faith in Jesus

Listen to God

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Are you a ‘doer’ first and a listener second or a ‘listener’ first then a ‘doer’? Are you all about accomplishing tasks throughout the day based on what’s important to you and your priorities? God has a lot to say about those who are not willing to listen to His voice before moving through life with a personal agenda that is void of His influence. He longs to have a voice in your life. He knows that without Him we can’t possible make wise decisions all the time. We don’t have  nor ever will have the mind capacity to know everything we need to know when we need to know it. The bible tells us that its foolish to think that we don’t need to listen to God. He is All-Knowing.

“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.” (Jeremiah 5:21)

Like a parent assigning a task to a child that runs off without instructions, we tend to charge through life without taking the time ask God for His instructions. If we don’t ask or listen we will always come up short of God’s best for our lives.

Jesus lived His entire life on this earth based on what He heard from God. To the very end it was all about fulfilling God’s will and not His own. He was so in-step with God and His will for His life that He said:

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34)

Jesus listened and followed God’s instructions for His life. He was fully obedient and surrendered to accomplishing the work that God sent Him to do.

In a similar way we have been called to follow Jesus’ example, to listen and obey, to do the will of God for our lives.

“This is My beloved Son, listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7)

Become a listener and you will accomplish what God sent you to do!

“When the heart sees what God wants, the body must be willing to spend and be spent for that cause alone.”  Oswald Chambers

Image: Healing Gardens

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Love Wins

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Love wins. It triumphs over all things. And this is possible because God loved first and through His all-powerful love He caused His light to shine upon the just and the unjust. We all enjoy the daily benefits of the light of His grace and love.

“The Lord is God, and He has made His light to shine upon us.” (Psalm 118:27)

God is love. We can know His love by placing our trust in His Son, Jesus, who is the light of the world (John 8:12), the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16). This Jesus, who loves us is the rock and anchor of our faith, the answer to all that we will ever need, the Savior of the world. He died and rose again in order to offer eternal life by taking our place on the cross. He is the Stone that the builders rejected who in triumph has become the Cornerstone of faith.

“This is the Lord’s doing, it is marvelous in our eyes.” (Psalm 118:23)

Jesus said that we can know that we have come to know Him and God’s love if we keep His commandments. We can know that His love is being perfected in us. (1 John 2: 3-5) Our new nature in Christ removes the right to be selective in the commandments that we keep, our new nature delights in responding like Jesus would respond in everyday circumstances. His love did not leave us as orphans to work this out for ourselves, He gave us a Helper, the Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk in God’s light.

“And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3)

We are called to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) as we pursue fulfilling a lifestyle of obedient faith in love.

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15: 9-11)

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Love wins.

Land of Promise

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Green-Nature-Wallpaper-Lush-Summer-Luoisville by Skilal

Arriving into the land of promise is often preceded by a clearly defined path laced with life instruction and spiritual maturity along the way. Maintaining the promise land lifestyle is often far more difficult.

The land of promise showcases God’s blessings. He promises abundance and multiplication far beyond what we can produce through our own efforts. Blessing our households, our offspring and all the work of our hands.

“The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Deuteronomy 28:8)

He promises to give us favor with mankind by placing us in positions of leadership and will make us prosperous in what He has called us to do and to become with only one condition…to faithfully obey His voice, being careful to do all His commandments. (Deut. 8:1) Herein lies the dilemma of maintaining the land of promise.

It is one thing to arrive into the land of promise, it’s another thing to maintain it. And God knew our tendency to wander into disobedience and provided a way back before we had to ask.

“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey His voice in all that I command you today, will all your heart and with all your soul…” (Deut. 30:1,2)

According to this passage we can know that obedience keeps us in the presence of God’s blessings and disobedience drives us away from God’s blessings. But thank God that His mercies are new every morning. His hand is always extended with new tender mercies calling us back to Him but it must be with all our heart and soul. On this condition He is eager to restore us again to the land of promise.

“…then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and He will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.” (Deut. 30:3)

When we decide to walk in obedience to God out of love for all that He has done for us, with all our heart and soul, He promises life in His blessed presence. The way into His presence is through Jesus, His Son.

“For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as He took delight in your fathers, when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments…when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deut. 30:9,10)

Choose to maintain your land of promise in obedience to God who loves you and desires the best for your life.

 Photo Credit: Skilal

Blessed Living

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Searching for peace in life is a common goal shared by the human race. It can become a life long journey that leads us astray on many misguided paths that seem attractive to our pursuit.

The bible tells us that there is one way to finding peace, happiness and rest for our weary souls and it begins with seeking the will of God. One great man of God said it this way:  “Follow the will of God, and happiness and peace and rest will come. The way of obedience is always the way of blessing.” (D. L. Moody, The Overcoming Life, 1896)

Making peace with God brings peace to our souls. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ, His Son. If you have become weary in your search for peace Jesus invites you to come to Him to receive rest.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

This is the will of God and those who obey His will enter into blessed living. This blessed living is not without trials and suffering but we are promised to never go it alone. Jesus promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. (Matthew 28:20)

Those who follow the will of God are promised triumphant living throughout their lives no matter the circumstances that try their faith. With every triumph of faith we take on more of the fragrance of Christ. This is blessed living.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

When we humble ourselves and submit to the teachings of Christ we enter into blessed living. Jesus beckons us to come under the obedience of His teachings and promises to be gentle in His approach. He knows how fragile and needy we really are.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

Jesus is Peace.

New Beginnings

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Life is the culmination of new beginnings, seasons of growth and change. As God put it, while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

But there is more to life than just existing on this earth from birth to death. There is a divine purpose to our existence that God desires to fulfill and it begins with acknowledging the source of true life. Moses told the people of Israel to look forward to a future prophet that God would raise up like him, one that they should be careful to listen to.

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers – it is to Him you shall listen.” (Deuteronomy 18:15)

For all those who looked toward the fulfillment of this promise, this prophet, who like Moses would lead the people and the world into new beginnings of eternal life through Him, would take center stage in the world as we know it.

“…behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.'” (Matthew 17:5)

Today presents an opportunity for new beginnings. There is more to life on this earth than merely existing aimlessly, void of purpose and a life left wanting. Jesus said that those who believe in Him would have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) His desire is for us to know Him, not only in His death on the cross (seedtime) but in the power of His resurrection (harvest) in newness of life. (Philippians 3:10)

“I am the good shepherd, I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;and I lay down My life for the sheep…and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, One shepherd.” (John 10:14,15)

New beginnings begin with listening to Jesus!

Bold, Italics are mine.

Faith Heals

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Faith is real and we all have faith in something or someone. Faith convinces us to trust with unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.

The word faith is easily associated with religious beliefs or traditions but what about faith and healing? Do you find it easier to have faith in God yet struggle with the idea of a God who heals situations in your life or body?

There was a woman in the bible who suffered with a physical issue for 12 years, an issue of a discharge of blood. And because any prolonged bleeding by Jewish law made her ceremonially unclean it forced her to become an outcast, not even allowed to enter the Temple. A seemingly hopeless situation in her day.

One day, however, when she heard that Jesus was passing through she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.” (Matthew 9:21) It was in this moment that she placed her faith in Jesus from whom all healing comes.

When she touched His garment the scripture tells us that Jesus turned in the crowd of people, knowing that healing power had gone out from Him. He saw this frightened woman who had stepped out boldly and reassured and affirmed her healing.

“Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22)

Faith heals. Faith places its trust in a trustworthy God who loved us before we loved Him. Faith believes that nothing is impossible with God.

“…if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Take heart, your faith will make you well.

River of Blessing

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Photo: HD Walls
Photo: HD Walls

Blessed living leads to a blessed life.

A blessed life does not imply a life without trials or suffering, it implies a life of consistently bearing fruit that in turn blesses us and those around us.

We tend to think of fruit in the natural mind that is useful to the human body. However, in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ we have been given the capability to produce tremendous fruit if we stay planted near the river.

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

In other words, there are no fruitless seasons of life if we stay near the water source, the river of blessing. There will never be a season when we are not enjoying the fruit of our labors in Christ.  Jesus promised that;

“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” (John 7:38)

We can toil all our lives and never experience the ‘river of blessing’ that God has specifically designed for our lives. We must first believe in Jesus who is the river of blessing. When we find our delight in Him we become like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season.

“Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary.” (Ezekiel 47:12)

Are you planted near the river?