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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pain and Faith one in the same

Read  Hebrews 11: 3-14

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:10

Pain and faith

In all intents and purposes, we believe in doctors. We trust in their diagnosis despite the fact they cannot feel, see, touch, or taste our pains.  The same is true with faith – it cannot be felt, tasted, touched, or seen yet we believe.  Faith begins where reasoning ends. 

How deep is your faith?

In the bible faith is described as active trust in God and his word.  To a true believer there is no such thing as “blind faith.” Faith is always tied to God’s word.  It is not some random thought or “Jedi” mind trick of persuasion. Faith is God’s gift to his believers Ephesians 2:8. Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message heard through the word of Christ Romans 10:17. Have you not heard? Then how deep is your faith?

When obscure pain impedes the body people probe their minds searching for answers. Stump your toe on a rock it’s obvious. Dealing with an agonizing chest pain, or severe headaches we reach out for help.  Though the doctor is not experiencing the same pains we trust they will find the primary cause. 

No logic in religion

We tend to place logic in religion.  Too bad people don’t take their walk with faith the same way as pain.  As long as we can see a thing, touch a thing, feel a thing, taste a thing, we are comfortable but when logic evades us fear, doubt, and frustration sets in.  How deep is your faith?  Pain and faith – one in the same – neither can be seen, touched, tasted, or felt yet we believe.

What is faith?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. So as it is with a non believer who questions the walks of faith, remember both pain and faith are one in the same.  Until you experience it for yourself it will only seem foolish. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Living Above the Chaos

the greatest hour for the church to shine
“Remember this! In the last days there will be many troubles, because people will love themselves, love money, brag, and be proud. They will say evil things against others and will not obey their parents or be thankful or be the kind of people God wants. They will not love others, will refuse to forgive, will gossip, and will not control themselves. They will be cruel, will hate what is good, will turn against their friends, and will do foolish things without thinking. They will be conceited, will love pleasure instead of God, and will act as if they serve God but will not have his power.”  II Timothy 3:1-5 New Century Version

We as a nation of people are facing some perilous and terrifying times. Yet, in spite of the hour in which we live, for the people of God it is a time of great opportunities and advancements. It is in times like these that our faith as a people must be stronger than ever before.  Although we are not exempt from the elements of life, the changing of the seasons and times, there is a difference between us surviving the crisis or succumbing to the pressure.

This is the greatest hour for the church to shine, rise and be heard. When the world is regressing and going under, God will move His people forward, causing His people to progress and flourish.

“Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, Behold, the Israelites are too many and too mighty for us and they outnumber us both in people and in strength. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply more and, should war befall us, they join our enemies, fight against us, and escape out of the land. So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelites.” Exodus 1:8-12 Amplified

During these rough economic times, it is God who will stabilize us and cause us to increase, prosper and propel in the worst conditions. The world is in a major crisis, and the pressure is even on us to compromise our faith, but we must remember as the children of Israel grew under pressure, hardship and oppression, we to will grow, multiply and increase as long as we believe by faith that God will see us through.

Our faith in Christ will triumph over all. For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith I John 5:4. Amplified

By faith you can conquer every mountain, face every problem, and overcome every adversity. By faith you can bounce back when people counted you out; by faith God can restore your health, family, bad credit, erase debt, reverse foreclosure, remove cancer, diabetes, liver disorder, put love back in a marriage, drive out rebellion and put your house in order.

By faith you can ride through the rages of life, walk through turbulence, test, and dangerous situations without any evidence of being scared. By faith you can defeat worry, doubt and fear. There is absolutely nothing faith cannot do!

Submitted by: Pastor Paulette Harper Johnson
Paulette Harper Johnson, an award winning author, writing coach, and speaker, seeks to inspire women from all walks of life.  Paulette is a wife, mother, grandmother, Bible teacher, radio host, writer and the owner of WNL Virtual Book Tours.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

God loves a good argument

couples fighting 
Read James 4:1-11

Come near to God and he will come near to you.  James 4:8

A good argument

Ever given any thought to what evokes arguments (fights) among family and friends? If surveyed man and women would unleash a plethora of reasons – more fingers pointing and less searching of the man in the mirror.  Understand there may be times a ‘fair argument’ is in order. But for the sake of this argument (pun intended) these frequent spats revels a greater problem which is often over looked. The Bible highlights the root cause for the common disagreement which typically affects many Christians.

Bible view of arguments

James pointed out in Chapter 4:1-11, fights and quarrels stem from inner battles of desires. Because you do not have [your desires], it kills you. So, is James suggesting by not getting desires it ignites frustration and questions God?  According to the bible the succinct answer is yes. So does God answer prayers if our motives are not pure?  The simple answer is no.

Many prayers have elements of personal requests. Based on God, His will, and time, they are answered – in whole or in part.  But people covet their desires of the heart by pimping God through selfish prayer. It is safe to say when EGO driven prayers are ushered heaven bound they Edge God Out.  Parishioners are not focusing on God’s purpose and in return God refuses to hear or answer. 

When prayers/desires go unanswered the stormy cycle continues and anger towards God increase, “where are you God when I need you.” Frustration follows along with disappointment of self.  The least thing triggers a full blown argument which is typically much to do about nothing.  The attempt to do it your way and not God’s way opens a person’s spirit to dangerous warfare.

Are you praying with wrong motives? Reevaluate your prayers.  Are your prayers seeking the pleasures of life or do you seek God first?  Jesus told us to A.S.K. – Ask and you shall receive seek and you will find knock and the doors will be opened Matthew 7:7-8.  Jesus’ promise was when we ask the Spirit will work in us.  He was not promising that we will receive whatever we think we wanted but that the Holy Spirit may direct our hearts so that we will desire the things that God desires and in exchange he will pour out his blessing pressed down and running over. 

Change the desires. Stop the arguments, pray for God’s desire and watch your life manifest in to the true desires of God. In the end you will still win!  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

What’s in a name?

Your destiny is in your name
Read – Luke 1:57-66

 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5

Names are our identity

There was a time a person’s name meant something. Children were named after parents, aunts, uncles, or from the Bible. It connected them to history. For today’s generation there is no rhyme or reason in a child’s appellation.  Honoring generations passed, upholding family names, or having biblical reference is now passé. 

The importance of names

The bible illustrates the importance of titles. God changed names in an effort to establish new identity; Abram to Abraham – “father of a multitude” also with his wife Sari “my princess” to Sarah “mother of nations” Genesis 17:5-15.  God changed Jacob and Simon’s names too.  God also directed parents to name their children – Abraham to name his son Isaac, Zacharias was ordered by God’s angel to name his son John but the most important was directing Joseph in naming our Savior Jesus. Even today, God is still in the naming business, he was instrumental in naming my son.

Because God told me

  It was understood that the legacy of my name – ‘Tigner’ – would end with me and my son would have my middle name ‘James’.  God had a different agenda.  On a bright sunny Sunday morning, October 17th, as we jetted down the highway heading to the hospital the Holy Spirit spoke – “his name will be Emmanuel.”  It was beyond doubt I heard from God.

The name change was unexpected. No one knew except for me and God.  When asked “what name is given this child” family was dismayed with my response and asked why?  “Now he cannot carry on the legacy of your name.” I heard all type of complaints.  What was most important to me was naming my son accordingly; Emmanuel which being interpreted is “God with usMatthew 1:23.  God was with us because my wife’s pregnancy was difficult.  It was only by God’s grace and He being with us that allowed our son to be born – he was a gift from God.  So what is in a name? In this case it had everything to do with God. It had nothing to do with me or what others felt but what the Holy Spirit bestowed upon my heart.  Choose names wisely.
The beautiful name of Jesus

Jesus is known by many names, definitions and interpretations. And He answers to them all. People have called Him Prince of Peace, Savior, Bread of life, Counselor, redeemer, comforter, but the most important he is Wonderful. So what is in a name?  When you believe in Jesus name you find Comfort, peace, salvation, joy, and life eternal all for the asking.   When facing troubles, health, jobs, family crisis, at the call of his name Jesus is there.  So what is in a name - Everything that is ever needed can be found in this one name – Jesus.  


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