What You Say Is What You Get

MARK 11:23 NKJ 23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.


Jesus said that you will have whatever you say — dependent on believing and not doubting. Think of that. What you say determines what you get in life. It did for the children of Israel. And the Bible says the things which happened to them are lessons for us.

NUMBERS 14:28 NKJ 28 “Say to them, As I live,' says the Lord,just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:

PROVERBS 6:2 NKJ 2 you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

Words can get you in trouble. And words can deliver you (see Revelation 12:11 and Romans 10:10). Words control your destiny.

All of us face trouble in life and it can sometimes be tempting to wonder why God does not help us sooner and in greater measure. While there is much that we don’t understand, we must, on the basis of what Jesus said, realize we are responsible for what happens because of the words we have spoken.

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How Faith Works

oFaith is what you believe. (In the Bible, faith is the noun form and believe is the verb form of the same word.)Faith (a belief) is always a decision, based on some evidence, resulting in some action. Faith in God is a choice to believe what God says is true. It is accepting God’s Word as evidence worthy of acting upon. 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. All humans operate on a belief system. As we go through life we are constantly being presented with information which is evidence that we must evaluate and judge. Whenever we choose to accept the evidence presented to us as sufficient to accept as truth, then that belief is added to our belief system. Unless and until we are presented with new evidence that causes us to decide to believe differently about a subject, we keep the same belief. Then as we go through life, we always act (often sub- consciously) on the basis of our belief system. Sometimes we face situations in life where there is not time to think, and immediate action is required. These actions are always governed by the beliefs we have already determined (which form our belief system).The Bible is major evidence to change your beliefs. It is a message from God, the Creator, who knows how everything works. As we receive new evidence from the Bible, it may conflict with some of our previous beliefs. But we know that God cannot lie, and whatever He says is truth and will happen. MARK 11:22-24 BBE 22 And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God’s faith. 23 Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire. 24 For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it. Mark 11:22 literally says “Have God faith.” Jesus was teaching us how to use our faith the same way God does. “God faith” speaks the desired result and never allows anything to change that statement. (Mark 11:23) We are God’s children, made in His image and likeness, and He is training us how things work in His creation. Once God makes a statement, He never changes it. There are words God spoke thousands of years ago, which are not yet fully manifest to us in time. But God never chooses to say anything different. God believes what He said will come to pass! “Doubt” in Mark 11:23 does not mean “have questions.” It means a judgment (decision) that completely separates. So it would mean accepting some new evidence presented as sufficient to reverse your previous decision and statement of faith. Receiving new evidence and deciding whether it is sufficient to change our belief is a never-ending cycle. We can be in faith one minute, and in un-faith (unbelief) the next minute — if we make a new decision based on the evidence being presented to us. The disciples had faith in John 2:11 (close to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry), and did not in Mark 16:14 (at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry).Fear is the opposite of Bible hope. Bible hope is a positive expectation based on and supported by a belief in God’s Word. Fear is a negative expectation based on and supported by a belief in something bad. Both involve the imagination, the seeing part of our thinking, the ability to visualize something before it happens, or after it happens. Faith in God produces Bible hope – expecting good to happen. Faith in bad things produces fear – expecting bad to happen. Faith is the support, the foundation, the underlying thing under both hope and fear. You cannot have hope (which is a positive vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something. You cannot have fear (which is a negative vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something bad.It is your belief that supports, undergirds, and provides the basis for your hope or fear. The belief was a choice you made. Then it became part of your belief system. That provides the basis for your hopes or your fears. Faith is released and put into action by speaking what you believe with your mouth. The primary action of faith toward God is speaking in agreement with God’s Word. And then we stand in that position of faith, regardless of feelings or circumstances, no matter how long it takes.




 


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God Gives You Ability To Get Rich


DEUTERONOMY 8:18 ICB 8 But remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the power to become rich. He keeps the agreement he promised to your ancestors. So it is today.

I don’t want to be critical, but so many preach, using this verse, that God wants to prosper people for one sole purpose: to give the money to God so He can afford to proclaim the Gospel to all the world. But I just don’t buy it.

I do believe God desires His people to be givers. And clearly we should proclaim the Gospel to everyone. Being selfish is the worst thing you can do. And usually the biggest enjoyment you can get from something is to give it away to someone who is thrilled with it.

But surely God is not waiting around till we get enough money to finance Him. And surely God is not worse than normal earthly parents. What earthly parent would give their children toys on Christmas, then tell them the ONLY reason they were given those gifts is so they could give them away to the neighbor kids?

I already said selfishness is wrong. If you are not a giver, you are not in God’s will. But God does not give you things only for the purpose of giving them all to someone else.

Deuteronomy 8:18 is simple: it says God is the One making you rich, and He is doing it because He said He would — not because we deserve it!

I especially like:

1 TIMOTHY 6:17 NKJ 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

God is not the kind of being who will make you just barely scrape by — He gives us RICHLY all things to ENJOY. God gives to us because He enjoys it and because He keeps His word!

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Read Your Letters


1 THESSALONIANS 5:27 HCSB 27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers.

The Bible contains both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament contains the four Gospels (Matthew through John), the book of Acts, the Letters to the Church (Romans through Jude) and the book of Revelation.

All the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such is an important message to us today. However, not until the resurrection of Jesus Christ did the New Covenant start, which changed everything.

God never changes, but His covenants (and thus His way of dealing with people) did change. There was an Old Covenant God had with the people of Israel. Now there is a New Covenant. And the New is not just a continuation or amplification of the Old, but is radically different.

The New Covenant did not begin until after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So everything said and done before the resurrection of Jesus was before the New Covenant started. (Even the four Gospels, although placed in the New Testament section of the Bible, are primarily a record of Jesus’ ministry before His death, which means they mostly happened before the New Covenant started.)

God is now dealing with people based on the New Covenant. If we go back and read God’s message to people who lived under the Old Covenant we cannot expect all that was said to them to apply exactly to us today.

You can learn something reading a letter written to someone else, but it is not nearly as instructive as reading a letter written directly to you.

So my top recommendation for Bible reading, especially for new believers, is to read the Letters to the Church. (Epistles is another word for Letters.) There are 21 Letters with 121 chapters. So by reading just one chapter each day, you can read all the New Testament Letters three times in a year.

If you are considering reading the Bible, this is an excellent way to start. If you are a new Christian, I strongly recommend that you start reading the Bible using this plan.

Although everyone should read the entire Bible, it is not best for you to do that until you are solidly grounded in the truths of the New Covenant, which are revealed in the Letters to the Church.

When a new Christian starts reading the whole Bible from the beginning by starting with the Old Testament, without having a clear understanding of what Jesus has provided for us with the New Covenant, confusion is likely to result.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:14-15 HCSB 14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. 15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts,

Reading the Old Covenant, also called the books of Moses — without the knowledge of the New Covenant — is like trying to see something with a veil over your eyes. You see glimpses of truth, but you can’t clearly see the whole picture.

JOHN 1:17 HCSB 17 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Once a believer has a clear understanding of God’s message to the Body of Christ, the Church, then we can read the rest of the Bible without as much chance of getting confused.

Some people recommend that a new Christian start their Bible reading with the Gospel of John. That is a good way to get acquainted with Jesus. But it still can cause confusion for someone who does not clearly understand what Jesus accomplished for them through His death and resurrection.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:14,17 HCSB 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no New Covenant, and we are all still lost in sin.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, and thus the start of the New Covenant is a great dividing line in history. What Jesus accomplished for us changed everything.

So read your letters and find out what Jesus accomplished and what God has said directly to you!

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God Is A Father

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EPHESIANS 3:15 AMPLIFIED 15 For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named —

[that Father]

from whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name.

I have included these different translations, with the notes from the margin, to show that the Bible says that all fatherhood derives from God. In other words, God is the original Father. Everything good that fathers are, was in God first. All earthly fatherhood is but a replica of what was first in God.

EPHESIANS 3:14-15 NIV 14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

NIV NOTE: Or whom all fatherhood

EPHESIANS 3:14-15 NRSV 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.

NRSV Note: Gk fatherhood

One mission of Jesus on earth was to show us what God was like, to reveal Him to us. Jesus introduced the concept of God as Father. The Jews did not know God as Father because the Old Testament does not teach it. No other religion had looked to God as a Father. Instead God was generally thought of as a judge at best, and often as a despicable character who could only be trusted to let you down; someone who would play tricks on you just for his amusement, and delight in disappointing you.

Concepts of God haven’t really changed much, have they!

But Jesus revealed to humanity that God was not like they thought — He was a good Father. Not someone who would do them wrong, but someone who would take care of them with their best interest always at heart. Someone who would love them more than they loved themselves.

How do you think of God?

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Good Tidings Of Great Joy


LUKE 2:10-11 NKJ 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

What kind of statement was this? “Great joy…to all people.”?

Billions of people — maybe two out of three on earth — have never even heard the “Gospel of Jesus Christ,” or good news, as the term gospel means.

Is this really for all people?

Yes, and we are supposed to tell them. God is a Savior — one who delivers and makes whole.

The true message of God is really good news. The kind of news that people will get excited about when they truly understand it.

If you say, “I don’t see what there is to get so excited about,” then you don’t yet understand the Gospel.

We are dealing with “good tidings of GREAT JOY — which will be to all people.”

“So what’s so great about it?”

Being made right with God as a free gift. Being set free from the bondage of sin. Being delivered from the curse, including sickness, poverty, and spiritual death. Being given new life and brought into God’s own family. Knowing that God is your father and your friend…and so much more!

And all of this comes to us as a free gift simply by receiving Jesus Christ!

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God Really Does Love You

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1 JOHN 3:1 NIV 1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Yes, you have heard it before. No, you don’t understand it yet.

Ephesians 3 mentions praying that believers would know the love of Christ — which is really beyond knowledge. In other words, you need a divine revelation to understand God’s love for you.

EPHESIANS 3:19 ICB 19 Christ’s love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.

Yes, you know that Jesus died for you, that God watches over you, protects you and provides for you. But that does not really give you insight into how God feels about you. He could do all that just because He felt obligated to take care of you because He created you.

No. That is not the whole story. God LOVES you.

“But why would God love me? I don’t even love myself” you may say. Well, pray for a divine revelation — that is really the only way to know.

However, for those of you who are parents, this may help give you a little insight. Think about the love you have for your children. Can you adequately communicate how you feel to them? Well, our human love for our children is just a shadow of God’s love for you, as His child.

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Talk Back To The Devil


MATTHEW 4:10 ESV 10 Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written," 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'"

When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He talked back to the devil by quoting the written Word of God. You should do the same thing.

Let’s read the whole story.

MATTHEW 4:2-11 ESV 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,” ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,” ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

We can learn many things from this account of Jesus being tempted by the devil.

First we see that the devil attacked Jesus when he was weak and hungry. He was attacked at His weakest point.

The devil’s main initial tactic was to instill doubt. “If!” After doubt failed to tempt Jesus, the devil offered a seemingly easier way for Jesus to achieve His purpose, than by doing the will of God.

The only response Jesus ever had to any of the devil’s temptations was quoting the written Word of God. That was His only defense.

The devil also tried to use God’s Word, but twisted the meaning.

The devil did not give up immediately the first time Jesus talked back to him. The devil kept on hitting Jesus with thoughts of temptation repeatedly.

The temptations were real and appealing. The devil seemed to offer an easier way than trusting and obeying God, but of course the devil is a liar.

As Jesus persisted with speaking God’s written Word, the devil finally gave up.

How do you know when the devil is talking to your mind? The source of any thought that causes you to doubt God’s Word or God’s goodness is the devil. Any thought that tries to get you to act contrary to God’s Word, is from the devil.

JAMES 4:7 ESV 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We submit to God by submitting to what He says in His written Word, the Bible. When we resist any thought contrary to God’s written Word, we are resisting the devil. When we do that, the devil will flee. Maybe not immediately, but if we persist in being submitted to God’s Word, the devil can do nothing to us.

So do as Jesus did. When the devil hits you with doubt, quote the Word of God to him.

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Who Is Right?


Whose teaching should I listen to? It seems Christians differ on many things, although all claim to believe the same Bible.

(On the main teaching that Jesus is mankind’s savior and we need to follow Him, all Christian groups agree. But on many subjects, there is not agreement.)

How can I know who to believe? Who is right?

Fortunately, God gave us His Word, the Bible, so we could know the truth, and it gives some guidelines to help with this question.

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.”

So an important question is whether freedom is being produced in the lives of the people who are following a teaching. If not, it cannot be the accurate message of Jesus, which will make people free. This does not mean everyone will instantly be free, but over time, the fruit of the teaching should be freedom.

In Matthew 7, Jesus taught that we can judge by whether “good fruit” is being produced.

MATTHEW 7:16-17,20 NKJ 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Galatians tells us what kind of fruit is produced by followers of Jesus who live a spiritual life.

GALATIANS 5:22-23 NKJ 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Hebrews 13:7-8 also gives us some important guidelines of who we should follow.

HEBREWS 13:7 NKJ 7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.

What has their teaching produced? Is it love, joy, peace, gentleness, etc.? Does it result in setting people free from bondage? Are broken people being healed and made whole? These are questions we should ask when we “consider the outcome of their conduct.”

But don’t expect followers of Truth to be loved and accepted by everyone, although they should show love to others, even those opposing them. Anyone truly following Jesus is usually criticized, especially by religious people.

LUKE 6:26-27 NKJ 26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets. 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

MATTHEW 10:25 NKJ 25 “It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!

Is love, mercy, and compassion (like Jesus had) a mark of their ministry? Or do they more closely resemble the Pharisees who loved to focus on keeping a list of rules, instead of helping people.

HEBREWS 13:8 NKJ 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Another key consideration is whether people think Jesus has lost His power or compassion to help people today. Do they believe Jesus still does the same miracles today as He did in Bible days?

Avoid the teaching of any group that tells you the day of miracles has passed and that God no longer does the same things He did in Bible days. They are simply wrong. Jesus Christ is the same today as He was yesterday!

People can be wrong, even good, well-meaning people who may seem to know the Bible. Plenty of people have studied the Bible their entire life and still don’t really understand it. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were the Bible experts, yet God walked among them and they called Him the devil!

1 CORINTHIANS 12:12,27 NLT 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up only one body. So it is with the body of Christ. 27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.

God does not make everyone the same, or direct us all to do the same thing in the same way. So don’t reject or criticize others just because they are different. God loves all His children, no matter how ignorant, mis-informed, or immature they may be. Because God loves them, we should also treat them all with love and respect.

JOHN 13:35 NKJ 35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Most importantly, Jesus told how we could know who were His true disciples: they would be known by love. So, if the ones you follow are known more for fighting than for sacrificial love and giving, you need to pray about making a change.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Die


JOHN 11:25 NKJ 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

The sting of death has been removed for the Christian believer by Jesus our Lord.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:55 NLT 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

I am not afraid to die. There is no reason for any follower of Jesus to fear death.

REVELATION 12:11b NLT 11 And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

I’m in no rush to die, for it’s best to live a full life on earth and finish our race here. But after we finish on earth, death for a Christian believer is a promotion.

There are many people who claim to have visited Heaven and came back. I have never heard one indicate they wanted to leave and return to earth. They all say it is wonderful there beyond words.

What else could we expect from our wonderful Lord Jesus!

1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-14 NLT 13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.

When a Christian dies, they leave their body and go to be with Jesus (Who loved us enough to die for us). Why should we be afraid of that?

2 CORINTHIANS 5:8 NKJ 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

PHILIPPIANS 1:21-23 NKJ 21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

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