Sunday, 4 March 2018

The Foundation of Faith. ~ Rabqa

John 1:1-3. In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was
God.2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.

In the beginning is an allusion to Genes 1:1 with the intention of linking Jesus the Word with the God of creation. The event of Jesus incarnation, therefore, had cosmic significance. The Word is Jesus Christ, the eternal, ultimate expression of God. In the Old Testament God spoke the world into existence; in the gospel God spoke His final Word through the living Word, His Son. The phrase “The Word was God” attributes deity to the Word without defining all the Godhead as the Word.

In verse three John declares that Jesus was the divine agent who was responsible for the entire creation.

Luke 6:27-49 Verses 27 & 7 28 teach us how to deal with our enemies. Something is missing when we say we forgive those who have hurt or offended us & go no further.

Let me put it this way: People go to Church meetings & pray for the ability to forgive & yet in a short time they are right back having the same problem with bitterness, anger & hypersensitivity, asking for help.

These people are just not doing what the Word instructs.

God tells us in His Word to forgive others, but He does not stop there He goes on to instruct to bless them. In this context, the word bless means “to speak well of.” So one of our problems is though we pray & try to forgive those who offended us, we turn right round & curse them with our tongues or we rehash the offense again & again with others.

This will not work!

To work through the process of forgiveness & enjoy the peace we seek, we must do what God tells us to do, which is not only to forgive but also to bless.

One reason we find it so hard to pray for those who hurt us & mistreat us is that we tend to think we are asking God to bless them physically or materially. The truth is that we are not praying for them to make money or have more possessions; we are praying for them to be blessed spiritually. What we are doing is asking God to bring truth & revelation to them about their attitude & behaviour so the will be willing to repent & to be freed from their sins.

It is not enough to merely say we forgive others; we must be careful not to curse them or speak evil of them even if we think they deserve it. Instead we must do as Jesus did & pray for them, bless, them & speak well of them. Why? You may ask, because by doing so, we not only bless them but ourselves also. Hating those who hurt you is like taking poison hoping your enemy will die. Obviously, anyone who did would only be hurting themselves. Why spend your life angry at people who probably do not even know or care that you are angry? These people are thoroughly enjoying their lives while you are miserable. Release them, let the offense go, drop it & have the same attitude toward them that Jesus had toward His enemies. By doing this you will experience wonderful freedom & God will show Himself strong as your Vindicator.

We also learn in verses 29-36 to renounce all forms of retaliation. Leave all vengeance to God.

Love by choice not by circumstance. Let mistreatment by others remind you to overcome their evil through love.

Jesus has great deal to say about humility. & no wonder, since it was pride that first caused man to fall. As the New Adam, Jesus exemplified this aspect of righteous living. Man fell because he presumed his own way above God’s, but restored godliness requires that we do the opposite & humble ourselves before God’s will & way. Then true God-given exaltation & recognition will come to those who least expect it & who least seek it.

Verse 38 shows us to give & it will be given back to us. God expects you to receive a harvest from our giving. He wants us to expect a miracle.

Jesus opened up a whole new way of giving. He gave Himself totally to & for the needs of the people. We can no longer pay or sacrifice our way into God’s mercy. Jesus Christ has paid our debt before God, & the cross is a completed work in our eternal interest. Our giving, then a debt that we owe, but a seed that we sow! The life & power source is from Him. Ours is to simply act on the power potential in that seed life He has placed in us by His power & grace!

Notice when Jesus said “Give” He also said “& it will be given back to you” Giving & receiving belong together. Only when we give are we in a position to expect to reach out & receive a harvest will be “Good measure, pressed down. Shaken together, & running over.” (John 6:38)
We give as to God, & we receive as from God; but we should remain sensitive at all times to the different ways in which God may deliver our harvest. Orel Roberts said a miracle is either coming towards you or going past you all the time. Reach out & take it! Do not let it pass by (Matt 9:20-22). God’s miracles may be coming as an idea, an opportunity, an invitation or a previously unknown or unidentified association. Watch expectantly for the ways in which God may choose to deliver your miracle, for you.

Verse 43-45 teaches us that our actions reflect what is in our hearts. Dose any of our behaviour indicate a need for a change in your heart? Ask God to continue to transform you more & more into His image, so that your actions will reflect His work & His presence in your heart.

We see in verse 44 that Jesus said that every tree is known & identified by its fruit. Imagine looking at a fruit tree that depicts all the bad things produced in the sense of someone who is unhealthy emotionally. If you look at the roots of that person's life you will find things like rejection, abuse, guilt, negativism & shame.

If you have a problem with unhealthy attitudes in your life, they are the bitter fruit of what has been rooted into your thinking. You maybe the product of improper mirroring & imaging of your parents & others. You may suffer from bad examples you were exposed to in your earlier years.

If parents teachers, or other authority figures told you to over & over in your youth that you were no good, that there was something wrong with you, that you could not do anything right, that you are worthless & would never amount to anything, you may actually believe it. Satan reinforces that message by repeating in your mind again & again until it becomes part of yourself image that you actually become on the outside the way you see yourself on the inside.

It has been proved that if people believe something about themselves strongly enough they will actually behave the way they perceive themselves to be. But there is good news your mind can be renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2) This I know from experience does not happen instantly, but with the help of the Holy Spirit you become the person God created you to be; to bear good fruit, & He will help you to do so by replacing bad roots with good as you meditate on His Word. Jesus invites us to be rooted & grounded in Him & in His love (Eph 3:17 Col2:7)

In verses 46-49 we see the most important part of a house is its foundation, we learn that without a firm foundation a house is constantly in danger of collapsing. The same is true in your life as a Christian, knowing God’s Word & obeying is the foundation of the Christian life. Ask God to teach you His Word & to help you obey Him in every area of your life, so that you can be strong in all circumstances.

If we are ever going to make any progress in the divine life, we will have to have a real foundation. There is any foundation except the foundation of faith for all of us. All our actions & all that will ever come to us that is of any importance will be because we have a Rock. If you are on the Rock no power can move you in any area or principal of your faith, you must have something established in you to bring it forth. There is no establishment outside God’s Word. Everything else is sand. Everything else will break apart. If you build on anything else but the Word of God~on imaginations, sentimentality, or feelings it will mean nothing without the foundation & the foundation will have to be in the Word of God.

Smith Wigglesworth tells that he was once on a train going to Blackpool (a sea side resort in England). It is a fashionable resort, & many people go there because of the high tides & the wonderful sights they see as the ocean surges up in a large, massive mountains of sea. As he travelled he looked over & said to a builder, “Those men are building houses upon the sand.”

“Oh”, he said, “you don’t know. You are not a builder. You don’t know that we can pound the sand until it becomes like rock.”

Smith told them that it was nonsense, & saw that the argument was not going to profit, so he dropped it. By the time they reached Blackpool, where the mountainous waves come over. He saw a row of houses that had fallen flat, & drawing the attention to this man, he said, “Oh look at those houses. See how flat they are.” He had forgotten their previous conversation & said, “You know here we have very large tides, & theses houses being on the sand when the floods came they fell.

Our foundation must be something better than sand & everything is sand except the Word. There isn’t anything that will remain. We are told that heaven & earth will be melted with fervent heat (2Peter 3:10). But the Word of God Will be forever,& not one jot or tittle of the Word of God will fail (Matthew 5:18)If there is anything that satisfies me is that knowing that Your Word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Another passage in psalm 138:2 says You have magnified Your Word above all your name). The very establishment for me is the Word of God.

Here we have the foundation of all things, which is the Word. It is a substance; it is power. It is more than relationship; it is a divine injunction to be born of this Word. What it means for us will be very important. Remember that it is “substance;” it is an “evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1).

God took the Word & made the world. We live in the world that was made by the Word of God, & it is inhabited by millions of people. You say it is a substance Jesus, the Word of God, made it with the things that did not appear. & nothing has been made that has not been made by the Word (John 1:3). When we come to the truth of what that Word means, we will be able not only to build, but also to know; not only to know, but also to have. Live & operate in the fact of the Word; rest in the knowledge of the principal of the Most High.

Luke 4:4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’

In Luke 4:1-12 Jesus answered every temptation the devil used against Him with God’s Word. We
read that He repeatedly said, “It is written...”& then quoted the Scriptures that directly addressed the enemy’s lies & tempting schemes.

We may start to fight the devil with the Word, but when we do not see a quick result, many times we stop speaking the Word & begin talking about our own feelings or circumstances.

Let me encourage you to be persistent as you wage war against the enemy by speaking the Word. A stonecutter may strike a rock ninety nine times without even making a crack in the rock. But the hundredth strike may split the rock in two. Each blow weakened the rock, even though there were no outward signs of it.

Persistence is vital to victory in our lives just as it is in the stonecutters work. Do not relent in speaking the Word against the devil. The next time you do, it might deal him a death blow.

Mark 11:22. Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.

The Greek word for faith is pistis meaning conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness & persuasion. In the New Testament setting pistis is the divinely implanted principal of inward confidence, assurance, trust & reliance in God & all that He says. The word sometimes denotes the object of content of belief (Acts 6:7; 14:22; Gal 1:23).

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.

The word name is a poetic symbol for the total person & personality it represents. Here it stands for the reliable character of God.

Choose to believe that the Lord will never forsake you when you trust Him.

God’s people must be actively, consciously trust that God’s Word is true & that He always acts in accordance with it. Every situation we encounter is an opportunity to choose to trust God rather than our own inclinations. Faith involves an element of risk, but always yields to the richest dividends.

There is a great difference between our faith & the faith of Jesus. Our faith comes to an end. Most people have come to the place where they have said, “Lord, I have gone so far; now I can go no further. I have used all the faith I have, & I just have to stop now & pray for more faith.”

Thank God that we do have faith we, but there is another faith. Again I turn to one of Smith Wigglesworth visits, he was asked to go to a house where a young woman was laying in bed. Her reason had gone, & many times things were manifested there were satanic, & he knew it.

Smith says she was only a young woman, a beautiful child. Then the husband, a young man, came in with a baby, & he leaned over to kiss his wife. The moment he did she threw herself over to the other side of the bed, just as lunatic would do, with no consciousness of presence of her husband. Then he took the baby & pressed the baby’s lips to the mother. Again, she responded wildly. He said to a sister who was attending her, If she had anyone to help?

“Oh” she said, “we have had everything”
Smith replied, “Have you no spiritual help?”
Her husband stormed out & said, “Help? You think that we believe God after we have had seven weeks of no sleep & of maniac conditions? You are mistaken. You have come to the wrong house.”

That brought Smith to a place of compassion that had something had to be done for this woman. Then with faith, he began to penetrate the heavens with his prayers. He had never seen anyone get anything from God who prayed with an earthly focus. If you receive anything from God you will have to pray into heaven, for the answers are there.

Then Smith saw in the presence of God the limitations of his faith, there came another faith, a faith that could not be denied, a faith that took the promise, a faith that believed God’s Word. & he came from that presence back to earth, but he was not same man under the same conditions that had confronted him before. In the name of Jesus he was a man with faith that could shake hell.

He told the evil spirit to come out of her in the name of Jesus. She rolled over fell asleep, & woke up fourteen hours later, perfectly sane & perfectly whole. Oh there is faith, but Jesus wants to bring all into a place in line with God where we cease to be, & His faith takes over. God must have the right of way, of thought & of purpose, God must have control.

You cannot know God by nature; you get to know him by an open door of grace. The way to God is the way of faith; there isn’t any other way.

John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Jesus said “I am the way.”It is important for us to see that Jesus has a certain way of doing things, & if we will submit to His everything will work out. But so often we wrestle & struggle with Him, trying to get Him to do things our way. It doesn’t work. Let Jesus be the way in your life.

Have you ever been in a car with someone who does not know where he is going & refuses to ask for directions? Many people think there are many ways to God, & they search for the truth in different places, ignoring the directions that God gave us. However, the reality is there is only one way to God & that is through Jesus Christ. As you follow Him, Who is the Way, He will lead you in truth & you will experience fullness of life.

Recognise that Jesus is the only way to God. Know Jesus to know God.

The key word in John’s gospel is “believe.” Faith unlocks our understanding of Scripture & releases the Spirit’s activity in our lives. Faith like love evidences itself in obedience. Finally faith approaches God boldly to receive from Him the things it needs

Pray for those who do not know Jesus, that they too will find life & truth in Him.

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