Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalms 119:105) ++ So then, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17) ++ Bible Scriptures and commentary meant to encourage and build faith in God's Word and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Location: Clarkesville, Georgia, United States

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Abundant Life

In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, " The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they (believers) might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10). For too long there has been a "poverty mentality" in the Body of Christ. It's time for the Church to realize WHO we are in Christ, WHAT we have as an inheritance, and WHY we are to claim that inheritance.

Every person that accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior becomes a child of God. (Romans 8:14-16). We, therefore, enjoy certain rights and privileges which come with being part of the family. One of those rights is as an heir. Consider it in the natural. An earthly father lays aside as great an inheritance as possible which his children will receive when he dies. Well, since we are children of God, we have been made HEIRS of God, and a JOINT-HEIRS with Christ. (Romans 8:16-17). That's who we are! Children of God and heirs of God! In most instances a child receives his inheritance in the natural realm when the person who has left the inheritance dies. As Christians, we don't have to wait for our inheritance. Jesus died and rose again to obtain the inheritance for us, and He has presented it to us! Glory to God! We have our inheritance now!

What is an abundant life? It's prospering in every area, spiritual, physical, mental, and FINANCIAL! We know that Jesus died and rose again that we might inherit eternal life (John 3:16), but He also died and rose again that we might inherit material blessings also. 2 Cornthians 8:9 states, " For you know tthe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich." Also, in 3 John 2 we read, " Beloved, I wish (pray) above all things that you may PROSPER and be in health, even as your soul prospers." It is God's will that His children be blessed spiritually, physically, and FINANCIALLY. It is all throughout the Bible! PROSPERITY. It is part of our inheritance as His children. God owns it ALL and He has given it to us! Unfortunately, the majority of believers have been taught, and believe, that we shouldn't be rich; that money is evil and that you can't be humble and serve God unless you're poor. That's not what the Bible teaches and that kind of thinking dishonors what Jesus did for us!

There is a reason why the Church has to awaken to the message of prosperity and begin to receive what has been freely given us by our Heavenly Father. That reason is SOULS! "But you shall remember the Lord thy God; for it is He that gives you power to get WEALTH, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 8:18). In this day and age it takes massive amounts of money to carry out God's work in the earth! Television and radio are expensive, but they allow the Gospel to be preached over the whole world. Sending missionaries and other workers to foreign fields requires MONEY!

God wants His people to have more than enough to live an abundant life, to take care of their families, to give to the work of the Gospel, and to help anyone in need. He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant (Psalm 35:27). How much more His children! It's not an abundant life when you can't pay your bills, eat where you want to eat, live where you want to live, and give what you want to give to God's work. God said that when people see the wealth that's upon us, they will fear and tremble, and will want to know Him. Our prosperity will draw men to us, then we can preach the Gospel to them, and bring them into the Kingdom of God. That's what it's all about. Praise the Lord for the ABUNDANCE of all things!!!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Healing Is For Today!!

The power of God to heal has been a hotly debated subject for many years by well-meaning Christians on both sides of the issue. It's only been in the last 50 years or so that healing has come to be accepted by a majority of believers and denominations as a fundamental truth in the Bible, and as a benefit of God's mercy and grace each person receives when they make Jesus Lord of their life. However, healing has to be accepted BY FAITH as we shall see in our discussion.

The Old Testament book of Isaiah tells us, when Isaiah was prophesying about the death of Jesus, "Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:4). One side of the argument states that this scripture does not refer to our physical bodies. However, the Hebrew word for 'griefs' means: malady, sickness, and disease. The Hebrew word for 'sorrows' means: anguish, pain, and grief. So we see that Jesus bore our PHYSICAL diseases, sicknesses, and pains, so we wouldn't have to. Isaiah goes on to say, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon Him: AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED." (Isaiah 53:5). Glory to God! Jesus bore it all, spiritual, emotional, and PHYSICAL!

Now in order for us to experience physical healing we must believe and accept it by faith the same way we receive our spiritual healing, the forgiveness of our sins. But first, we have to have assurance that healing is God's will. 3 John 1:2 states, "Beloved, I wish (or pray) above all things that thou mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospers." The Apostle John was speaking under Divine inspiration when he wrote those words. Throughout the Gospels, and Acts, we see Jesus and His disciples constantly healing all those who came to them in faith. Matthew 4:23 tells us, "And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and HEALING ALL SICKNESS AND ALL DISEASE AMONG THE PEOPLE." When a Roman centurion came to Jesus asking Him to heal his servant Jesus answered, "I will come and heal him." (Matthew 8:7).

"Yes, but that was Jesus. He was the Son of God. Of course He could heal people." Well, it was Jesus Himself who was speaking when He made the astounding statement in Matthew 14:12, "Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go to My Father." What was one of the 'works' of Jesus mentioned over and over in the Bible? HEALING! The disciples, and the Church as a whole, were to be in the healing business. Jesus said so.

So we can clearly see that it is God's will that we be healed. However, whenever Jesus came across a group of people who did not believe that He was anointed to heal, then healing was not manifested in their presence. This happened even in His home town, "And He could there do no mighty works, save that he laid His hands upon a few sick folk and healed them: And He marvelled because of their unbelief." (Mark 6:5-6). There were a few who believed and they received their healing, but the others received nothing because they became offended and did not believe.

Well, some people say, healing was for the "early Church" and has passed away. First of all, there was no "early Church". It was the same Church as today, only in its early years of formation. The Church has always been, and always will be, the body of believers that have put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, God never changes. " For I AM the Lord, I change not." (Malachi 3:6). He is the same yesterday, today, and for ever! (Hebrews 13:8). Because God never changes, we can have full assurance that healing is His will for us today as it has always been from the foundation of the world.

I must address one other "heresy", and it is a shameful thing that even some in the Body of Christ believe. Many say that God uses sickness and disease to teach His children a lesson. That is ignorance gone to seed and it is a stench in the nostrils of our Heavenly Father to talk like that! You are treading on thin ice when you say that God is using something that came from the devil. 1 John 3:8 states, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." Not once in the Bible do you ever see Jesus putting sickness or disease on someone. NO! He was always HEALING them. "...and (Jesus) healed ALL that were sick" (Matthew 8:16). Doesn't sound like Jesus was passing out sickness and disease to me. Would you as a parent, if you had the power to do so, put a terrible disease on one of your children to "teach them something?" No. You would do everything in your power to keep them from suffering. Why would we ever think that God, Who loves us so much, would be any different? Get that "stinking thinking" out of your mind!

Jesus made it possible through His death on the Cross for all to be healed who will believe. He redeemed us from the curse which includes sickness, disease, and death. It is God's will for us to walk in Divine health and enjoy the abundant life. Next time you are attacked with sickness, or some terrible disease, look up all the healing Scriptures you can find and meditate on them. Let the truth of God's Word flood your mind and spirit. Begin to praise God for your healing before you see the manifestation of it. Believe the Word! Claim your healing! Walk in victory! To God be all the glory! Amen.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What Faith Is!

FAITH. It is something that touches all of our lives on a daily basis, from religion to politics, from everyday family life to all human interactions. A person can have faith in something good or something bad, something positive or something negative, but all people have faith in something. Today, I would like to look at what faith is from the Biblical standpoint. This is by no means an exhaustive study, but I trust that it will speak to your heart.

According to the dictionary, faith means: A belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof. According to the Bible, FAITH IS A POWERFUL FORCE! In Hebrews 11 we read that men and women of faith, "subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned armies to flight, and raised the dead." Faith can even move mountains (Mark 11:23).

For a Christian, faith is not an option, "But without FAITH it is impossible to please Him (God); for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6) So we see that faith is something which is required in order to please our Heavenly Father. Faith in Him, faith in His Word, and faith in Jesus. This is because God is a God of faith. It's His nature. We are the same way because we have His nature in us. Imagine one of your children, or your spouse, coming to you and saying, "I know you told me this and promised me this, but I don't believe you." How would that make you feel? Would that please you? Of course not! It would hurt you. That is exactly how God feels when we don't have faith in what He has said and promised in His Word.

Faith is the avenue by which we receive the New Birth and become children of God by believing in Jesus Christ, "For ye are all the children of God by FAITH in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:26) Another Scripture states,"For by grace are ye saved through FAITH." (Ephesians 2:8) We must believe and trust that our sins are forgiven, and we have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus, or our faith is in vain.

Finally, Hebrews 11:1 tells us that, "Now FAITH is the substance (the ground or confidence) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." For a Christian, faith is the foundation of what we hope for, and expect to come to pass. Hebrews 11:3 states, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." God had to have faith that what He spoke into existence would come to pass. Many people have a hard time believing this, but it's true. Jesus Himself had to walk by faith, and we know that He did because the Bible tells us that He always did those things that pleased the Father. (John 8:29) Remember, without faith it is impossible to please Him (God). Christians must have faith, or confidence, that what God has said in His Word will come to pass in their lives.

Have FAITH in God! He's on the throne and He has everything under control!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Psalm 91

Psalm 91 is one of my favorite Psalms. I have memorized it and pray it everyday over my family. I would like to put it down exactly as I have memorized it, which is a combination of the King James Version and the Amplified Version of the Bible. Please read it carefully and allow the Holy Spirit to minister His grace to your heart.

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the Shadow of the Almighty, Whose power no foe can withstand. I will say of the Lord, You are my Refuge and my Fortress, my God, in You I lean and rely and in You I confidently trust. Surely, He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge. His Truth and Faithfulness are your shield and buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the arrow that flies by day, for the pestilence that walks in darkness, or the destruction that comes at noonday. A thousand shall fall at your side, ten-thouseand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be, yourself inaccessible in the Secret Place of the Most High, as you witness the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, my refuge even the Most High, your habitation, there shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. They shall bear you up in their hands lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shalll tread upon the lion and adder, the young lion and serpent shall youl trample under foot.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore, I will deliver him. I will set him on high because he has known My Name, and has personal knowledge of My Mercy, Love, and Kindness, and knows that I will never leave him nor forsake him, no never. He shall call upon Me and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him, and with long life will I satisfy him and show him My Salvation."

GLORY TO GOD! I want you to pay special attention to the seven promises God makes in the last part, IF we do what the first part of the chapter says:

(1) He WILL deliver us. Deliver us from what? ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that would try to hurt or destroy our mind, our body, or our spirit!

(2) He WILL set us on high. The Bible says, "And (He) has raised us up together, and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus." We are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath!

(3) He WILL answer us when we pray. Some people say that God doesn't answer prayer, but this Scripture tells us exactly what God will do when we call on His Name. He will answer!

(4) He WILL be with us in trouble. God is not an absentee Father. He is always with us and comforting us in times of need. He is our refuge in times of trouble.

(5) He WILL honor us. God honors us by; keeping His covenant with us; by calling us His sons; by rewarding us; by being with us and taking part in our lives.

(6) He WILL satisfy us with long life. Hallelujah!

(7) He WILL show us His salvation. We are saved from sin and all its consequences when we make Jesus our Lord and dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Amazing Grace!

My favorite Christian hymn is Amazing Grace. It is such a simple song, but it carries so much truth and power. " Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found. Was blind, but now I see."

What is grace? It is God's infinite love, mercy, favor, and goodwill shown to mankind. Without grace we would be completely and utterly lost, separated from God for all eternity. Ephesians 2:4 tells us WHY God poured out His grace upon us, "But God, Who is rich in mercy, FOR HIS GREAT LOVE WHEREWITH HE LOVED US." God could have totally destroyed man, His greatest creation, because of man's rebellion and sin. Instead, He made a way for ALL men to be saved and that way is through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. "For by GRACE are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) Another reason, besides His love, that God provided a way of salvation is seen in Ephesians 2:7, " That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His GRACE in kindness towards us through Jesus Christ." Think about that! God will be spending all eternity showing His family just how vast and awesome are the treasures of His love, mercy, and kindness.

When we receive Jesus, God's gift of grace, as our personal Lord and Savior we are justified by His grace. "Being justified freely by His GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:24) We are freed from sin and all its destructive nature! Not only that, but we become heirs of God, "That being justified by His GRACE, we should be made heirs according to the hope (expectation) of eternal life." (Titus 3:7) Glory to God! There's so much to be said about our becoming heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, but that will have to wait until another day.

Not only are we saved by grace and justified by grace, Hebrews 4:16 tells us another benefit we receive, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of GRACE, that we may obtain mercy and find GRACE to help in time of need." How awesome is our Heavenly Father! He doesn't save us, then leave us to fend for ourselves in this evil world. NO! He provides a continuing supply of His grace, mercy, and loving kindness when we come to Him in faith. Many people look at the terrible things that happen everyday in the world and wonder how they can cope and survive. Romans 5:20 shows us how, "But where sin abounded, GRACE did MUCH MORE abound." The Greek word for abound in this verse means 'to super abound', 'exceedingly abound', and then some on top of that! You see, sin no longer has dominion or power over a child of God. His grace, mercy, favor, and kindness completely overwhelm sin and any of its consequences. That is shouting ground!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sin Consciousness

I would like to address something that affects many Christians and hinders them from developing a closer relationship with their Heavenly Father. In fact, it is one of the root causes for the lack of power in their lives and in the Church as a whole. I know what I'm talking about because this one thing hindered my own Christian walk for a long time. This thing is SIN CONSCIOUSNESS!

You've probably heard someone say at one time or another, "I'm just an old sinner saved by grace." Well, part of that is true. We are saved by grace. However, when a born-again believer says, "I'm just an old sinner", it is, in reality, an insult and a slap in the face of God and His work of grace. Romans 6:6-7 tell us, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin; For he that is dead is freed from sin." When Jesus died and went to Hell for us He completely and utterly destoyed the power of sin. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, everything He did and obtained for us becomes ours. Therefore, Paul tells us in Romans 5:11, 14. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. For sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU; for ye are not under the law, but under grace" One definition of the word reckon is to 'consider something to be something'. It also means 'to suppose something to be true'. What the Holy Spirit is telling us through Paul's writing is that we are to consider that it is true, we are dead to sin. Since we are dead to sin we should not think of ourselves as unrighteous sinners any longer. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Let's look a little further. Psalms 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." In fact, if you start going east you'll never get to west! Think about it. Now that's far! In Romans 10:17 Paul tells us that as part of the covenant God makes with us, "THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE." If God, our most Holy and Righteous Father, doesn't even remember our sins when we repent and confess them, then who are we to bring them up again? If we do, we are in essence telling God that we don't believe His Word is true, and that Jesus' sacrifice didn't give us complete victory over sin. That is what the Bible calls blasphemy! There is no way we can ever develop a close, loving relationship with God if we don't trust what His Word says.

If we have a sin consciousness we will never be able to stand before God as His children with confidence and boldness. As a father myself, it hurt me when my children were timid and scared to talk with me or ask me for something because they didn't think they were worthy. How much more does it grieve our Heavenly Father when we think and act the same way.
We have got to come to the place in our Christian walk where we believe, and KNOW, that our sins are forgiven and remembered no more. Hebrews 10:2 states, "That the worshippers (that's us) once purged (from sin) SHOULD HAVE NO MORE CONSCIENCE OF SINS." It doesn't get more plain than that! Once we settle this in our hearts we can do what Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need."

One of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible is Romans 8. The first and second verses sum it all up, "There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus HAS MADE ME FREE from the law of sin and death." Hallelujah!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

God's Amazing Love!

I'm going to make a statement that may shock you. Yes, even some born-again, Bible-believing, faith-walking Christians may bat their eyes and shake their heads as their brains attempt to compute what I'm about to say. Ready? GOD LOVES YOU AS MUCH AS HE LOVES JESUS! Yes, you read it correctly, and NO, I'm not a nutcase. It really is true! But don't take my word for it. Let's look at what THE Word has to say.

In the 17th Chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus was praying for His disciples and preparing them for His impending death on the Cross. Now some have said that this prayer was for His disciples only and doesn't apply to us today. However, take a look at Verse 20, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word." Everyone since that time who has believed on Jesus and made Him Lord of their life has done so, in part, based on the preaching of the Gospel by these twelve men. Through them the message of salvation in Jesus Christ spread around the world.

Now let's take a look at one of the most outstanding verses in all the Bible. Verse 23, "I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfect in one; and that the world may know that YOU have sent me, and YOU HAVE LOVED THEM AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME." Can you dare to believe it? I know you may have said to yourself at some point in time, "God loves me", but have you ever really understood the depth of His love? Read and meditate on this Scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the awesome truth it holds. It will change your life forever!

Now you may be asking, "How can God love me as much as Jesus? I haven't led a perfect, sinless life as He did." The reason is this. If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life God doesn't see you as a sinner, in fact, He never has. He sees you through the Blood of Jesus! "But God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Romans 5:8-9) Glory to God! Justified means 'just as if I'd never sinned'. Our Heavenly Father sees you as pure and sinless because of what Jesus did, and He loves you as much as He loves Jesus!

God So Loved!

"For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) This is a very familiar Scripture verse, especially for those of us who grew up in the church. I was raised in the Southern Baptist denomination myself and it was the first Bible verse I ever memorized.

Many people today, including some Christians unfortunately, believe that God is "out to get them" and punish them for every little thing they've done wrong. They don't see God as a compassionate Father who loves His children and desires to bless them. Some even believe He causes catastrophic and deadly storms, floods, and earthquakes. They call these " acts of God". God is accused of using terrible acts to punish and "teach" people a lesson. This couldn't be further from the truth and is in total contrast to God's nature! God IS Love (1 John 4:8)

Look at this verse again. "For God so LOVED...." I have a question. Would any parent, who say they love their children, use deadly force to teach them a lesson? Of course not! That would be absurd. Most parents only want the best for their kids and will go to extreme lengths to bless them and keep them safe. How much more our Heavenly Father! He loves us so much that He gave the very best He had, His only Son Jesus, to pay the price for our sin and give us eternal life when we receive Him as Lord. God loved us even when we didn't deserve His love. That, my friend, is the God kind of love.

I encourage you to take time to read through the Bible, especially the New Testament, and focus on those Scriptures which speak of love. I pray that the Holy Spirit will begin to open your hearts and minds to the immeasurable depth of God's love for you.