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Posts Tagged ‘believe’

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He Is

This poem is contributed by Fatima Manson, poet and freelance-editor:

Magnificent as He is
He is downgraded by many
The Creator of all things
But discredited by plenty
Mysterious yet seen
Denied and misread
He is forever crucified
Though His life He bled
His truth is ignored
And His name worshiped in vain
Forgotten by some
Still His love remains
He is a protector and healer
The warmth from the cold
Yet his word is taken for granted
As just another tale to be told
He lives within a realm
Some don’t think exist
They uphold scientific theories
While His seven days get dismissed
He left behind the manual for life
But we still cry anxious tears
How can one think there is no God?
Look around, His evidence is quite clear

© 2013 Fatima Manson

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Faith requires action. Otherwise it’s useless. The Bible tells us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26 (KJV)

As Christians, we claim faith in God but some of us continue to live a life full of worry, stress, anger, fear, or depression. Of course, there are situations that sometimes cause these legitimate emotions to appear. But we should not continuously live in such an emotional state.

Psalm 23:4 reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (KJV)

We must put some work behind our faith, and believe in God’s promise to protect and comfort us during our period of trial and tribulation.

For God is not a liar.

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In the Gospel of John 1:1 it states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

For a long time I did not make the connection that the “Word” was Jesus Christ even though verse 14 tells me so. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

It was only after a particular Bible study did I put it all together. It’s also when I noticed that the ‘w’ in word is capitalized. This indicates to me that the writer is not speaking of a word in the literal sense, but of Jesus Christ – God’s Word made into flesh.

A second significant aspect is found in John 1:5: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Jesus Christ is the light this verse speaks of, but those who were in darkness (meaning they were lost because they did not know Christ) could not or would not accept Him. This verse is significant because the same thing is still going on today.

There are many lost souls who have no true knowledge or understanding of Jesus Christ. Sadly, they want to keep it that way. But Jesus said if you are not with Him then you are against Him. “He that is not with me is against me;…” (Matthew 12:30)

So, if a person is not abiding by the commandments of Jesus Christ, they are against Him. They are living in sin. And living in sin is the same as being lost – both of which the word “darkness” in John 1:5 refers to.

A third significant aspect is in John 3:3: “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This is a most significant statement because it is telling us what must happen in order for us to abide with God forever.

To be born again means that we must surrender our selves to Jesus Christ. We must repent of our sins, and be willing to change for the better. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, and be willing to put to death our old selves, hence the term “born again”.

If we put all our trust and faith in Jesus Christ, He can begin the renewing process within us. This involves a daily cleansing of our soul, and it is something we cannot achieve on our own.

While we will never be perfectly cleansed from all sin in this world, we will have a different mind-set, a change of heart that will allow us to turn away from the sinful habits that once held us captive.

Jesus Christ promises, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

I can’t think of anything more significant than that.

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Job suffered through many trials and tribulations ranging from the deaths of his children to the boils that covered his entire body. His friends believed he had committed some sin in order for such evil to fall upon him. This caused Job even more anguish because he was a righteous man, and he knew he had done nothing wrong.

He couldn’t understand why he had to endure such tragedies, and he questioned God. When God answered him, it was in the form of Him reminding Job of who it was that had created all things in the universe.

God asked Job what role he had played in the creation process in order to help him realize the omnipotence of God. His questioning of Job was effective because Job began to realize how insignificant he was. Job’s statement in Chapter 42:6, “…I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”, is evidence of him humbling himself before God.

Job came out of his trials and tribulations understanding the nature of suffering to be that sometimes both the good and the bad must be dealt with, and that even though his suffering was through no fault of his own, he still had to know (and believe) that God was in control. Even though his trust and faith were put to the test, he continued to turn to God for answers. The Bible tells us that Job “sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” during this time. (Job 1:22) And in the end, he was rewarded twice as much for his obedience and faithfulness.

It’s a good lesson in suffering. At some point, all of us will go through – or have already gone through – a period of trials and tribulations. If we are servants of Jesus Christ, we would do well to emulate Job because as long as we hold steadfast to God in the midst of trouble, He will see us through. Even when it feels like God is nowhere around. He Is…

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In the book of Ecclesiastes, The Preacher shares with the reader his observations about life. His conclusions, are that yes, life does have meaning. But the meaning lies in how we live. A life that is lived in constant pursuit of material gain, one where the acquisition of excess comes at the cost of emotional and physical sacrifice is to me a life that is in constant motion…but for all the wrong reasons. The Preacher called it vanity. And I agree.

Everyone must and should earn their own way. That is not in question. But to what degree? The hustle and bustle of a daily “grind” can be toxic to us if we despise the very activity that we rush off to each morning. It can also be detrimental to our health as it is bound to produce an unnecessary amount of stress on a daily basis. Yet, for the sake of recognition and/or material gain, we will endure such a level of un-fulfillment until old age relieves us of that task or the toxicity of it all fills us with disease.

Life does have meaning when looked at from the right perspective. It is a gift from God. And not only did He give us life, He gave us “directions” (the Bible) on how to live it. All we need to do is ask for His guidance and help in understanding and following those directions.

Once we understand the real meaning of life – what our true purpose is – we become free to put everything else into its proper perspective. Revelations Chapter 4, verse 11 tells us why we were created:
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

And The Preacher sums it up in Ecclesiastes Chapter 12, verse 13 by saying, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Everything else we do should be secondary.

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I used to wonder about life.

When I was ten years old, I found myself wondering quite often, about what the whole purpose for living was. One day my older brother said to me, “Stop trying to figure it out or you’ll go crazy.” So, I took his advice – slowly. But my confusion persisted for the next eleven years, and then waned when I found Jesus Christ. Then, it returned when I later rejected Jesus, deciding to live my life without Him.

During that time, I groped my way through life, formulating my own ideas and opinions that would make me feel comfortable. Needless to say, my opinions on the purpose of life would sometimes change depending on what phase of my life I was in, or who I was with.

But one day, I went back to church. I relearned all that I had let go of (and more), and I remembered that God doesn’t operate or think the way I do. He has an ultimate purpose for us, and it doesn’t change regardless of where we’re at in life, or what we’re doing. Because God loves us, He only wants the best for us. His best. And in the end, that’s everlasting life with Him in Heaven.

Seems like a simple concept, huh? But maybe not.

Maybe not because we have to first reject our own opinions, and believe that there is an after-life. For God has said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Then, we have to believe that that after-life has only two destinations – Heaven or hell, and depending on how we live our lives here on earth will determine which destination our soul ends up at.

Yes, I used to wonder about life until I found the answers to my questions in the Bible, God’s Holy words. Ecclesiastes Chapter 12 tells me, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

And we are told in Colossians 1:16, “… all things were created by him, and for him:”

So, in essence, we were created by God for God. That is whom we must serve through His Son Jesus Christ.

Now, once you know the meaning of your life, and what you’re supposed to be doing it won’t seem so fickle. You won’t see yourself as useless. Because you’re not. You have a purpose. You have a life to live, love to give, and a Savior to serve who’s always looking out for you.

Of course, some change on your part is going to have to take place, some surrendering of self to Jesus Christ so that He can transform you and give you the wisdom and spiritual discernment you’ll need in order to understand your role as a creation of God.

And believe this – your role is not to steal, kill, abuse, hurt, or do any of the things that cause harm to you or others. That’s a role reserved for satan and his demons.

But that’s not God’s plan for you.

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“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace….take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one….Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”    NIV (Galatians 6:11-18)

What does this passage written thousands of years ago from the Bible mean?  How can its words still hold the sound of truth all these years later?  Because it IS the truth.  It is the Word of God.

What if you were about to take a ride on a motorcycle, and your friend told you to put on your helmet so your head would be protected in case you had an accident?  You believe in helmets, but just not for you, so you take the helmet and throw it on the back of the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, you end up in an accident, hit your head, and die.  That helmet could have saved you had you put it on.

It’s the same way with God.  It’s not enough to just believe in Him.  We must put Him on – the full armor of God – and keep Him on.  We must LIVE Him in order to be eternally protected.

Try it for yourself:

God’s Word is righteous in a world that is full of perversions…“This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.”  Psalm 118:20

God’s Word will give you peace in a world that is full of violence, worry, anger, and fear…  “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:7

God’s Word – if you believe – produces faith, and faith in Jesus Christ overrules the devil…”because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

God’s Word is full of truth in a world that’s full of lies“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

Accepting God’s Word means accepting Jesus Christ and that brings eternal salvation to you and to me!

Do you know Jesus?

I mean personally know Him, as in communicating with Him on a daily basis.  No, I don’t mean just calling on Him when the rent is due and you don’t have the money, or calling on Him because you just WANT some money, or praying that He’ll get you out of whatever trouble you’ve somehow found yourself in.

I mean having a personal relationship with Him every day.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as YOUR personal Lord and Savior, then the first thing you must do is:

Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins and then rose up from that death on the 3rd day (the Resurrection).  (Hebrew 11:6)

Confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour before men.  (Matthew 10:32)

Repent of your sins (feel sorry for the sins you’ve committed, and have a desire to change).  (Acts 2:38)

Be baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins.  (Acts 2:38)

Ask Jesus to come into your life and take over.  He will begin to change you.  And you too, will have the peace of God “… which passeth all understanding…”. 

If you remain faithful in your walk with Christ, you too, will begin to learn how to put on – and keep on – the armor of God.

No matter what may happen in this world, you need not fear because remember what Jesus said in 1 John 4:4 –“…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

And the one that is in this world is my enemy and your enemy, satan.

Don’t let this world destroy you.  Don’t make the eternal mistake of thinking that you’re stronger, because without Jesus Christ…you’re not.

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that’s it’s good, very good, to have a friend like Jesus.

(Scripture italicized for emphasis only)

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Trust

Today’s topic should be about trusting in God, I think.

Some of us put all our trust in another.  We invest everything we have – emotionally, physically, financially – into another that we trust.  And don’t get me wrong. That’s good.  Very good because that’s what unconditional trust is all about.

But what about the One who created us and holds the eternal destiny of our souls in His hands?  If we can trust another, shouldn’t we also trust Him?  And shouldn’t He be at the top of the list?

Some of us say we trust in God, but it’s hard to tell sometimes.  We fluctuate.  One day we’re praising Him for what He’s going to do.  A few days later (when the thing we need Him to do hasn’t happened yet) we’re about to worry ourselves to death over it.

I know it’s hard sometimes not to doubt.  I’m guilty of that too.  It’s human nature to not trust that which we can not see.  But here’s the thing…we actually can see God when we look at the magnificent design of creation.  He made it so that we would know by instinct that there is a Creator.  There is a God.

How many people saw the ‘Super Moon’ last night?  It was beautiful.  And far too awesome to be some unexplainable accident.

When I am weak, and feel doubt trying to creep in that’s when I know to pray harder, to ask God to increase my faith and remove all doubt.  I know that’s the time to hold on even tighter because if there’s one thing I know it’s this…

Through all the hard times God has NEVER left me or forsaken me, and I know He never will.  How do I know this?  Because He said He wouldn’t.

“…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

And I trust Him.   You should too.

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Believe

How can you believe God?

–  By not just reading, but also studying His Word, the Bible.  God has proven   Himself many times throughout it.

– By listening to a man of God preach the True Gospel.  (This goes back to studying God’s Word.  Know the truth so you won’t be misled.)

–  By talking with your friend, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, child, or stranger who is saved, and who wants to lead you to an active relationship with Jesus Christ as well.

God has provided us with many ways to hear and receive His Word.  We need only to be willing and open to receiving it.

If you don’t have the desire in your heart to know God, it would be a good idea to ask Him to put the desire there for you.

If you are not willing to know Him, nothing can happen until you are.  He will not force Himself upon you.  But God knows your heart, and only He alone can change it…for you…and for the better.

Some people want to do things their way.  They don’t want anyone – including God – telling them how they should live.

How ironic it is that we would not want the One who created us telling us how we should live…

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