“Because of this we believe that you (really) come from God. Jesus answered them, do you now believe?”
Although the disciples were with Jesus for three years and were witnesses to multiple miracles, signs and wonders. They even saw Jesus walk on water! They still had doubt in their hearts about who he really was. Up until this point they ate, slept, fellowshipped and even celebrated life with Jesus. Yet despite all this there was a question mark looming over their heads. Why is this? It may be that even in our human nature we gear towards doubt due to life circumstances, even when the answer is smack dab in front of us? I believe this is why Paul said we have to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). We as believers must set aside all our human reasoning and take on the mind of Christ, literally. We do this by meditating on his Word day and night so that it penetrates through our minds and circumvent our thoughts to the point that our thoughts become His thought and the only thing we can think on is “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Phil. 4:8).” Then we will be able to doubt our doubts and move forward in Christ as we put doubt to rest and remain in perfect peace as our minds our steadfast on the one who loves us. The disciples knew of the prophets that had done miracles, but Jesus did them frequently and more readily as he fulfilled the prophecies. But when the disciples finally understood, it was only by the revelation of God. Just like with us, as we abide in the Word and are dictated by the Holy Spirit, revelation will come which will help us to believe without question. It takes a habitual walk in the presence of our Lord to receive the manifestation to come forth by faith. God wants us to spend time and build a relationship with him. It seems to me that this is the reason we don’t have instant revelation of his entire Word. But gradually the wisdom of our Lord will abound in us as we put our trust in Jesus and believe in his precious promises.
“God disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it (the cross).” Col. 2:15
God has already given us the strength and power to overcome all situations in life. He has done this in His son Jesus Christ at the cross. Our fight is not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12), for what reward is there in it but exhaustion. The only fight we must contend with is the fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12). Hold fast to the promises of God, knowing that He is faithful. God is not a man that He would lie He is The Truth! Take up your Shield of Faith when the fiery arrows come at you from the devil and they will be extinguished. Saturate yourself in the Word of God so much that as the lies, fears, challenges and distresses come at you from the enemy they will not penetrate or stand. They will only fall at your feet as they submit to the authority that you have in Christ.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.” Joshua 1:8
The Bible clearly states that it contains all that we need to have a successful life on this earth. When we read, ponder and meditate on it day and night we will find our lives to be prosperous. The Word of God is powerful, alive and active (Hebrews 4:12). It’s not an ordinary book, or a temporary best seller, nor is it a short term popular novel. The Bible is anointed and will change your life if you open your heart and mind to what it says. “All things are possible for those who believe! “ Mark 9:23 I can testify that it has changed my entire life. I’ve gone from wretchedness, fear and chaos to peace, joy and love in the Holy Spirit. It’s given me wisdom and knowledge of things that are far beyond my understanding. In the areas of weakness, it has made me strong. Where fear was once a concern it no longer has its grip on me. God’s Word has taught me that despite the negative treatment of others I don’t have to respond in retaliation because my heavenly Father fights on my behalf (Exodus 14:14). When I turn to Him as my recompense the results of the petition is far more rewarding. My prayer for you is that the Spirit of the living God would quicken your heart to embrace the Word, as it is life to those who receive and love for those who would so humbly believe.
“I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort you to contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude 3
Although we have been given the measure of faith, once received we must still take action to keep it a blazed. We must cultivate and continually fight to keep our minds clear of outside forces that try to distract us from the truth of God’s word. Do not allow the daily circumstances of life to supersede and make its self to be our truth; God’s word is truth (Proverbs 30:5). Eradicate all false teachings, perversion, lawlessness, and profanity that try to rule your heart and mind. Refuse to listen to false teachings of men who pervert the grace of God, and keep your mind stayed upon Jesus who is the finisher and perfecter of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). As we live by faith and not by sight we must deliberately chose to shut down the lies of the enemy that attempts to plague our minds, and stand up and take hold of the truth. Keeping one another encouraged and strengthened to contend by faith.
“Sow for yourselves according to righteousness; reap according to mercy and loving-kindness.…” Hosea 10:12
You’ve struggled and worked so diligently, but feel as though nothing has changed. Be encouraged! You’ve blessed so many, having planted a foundation of love upon the soil of the hearts that were sick, lost and broken. You will soon see the abundance of the Lords harvest come upon you.
“So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is your own.” Matthew 25:25
Don’t allow fear to stop you from using the gifts that God has given to you. Although they may seem minute or unimportant to you, they are still a blessing from the Lord. Go and feed the hungry, comfort the broken hearted, visit those who are in prison, or even bake a cake for your neighbor. No matter how big or small it still brings glory unto God (Matt. 25:35-40). If the Holy Spirit is in you he can take even the least talent and multiply it as great as the mustard tree and use it to be a blessing for the world. Don’t bury your gifts where they remain dormant, rather plant them in good soil so that it would produce a harvest that will feed the hungry souls of this generation.
“Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance (let your lives prove your change of heart)” Matt. 3:8
John had given a heavy rebuke to the Pharisees and Sadducees who approached him, exposing their sinful hearts. They made life extremely hard for those who wanted to abide in the Lord by making up religious rules for the people to follow yet they, being the hypocrites that they were, broke many. Outwardly they appeared to be holy but inwardly their hearts where bent towards disobedience. Let us not duplicate their behavior, as they clearly lived a sinful lifestyle. If we truly have a change of heart people would see the fruit of it. When we receive salvation from Christ Jesus there should be a difference in the way we live privately and publically. When we allow the Spirit of God to take control we will experience the difference. Believers should not be engrossed in indecent entertainment or adopt behaviors that reflexes the same (Gal. 5:19-25). God has set us apart to be His holy vessels! I’m not saying that we will be perfect at this, but we should dare to challenge ourselves to begin the process. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and will lead us continually in the path of righteousness as he produces the fruit of his spirit in us (Gal. 5:22-24, Ps. 23:3). Our Father in heaven is on our side and desires for us to succeed in all areas of our lives. God is watching over his word to perform what it says (Jer. 1:12), Jesus is interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34), and the Holy Spirit is our teacher (John 14:26), WE CAN NOT LOSE! Ask the Holy Spirit today to help you in this journey and let your lives prove your change of heart.
“Since all these things are thus in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought (each of) you to be (in the meanwhile) in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities.” 2 Peter 3:11
We must be ready for Jesus’ return, spotless, holy and without blemish (2 Peter 3:14). Believers need to have a lifestyle of holiness and praise unto our Lord Jesus Christ. We can achieve this by meditating on the Word of God day and night and allowing the Holy Spirit to direct our steps in all that we endeavor. This will increase our faith in the knowledge of Him; as we see miraculous result in our lives. Our minds will be renewed to receive a greater understanding of the truth, knowing that His precious promises are real and for us today. This will allow us to view the Bible not as some type of fable, myth or stories of old, but as a road map and guide for our spiritual journey in life. Our ultimate goal is to represent our Lord. Let’s not measure ourselves among ourselves, which would be foolish (2 Cor. 10:12). Beloved, you ought not look to others for your behavioral patterns, but settle in your heart today to stand firm and steadfast in the Word of God as you allow it to be the standard for your life.
“It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; Yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air are able to make nests and dwell in its shade” Mark 4:31-32
Planting faith as small as a mustard seed can grow into a great harvest, but it must first begin with good soil. The soil that is good is the heart that has the desire to habitually walk upright before the Lord, those who possess a longing to know and live obedient for Him. We must be mindful of what we allow into our lives that would influence our judgement and actions (Mark 4:24). If we diligently keep our hearts clean and free of thorns, thistles and the cares of this world, which will utterly choke and suffocate us (Mark 4:7), we can live a sacrificial life that is pleasing to Jesus. Worldly ambitions will only stunt our growth in spiritual matters and eventually kill us (John 10:10). Our Father in heaven wants to give us the desires of our heart, but for us to see it we must tend to our garden and provide the necessary conditions for it to take root. Then we will be able to have the manifestation of the thirty, sixty, hundred fold blessing spring for in our life and the lives of those around us (Mark 4:8).
“A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.”
This is the working of the Holy Spirit within us as we receive Christs’ salvation. There has to be a definite act of will on our part which requires our obedience and loyalty to Him (Ez. 36:11; 23-25). We are to exchange our death for His life (Romans 6:23), our lack for His abundance (Matt. 6:33), our fears for His boldness (2 Cor. 3:11-12), and our defeat for His victory (1 Cor. 15:57), as we walk in the good life and glorify His holy name.
"But you shall be called Hephzibah,
My delight is in her." Isaiah 62:4