Praise From God

JOHN 12:43 NLT 43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
If we value what people can do more than we value what God can do, we will be easily tempted to make wrong choices, just as the Pharisees and rulers of Israel did.
JOHN 12:42-43 GWN 42 Many rulers believed in Jesus. However, they wouldn’t admit it publicly because the Pharisees would have thrown them out of the synagogue. 43 They were more concerned about what people thought of them than about what God thought of them.
What motivates you? Put another way: why do you do what you do?
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to have God praise you? It’s worth thinking about.
(We’re talking about rewards, not acceptance with God or getting into Heaven. We are not saved and put in right standing with God on the basis of our good works, but solely as a gift we receive by God’s grace. Neither do we “earn” God’s love which is really an expression of His character. However, it is still possible to be honored by God. Those who have done the will of God will be rewarded.)
Most people are motivated by what other people think, or what they think other people might think. In essence, this is the fear of man, being mostly concerned about what people will think, or how they will respond.
If you live for human praise you need to understand that even if you obtain it, it will not last for long.
It is true that getting praise from God is not something that can be expected quickly. Enjoying God’s praise is evidently something that happens primarily after this life. At least as far as being praised publicly.
However, I value that quiet, inner assurance I experience when I do something I know has pleased God. This is also a form of “praise from God” encouraging us to do His will, even when there seems to be no immediate outward results.

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Faith Speaks

MATTHEW 17:20 NASB 20 … if you have faith … you shall say to this mountain …
The action of Bible faith is (primarily) speaking (and standing on your statement of faith). Jesus said if you had faith — you would say!
There is no such thing as just silently believing. What you believe will come out. If you don’t have enough confidence to say it, you don’t really believe it.
LUKE 17:6 NASB 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith … you would say to this mulberry tree …
MATTHEW 21:21 NASB 21 … if you have faith, and do not doubt … if you say to this mountain . . . it shall happen.
For faith to operate, it must be released through spoken words, according to Jesus.
What you speak is evidence of your faith. Another way of saying that is: your speech reveals what you believe.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:13 NASB 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore also we speak;
If you believe, you will therefore speak.
LUKE 6:45 NASB 45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
MATTHEW 12:34 NASB 34 “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
You speak what you believe in your heart. Not always, for you can pretend or lie. But when your guard is down and you speak spontaneously without thinking, you will say what you believe in your heart.
ROMANS 10:8 NASB 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” — that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
Where is the word of faith? In the heart and in the mouth. For faith to work properly, it must be in both places.
ROMANS 10:10 NASB 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
What you believe in your heart must be expressed through your mouth for it to produce. Salvation means deliverance. So this is the way Scripture tells us people can be delivered and set free: believe in their heart, and say it with their mouth.

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What If Things Don’t Seem To Be Working?

GALATIANS 6:9 ESV 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
What should you do when it seems like God has forgotten you and you are about to perish?
Act on God’s Word! Speak to the mountain! Rejoice in the Lord! Stand in faith! Continue to thank God! Expect God’s help! Don’t ever give in or give up!
Realize God is not the problem. God is perfect. He never fails and never makes a mistake. God is helping you as much as you are allowing Him.
You probably do need to change some things. After all, none of us are perfectly mature yet. We are all learning and growing.
But don’t make the mistake of putting yourself down and accepting the devil’s idea that you are so hopeless that nothing can work out for you.
God will gently guide you in making whatever changes you need to make. God is there to help you, not to condemn you.
If it does not seem like things are working out, then your faith is being tested. But God is not testing your faith, it is the devil. The purpose of this testing is to get you to turn loose of your faith — to change what you believe.
So just keep on doing what you know is right. Don’t change your beliefs about God. He is still good. Keep trusting Him. Keep believing that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him — that it pays to walk with God (Hebrews 11:6).
We should not be surprised at a fiery trial of faith. The Bible warned us these things would come.
1 PETER 4:12 ESV 12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
Jesus said there would be tribulation. He told us we would be persecuted.
We are also warned that we must “hold fast” to our confession. We must continue to stand in faith, regardless of what hits us.
HEBREWS 4:14 ESV 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
HEBREWS 10:23 ESV 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
If we always perfectly understood everything that was happening, there would be no temptation to doubt.
We are still growing and learning so we don’t yet understand everything. But just because we don’t understand what is happening is no reason to doubt God, His Word, and His goodness.

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Does Love Always Give?

Love gives! Without giving there is no proof of love.
However, love does not always give what is being requested. For love seeks the best for the other person. If what is being requested is not the best, then love will not grant that request.
LUKE 6:30 NASB 30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
This verse tells us to give to everyone who asks something of us, but it does not say that we have to give them exactly what they request. We are only instructed to give them something. This is not a cop-out, but a necessary understanding of truth.
Otherwise, our actions could be compelled by the demands of people instead of being directed by our Lord Jesus. Luke 6:30 shows the attitude we should have, of always being a giver, but it should not be made into a law that could bind us and open us up to exploitation by the devil.
ACTS 3:6 NASB 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene — walk!”
Love always gives, but it does not always give what is requested. Love always gives something.
Love gives of itself. Love may give time, prayer, attention, forgiveness, or advice.
If a child sitting at a table loaded with nutritious food refuses to eat what has been prepared, but instead requests candy to eat, is it truly love to grant the child’s request?
On the other hand, a child asking to please pass the vegetables is a very different kind of request. One to which a loving parent would always respond.
To spoil a child by letting them have, and do, everything they think they want is not love, but the opposite of love.
Just because someone asks for something does not mean you must give it to them. If it is not good for them, it should not be given to them.
Can it be love to withhold something needed from someone? Yes, if other ways of getting their attention have failed, and they are on a course headed for harm.
If withholding a request has the potential of awakening them, so they can avert and avoid the danger ahead of them, then withholding can be an act of love.
If the only way love has of getting the attention of someone going the wrong way is to withhold help that would only send them further down the wrong road, then love will withhold help that seems to be needed.
This is not to suggest that we should only give to perfect people, for there are none. Only that we can always give, but are not required by Scripture to give everything that anyone may happen to request of us. Does Love Always Give?
Love gives! Without giving there is no proof of love.
However, love does not always give what is being requested. For love seeks the best for the other person. If what is being requested is not the best, then love will not grant that request.
LUKE 6:30 NASB 30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
This verse tells us to give to everyone who asks something of us, but it does not say that we have to give them exactly what they request. We are only instructed to give them something. This is not a cop-out, but a necessary understanding of truth.
Otherwise, our actions could be compelled by the demands of people instead of being directed by our Lord Jesus. Luke 6:30 shows the attitude we should have, of always being a giver, but it should not be made into a law that could bind us and open us up to exploitation by the devil.
ACTS 3:6 NASB 6 But Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene — walk!”
Love always gives, but it does not always give what is requested. Love always gives something.
Love gives of itself. Love may give time, prayer, attention, forgiveness, or advice.
If a child sitting at a table loaded with nutritious food refuses to eat what has been prepared, but instead requests candy to eat, is it truly love to grant the child’s request?
On the other hand, a child asking to please pass the vegetables is a very different kind of request. One to which a loving parent would always respond.
To spoil a child by letting them have, and do, everything they think they want is not love, but the opposite of love.
Just because someone asks for something does not mean you must give it to them. If it is not good for them, it should not be given to them.
Can it be love to withhold something needed from someone? Yes, if other ways of getting their attention have failed, and they are on a course headed for harm.
If withholding a request has the potential of awakening them, so they can avert and avoid the danger ahead of them, then withholding can be an act of love.
If the only way love has of getting the attention of someone going the wrong way is to withhold help that would only send them further down the wrong road, then love will withhold help that seems to be needed.
This is not to suggest that we should only give to perfect people, for there are none. Only that we can always give, but are not required by Scripture to give everything that anyone may happen to request of us.

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Repent And Believe The Good News

MARK 1:15 NKJ 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
According to Mark’s Gospel, these are the first recorded words of Jesus Christ after beginning His earthly ministry.
It’s important to understand that the word translated “Gospel” means “good news.” Many translations render it that way.
Religious thinking has turned this wonderful announcement of Jesus into a harsh reprimand used to put people down. This wrong interpretation is something like “you no-good bunch of dirty rotten sinners, unless you become perfect I will reject you.”
Nothing could be further from the truth. Truth Himself was standing before the people joyfully sharing good news of God’s love. He offered truth their lives could be built on, so regardless of life’s storms, they could always enjoy victory and blessing.
Jesus was not saying “repent” as a rebuke, but as an encouragement. He was not mad or condemning, but full of joy and bursting with good news to share.
In modern language what Jesus said was, “Change your thinking and believe the good news!”
He was telling the people: “Your thinking is not correct. It does not line up with ultimate reality. It does not work to your advantage. Your way of thinking and your approach to life is off the mark, but I see reality clearly and I understand how everything works. So change your thinking to line up with mine, so you can enjoy life as I meant for you to do.”
Jesus, by one English word — repent — is saying that your way does not work, but My way will work to provide you life in all its fullness, life as God intended. So, believe the good news I am telling you, and change your thinking so you can enjoy life.
MARK 1:14 NIV 14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
The good news Jesus was proclaiming could not have been about His death and resurrection — which is certainly good news for us — for He had not yet died. Good news does not have to be limited to one thing, or one time.
The good news Jesus was proclaiming was God’s kingdom — the rule of God. This is good news because satan is a horrible master, but God is good and kind. So enjoying the rule of God and living in His kingdom is a wonderful blessing. Jesus came proclaiming that was now available for all people. It is available to you simply by receiving Jesus as your Lord.
The main good news Jesus was proclaiming was that God is good! God is a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father who loves us beyond our human comprehension, and you can now choose to live under His beneficent Kingdom.
The message of Jesus was “Change your thinking about God, and believe the good news I have to share with you from God and about God.”
We must choose to believe the good news Jesus proclaimed before it will benefit us.

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Heaven Is Real

2 CORINTHIANS 5:1 NLT 1 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
If we expect the world to ever believe our message of Good News, we should not live like this life is all there is.
As Christian believers we should live and die like we believe the Bible, which clearly reveals this life is not the end.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, when we leave this body we immediately enter into the realm of ultimate reality with the Lord.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:8 NLT 8 Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
The spiritual realm is actually more real than the physical realm.
If you care to investigate, you will find there are multitudes of people who have visited Heaven and returned. Often it is because of a near-death experience.
Unanimously, their report is that Heaven is too wonderful for words. They try, but have trouble, expressing the glories and the joys of Heaven. No one, after experiencing Heaven, expressed a preference to continue living on earth.
1 PETER 1:4 NLT 4 and we have a priceless inheritance — an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Heaven is better — in every way — than earth. While we should be faithful to fulfill our job here on earth and live out our lives doing the will of God, being His representatives, when it is time to depart we should not act like unbelievers.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have been delivered from the fear of death. Death has no sting left for us. Death cannot hurt us. We should not fear death.

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Faith Never Quits

True faith in God never gives up or quits, for it knows that God always has the final word.
Faith in God never quits because God never fails. So we don’t have to give up even when circumstances look impossible.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:8-10 ESV 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10 He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
He is the God who raises the dead! Even when it looks like all hope is gone — God can bring resurrection!
Even when all reason tells us to give up, we can keep on trusting God and believing He is working to bring about good. For God always keeps His Word and brings it to fulfillment.
HEBREWS 10:23 KJV 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
God’s Word is always the final reality. So we need to keep speaking in agreement with God’s Word for it is ultimate Truth! Circumstances can change. Doctors can be wrong. Lawyers can change their mind. But God never changes! If you keep trusting God He will not let you down.
GALATIANS 6:9 ESV 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
When you truly believe something belongs to you, you will not easily give it up! So when you see in the Bible that God has already given you something, you should put up a never-ending fight to keep the devil from stealing it from you.
All that steals, kills, and destroys is from our enemy. Acts 10:38 says all those healed by Jesus were oppressed by the devil.
The Bible instructs us to resist the devil and all his works. That means we should never give in to him. Never!
EPHESIANS 4:27 KJV 27 Neither give place to the devil.
JAMES 4:7 ESV 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
The devil must back off when we resist him!
1 PETER 5:8-9 ESV 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Notice that the devil has to seek someone to devour. The devil cannot devour everyone, only those who will not resist him in faith.
LUKE 10:19 ESV 19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
Nothing will hurt you!
What you are going through may be so scary you can hardly breathe. Stepping on serpents and scorpions would certainly be scary! But don’t give up no matter what seems to be happening! You have authority in Christ Jesus over all the power of the enemy. Use it!
Just like the children of Israel who were thrown to the lions and thrown into the fire, you will not be hurt, if you keep on believing!
To never give up on your faith even in the face of horrible circumstances is not easy, to say the least. But it is possible! God is your Helper! You can overcome and receive the blessings promised those who overcome.

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God’s Family Plan

JOSHUA 24:15b NKJ 15 But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
God’s plan is a family plan. His will is for you to believe for the salvation of all your relatives.
JOSHUA 2:13 NKJ 13 “and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.”
JOSHUA 6:23,25 NKJ 23 And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. 25 And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had . . . .
Rahab was a harlot who did not even belong to God’s people. But she asked for all her family to be saved, and they were. We should stand in faith just as Rahab did and ask for the lives of all our family members.
God allows all people to choose whether to receive Jesus. But when you pray for and stand in faith for your loved ones, God will do everything necessary to bring your family members to a point where it will be easy for them to choose to receive Jesus.
God is able to make His case and get the job done!
ACTS 16:31 NLT 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.”
1 TIMOTHY 2:3-4 NKJ 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Whoever we pray for, we know it is God’s will to save them.

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Hope Until The End

HEBREWS 6:11 NKJ 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
This verse tells us we should never give up hope, which is a positive expectation.
No matter how many failures you experience, nor how much time has passed — don’t quit expecting a positive outcome in the end.
What is the end? It is when you see your desire manifest — or when you see what should be your ultimate desire manifest, being face-to-face with Jesus Christ.
Till then, keep on having an expectation of a positive outcome.
Look at a couple of other translations of Hebrews 6:11-12
HEBREWS 6:11-12 NJB 11 Our desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same enthusiasm till the ultimate fulfilment of your hope, 12 never growing careless, but taking as your model those who by their faith and perseverance are heirs of the promises.
HEBREWS 6:11-12 CJB 11 However, we want each one of you to keep showing the same diligence right up to the end, when your hope will be realized; 12 so that you will not become sluggish, but will be imitators of those who by their trust and patience are receiving what has been promised.
Too many people give up and accept defeat too soon. They are like a sports team that, just because it is not winning after the first half of the game, decides to go home and not even play the rest of the game.
It is always too soon to quit when you know you are going the right direction. How can you know you are going the right direction? By following the instructions and guidance of God’s Word, the Bible, and being led by His Spirit. When you are doing God’s will, keep on, no matter what.

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Laugh At Sickness

NEHEMIAH 8:10b NKJ 10 Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Letting joy flow allows spiritual strength to flow in your life.
Laughing is a way to allow the joy already in your spirit to flow. (Your spirit is the part of you that is a born again new creation in union with Christ.)
Medical science has documented the beneficial effects of laughter on our health. Experts tell us that every time we laugh our immune system is boosted.
PROVERBS 17:22 NKJ 22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
The devil wants you to become discouraged and disheartened, to feel like a hopeless, helpless victim.
But sickness, at its worst, is only temporary. It will not last forever. Jesus defeated sickness and redeemed you from it at the cost of His own precious blood.
REVELATION 21:4 NKJ 4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
The price for your healing has been paid by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
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.
Healing belongs to you, but does not come automatically. It must be possessed. (See www.healing-book.com for more evidence.)
Real joy is not just a feeling but a life force coming from the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:22). In the midst of trials the joy of the Lord will protect you from being defeated and destroyed. It will strengthen you and lift you up above the troubles.
Sickness tries to make you fear and worry. Laughing is a way to resist that. Joy can be released through laughter.
Laughing is an expression of joy, victory, and contentment. Laughter is a language of faith. Faith laughs!

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