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Have the Faith of a Child?

I think the only place in the New Testament where we are told to work is in John 6:29, where we read: “our work is to believe”. To believe is to have faith or trust in God. Faith is described in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1 (KJV) as: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

In Mark’s gospel he quoted Jesus as saying: "Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:22-24).

Faith is knowing that you know, that you know”. It’s believing in our hearts not just head knowledge. Jesus said that when we pray, we should believe that we have what we asked for. Paul said that our faith gives substance to our hopes and evidence to things not seen in the physical realm (Heb 11:1). In other words, when we pray in faith, we have what we ask for, we see it in the spiritual realm, in our hearts and if we stand in faith and patience (Heb 6:12), not doubting, no matter how the devil tries to convince us otherwise, we will see the manifestation of our faith in the physical realm.

A Sunday school Teacher told a group of youngsters that something they had all prayed for some time ago had come to pass. She expected jubilation in the class but the kids just stayed focused on their lessons with little or no reaction. She asked why they were not as excited as she was and they replied, well teacher, God answered our prayer when we first asked him and we have been thanking him, so we knew we would see the manifestation in the natural in due season.

Have faith as a little child (Luke 18:17) eh?

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The Arm of Flesh

The King of Syria laid siege to Jerusalem but Hezekiah, king of Judah and Jerusalem encouraged the people, as recorded in 2 Chronicles chapter 32 and verse 7 and 8 (KJV) saying: “Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and fight our battles”.

That good news caused the people to be at rest.  Praise the Lord. So, what is the "arm of flesh”? It is trusting in your own ability or resources to get things done and that is not what God wants us to do. God wants us, like the people of Jerusalem, to trust in him and let him fight our battles for us.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote: "cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh FLESH his arm"(Jer 17:5). When the young shepherd David was fighting the giant Goliath, he said: Thou comest to me with a sword, but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts". We all know how God honored David for that; David trusted God and God enabled David to kill the giant with a stone.

If you are going through some battles right now let the verses above encourage you and remember: "if God be for us, who can be against us" (Rom 8:31) and: "greater is he who is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4). You may be fighting battles, but you are not doing it alone.

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Check out our web site ( ) for information on our book: “On the Way: Basic Christian Training”, including how to purchase it and also to see more encouraging Bible based blogs. Please recommend our book to others. 

Are you Full of Joy Today?

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”, wrote the prophet Nehemiah (Neh 8:10; KJV). In Isaiah (Isa 61:3) we read that God gives us: “the oil of joy for mourning”. Nothing can take our joy from us (John 16:22) and we can have joy even in trials (James 1:2). In the world people have joy when circumstances dictate but for us, we can always have joy as it is a fruit of the Spirit in us (Gal 5:22).

How do we get and grow our joy? Well, just like everything else in our Christian walk. As we study his word the Holy Spirit brings revelation or understanding of God’s joy (John 15:11). This revelation allows our faith to grow (Rom 10:17) so that we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit and allow him to develop the fruit of Joy in our lives.

In the Bible we see that joy comes to the good man (Eccl 2:26), to the person of humility (Isa 29:19) and as we seek intimacy with God; “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for ever more” (Ps 16:11). Satan will try to steal our joy but he can’t if we cooperate with God (John 16:22). We may get down for a while but if we keep focused on God joy will well up in our spirits (Ps 30:5).

The joy of the Lord is my strength; sounds good to me.

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Does a Casual Relationship with God Cut It?

We all get excited about Mark 11:24, where we are told that if we believe when we pray, we will receive. In other words, faith is believing you have something when you pray, not just when you actually physically receive it.

However, the 15th chapter of John always catches my attention when we think of using our faith to receive from God. In verses 7 and 16 God puts some conditions on our getting our prayers answered. We need to abide in Christ and let his words abide in us and we need to bear fruit, then God can answer our prayers. Abide is to tarry or remain continuously. Fruit is the life changed by God and the godly works that result.  

In other words, a casual relationship with God doesn’t cut it, we need to have genuinely asked Christ into our lives as savior and Lord (Rom 10:9-10). We need to have a genuine desire to press in to him, to allow him to change us, grow us and use us. The life surrendered to God and sold out to his will and purpose will be blessed (Matt 6:33).  

How do we press in? Well, how do you grow any relationship? You spend time, you communicate and you get to know the other person. With God, you spend time in the bible, you pray, you praise him, worship him, and give him thanks, you just spend time in his presence; there are no short cuts. God’s greatest joy is to bless his children (Ps 115:13). Walk and talk with him today

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So often we can become offended with people. Offence is something that causes us to sin or to stumble; like unforgiveness it breaks fellowship and blocks communication. “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Prov 18:19; KJV). we can’t afford offence.

The folks in the town where Jesus grew up could not accept him and his teaching; they were offended and stumbled over the word that brought life (Matt 13:53-58). They were clearly at fault and missed God’s moment of visitation. We must remain humble and teachable.

In another vein, the Bible also has much to say about us not giving offence or causing others to stumble. In the gospel of Matthew chapter 18 and verses 3- 6 Jesus taught about the humility of children and added that: “whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” (v 6). In this passage the millstone treatment makes it very clear that God does not approve of us causing others to stumble. In verse 7 of Matthew chapter 18 Jesus further reinforces God’s disapproval of our causing offense: “woe to the man by whom offence cometh”.    

If we keep our eyes on Jesus and walk in love we will not be offended or give offence.

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