Hold Fast What Is Good

1 THESSALONIANS 5:21 KJV 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
Sometimes things that should be obvious to us are not. Like, if what you are doing is not working out, it would be wise to consider a change.
Too many people are not receiving the blessings God’s Word promises, things the Bible says God desires us to have. But instead of considering changing things in their life, too often people fall into the temptation of blaming God and thinking He is holding out on them.
But that is never true! There is never any fault or problem with God.
PSALM 84:11 KJV 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
If you are acting on the Word and planting good seeds, don’t let the devil discourage you and cause you to give up too soon. But if the course of your life is going the wrong direction, and it is not getting better over time, then it would be wise to consider your ways — and make changes.
This is not something that should be done too hastily. Often the only thing we are doing wrong that keeps God’s provision from manifesting in our life is giving up on our faith too soon.
Jesus told us the kingdom of God works like a seed (Matthew 13:31, Mark 4:26). A seed takes time to grow. Just because full-grown blessing is not yet evident in your life is no sign it is not growing.
If you do need to change, what are the changes you will need to make? Always it will be following the directions God gave us in His Word.
If you think you are following the directions in God’s Word, and they are not producing freedom, peace, and wholeness in your life (over time), then it is very possible you are somewhat inaccurate in your interpretation and understanding of the Word. Because acting accurately on God’s Word will make you free.
JOHN 8:31-32 NKJ 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Don’t be discouraged or disheartened. Just abide in God’s Word and always look to Him and He will give you wisdom to know what to do.

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You Are Writing A Story

2 CORINTHIANS 3:2B NLT 2 Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
Every day by your actions you are “writing” your story.
One purpose of life on earth is to give us each an opportunity to “write” our own story, which we will be able to share and enjoy throughout eternity. We are here to learn, and what we experience and learn will be shared with many.
Humans love stories. Facts and figures can sometimes be boring, but when anyone tells what happened to them, it usually draws our attention.
Everyone knows and loves the story of David and Goliath.
We all love a good story. But what does every good story require? It must involve some problem or difficulty that is ultimately overcome so there is a happy ending. These are the stories we love to hear.
The good news is that, because of God’s love, your story will at least have a happy ending. But you can make your story more interesting by the choices you make now.
As you know, there can be many problems and difficulties in a story. But how the story finishes is what’s most important.
You may be facing some terrible circumstances right now. But your story is not over. The trouble you are facing now is what will make your story interesting as it is told in the future. You can overcome! God is there to help you! You can face difficulties with God’s help and overcome (just like David did with Goliath.)
So don’t judge your story too quickly. Life is not over. Your story is still being written. Some of the best and most exciting parts are still to come.
It’s too soon for a final judgment.

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Giving Can Be Worship

PHILIPPIANS 4:18 NIV 18 I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
In the New Testament two verses speak of a fragrant offering to God. The first (Ephesians 5:2) refers to the sacrifice of Jesus. The second (Philippians 4:18) refers to giving offerings to Paul while he was in jail. The wording used in these two verses reminds us of the Old Testament offerings, especially the burnt offerings.
Obviously, Father God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice. Because of the wording used in Philippians 4:18, we should understand that God is also very pleased with our giving, which shows our love for Him and the Gospel.
From the Old Testament we see that God was pleased with the worship He received through burnt offerings. They were called a “sweet savour” or a “pleasing aroma.” But they had no human purpose or benefit. They were not used to feed people. The burnt offering was just burned. It was pure worship of God. Can you imagine taking a perfectly good animal — which would be worth over $1,000 USD today — and just burning it? Yet God commanded this to be done in Old Testament times, so it is evident He approved of it then and even seemingly enjoyed it.
When God asked Solomon to make a request of Him, and Solomon responded by asking for wisdom, it was the same day Solomon had already offered one thousand burnt offerings to the Lord (1 Kings 3:4-5). The value was over $1 million USD that had no purpose except to worship God. No one ate the meat. No one got any benefit out of all this killing and sacrifice except God.
Imagine you were God and were always giving, always blessing, always doing good for others. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone demonstrate by their actions how much they valued you?
Matthew 26:7-10 tells of a woman who poured an alabaster box of expensive perfume on Jesus. The disciples complained that it should have been sold for much money and given to the poor, but Jesus commended her for doing good. Then He said what she did should be told to the whole world (verse 13).
Worship means demonstrating “worth-ship,” or showing how much we value someone.
Our giving to the Lord can be evidence of our love, proof of our devotion, and a sign of our commitment to the Lord.
So our giving should not always be only because of the needs of people, but because of our love for God.

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Prosperity Pleases God

PSALM 35:27 NKJ 27 Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, “Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.”
Do you enjoy seeing your children — or anyone you love — suffer lack?
Jesus taught us that God our Heavenly Father’s love for us is much better than any earthly parent’s love (Matthew 7:11).
What kind of perverted being would God be if He delighted in seeing His people suffer? (The only kind of suffering that pleases God is when we are willing to be inconvenienced so that others will be helped.)
Ultimately, poverty is the result of an operation by the devil attempting to dis-please God. But it will not continue to succeed.
To achieve his plan, the devil has tried to confuse Christians into thinking that being poor pleased God, and that being poor was a sign of spirituality. This is a lie! (But being rich is not a dependable sign of spirituality, either!)
The Bible does warn against trusting in money, serving money, and covetousness, which is not just wanting more. It is really wanting to take what belongs to someone else.
But the Bible does not teach that we should be poor, or that poverty pleases God.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17-18 NET 17 Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, to be generous givers, sharing with others.
God has richly provided (through His creation, and through His redemption) all things for our enjoyment.
It is a lie that God wants us to be poor. This scripture tells the rich people in the church to be generous, but it does not say they should give everything away and become poor.
God enjoys our enjoyment of what He provides for us. God wants us to be happy about what He has given us.
God created things for us to enjoy. When we enjoy what God made and show our gratitude and appreciation to Him, God enjoys that.

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You Are Beautiful

ECCLESIASTES 3:11a NKJ 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Everyone is beautiful to God. And the world will eventually see what God sees in people.
God saw you as so valuable that He judged it was worthwhile to die for you. The death of the Son of God was a huge price to pay for you. You are valuable!
You may not be what the current world system calls beautiful. But you are beautiful to God — the only Judge who really matters.
God created you, and as it has been said, “God doesn’t make junk.”
EPHESIANS 2:10 NLT 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God has a wonderful eternal purpose for you, and He has not made a mistake in your life.
Your body may be presently imperfect — or even disfigured. But you must realize that the body you are now living in is not you. You live in that body just like you live in a house.
The real you — who is truly valuable and beautiful to God — is the inner person. That’s who you really are.
1 PETER 3:4 NKJ 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:16 NKJ 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
How you see yourself is important. It determines how you will act. Reality is how God sees things.
When you embrace the truth that God truly loves you, and sees you as valuable enough to die for, then you will see that other people are also valuable, and should be treated with love and respect.
You need to wake up to this reality.
How you look and act now is only temporary. You are being changed to conform to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). You will be like Jesus! What a thought! God sees your potential, what you will become, not just where you are now.
You need to get God’s perspective which will encourage you. You cannot even imagine what a beautiful, glorious creature you will be. God sees you with that potential now, and treats you accordingly.
Everything God made is very beautiful. Anything that distorts or mars that beauty is because of the curse brought in by the devil. The Good News is that Jesus has already paid the price to redeem us from the curse.
So, we are redeemed from everything that is not beauty. We can say we are redeemed from being ugly — inside and out. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus! Jesus paid the ultimate price to set you free from the curse and all it brought. That includes everything ugly.

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Help Someone Today

PHILIPPIANS 2:4 NKJ 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Every person you see today is a person God loves. (Just like you and me, they probably don’t deserve God’s love, but He loves them anyway.) God would appreciate you helping them — on His behalf.
Jesus said that His followers would be known by our love. That has to mean that people will see our love expressed through giving help to others.
JOHN 13:35 NKJ 35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Holy Spirit is a Helper. When we allow Him to indwell us, we will also become helpers.
JOHN 15:26 NKJ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
None of us can help everyone. But all of us can help the one in front of us. Even if it is just giving a smile, a word of encouragement, or a helping hand.
Here is an amazing fact: Whatever we do give in helping people, Jesus takes it personally.
MATTHEW 25:40 NKJ 40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
The essence of God’s kingdom is unselfish love. Jesus demonstrated this for us perfectly. Acts 10:38 summarizes His life by saying He went about doing good.
When God’s love in our hearts is released it will result in us helping someone. That is what the love of God produces.
There is a certain satisfaction in worldly accomplishment. But it never brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. So many try (in vain) to achieve more and more success and fame and gather more and more material things. But that never brings them what they inwardly crave.
You were created in the image of God, who is love. And until you become more of a giver instead of a taker, you will not be happy.
Selfish accomplishment will never give you the inner joy and fulfillment that you will find in helping others.
You were created in God’s image — to be a blessing — to be a helper.
If you want to start feeling better, help others. Unselfishly helping those in need will bring you joy.

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Healing Belongs To You

ISAIAH 53:4-5 NKJ 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
This passage in Isaiah foretells the great substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, paying the price to redeem all mankind from the curse resulting from Adam’s rebellion. As you can clearly see, it includes healing along with payment for our sins.
In Matthew 8 we have the inspired commentary of the Holy Spirit Himself, affirming that the passage in Isaiah 53:4-5 includes physical healing.
MATTHEW 8:16-17 NKJ 16 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”
Then Peter, writing to believers in New Covenant times, says we were (already) healed. That does not mean we are necessarily possessing healing, but that healing belongs to us.
1 PETER 2:24 NKJ 24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.
Just as much as your hands or your feet belong to you, healing belongs to you. You need not ask permission from God to use your hands or feet. They belong to you. They were given to you as a gift. You did not earn them in any way.
It is the same with healing. You could not earn it. It was a gift from God. Jesus paid for it with His own suffering. By the wounds He suffered, healing was provided for you.
The normal human response to this great news is usually something like “If healing belongs to me, then why am I sick?”
Ownership and possession are not the same thing. You can own something you don’t possess.
I am not saying you possess healing, but that it belongs to you because Jesus paid for it and gave it to you.
So the main reason you may not have received healing is simply because you did not know it belongs to you.
If you had money in a bank account in your name, but did not know about it, it would do you no good.
If someone bought a house for you and gave you the legal ownership papers, it would belong to you. Even if you had never seen the house and were living in another state, it would still be yours. Even if someone else was living in the house, it would still be yours.
But if you wanted to possess that house and enjoy living in it, you would have to decide to move there. If others occupied it when you arrived, you would have to evict them. As the owner the law is on your side, but you have to enforce the law.
Jesus purchased for you the house called “Healing & Health” and the written Word of God is the legal notice of your ownership. Where you choose to live now is up to you. Just because this belongs to you does not mean the Lord will force you to live in it.
Healing is not a promise in the New Covenant. A promise is something that has not yet been done. A promise has to do with the future. But healing is something that has already been bought and paid for and is now yours through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
So we should not approach healing in a passive manner, waiting on God to do something. What we must realize is that God has already done something about sickness and disease. Now we are supposed to do something. We are to resist sickness and actively receive and possess by faith the healing God has already given us in Christ.
Provision has been made by God. Now it is our responsibility to possess it.
Don’t think this is strange. This is exactly the way God worked with the children of Israel in the Old Testament. He told them that the promised land belonged to them, but it was still occupied by giants and they had to fight to possess the land.
It will be no different with you. For you to possess all that God says is yours will require you to fight (1 Timothy 6:12). But your fight will not be with other people, but with your own feelings and reasonings.
Just as you accept the Bible as sufficient evidence to believe that your sins are forgiven and you have a home in Heaven, regardless of how you may feel, you should do the same with what the Bible says about healing.
This message is not condemning anyone. We have simply been ignorant of the truth. We have been destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). This is written to help spread the truth so the Body of Christ can start rising up to possess all that belongs to us.
It’s time we quit approaching healing as beggars asking God to heal us, and accept that the Bible says God has already given us healing.
Then we can focus on how to possess what already belongs to us, instead of begging God to give us something He has already given to us.
What evidence should we demand of God before we will believe that Jesus purchased our healing and it now belongs to us? Should we demand that our bodies exhibit no symptoms of sickness? Should we demand a signed note from our medical doctor? Should we demand that God appear to us and tell us that His written Word is actually true?
Are we unwilling to accept the evidence of God’s Word, but willing to always believe what the symptoms in our bodies tell us? Are the symptoms in our bodies more reliable than God?
Should we ignore what God has said and trust completely in our physical senses, and medical doctors, as our supreme authority?
It may be true that sickness is in your physical body, but that is no proof it has a right to stay there.
We can beg God to heal us, and believe He has when we feel no more symptoms of sickness in our body. Or, we can believe what God says in the Bible that healing was obtained for us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, and therefore we should resist the sickness and by faith possess the healing that already belongs to us.
God’s Word has told us what belongs to us. Now we must act on what we have been told, and resist everything Jesus redeemed us from.
Can we expect that all Christians will perfectly resist sickness? Not any more than we can expect them to always resist sin. But just because we fail to walk in complete victory is no proof that it is not God’s will and available to us.
Scripture uses the same words to tell us Jesus bore our sicknesses as it does to tell us Jesus bore our sins. We know we can still sin, but understand that Jesus has set us free from sin’s power so we don’t have to sin. We must learn to see sickness the same way and resist it as we would resist sin.
This article may leave questions in your mind. One article cannot explain everything. But healing does belong to you. So decide to quit letting the devil steal health from you and your loved ones.
For more Scriptures about healing, see www.healing-book.com.

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Sleep Is A Gift From God

PSALM 127:2 NKJ 2 . . . He gives His beloved sleep.
PROVERBS 3:24 NKJ 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
PSALM 3:5 NKJ 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
PSALM 4:8 NKJ 8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
We can trust in God and sleep even when we face the storms of life, just as Jesus and Peter did in the following verses.
MARK 4:38 NKJ 38 But He was . . . asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
ACTS 12:6 NKJ 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers . . .
Jesus Approves Rest
MARK 6:31 NKJ 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.
MATTHEW 11:28-29 NKJ 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
While rest is clearly part of God’s will for us, we are also cautioned in Proverbs against sleeping too much. Balance is important. Different people may require different amounts of sleep to function at their best. You should seek God for wisdom in this area.

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Faith Is What You Believe

Nothing more, nothing less.
A common mistake is thinking Hebrews 11:1 is a definition of faith. It sounds like a definition, but it is not.
HEBREWS 11:1 KJV 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
This does not define faith but tells us something that faith in God’s Word does. Faith gives substance to our hopes. Faith provides evidence of things we can’t perceive with our physical senses.
To help understand this, think of someone who has never seen a dog and has no idea what a dog is. You can tell them, “A dog is man’s best friend.” “A dog is a wonderful companion.” “A dog can help protect your property.”
These all may be true statements, but they really don’t define a dog. Nor would they enable that person to identify a dog when they first saw one. Those statements are more like descriptions of functions that dogs provide.
It is the same with Hebrews 11:1, which does not give us a definition so we can identify faith, but tells us something about faith and what it does.
God did not put a definition of faith in the Bible any more than He put a definition of a dog in the Bible. I suppose He thought we should know what they both were.
Some preachers complicate it. But the New Testament words for faith and believe are the same, one is the noun and one is the verb form of the same word.
Faith is what you believe. It is not something beyond human knowledge that is difficult to understand. It is super simple. If you believe something, that is your faith. Faith and belief are synonymous.
Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as faith in anything else. There are no special rules. It is all a matter of what you believe.
And where did you get your beliefs? You were not born with them. Every belief you now have was acquired as a decision you made at some point in your life. You decided to believe what you now believe.
Since every belief you have came as a result of a decision you made, every belief can also be changed by another decision. But to make such a new decision you need evidence. You cannot just choose to believe something without any evidence that it is true.
Concerning faith in God, the only evidence we should need is His written Word, for God cannot lie.
When you have evidence that a previous belief was wrong, you can choose to accept that evidence as sufficient to believe. This is how faith works –in every area of life.
What you believe is a decision you make. No one else can make it for you.
Faith is very simple. Faith is what you believe. And what you believe can be changed by a decision you make to accept the evidence available to you.
So you can go to the Bible and decide to believe it. Then you will have faith in God, for the Bible is God’s written Word. It’s that simple.
You never have to wonder whether you have faith. You know what you believe.

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God Gave Us Dominion

GENESIS 1:26,28 NKJ 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God made a decision when He created human beings. He chose to give us dominion on earth.
God had dominion, and He chose to give it to mankind. Notice that God did not say, “Let him (Adam) have dominion.” God said, “Let them (both Adam and Eve — and their descendants) have dominion.”
This is something important for us to understand.
PSALM 115:16 NKJ 16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.
Dominion is the right to make decisions and to rule. Dominion does not necessarily mean ownership but rulership.
That means what happens on earth is determined by mankind, not by God. Otherwise, God lied in saying that man has dominion.
God honors the choices made by people. By that I mean He allows us to have a free will and to make choices. We are not puppets or robots. Each one of us makes choices and then we must live with the result of our choices.
A question often asked by many is “Why does God allow bad things to happen on earth?” What they need to realize is that humanity allows it. God gave us dominion and with that came responsibility.
God does not change His mind.
ROMANS 11:29 GWN 29 God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone.
PSALM 8:4-6 NKJ 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,
Some teach that God makes all the decisions concerning life and death for humans, but God clearly says we are the ones who must make the choices.
DEUTERONOMY 30:19 NKJ 19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
If you don’t understand what Adam and Eve had, then you cannot clearly understand what you have. God never goes back on His Word. We still have the dominion God gave them because we are their descendants.

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