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2:50 AM   [27 Dec 2015 | Sunday]

About Hope (Part One)

 If one is going to find true hope, he needs to put his trust in the One true living God.  His heart has to be singular in purpose.  There is no room for deviation.  The moment you put your trust I anyone or anything else, hope fades away.  You will have moved from hope to wishful thinking, also known as false hope.  God’s words are life, truth and spirit.  Apart from His words, hope has no foundation.  This is why it is important to zero in on God alone.  Unless a person speaks as an oracle of God by the Holy Spirit, his words will not have a foundation of hope because there is no faith attached to it.  Three is no underlying substance on which to stand. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Whether you are in a time of peace or a time of crises, you need to trust in God in order to have hope for your future.  Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

When you center on the Word of God, you better position yourself to receive by faith and walk with expectant hope.  As your mind is renewed by His Word, by which also your new man is strengthened, your thought processes changes (see Ephesians 4:23; Colossians 3:10).  The more you think like God, the abler you are able to receive from Him.  Conversely, the more you think like the world, the less you will be able to receive.  Godly thinking reaps godly results; whereas, worldly thinking reaps death.  The carnal mind is entrenched in the world, and has no ability to please God nor embrace the things of His kingdom (see Romans 8:5-8).  As the Bible clearly points out, the things of God are foolish to the carnal mind.  Why?  Because as high as the heavens are above the earth, so are His thoughts above ours.  Nonetheless, He does desire for us to receive His Word and thereby receive His thoughts.  In turn, His thoughts become our thoughts which solidifies faith and hope.

Long term thinking overrides short term circumstances. 

Failing to look forward will stall hope in the time of crisis.  When you focus strictly on the crisis, it will become the consuming passion of your heart.  That passion is strictly concerned with self-preservation and deliverance.  It looks for relief, but has difficulty finding it because of the failure to look to the other side.  Emotionally, it appears that moment will have no end.  Hope shuts down when the emotions are allowed to dictate the length of the circumstance.  It’s like throwing oneself into prison, and the sentencing yourself to life.  This is especially true for those who don’t fully trust in God.

Circumstances are not eternal; but God is! 

You have to allow God to insert Himself into any crisis you may face.  Do not allow your emotions to make a crisis more real than God.  Instead, look to God and see what He is doing in the situation.  Every moment has a shelf life.  Each one become part of the past.  Long term thinking looks to the result of what God is doing in the midst of a situation.  Even when it is difficult to see what He’s up to in the moment, we have to trust that He’s working behind the scenes.  Even though we don’t see everything He’s accomplishing in our life, we must maintain the belief that God is good, and because He is good, He will work all thing out for the good (see Romans 8:28).  Remember, His mercy endures forever.

God is not limited by time as we are limited.  He created time and uses it in relation to our eternal destiny.  Our emotions may tell us that “It’s over; it’s tool late,” but it’s never over until God says it’s over.  One lesson we can learn from the raising of Lazarus from the dead is that it is never too late for God (see John 11:1-45).  Regardless of where we find ourselves in a particular moment, it will never be too late for Him to work things out.

www.perfectfaith.org

 

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2:54 AM   [20 Dec 2015 | Sunday]

What's in His Name?

 The name of Jesus, or Yeshua, represents many things. One thing often referred to is the power and authority of His name. We are well aware that there is no other name by which one may be saved (see Acts 4:12). For those who receive Jesus, also receive His Name. Through His name we have power and authority, but we have more than these. We have abundant life. We have His love.

The name of Jesus represents the love of God, and in His name we love. Apart from His name, we could have never received His love, even though God freely gave it. If a person rejects Jesus, he also rejects the love of God. Jesus represents the Father. Jesus Himself said, “He that has seen Me, has seen the Father” (John 14:9) Furthermore He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by Me”(John 14:6). The Father revealed His love to us through His Son. He also gave us the Name above all names. Because of love, we have His name, and through His name we have the Father's love.

God is love. Because that is His nature, it is also the nature of the Name of Jesus.

When we bless others in His name, we are extending His love to them.

A name represents its owner. That representation gives authority to others to do the things as if the person himself were doing them. However, that authority it limited to specific things. For example, when a person signs his name on a Proxy, he is giving someone permission to act on his behalf. The action is limited to the specifics of the Proxy. Acting beyond its intended purpose is illegal. That being said, our authority is limited to the will and character of the Father. Understand that when we claim or invoke the name of Jesus, we are representing Him.

Anything we do outside of love is an illegal use of His Name!

Every principle of the Kingdom operates by love. Jesus underscored that truth in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” If we are to represent His name well, we need to love others well. If the actions of God are the result of His love, then our actions should correspond to His as well.

For those of you who may question the Father's love: do you have authority in the name of Jesus? Shouldn't that tell you something? God freely gives good and perfect gifts . If anything obligates Him, it's His love. You might say His word obligates Him to act; however, He gave His word out of love. Remember He is love, and so is His name. For His name represents Him. Think about it!

www.perfectfaith.org

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4:00 AM   [13 Dec 2015 | Sunday]

Why Prove it?

 When people consciously try to prove themselves, they turn inward focused.

Trying to build a reputation for oneself can actually lead to self-glorification. Not that it is wrong to want a good reputation, but if you find yourself going out of your way, there may be some self-esteem issues involved.  Trying to prove to others that you are something, whether you are or not, can actually detract from your true self. Ironically, those seeking to prove themselves tend to look disingenuous. It comes across like they are not who they say they are, even if they are legitimate. Others don't see the real them; they see a hypocrite. Trying to prove ourselves can be hard work, and leads to undue pressure. Instead of enjoying the freedom found in Christ Jesus, we can walk on eggshells, worrying about what others think. This leads to second-guessing ourselves, or perhaps doing things that are unnecessary.

For example, if you try to prove to someone that you love him or her, it would be possible to step away from pure love.

This is especially true if proving is the emphasis, and not love itself. Pure love takes joy in the recipient for the recipient's sake alone. It's outward focused, and not so concerned with how one looks to another. So yes, it is a very good thing to give someone a token of your esteem when it's the result of your love. “The proof will be in the pudding.” When you genuinely love another, the other will know it. Sure, he or she may take a while to catch on, even when you tell him or her. Nonetheless, when you shift from simply loving people to proving it, it becomes “all eyes on me.” Basically, you become more concerned about yourself than you are about them. In fact, you may actually become preoccupied about whether they love you in return. This may be a question to ask: “Am I actually seeking their love and approval?” Without realizing it, some do things for others in order to gain their acceptance. It's one thing to see a smile on another person's face, because he or she was just blessed by you. It's another when you need the pat on the back in return. Not that the pat on the back is a bad thing, but when you do things to get it, you're no longer doing it purely for them. This is not intended to get you to question your motives every time you do something for someone else. The point is that it can be easy to turn from affirming others to seeking their affirmation instead.

Those who don't want to look bad will try to do things to make themselves look good. If you don't want people to think you're a bad person, be who God called you to be. Even that may have some ramifications. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me” (John 15:18-21, NASB). That means not everyone is going to think highly of you, no matter how Christlike you may be.

Where in the Bible does it say we are to prove ourselves?

It does talk a lot about God proving us. Why is this important? For one thing, if we don't have an accurate picture of ourselves, we would gravitate toward trying to be who we are not in the eyes of God. That leads to phoniness. When the Lord tries us, He is taking us through a process to become who He destined us to be. In short, God says who we are and who we are meant to be, then proves it. This is where the trying of our faith comes into play. He will use His proving process to eliminate anything in us that is contrary to His nature. The method of our crucifixion is best left in His hands. 1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7. so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (NASB).

Another pitfall to all this is pride.

Has anyone ever challenged you? You know, “Prove it!” What was your response? Did you feel pride welling up? Has anyone ever called you a hypocrite? If so, did you find the need to prove him or her wrong? One of the ways the enemy seeks to get us to succumb to pride is by attacking our identity. He tried it with Jesus. Matthew 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." (NASB). Jesus didn't try to prove it, He knew who He was, which means He didn't have to prove anything. In fact, He humbled Himself by responding with the Word of God. When you know who you are in Christ Jesus, you won't feel the need to prove you are a son or daughter of God. On the other hand, if you fail to believe what the Father says about you, you will find yourself seeking affirmation.

Being proved is a patience game, if you will. Using our previous example, when you want others to know you love them, so they may feel affirmed by you, you will have to let time take its course. Eventually, they will figure it out. Beware that there are those who struggle with receiving love, so some may require more patience than others. However, that's another lesson in itself. People don't need to wear a t-shirt to let others know they are believers. Others will know they're believers by their fruit.

Proverbs 22:1 good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold (NASB). Consider this, if you have Jesus, you have the Name above all names. Would it better to glorify His than to try to build up ours? When we seek to glorify God, everything else falls into place.

www.perfectfaith.org

The Believer's Book of Blogs

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12:06 PM   [06 Dec 2015 | Sunday]

Are You Just?

Have you ever felt ripped off? You know, paid for something, but didn't quite get what you expected. Someone gave you a bill of sale, but never delivered the goods. Do you ever feel like you're not paid what you're worth? You do things with excellence, go beyond what is expected, yet the payment doesn't reflect the effort. Have you seen someone take advantage of another, and it assaults your sense of justice? Have you ever taken advantage of another? When it comes to Jesus, how just are you?

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, He washed me white as snow.” This is the first line of a chorus of a popular hymn that many churches sing. You probably have sung it yourself. The Bible clearly states that we were bought with a price and we are not our own (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

If you agree with this statement, how would you answer this question: did Jesus get what He paid for? Does He have all of you, or only part of you? The Father gave His Son for us, so what are we giving Him in return?

When believers fail to yield everything to God, they miss out on untold blessings. One of the greatest blessings you can have is intimacy with Him. He paid the price for that intimacy. All we have to do is surrender everything to enjoy what intimacy has to offer. It did not require your blood. Sure, following Christ means persecution; however, we cannot compare our suffering to the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. In the secret place of the Most High, there is fullness of joy. Some miss out on that joy because they refuse to be vulnerable. Even though the Lord knows everything about them, which includes their secret thoughts, some refuse to open up to Him. They don't express their weaknesses and shortcomings. They may indeed confess their sins, but they won't talk about their disappointment with God, much less, their anger toward Him. Have you ever felt like a relationship you have is suffering, because someone wont be honest with you? If you feel distant in your relationship with the Father, ask yourself if you are holding something back.

Obedience comes with the territory. If you claim Jesus as your Savior, did you receive Him as Lord? That may sound cliché, but you'd be surprised how many want to be lord, while claiming Jesus is Lord. They will obey only to the extent it is convenient to them. For example, some may give out of their pocket book, but they won't give of themselves. Some actually believe time belongs to them. “That would be a waste of my time.” If one refuses to obey what the Lord is leading him or her to do, he or she is holding back. Jesus is getting shortchanged.

We say, “To God be all the glory and honor,” but how much do we try to keep for ourselves when we do something “for Him?” Do we need recognition in order to do something for someone else? Can we seriously do works of faith in secret? Do we crave human affirmation more than the Lord's? This is not meant to be harsh. Everyone deals with this one at some point in his or her life. It's a growth thing.

What things do we hang onto that the Lord has asked us to let go? That can range from a number of things. Here's one, since God has forgiven us of our sins, why would anyone hold another in unforgiveness? When someone decides not to forgive another, he or she is being unequal. Part of the Kingdom's justice system states, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). When the Father has forgiven us so much at His own expense, how can we not forgive? Jesus brings great clarity on this issue in Matthew 18:21-35. Justice treats others as God treats us. Matthew 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Our key to being just, is love. It's the key that opens all the treasures of heaven. When we walk in love, our sense of fair play flows through us. It enables us to relinquish control, be compassionate and extend mercy.

www.perfectfaith.org 

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