Matthew 10:22 Stand Firm

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22

Very few people like to be hated, most people like to be liked. They want people to like them and will do just about anything to gain their favor and liking.

Watching posts on social media platforms, people get excited when the number of likes climbs higher and higher. It gives the impression that people really do like them. Yet, not everyone will like everyone. Some will hate others, regardless of what they do or don’t do.

As Jesus is sending the disciples out to be His witness, He tells them that they will be hated. Even though they are hated, they must stand firm in what they believe and are doing.

Even though nearly two thousand years have passed, people still hate true active believers. They hate because the message being proclaimed is offensive to the world. It tells the world there is a high standard to live by, that there is only one way to eternal life, that there is only one God, and that living in sin brings about death. People do not like to hear this.

Sadly, over the years, many believers and churches have changed the message to try and get people to like them. Often it is no longer about repentance, but feeling and looking good. This is not standing firm in what one believes and has been taught in God’s word.

Every believer needs to preach or speak the message Jesus taught. That message is that people need to repent of sins, change, and believe in and follow Jesus. When this is done, people will hate them, but it is what God desires. This is God’s will for every believer.

As a believer in and a follower of Jesus, you have the responsibility to share His message with this fallen world. Some will believe and follow Jesus, while many will hate you for it. Do not be surprised or hurt when they hate you, because they did the same to Jesus.

Do not give in to this world, but keep giving the message. Stand firm on the truth in God’s world and continue to live for God in His ways. As you stand firm, you will be saved in the end. With God you will win the battle.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be God’s true witness; that you will not fear the hatred of this world; that you will know God’s love for you; and that you will remain firm in God’s truth.

Matthew 9:6 Get Up And Go

“But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take up your mat and go home.” Matthew 9:6

The world often wants to know all the details on how something is to occur, before they step out into it. Unless they see it with their own eyes and understand it with their own minds, they do not believe it.

With this type of attitude, many people turn down opportunities in their lives out of fear of risk of it ‘may be wrong’. Fear and lack of faith stop a lot of people from stepping out and accomplishing something or seeing something happening.

Jesus had just forgiven a paralyzed man of his sins. Many could not believe it. So Jesus told the man to get up and to take his mat and go home.

In order to prove faith, one must step out in action with faith. Just saying that one believes does not prove anything. Those are just mere words. Action must follow faith.

God has given many promises throughout the bible. Many believers claim to believe in those promises. However, not very many will get up and go in belief in those promises. Their belief is only in the mind, because that is what a believer is ‘supposed’ to do, not because it is a part of the heart.

Getting up and going is a risk. Will God do what He said He would do or not? The believer must never forget that God will always keep His promises. All a believer must do is have faith and act upon it. He must take that risk as he steps out in faith with what God has told him to do.

As a believer, there will be things God has told you directly to you and promises you read in His Word. Either way that you hear of these promises, you have a choice of whether to believe them or not.

If you believe in God’s promises, you must then act upon them. This means that you will get up and go out, knowing that God will do what He promised as you do what He tells you to do.

The promises are in forgiveness, direction, healing, provision, protection and any other area in life. Are you getting up and going? Or are you shrinking in fear?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will understand God’s authority; and that you will get up and go as God commands you.

Looking At Faith

Open door

A while back I asked the question of what my readers would like me to write on. If there was a subject or topic that they would like to hear about. One of the suggestions that came up was to talk about faith.

While I love talking about faith, it also scares me a bit to talk about faith. One thing that I have learned with teaching the Bible and doing this blog, is that I have to face in real life what I talk about. It is as though God says ‘you wrote this, now do you believe it and act upon it? Let’s find out.’ When my family is going through a difficult time, my wife can usually peg what I am teaching or writing about. This means that as I write about faith, I will have to step out in more faith.

I hope you come along with me on this journey to discover more about what faith is and what it means to have faith.

Faith is something that is not physical, but impacts every area of life for every person on this earth. It is something that every person has whether they admit it or not.

To begin this study of faith we must look at the greatest verse on what faith is:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 

Hebrews 11-1

This verse is the beginning verse on what faith is. I will continually refer back to it throughout this study.

Just looking at this verse, it says that faith is two things: confidence and assurance. Let’s look at these two things closer.

Confidence is described as the feeling or belief that one can rely upon something or someone. It is complete, solid and firm trust in that something or someone.

The other word ‘assurance’ is described as a positive declaration intended to give confidence. It is a promise.

This confidence is found in what we hope for. This hope is not the desperate hope that many in the world have. ‘I hope that this will turn out right’. Hope is the knowing that something is going to happen. As believers we look forward to the return of Jesus. We look forward to a life in heaven with no more pain, suffering or death. We look forward to what life will be like some day.

We can know for sure that all that God has said He will do, He will do it! We can go to the bank on it and cash it in. God’s word is true and will never fail to be fulfilled in its time.

We also have assurance of what we do not see. No one can see heaven right now. No one can see Jesus right now. No one can see a perfect life with no more pain, suffering, sickness or death. Yet, it is there in the future. We can see it in the mind, but not physically. This is faith.

Many will claim to have no faith, yet, every person who has walked on this earth has had some faith. You have faith when you hit the light switch that the light will turn on. You have faith that the other driver will stay in his lane as he drives past you. You have faith that your boss will pay you your agreed upon salary when the work is done. You have faith that when you get out of bed, the floor will be there to step upon.

Now that I have given you a base line of what faith is and that you already have it, I will begin to move on to further study as to how to apply this faith as a believer. What does it mean to a believer? How does he use it?

In order to do this, I will be looking at the lives of different people throughout the Bible that show what faith looks like in action. I don’t know how many I will look at before I am finished with this study, but it will be a good number.

This study will be posted on Mondays when I can get it put together. I will strive to do this every Monday, until it is completed, but I may miss a Monday or so. Bear with me in patience as we begin this journey together in learning what faith is and how to apply it to our lives.

2 Kings 25:21 Judgment Occurs

Chains on feet

There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. 2 Kings 25:21 

Being thrust into captivity is something that no one desires. Although whole nations are not put into captivity, individuals can be. Often it is seen in being captured by the police for doing something wrong.

When one is placed in prison for doing wrong, it is usually not his first time doing wrong. It is often something he has done many times, just was never caught or convicted of doing wrong. There are rules to be followed and many people do not follow them, thinking that they will do fine with no problems. However, there will always come a time when he is caught and put into prison or some other punishment.

The Israelites had been rebelling against God for many years. They chose to follow false gods and worship idols, rather than love and worship God. God had warned them many times of punishment coming. With minor judgments against them, the people would turn to God for a short time, then rebel again, over and over. Finally God allowed the split nation of Judah to fall and be put into captivity for choosing to rebel against Him and follow false gods.

Although God does not always use physical captivity today, He still warns against following false gods or rebelling against Him. Jesus came to remove all sins from every person. He made a way to be able to follow God and live for eternity. However, one must still follow God and not false idols.

Many people have turned from God to idols in their lives. Choosing to not obey God or do what He desires of them. The captivity this time will be eternity in hell, the final judgment.

Choosing to believe in Jesus and follow Him is the first step to avoiding being judged and cast out. You must believe that He is the one who will save you from your sins and wrongs.

Then you must allow His Holy Spirit to guide you in how to live for God. Allow your every action, thought and word be to God’s glory and purpose. As you live like that, you will not allow yourself to follow false gods or worship idols in your life.

The warning of being cast out for eternity will be removed and you can look forward to eternity with God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to guide your life; that you will remove all idol worship in your life; and that God will never have a reason to cast you out. 

1 Kings 8:6 The Most Holy Place

Daylight in forest

The priests then brought the ark of the LORD’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 1 Kings 8:6 

Shortly after becoming king of Israel, Solomon chose to begin building the temple to God that his father, David, had wanted to build, but was not allowed to. After a lot of work of building the building, the priests brought the ark of the covenant into the building and placed it in the Most Holy Place.

At the time the ark of the covenant represented God’s presence and His agreement with the Israelites. It was an agreement that if the people followed His commands, He would be their God and take care of them. In it there was a copy of the ten commandments, a jar of manna, and the budding branch. This represented what the people had to do, God’s provision and God’s leadership.

This ark was placed in the Most Holy Place. It was the place that God would directly dwell when among the people. It was behind a huge curtain and was a place of no sin and only the high priest was allowed in once a year. It was God’s place.

A thousand years later, Jesus had died upon the cross, ripping the curtain in two and open and making a way for every person to go into the Most Holy Place where God is. The new location for God’s place to dwell was no longer in a temple, but in the heart of a person.

When one seeks forgiveness and believes in Jesus, his heart is made pure and holy–the Most Holy Place. It becomes the dwelling place of God. There is now a covenant–an agreement–between God and the person placed in the heart. There is also a sign of the provision for forgiveness and eternal life placed in the heart.

Believe in the work that Jesus did for you to remove your sins and give you eternal life. Accept His work in your life and become a believer. Do not allow the covenant of sin of this world to take a place in your heart.

As a believer, you now have God’s covenant placed in your heart. Your heart has become the Most Holy Place–the dwelling place of God. God is with you and will not leave you.

Believe in Jesus and allow God’s presence to be in your life daily.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to rule in your life; that you will allow God’s presence to fill your life; and that your heart will be the Most Holy Place unto God.