Monday, September 30, 2013

Better than faith!

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews chapter 11 gives us a list of Old Testament believers that had faith to move mountains. The list includes famous people such as Noah, Abraham, and Moses---to name a few.

I recently noticed the list does not include any disciples. It seems they were not included because they did not possess faith like Abraham. In fact, Jesus told the disciple Peter he had little faith, even though he just walked on water (1).

The disciples did not have that kind of faith; nor do I. I thank God that I do not have to.

The verse at the top says, "without faith it is impossible to please God." For many years I diligently faced problems in life never seeing victory. I tried to have faith on my own ability. I thought I had to to please God with faith to win the battles. I had a misunderstanding of Hebrews 11.

If I had to face challenges like Noah, Abraham, or Moses in my own faith, I would have failed.

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:40, "God having provided something better for us, that they [The people of faith] should not be made perfect apart from us." This says we have something better than faith. These faith-warriors received the benefits of faith. They had it---I do not. They do not receive the benefits apart from me; I still win because God provided something better.

So what is something better?

Something better is Jesus. Our verse at the top does not say we need to have the faith of Abraham. It says we only need to believe that Jesus is who the Bible says He is, and that He desires to reward us for believing in Him. Nothing else; believe in Him and that He wants to do good things for us.

I no longer look at my problems. I remind myself Jesus loves me and will take care of my problems for me. I do not have faith to move mountains, but Jesus does.

Sometimes I face a challenge beyond my level of faith. I remind myself of times past, when He proved to me; He is God and He loves me. That is all the faith I need.

Be blessed!
(1) Matthew 14:29-31, So He [Jesus] said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Monday, September 23, 2013

God-er-ize it!

Exodus 14:19 (NKJV) And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.

If your past has been holding you back, God can fix it.

When Israel was freed from the slavery of Egypt, Pharaoh sent his army to take them back. When the army was about to overtake them, God Himself stood between them as a pillar of smoke. Shortly afterward, God destroyed the army (see Ex. 14).

The Bible says in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good ..." This verse is not confined to what may be going on in our lives at present---it also includes our past.

So how do we bring God to move behind us? The Bible says in Isaiah 58:7-8 (NLT), "Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. "Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind."

When we focus on the will of God in our lives, God leads us where to go, and takes care of our past.

Perhaps you have been plagued with sickness, a wayward child, financial trouble, or a broken marriage. Whatever it might be that holds you back, God will use it to produce something better!

No matter what the situation is, God wants to fix it. Isaiah said, "your godliness will lead you forward" (Is. 58:8 above). When we are good to others, we advance forward and God takes care of our past.

Be blessed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Your Coat of Many Colors

Genesis 37:3 (NKJV) Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.

There is a beautiful picture in this verse; it reveals the love of God toward the body of Christ.

Joseph's father gave him a coat of many colors. When you combine all colors together, they become white. If you have software in your computer that allows you to make custom colors, you will see this if you adjust all colors up to maximum. Black, on the other hand is the absence of any color. A coat of many colors speaks of a pure white covering.

Our Father gave us a coat, pure, brilliant, and white---by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. This is symbolic of a spot-free covering of righteousness.

Israel (also known as Jacob), gave his son the coat as an act of love. Like Joseph: we are precious to our Father.

If you read the story of Joseph, you will see that he faced terrible circumstances, yet Joseph never turned away from God. He knew his father loved him, he also knew God loved him. Throughout his trials, the Bible says the Lord was with him (Ge 39:2, 3, 21, 23).

A pattern I noticed in the story is the fact that his enemy kept trying to take his coat. First was his brothers (1), then Potiphar's wife (2). They even tried to substitute it (3). Nevertheless, Pharaoh clothed him again, in garments of fine linen (4).

This is a picture of the enemy trying to steel our righteous covering with lies. If we believe the lies, we feel condemned and we separate ourselves from God. If we separate ourselves, God cannot bless us.

In the end, Joseph was promoted. Jesus says in Revelation 3:5, "He who overcomes shall be [being] clothed in white garments ..." Jesus has provided us with a coat of many colors. The enemy will try to take it from us. As long as we know we are loved, like Joseph, the enemy cannot keep our glorious garment.

You may be facing incredible trials. You have received a coat of many colors. This covering prepares you for advancement. It positioned Joseph for promotion. He became second to Pharaoh only in regards to the throne (5).

Be blessed! 
(1) Genesis 37:23 So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him.
(2) Genesis 39:12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me." But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
(3) Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh.
(4) Luke 1:34-35 "The Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary], and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."
(5) Genesis 41:40 Only in regard to the throne will I [the Pharaoh] be greater than you."

Monday, September 09, 2013

Enter His Gates

2 Samuel 12:20 (KJV) Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

This verse is overloaded with hidden revelation. For one thing, it is an overview of Exodus 28---Preparing a priest to serve in the Holy Tabernacle.

For the moment, I would like to draw your attention to one particular detail. Notice that David worshipped the Lord first, and then, ate bread.

Whenever I see the word bread, in Scripture, I automatically think of communion. This is what the Bible calls it (1Co. 10:16).

The New Testament of the Bible was originally written in Greek. The Greek version of the word, communion, is pronounced, koy-nohn-ee'-na. According to Strong's Greek Dictionary (1), this word means, social intercourse. It is the deepest possible level of communicating with God.

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 (NKJV), "... With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Prayer is a form of communication with God. This passage suggests we enter into prayer with thanksgiving---a form of worship.

In the Old Testament, God would visit His people in the tabernacle. It was a tent-like structure designed by God and placed in the midst of His people (Ex. 25:8 & 9). The gates to enter its courtyard were located on the east (Ex. 27:13-15).

God told Moses how to arrange the tribes of Israel surrounding the tabernacle (Nu. 2). In Numbers 2:3 we read, "On the east side, toward the rising of the sun, those of the standard of the forces with Judah shall camp." Judah, was located at the entrance. The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, the name Judah comes from a root word in Hebrew that means, praise (2). To enter the courtyard, one would have to enter through praise (Judah). This is also reflected in the Psalms. Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise."

In my experience, I can usually count on hearing God during worship services. I have discovered that He taps into my deepest desires during these times. Worship is an excellent avenue to hear God. I have found that the more I can hear God---the less hindrance He has, to work in my life. Worship is a perfect place to begin communing with God.

Begin your prayers and communion with worship and praise. You will experience the deepest level of communication with God.

Be blessed!
(1) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s number, G2842.
(2) Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, copyright 1890 by James Strong, MADISON, NJ. Strong’s numbers, H3063, H3034.

Monday, September 02, 2013

I can't not believe!

2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV) If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

The foundation of Christianity is faith. The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (He. 11:6). Does this mean if we do not have faith, that we are condemned?

I have had challenges in the past where I needed a miracle, and had no faith to believe for one.

Do you know the disciples sometimes lacked faith and still got their miracle?

When Simon Peter loaned Jesus his boat to preach from, Jesus told him to put his nets back in the water. Peter answered, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net" (Lu. 5:5). Peter did not think they would get any fish. They ended up catching a net breaking load of fish (Vs. 6 & 7)

Another time, the disciples were in a boat while Jesus slept. A violent wind broke out and the disciples were afraid because of the big waves. They woke Jesus and He calmed the storm. Then Jesus said to the disciples, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?" (Mark 4:40) The disciples got their miracle without faith.

In each situation, Jesus provided the miracle. When we have no faith, how do we tap into His faith?

When Jesus was baptized in the Jordon, God the Father said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt. 3:17, Mk. 1:11, Lk. 3:22). When the devil tempted Jesus, he said to Him twice, "If you are the Son of God ... (Mt. 4:3 & 6). The devil was careful not to use the word beloved. He also tried to make Jesus doubt His Son-ship.

We are not only God's children; we are God's beloved children. The devil does not want us to know this. When we know God loves us as His children; we know He will deliver us from trouble.

Ephesians 3:19 tells us, if we know how great God's love is for us, we have the fullness of God inside us. This is why the devil will attack our thinking in this area. When I am facing a challenge and have no faith, I simply remind myself; Jesus loves me and wants the best for me. I may not know how, but I will see a miracle. A challenge is just an opportunity for Jesus to promote me.

The next time you need a miracle, read about the love God has for you. This is how you release God into your situations.

Be blessed!