Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Unbelief, The Enemy's Tactic

See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end."  Hebrews 3:12-14

God's plan of salvation can only come through faith in Him.  The enemy seeks to lie, steal and kill.  In the process of this, his number one goal and objective is to roar like a lion seeking to devour us.  The main way he does this is by attacking our minds with lies and deception and by getting us to focus on our situation and circumstances.  If Satan can get you to believe in the lies, then you become defeated and lose through unbelief.

Satan did this to the Israelites when they left Egypt.  He got all of them to rebel and fall into unbelief. Although they saw many signs, wonders and miracles they could not look beyond their circumstances.  Each time a problem arose, all they could see was defeat and fear.  God parted the Red Sea, gave them a cloud by night and day to protect them, provided water in the middle of the desert and food from heaven, yet they still did not enter into a trusting relationship with God.  Each time the situation got tough, they stumbled because they did not hold onto what God promised them.  They were not willing to listen to his voice but chose to harden their hearts.

Unbelief is sin.  God has many great and mighty promises.  He did not tell us that we would not have problems in this world, but that he would be with us through the problem and give us victory.  Each trial that comes is a trying and proving of your faith.  He is into circumcising your heart and trials are the area of where your weaknesses arise and shows you where your loyalty is.  That is why when trials come, we need to count it as joy because God is doing a new work in us and through us.  Trials bring us into intimacy with God because it is a place where we can seek him for help, healing and deliverance.  Our prayer should be Lord help me come to the other side because you said you are the author and finisher of my faith.  My hope today for all of you is that you will hold firm to the conviction and belief in what God promised you through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Different Gifts According to Grace

 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."  Romans 12:6-8

God has a perfect plan for our lives.  Many of us try to fulfill God's will and be pleasing to him.  However, we must function according to the grace given to us to fulfill the plan that God has for us.  Many today are trying to serve him, but may be doing so without the grace of God.  

Paul tells us that we are all members of one body and that we do not all have the same function.  When we try to walk in a gift God has not designated for us, we will find that there is not enough grace to do the task at hand.  We find ourselves running short of supply with regards to our ability to do it.  We will then find ourselves in our own works abiding outside of our relationship with Christ Jesus.  

In Ephesians 2, we are given salvation through the gift of grace that God has given us.  We are told "it is not by works lest anyone should boast."  If Christ is not in the work you are doing, then it is outside the will of God.  Ephesians 2 verse 10 tells us:  "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Only when we are found in Christ are we able to perform the tasks at hand to meet the needs of God's kingdom.  

Over the last 14 years of ministry that I have been in, I have found that we have to be careful between what is a good thing and what is a God thing.  Once the grace is lifted, then you will clearly be outside of the will of God.  It is a place where you are not supplied to do the work any longer.  I have found that place and I desire not to go back to it.  

My hope is that you will find the gift that God has for you and you will do it according to the wonderful grace that God has given you!