Sunday, 7 January 2018

Promise of Faith ~ Rabqa

All Scriptures are from N L T unless otherwise stated.

Last time we looked at the promises of God & I thought I was done, but NO the Holy Spirit wanted us to look at the promise of Faith, because Hebrews 11:6 tells us 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.

God has given each of us a measure of faith Romans 12:3 Because of the privilege and authority[a] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

Because the Bible teaches that human beings are made in God’s image. We are to respect the position of each individual under God. The text does not teach that believers should think of
themselves as worthless or insignificant beings, but rather that none should consider himself to be more worthy, more important, more deserving of salvation or more essential than anyone else.

Possession of different talents or gifts does not mean difference in worth, for all belong to the one body, to one another & all are interdependent (seen in verses 4&5) to think otherwise is to distort reality. Each of us has intrinsic value & worth, as we are all equal in God & in Christ.

Here Paul is referring to his own function in the body as an authoritative apostle through the grace given to him. The measure of faith is not saving faith but the faith to receive & to exercise the gifts God apportions to us. The measure of faith He gives corresponds to the role He assigns as Creator & Redeemer.

Just recently when I talk about faith, people respond that we are all at different stages in our walk with God & that is true but God wants us to grow & mature in Him.

When I first made Christ the Lord & saviour of my life I was as far from preaching as I could be, though I knew that was the call God had placed on my life. I had no faith whatsoever & thought that it was fine, but it took good teaching to tell me that we have all been given a measure of faith, but gradually the more I studied the Word of God the more my faith grew.

I did my training at Victory Life Bible Training College in Perth & have never looked back.

The first day I picked up a bible I read in Matthew 6:23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is! This verse invites us to be full of the light of life so that there is no darkness in you. Have a good eye. Develop a personal commitment to the Lord & His will.

Obeying the Father was extremely important to Jesus. Obedience is the response of faith to any instruction from God. Jesus taught true faith will always be manifested in obedience to God’s revealed will. Successful Christian living results from seeking God’s will & knowing His will & then doing it in faith.

I wasn’t sure if I had been born again, I was a single mum living at home with my son, one evening we had no food in the house except for bread & vegemite, so we were going to have toast & vegemite for tea that night, but Praise the Lord my son came home with a bag of mushrooms that his friends mum had given him.

Don’t worry if you are short on anything God will not let you go without He is your loving Father & as any parent He will provide for you. I really love Psalm 128 How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow his ways!2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labour. How joyful and prosperous you will be!3 Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table.4 That is the LORD’s blessing for those who fear him.5 May the LORD continually bless you from Zion. May you see Jerusalem prosper as long as you live.6 May you live to enjoy your grandchildren. May Israel have peace!

Colossians 2:6-7.(N K J) As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[a] with thanksgiving.

Established in faith & abounding with thanksgiving seems to be a rare combination these days.

A lot of people have been taught faith over the last several years, & a lot have been taught to abound with thanksgiving. But it is hard to set the two together. Faith folk want to confess the Word all the time, but they don’t praise God very much. & those who like to praise God just want to jump, shout & dance having a good time in the Lord. You can’t get them to get very serious about the Word.

Success comes from combining the two. So do it! Put them together in your life. When you run into a challenge don’t just stand around looking grim & white knuckled holding on to your faith. Raise your hands high & praise. Start thanking God in the midst of what is happening around you. Keep thanking Him for the answer till it comes.

Instead of just standing on the Word, let the joy of the Lord enable you to dance around on it a little. It will enable you to get where you are going a whole lot faster. & both you God will have a much better time on the way.

Colossians 2:2-3 teach us to focus on Jesus Christ building ourselves to be in unity with the rest of the church & that we have the full assurance of understanding the knowledge of God. Verse 8 tells us to be aware that human philosophy & erroneous religious tradition are contrary to Christ. Do not be deceived hold fast to Christ & honour Him to please the Father. Be wise in evaluating spiritual experiences, knowing that they are not to produce pride or elitism. Know the importance of commitment to righteous spiritual authority.

Many believers are slowed in their spiritual growth for lack of wisdom. Sometimes teaching that stunts spiritual growth is enthusiastically endorsed because believers sadly do not know the Scriptures. We should heed Paul's warning against listening to people who pander to the flesh rather than edifying the truth.

Mark 11:25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.[a]” A condition of prevailing prayer is a forgiving spirit.

Few people realise just how closely connected faith & forgiveness are. Jesus taught about that connection in His sermon on mountain moving faith which is recorded in Mark 11:22-26.

He said, “What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you have received them, & you shall have them. & when you stand praying forgive.” Jesus backed those two sentences up together on purpose. He wanted us to know that releasing those who have wronged us is fundamental to receiving from God. He wanted to impress on our hearts the fact that we cannot have our prayers answered & still hold grudges in our hearts at the same time.

Unforgiveness clogs the faith channel & keeps you powerless against the mountains in your life!

If you have been praying for someone & you can’t seem to get an answer, check your heart for forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring any grudge that is hidden there to light. Unclog the channel of faith & you will see things you have been praying for come to pass.

As believers we will never experience joy~filled, victorious lives unless we are ready to forgive people. This is something we are going to have to do frequently, & according to Matthew 18:21-22 even repeatedly. The Lord tells us plainly in the Bible that if we don’t forgive other people for the wrong things they have done against us, then God will not forgive us for the wrong things we have done against Him (Matthew 6:14-15).

What kind of condition would we be in if God refused to forgive us? We could not possibly have a proper relationship with Him. Everything in our lives would be stopped. We like to think that we can stay angry with other people & yet go to God & receive forgiveness for our sins. But the Lord tells is that this is not so.

Jesus taught us to pray, And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([a]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [b]given up resentment against) our debtors. (Matthew 6:12 AMP). God is a God of mercy, & this issue of forgiveness is In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asked Jesus how many times had he to forgive his brother; up to seven times? Jesus answer was not seven times, bur seventy times that many.

I do not know about you, but I am glad that God does not put a limit on how many times He will forgive us. How many of us have done the same wrong thing at least seventy times, & God has still forgiven us for it? We are willing to keep taking forgiveness from God, but it is amazing how little we want to extend forgiveness to others. We freely accept mercy, yet it is surprising how ridged, legalistic, & merciless we can be toward others, especially if they have wronged us in some way. Yet the Bible says that the debt we owe God is much greater than any debt anyone may owe us. Always remember how great God’s generosity is, especially in the area of forgiveness. Aim to forgive others as quickly, as often & as generously as God forgives you.

Sometimes forgiving someone can be very difficult, especially if that person has repeatedly hurt or offended us. Is there someone in your life that you are having a hard time forgiving? Remember the gracious gift of God’s forgiveness to you. As you receive forgiveness you are called to extend forgiveness to others to others (Matthew 18:21-35). Ask God to help you forgive as you have been forgiven.

2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Don’t centre your attentions on what you can see in this natural realm. Everything you see is temporal & subject to change. So put your faith in the unseen eternal realm. The things which are eternal are not subject to change.

God’s Word is eternal & contains seven thousand promises to cover circumstances toy will ever face. &, no matter what happens in this shifting, changing world you will live in, those promises will forever be the same.

No matter how bad your body feels, the Word will always say, By His stripes you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) No matter bad your bank balance looks, the Word will always say My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19).

Don’t settle for a meagre existence the Word say you can have. Lay hold of what the Word says. Centre your attention on the eternal truths of God & look not to things which are seen. After all they are subject to change.

When I face difficult times I tell myself, “This can’t last forever, this too shall pass.”
You can probably look back at your life & see many difficult times you endured even though you thought at the time; I cannot stand this for another day. The devil probably tempted you every five minutes to believe the trial was going to last forever.

As you consider how many times you have already made it to the other side of pain, you can be confident that you will make it again through Christ , who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). & on the other side of trials you will see how God turned those experiences into good for your life (Romans 8:28).

If you have had a problem for more than six months, you probably thought your problem has lasted for an eternity. But our years on earth are only a little drop of nothing compared to forever.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 that the season of trials will pass. It is as tough when we are going through trials, but Paul learned to keep his eye on the prize of heaven & trusted God to prepare him so that God’s glory was revealed through his life.

When you are tempted to become discontented, remember: This too shall pass. Your afflictions are light & momentary from perspective from the perspective of eternity. No matter how bad you current situation may look, God loves you. Never let go of that God loves you, no matter what
happens in your life. You can trust that everything will work out because of His great love for you.

Matthew 17:20 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.

When you plant a seed God changes the nature of that seed so that it becomes a plant; & the power of life surges in that tender young plant to such a great extent that even a mountain of earth cannot stop it from pushing upward.

Jesus says our faith in God is like a seed. When we put our faith into action, that is, when we release it to God, it takes on a totally new nature. It takes on the nature of a miracle in the making.

What is the mountain in your life? Loneliness, loss of a job, disease, a wound, relationship trouble in your home? Or something else? Be encouraged Jesus shows us the way to see that mountain removed!

1st God says that you have a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). It is resident within you.
2nd God says that this faith comes from alive by hearing...the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
3rd God says that you can apply your faith to see your daily needs met. How? You do something as an act of faith. You sow the mustard seed smallness of your faith into an action of love

(Matthew 17:20). Then when your faith has been planted & is growing speak to your mountain & watch God remove it.

Faith that appears small or weak to us can still accomplish the humanly impossible. This mountain was a figure for an obstacle, hindrance or humanly insurmountable problem~none of which is impossible for God to deal with through committed people who accurately understand their authority & know the power, will, purposes & provision.

Some may say the reason they live as they do is because they have special faith. But that is not true. No one has special faith because God has given everyone the same measure of faith. The only reason someone’s faith may look like it works better is because they use it!

Make the decision today to walk in faith. To put it to work on the situations around you. Commit yourself to operate in mountain faith, Know that it is impossible to please God without it (Hebrews 11:6)As you plant this faith & water it with the Word of God expect it to grow& over come mountains in your life & in the lives of those you intercede.

Thank your heavenly Father that as you do this nothing shall be impossible to me! In Jesus name.

Romans 10:17 A M P) So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).

When the Word is heard, Faith is imparted to hear it. Once we have heard the Word & believe it, we should continue believing. God invites us to live from faith to faith. As believers, one of our most important jobs is to simply believe. Jesus said, ...Did I not tell you and [a]promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? John 11:40 Amp).

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