START USING YOUR MEASURE OF FAITH
Romans 12:3 – …God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
As children of God, we should never say, “I don’t have any faith.” To say this is to say that God is a liar because His Word already tells us that “God has dealt to each one a measure of faith”.
Why then does the faith of some seem to be stronger than others?
Well, faith is like muscles. We are all born with a measure of muscles. But some of us develop our muscles better than others. Bodybuilders, for example, exercise their muscles very regularly to make them grow bigger and stronger.
Likewise, your measure of faith grows when you feed and use it. Each time you hear or read God’s Word, you are feeding your faith. When you confess God’s Word and expect good things to happen to you, you are using it. And the more you use it, the more your faith grows.
So use your faith. You could start with headaches, for example. When you have a headache, instead of always running straight for your painkillers, use your faith. Ask God for healing, and trust and thank Him for the healing.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with taking medicine. And if you have to go to the doctor, don’t feel condemned either. Just start using your faith at a level you are comfortable with. If you need to go to the doctor, then go in faith, praying, “Abba Father, I am going to the doctor. I am asking You in Jesus’ name to give the doctor wisdom to give me an accurate diagnosis. My trust is not in him but in You.”
And when you take your medicine, don’t just pop in the pills. In faith, say, “Lord, sanctify this medicine,” then take it. This is because some medicines have negative side effects. So when you ask God to sanctify it, He blesses that medicine. And what will be developing in you, growing bigger and possessing your body until it is too widespread, is divine health!
Beloved, you have been given a measure of faith. Start using it, believing that it is this measure of your faith that causes you to draw from the inexhaustible power of a faithful and loving God!
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. —Exodus 4:12 (niv)
More than 10,000 evangelists and Christian leaders sat in a giant auditorium in Amsterdam in 1986 listening to world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. I sat among them, listening as he narrated some of his experiences. Then, to my surprise, he said, “Let me tell you: every time I stand before the congregation of God’s people to preach, I tremble and my knees wobble!”
What! I wondered. How can such a great preacher who has enthralled millions with his powerful sermons exhibit trembling and wobbling knees? Then he went on to describe not fear and stage fright, but intense humility and meekness as he felt inadequate for the daunting task to which God had called him. He relied on God for strength, not on his own eloquence.
Moses felt inadequate when God sent him to deliver the enslaved Israelites from their 400-year captivity in Egypt. Moses pleaded with the Lord to send someone else, with the excuse that he had never been a good speaker (see Ex.4:10,13).
We may have similar fears when God calls us to do something for Him. But His encouragement to Moses can also spur us on: “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (v.12 niv).
As Billy Graham said that day, “When God calls you, do not be afraid of trembling and wobbling knees, for He will be with you!”
What task does God have for you to do today? Depend on Him by asking for His help.
Wherever God sends us, He comes alongside us.
APPOINTED FAVOR …
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10, NASB
God has already prepared paths for you to take in your future! When God laid out the plan for your life, He lined up the right people, the right circumstances, and the right breaks. In your future, He’s already released favor, supernatural opportunities, and divine connections. The breaks you need in life have already been preordained to come across your path. If you will stay in faith and go out each day and be a person of excellence, you’ll walk into these appointments of favor. It will be just as if you stumbled into God’s blessings!
When you really understand this principle, you’ll begin to get excited about the opportunities in every single day! You’ll have a spring in your step as you think about what blessing is coming next. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. It could be next week! Keep expecting. Keep believing. Stay focused on the fact that God has already released into your future everything you need to fulfill your destiny. Start declaring seasons of increase over your life. Declare that favor is on you and opportunities are coming. Then, get ready to move forward in the favor and blessing God has ordered for you!
TAKE FROM JESUS
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”LUKE 10:41–42
You know the story—Martha was busy serving Jesus while her sister, Mary, sat at His feet and drew from Him words of life. Martha didn’t like it that Mary wasn’t helping her, so she complained about it to Jesus.
Who do you think Jesus defended? He defended Mary.
Many believers think that it’s better to give than to receive. Now, that’s true in our relationships with people. But when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, it’s better to RECEIVE from Him than to try to give to Him! Jesus describes Himself as the “bread of life”, in essence telling us that He wants us to partake of Him and receive from Him all the nourishment, strength, healing, provision and abundant life we can take!
Beloved, our Lord loves it when we take from Him. That’s why Mary pleased Jesus. So I encourage you to be a Mary today. Our loving Savior loves it when we draw from His unending reservoir of strength, wisdom, favor, peace and life!
GODLY SORROW LEADS TO REPENTANCE
Mark 6:12, “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”
“Repent” comes from the Greek word, “metanoeo,” and literally means to have another mind. Repentance is a necessary part of salvation. Repentance may include Godly sorrow, but sorrow does not always include repentance.
Repentance is simply a change of mind accompanied by corresponding actions. There is a Godly type of sorrow and an ungodly type of sorrow. Godly sorrow leads to repentance. Ungodly sorrow, or the sorrow of this world, just kills.
Our culture has rejected all “negative” emotions. But God gave us the capacity for these negative emotions, and there is a proper use of them. Ecclesiastes 7:3 says, “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” People should feel bad about sin. There should be sorrow over our failures. However, this sorrow should lead to repentance. Then, when forgiveness is received, our sorrow should be cast upon the Lord (Isa. 53:4).
The Lord’s statements to His disciples, the night before His crucifixion, caused them sorrow (Mt. 26:21-22; Jn. 16:6). If they would have let that sorrow lead them to repentance, then they wouldn’t have denied the Lord. Peter’s sorrow after his denial of Jesus changed him and, certainly, he never regretted the tears he cried.
The sorrow experienced by those who do not turn to God produces only death. They grieve over their situation because they don’t turn to God (that’s repentance). Christians should only have sorrow until they repent. Once repentance has come, we need to appropriate the forgiveness and cleansing that are already ours through Christ. Godly sorrow that produces repentance leaves us with no regrets. The positive change that our sorrows led us to, changes our attitude towards the things that caused us sorrow. Let the negatives in your life become positives through Jesus.
YOU CAN DO IT!
…we can certainly do it. – Numbers 13:30 NIV
After seeing the giants in the Promised Land, ten of Israel’s twelve spies came back and said, ‘It can’t be done.’ But the other two, Joshua and Caleb, said, ‘It can.’ But because of Israel’s unbelief, Caleb had been forced to spend forty more years wandering through the wilderness. And by the time the Israelites crossed the Jordan River he was almost eighty years old. Then another seven years passed before the various tribes of Israel were assigned land to occupy. Here’s how Caleb described it all, years later: ‘I was forty years old when Moses…sent me…to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’ (Joshua 14:7–8 NIV) If you’ve a negative attitude when you’re 40, there’s a good chance you’ll have one when you’re 85. Actually, there’s a good chance you won’t even make it to 85! Psychologist Martin Seligman studied several hundred people in a religious community; he divided them into quartiles, ranging from the most to the least optimistic. 90% of the optimists were alive at 85, while just 34% of the naysayers made it to the same age. Twelve spies went out, but only Joshua and Caleb had the faith to say, ‘We can do it.’ And over 45 years later Caleb was as feisty as ever! Want to guess what happened to the other ten spies? They died. None of them made it to Caleb’s age. It’s as simple as this: faith and optimism can add years to your life.
THE POWER OF WORDS
Ephesians 4:29 (KJV) Le no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
The words we speak have the power to do great good or great harm. If we speak words of encouragement and hope, we can lift others up. when we do, the effect on us is uplifting too.
Sometimes, when we already feel uplifted and secure, we find it easy to speak kind words. But other times, when we’re discouraged or exhausted, we can scarcely summon the energy to pick up our own spirits, much less anyone else’s. Yet God wants us to speak words of kindness, wisdom, and truth, not matter our circumstances, no matter our emotions. When we do, we share a priceless gift with the world, and we give glory to God.
Today, try to make every word a gift. You’ll discover that kindness is like honey; it’s hard to spread it around without getting a little bit on yourself.
TROUBLES WON’T LAST …
Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT
In this life, God warns that we will have trials and tribulations. The good news is that He also promises to deliver us from them all! Now, He doesn’t necessarily say that He will deliver us instantly, or the way we expect, or on our schedule. It can be tempting to get discouraged when things don’t happen the way you expect. But when you feel like trouble is surrounding you, that’s when you have to dig your heels in and say, “I’m not giving up because God promised me victory!”
If you are going through a dark time today, keep moving through it! Remember, it’s always darkest just before the dawn appears. That difficulty didn’t come to stay, it came to pass. Your job is to stay in faith and keep praising and thanking Him for delivering you. Set your hope in Him, stir up your faith, and keep believing because soon you will see the victory God has prepared for you!
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