Trials of Our Faith

 

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1: 1-2

 

 

pearl

1 Peter 1: 3-9, 1 Peter 4: 12-19 Matthew 13:45-46

heart-turquoise-howlite“If you have placed your faith in God’s grace for salvation through Jesus Christ be Encouraged.”

(1 Thessalonians 3:2-3)

heart-turquoise-howlite“The Lord, He is Good. His dealings towards you are always Purposeful , Compassionate, Producing Eternal Fruit.”

 (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12: 5-6, Jeremiah 29:11)

heart-turquoise-howlite“In all of your trials and in all of your circumstances you will come full circle with this knowledge; God is Good, Merciful, Trustworthy and Faithful to
“Complete your Salvation.

(Romans 8:1, Hebrews 12:2, Philippians 1:6)

heart-turquoise-howlite“The One who has made Salvation possible not by your works but only through His Work at the Cross is Worthy of your Trust.”

 (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 heart-turquoise-howlite“He will keep you in faith until the Day of His Coming.”

 (1 Peter 1:7, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30)

 heart-turquoise-howlite“You are Sealed through His blood covenant and are Made ready by His Holy Spirit.

(Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22, Hebrews 9: 14)

heart-turquoise-howlite“He is the Good Shepherd who looks after his sheep with meticulous inspections, cleansing you with His Sanctification while Restoring you to Himself.”

(Psalm 51: 12-13, John 17,19, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1Corinthians 6:11, James 5:19,
Galatians 6:1, 1 John 1:9)

heart-turquoise-howlite“No one can snatch you away from the Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for your soul.  You are in His Sheepfold and All his Gates lead to New and Green Pastures.”
                                          (John 10: 28-29, Psalm 119: 67, Psalm 100:3-4, Psalm 23:2)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Every trial is filtered through His Love and Accomplishes His Will for You.

 (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Every trial works towards the goal of Renewal and Transformation.”

(Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

heart-turquoise-howlite“In every circumstance it is His desire that you “Know Him as He Really Is.”

 (Job 42:1-6, 1 John 5:20, John 17:3, John 4:23-24, 1 John 2:3)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Trust in His Goodness and be patient in your trial, allowing the Lord to accomplish his Perfect Will, Establishing your Faith in Him.”

(Colossians 1:23)

heart-turquoise-howlite“God will bring you to the “Cross”- road of decision where you choose to Decide in Whom you will Follow.

(James 1: 2-5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“When He has finished the work, in the fullness of time, He will deliver you.”

(Romans 8:34, Luke 22:32, 1 Peter 5:6)

heart-turquoise-howlite“You will not be put to shame as you Focus on Him.”

(Psalm 34:5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Your face will shine like the sun (Son) Reflecting His Love.”

(Psalm 34:5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“And you will know that the Lord, “Yes” the Lord, He is Good; He is always Good!”
(Psalm 86:5)

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Bloom Where God Plants You

 

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Jeremiah 29: 1-32
Focus: Jeremiah 29: 10-14

“This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. b I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” NIV

The Israelites were in exile from their land residing in Babylon. After seventy years God promises to bring them back to their homeland. His promise was a plan to prosper them and not harm them and to give them a hope and a future. Then the people would call on Him and pray, seeking Him with their whole heart and He would be found, restoring them back from their captivity.

Exile means being led captive in a foreign land. Everything in this land is unfamiliar and strange. Our circumstance can be such that we are in captivity with no way out.  Yet this is the very place God has placed us to restore us unto Himself.

Instead of seeking escape in this strange, uncomfortable circumstance, the Lord wants us to grow by learning to depend completely on Him. He wants us to develop Christ-like character as we come against the enemy in our midst.  Here, our swords (Word of God) will be sharpened, and we will learn submission, and how to wait on the Lord to do what only He can do.  This circumstance will restore us, with the knowledge of Who God is and Who we are and His purpose in relationship to Himself and with one another.
(1 Peter 4: 12-19)

Where there is no comfort nor rest, nor freedom to follow after our own desires,  His desire becomes our desire, to seek only His face where there is contentment, and hope. This is where the transformation takes place.
(Song of Solomon 8:5)

My prayer has been to be “real”. I’ve gone through the motions of Christianity long enough, imitating as best I could. But it hasn’t been enough.  In this weary and foreign land, I’am discovering, in everything and in all things, He is enough, He is more than enough.
“Lord, make me into your vessel, poured out, worthy of your praise, a conduit of your love, mercy and grace in Jesus’ Name”

I heard Him say, “Believe I am for you.”  ( Romans 8:28-39)

 

 

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Our Sanctification- 101 (part 2)

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Psalm 101: 1-8
Focus: Psalm 101:3
“I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly, I will have nothing to do with them.”

In this passage David makes a commitment to stay away from things that are wicked and vile and to not associate with those who have a disregard for godliness.

Today it is a challenge avoiding the appearance of evil. It is present in the media on billboards, commercials, entertainment and in common speech.  You can be watching an innocent program on tv, when suddenly an offensive commercial invades.  You no longer have to search for evil, it is in everything.  Innocent children’s stories have succumbed to evil themes, indoctrination of what was once considered perverse is being embraced. So  much is the compromise occuring, it seems almost impossible to avoid it without offending family members and friends. (1 John 2:15)

But with every temptation the Lord gives us an escape. But we must call upon Him immediately and be in constant meditation of the Word. ( 1 Corinthians 10:13)

How are we to be lights in darkness? By refusing to compromise with evil and standing firm, we make a distinction and overcome evil with good.

Lord, it is so hard to live a godly life, set apart from the world, but through yielding ourselves to your Holy Spirit, we know you help us overcome.  Keep our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus, and filter out the garbage that would cloud our vision as we confess our sins, and look upon your righteousness, not our own.
For through faith in your sacrifice we are made righteous, alone.
(Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3: 20-22, 1 John 1:9)

CR – Romans 12:9

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

― Martin Luther

 

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Our Sanctification – 101

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Psalm 101: 1-8
Focus: Psalm 101: 1-2

“I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.  I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;”

I recognize God is loving and Just and I praise Him and thank Him for giving me His Holy Spirit to help me live a sanctified life.  My faith is in Him and not myself.
David knew God rewarded a life yielded to His Holiness, and desired to live a blameless life. But at the same time, when he says, “Oh when will you come to me”” he realizes it would be impossible for him to accomplish this himself.
Under the covenant of grace through faith in Christ’s salvation we receive His Holy Spirit. By yielding to His Holy Spirit and applying His Word to our life, the believer is cleansed and sanctified. But it is still a choice to do both.

The Holy Spirit convicts and guides and confirms the Word of Truth. The Word of God has the power to cleanse and heal and set-apart a life to serve and follow Christ.

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 
1 Corinthians 6:11

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God’s Angels and His Gospel

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Luke 1: 1-38
Focus: Luke 1: 26-33

Mary was astonished at the words of the angel Gabriel announcing she would conceive and give birth to Jesus, God’s Son, so she became afraid, and I suppose anyone witnessing a spiritual being as magnificent and powerful as an angel would also be alarmed.  In fact, there are instances cited in the Word of God of the appearance of God’s angels, in their true form, where the person who witnesses one, falls down in a deep faint as dead, unless they appear in a human form.
(Matthew 28: 2-5, Genesis 19: 1-22)

So why is it at Christmas the representations of angels have a female or fairy-like appearance? The two angels cited in the Bible are Gabriel and Michael. One a messenger of news that changes the world and the other a heavenly warrior who wars against satan’s army by leading a heavenly host.

Similarly, I remember a whole sermon taught on the donkey Mary rode to Bethlehem. So inspirational was its message, I looked up the passages for myself, only to discover, no donkey is mentioned.  She might have ridden a donkey, but it’s assumed; not the Word of God.

Angels’ are God’s heavenly servants who are His messengers, warriors, ministering spirits and lead worship at GOD’s throne.  They also minister to those who are saved to strengthen and intervene  according to God’s plan for their life. But, not much is written concerning them, but much is written about the Son of God whom they serve.

Angels are never to be worshipped or take the place of God’s Holy Son, Jesus Christ.
And those who tried to worship them were told only to worship God.
(Revelations 22:8-9)

So how important is it to know God’s Word?  It is imperative in order to know the Truth and live a godly life.
( Hosea 4:6)

Paul did not speak with eloquent words or tried to polish the gospel with magic tricks or clever words. Once I wrote a clever message about the cross, to get across the gospel in a unique way – The Cross is a Positive Sign.  It was not the gospel and made void the Word of God. So, I repented and took it down.
(1 Corinthians 2: 1-5)

I’ve witnessed magic tricks displayed to present the gospel to children, and then I thought, I did not come to Christ by flashy demonstrations nor by a play on words.  I came to believe only by the power of God’s Word.
(Romans 10: 8-10, Romans 1:16)

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being ignorant or accepting anything but Your Word.  Let us understand what is true, so in our worship and celebrations we represent only You.

Read God’s Word for Yourself
Your Salvation Depends Upon it.

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When there is Doubt be Mute

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Luke 1: 1-80
Focus: Luke 1: 18-22

“And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
Luke 1: 18-20

When there is Doubt
Do not Speak

When Zachariah did not believe the Word from the Lord, the angel, Gabriel struck him mute. It would seem to be a harsh thing, yet it was imperative the Word of God be received through faith and belief.  (Romans 10: 5-13, Hebrews 11:1, Numbers 23:19)

God’s Word is Truth and when speaking the Truth the seed of promise is sown in belief and results in the promise being fulfilled according to God’s purpose.  But when unbelief concerning God’s Word is spoken, it sows doubt and confusion, working against the promise of God’s purpose.  Nevertheless, God’s promises which are purposed can not be changed, nondependent on man’s faithfulness, but only God’s. Yet when doubt comes and is “spoken” strife develops instead of God’s peace for the one in disbelief.

So it is better to remain mute when doubting God’s Word, rather than to speak.
While sowing God’s Word by speaking it, whether or not, it is seen, heard or felt, will surely bring about spiritual eternal blessings to all who hear the Word of God and believe it.
(Matthew 13: 1-23, Luke 6: 46-49)

 

 

 

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God’s Messenger

SummaryReflection – Prayer
To
God’s Word
While Walking it Out

Context: Luke 1: 1-79
Focus: Luke 1: 5-17

“Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the “Altar of Incense.”( my emphasis)   Luke 1: 8-11

Zechariah was chosen to make intercession for God’s people in the temple while burning incense at the altar. . During this time, an angel of the Lord appeared with God’s message; his prayers were heard. The angel announced, it would be through his son, John, God would prepare His people for the coming of their Savior and Lord.

Scriptures reveal when God is doing a work involving all His people, He sends an angel to confirm the answer to prayer.  We know that after 21 days while Daniel was interceding for Israel, an angel appeared to tell him what was to come, and when Mary was to conceive the Son of God, the angel, Gabriel told her the good news of Jesus’ birth.

Now, when the children of God, who have been born again into the Kingdom of God’s Son, receive an answer to prayer, it is by His Holy Spirit what is to come is revealed.

As children of the living God, through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, God does something greater than sending an angel, He sends His Holy Spirit who dwells within the believer and the High Priest, Jesus Christ STANDS at the right – hand side of the Father, interceding for His church- His Bride betrothed.
(John 3: 3, Ephesians 1: 13, Philippians 1: 4-6,
Romans 8:34, Luke 22: 31-32, John 16:13 )

Thank You, Lord it is not by might nor by power but by your Holy Spirit you are revealed.
(Matthew 16: 16-17, Zechariah 4:6)

 

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