Tag Archives: truth

Without Faith…

After a seeming lifetime of belief in God, I was stopped short one day as I read this verse in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith (Hebrew: moral conviction of religious truth, the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (NIV) I always believed that He existed, but I had somehow missed the rewards part. How could I have overlooked that part of the verse? For years I had embraced the mindset that salvation from my own sin was reward in itself.  On this day, however, I was reminded that there is more to the salvation that my Savior provided than an escape from Hell.

As I became convinced of God’s consistent love, truth and grace as it is reflected in His Word, I was able to develop a deeper relationship with Him, and better reflect His Image to others. This portion of the verse made it clear that my pursuit of God, my desire to truly know Him, carried rewards. Some may call these rewards blessing, favor, or promises from God. Whatever term you use, God is the One doing the rewarding. We do nothing but seek Him… not for the reward, because intimacy with God is reward enough, but because we want to respond to His love for us.

This is not about working to earn salvation. That is impossible! This is about a loving God who doles out gifts that cause us to smile and know that He loves us. He is the One who is pleased when His Creation wants to know Him. He is the One who rewards those who truly believe Him and His Word. He loved us while we were yet sinners, according to Romans 5:8, so how much more does He appreciate those who have received His plan of salvation and become His children!

When we really want to please God, we find out what His Word says and then believe and DO it! Jesus paid for a great many things by His death and resurrection. Healing, for instance, was never needed before Adam and Eve made the wrong choice in the Garden of Eden, so Jesus restored divine health with the stripes He took on His back.

God always wanted a prosperous and healthy life for His creation, so don’t believe for a second that God would give you something less than wholeness in your body. James 1:13-15 says, When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (NIV) So, if that “something less” shows up, surrender it to the God who heals, and watch Him do what He does best… create, sustain and restore life as we walk with Him. He created the universe with His Words. We do the same with our words. so speak His Word to remind yourself, and those around you, of all that Jesus redeemed in that ultimate act of love for humanity… for you! That undeserved love is just one of God’s rewards.

Remember, God always tells the truth. His very essence is righteousness and holiness. “God is not a man that He should lie.” (Numbers 23:19, KJV) So let’s trust Him when He tells us He wants to reward (Heb. ~ deliver, give, pay recompense) us, and be thankful as His blessings flow our way in every area of life. Have faith (Heb.~persuasion, conviction, belief) in God and His goodness! It’s what really pleases Him!

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Have a Need…?

“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NIV)

Have a need? Talk to God. He has riches we may NEVER be able to comprehend in our flesh. But, once you become His child, His desire is to provide for your needs, according to HIS provision! And His provision is without limit!!!

If we don’t believe that He has our best interest at heart, then why do we run to Him when nothing else has helped? If we don’t believe every part of God’s Word, then why would we believe any part of His Word? What right do we have to exclude any of His Words from HIS BOOK???

Usually, when we miss concepts or ideas in any book, we’ve either not read them, not understood them or deliberately ignored them. So, let’s be honest with ourselves about how we approach God’s Word in its fullness. If we only believe what we want out of His Word we will never receive all that He wants to give to those of us who are His kids! Ultimately, we dishonor all that Jesus did to restore ALL things for God’s children!

In our daily life, if we order something on the internet, don’t we expect it to come  to our delivery address? We may go to the front door every day or listen for the sounds of a delivery truck. We may track it online to see where the package is in the delivery process, but we are anticipating the delivery of that thing because we trust the manufacturer and have faith that the delivery truck will deliver!

Consumers look for and get what they need or want. The manufacturer wants a consumer to order their product, that’s why they create it.  They see a need and fill it. They see a want and fill that.  Why would God, who is the ultimate Giver, offer truths and promises in His Word that He KNEW we would need… even want… and then not deliver on those promises?

Where did we get the idea that He is mean and nasty and unkind? The fruit of His Spirit is love, joy, peace patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self-control. That fruit doesn’t include mean, nasty or unkind. God’s Word says that He is love. Since when is true love mean, nasty and unkind?

SO, let’s remember that God wants to supply our needs, but He also wants us to expect that provision and to receive it when it comes. He loves us and expects us to believe the truth about Him, not the lies that His enemy has chosen to spread. And if  we have believed those lies, then we must ask God’s forgiveness. We must separate ourselves from the devil’s lies! We must go to the Source of all good things… God Himself… to supply our needs and the desires of our heart! He loves us and wants to help us… ALL the time!

Take Him at His Word. It is ALWAYS true… And that’s what I believe!

WOW…!

It’s been awhile since my last post. I have been in a battle for the renewing of my mind and the transforming of my body. Many of you have read  Romans 12 in the Bible, which is a favorite chapter of mine. Periodically I return to this chapter for a deeper look and a greater understanding. This time, I am aware that complete surrender is my most difficult challenge.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to surrender everything to the Creator of the Universe! I always thought I had… my husband,  my children, my life…but I am realizing that I do not surrender easily. My mind told me I did. But I don’t. I still wanted to have a “say.”

Romans 12:1-3 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (‘of worship’ is added in some translations). And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

I want to give everything to God. I want to experience all that God has for me. I want to be honest about who I am and the gifts and talents that I have. I know that God has given me a measure of faith. Then why does this truth want to do battle with every feeling that is within?

Well, the first thing that came to me as I re-read that sentence was that there is a great difference between our feelings and the truth. Truth is never changed by feelings. Oh, we may try to distort the truth. We may try to twist it or minimize it or add to it, but the truth itself will never change. The truth just is. It stands alone.

My wonderful husband has a physical distortion of the truth that he deals with every day. Early in our marriage we were taking a walk and I noticed a beautiful red flower standing alone in the middle of a plant full of rich green leaves. I pointed to it and said, “Honey, look at that flower! Isn’t that an amazing picture of God’s creation?” His response was, “I don’t see a flower. Where is it?” I said, “Can’t you see the red flower in the middle of that bush?” He said, “Oh, that explains it. I was born with color-blindness. I can’t see red or green as they really look, especially when red and green are together.”

Now, color blindness distorts the truth. God created the colors red and green. How we are able to perceive these colors does not change the truth of the color and its clarity.

And before we go any further, know that God did not give Gary color blindness. What comes into our lives as sickness, disease, infirmity or destruction is the natural result of the original sin committed by Adam and Eve. Satan encouraged them to doubt God, His Word and His love for them. When they acted on this encouragement, original sin was born into our world and is personally overcome only by the perfection and redemption of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Back to the topic at hand. God IS Truth. He was dealing with Adam and Eve truthfully and honestly, just as He does with all of His creation. God’s enemy, the devil, always lies, deceives and tries to manipulate our feelings. Jesus called him “the father of lies.” God’s Word says that Satan came to kill, steal and destroy… a total distortion of what God wants in our lives! Why else would Satan have planted a question in Eve’s mind about God’s spoken Word? He wanted to  destroy the object of God’s affection… mankind.

Often, all Satan has to do is plant doubt in our minds about God’s Word. “Hath God said…?” was the question he asked Eve in the Garden. Eve wasn’t sure how she felt about having information withheld from her. At that point Eve began to doubt God and His Word. She had always believed in God’s love and goodness before this time, so what made her believe the lie now?

Well, Eve knew that God has placed Adam and her over the entire created world. The world that she knew was still small, but thriving and growing by the day. She knew that she had been given freedom of choice about what to do and when to do it. She knew that God had spoken to Adam about the two trees in the center of the Garden. Adam was told that there was one tree containing the Knowledge of Good and Evil and that they should not eat its fruit. When Satan asked Eve the question, “Hath God said…?” she “stretched” the truth for the first time in recorded history. Eve wasn’t sure how she felt about having information withheld from her. She said God told them not to eat it… and she added, “…or even touch it.”

God never said that. Why did she do that? Well, God had also given mankind imagination… the ability to dream. God wanted us to live and grow… to do all that He had purposed us to do. He placed amazing seeds in every area of creation, including our minds. These seeds, physical or spiritual,  grow and multiply. They recreate and reproduce the beauty of all that God has given including music, art and poetry. However, once this duo, the first-fruit of mankind, ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they became aware of God’s enemy and his realm of disobedience and rebellion. Sin was introduced to the world and life would never be the same.

Sin brought with it a new kind of seed. The new seed began to reproduce and with this seed came separation from God. The intimacy that Adam and Eve once had with Him was gone. In its place was a loneliness that couldn’t be filled even with the love that they had for each other. It was big and tangible. And it was eternal.

But there was also an emptiness that moved the Creator. He already knew what they would do. When He gave them the warning about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, He said, “… for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) So, if God already knew that man would eat of this tree, why did God choose to give mankind choice? Why does God allow us to make our own decisions when they may cause pain and suffering in the lives of others… even Him?

Let me ask another question? Have you ever been in love? How did you feel the first time that your special-someone said, “I love you?” What about the first time you and that same someone had a fight? Did that same someone ever betray you? What were your feelings then?

Being betrayed by someone you care about, creates a hole in your soul. It leaves a cavity large and noticeable. That kind of emptiness can grow into a cavern. The emptiness that resides in each of us, large or small, and for whatever reason, can only be filled with God Himself.

The emptiness that touched God when Adam and Eve made their choice must have been just as painful because God spent a lot of time reaching out to His fallen creation to repair the breach. Finally, He sent His Son and the rest is history.

You may wonder what all this has to do with complete surrender. Well, in Romans 12 we are asked  to present our bodies a living sacrifice. As I understand the Greek, both of those words mean exactly what they mean in English… “living” and “sacrifice.”  That means that the very least I can do to show my Redeemer how much I love and appreciate what He’s done for me, is to give Him everything that I am.

Going deeper, I want to show my Heavenly Father how very much I love Him for loving me first. I want to let Him know that I’m grateful for all that He did for me…things that I could never do for myself. I want to show Him, with my life, that the measure of faith that He already gave me, is growing each day as I trust Him as my only Source. I want to let the amazing Holy Trinity, who created me in their Image, know that I am willing to yield everything that I am to their desire and purpose. I want to become all that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit know that I can be!!!

That is my desire. What I do on a daily basis doesn’t always fulfill that desire. I wrestle with my feelings as I remember the truth… that I am loved beyond reason by a God who created the universe. And so, I am slowly, but surely, yielding my gifts, my abilities, my love and my faith to the only One who can gather all that I am and make something useful… something that will allow His love and blessings to flow to others.

Now I am facing my most difficult challenge with hope and joy, knowing that God has my back… knowing that He wants me to take charge of my feelings and embrace the complete truth found in His Word. He wants to help me yield to His every truth. He wants to end all doubt about who He is and what He has done for me because He loves me so much. He wants to make me aware of all that Jesus restored. He wants to help me understand what it is to be created in His image and to use that reality to become the best that I can be.

My prayer is that you wrestle with the same challenge… and win!!!