Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Keep the Hope

hope-hand.jpg By Pastor Jeff,

1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” We have many sermons about “Faith” and many more about “Love”, but I want to take some time to talk about the middle one in this verse, “Hope”!

Hope is mostly defined as to anticipate something or desire something to happen, when we think of hope we use terms like I hope I get that job, I hope my favorite team wins, I hope we get that house we want, and so on. The bible however says of hope, Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Does that sound like a maybe?

The word hope in the bible means; to expect or confide:—(have, thing) hope (-d) (for), trust, in one definition they used the word “concrete”. Interestingly some translations of the word faith in the bible are the same Greek word translated Hope elsewhere, for example, Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith (Hope) without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;). When we place our “Hope” in Jesus Christ we can be certain, Psalms 71:5, “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.” 14, “But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.”

The enemy of our soul is doing all he can to cause us believers in Jesus Christ to lose hope, and unfortunately our circumstances dictate how we feel about hope more than it should. Sickness, death, finances, relationships all have an affect on our hope. Mercy Me has a new song that I find very powerful in addressing this, one verse goes like this, “I know You are able, I know You can, save through the fire with a mighty hand, but even if You don’t my Hope is in You alone”. This world is not always a pretty place to live but we need to remember that for us believers it’s only temporary. Revelations 21:1-4, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

Keep the HOPE, its not a maybe, its concrete!

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Grace + Faith = Love

eph 2  By Pastor Jeff,

 

These two verses have been used countless times by churches to explain how to obtains ones salvation. But we need to remind ourselves that this book written by Apostle Paul is being written to a people that already have obtained the Born Again experience by repenting of their sins, being baptized in Jesus Name, and having received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

I want to give some clarification so that we may see these verses in its proper contents. Grace has defined by many as being the unmerited favor of God, it is given to us no matter what we do, and all we have to do is accept it. When Peter speaking about how the Gentiles received the same experience as them, he said in Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”  

This Grace does not give us freedom to sin, but gives us the power to not enter into sin, James 4:6-7, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  We thank God for grace, but we need to understand that it is not rare nor is it just for Christians. Ephesians 4:7, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”  Titus 2:11,  “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,” 

The next part I want to talk of is “Faith” and this the bible is pretty clear on its explanation for in Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”  Faith is what empowers us to accept the grace of Jesus Christ in our lives, for when you read the eleventh chapter of Hebrews you will notice that these men and women of faith did not just believe with no action, but in every instance acted on what God told them. James 2:29, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

To have faith does not mean we have blind faith in what God says, we have 66 love letters written to us to tell us how sin came into the world, how one cannot redeem one selves but we need to trust in our Lord Jesus Christ and what He told us to do to be saved. By Faith in God’s grace we can accept His love for us and what He did for us on Calvary. We become a “Whosoever” as mentioned in John 3:16.  By this Faith in His wonderful Grace we obtain our salvation by repenting of our sins, being baptized in the precious name of Jesus Christ for the remission of our sins and then we receive His Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

That’s Grace + Faith = Love and not works, and when we understand the love Jesus has for us, the grace He has given us, and the faith we can walk in, nothing will ever be to hard for Us!

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Get a Bigger Box

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By Pastor Jeff

Luke 17:1-6, ” Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.”

I find it very interesting that in the middle of a sermon on forgiveness that his disciples ask Jesus to “increase their faith”, but it is something that every one of us have asked at times. We like to think that we never have and we will never put God in a box, but in reality we all are guilty of doing just that. When it comes to faith we all are given a measure of it according to Romans 12:3. I thank God that it does not take a lot of faith to obtain salvation, all we have to do is obey Acts 2:38, ” Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

That can be a small box, now don’t believe that just because it’s a small box that it is of no value, can you think of something very valuable that comes in a very small box. Salvation is beyond any value we can place on it but once we have received salvation it is God’s desire for us to grow in faith in His word and in Him. The great thing is that Jesus wants us to  get a bigger box as well. In the two events of the multiplying of the fish and loaves we can see this. In the first one the disciples come to Jesus telling Him to send the people away because they could not provide enough food to feed them all, (Mark 6:32-43) and in the chapter 8 we see a similar event in which Jesus comes to them and asked the question to see if they had learned anything from the first event. I wish we would have seen this event occur third time for I’m sure the faith of the disciples would have been to the point that they would have just had the people seated with plates, forks and napkins.

We need to get bigger boxes or at the very least open the top so our faith can be expanded for whenever we believe that a situation is to big for God we are shutting Him in a box or putting God in smaller box. When we are not sure we can receive our healing, when we don’t believe He can help us in our provision, when we can’t shake an addiction, when we have family issues we are putting God in a box.

Natalie Grant has recently released a song that is very powerful called, “king of the World” and I encourage you to listen to it, for one verse says, “I try to put You in the box that I’ve designed” which really describes how we treat our faith in God. Let’s bust the box or at least imagine a box that contains the entire Universe, for its time for miracles to happen in your life that will transform your life forever, remember for in the beginning God just had to speak and it became, do you think His power has shrunk since then?

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Going Up to the High Places

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By Pastor Jeff,

Ephesians 6:10-12, ” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”

In 1Samuel 14 we have the story of Jonathan and his armour-bearer, in this story we have found that the Philistines have sent a great army as result of a battle earlier in which a garrison was defeated by the Israelites. The Philistines had confiscated most of the weapons and we find that King Saul and about 600 of his men had been hiding in caves. One day Jonathan decided that he had enough and with his armour-bearer left to fight against these Philistines. They came to a valley in which was very difficult to cross, Jonathan told his young armour-bearer that if when they let the Philistines know that they were there that if they called to them to come up that was a sign from God that the victory was theirs. So as they came to the other side they declared themselves to those Philistines and of course they shouted for Jonathan and his armour bearer to come up probably for a whooping. But Jonathan knew with God that it doesn’t take a large army to defeat the enemy, for and armour-bearer had put thier trust in God not in their own abilities. The church needs to realize that as well, we see what is going on in the world, our nation, our cities, and we stay at the bottom of the mountain when all we need to do is climb up it to get our victory!

When Jonathan and his armour-bearer reached the top the bible tells us that they slew 20 men in a small area, the enemy became so shaken by this that they started to run over each other as they tried to flee even to the point of fighting one another. Just two people with faith defeated an entire garrison of war trained Philistines, can you imagine if the entire army of Saul had that faith, can you imagine if the church could generate that much faith. It was Elisha that once declared during a time when the Syrians had come around Israel that those that are for us are more than those for them! Church let’s put on our spiritual glasses and see that though it seems we are outnumbered that indeed we have far more that are for us, Let’s get up that mountain and tear down and take back what the enemy has stolen from us!

I want to give a warning also, for when King Saul heard the sounds of the battle he foolishly told his army to swear not to eat that day. If the people could have gathered energy from the honey they soon found the victory would of been far greater. When God moves sometimes out of our desire to see God move greater we or others that attach themselves to the movement try to take control from God. They come up with programs or determine what should or shouldn’t be done, when sometimes the best thing we can do is get out-of-the-way!

Remember we are nothing by ourselves but with God all things are possible!

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Mustard Seed Faith

mustard-seed-faith-matthew-1720

By Pastor Jeff,

Matthew 17:20,“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between “Little Faith” and “Mustard Seed Faith?” I have, it seems to me that a mustard seed would qualify as being “little” right?

Jesus didn’t speak to favourably to those who He attributed had “little faith”, but He said the opposite if we had faith of a mustard seed. More than once we see Him condemn the disciples when confronted in various situations as having “little faith”. Matthew 8:25-26, “And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”

So what is little faith? the word “little” means “incredulous (unwilling to believe) or lacking confidence”, it’s a faith that is stagnant, weak, not trusting or believing in someone or something. It’s a do nothing faith as spoken by James in chapter 2 verse 17, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”.

This is the opposite of mustard seed faith, Mark 4:30-32, “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.” The mustard seed though having a very small beginning, it measures about 1/64th of an inch, when it is planted into the soil grows to a rather large tree, about 20 feet high and 20 feet wide. It can grow in the worst of soils and all different climates, just as we as Christians must do.

It’s a faith that will take chances, maybe because of its smallness it must rely on its creator much more than the larger seeds in this world, the largest seed is the “Coco der mer” measuring up to 12 inches and weighing 40 pounds. Little faith puts limits on God, mustard seed faith says all things are possible, little faith does not allow for healings, mustard seed faith expects it, little faith does not believe in miracles, mustard seed faith cries out for it. Little faith cannot stand up to the pressures of this word, mustard seed faith pushes back, little faith affects no one for the kingdom, mustard seed faith turns the world upside down for Jesus Christ.

So if you would describe your faith, would it be “little faith” or “mustard seed faith”?

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Who do we Fear?

fearswide-620x349  By Pastor Jeff

Fears, we all have them no matter how much we deny we do. Most christians associate fear with a lack of faith but we need to ask ourselves is all fear a bad thing?

Well it depends what meaning of fear we are talking about, the Old testament has over 24 different meanings for the word afraid, fear, fears, fearful, and fearing, the New Testament has at least 10. And not all are associated as bad, Proverbs 3:7, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” or the most well-known Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” You see many times the meaning af the word fear is defined as “revere or give reverence to” that is definitely not lacking of faith is it? If I fear being burned, I will keep my body away from a flame or something that may cause a burn, is this a lack of faith? Of course not, we need to understand that the english language and those that translated the word of God from its original had a tremendous task of trying to use the correct words in our rather limited language English. They did an excellent job but we need to get our definition from the context of what is being read.

It is interesting to read all the different fears or “phobias” that are described in the medical field, some are seemingly foolish such as “Barophobia– fear of gravity” since you really can’t do much about it or “Chaetophobia” fear of Hair” I guess that’s why I’m bald. But some are way more serious and can control us for when I was younger I had a severe fear of public speaking “Glossophobia”, I know a great fear for someone who would become preacher. But it was delibatating to me, I would become petrified at the very thought of having to stand up in front of any group to give a speech. So how did I overcome it? through the power of the Spirit of the Almighty and the word of God! did it happen over night? No, but one of the first scriptures I put to memory was Hebrews 13:6, “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”and 2Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The word of God is one of the most powerful tools that any believer can tap into to help him or her overcome any fear of man that we have!

Let us be bold for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not be found in the number of people that are found missing heaven in the book of Revelations 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” The word fear here means, timid or faithless, not a word that should be associated with church of Jesus Christ for not even the gates of hell can prevail against it!

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His Beautiful Creation

Myrtlebeach   By Pastor Jeff

Recently I had the great opportunity to spend some time in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. I’ve had the great blessing of being there several times now and every time when I stand on the beach looking over the vast ocean that our Lord Jesus Christ created it just takes my breath away! I can’t help not just to wade out into the ocean with the waves hitting my body to lift up my hands to Him and just thank Him for the beautiful word He created for us. After each day in our God’s creation of this world and the heavens that we can see and can’t see, He told us it “was good” and after He finished on the sixth day God said in Genesis 1:31, “…it was very good”! How can anyone look at all the beauty that is on our world or even look up in the vast skies and ever think that this came about as an accident some several billion years ago. Psalms 139:14, “I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well”  To study and understand the complexity of everything on this earth, living and non-living and declare that some cosmic boom that happened 12-15 billion years ago formed our universe, and out of that 4 billion years ago our moon and earth developed, then through a chemical reaction occurring on its own a cell was formed, then so on and so on until we have what we have before us takes a tremendous amount of faith not “true science” to believe. So the next time I have the opportunity to stand on a beach and look over one of our oceans, to look up into the heavens on a star lit night, to look at a sunrise or sunset, to see a deer run across our backyard, or hold in my arms a newborn baby, I will once again lift up my hands to the heavens and thank God for His beautiful creation!

My Thoughts about Revival

Revival, Biblical Lessons, Apostolic