2 CORINTHIANS 4:13 NIV 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak,
We are not supposed to just quietly believe. We should express our belief by speaking it.
In Mark 11:23 when Jesus taught about faith, He stressed the importance of what you say.
Real faith not only believes, but it speaks what it believes.
The world would have us believe words are not that important. They think we can just say anything and it doesn’t matter, that “it’s just talk!”
But the Bible teaches that our words are extremely important. Here are just a few verses on the subject.
PROVERBS 18:21 NIV 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
MATTHEW 12:37 NIV 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
ROMANS 10:10 NIV 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
So we should never be sloppy in our speech. We should only say what we mean, and mean what we say.
As children of God, and His representatives here on earth, all our words should also be in agreement with God’s will (revealed in the Bible).
PSALM 18:30 NIV 30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
People blame God for many things. But they are wrong. God is perfect in all He does. When we have full information and see the complete picture, we will not be able to find any fault in God.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:12 NLT 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Yes, there may be things that now seem as if God is at fault. But, in time, we will know the full truth. Then we will realize that God has done everything in the best way.
Do children comprehend everything? Neither do we. No matter how smart we think we are, compared to God, we still have much to learn.
At this time, we are like children who may think they know better than their parents, but who will, later on, realize their parents were right.
When you are tempted to think God is not doing what He should be doing, look around you at what God has created. (Although we live in a fallen world where the devil’s forces are intent on stealing, killing, and destroying, the genius of God still shines brightly in all He created. Remember that death is an enemy, and storms are something that Jesus rebuked.) Look at the precision and beauty in all God created. Then realize that God never changes, and the precise way He perfectly created things is the same way He is working now to create your future.
God loves you. God knows more than you do. God is perfect. So trust Him!
LUKE 21:25,26,28 NKJ 25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 28 “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
Unprecedented troubles seem to be sweeping the earth.
What should we do when we see these things happening?
Jesus said we should “look up and lift up our heads!” That is, we should not be discouraged or disheartened by all the troubles on earth, as if we have no hope. Instead we are to continue in faith, knowing that our Lord will always take care of us, and that our final redemption is drawing nearer.
We must remember that God is truly our Source and that He has promised to never forsake us, but to always provide for us.
As we await the return of our Lord, we should actively continue to be a witness of God’s goodness by our life and testimony. Our refusing to submit to fear and worry, but instead giving thanks and praise to God, will be a witness to those around us.
JOHN 20:31 NKJ 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
“But how can I believe in an invisible God?”
The same way you believe in the wind. No one has ever seen the wind. But we all see the effects of the wind.
You may not see God, but open your eyes and look around and you will see God in action. In His marvelous creation, in people’s testimonies of God’s provision and deliverance, in miracles happening all over the earth, in answered prayer.
It is not necessary to see God, or feel God, to believe in Him!
JOHN 20:29 NKJ 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
If it was always easy to believe, there would be no reward offered for believing. No one offers a reward or bonus for doing something easy.
HEBREWS 11:6 NKJ 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The Bible speaks of the fight of faith. That means you will have a struggle with believing. Don’t be surprised. Expect it.
1 TIMOTHY 6:12 NKJ 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
JOHN 6:28-29 NKJ 28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
DEUTERONOMY 6:6-7 NKJ 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
God holds all parents responsible for teaching their children. But that does not require some formal approach to instruction. The best way is a natural flow of information as we go through life.
God’s Word tells us that teaching our children should happen during the normal events of daily life. We can illustrate truth and apply it to what happens every day, just as Jesus did with His disciples.
We must also realize that everything our children see us do in life is also unintentionally teaching them. Whatever they see you do is a lesson your children are watching and learning from.
If you never speak of God and His Word, it communicates to your children that God is not very important to you. If you don’t read your Bible, don’t expect your children to read the Bible.
It is also important to mean what you say, and say what you mean — to always tell the truth. If your children know you don’t keep your word, they won’t expect God to keep His Word either. So if you tell your child something, either do it, or ask their forgiveness for not keeping your word.
Don’t try to leave the responsibility for teaching your children about God to someone else. You may not feel qualified but God will help you. Just be honest with God and honest with your children, and you will make progress with both.
JOHN 16:13 NLT 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
Jesus never said the Holy Spirit would instantly tell you the whole truth on a subject, but He said the Holy Spirit would GUIDE us into all truth.
A guide is someone who helps you find something. For a guide to be of any benefit, you must be searching for something.
MATTHEW 7:7-8 NKJ 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
If you don’t seek answers — don’t expect to find them.
The greatest obstacle to learning is thinking you already know enough.
If you are satisfied with what you know, you will not be searching for more answers — so you have no need of a Guide to help you.
Remember: truth sets you free (John 8:31-32). Lies keep you in bondage. So if you are not enjoying perfect freedom, seek more understanding of the truth.
The Holy Spirit is a perfect teacher. He guides us into the truths we are ready and able to receive. Then He patiently teaches us until we understand the lesson.
It is important to remember that guiding us into all truth is a process. Even when you have not realized it, the Holy Spirit has been at work in your life. He does not force knowledge on you, but when you are hungry for truth, He will guide you in the right direction.
MARK 16:17-18 NKJ 17 “And these signs will follow those who believe . . . 18 . . . they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
A major problem has been thinking that all healing must be instantaneous.
The truth is that healing is a process involving time. Sometimes it is speeded up, but not usually.
If you have ever cut your finger or skinned your knee, then you know how healing normally works.
God made the human body to always heal itself. Unless there is some lack of nutrition or some hindering force, the human body will always heal. And God’s power can always bring healing, regardless of any lack or hindrance.
JAMES 5:15 NKJ 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
James does not say the sick will always be raised up instantly. Just that they will be raised. “They will recover.”
All healing is a process that happens through time as you continually improve in health. With God, healing can sometimes be so speeded up that to us it seems almost instant, but this is not the normal way God’s healing works.
Jesus taught us that God’s kingdom works like a seed planted in the ground which grows and produces over time (Matthew 13:31).
The important thing, and what God’s Word promises, is the end result, not how long it takes.
Many people who have not understood that healing from God is a process involving time, have given up their faith when they did not have an instant miracle recovery.
Don’t let the devil steal from you, through this wrong thinking, what Jesus paid for you to have!
The Bible tells us that healing is ours, because Jesus paid for it (1 Peter 2:24). But the Bible never says we will all receive healing instantly. Sometimes it can be very quick — and we know it is a miracle. Other times it can take awhile, but no matter how long it takes, we have the promise of God that healing is ours, giving us divine assurance that we will be healthy and whole!
All the healings of Jesus during His ministry on earth were not instantaneous, either. Mark 8:22-25 is an account of Jesus ministering to a blind man. After Jesus laid hands on the blind man he could “see men like trees, walking.” In other words, he could see, but not very well. Only when Jesus laid hands on him again did his sight become clear. Although a long period of time was not involved, it does show a healing that was a process — not instantaneous.
MARK 8:25 NKJ 25 Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly.
Luke 17:12-19 tells of ten lepers who were healed “as they went.” Healing was not manifest while they were in Jesus’ presence, but only after they left Him.
LUKE 17:14 NKJ 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
John 9:6-7 tells of another healing involving some time. And John 4:52 mentions a time “when he began to get better” indicating a process of recovery.
JOHN 4:52 ESV 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”
So never accept that healing is not God’s will just because it does not happen instantaneously.
(For more on healing see www.healing-book.com).
Are Christians supposed to judge one another?
There are verses that seem to point both ways. First, let’s look at some that tell us not to judge.
MATTHEW 7:1 ESV 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
LUKE 6:37 ESV 37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
JOHN 5:22 ESV 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
1 CORINTHIANS 4:5 ESV 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
1 CORINTHIANS 4:3 ESV 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.
Now let’s look at some verses that seem to point the other direction: that we should judge.
JOHN 7:24 ESV 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
First Corinthians 5:12 to 6:7 talks about how the church should judge matters pertaining to this life concerning those in the church.
1 CORINTHIANS 5:12 ESV 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
1 CORINTHIANS 6:3 ESV 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!
So, how do we interpret these Scriptures that seem to give different messages about whether we should be judging now?
Sometimes the word we have translated as judgment in the New Testament simply means to make a decision. As human beings we cannot escape that responsibility. We have to make decisions.
But other times the word means pronouncing judgment and condemnation on someone. That is a different matter than simply deciding whether to fellowship or even partner with someone.
We are to make decisions, or judgments, concerning matters pertaining to this life. But we are not to pronounce judgment on people concerning the next life.
It’s simple — but you will need God’s help to do it.
JOHN 15:12 NIV 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Love as Jesus loved! Be willing to lay down your life to bless your spouse. Few would ever want to get rid of a spouse who truly practices this principle.
The ingredients for having a great marriage are the same as having any great relationship: communication, honesty, commitment, kindness, and attention.
If your aim is to bless your spouse and make them happy, it is very likely they will eventually respond by loving you.
If you are the only one in your marriage practicing this, it can be difficult. But your only other choice is to treat them badly in return. How can that produce anything good?
You are God’s representative. He put you where you are so He could express His love through you. God loves your spouse — whether you think they deserve it or not.
The Bible teaches us to put the interests of others first.
ROMANS 12:10 NIV 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Which is a higher priority for you: your happiness or your spouse’s happiness?
“But,” you say, “I’ve done all that and they are not reciprocating. They just take advantage of me.”
First, without your efforts your marriage could already be dead and gone. Second, you will be judged only for what you did in life — not what your spouse did. Third, God’s law of giving will eventually work: As you continue to give love — love will be returned to you.
Commit yourself to the happiness and well-being of your spouse. Keep acting on God’s Word and showing love to them. Put them before yourself. God will work on your behalf.
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.