“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil. 4:11-12).
The very next verse in this well-known passage says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (v. 13).
The fullness of this verse means: I can do all things through Christ, the Anointed One and His anointing, who strengthens me to do the things I can’t get done on my own. Therefore, there is nothing He cannot strengthen us to do as long as what we want to do is in the will of God for our lives. Having faith is part of His will for us. Here are some benefits of faith.
Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Think about that. Having been justified by faith we have peace. And we have access into God’s grace, which is His unmerited, divine favor – His goodness towards those who do not deserve it and cannot earn it. We all fit in that category; however, not everyone receives this free gift of God
“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Heb. 4:2).
Two groups of people heard the gospel. One of them received it. One of them did not receive it. The gospel was profitable for the group that mixed it with faith. It was not profitable for the group that did not mix it with faith. The Word did not work for the second group of people because they would not receive it by faith.
There is a rest that remains for the people of God. (Heb. 4:9.) It is a supernatural rest and a supernatural peace that is available for all who believe. So Christians really have no excuse for not being at peace. You may say, “Oh, but Pastor Larry, you just don’t know what I am going through. I have had disaster after disaster. Everything in my life has gone wrong – physically, financially and emotionally. I am a mess.” The truth is it doesn’t matter what’s gone wrong in your life. You can be at peace and at rest regardless of the circumstances. Remember, you can do all things through Christ. That means you can be at rest in the storm
Jesus continually taught this concept of peace, but the disciples kept missing it. He never said He would remove the storms. He said He would give us peace in the storm. (John 16:33.) In the storm, we can rest in the boat. (Mark 4:37-38.) In the storm, we can walk on the water. (Matt. 14:24,29.) The storm still goes by our house and all around it, but when it’s over, our house remains. (Matt. 7:24-25.) In the storm, we can have faith. In the storm, we can have rest. In the storm, we can have peace. We can survive the storm, because we are at rest and in faith – all the way through it.
A lot of people say, “This faith thing doesn’t work. I tried it once and it just doesn’t work.” We don’t just try God. We receive His Spirit (the Holy Spirit) within us. We don’t test and try. We don’t just try faith. We’re either in faith or we’re not in faith. We either believe God or we don’t believe God.
One scripture concerning tithing that says test God, prove Him and try Him in it and see if He won’t do as He promises (Mal. 3:10.) God wants us to take advantage of the many “if you do this, then I’ll do that” blessings He’s made available for us in His Word. However, we cannot try the foundational truths of God. We’re either saved or we’re lost. We’re either in faith or in fear. We either accept the grace or refuse it. There is no middle ground.
Excerpt from Larry Ollison’s book, “The Practical Handbook for Christian Living.”
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SAYING?
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
Many things in life can cause us to fear—losing our jobs, deadly diseases, terrorist attacks and so on. When these things confront us, we tend to give in to worry and fear, and start talking about our fears.
Job was no different. He constantly feared that God would punish him and his family because he kept thinking that his sons had sinned against God. He would get up early in the morning to offer burnt sacrifices, saying, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” And the Bible tells us that he did this “regularly”. (Job 1:5)
So Job kept confessing the sins of his sons and fearing that something terrible would happen to him and his family. In fact, his sin-consciousness didn’t just produce fear, the Bible tells us that he “greatly feared”. (Job 3:25)
It is important that we understand that it was Job’s sin-consciousness that opened the door to Satan. His preoccupation with sins that his family may have committed gave Satan the opportunity to bring death and destruction into his life. God had a hedge of protection around Job. But when he started being sin-conscious and having a fearful expectation of judgment, the hedge was removed and Satan could attack him. (Job 1:9–12)
My friend, today, if you have sinned, don’t say, “I have failed again. I deserve to be punished by God.” Know that you already have forgiveness of sins because Jesus was punished and condemned in your place! (Ephesians 1:7) So say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus, You are my holiness and perfection.” (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21)
We must be mindful of what we believe and say regularly because “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So when you hear of a deadly virus taking many lives, don’t say, “I’m next because I have not been a good Christian!” Instead, say, “Jesus, You are my righteousness and protection. Surely You shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence!” (Psalm 91:3)
Beloved, such believing and confessing not only please God, but they also shut the door on Satan so that he cannot make any inroad into your life!
Thought For The Day :
Be mindful of what you believe and say regularly because death and life are in the power of the tongue.
THE FAITH TO FORGIVE :
Luke 17:5 “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.”
It is very interesting to note that the apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith after He spoke of forgiveness. They observed all of the wonderful miracles Jesus performed and yet that never inspired them to ask for greater faith. Truly, walking in love and forgiveness with each other takes as much faith as any miracle we will ever believe for.
The basis of forgiveness is the love and mercy of God. It is only because God first loved and forgave us that we can love and forgive others. If we aren’t walking in the forgiveness of God, we won’t minister it to others. He forgave us before we repented or asked for forgiveness.
The scriptures admonish us to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. God offered His forgiveness towards us while we were yet sinners. Therefore, forgiveness was offered to all unconditionally. But only those who receive the offered forgiveness through repentance and faith are received as sons of God.
Likewise, we are to forgive others their trespasses, just as God has forgiven us our trespasses. We forgive whether or not the other person repents or wants our forgiveness. But we cannot restore such a person to complete relationship until there is repentance on his part. Failure to distinguish between forgiveness and restoration with their different conditions, has caused some people to make themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous people and suffer tragic results. In marriage, we should forgive our mate for anything, even adultery. But If there is no true repentance on our mate’s part, it would be foolish to trust him or her in a sexually tempting situation. We should forgive a business partner for stealing from us whether or not he repents, but that doesn’t mean we ought to put ourselves in a position to let him do it again. Complete restoration is dependent on repentance. Walk in forgiveness today
<strong>ALL WE NEED TO KNOW
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells. —Romans 7:18
In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness.
Billy Graham was putting an end to the notion that apart from God we’re okay. We can feel good about ourselves, but that confidence must come from the knowledge that we’re greatly loved children of God (John 3:16), not that we’re very good children (Rom. 7:18).
The first step in becoming a truly “good” person as a follower of Christ is to stop pretending that we’re good on our own and to ask God to make us as good as we can be. We will fail many times, but He will keep growing us and changing us. God is faithful and—in His time and in His way—He’ll do it.
In his final years, the writer of “Amazing Grace,” John Newton, suffered from dementia and lamented the loss of his memory. Yet he confided, “I do remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior.” When it comes to faith, those are the only things anyone needs to know.
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
God’s grace accepted is God’s peace experienced.
LET YOUR LIFE BEGIN AGAIN :
Behold, now is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2
Did you know that Jesus has unlocked the prison doors of guilt that have kept you captive? It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve been. I don’t care if you’ve been a prostitute, a murderer, a thief, a drug dealer, or a churchgoer who’s never made Jesus Christ Lord of your life. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation.
A new life is only a prayer away.
Gloria and I discovered that for ourselves more than 25 years ago. Actually, it was Gloria who took the first step. She found out that the Bible said that not even a sparrow falls without God’s knowledge. “Well,” she thought, “if God knows and cares when the sparrows fall, He must know what terrible shape my life is in right now. And if He cares, maybe He can do something with it.”
Gloria didn’t know anything about the Bible. She didn’t even know for sure that God would let her start over. But when she told Him she wanted Him to take over her life, something supernatural happened on the inside of her. She was born again.
“But what about my past?” you may say. “I feel so guilty about it!”
When you’ve been born again and made a new creature in Christ–that past doesn’t belong to you anymore. And it would be ridiculous to walk around feeling guilty about someone else’s past, wouldn’t it?
What would you think if I took a little baby on my lap, a pretty little thing just a few months old, and said, “Oh, isn’t she precious? But just think about her past.”
You’d think I was crazy! “What past?” you’d say. “She doesn’t have any past!”
Well, it’s the same way with you once you’ve been born again. You don’t have any past. Your life begins again the day you make Jesus Lord of your life. Then, when Satan comes around trying to remind you of what a worm you were before, just tell him he’s knocking on the wrong door.
You’ve been kicked around long enough. There’s no need to wait any longer. The prison door is open. Walk through to Jesus and let your life begin again today.
BROKEN BUT BEAUTIFUL
[The vessel] was marred . . . ; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. —Jeremiah 18:4
Recently, my daughter showed me her collection of sea glass. Also known as beach glass, the varied bits of colored glass are sometimes pieces of pottery but often they are pieces of shattered glass bottles. Originally the glass had a purpose, but then it was casually thrown away and became broken.
If the discarded glass ends up in an ocean, its journey is just beginning. As it is relentlessly tossed about by currents and tides, its jagged edges are ground down by the sand and waves and eventually are smoothed away and rounded off. The result is something beautiful. The jewel-like sea glass has found new life and is treasured by collectors and artists.
In a similar way, a broken life can be renewed when it is touched by God’s love and grace. In the Old Testament, we read that when the prophet Jeremiah watched a potter working, he noticed that if an object was marred the potter simply reshaped it (Jer. 18:1-6). God explained that in His hands the people of ancient Israel were like clay, which He would shape as He saw best.
We are never too badly broken for God to reshape. He loves us in spite of our imperfections and past mistakes, and He desires to make us beautiful.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
When melted by trial, we can be fully molded by the Potter.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY :
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Dear Lord God, I praise You. I honor You. I see Your face in every sunrise. Your smile breaks out the cloud with beautiful sunshine. You brighten up the world and light up my life. I give thanks to God for all things are new in me from today that my life is like the cherry-trees began to put forth their blossoms. May God renew my strength like an eagle outstretches its strong wings soaring in the sky!
Gratefully, in Jesus’ holy name. Amen !!!
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