Bible study, Faith

Confident Trust

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.   – Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Do you actually believe this?

Is God with you? Is He your God? Will God strengthen you and even uphold you?

Those who have confident trust in God are able to answer YES to those questions.


He will not be afraid of evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.   – Psalm 112:7 NKJV

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is firmly fixed, trusting (leaning on and being confident) in the Lord.  – Psalm 112:7 AMPC

Let’s look at this verse in the King James Version with links to Hebrew word meanings from Strong’s concordance. Simply click on the links to learn more about these words.

  • heart
  • fixed
  • trusting
  • in the Lord

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart H3820 is fixed, H3559 trusting H982 in the LORD. H3068–   – Psalm 112:7 KJV

Here is what Charles Spurgeon said about this powerful little verse.

…resigning everything into the hands of God. “His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” He is neither fickle nor cowardly; when he is undecided as to his course he is still fixed in heart: he may change his plan, but not the purpose of his soul. His heart being fixed in solid reliance upon God, a change in his circumstances but slightly affects him; faith has made him firm and steadfast, and therefore if the worst should come to the worst, he would remain quiet and patient, waiting for the salvation of God.

I want to live like this! How about you? 

Confident Trust

Bible, Faith

Faith Quest

Are you on a quest for more faith?

A quest for faith often involves searching, studying and prayer to find the faith supply that seems hidden. However, this is not necessary. It is like someone leaving their home and going on a journey in search of a treasure that is waiting back at home. The answer to the faith quest is simply this   ~  God’s Word 

I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” I had up to this time closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.       ~Dwight L. Moody

Let’s look at Romans 10:17 in a few different translations 

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 So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  – KJV

So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.    – NKJV

 (Belief you see, can only come from hearing the message, and the message is the word of Christ.)      – J.B. Phillips 

 So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.    -NASB

 So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).  -AMPC

So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.   -AMP


This verse is certainly telling us that the Bible is all we need to acquire more faith. If you look at this verse in different Bible translations it becomes more noticeable that the particular part of God’s word that is needed is the gospels. It is clear that the words of Jesus are the key.

Let’s take a look at what happened in John 4:4-30 and John 4:39-43  This is the portion of scripture about the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus. However for the purpose of our topic today, I want to focus on the group of people that hear about Jesus through the Samaritan woman.

Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman and she then shared with others. John 4:39 tells us that the people believed in Jesus because of hearing what the woman said. Those people then invited Jesus to stay with them and He did. It would be great if you could get your Bible out and read this portion of scripture now, but in case that isn’t possible, I have included it below in a couple of different versions.

 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.”  So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.  Many more believed because of His word;  and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.” After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee.  -John 4:39-43 NASB

 Now many Samaritans from that city believed in Him and trusted Him [as Savior] because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.”  So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they asked Him to remain with them; and He stayed there two days.  Many more believed in Him [with a deep, abiding trust] because of His word [His personal message to them];  and they told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; for [now] we have heard Him for ourselves and know [with confident assurance] that this One is truly the Savior of [all] the world.” After the two days He went on from there into Galilee.  – John 4:39-43  AMP

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We don’t believe any longer now because of what you said. We have heard him with our own ears. We know now that this must be the man who will save the world!                                            John 4:42  J.B. Phillips

The people believe after hearing the words of Jesus from the Samaritan woman. So this is an example of faith coming by hearing the word of God as Romans 10:17 says. But we also clearly see that another level of faith is reached when these people have their very own personal encounter with Jesus and hear Him for themselves.

Compare the Samaritan’s experience with your own faith experience. When you first believed you had faith to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Later you moved to another level of faith after spending time with Jesus. I hope that you have come to know Jesus personally, yourself and not just second hand through other people’s testimonies. I pray that all who read this will have the desire to get to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The Samaritans had two special days with Jesus. We can have every day with Jesus. Open the Bible to hear Him speak to you!

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Bible, Corrie ten Boom, Faith

A Mentor

What is a mentor?

  • a wise and trusted counselor or teacher
  • a person who trains and guides someone
  • an experienced and trusted adviser

A good Christian mentor will always be directing your focus to Jesus. They will live out what they teach. Their guidance will be Bible-based.

It was at the very start of my faith journey that I found Corrie ten Boom.  I got to know Corrie while reading her book “The Hiding Place.” Many years have passed since she became a mentor to me through her writings. I’ve received a wealth of practical guidance for my life.  Today I continue to be richly blessed because I’m able to access so much of what she shared through her books and video recordings.

Corrie was a living example of

  • the life of faith
  • true forgiveness
  • how to help others
  • prayer
  • humility
It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts. When I try, I fail. When I trust, He succeeds.
If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.
This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only he can see.
~ Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom said faith is a    Adobe Spark (5)

Fantastic

Adventure

In

Trusting

Him

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Would you like to know more about Corrie ten Boom?

Visit →  Corrie ten Boom where you will find quotes, videos, audio, and general information.

Please leave a comment below and share about someone who has been a mentor to you.

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Corrie ten Boom  (1892 – 1983)

 

Bible, Faith, Goals

Simple

Can you believe it is July already? We are halfway through 2019! I hope your summer is off to a good start and that you are making time to enjoy the simple pleasures this season offers. Here is something I love at this time of the year. The Mimosa trees are in bloom

IMG_20190603_184044222_HDR

Going to share a post with you today that was originally posted in March of 2018.

Pour yourself a glass of ice tea and maybe sit in the shade while reading. Afterward please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!



Do you feel overwhelmed with   (fill in the blank)  

  • too much information
  • too many choices
  • too much stuff

I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.

Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?

Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.


However, I do not think we have exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.


Here’s what I asked on Facebook ↓

Question:
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE? 

I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂


First, let’s define simple

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.

2. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.

5. not complicated: a simple design.

6. not complex or compound; single.

7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.

 (Go to Dictionary.com-simple to find more on the definition of simple)

Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.


 Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.

Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.  “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.  The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.  The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

Numbers 11:4-9  NLT

 How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters. Is Jesus enough for you_
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible

                         Living Word = Jesus

Jesus said

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30  J.B. Phillips New Testament


When you have the time, listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.

Click on one of the links below to watch ↓
Apparently, some are now debating if Billy Graham’s theology was too simpleWhat do you think?
Who wants to join me in a return to the simple basics?
Please comment below 
IMG_20190603_183951237_HDR - Edited
Mimosa tree near my house
Bible, Faith

Longing

The last blog post was about how life is well Worth Living when you are walking with Jesus.

BUT

Does this mean we should be completely content and satisfied?

Or is it good to have a kind of discontentment that urges us to seek something more?

Do you ever find yourself longing?


“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

– C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory 

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death…”

-C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    – 2 Corinthians 4:18 HCSB

Hebrews chapter 11 tells us a little about some of the people of faith who lived during the time of the Old Testament. They were people who lived with a beautiful longing. Read the entire chapter (see link below) to get the whole picture and then notice verses 13-16.

Hebrews 11

All these whom we have mentioned maintained their faith but died without actually receiving God’s promises, though they had seen them in the distance, had hailed them as true and were quite convinced of their reality. They freely admitted that they lived on this earth as exiles and foreigners. Men who say that mean, of course, that their eyes are fixed upon their true home-land. If they had meant the particular country they had left behind, they had ample opportunity to return. No, the fact is that they longed for a better country altogether, nothing less than a heavenly one. And because of this faith of theirs, God is not ashamed to be called their God for in sober truth he has prepared for them a city in Heaven.

– Hebrews 11:13-16  J.B. Phillips New Testament

May we never find ourselves so comfortable and satisfied that we lose the longing! 

_If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were ma (2)

 

Faith, Goals

Burn The Ships

Burn the ships is a phrase that I was familiar with but could not remember the origin story. So when I heard for King & Country’s great song Burn The Ships, I immediately had to do some quick research.

In 1519 Hernan Cortes and his crew sailed to Veracruz, Mexico. Soon after arriving the men of  Cortes’ crew wanted to return back home. Legend says that Cortez ordered his men to burn the ships. Once they burned the ships they no longer had the option of going back home. They had no choice but to go forward into a new life.

Burn the ships means to cut off the option of returning to old ways and forging ahead to the new. It is easy to see how this can be applied to the Christian life.

Have you left your past behind? Are you forging ahead into the new life? What ships do you need to burn?

Below is the music video for King & Country – Burn The Ships

Faith, prayer, Summer of Prayer Series

Soliloquy

“If you know God’s hidden companionship, your prayer will become a conversation instead of a soliloquy.”    – Corrie ten Boom
Soliloquy is an unfamiliar word that stands out in the above quote. Let’s take a look at the definition to fully understand the point that Corrie ten Boom intended to make.
Soliloquy is a device often used in drama when a character speaks to him or herself relating thoughts and feelings thereby also sharing them with the audience giving off the illusion of being a series of unspoken reflections.
If other characters are present they keep silent and/or are disregarded by the speaker.

Watch the first 45 seconds of this video → Soliloquy 


Andrew Murray also used the word soliloquy when writing on the subject of prayer.

One reason why the discipline of prayer is not attractive is that people do not know how to pray. Their stock of words is soon exhausted, and they do not know what else to say. This happens because they forget that prayer is not a soliloquy where everything comes from one side, but it is a dialogue where God’s child listens to what the Father says, replies to it, and then asks for the things he needs.

Then he gave a suggestion to those who encounter this problem.

Read a few verses from the Bible. Do not concern yourself with the difficult parts in them; you can consider these later. Take what you understand, apply it to yourself, and ask the Father to make His Word light and power in your heart. Thus you will have material enough for prayer from the Word which the Father speaks to you. You will also have the liberty to ask for things you need.

Keep on in this way, and prayer will become at length, not a place where you sigh and struggle, but a place of living fellowship with the Father in heaven. Prayful study of the Bible is indispensable for powerful prayer. The Word prayerfully read and cherished in the heart by faith will, through the Spirit, be both light and life within us.

– Andrew Murray

I challenge you to slowly read the Corrie ten Boom quote again.

Think about it and perhaps ask yourself some questions.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below 

Copy of “If you know God_s hidden companionship, your prayer will become a conversation instead of a soliloquy.”-Corri (1)
Bible, Faith, Goals

Simple

Do you feel overwhelmed with   (fill in the blank)  

  • too much information
  • too many choices
  • too much stuff

I could keep adding to the list but I’m sure you get the idea of what I’m talking about. We seem to be drowning in too much everything! It is the cause of a huge amount of the stress people have come to accept as normal.

Recently this overload has been recognized as the cause of terrible stress, resulting in poor physical and mental health. One of the biggest problems is the overload of social media. Are smartphones really a smart idea?

Great that the problem has been identified. Next comes the challenge of what to do about it. It is pretty easy to find some help today. There are books, articles, videos, even entire websites devoted to returning to a simpler lifestyle. You will easily find much on the subject of living better with less, minimalism, and many practical tips to make much-needed changes.


However, I do not think we have exposed the problem of too much within the Christian community. Many of us are living with an overload in areas like Bible study, prayer, Church activities… There is a constant flood of information, too many choices, and excessive social media options available to the believer today! The availability of all things “Christian” sounds good, but is it all too much? I think so. What do you think? The explosion of instantly available materials, social media and more in the Christian world has contributed to our loss of focus. We begin to drift from the simple basics of our faith.


Here’s what I asked on Facebook ↓

Question:
What comes to mind when you think of the word SIMPLE? 

I was writing this post and wondered if SIMPLE was the right word to use. After reading comments that people shared I feel encouraged. I think I’m starting to hear the rumbling of a move toward returning to the simple basics of the Christian life! 🙂


First, let’s define simple

1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.

2. not elaborate or artificial; plain:

3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned:

4. unaffected; unassuming; modest: a simple manner.

5. not complicated: a simple design.

6. not complex or compound; single.

7. occurring or considered alone; mere; bare: the simple truth; a simple fact.

 (Go to Dictionary.com-simple to find more on the definition of simple)

Looking at definitions causes me to wonder why simple has been so undervalued. It seems that it should be especially desirable for followers of Jesus.


 Let’s take a look at a portion of scripture that might be helpful in understanding how we go off track.

Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed.  “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”

 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin.  The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil.  The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night.

Numbers 11:4-9  NLT

 How could it be that God’s provision of daily bread from heaven was not satisfying to the people? Manna was not good enough? These verses seem to indicate an influence from other people and a looking back at the world they left behind. God set these people apart but instead of praising God for His care they craved something more… Simple manna didn’t seem like enough.
Today there is a call from the world to join in a quest for the latest new thing. The push is for constant updating. The result of this influence causes us to think we need to read the latest book, use the newest prayer model, follow the latest Christian social media, join multiple Bible studies… Meanwhile, maybe you never got around to just sitting down with Jesus and reading His word for you today.
Sometimes what we need is to let some things go and cling to what truly matters. Is Jesus enough for you_
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 Paul warned against drifting from the simplicity that is in Christ.
God’s word is never outdated.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The Holy Spirit has a training course that is perfectly designed for you!
We have the written word = Bible

                         Living Word = Jesus

Jesus said

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30  J.B. Phillips New Testament


Let’s listen to someone who never seemed to forget the power of the simple basics.

Click on one of the links below to watch ↓
Apparently, some are now debating if Billy Graham’s theology was too simpleWhat do you think?
Who wants to join me in a return to the simple basics?
Please comment below 
Is Jesus enough for you_ (1)
Bible, Faith, Jesus

He Lives!

He Lives!

Jesus is Victor

Now and Forever

King of kings

Lord of lords

Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.   – Mark 16:6

He lives!

Who is He to you?


Matt Maher – Because He Lives

Let our song join the one that never ends! 

AMEN