  Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to trust in our own logic, but rather to trust in God.  Some may say I trust God but not the bible because man wrote it.  Again I ask whose logic are you listening to.  Do you trust your eternity to this logic because it makes sense in your mind?  Is your mind filled with all knowledge, wisdom and understanding?  Perhaps others you’re listening to have it?  God has given those that believe, His Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is filled with all knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  He knows the past and the future.

Do you believe and trust only in your logic?  Try faith, because it is in and through faith we’re empowered!  Greater is He that is in every believer, than he that is in the world.  To trust in yours or anyone else logic is to limit yourself.  Faith opens our world to the possibilities of the impossible.  For with God, all things are possible, if you would but believe.

Will you please listen

I’ve called out to you often, but you’ve never come.  I’ve reached out to you, but you’ve paid me no attention.   You’ve ignored my advice and rejected the correction I’ve offered.  Because of this, I will laugh when you’re in trouble.  When disaster overtakes you, or calamity overcomes you like a storm, when you’re engulfed by trouble or when anguish and distress overwhelms you, I will mock you?

I will not answer when your cry for help, even though you anxiously search for me, you will not find me.  Why you may ask?  Simply because you’ve hated knowledge, and chosen not to reverence the Lord!  You will eat the bitter fruit of living your own way.  You must experience the full terror of the path you’ve chosen.  You turned away from me and chose death.  You are a fool and your own complacency will destroy you!

If you come to me, listen and obey, I’ll pour out upon you the spirit of wisdom which will make you wise.  You will live in peace and safety, unafraid of harm!

 

- wisdom

Faith/Logic

Good morning Family,

I’ve been thinking about our family members that are having issues concerning faith.  From what I hear and perceived is faith hasn’t been explained in a logically manner for them to believe.  Heb. 11:1 states that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Rom. 10:17 states that faith cometh by hearing.

As I meditated on this issue, this what I believe the Spirit revealed to me.  First, I was questioned, which comes first, faith or logic.  As I pondered upon the question, I can see where faith produces logic, which in turn encourages and strengthens faith.  Example of this is a child’s birth.  How is it a liquid seed from a man is inserted into a female egg which fertilizes the sperm to produce a living human?  This human is then able to think, speak, run, jump, create, help, learn, love, hate, believe and form an opinion, as well as perform other things.  Did logic produce this?  Can logic produce anything?   Family, what do you think?

Plans

All week I have been planning. Planning for my move, planning for school to start, and planning for all that I need to get ready for in the weeks to come. While I was taking a break in between tasks, a thought came to me. “We make plans and God laughs”. I remember hearing a minister say that somewhere. But I began to focus on that idea. When we, as humans, make a plan, God laughs at us. As if to say, “You really think it’s that easy?” “Do you really think you can simply plan out the next month of your life and everything will turn out exactly as you expected it to?” This also got me to thinking: how have my plans just in the last month worked out for me? How many curve-balls have been thrown my way? The answer: a lot. I planned to make a certain amount of money last month and even wrote down how much I would need for bills, food, gas, savings, tithes, and various expenses. Now, I can picture God shaking his head and laughing. Because he knew that I would only make half of that amount because he knew that we would be slow for a week and a half straight at work. And that definitely took me for a loop.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s not good to plan things. Plans are good to have because they help give you drive and a goal to reach. Without goals, I find myself simply going through the motions. It’s important to have plans, but I find that it’s even more important not to depend on those plans. Once we start to depend on those plans and have the expectation of a specific outcome, we begin to see every other outcome as a shortcoming or a failure. But they’re really just your reality. We have to learn how to take the reality of our situation and make the most of it instead of clinging on to the expectations of a perfect circumstance.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Just a bible verse

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. (Romans 6:6-13 NLT)

-Seffs

Fellowship with the Holy Spirit

II Corinthians 13:14 states ” the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion (fellowship) of the Holy Ghost(Spirit), be with you all.

Although the apostle Paul is giving the church in Corinthians a salutation, we can acquire a wealth of knowledge from this verse.  Paul is saluting with attributes he expects in the lives of the Corinthians.  I would like to bring to our attention what was brought to me.

We today receive the grace of Jesus without much complaint.  One exception perhaps may be an atheist.  Most individuals gladly accept grace; some of us pray for grace, while others of us may delight in the grace of our Lord Jesus.  Grace has little to do with us or does it?  Grace after all is a gift from God, we cannot do anything to earn the grace of God except to receive salvation.

The love of God, likewise is from God the Father!  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son.  John 3:16.  “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.  God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” I John 4:16  Again except for an Atheist, most individual gladly accepts God’s love.

Paul did not stop there.  He continued with the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  This is where we come in.  The scripture teaches an individual cannot have true fellowship with the Holy Spirit without salvation.  John 14:16-17  Jesus informs his disciples about the Holy Spirit and how the world cannot receive Him!  In chapter 16 of John, Jesus furthers his introduction of the Holy Spirit and His (the Holy Spirit) workings.  I say we have a role here because the Holy Spirit can only function within our lives as we (individually) allow Him to.

Fellowship with the Holy Spirit is limited or unlimited according to each of us.  How is this?  Let’s first describe how the Holy Spirit works.  At salvation, He seals us, Eph. 1:13.  For unbelievers, He reproves of sin, righteousness, and judgement, John 16:8-11.  For believers, He guides us, speaks to us the truth, He reveals the future personally and within our world, He comforts us, and He glorifies Jesus!

We affect how much or little He performs in our lives through obedience.  You see we can grieve the Holy Spirit and push Him outside of our lives, similarly to how we treat others that love us and try to help us.  The Holy Spirit never gives up on us.  He can however allow us to have our own way, which is a very sad and destructive place to be.

Grieve is defined as: to cause great sorrow or sadness.  Grieving the Holy Spirit can be liken to a parents sadness to a child’s disobedience.  The parent knows the end results most likely isn’t going to be pleasant.  Likewise, the Holy Spirit is grieved when we think evil thoughts continually, and perform disobedient acts.  He loves us; therefore, when He sees we’re heading the wrong way, and refuse His instructions, or directions, He’s grieved.  Grieve is an emotion between Love and anger.  Because of God’s love, which we want, the Holy Spirit loves and desires to help us succeed in every area of our lives.  We push Him aside as we become self-centered and disobedient.  He doesn’t get angry and force us into obedience, which is best, but rather guides as we allow Him to.  Eventually, if one insists on rejecting the Holy Spirit, he/she is turn over to believe and do as he/she sees fitting in their own mind.  Thus, eventually becoming reprobate with destruction looming,  if repentance doesn’t occur.  Repentance is almost impossible at this point.  Roman 1:20-32.

Is the voice of the Holy Spirit faint in your life?  Is He still calling out to you but you’re constantly hardening your heart?  Look around you, do you see evidence of His leading or your disobedience?

A self lead life will lead one to a place of adultery, fornication, filthiness, immoral living, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, difference of opinions or attitude, jealous rivals, wrath, strife, discontent or rebellious in speech or writings, heresies (which by the way is to be strongly opinionated and different about established religious teachings), envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, getting stone, high, a buzz, etc.

In contrast, the Holy Spirit leads believers to a place of joy, peace, gentleness, long-suffering,  love, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

Are we living in fellowship with the Holy Spirit?  I ask that we examine ourselves by the word of God, for the word and the Spirit are always in perfect union as is The Father, The Son and The  Holy Spirit!

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all!

Family fast 1

I will be using Nehemiah chapter 1 through chapter 2 unto verse 8 as a foundational scripture.   Nehemiah is an example to edify us to believe and trust in God.   The nation of Israel was in ruins, its people were scattered abroad in bondage.  Why, because of disobedience to God.  This is a people chosen to represent Him to the world.  However, they had forsaken the One that had delivered them, the One that had blessed them, with land, food, shelter, success; whatever they would put their hands to it prospered.  Now the judgment of God was upon them.

Nehemiah is living in the King’s palace as the king’s cup bearer.  This meant he had to live and conduct himself a certain way before the king.  He was responsible for tasting anything brought before the king to ensure it wasn’t poisoned.  Nehemiah and others have been in captivity for years now.   Nehemiah receives some guest from Jerusalem.  They reported to him the condition of their beloved country and the news broke Nehemiah’s heart!  The report stated that the walls of the city were broken down, the gates were burnt.  Upon hearing this awful report, his heart is so broken his feet fails him.  He sits and begins to weep.  Thank God he did more than weep.  Verse 4 of chapter 1 records that he mourned, fasted and prayed!

I want to bring out some facts concerning Nehemiah.

  1.  Nehemiah was overwhelmed with the condition of his people and nation.
  2. Nehemiah did not only weep and mourn; he was proactive in his faith.
  3. Nehemiah’s faith propelled him into action.
  4. Nehemiah went humbly before God believing God could make a difference.
  5. Nehemiah was specific in his prayer request.

We may not be in as desperate a condition as the city of Jerusalem but we have some issues that need to be taken as such.  Are we satisfy where we are, Nehemiah wasn’t?  Will the conditions of our family move us to fast, pray and believe God?  Will our faith move us into action?  Can we humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father in repentance?  Do we know what we need?

Family, the broken walls and gates meant the enemy had freedom to come and ram shack their city as they desire.   Does the enemy comes into our lives and ram shack as he pleases.  I can name situations and we are all familiar with them.  Should we continue living as if nothing is wrong and hope for the best?  The answer is NO!  The word teaches that we are to bear one another burdens.

I’m asking us as a Family to humble ourselves before God and repent.  Believe God and trust His word.  Fast and pray be specific and apply ourselves to obey His Word!  Notice as you read the verses you will not find God responding to Nehemiah in an audible voice.  Stop waiting for an audible voice!  Notice God heard his petition and granted exactly what Nehemiah requested.  Nehemiah did not know when or how it was to happen, in fact as God began to answer his request he had to pray for mercy.

Family this is how Faith operates.  Nehemiah began in faith and as a result of his belief, God moved upon the king to give substance to that which began in repentance, fasting and prayer for.

Now this brings me to the question how shall we fast?  I read in Mathews where Jesus fasted and was hungry afterwards.  For him to be hungry meant he did not eat food!  I am request we fast for 24 hrs this Sunday, from food.  If anyone has a medical condition, take care of yourself appropriately.  Fasting should be a time of sacrificing and dedicating oneself to the Lord for a cause.

Our main focus this Sunday is Auntie Cheryl and her family!  Let’s pray that our Heavenly Father would restore and make her household whole.  I know that we have many other issues, but I know how each of you cares enough to sacrifice for family!  I see you doing it all the time in various ways. Cheryl, should you desire to be more specific please do.

I Love you family, but greater than my love is our Heavenly Father’s LOVE!!!!