Faith and Patience

pf icon Faith and Patience

Blog Striking Faith and Patience Faith and PatienceFaith without patience produces people who start off good, but burnout over time.  Patience without faith produces people that constantly suffer, but have no power to change their situation.  In this series we will investigate the Biblical evidence for living a life of Faith and Patience.  These two combined will enable us to inherit the promises.  These two are the Power Twins!

·  The Introduction

·  Understanding Faith:

·  What is Faith?

·  Why is Faith Important?

·  How is Faith Developed?

·  How is Faith Exercised?

·  Understanding Patience:

·  What is Patience?

·  Why is Patience Important?

·  What does Patience produce?

·  What does Patience produce? (Part II)

·  No Matter the Test

·  Faith and Patience:

·  The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 1)

·  The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 2)

·  The_Space_between_the_Promise_and_the_Performance_(Part_3)

·  The_Space_between_the_Promise_and_the_Performance_(Part_4)

·  The_Space_between_the_Promise_and_the_Performance_(Part_5)

·  Other examples of Faith and Patience

·  Don’t let anything Derail Your Faith!

·  Don’t ever give up on Your Dream!

·  Consistent Faith is the Key to Victorious Living!

·  Consistent Faith Overcomes Fear!

·  You never know how close you are to Your Breakthrough!

·  Tying it all together

·  Never fling away your Fearless Confidence!

·  Patience Must Come!

·  Build Your Life Upon the Rock!

·  Overcoming Temptation

·  Love is the Glue!

·  Imitators of Faith and Patience

·  Stay Your Course, Finish Your Race, Fulfill Your Purpose!

·  God is Committed to Your Development!

·  A Spirit-led, Word Rooted, and Faith Empowered Life!

·  Faith and Patience in Operation!

·  Choose to Align Your Will with His Will!

·  You are not Wasting Your Time!

·  The Benefits:

·  The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience

·  The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 2)

·  The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 3)

·  The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 4)

·  The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 5)

·  The Secret to Paul’s Success – a Life of Faith!

Faith and Patience – The Power Twins (top of page)

Last week we finished up our series on the ‘Miracles of Jesus’ and I pray that it was a blessing to you.  As always, I was in prayer about what to deal with next.  I read a mini-book by Kenneth Copeland entitled “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins” that blessed me.  So much so that I started studying this topic and I feed led to share a series on it.  Last week a traveled to Texas and I studied on this topic as I went.  The flight there was fine.  I prayed, as I normally do, for favor, protection, peace, etc.; and for God to use me to minister to others during the trip.  The Lord blessed and everything went wonderfully on the way there and while I was there.  Friday I traveled back and I was really meditating on faith and patience.  The day started early, because my first of three flights was scheduled to take off at 6:15am.  I always write and send out Today’s Word before I do anything else, so I got up at 3:45am.  I got up, prayed, sent out Today’s Word, and headed towards the airport (only a few miles away) with great expectations.  Remember, however, that I was meditating on faith and patience.

My first flight was delayed.  I took the opportunity review some more scriptures on this topic.  I got to Dallas and realized that I had a long layover.  I enjoyed the time, had breakfast, and continued on.  After the long wait I found out that my second flight was also delayed.  Delayed long enough that might miss my connection in Atlanta.  I stayed encouraged and reminded myself of how patience is developed; through the testing of my faith.  After the delay, we took off and I arrived in Atlanta in Terminal T, my connecting flight was in Terminal D, four terminals away.  I had a couple of minutes and still believed and declared, by faith, that I would make it.  I ran to the train, just to find out that the train was not working.  I hustled passed a mob of angry people, dodging people along the way, to finally get to terminal D and to my gate.  I got there sweating and breathing heavily, just to find out that my plane had just left and that I would have to wait another two and a half hours.  Once again, I did not allow frustration to set in.  I grabbed a bite to eat, sought to minister to others, and patiently waited.  After the two and a half hours we started to board the plane, just to find out that due to a mechanical error we would have to wait for another plane, which would take over another hour.  Once again, I determined not to allow my external circumstances to change my internal condition.  I did work on my laptop, was led to share the Word with a few people, and finally left Atlanta.  I got to Augusta just to realize that my bag had not made it, even through I waited for so long.  I was able to share some things with a couple that was also waiting for their bags and I praised God for that.  On the drive home I thought about all the people I was able to share a Word of encouragement with throughout the day, thereby renewing my joy.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that in this series we will learn that faith and patience are both forces.  Faith is developed by the Word of God and patience is developed through the testing of our faith.  Sometimes things are going to happen that seem like direct opposites of what we prayed for, even when we prayed in faith.  We must learn that we are not being testing, but rather our faith is.  Faith, when tested, develops patience.  If we let patience develop in our lives we become mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:3,4).  I trust that this series will be a blessing to you.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I choose to agree with Your Word when trails come.  I count it all joy, because I know that my faith is testing under pressure and that when I allow my faith to work and remain steadfast in my belief, patience is developed.  I allow this developing process to run its course so that I will become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.  I face this day and this week with faith and patience.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What is Faith? (top of page)

(Heb 11:1 AMP)  Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].

This morning we start to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  We will spend a few days seeking to understand faith, a few days on patience, and then really get into tying them both together.  We can’t go anywhere until we deal with the first question: what is faith?  I have heard many definitions throughout the years.  Here are a few that I agree with:

1.       Faith is confident assurance that God will do what He said He would do.

2.       Faith is biblical evidence of what we cannot see.

3.       Faith is perceiving as real what you cannot verify with your senses.

There is a fundamental difference between hope and faith.  Hope is ‘open-ended,’ meaning that it is not tied to anything.  You can hope to be successful in life, hope to be healed of a sickness, hope to be promoted, and etc.; but this is no more than wishful thinking.  Lots of people hope and wish for things.  Faith adds substance to this hope.  Faith must be tied to God’s Word.  When we tie God’s Word to what we hope for, then we have confidence that He will do what He said He would do.  The Bible tells us that God does not change His mind (Num 23:19) and that He cannot lie (Titus 1:2).  So when we substantiate our hope with the Word of God, we can have confidence that He will bring it to pass.

Last week I stated that our faith in people is tied to their character and their track record.  If a person that we have known for ten years promises us that they are going to do something for us, we immediate correlate our expectation of the completion of the promise to our knowledge of their character and their track record.  Well, God has a proven track record and flawless character.  He will do what He said He would do.  So then, faith is believing the Word of God to be real, even through you may not be able to verify what you are believing with your senses.  It does not require faith if you can verity it in the sense realm.  It does require faith, however, to believe in a God that you cannot see and to furthermore believe that this invisible God will make a difference in your visible world.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you can think about being victorious and successful in life and hope that you will somehow achieve it, but when your dreams and desires are rooted in the Word of God, you can operate in faith.  Faith gives substance and confidence to your thoughts and produces Godly images of His expected outcome.  Without faith we often lose the battle in our minds because of the constant barrage of impure and negative thoughts; but with faith we are able to extinguish the enemy’s darts (Eph 6:16) and listen clearly to God’s thoughts, plans, and dreams.  Search the Bible for scriptures that apply to your current situation, meditate on them and repeat them with your mouth constantly; believe them wholeheartedly and watch them come to pass.  That is faith!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am confident in the things that I hope for because my hope is established in Your Word.  I am not expecting You to do anything that You have not stated in Your Word that You would do.  I am expecting to You to do, however, everything You said You would.  My hope is established in Your promises and I operate in faith.  Through faith and patience, I too, inherit Your promises in my life.  I enter this day with great expectations!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Why is Faith Important? (top of page)

(Heb 11:6 MSG)  It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  Yesterday we discussed what faith was.  This morning we investigate why faith is important.  If you have been receiving these messages for any length of time, I am sure that you have seen a common denominator in most of the messages and that commonality is faith.  Faith is woven into everything that we do in the Kingdom of God.  It has been said, and I agree, that faith is the currency of the Kingdom.

So what’s the big deal about faith?  To answer this question we need go no further that our text for this morning.  We all want to live a life that is pleasing to God.  We all want the favor of God upon our lives.  We all want God to respond to our prayers.  This text teaches us that it is literally impossible to please God without faith.  Can you see the gravity of the topic?  If it is impossible to please God without faith, then we should want to know more about it, to ensure that we are pleasing to God.  Let’s take a look at some of the things that the Bible says we do, as believers, through faith.  The Bible teaches us that we:

1.       Are saved through the vehicle of faith (Eph 2:8,9).

2.       Are to live by faith (Ro 1:17, Gal 2:20, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38).

3.       To be even clearer, we are instructed to live by “our” faith (Hab 2:4).

4.       To walk by faith and not by our senses (2 Cor 5:7).

5.       To fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12).

6.       Are taught that the prayer of faith can heal the sick (James 5:15).

7.       Are taught that every Born-Again believer can experience world-overcoming victory, and that this victory that overcomes the world is accessed through faith.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that nothing is done in the Kingdom of God without faith.  God requires faith.  Faith moves Him.  The absence of faith disappoints Him and opens a door for the operation of fear.  Faith, however, cancels fear.  So open yourself up in this series and prepare to receive instruction on how to develop faith and patience in your life, so that you too can inherit the promises of God (Heb 6:12).

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I live a life that is pleasing to You and I do it through faith.  I first came to You in faith for my salvation.  I now live by my faith.  I walk by faith and spirit realm evidence, not by mere sense realm evidence.  Your Word is more real to me that what I can see.  I believe Your Word over my circumstances.  The only fight that I fight is the fight of faith.  I pray in faith and You turn my hopeless situations around.  I experience world-overcoming victory, today and everyday, and I experience this victory through faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

How is Faith Developed? (top of page)

(Rom 10:17 KJV)  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  We  have discussed what faith is and why it is important, now we seek to understand how it is developed.  This is key because many people believe that faith is developed through trails, but we will see in this series that faith is actually tested in trails and that patience is developed through the testing of our faith.  Our faith must be developed before the situation arises in our life, if we want to come out victorious.  So how then is faith developed?  Let’s look at a few things:

1.       God has dealt to every believer a measure of faith:  In Romans 12 the Holy Spirit through Paul teaches us about giftings from God to believers.  These gifts are listed in verses 4-8.  Before Paul even lists the gifts he states (v.3 BBE), “But I say to every one of you, through the grace given to me, not to have an over-high opinion of himself, but to have wise thoughts, as God has given to every one a measure of faith.”  In context, this is not a reference to every human being, but rather to every believer.  Every believer has been dealt, from God, a measure of faith.  This measure, however, must be developed.

2.       Faith is developed through the Word:  Remember that faith is a confident assurance that God will do what He said He would do.  You cannot apply faith in what God said He would do, if you do not know what He said.  Faith, then, is tied to the Word of God.  The more you investigate the scriptures on any given subject, the more promises you will be able to stand on in that area.  The more promises you are able to stand on, the more faith you are able to exercise.  You can then see how faith is developed through the Word.  For example.  If I am sick and I read one scripture about God’s healing power, I can then exercise “one scripture faith” to be healed.  But if I study the scriptures and find twenty scriptures that indicate that God can heal, then I can exercise “twenty scripture faith,” and etc.

3.       Developed faith enables us to live as God desires for us to live:  I covered yesterday how four scriptures (Rom 1:17, Gal 2:20, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38) in the Bible instruct us that we should “live by faith,” and how Habakkuk 2:4 further clarifies it and states that we should live by our faith.  Well, if we look at Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 we find Jesus quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3 and stating, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  We can see then that several scriptures teach us that we should live by faith, whereas others state that we should live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  Is this a contradiction?  No!  We live by faith, by living in the Word.  Faith is developed through the Word.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we don’t accomplish much by praying and asking God to give us faith.  He has already done it.  We don’t even need to ask God to increase our faith; our faith is developed through studying and applying the Word of God.  Once you know what God’s promises are, then you can believe – by faith – that He will bring them to pass in your life.  Without knowing what He promised, the best you can do is hope or wish. Hoping or wishing for kindness is OK, but developing our faith through the Word is better!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I do not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from Your mouth.  When I read Your Word I receive it as if You were in the room with me and speaking it directly to me.  Your Word increases my faith.  I live by faith, because I live by Your Word.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

How is Faith Exercised? (top of page)

(2 Cor 5:7 KJV)  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  We have discussed what faith is, why it is important, and how it is developed.  We have covered the topic for this morning in many of the series that we have done, but we will seek to review some basic tenets of how we exercise our faith:

1.       Faith speaks the desired outcome:  We see God the Father as an example of this in the creation.  He saw that the earth was without form and void, but that is not what He spoke.  He spoke what He desired, not what He saw.  He did not say, “Wow, it sure it messed up out there.”  No, He said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Hebrews 11:3 teaches us that the worlds were formed by words and Romans 4:17 teaches us that God calls what is not, like it is, thereby changing the situation with His words.  Jesus did the same things on numerous occasions: He spoke to a fig tree and His words caused it to shrivel up (Mark 11:14), He spoke to a Centurion and His words caused the Centurion’s sick servant to be healed (Mat 8:13), He spoke to Lazarus’ dead and stinking body and His words caused Lazarus to come back to life after four days (John 11:43); and etc.  Others also came to Jesus and spoke their desired outcome from Him and He honored their faith.  The point is that there is power of death and life in the tongue (Prov 18:20,21) and we must be careful to release life and not death with our words.  Faith speaks the desired outcome, in accordance with the Word of God, and believes that it will come to pass (Mark 11:23).  So no matter what your circumstance is this morning, you can speak Your desired outcome, in accordance with the Word, in faith, and believe that it will come to pass in your life.

2.       Faith speaks pertinent promises:  This is a very important key.  When people don’t understand this key they tend to sound “super religious” or “spooky.”  You get to talking to them about their situation and they begin to quote scriptures or say things that have nothing to do with what they are going through.  This is simply not effective.  Jesus spoke to people that were hungry about bread, He spoke to people that were in darkness about light, and He spoke to people that were dealing with death about life.  Likewise, the Bible is full of promises that pertain to any situation, but we must exercise due diligence in seeking the Word to find pertinent promises and to stand on them.  Faith in pertinent promises brings about permanent change!

3.       Faith never cancels itself with fear, doubt, and unbelief:  Faith and fear are opposing forces.  James said (1:5-7), “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.”  James teaches us that a man that wavers will not receive anything from the Lord.  This is serious.  You cannot operate in faith one minute, but then doubt the next.  You must be single-minded, stand on the Word of God, and give yourself no option for a plan B.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I commit myself to exercising faith in my life.  I search the scriptures daily.  I find the promises that pertain to my situation and I speak those pertinent promises, in faith.  I, like You, call those things which be not as through they were, until they become what I have called.  I do not allow what I see to change what I say.  I never cancel my faith with doubt.  I doubt my doubt and have faith in my faith.  I stand on the Word.  I stand on Your promises.  I know that You are not a liar and that You will bring to pass what You have said.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What is Patience? (top of page)

(Heb 10:36 KJV)  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  Last week we laid the foundation for faith and this week we will do the same for patience.  Ultimately, we will tie them both together and see how these “Power Twins” can assist us in obtaining the promises of God.

What is patience? Most people think of patience as simply waiting.  In one sense this is true, but biblical patience is more specific than simply waiting.  The word translated patience (information from the Blue Letter Bible Lexicon) in our text is a Greek word that means: steadfastness, consistency, endurance; the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith, even the greatest trials and sufferings; a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance.  In light of this information, I define patience as “the ability to remain the same, no matter what the circumstances may be.”  Patience is more than simply waiting on something to happen, but rather remaining the same while you wait.  You can see how this ability, coupled with faith, is very important.  You must know what to do in the space between “I believe, in Jesus’ name.  Amen;” and “there it is!”  This is what I call the space between the promise and the performance.  The enemy will make every attempt to get you to lose heart during that space.  He will tell you that God is not going to do it, that He did not hear your prayer, that you need to lower your expectations, and etc.  This ability to remain the same (patience) will enable you to combat the thoughts of fear, doubt, and unbelief; and make it possible for you to remain in faith.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you need patience in your Christian walk.  Patience will enable you to remain consistent, especially in the space between you receiving the promise by faith and the manifestation of the promise in your life.  We will see in this series that patience is developed by the testing of your faith and how you must couple patience and faith together to receive the promises of God.

Are there some things that you have prayed for, by faith, that have not yet happened?  Are you still expecting those things to come to pass or have you given up hope?  The enemy would want you to doubt and not operate in faith. The message for you this morning is to doubt your doubt and have faith in your faith.  Don’t lost heart.  Have faith in God.  Remain the same; continue to operate in faith, until you see in your hands what you already see in your heart, by faith!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare by faith that patience is at work in my life.  Patience enables me to remain the same, no matter the circumstances.  I am not inconsistent.  I am not driven with the wind.  I live a strong and stable life, because I live a life of faith and patience.  I doubt the doubt that the enemy attacks my with and I have faith in the faith that I release when I pray in accordance with Your Word.  I consider You faithful, Lord, to bring to pass all that You have promised.  I have great expectations!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Why is Patience Important? (top of page)

(Luke 21:19 KJV)  “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  Yesterday we defined patience to be “the ability to remain the same.”  Today we will see why that is so important in this walk with Christ.

In Luke 21 Jesus spoke to the disciples about the signs of the end of time.  He foretold of a time when “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.  But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.  They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name.  This will result in your being witnesses to them.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  All men will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish” (verses 10-18).

What is the answer to all of this?  How would the disciples and those to come (believers today) be able to overcome the trials and testings of this world?  The answer is found in the next verse, our text for this morning.  Patience is the key.  This is not just a quiet passive adherence to terrible conditions, but rather an inner force that empowers the believer to remain constant and steadfast, inwardly; no matter what may be happen outwardly.  Patience is critical in the life of the believer.  I have stated that faith is the currency of the Kingdom and how nothing happens in God without faith.  This is true, but patience gives us the ability to remain the same while we are waiting on the manifestation of our faith.  Remember that fear cancels faith and faith cancels fear.  Without patience, without the ability to remain the same, most people will cancel out their faith with fear, doubt, and unbelief; before they ever see the manifestation of it.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that patience is very important because it enables us to focus on the promise while we are dealing with the problem.  Jesus said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace.  In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart!  I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 MSG).  Patience is the force that reminds us that we are more than conquerors (Rom 8:37) through Christ, even when we are facing difficult challenges.  Patience empowers us to remain the same, inwardly, and keeps us from buckling to the challenge.  Remember that we are not on trail, our faith is. Patience helps us remain the same while our faith is tested and this exercise in consistency produces maturity in Christ (James 1:4).

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  In patience I possess my soul.  My soul is my mind, emotions, and will.  I develop patience, thereby taking control of my thoughts, my feelings, and my desires.  I declare, by faith, that I will be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in Your work, Lord.  My steadfast patience enables me to enjoy a life of faith and consistency.  I face this day with fearless confidence.  Nothing can shake me.  I am a child of God and a child of faith and patience.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What does Patience produce? (top of page)

(James 1:4 AMP)  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  Yesterday we saw why patience was important.  Today we will see what it produces in our lives.  James opens up his letter with a short greeting and then quickly transitions into instruction.  He says (verses 2,3 from the Amplified Bible), “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”  We then see in the next verse (our text) that if we permit patience to run its course in our lives, we will become mature and fully developed believers; believers that lack nothing – not deficient in any area.

What is the big deal about patience?  Well, the issue is not whether you know how to suffer, or whether you know how to endure pain; the issue is whether or not you can be trusted to remain faithful for the long run.  Does God know that you have the ability to remain the same, no matter what the devil may attack you with?  That is the key issue.  If you search the scriptures to find people that God used mightily you will see a common denominator in all of their lives – they were people that were proven faithful.  Abraham proved himself faithful when he was willing to offer God his only son.  Noah proved himself faithful when he continued to seek God, even though he was surrounded by a world of heathens.  David proved himself faithful while he was a shepherd boy and protected his sheep from a lion and a bear.  Elisha proved himself faithful to serve Elijah for many years, before he received his anointing.  And the list could go on.  Jesus explains it well in the parable of talents in Matthew 25.  He gave talents to three men.  Two of them were faithful.  To the two that were faithful, to the ones that passed the test, He said, “Wonderful!  You are a good and faithful servant.  I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more.  Come and share in my happiness” (Mat 25:21,23 CEV).

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you have to resolve in your heart that you will allow patience to run its full course in your life; that you will continue to operate in faith, no matter what may happen; and that you will not allow what you see to change what you are believing God for.  If you remain the same (patience), you will prove yourself faithful.  Once you prove yourself faithful over the level that you are operating in today, God will elevate you to the next level!  As you continue to operate in faith and patience, our text teaches us that you will get to a point where you literally lack nothing.  You will be perfected in every area.  Are you ready for that kind of life?  It all starts with proving yourself faithful today!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare, by faith, that I will allow patience to run its course in my life.  I will remain that same, through the power of the Holy Spirit, no matter what the enemy may attack me with.  I will prove myself faithful over my current level and I fully expect that You will elevate me in due season.  As I continue to prove myself faithful, level after level, I will get to a point where I lack absolutely nothing in my life.  I will be a well rounded believer, a proven servant, a productive citizen of Your Kingdom!  It all starts right now.  I will prove myself faithful today!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

What does Patience produce? (Part II) (top of page)

(James 1:4 AMP)  But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

This morning we continue to lay the foundation for this series on “Faith and Patience.”  Although we dealt with this passage and this topic yesterday, I felt led to come back to it this morning.  Yesterday we mentioned how James said (verses 2,3 from the Amplified Bible), “Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.”  We then saw how the next verse (our text) taught us that when we permit patience to run its course in our lives, we become mature and fully developed believers.  Let’s seek to glean some golden nuggets from this passage for today:

1.       Trials or testings should not destroy our joy:  Happiness is a result of happenings, joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22).  Happiness is only available when something good happens, and then only for a temporary period.  Once happiness is over, it is over.  Joy is a by-product of the presence of the Holy Spirit and is always available to those who are Born-Again.  When unbelievers face difficulties they have to endure them without having the ability to tap into happiness.  Believers can face difficulties with the Holy Spirit and can therefore tap into Joy.  A believer can always re-joice (Phil 4:4), but an unbeliever can never re-happy!

2.       Tested faith is proven faith:  What good is your faith if has not been tested?  When challenges come your way, don’t look at them as an overwhelming obstacle, but rather face them in faith.  Every test is an opportunity to exercise your faith and to prove your faith in that area.

3.       Proven faith produces patience:  Once you have been tested in an area and you have exercised faith concerning the issue, your faith is proven and you become overwhelmingly confident that you can conquer any challenge that arises in that area again.  In other words, the challenge will not shake you.  If the challenge cannot shake you, then you are basically remaining the same, in spite of the challenge.  Once you are able to face challenges and remain the same, you have developed patience.  Patience is the ability to remain the same.

4.       Patience produces maturity:  The words translated “perfectly and fully developed” in our text indicate someone that is mature in Christ.  A person with proven faith and developed patience is able to handle anything that make come their way with the confidence that comes from experience in God!  An experienced and mature believer is a force to be reckoned with!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that joy is always available to you; challenges are just opportunities for you to prove your faith; proven faith produces patience; and patience produces an experienced and well-rounded conqueror in Christ!  Never quit, keep the faith, and know that you are being developed into a mighty soldier in God’s Army!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I will rejoice today and every day.  I always have access to joy and I declare that I will access Your joy on a regular basis.  I overcome every challenge by faith and every time I overcome a challenge I prove my faith.  Proven faith in my life produces an inward stability to deal with outward changes.  I am ready for this day and I know that I maturing in Christ, by faith and patience.   In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

No Matter the Test (top of page)

I trust that this series on “Faith and Patience” has been a blessing to you thus far.  I am currently at “The Gathering,” a church conference.  It has been a tremendous blessing thus far and I expect it to be a blessing throughout.  I will let you know, however, that ever since I started this series there have been many opportunities for me to exercise patience in my life.  Yesterday we were scheduled to leave very early from my house en route to Atlanta for the conference and to take my mother to the airport (first) for an early flight.  The early schedule meant that I had to get up at 2:50am to get Today’s Word out before I could face the day.  We got my mother off and arrived at the conference.  We had to take a bus to the first session.  On the way back from the session the crowd was quite big.  I stood in line with my wife, patiently worked my way up to the bus as the people were filing on, and got to the door of the bus, just to be told that it was full.  No problem.  My wife and I waited.  The next bus came and the same thing happened.  A person on staff assured me that I would get on the third.  The third arrived and stopped where it was not supposed to, so I missed that one too.  I kept looking at my watch and my flesh really wanted to get upset.  The time was now creeping into the second session and my wife and I were missing some of it.  We were the first to get on the forth bus, which meant that we had to take the absolute last seats, which also meant that we would be the last ones off.  My wife was sweating and I was about to get frustrated when I reminded myself of the Word.  I tapped into my joy and told my wife that whatever she got out of the message from her session would be a blessing to her and I believed the same for mine.  She got to her session just as Dr. Bridgette Hilliard was opening up and I walked to my session with great expectations.  I kept saying, “Lord, whatever the man of God is saying when I get there is for me.”  I was excited.  I got there late, so they had to sit me where the choir normally would sit, making me just a few feet from the man of God.  As soon as I sat down Pastor Johnson (I cannot remember his first name) read (2 Cor 4:8,9), “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”  Wow!  That Word was for me.  He was teaching us that as Ministers we should not allow circumstances to shake us!  I know that was God.  I got to the hotel and had several challenges with my room.  As I matter of fact, they had to get me another room for free, just so I could send out Today’s Word, because the internet connection in my suite was not working.  I stayed up until midnight working with the hotel staff, but I kept reminding myself to “remain the same!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you don’t have a right to be mean to people just because things don’t go your way.  As believers we must remain kind, patient, loving, etc.; because we are examples of God’s righteousness in the earth.  After I explained to the staff why I needed an internet connection so bad, they went out of their way to get me one.  The lady that helped me at midnight told me that her father is also a minister and that she understood.  What if I would have fussed and fought with the staff?  What kind of witness would that have been?  So even if you are tired and even if you are facing some challenges, remember who you are and remember to remain the same! If you can’t overcome little things like these, what will happen when real challenges arise?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I let patience have her perfect work in my life.  I face every challenge with love, joy, and peace.  I will not allow my outward circumstances to change my inward condition.  I am Your child I and I will act like it every day and at all times.  I enter this day with a smile on face, a Word in my Spirit, a song in my heart.  Your joy is my strength.  Nothing can shake me; I am a child of the Most High God!   In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 1) (top of page)

We spent a week laying the foundation for faith and a week laying the foundation for patience.  It is now time to start tying them both together as we seek to learn from “The Power Twins.”  We begin our journey of faith and patience with a story that will take us a few days to cover.  It deals with a promise to Elijah and how can learn from what Elijah had to do in the space between the promise and the performance.  We won’t get to that specific promise today, but let’s lay the ground work for the story.

The book of Kings documents the roller coaster ride of righteous and unrighteous Kings.  Five kings are mentioned in first Kings 16 alone, the last being Ahab.  Ahab became King of Israel and he reigned in Samaria over Israel for 22 years.  He did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any other King.  He married Jezebel, the daughter of the king of the Sidonians and began to worship and serve Baal.  He built a temple in Samaria and setup an altar in it to worship Baal.  He did more to provoke the Lord than all the Kings of Israel before him (16:30).  First Kings 17 opens with Elijah, the prophet of God, going up to king Ahab and saying, “I’m a servant of the living Lord, the God of Israel. And I declare in his name that it won’t rain until I say so. There won’t even be any dew on the ground” (17:1).  This guy had some guts!  He went up to the king and declared that it would not rain until he said so!  Let me explain, however, that he was led of God.  He would have been quickly killed if he had done that on his own power.  This was a Word spoken in faith that could absolutely not happen unless God did it.  That is faith!  It is interesting to note that Baal was the god of nature and fertility.  As the god of nature, he was supposedly the provider of rain.  Elijah’s declaration of faith was a slap in the face to the worshippers of Baal.  Not only would the rain stop, but he declared that there would not even be dew on the ground.  God knew that the king would be furious so He instructed Elijah to leave and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan (v.2).  God would provide water for Elijah there from a brook and provide food from ravens.  Elijah did what God commanded.  The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and evening, and he drank from the brook (17:6).

So what does this mean to you today? It means that one Word, spoken in faith, can turn hopeless situations around.  Elijah was a prophet and knew that He was speaking God’s Word.  If you want to be sure that you are declaring God’s Word over your situation, then simply declare what the Bible says (God’s Word) about your situation –in faith – and trust God to bring it to pass.  If God could stop rain and dew for three years with one Word and have ravens to fix breakfast and dinner for His servant; He can surely show up in your life.  Remember, however, that we must come to Him in faith!  Fear moves satan, faith moves God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God. My body is Your temple: redeemed, cleansed, and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. My members, the parts of my body, are instruments of righteousness, yielded to You for Your service. The devil has no place in me, no power over me, and no unsettled claims against me. All has been settled by the blood of Jesus, who is preeminent in my life. He has all power in heaven and in earth. He has the victory and I enjoy the victory in Him! I rejoice in Your victory, my Lord, over sickness, disease, poverty, principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. In faith I stand in Your victory and walk victoriously into this day and this week. This is my declaration of faith. In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 2) (top of page)

We continue our story today about Elijah.  We know from yesterday’s message that he declared a drought over the land, hid in the Kerith ravine, was fed by ravens, and drank from a brook.  The brook eventually dried up because of the drought.  The Lord directed him to Zarephath where he was taken care of by a woman who sowed a significant seed (see 1 Kings 17:7-24).  Now that you understand the background, let’s get into the meat of the message.

The 18th chapter opens with the promise.  It had not rained for three years when the Word of the Lord came to Elijah and said, “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land” (v.1).  We all get excited when we hear a promise from God or when we receive one in our heart from His Word.  This was a promise to send the rain and to end the drought.  If you read the promise again, you would think that the rain would come as soon as he presented himself to king Ahab, but this is not what happened.  The promise came in verse 1, but the rain would not come until verse 45.  The key for us is to find out what Elijah did in between and how we can learn from his faithand patience.  These are some of the things that Elijah did in the space between the promise and the performance that we will discuss in days to come:

1.       He remained consistent (verses 17-29) – he was a prophet and he continued to operate in his character and his calling.

2.       He worshipped God (verses 23 & 31) – worship keeps us in the proper perspective.

3.       He sowed a seed (verses 32-35) – water was very precious in the midst of a 3yr. drought, but he sowed water, because he was expecting rain.

4.       He did not settle for anything less than the promise of God (verses 38-40) – most of us would have been happy to get the prophets of Baal out of the land, but he kept expecting rain.

5.       He remained before God in faith (verse 42) – he stayed prayerful and expectant for the rain.

6.       He refused to walk by sight (verse 43) – his servant could not “see” with his eyes what Elijah could see in the Spirit, but he kept sending the servant out until he saw a cloud.

7.       He did not dismiss a small beginning (verse 44) – when the servant saw a small cloud (the size of a man’s hand); Elijah did not get frustrated because it was not big.  He knew rain was on the way.

8.       His faith and patience enabled him obtain the promise (verses 45) – a great rain fell in the land and the promise was fulfilled.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we will often times need to do what Elijah did in the space between the promise and the performance.  Sometimes God performs His promises immediately in our lives, but then again there are other times where we must remain faithful and consistent while we are expectantly waiting for the manifestation of His glory.  Are you waiting on a move of God right now in your life?  Look over what Elijah did while he was waiting and learn from him.  Operate in faith and patience and it will come to pass!

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I declare that I will remain consistent to my character and my calling.  I worship You today and everyday.  I sow seeds in the areas that I am expecting a harvest.  I expect Your promises to be made manifest in my life and I remain in faith until they come to pass.  I walk by faith and not by sight.  I appreciate everything You do in my life and I celebrate every victory.  Through faith and patience I will obtain Your promises.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 3) (top of page)

This morning we pick up where we left off yesterday and we now investigate the keys that made Elijah successful in the space between the promise and the performance:

1.       He remained consistent (verses 17-29):  If you read verse 1 you would think that the rain would come as soon as Elijah presented himself to King Ahab.  He and Ahab met in verse 17, but the rain did not come.  So what did Elijah do?  He remained the same.  He remained consistent and in character.  He continued to operate as a prophet.  He confronted sin, preached to the people, and urged them all to choose between God and Baal.  Application:  Elijah was a man of faith.  His declaration of faith caused the drought in the first place, so he was not lacking in faith, but we also see that he was operating in patience.  Remember that patience is the ability to remain the same.  One of the keys of operating in faith and patience is to continue to operate as the person that God called you to be.  You cannot allow circumstances to change you and cause you to operate ‘out of character.’  Elijah simply did what God had already blessed him to do and so should we.  If you are waiting on a promise of God to manifest itself in your life and it has not happened yet, then one of the key things that you must do is to remain consistent.  Continue to operate in character.  Operate in your gift.  Operate in your calling.  Continue to do whatever God has blessed you to do.  Never allow your outward circumstances to change your inward disposition.  As you remain the same, you will find that you are operating in faith and patience and God will honor that.

2.       He worshipped God (verses 23 & 31):  Part of Ahab’s judgment was the judgment of the prophets of Baal.  God could have had these prophets killed in many ways, but Elijah involved a sacrifice and the re-establishment of the altar unto the Lord to be part of their demise.  This was no mistake.  The sacrifice on the altar was part of the showdown between the prophets of Baal and Elijah, but it was also an act of worship.  Application:  Worship is an integral part of our relationship with God.  When we praise and worship God while we are dealing with a challenge, we express to God that we believe Him to be bigger than our challenge.  If you allow a challenge to keep you from worshipping God, then you are expressing to God that you perceive your challenge to be bigger than your God.  You must thank God for where you are before He will elevate you to where you desire to be.

3.       He sowed a seed (verses 32-35):  Think about this for a moment.  How precious would twelve barrels of water be in the midst of a drought?  Very precious!  Well, that is exactly what Elijah instructed the Israelites to sow.  The Bible says that Elijah instructed the Israelites to dig a trench around the newly restored altar and the trench was wide enough to hold “two measures of seed” (v.32).  The Bible calls the water here “seed.”  Why?  I did an entire series of the Biblical principles of sowing and reaping (on the website), and in it I deal with how there are several biblical examples of sowing a seed in the area that you are expecting a harvest.  They needed a harvest of water so they sowed a seed of water.  Application:  If you sow forgiveness you will reap forgiveness, if you sow love you will reap love, if you sow peace you will reap peace, if you sow money you will reap money, and etc.  If you have a need, sow a seed; you will reap whatever you sow (Gal 6:7).

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I declare that I will remain consistent today.  I know who I am in You and I will not allow any challenge to change my character.  I know that Your are bigger than any challenge that I face and I praise and worship You in spite of anything that may come my way.  I have seed in the ground and I expect a harvest.  I also sow new seed in the areas where I am expecting Your hand to move.  As I sow seed, by faith, I know that You will cause it to increase and bring forth a glorious harvest in my life.  Through faith and patience I obtain Your promises.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 4) (top of page)

As we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins,” we pick up where we left off yesterday and we continue to investigate the keys that made Elijah successful in the space between the promise and the performance:

4.       He did not settle for anything less than the promise of God (verses 38-40):  In these verses we see the culmination of the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  Nothing happened when the evil prophets called upon their gods and fire came down when Elijah called upon our God – the one true God.  The fire licked up the water from the trench and consumed the sacrifice.  The people saw this move of God, repented, and worshipped God.  At Elijah’s command, the prophets of Baal were captured and killed.  Most people would call that success.  The people received a demonstration of the power of God, they were receptive to God’s move, the prophets of Baal were destroyed, and it looked like Israel was back on the right path. The problem is, however, that it still had not rained.  The drought was still a ‘big issue’ and Elijah would not settle with anything less than the fulfillment of the promise of God (from verse 1).  Application:  We should celebrate every victory, but our thankfulness for the interim victories should not be a substitute for our steadfast faith in believing God for the ultimate fulfillment of whatever promises we have received in our lives.  Operating in faith and patience means that we remain unwavering in our pursuit of the fulfillment of the promises of God.  Never let a “lesser victory” keep you from pursuing the ultimate goal!

5.       He remained before God in faith and patience (verse 42):  Even after this great manifestation of God’s power, Elijah climbed right back up to the top of mount Carmel, bent down to the ground, put his face between his knees, and prayed for rain.  He knew that he would have to remain in a ‘prayerful posture’ if he was to see the manifestation of the promise.  Application:  This reminds me of a parable that Jesus taught His disciples that men “ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up)” (Luke 18:1 AMP).  The keys within this key are that we must: (1) have a consistent prayer life, (2) have an internal resolve to never give up on our prayer, and (3) operate in faith and patience while we are waiting for the fulfillment of our prayers and God’s promises.

We will wrap up the final three keys from Elijah’s persistence tomorrow.

So what does  this mean to you today? It means that we must have what I heard a preacher call one time a “Bulldog Tenacity” when it comes to believing God for the manifestation of His promises in our lives.  While we are waiting in the space between the promise and the performance: If something bad happens, we must have the resolve to overcome it by faith; and if something good happens, we must have the self-control to be thankful for it without settling for the lesser victory.

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I declare that I will not settle for anything less than the manifestation of Your promises in my life.  Once I receive a promise in my spirit, either from Your Word or Your voice, I resolve to operate in faith and patience, until the promise is a reality in my life.  If a challenge arises, I will overcome the challenge by faith.  If I receive a lesser victory, I will celebrate it, but I will not allow myself to settle for it.  I walk with You daily God and I am determined to walk in Your best for my life.  I thank You for my past, but I declare that the Best is Yet to Come!  I expect something good to happen to me today as I operate in faith and patience!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Space between the Promise and the Performance (Part 5) (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  We have been dealing with the 1 Kings 18 all week and this morning we wrap up the story of Elijah and what he did in the space between the promise and the performance:

6.       He refused to walk by sight (verse 43):  In verse 41 Elijah said that he could “hear” the sound of an abundance of rain.  I don’t believe anyone else could hear this.  In verse 42 he climbed up to the top of the mount, put his face between his knees, and prayed.  In verse 43 he sent his servant out to look toward the sea to see what he saw.  The servant came back and told Elijah that he did not see anything.  So Elijah sent him out seven more times.  It was not until the eighth time that the servant finally saw something.  Application:  Elijah was seeing something in the spirit, but the servant was not seeing evidence of it in natural.  The world says, “I will believe it when I see it.”  Faith says, “You will see it when you believe it.”  Elijah was convinced, by faith (fearless confidence) in the promise of God that rain was coming.  God had promised rain in verse 1 and he knew that God would not and could not lie.  Walking by faith means that you have fearless confidence in what God has promised, even though you don’t have ‘sense realm’ evidence to support it.  Elijah kept believing, even without evidence, and so must we.  When we don’t have sense realm evidence, faith becomes by evidence of what we cannot see (Heb 11:1).

7.       He did not dismiss a small beginning (verse 44):  The eighth time the servant came back and reported that he saw a small cloud, the size of a man’s hand.  Elijah was expecting a huge downpour and it was obvious that this small cloud would not produce it, but Elijah did not get frustrated, he had great expectations that the best was yet to come.  Application:  We may be believing God for great things in our lives.  We may know that someday we will be this or that – at some level of greatness – but we must also realize that it will not happen overnight.  No matter how small we start off, we should thank God that we are at least starting.  Celebrate even the small clouds, because they will lead to bigger ones.

8.       His faith and patience enabled him obtain the promise (verses 45):  The great rain finally came.  A lot happened in the space between the promise (v.1) and the performance (v.45), but Elijah was faithful to God in between.  Application:  God does not play favorites.  He is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), but he is a respecter of faith.  We have the same kind of faith (2 Peter 1:1) that Elijah and other biblical giants had.  If we operate in faith, we will see the results of faith manifested in our lives.

So what does  this mean to you today? Review the things that Elijah did in this passage that made him successful: remain consistent, worship God, sow seeds, don’t settle for anything less than the promise, remain in faith, don’t walk by sight, and don’t dismiss small beginnings.  Walking these things out in your life enable you to operate in faith and patience.  Operating in faith and patience will enable you to obtain the promises of God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I have a fearless confidence that you will bring to pass what You have promised in Your Word in my life.  Your promises are more real to me than what I see.  I continue to believe what You have said and express my faith by acts of fearless confidence, even when I do not have any sense realm evidence to back it up.  Your Word in my spirit is the evidence of what I cannot see.  I believe it, I act out on it, I build my confidence in it, and I know that eventually I will see it with my physical eyes.  I operate in faith and I also operate in patience.  I remain consistent and my consistent faith ensures that I obtain Your promises!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Don’t let anything Derail Your Faith! (top of page)

This week we continue our series on “Faith and Patience,” by looking at more examples of faith and patience in the Word of God and how we can learn from them.  This morning we look at a story found in Mark 5.  Picture this:

Jesus arrives at the coast of the sea, a crowd has gathered to await his arrival, and a man cuts through the crowd to fall at Jesus’ feet (v.22).  This is a well dressed and well respected man in the community.  His name is Jairus and he is a synagogue ruler.  He does not normally act this way.  He puts down his importance, swallows his pride, and tells Jesus the problem.  He says, “My little daughter is dying.”  Can you feel his pain?  He was accustomed to having things under control, but he had no control over this situation.  He admits the gravity of it from his knees and he then musters up enough faith to make a faith statement.  He says, “Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live” (v.23).  He was not denying that fact that his daughter was dying.  He did not attempt to minimize the gravity of the situation, but he did speak faith.  I mention that because one of the misconceptions of operating in “faith” is that we cannot admit our situation.  Jairus admitted his situation.  It is OK to be real with God, but he then spoke faith.  Once we bring our situation to God, we need to speak faith, in accordance with his Word.  Jesus responded to Jairus’ faith and went with him.

Thus far we see the ‘faith’ part, but we have not yet seen the ‘patience’ part.  Here it comes.  A crowd (nosey people) followed Jesus, Jairus, and the disciples to Jairus’ house.  All of a sudden, a woman who had a bleeding disorder came through the crowd and operated in faith herself, touched Jesus, and was healed (v.29).  Jesus knew that someone had touched him by faith and stopped to find out who it was.  He spoke to the woman and the Bible says that she told him the “whole truth” (v.33).  We are not sure how long this took, but just imagine Jairus.  I am sure he was getting impatient.  His daughter was dying and Jesus was over here in the crowd talking to some other lady.  The lady went on to tell her long testimony and the entire time Jairus, who had already spoken faith, had to operate in patience.  As soon as Jesus finished talking to the lady, some people came from Jairus’ house and told him that his daughter was dead (v.35).  Wow!  Naturally, fear rushed in and consumed him.  While he was sitting there, processing the fact that his daughter was dead, Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe” (v.36).  In other words, Jesus was saying, “don’t operate in fear, keep on operating in faith!”  Jairus did just that and his daughter was brought back to life, just as he declared – by faith!

So what does  this mean to you today? It means that we should live faith, speak faith, pray faith, walk faith, etc.; but we must also realize that our faith will be tested.  Remember that patience is the ability to remain the same.  Jairus had to remain the same and operate in faith, not fear, if his daughter was going to make it.  Likewise, we cannot let anything derail our faith!  No matter what you face this week, be not afraid, only believe!

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I have a fearless confidence that you will bring to pass what You have promised in Your Word in my life.  I do not allow circumstances to derail my faith.  I keep believing, keep trusting, and keep operating in faith; no matter what.  My faith can overcome my famine.  No matter what it looks like, I know that I will come out victorious, by faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Don’t ever give up on Your Dream! (top of page)

(Gen 45:8 NIV)  “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

This week we continue our series on “Faith and Patience,” by looking at another example of faith and patience in the Word of God.  Joseph was Jacob’s 11th son and he loved him more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age (Gen 37:3).  Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors and his brothers hated him for it (v.4).  To make things even worse, Joseph dreamed a dream that he would be above all his other brothers and even his parents.  This dream would drive his life.  Faith is expressing confidence in God and His Word.  Joseph expressed confidence in the dream when he told his brothers and his father about it.  This, however, backfired on him and his brothers hated him the more.

One day his brothers went out to feed the flock and did not take Joseph.  His father later sent Joseph out to check on them (37:13).  His brothers seized the opportunity to get rid of him.  They threw him into a pit and then later sold him as a slave for 20 pieces of silver.  His owners then sold him to an officer in Pharaoh’s court named Potiphar (v.36).  Since the favor of God was upon Joseph and since he believed in his dream, everything he touched was blessed.  I am sure that all sorts of thoughts must have rushed through his mind.  He may have even questioned how the dream would come to pass if he was slave; but he remained faithful everywhere he went and God blessed everything he did.  Potiphar put him over all the crops and the crops prospered as well (39:3).  Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife also took a liking to Joseph, attempted to sleep with him, and after Joseph refused, she accused him of attempted rape.  So Joseph was thrown into prison (39:20).  Incidentally, Pharaoh’s butler and baker were also thrown into the same prison.  God blessed Joseph to interpret a dream for the butler and the baker.  Later on Pharaoh had a dream that none of his advisors could interpret.  The butler (who had had been released from prison and reinstated), suggested that they give Joseph a try.  Sure enough, God blessed Joseph to interpret the dream and Pharaoh placed him over all of Egypt.  God blessed Joseph there as well.  He told Joseph of an impending famine and gave him the wisdom to lead Egypt through the famine prepared.  Joseph’s brothers were not as prepared and had to come to Egypt for help.  When they did, the dream finally came to pass.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you will have to remain faithful to God, no matter the setbacks, if you want to see the promises of God manifested in your life.  Joseph went from a pit to Potiphar, from Potiphar to a prison, but then from the prison to a palace; and many of us take the same route.  In other words, we must couple patience with our faith if they were going to receive the promises of God.  Things might seem like they are getting worse before they get better, but if you have a promise of God, stand on that promise no matter what and remain faithful.  Joseph was faithful everywhere he went and God caused him to prosper because of it.  We will also prosper when we remain faithful and operate in patience.  Don’t ever give up on your dream from God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I operate in faith and patience.  No matter the setbacks, no matter the challenges, and no matter the opposition; I will not allow what I see to change what I believe.  I remain faithful every day and I know that You will honor my faithfulness and bless me everywhere I go.  I will never give up on my dream or Your Word!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Consistent Faith is the Key to Victorious Living! (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience,” by looking at an example of what can happen when you do not remain consistent in your faith.  In Matthew 14 Jesus sent His disciples ahead of him in a boat and later walked out on the water to meet them.  He caught up with them in the fourth watch of the night (3am – 6am).  The disciples were already tired when they saw Jesus.  Let’s see what happened next and how it can apply to us:

·         (v.26) “… they were terrified.  “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.”  Fear is the reciprocal force of faith.  Just like faith pleases God, fear pleases satan.  Just like faith is having confidence in God and His Word, fear is having confidence in satan and his word.  The disciples thought they saw a ghost and were afraid.

·         (v27) But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Faith’s first role is to eradicate fear.  Jesus’ first focus was to get them to stop being afraid.  You cannot operate in faith and fear at the same time.

·         (v. 28) Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”  Peter was looking for a Word from Jesus to change his internal condition.  One Word from God can change you from the inside out.

·         (v.29) Jesus said, “Come,” then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  This one Word is all Peter needed to get out of fear and into faith.  This one Word is all Peter needed to empower him to do what he had never done before and what no other human has ever done since.  Remember that faith is an expression of confidence in God and His Word.  Jesus spoke one Word, Peter received it, expressed confidence in it by getting out of the boat, and literally walked on water.  Likewise, when we find a Word from God in the Bible that pertains to our situation, receive it in our heart, and then express confidence in it by walking out what it instructs us to do; we can literally overcome any situation by faith!

·         (vv.30,31) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”  Verse 30 states that Peter was afraid when he factored in the wind to what he was doing.  In verse 31 Jesus asked him why he doubted.  What’s the difference?  Doubt if the forerunner for fear.  If the enemy can get you to doubt God’s Word, then you will eventually fear failure.  Peter was literally walking on water, but he allowed doubt to lead to fear and his fear cancelled his faith.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that consistent faith is the key to victorious living.  Remember that patience is the ability to remain the same or in other words, the ability to remain consistent.  Peter had faith, but Jesus called it “little faith.”  This is not a comment about the type or the amount of faith that Peter had, but rather to the ‘length of time’ that he operated in it.  Peter had faith, but he only operated in a ‘short burst of faith’ and then allowed doubt to lead to fear and fear to lead to failure.  Likewise, we can do great things for God through faith, but if we only operate in ‘short bursts of faith’ from time to time, we will not accomplish what we could if we operated in both faith and patience.  Consistency is the key!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I walk by faith and not by fear.  You are the Lord of Lords and I release my faith to the point where I take the limits off of You today.  I expand my capacity to believe You.  There is nothing You cannot do and I know it is Your will that I operate like You in the earth.  I will walk in consistent faith and consistent faith is the key to my victory.  I operate in faith and I remain in faith through patience.  Nothing and no one can stop me when I operate in consistent faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Consistent Faith Overcomes Fear! (top of page)

(Dan 6:10 NIV)  Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience.”  Yesterday we were reminded that faith is an expression of your confidence in God and His Word, that patience is the ability to remain the same, and that consistency in both these areas is the key to victorious living.  This morning we see another example of that.

If you read Daniel chapters 2 through 5 you will see how God elevated Daniel quickly through the ranks of the Babylonian government and in chapter 6 he made it to the highest point he could attain: second in command.  He made it this high because he was faithful to God in everything that he did; therefore God gave him favor.  There were many people that were upset with Daniel’s success, especially since he was a Jew, that was supposed to be a captive, and was now the second in command.  The other officials could find no “dirt” on Daniel to accuse him with.  Daniel was an honest and hard working man.  As they watched him they saw that he went home and prayed three times a day.  They came up with a plot, convinced the king to sign an unchangeable decree that no one could pray to any other god for thirty days, and then watched to see if Daniel would change his routine.  Now this was a dilemma for Daniel.  He was close to the king and I am sure that he did not want to go against him.  Also, violating the decree meant that he would be thrown into the den of lions.  So what would Daniel do?  Would he buckle under the pressure and compromise or would he remain consistent? Our text teaches us that he remained consistent. He expressed his confidence in his God by going home and praying, just like he had done before.  Wow!  Sure enough, the others watched Daniel, told the king, and although he did not want to, the king had Daniel thrown into the lion’s den.  But do you know what happened?  God honored Daniel’s faith and his ability to remain the same (patience).  God sent an angel to close the mouth of the lions and Daniel made it out alive.  His accusers and their families were then thrown into the lion’s den and were immediately ripped to pieces.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you should not allow anything, nor anyone, to change your expression of confidence towards God.  What can the enemy do to stop you from praying and praising God?  The answer should be: nothing!  God rewards those who “diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6), not those pray every other month or who read His Word every other week.  God honored Daniel’s faith, his consistency, and his refusal to operate in fear.  God will do the same for you if you honor Him the same way.  Are you willing to establish a consistent routine of spending time with God? If you do and you refuse to allow anything to keep you from it, God will promote you like He promoted Daniel.

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I will do my part to grow in You daily.  I will establish a routine of spending time with You and I will not allow anything to keep me from it.  No matter what happens, I refuse to allow fear to cripple me.  My consistency in spending time with You will ensure that I am consistently blessed, that I am elevated to the highest levels, and that You get maximum glory out of my life.  It all starts today.  Faith is my shield and fear has no power over me!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

You never know how close you are to Your Breakthrough! (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience.”  For the last couple of days we have looked at examples of consistency in the Word and how consistency brings about victory.  This morning we will look at another example of consistency in the book of Daniel.  This is a fascinating story about angels, visions, and kingdoms; better than some novels.  Please read Daniel chapter 9 and 10 when you get a chance, I will simply focus in on one part of this story.

In Daniel 9, verses 4 through 19, Daniel prays a prayer to God for understanding.  Daniel 10 teaches us that Daniel went on a fast after the prayer, believing that God answer the prayer.  He did not know when the answer was coming, so he kept on fasting.  Three weeks went by, still no answer.  Then, after twenty one days, Daniel was standing on the banks of the great Tigris River when he saw an angel.  The angel was dressed in linen and was wearing a solid gold belt (v.5).  His body was like a precious stone, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming fires, his arms and legs like polished bronze, and his voice like the roar of a crowd (v.6).  The people with Daniel could not see the angel, but they could hear the sound and they took off scared (v.7).  Daniel himself became pale at this awesome sight (v.8).  The angel spoke and Daniel fell face down, knocked out (v.9).  The angel woke Daniel up, raised him to his hands and knees (v.10), and said, “Daniel, your God thinks highly of you, and he has sent me.  So stand up and pay close attention.”  Daniel stood while the angel said: “Daniel, don’t be afraid! God has listened to your prayers since the first day you humbly asked for understanding, and he has sent me here.  But the guardian angel of Persiaopposed me for twenty-one days.  Then Michael, who is one of the strongest guardian angels, came to rescue me from the kings of Persia.  Now I have come here to give you another vision about what will happen to your people in the future” (vv. 12-14).

What an awesome story!  Now, scholars debate whether or not the “angel of Persia” was a good or fallen angel, but the point is clear that the answer to the prayer was hindered for twenty one days and that Daniel remained faithful and patient, even to the point of fasting, the entire time!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you never really know how close you are to your breakthrough.  The answer to your prayer may be on the way, the last thing you want to do is to lose heart, doubt God and His Word, and allow fear to settle in.  Once fear overtakes you, you will wind up canceling out your prayer by either going back to God to ask for some “lesser blessing” or by getting mad at God and canceling your request altogether.  So never give up on your faith!

I pray that you have been learning the importance of adding patience to your faith.  Time after time we see that faith and patience, together, truly enable us to obtain the promises of God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I will not lose heart in my prayer life.  My expectations of answered prayer are not merely based on good thoughts, but they are expectations that are rooted in Your Word.  I pray in accordance with Your Word and I know that You will honor Your Word in my life.  You will make it good.  So I stand in fearless confidence that You will make Your Word a reality in my life and I keep my expectation, no matter how long it takes.  I receive my victory by faith and I continue to expect it through patience.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Never fling away your Fearless Confidence! (top of page)

(Heb 10:35,36 AMP)  Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.  For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

I trust that this series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins” has been a blessing to you thus far.  We spent a week laying the foundation for faith, a week laying the foundation for patience, and then two weeks looking at examples of both in the Word.  We will now seek to investigate scriptures that tie it all together.  This morning’s scripture is power-packed.  Let’s break it down and take a closer look:

1.       Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence:  One of the definitions we have used for faith is “an expression of confidence in God and His Word.”  I have also stated that fear is “an expression of confidence in satan and his word.”  Our text teaches us that we should walk in “fearless confidence.”  Meaning that our confidence in God and His Word should be so strong that we give no space to fear.  This is clearly God’s desire for our lives.

2.       For it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward:  The Hebrew writer also taught us that God rewards those who “diligently seek Him” (11:6).  This reward is not for those who operate in short bursts of confidence (faith), but rather for those who believe God and remain unshakable in their resolve to seek the manifestation of His promises in their lives.  Make no mistake about it; it is rewarding to live a life of faith!

3.       For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God:  This is very important.  This entire series is about the need for patience (consistency).  Everything I teach deals with faith in some form, but this series specifically focused on that fact that we must couple patience with our faith to fully accomplish the will of God for our lives.  The Hebrew writer tells us that we “need” it; therefore there is no way around it.

4.       And thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised:  We will see tomorrow that satan constantly attempts to get us to doubt God and His Word.  If we doubt God we will fling away our fearless confidence.  Once we do that, we will lose hope that God will do what He has said; thereby basically guaranteeing that we will not see the promises of God manifested.  Therefore we must remain patient, consistent, and confident; if we are going to “receive and carry away” the promises of God!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you must believe God and His Word no matter what the enemy may bring your way.  Never allow doubt to lead to fear and fear to lead to failure.  Have fearless confidence in God and have the patience to keep that fearless confidence until His Word becomes a reality in your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare openly that I have fearless confidence in You and Your Word.  I operate in that fearless confidence today and everyday.  I will not allow anything, nor anyone to cause me to fling my fearless confidence away.  Operating in fearless confidence has a great and glorious compensation of reward in my life.  I operate in faith and patience and my consistency enables me to receive and carry away Your promises.  I will not allow anything to shake my faith and I have great expectations for today and this week.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Patience Must Come! (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins,” with a look at Jesus’ explanation of the parable of the sower in Mark 4:

The farmer sows the word.  Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop – thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” (Mark 4:14-20 NIV)

Jesus explained that the farmer sows the Word.  So then, any person that shares the Word of God with others becomes the farmer in this text and the Word of God is likened unto seed.  Jesus then says something very interesting.  He explains that as soon as (other translations say “immediately”) the Word is sown along the path (some people); satan comes to take it away.  Others are like the rocky ground.  These people receive the Word initially, but then trouble and persecution come because of the Word and they fall away.  Still others are like the thorny path.  These people hear the Word, but then allow worry and deceitfulness choke the Word.  Only those whohear the Word and accept it are likened to the good soil that brings forth a harvest.

Jesus explained that in the first ground, satan comes; in the second ground, trouble and persecution come; and in the third ground, worry and deceitfulness come.  I submit unto you that satan is the root of all three of these.  He does not want to see us prosper and he will come whenever a Word is shared with us that can turn our situation around.  Make no mistake, he knows that faith comes when you receive the Word (Rom 10:17), and that is exactly why he comes.  He wants to keep you from accepting the Word by faith and producing a harvest.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you must operate in patience – the ability to remain the same – if you are going to become the person God desires for you to be.  Patience enables you to overcome the attacks of the enemy, to receive the Word by faith, and to enjoy the harvest that comes from the Word.  Whenever you have a need in your life, God comes because He wants to meet it.  Whenever God comes, He comes with the Word.  Whenever the Word comes, faith comes, because it is an opportunity for you to receive it and apply it by faith.  But then remember that satan will also come to steal the Word.  That is why patience must come to enforce the consistency required to overcome every attack.  In summary: remember that God comes, the Word comes, faith comes, satan comes, and then patience must come for us to remain consistent; thereby enabling us to overcome satan, persecution, worry, and deceitfulness.  If we receive the Word and remain consistent, we will enjoy the harvest!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I walk in faith and patience.  My consistency enables me to receive the Word by faith and to remain the same when the attacks come.  I allow patience to run its full course in my life, thereby making me perfectly and fully developed, lacking in nothing.  Your Word is an incorruptible seed and it brings for a hundred fold harvest in my life today and everyday!.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Build Your Life Upon the Rock! (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins,” with a look at a story Jesus told about the difference between building foundations:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it..” (Mat 7:24-27 KJV).

There is a lot that I could say about this passage, but I will attempt to confine my comments to the scope of our series.  Notice that both men were building houses.  Let’s liken these “houses” to their lives.  One took the time to dig deep and ensure that his life was built upon solid rock, while the other built his life upon a sand – an unsure foundation.  The one that heard the message of Jesus, received it by faith, and made the necessary adjustments to his life is called a “wise man.”  The one that heard the message of Jesus, ignored what he heard, and failed to make any changes is called a “foolish man.”  Now, this is where it gets interesting.  Both men’s houses (lives) were literally beat upon with the rain (from above), floods (from beneath), and wind (from all sides).  The clear difference is that the wise man whose life was rooted in teachings of Jesus was able to withstand the challenges when the came and the man who ignored the teachings of Jesus folded under the pressures of this life.  In other words: the man who hears the Word of God, receives it by faith, and then becomes a doer and not just a hearer (James 1:22), is a wise man that is able to overcome any challenge he faces, because he is rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

So what does this mean to you today? The message this morning is simple.  Being a Christian does not exonerate you from challenges.  Rain, floods, and wind will come up against both the Christian and non-Christian.  Only those that receive the Word and then do what they have received will be able to endure the challenges and still remain strong.  That is why faith and patience are so very important.  Without faith and patience, even Christians can find their lives falling into pieces.  Faith and patience enable you to stand on the Word of God, in spite of the circumstances, and to stand strong.  The rain, floods, and wind will eventually subside, but we must have the endurance to remain in faith and patience until they do.

So no matter what you may face today, know that your life is built upon a solid rock and that there is a greater power in you than the challenge around you.  Remain in faith and patience and you will stand strong!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that even if the rains fall, the floods flow, and the winds blow in my life, I will stand strong.  I receive Your Word by faith and allow operate in patience while I stand on Your Word, believing that the challenges that I face around me and nothing compared to the power You have placed in me.  I remain strong.  I remain steadfast.  I remain consistent.  I am the wise man in this text and my house is built on a rock!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Overcoming Temptation (top of page)

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins,” with a look at temptation.  Let me first say that the reason that bible teachers take the time to carefully investigate what the bible has to say about the common issues we deal with on a daily basis is because there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9).  The bible is full of examples of what we should and should not do under any circumstance.  In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul explained that the stories of old were documented in the Bible as “… examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did” (v.6).  He went on to give us an example of a time were over 20,000 Israelites died in one day because of sexual immorality (v.8; also see Numbers 25:1-18).  Paul went on to say that these things should serve as “warnings for us” (v.11).  This leads us to the issue of temptation and to the 13th verse of this same chapter:

“For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently” (v.13 AMP).

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.       God does not tempt you:  James clearly told us that God does not tempt us with evil (1:13,14) and the bible also calls satan the “tempter” (Matthew 4:3 and 1 Thessalonians 3:5).  Temptation will come, but be careful not to attribute the temptation to God.

2.       God does provide oversight:  The text says that God is faithful not to allow you to be tempted beyond your ability, but this does not mean that He is doing the tempting, but it does mean that He is providing oversight.  He will not allow you to be challenged beyond your ability to overcome the challenge.  This is good news because it reminds us that God has already equipped us to overcome every hindrance and resist every temptation.

3.       We are all tempted:  Temptation is common to everyone.  This is a dual-edged sword.  In one sense it is sobering to know that everyone has to deal with temptation, but in another sense it is comforting to know that the temptations we deal with are some ‘superhuman.’  We are not dealing with anything that other people have not already dealt with and many have conquered temptation by faith.

4.       There is a way of escape:  God has given us a way of escaping every temptation.  If you read the text again you see words like “strength,” “resistance,” and “the power  to endure,” and “patiently.”  This leads us right back to Faith and Patience.  Temptation is a reality, but we can overcome temptation when we remain in faith and patience.  Through faith and patience we can overcome every temptation; thereby ensuring that we enjoy the blessings of God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that You have given me the power to overcome temptation in my life.  When I am tempted I will not say that I am being tempted of You, because I know who the tempter is.  I resist every temptation by faith.  I remain consistent and steadfast; established in Your righteousness.  I overcome the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life; and I do it by faith and with patience.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Love is the Glue! (top of page)

(James 1:12 CEV)  God will bless you, if you don’t give up when your faith is being tested. He will reward you with a glorious life, just as he rewards everyone who loves him.

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins,” with a look at the role of love in all of this.  Love is of utmost importance, because God is love (1 John 4:8).  God does not want you to ever attempt to pursue Biblical principles outside of love.  Love is the glue that holds everything else together.

James opens his letter by letting us know that “testing of your faith produces patience” (v.3).  He goes on to explain that God does not tempt us, but rather that “Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death” (vv.14,15).  If we read even further he explains that faith that we cannot see, or in other words, faith that is not visibly represented by action is dead faith (2:14,17).  These few excerpts from James’ writings give us some insight into the theme of the book.  Now we can better understand our text.  Sandwiched between all of this is a promise that God will bless us, if we don’t give up when our faith is being tested.  We already know that the testing of our faith produces patience (1:3).  In that light, we could read the first sentence of this verse as, “God will bless you, if you develop patience through the testing of your faith.”  So here we see again the importance of faith and patience in the life of the believer.  Faith and patience together will enable us to live a “glorious life.”

As we read the latter part of the text we learn that those that seek to develop patience through the trying of their faith are really those that love God.  It is their love for God that keeps them from lashing out at those who mistreat them.  It is their love for God that keeps them from retaliating with evil for evil.  It is their love for God that enables them to overcome evil with good.  It is their love for God that keeps them from quitting when life hits them with difficult challenges.  Without love the believer would not endure the testing of their faith.  Without love the believer would fail to remain consistent when life gets rough.  Without love the believer would be no different than a person in the world.  Why?  Because God is love and love is the glue that holds us together when we are attempting to do what the Bible says and not what our feelings want to do!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that nothing you read in the Bible will work in your life if you do not have love.  You cannot attempt to receive bible promises if you do not allow the God of love to work in you, on you, and through you.  Your love for God is the fuel in your fire; it will keep you going, even when you don’t want to.  Love will empower you to say something nice to those who mistreat you.  Love will empower you to pray for those who despitefully use you.  Love will empower you to succeed when others thought you would fail, because love enables you to operate in patience and patience will enable you to enjoy a “glorious life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I walk in love in every area of my life.  In accordance with Your Word: I love my enemies, I do good to them which hate me, I bless them that curse me, and I pray for them which despitefully use me.  You love is perfected in my life through the testing of my faith.  I do not give up when my faith is tested and I declare that you reward my steadfast endurance with a glorious life, both now and eternally!  Love is the glue that holds me together.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Imitators of Faith and Patience (top of page)

(Heb 6:12 AMP)  In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.

This morning marks the beginning of the 6th week of teaching in our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  The entire series is available on the website, if you have missed any part of it.  We will wrap up this series this week.  We have covered a lot of Bible ground in the last five weeks, seeking both Old Testament and New Testament examples and teachings on the subject.  We looked at Elijah, Joseph, and Daniel in the Old Testament; and the disciples, Jairus, and the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, and the writer of Hebrews in the New Testament.  I pray that this careful study has taught you the importance of faith and patience in your life.  This morning’s text serves as good instruction as we begin to wind down this series.  Let’s look at a few golden nuggets from the text:

1.       It is not the will of God that we become spiritual sluggards.  We are to live for Christ all the days of our lives.  You cannot retire from being a Christian.  Every day you live should be a day you live for Christ.

2.       We should be imitators of faith:  We should seek both biblical and living examples of people who have experienced success in God through faith; people that have placed their confidence in God’s power, wisdom, and goodness.  If it worked for them and we imitate their faith (also see Heb 13:7), it will also work for us.  God honors faith.

3.       We should be initiators of patience:  We should seek both biblical and living examples of people who have experienced success in God through patience; people who practice patient endurance until they see the reality of their faith.

4.       We must be confident that we can also obtain the promises of God through faith and patience:  We looked at example after example of people operating in faith and patience to obtain the promises of God.  Peter tells us that we have “like precious faith” (2 Pet 1:1).  In other words, Elijah, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, James, etc.; all operated in faith and we – as Born-Again believers – have the same faith.  They did not get a different kind of faith.  We have the same bible, the same promises, and the same faith.  If we operate in the same faith, coupled with the same patience, we will also obtain the promises of God.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that God has given us many examples in His Word of people that have obtained the promises of God through faith and patience.  God does not want us to recreate the wheel.  If it worked for them it will work for us!  Operate in faith and patience and your too will obtain the promises of God.  You will see God manifest Himself in your life like never before.  Simply have faith and keep that faith until you “see” what the Word “says” you can have!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I imitate the faith of those that have gone before me.  I have like precious faith.  I speak faith, live by faith, walk by faith, pray by faith, and overcome by faith.  I also imitate the patience of those that have gone before me.  I remain steadfast and unmovable in my faith.  My faith, coupled with my patience, will bring about change in my life.  The promises of God will be a reality in my life today and everyday.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Stay Your Course, Finish Your Race, Fulfill Your Purpose! (top of page)

This morning we continue to wind down our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  Most mornings I get up without having a clue as to what the Lord would have me to share on Today’s Word.  I pray, ask for guidance, the Holy Spirit leads me to a verse, I choose the version, and then I start typing.  This morning I went through my normal routine, but when I got the part where I select the version, I could not decide between the Amplified or Message Bible translations of Hebrews 12:2; because they both bring out things I felt led to discuss.  So I decided to list them both and I know that will be a blessing to you:

“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Psalms 110:1]” (Amplified Bible)

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.” (Message Bible)

Let’s seek to glean a few golden nuggets from our text:

1.       Jesus is the leader and source of our faith:  Jesus is why we came to God.  He is why we first believed.  It is through His blood that we are saved.  He initiated our faith walk.

2.       Jesus is also the Finisher of our faith:  Jesus ensures that we have every opportunity to develop and become fully mature.  Remember, James taught us that the testing of our faith develops patience (1:3) and that when patience is fully developed in our lives, we become complete, mature, and lacking nothing (1:4).  For Jesus to ensure that we mature, He must give us opportunities for our faith to be tested.

3.       Jesus is also our example:  We are to study how Jesus did it.  He knew where He was headed.  He knew that He had to endure the death of the cross.  He struggled with that reality in the garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:42), but he decided that his purpose was greater than his predicament.  He knew that His calling was greater than His crisis.  He decided to put up with anything he had to put up with to fulfill His purpose and because of it, He is back in heaven, established in His rightful position of authority.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that our faith must be developed to produce patience and our patience must be developed if we are to fulfill our purpose.  Knowing where you are going is one thing, but having the determination to “stay the course,” no matter what may come your way is something else altogether.  Remember that Jesus is our example.  He stayed His course, finished His race, and fulfilled His purpose.  Our goal now is to do the same!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that Your Son Jesus is both the author and the finisher of my faith.  He gives me opportunities for my faith to be tested and I pass every test.  The testing of my faith develops patience and the development of my patience produces maturity.  I am strong.  I am developed.  I am mature.  I have staying power.  I stay my course, I finish my race, and I fulfill my purpose; and I do it all by faith and with patience.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

God is Committed to Your Development! (top of page)

(Phil 1:6 AMP) And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

This morning we continue to wind down our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  Yesterday we dealt with ‘staying your course’ and this morning I will tell you how.  The issue of staying power all comes down toconfidence.  I have shared many times that faith is an expression of confidence in God and His Word.  It is this fearless confidence that faces challenges head on, knowing that God is with you and that He has equipped you toovercome every obstacle and to triumph over every test.

Paul opens his letter to the church at Philippi by stating that he thanked God every time he thought about them.  Every time they came across his mind, he offered thanksgiving to God for the believers at this church, because they supported his ministry (spiritually and financially).  Paul said that he prayed for them all the time.  Let me pause here to say that I also thank God for you.  I pray for all those who receive Today’s Word and I also thank God continually for those who support my ministry.  Paul went on to say that he was convinced and sure (confident) that God, who started the work in them, would do His part to finish what He started.  Paul was sure, based on His relationship with God and what He knew of God’s Word, that God was committed to their development and that He would never leave them along the way.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.       We must be confident that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb 13:5).

2.       We must be confident that God is not just the author, but also the finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2).

3.       We must be confident that God never starts anything He does not intend to finish.  He is not a quitter.  He knew everything we would ever do in life, before He ever started working in us; and He picked us anyway.

4.       The only person that can really hinder you is you.  Fearless confidence in God and His Word will accelerate your development.  Fearful doubt will destroy it.

5.       And also worth noting: we should pray and be thankful for those who have made and are making an impact in our lives.

We all know that our faith (expression of confidence in God and His Word) will be tested from time to time.  This entire series has been about developing patience, so that you will not lose your confidence when you are going through the test.  If you are convinced and sure, exceedingly confident, that God is with you and working in you, on you, and through you; you will be able to take anything the enemy throws your way.  But once you lose your confidence, you have lost! Face this day with fearless confidence in God and His Word.  Know that He is with you and that He will complete the process He has started in you!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am confident that You will never leave me nor forsake me.  I am confident that You are both the author and the finisher of my faith.  I am confident that You never start anything You do not intend to finish.  I enter this day with fearless confidence in You, Your Word, Your ability, and Your commitment to my development.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

A Spirit-led, Word Rooted, and Faith Empowered Life! (top of page)

(Gal 6:9 AMP)  And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

I have been attempting to wind down our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins” all week, but it looks like I will not be able to bring it to a close until next week.  Last night the Holy Spirit reminded me of a few scriptures that I needed to address before we close the series out.  This morning’s test is one of those.

Paul’s letter to the Galatians is not long, but it is power-packed with insight and instruction concerning the differences between living under the law, living according the flesh (old mentality), and living a life led of the Holy Spirit.  Paul taught the meat of the differences in chapter two, three, and four.  In chapter five he begins to wrap it up and tie it all together.  After explaining the downfalls of a Born-Again believer attempting to live under the law, he states, “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (5:16).  Again in verse 18 he tells us to “…be led of the Spirit.”  He went on to close chapter five with a detailed list of the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  In chapter 6 he brings the letter to a close.  After laying it all out for us, he reminds us that we will have to make a decision and that we will reap from whatever we decide to sow (v.7).  In verse 8 he said, “If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.”  We now get to our text.

All throughout the letter he is driving home the point that we must be led of the Spirit.  I will submit to you that the Holy Spirit will never lead you contrary to the Word of God.  Being led of the Spirit, also means walking in accordance with the Word.  You cannot walk in accordance with the Word without walking by faith (2 Cor 5:7), because faith is that expression of confidence in God and His Word.  So walking in the Spirit, walking in the Word, and walking by faith are all intertwined.  We must live a Spirit-led, Word rooted, and faith empowered life.  It is in this light that we now take a look at our text.  Paul was saying that we must not “lose heart” when we are walking in the Spirit, in accordance with the Word, and by faith.  This leads us right back to faith and patience.  We have to have the patience never give up, to not lose heart, and to not grow weary; when we are attempting to live by faith, in accordance with the Word, and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

So what does this mean to you today? Three quick things:

1.       It is God’s will that you walk in the Spirit, in accordance with the Word, and that you do it by faith.

2.       It is not God’s will that you grow weary (weak, fatigued) while living this Spirit-led life.

3.       Our text promises that if you overcome weariness, keep hold of the promises, and keep your confidence (courage) in God and in His Word; you will reap a mighty harvest at the appointed time!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I do not grow weary in my Christian walk.  I allow Your Holy Spirit, that is in me, to lead me this day and every day.  I know everything He tells me to do will be in accordance with Your Word.   Your Word is the ruler by which I judge every decision.  I live my life by Your Word and I do it by faith.  I live a Spirit-led, Word rooted, and faith empowered life.  I do not relax my confidence and I know that I will reap my harvest if I do not give up!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Faith and Patience in Operation! (top of page)

(Gal 6:9 AMP)  And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  Yesterday we learned from this text that we should live a Spirit-led, Word rooted, and faith empowered life.  This morning we come right back to this text to glean some more golden nuggets:

1.       The Holy Spirit will lead us to do good:  We have already established that the theme of this letter was “Walking in the Spirit vs. Walking under the Law.”  Paul clearly taught us to live a Spirit-led life.  While teaching us on walking in the Spirit, Paul tells us that we should not stop “acting nobly and doing right.”  The KJV translates this “well doing.”  We must understand that God is a good God (Ps 34:8, 135:3, 145:9), that His mercy endures forever (Ps 106:1, 107:1, 118:1-4), and that He takes pleasure in prospering His people (Ps 35:27, Job 36:11).  So if God is good (and He is), and God lives in us (and He does), we should be good as well.  We should be walking, talking examples of His goodness.  Walking in faith and patience also means developing the ability to do good to others, even when they fail to do good back!

2.       We can overcome weariness:  Don’t fool yourself.  No one is so spiritual that they cannot grow weary.  We all get tired from time to time.  Sometimes you don’t feel like praying, studying, worshipping, or going to church.  Sometimes you don’t feel like being nice to people and doing good.  There are many times that I don’t feel like getting up early in the morning, before I do anything else, to get a Word from God and share it with you.  Let me help you with two words that help me when I don’t feel like it: SO WHAT! We don’t walk by feelings, we walk by faith.  Paul told us not to grow weary, because he knew that we would.  Paul knew that there would be times where we just did not feel like doing right, but we cannot resign ourselves to living a emotion-led life.  Our emotions change, but the Word of God never does.  If God says love, then we must love.  If God says forgive, then we must forgive.  If God says do good, then we must do good.  Remember that patience is the “ability to remain the same,” or “the force of consistency.”  Even when we don’t feel like it, we must remind ourselves of the Word, build up our faith, and continue to do those things that are pleasing to God!

3.       There is a blessing in it for us:  Solomon told us that there is a time to sow and a time to reap (Ecc 3:2).  Paul likens doing good in this text to a seed.  I have heard many people call this “do-good seed.”  If you sow do-good seed, you will reap a do-good harvest.  The CEV translates our text to read, “Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don’t give up.”  The key is not giving up.  Imagine a new farmer that bought a plot of land, sowed seed in the ground that takes 90 days to harvest, but god frustrated after 80 days and sold the land.  He missed his blessing by just a few days.  Likewise, you never know when your next harvest is coming from your do-good seed.  Don’t allow frustration to keep you from God’s blessing.  You will be rewarded, if you don’t give up.  Now that’s faith and patience in operation!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I allow Your Spirit to lead me this day.  The Holy Spirit leads me to do good and not evil all the days of my life.  I overcome weariness by faith.  I don’t walk by feelings, I walk by faith.  I rule over my emotions and I do not allow my emotions to rule over me.  I do good unto others; I allow Your light to shine through me, for Your glory; and I have faith that I will reap a do-good harvest, because I never give up!  I am excited about today and I put faith and patience in operation.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

Choose to Align Your Will with His Will! (top of page)

(Ps 34:1 KJV)  I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  David had been through a great deal in his life.  David fought a lion and a bear with his bare hands while he was still a kid.  He fought a giant as a teenager and killed him with a sling shot and a rock.  David was anointed by God, but then persecuted by man.  He was chased and attacked several times and for many years, before becoming king.  David also committed adultery and knew what it was like to mess up, but then repent before God.  David was simply a real man, who dealt with real issues, through the power of his real God.  It is clear to me that David knew how to walk in faith and patience.

It is this David that declared in our text that he would bless that Lord at all times.  Take a closer look and see that David said, “I will…”  In other words, David declared that he would bend his will towards the will of the Father.  God has made us free moral agents and we all have a personal will.  We can will to do right and will to do wrong.  We can will to bless and will to curse.  We can will to love and will to hate.  The choice is ours.  David made his choice.  He declared that he chose to align his will with the will of God.  He proclaimed that he would force himself, if need be, to bless the Lord at all times.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that walking by faith and patience is an act of your will.  God will not force you to do anything.  He has explained His will in His Word and it is your responsibility to read the Word (will) of God and to force your will to line up with His.  We do not walk by feelings, we walk by faith.  We do not walk by selfish desires, we walk by the Word.  We must train our will to be bent and shifted towards the will of God and we do that day by day.  When people get on our nerves or mistreat us, we must remind ourselves of the will of God.  When things are not going our way and we are facing challenges, we must remind ourselves of the will of God.  When the enemy seems to place obstacle after obstacle in our path, we must remind ourselves of the will of God.  Once we remind ourselves of God’s will (His Word), then the choice is ours.  We must make the decision to force our will to be His will.  We must will to do what God wills for us to do!  Are ready to will yourself towards your blessing?

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I bend my will towards Your will.  I force myself to submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in my life and the inner conviction that I feel towards doing what is right.  I declare that I will bless You at all times.  I will love and not hate.  I will forgive and not hold grudges.  I will walk peaceably with all men.  I will seek to be a blessing and not a hindrance.  I will look up and not down.  I will move forward ever, backward never!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

You are not Wasting Your Time! (top of page)

(1Co 15:58 MSG)  With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

This morning we continue our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul explains a great deal about the resurrection and our eternal inheritance.  He explains to us how we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye – our perishable will clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality.  He teaches us then that in Christ we are already victorious over death and death has no victory over us.  Jesus took the sting of death and the power of sin when He became sin on the cross.  Paul explains how our victory is now tied to Jesus the Christ and His victory over the kingdom of darkness.  We then get to our text.  Paul says, “With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”

So what does this mean to you today? Let’s take a closer look:

1.       With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground:  We stand our ground, or in other words, we operate in faith and patience, because of what Jesus did!  Jesus suffered, bled, and died; but He subsequently rose from the dead with all power in heaven and in earth.  He conquered the kingdom of darkness and He passed on His authority to us.  “With all this going for us,” we should be able to stand our ground!  The KJVtranslates this “steadfast, immovable.”  Once we understand what Jesus did and how that applies to our lives, we should be able to stand firm in faith and patience and allow nothing nor anyone to shake us in any way.  It is the will of God that we live a stable and secure life in Christ!

2.       And don’t hold back.  Throw yourselves into the work of the Master:  Not only should we stand our ground so that we are not pushed backwards, but we should also not hold back so that we can move forward!  Based upon what Jesus did, we should then get involved in the work of the Master; moving forward ever and backward never.  You should view this day and every day as a blessing from God and an opportunity to be used of Him for His glory.  God is always working.  Instead of asking Him to bless what you are doing, why not ask Him to involve you in what He is already blessing? Patience enables you to be stable enough to get involved in the work of the Master!

3.       Confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort:  Faith is confidence in God and His Word.  We must be established in confidence in every area of our lives.  Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), so know that he will constantly lie to us and tell us that we are wasting our time reading the bible and seeking to live what we learn.  The Holy Spirit through Paul taught us that it is not a waste of time.  Everything we do is a seed and as we seek to do the will of God, God will bring forth a righteous harvest in our lives.  Never give up and be confident that your labor is not in vain!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I am established in Your righteousness.  I know that Jesus conquered satan, hell, and the grave.  Jesus took the sting out of death.  I am so rooted in this truth that I am able to stand my ground.  I do not allow myself to get pushed back by the kingdom of darkness, but I rather move forward in the Kingdom of Your dear son.  I know that my labor is not in vain.  It is not a waste of time.  I will reap my reward, in due season, if I refuse to give up!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (top of page)

(Psalm 103:2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

This morning start to wind down (again) our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  I could go on, but I now feel the release from God to start wrapping things up.  David said in our text for this morning that we ought to bless the Lord and not forget all His benefits.  Over the last seven weeks we have covered over thirty messages on this topic and have taught many (not all) of the benefits of walking in faith and patience.  I trust that this series has been as much a blessing to you as it has been to me.  This morning we will start to list some of the benefits of living a life of faith and patience.  When you live a life of faith and patience you live a:

1.       Positive life:  It is hard to walk in faith and be negative.  Faith is confidence in God and His Word.  When you are constantly reminding yourself of the Word of God and seeking to live out the Word in every facet of your life, it is almost impossible to be negative.  God is not a negative God and His Word is not a negative Word.  If you discipline yourself to see everything through the lens of faith and make it a practice to speak the language of faith, you will find that you will find the good in every situation.

2.       Stable life:  The person that develops patience is a stable person.  We have learned that the testing of our faith develops patience and that patience is the ability to remain the same or the force of consistency.  It is not the will of God that we be “up” one week and “down” the next; positive in the morning and negative in the afternoon.  If you discipline yourself to allow patience to develop in your life, you will live the stable and consistent life that God desires for His children.

3.       Peaceful life:  God desires peace and rest for us and satan desires fear and chaos.  God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33), satan is; and satan desires to rob you of your peace.  Jesus said that He would give us peace, His peace, so that we would not be troubled and so that we would not be afraid (John 14:27).

4.       Healthy life:  If we would simply walk in faith and patience in the Body of Christ it would cut down on a great deal of health problems.  People that live a positive, stable, and peaceful life in the earth – through faith and patience – are people that are not prone to high blood pressure, constant headaches, fatigue, and etc.  Living a troubled and fearful life (satan’s desire) takes a toll on your physical body.  Living a stable and peaceful life (God’s desire) promotes wellness and a long life.

So what does this mean to you today? It means that it is beneficial to take heed to what the Word of God says.  If we live life God’s way we will get God’s results.  If we fail to apply the Word of God in our lives, we will fail to benefit from the same promises that we have read.  The Bible is not a textbook to study, but rather a “LifeBook” to live!  Live what you have learned and you will start enjoying the benefits.  Do you want to enjoy a positive, stable, peaceful, and healthy life?  If so, then walk in faith and patience and watch God manifest His glory in your life!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I discipline myself to live what I have learned.  I see everything through the lens of faith and I only speak the language of faith.  I live a positive life.  I am who the Word says that I am, I can do what the Word says that I can do, and I receive everything the Word says that I can receive.  I allow patience to be perfected in my life, making me stable.  I operate in peace and not fear.  I do not worry, but I rather trust and have faith.  The lifestyle of faith promotes health in my physical body.  I live a positive, stable, peaceful, and healthy life!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 2) (top of page)

(Psalm 103:2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

This morning we continue to wind down our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  Let’s continue our review of the benefits of walking in faith and patience.  When you live a life of faith and patience you live a:

1.       Disciplined life:  Discipline has been my watchword during this series.  This series has reminded me of the importance of discipline in the life of the believer.  Webster defines discipline as “training expected to produce a specific pattern of behavior; control obtained by enforcing compliance or order.”  This is very important.  Over the last seven weeks I have faced many challenges, but every time something happened that could cause me to get frustrated or disillusioned, I reminded myself that I live by faith and that I must allow the force of consistency (patience) to operate in my life.  What was I doing?  I was training myself to produce a specific pattern of behavior.  I was controlling my actions and forcing myself to comply with the Word of God.  This is discipline and this is God’s desire for every believer.  We must not allow our daily circumstances to shake us or get us off track.  We can face every challenge head on – with faith and patience – and overcome through the power of God!  That is living a disciplined life.

2.       Fearless life:  Know that faith moves God and fear moves satan.  Fear is one of satan’s most powerful tools.  He wants you to be afraid that God does not love you; that God will not show up in your situation; that your situation is not important to God; that you have disqualified yourself from God’s goodness because of your actions; and etc.  The moment you allow fear to settle in your heart, you have already taken a turn in the wrong direction.  Fear is literally an incapacitating force.  Fear will cripple you to the point where you don’t even want to think about God.  Paul related fear to a “spirit of bondage” (Rom 8:15).  John taught us that fear brings torment, but He also taught us that God is love and that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:8, 18).  So, know that satan attempts to inject fear in our hearts with his lies, but when we remind ourselves of the truths of God’s Word, we are able to overcome those fears and receive God’s peace!

3.       Confident life:  I have stated many times that faith is an expression of confidence in God and His Word.  The Hebrew writer said, “Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.  For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised” (Heb 10:35,36 AMP).  When you live your life in faith and your faith is rooted in the Word of God, then you are able to face anything that comes your way with a level of confidence that you can receive no other way.  Know that it is not the will of God that you walk through life with a timid and defeated attitude.  God wants us to face every day with the confidence that He is in us, working for us, and greater than anyone against us!  (Heb 13:6).

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I declare that I live a disciplined life.  I remind myself of Your Word daily.  Your Word empowers me to overcome every challenge and it keeps me from giving up.  You are love and Your love overflows in my heart.  Your love enables me to conquer fear.  There is no bondage or torment in my life.  I overcome evil with good.  I am confident that You will do everything You have stated in Your Word.  I stand on your promises and I face this day with fearless confidence!  I am not afraid of anyone or anything, because I am established in faith and my faith is established in the confidence I have in You!  I expect great things today.  I expect to enjoy my benefits!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 3) (top of page)

(Psalm 103:2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

We are just about done with our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  We started listing the benefits of walking in faith and patience last week and so far we have stated that when you walk in faith and patience you live a positive, stable, peaceful, healthy, discipline, fearless, and confident life.  This morning we will cover another benefit and this one is worth addressing by itself.  When you live a life of faith and patience you live a Victorious Life!

When most people think of victory they think of a contest or a battle.  They think of two sides going against each other and one side coming out as the victor.  For example, many think of a championship boxing match where two people go ‘toe-to-toe’ until one is knocked out or until the final bell rings.  At the end of the fight the victor stands with his hands held high enjoying the thrill of victory with the championship belt; while the loser hangs his held low, enduring the agony of defeat.  Others might think of a championship basketball game (NBA Finals Game 7) where two teams give their all four quarters.  When the buzzer sounds at the end of the forth quarter the team on top is that team that breaks loose in celebration, while the losing squad emotionally crumbles under the reality of the loss.  In both cases there is a victor and a loser and so it is in the spirit realm.  Satan has already been defeated.  Jesus conquered satan, hell, and the grave when He suffered, bled, died, and then rose from the dead.  He has all authority, both in heaven and in earth (Mat 28:180).  Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Cor 15:55).  Satan knows the Bible and he knows what the end of the book says.  He knows that he is a conquered enemy, but he also knows that he does not want to go down alone.  Misery loves company and he attempts to share his misery with as many people as he can.

Once we are Born-Again we have the victory, but that does not mean that we know how to live like it.  One of the key benefits of operating in faith and patience is that we live a victorious life, because we learn how to fight the good fight of faith with the shield of faith (1 Tim 6:12, Eph 6:16).  We cannot operate by faith without the Word of God, because faith is confidence in God and His Word.  If you look at the six pieces of the armor of God (belt, breastplate, shoes, helmet, shield, and sword), you realize that the only offensive weapon in this equipment is the sword and this sword is actually the Sword of the Spiritwhich is the Word of God (Eph 6:17).

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we are in a constant fight.  It means that there is a ‘real’ opposing side.  It means that our opposition knows that he has already lost in the spirit realm, but he knows that he can still cause all sorts of havoc in our lives in the natural realm; if we let him.  And it means that the only authorized way for us to fight back is by fighting the good fight of faith, with the shield of faith, and the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God).  When we operate in faith and patience we enjoy Victory Now and we don’t have to wait until we die to enjoy the pleasures of the Kingdom of God!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I know that heaven is a real place and that Jesus went there to prepare a place for me.  I know that I will enjoy heaven some day and I am settled in that, but I also know that it is Your will that I enjoy my life now.  I am alive and I refuse to accept defeat.  I am the victor and not the victim.  I am the champion and not the loser.  There is a loser and I am not him.  Satan is already defeated and I refuse to allow him to share his defeat and his misery with me.  I fight the good fight of faith and I enjoy a victorious life NOW!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 4) (top of page)

(Psalm 103:2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

This morning we continue to wrap up our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  We have thus seen that when you walk in faith and patience you live a positive, stable, peaceful, healthy, discipline, fearless, confident life, and victorious life.  This morning we will cover another benefit worth addressing by itself.  When you live a life of faith and patience you live an Abundant Life!

I am often asked why bad things happen to good people.  Along with other similar questions like: if God is good, why is there so much evil?  If God is good, why do we face pain?  If we are honest we can admit that sometimes we are simply reaping what we have sown, but that is not always the case.  The rest of the time it is simply a matter of dealing with the opposing side.  We are not in this world without opposition.  We do have an opposing force, he has his own kingdom, and he is not happy about the fact that we have crossed over into the Kingdom of God.

In John 10 Jesus explained to His disciples He was a good shepherd, that we were His sheep, and that we should follow His voice.  He also explained that thieves and robbers would come to steal His sheep and He warned us not to follow them.  He explained why by saying, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10 AMP).  Later on He was preparing His disciples for His departure and the havoc that it would cause.  He said, “I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world” (John 16:33 MSG).  In both statements we see a clear distinction between good and evil.  I could attempt to be very eloquent at this point, but I will simply summarize this in ‘first-grader’ English: God is good and satan is bad!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that we live in a corrupt, dishonest, and destructive world; but through the power of our faith in God and the consistency of our patience in His promises we can live a stable life in an unstable environment.  The opposing side will take their licks at us from time to time, but through faith and patience we will be able to withstand any attack, setback, and disappointment; and continue to move forward.  If someone promised you that coming to Christ would mean a life of roses, without opposition, they lied.  Life in Christ is not free of external opposition, but if we remain consistent in our faith, through patience, we can remain internally unshakable, no matter what the external circumstances may be.  When we live this consistent life through faith and patience, we are able to enjoy life and enjoy it in abundance – walking in the Overflow!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I know there is an opposing force, but I declare that Jesus overcame that force on the cross.  I am now covered by His blood and anointed by Your Spirit.  I walk in faith and patience and I experience the consistent, stable, and abundant life that You desire for me to have.  No matter what comes my way, I declare that I shall not be moved.  My internal peace is able to weather any external storms.  You desire for me to have life and to enjoy it in abundance.  I receive Your abundant, full, and overflowing life today and every day!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Benefits of Walking in Faith and Patience (Part 5) (top of page)

(Psalm 103:2)  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

This morning we continue to wrap up our series on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  We have already covered many of the benefits of walking in walk in faith and patience.  This morning we will discuss how applying bible truths to your life can affect you mentally.

Paul wrote a power-packed letter to the Philippian church on the importance of operating in joy.  In his closing remarks he stated, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.  Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (Phil 4:8,9 MSG).

Paul closed by instructing the Philippian church, and us for that matter, to fill our minds with and to meditate on good things and not evil.  When you constantly remind yourself to operate in faith and to exercise the consistency of patience, it will be difficult to think the wrong thoughts.  Faith is an expression of confidence in God His Word.  For you to consistently operate in faith you must consistently remind yourself of the truths of God’s Word.  If you consistently remind yourself of the truths of God’s Word you will be more apt to remain patient while you are dealing with challenges.  At that point, since your mind is focused on the promises of God more than the problems that you face, you will find yourself speaking positive and not negative and acting like your have your breakthrough, even before you get it.  I say that you will speak positive because your words are produced by your thoughts (Luke 6:45).  If you think the right things and speak the right things you will also find yourself doing the right things.  Paul then says, in our text, that if you put in practice what you have learned that you will experience the most excellent harmonies of God.  You will live a stable, sound, secure, and harmonious life; no matter what the circumstances may be!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that you must force yourself to think the right thoughts and speak the right words.  I am currently on vacation in New York with my family and I overheard my wife speaking with one of her friends yesterday about how I constantly remind her to think the right thoughts and speak the right words.  She even quoted Proverbs 18:21, where Solomon taught us that, “death and life are in the power of the tongue.”  I mention that because I want you to know that no one is exempt from working on this.  We all have to make the effort if we want to enjoy the benefits!  If you have enjoyed this series on faith and patience and you want to start reaping the benefits, the best place to start is in your mind.  Change the way you think and you will change the way you speak.  Change the way you speak and you will change the way you act.  Change the way you act and you have changed!

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I fill my mind and meditate upon things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  I believe the best about people and not the worst.  I believe I will always be the victor and not the victim.  I believe I will live and not die.  I believe I will win and not lose.  I believe I will come out on top and not beneath.  I fill my mind with Your opinion of me and I put into practice what I learn.  I line up my thoughts, words, and deeds with Your Word and I know that it will change my life for the better!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

The Secret to Paul’s Success – a Life of Faith! (top of page)

(2 Tim 4:7 KJV)  I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.

I finally have release from God this morning, after eight weeks, to finish this series.  This is the last message on “Faith and Patience – the Power Twins.”  I trust that this series has been a blessing to you.  If you missed any part, the entire series is on the website.

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, his spiritual son, he told him that he should “fight the good fight of faith.”  This is the really the only way that we can wage war in the spirit realm, because we do not have a physical (mere human) enemy.  Paul also wrote a second letter to Timothy.  This letter was the last letter he ever wrote.  Paul often closed his letter’s with a benediction for the recipient of the letter, but the forth chapter of 2nd Timothy is not only a benediction for Timothy, but also the benediction for Paul’s own life as well.

I am sure that Paul reflected back on his life while being led of the Holy Spirit to pen these words, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”  Wow!  Think about that for a moment.  Paul actually got the satisfaction of saying that his life was complete.  He had a vision from God and he knew that he had completed his mission.  His work was done.  He could die empty.  He had poured out everything that God poured into him.  He could now die with the internal peace that comes from true accomplishment.  But look back now at this statement.  To what does Paul attribute his success? Remember that he told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith.”  He now says that he had fought a good fight.  What fight would that be?  The fight of faith!  He fought his fight of faith daily, he finished the course, and he can also say that he has “kept the faith.”  There’s faith again.  You just can’t get around it.  Everything we do in the Kingdom of God, we do by faith.  Faith is the currency of the Kingdom.  Paul wrote half the New Testament, went on missionary journeys, preached the Word, started and provided oversight for churches, ministered to people everywhere he went, and he did it all by faith!

So what does this mean to you today? It means that this series has been all about operating by faith and having the patience to remain steadfast in your faith, so that you can experience the success that God desires for you to have.  God does not play favorites.  He does not honor one Christian over another, but He does honor faith.  Peter helped us know that all believers have “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1).  In other words, you have the same kind of faith that Peter, Paul, James, and John had.  The question is now, what are you going to do with it?  If you live by faith and couple the consistency of patience to your faith, you too will be about to say some day, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith!”

Confession for this day:  Lord God.  I live my life by faith.  I fight the good fight of faith with the shield of faith and I enter every day with the expectancy that faith brings.  I also operate in patience in every area of my life.  The testing of my faith produces patience and the development of patience makes me a mature person in You.  I can overcome every obstacle, defeat every attack, and triumph over every challenge; and I do it all by faith!  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!