Category Archives: Discipleship

Being Faithful

Just as the bronze serpent Yahweh instructed Moses to make in the wilderness had the power to heal those who had been bitten by the serpents that had been sent into the camps of Israel, the Holy Book has the power to bring life and health and direction and wisdom and protection. The key to accessing the power of each is the same – faith in the One Who gave the tool.

The serpent, apart from faith in Yahweh’s promise of blessing, had no blessing. The Bible, apart from faith in the Spirit Who inSpired its creation and Who has made it to be promise, has no power. The words that have been spoken by the Lord and recorded by many writers into one Book are truth. Apart from faith in the Lord, they are just history or predictions of the future.

The blood of Jesus has the power to pay for all of my sin, but not unless I add faith to it.

But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed—attested by the Law and the Prophets —that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. He presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

(Romans 3:21-26 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Being Hopeful

Our God could end our miseries with a word, but He frequently will not end them without our agreement and our cooperation. The process has to happen His way.

Misery is a response of ours to our circumstances. When our response to nasty circumstances is faith, the misery is replaced by hope. When our response is patience, misery is replaced by hope. What you respond with is what you end up with.

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

(Romans 5:1-5 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Being Nutty

An acorn looks absolutely nothing like an oak tree, except maybe in similarity of color. Yet, hidden in the identity of an acorn is perhaps a thousand oak trees, if the little nut’s story goes well.

Who you are after being born of Yahweh was very well hidden by the identity of who you were when born of your parents. Who you can become as His obedient servant, then as His friend, is beyond being guessed or imagined. The details of your identity in Him are real-ized through listening to Him and obeying Him.

He has chosen you. He has ordained you: set you in place with purpose (John 15:16). He has designed His body so that as you fulfill your purpose in it, and others fulfill theirs, things become possible through all of us together that none of us could imagine alone.

It is God Who has set the members in the body in a way that pleases Him, based on His understanding and intentions about our identities and gifts and work (1 Corinthians 12:18). It is by what every relationship supplies to the body that it is built up in love to a mature, appropriate bride for Jesus (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Find out who He sees in you and real-ize that identity. Allow His purposes to be fulfilled in you and through you. Become part of His impact on all of creation by completely being you in Him.

God My Strength

If the Lord had not been my help,
I would soon rest in the silence of death.

If I say, “My foot is slipping,”
Your faithful love will support me, Lord.

When I am filled with cares,
Your comfort brings me joy.
(Psalm 94:17-19 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

The Greatest Gift

If any of our children ask for something good, we would not give them something evil instead. How much more will our Father Yahweh give His Holy Spirit to any of us who ask Him?

When Simon the warlock saw Philip doing miraculous works as he evangelized the Samaritan town where Simon lived, he was impressed enough to believe Jesus to be the Messiah and get saved from his sin. When he saw Peter and John lay hands on the new believers around him and saw them get filled with the Holy Spirit, he was more impressed than when he saw the miracles through Philip (Acts 8:4-19).

I am convinced that we would be wise to frequently ask our Father to give us the Greatest Gift afresh. It is perhaps even greater than salvation. If we weren’t given the Holy Spirit as an influence, we couldn’t believe and be saved. He wants to continually influence us to greater, deeper experiences in Him.

Ask.

Asking

The strength of “ask, seek, knock” is relationship.

It is not argument. I will not gain more by being better skilled in rhetoric. I cannot even improve my relationship. All I can improve on in the situation is deciding to stand in the place He has opened for me:

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.                                           (Romans 5:1-2 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Getting Better

We are not on a quest in life to become good. By His Spirit, Jesus makes us good (Galatians 5:22-23).

The path we are on is one of learning how to let that goodness influence the ways we respond to dangers and opportunities.

We are on a path of life, not to life:

You reveal the path of life to me;
in Your presence is abundant joy;
in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.
(Psalm 16:11 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Seeing or Discerning

Can you see angels? How about demons?

If not, how do you discern whether ideas that come to you about how to respond to situations have come from good or evil sources?

Unless you have come to be so in tune with the voice of the Shepherd that you hear all that He says and obey, you may need ways of checking ideas for validity and for Kingdom value. Instead of good and evil or right and wrong as your indicators, which are more difficult to discern with, use Life or death.

Genuine righteousness leads to life,
but pursuing evil leads to death.
(Proverbs 11:19 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.
(Romans 8:5-6 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Seeking Blessing

We are more likely to ask Yahweh to bless what we invented than we are to look for what He invented and do what we can to bless it.

Abraham had received promises that Sarah would bear a son to him. The idea was pretty crazy, based on their ages and the fact that she clearly could not get pregnant, or she would have before the promises came. Sarah’s idea to have Hagar bear a son for Abraham had worked out, it seemed – Ishmael had been born, and Abraham loved him as his only son.

Yahweh reminded Abraham that He was going to give him a son through Sarah, and Abraham’s response was, “If only Ishmael might live under Your blessing!” (Genesis 17:18). Yahweh responded that He intended to bless Ishmael, but that His idea about giving Abraham a son was better, and that His idea about blessing all the nations of the earth through a son was going to happen through the son He caused to be born.

Asking His blessing on our ideas is a good thing, but deciding to bless His ideas is much better.

Hope of Glory

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.
(Romans 5:1-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible ®©)

Affliction produces endurance. Endurance produces proven character. Proven character produces hope. Hope won’t disappoint us. To find the path to satisfied hope in the glory of God, stop avoiding afflictions and press through them instead.