Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Heaven Is Going to Be A Shock to You

Heaven Is Going to Be A Shock to You by Gary Kurz.

You are a born again believer. You have placed your faith in Christ and know your eternity is secure. You enjoy this life, but inside, like most believers, you yearn for that moment when your soul will take flight for that heavenly shore. Most of us do not want our earthly life to hurry by, yet our souls thirst for the time when we shall bid the cares of this woeful world and our toils goodbye.

You have heard so much about heaven from preachers and your Sunday School Teacher. It is a grand place where all the cares and problems of this life are left far behind, where your dreams and hopes are fulfilled. Many promises are made in scripture concerning this wonderful place and every one of them is positive and uplifting.

But what if heaven isn't what you expected? What if when you get there, you find that everything you imagined is not so? The truth is, most Christians are in for a very big surprise, perhaps even a shock. Heaven will not be at all what they expected.

If you ask the average person what heaven is like, invariably they will respond with "it is a place of happiness", or words to that effect. Then, if queried further, they will elaborate on what they think it will take to make heaven a happy place for them. One will imagine that they will be playing marathon golf, sporting an unearthly handicap. Another envisions endless championship fishing tournaments with them as the star. Still others imagine unlimited charge accounts at enormous malls that never run out of stock and never close.

It is human nature to create our own personal utopia in our minds. It is how we visualize and categorize our hopes. But human nature is exactly that part of us that God does not want in his heaven. Human nature is in contrast with God. It is referred to in scripture by many other names and all are seated in negative context. It is referred to as self, the flesh, the old man, and the old nature just to name a few.

Our old nature is our sinful part, the selfish, self-centered and self-serving part. It is shown as the cause of our sin and problems. The sum of it is told to us in Romans where it is called "enmity (or hatred) against God". In other words, the only thing our flesh is capable of is hatred toward God.

It is this human or earthly nature that imagines a customized heaven. It is our self-centeredness that dictates what it would take for heaven to be our personal utopia. Herein then is the surprise for many believers; that heaven will not be at all what they are expecting, but will be rather what God wants it to be.

So then, what is heaven like? What does God have planned? The short and simple answer is "I don't know". We are not given much detail on God's plans for eternity, except that we will spend much time around his throne fellowshipping with him. Indeed, if we could quantify the heavenly experience in terms of time, most of our time will be spent worshipping and praising the Lord.

Now, at the risk of shocking you further, let me say that I find the prospect of constant worship quite boring. I do not mean to be irreverent to the Lord, for certainly he is deserving of my eternal praise, but somehow golf and fishing seem to resonate with my excitement sensor more than a perpetual church service. If worshipping 24/7 was something that thrilled me, why do I have so much trouble being faithful to church on Sundays when I get the sniffles?

But that is just "me" talking, or my old nature. The best my old man can imagine for heaven is to concede to God cursory time of praise and worship. The rest of the time, my old nature wants for myself. In my present condition, though regenerated and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, my old flesh still has a modicum of control and influence in my thinking. Consequently, I often think in terms of what "I" want and what will make "me" happy.

Fortunately, that is not how I will enter heaven. In I Corinthians 15:53 we are told "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (kjv). Right now, I am corruptible, because of my flesh. But when this mortal shall put on immortality, I will also put on incorruption. In reality, incorruption is not so much put on as corruption is put off. Either way, I will be without my old nature.

When we accept the Lord, essentially our salvation comes in three phases. First, immediately upon confessing Christ, we are saved from the penalty of sin. Our sins are forgiven forever. There is no longer a penalty. The wages of sin were paid by the Lord Jesus and our account is paid in full.

Then, as we live our Christian experience on earth, we are saved from the power of sin. We are told that sin no longer has dominion (or control) over us. This is a quantitative term that means influence still is present, but not control. We have the Holy Spirit within us teaching, convicting and growing his fruit or attributes within us.

Finally, when we pass or when the rapture occurs, we are saved from the presence of sin. This is huge. Sin is no longer a part of us. The old man, the flesh, the old nature is supernaturally extracted by God and put off. No longer is self important. No longer do we think in terms of "me" and "I".

In this new state where self is no longer the center of our world, where sin has no presence, then our new man will soar and excel. Then worshipping God and praising his mighty works will be thrilling and exciting. We will hardly be able to contain the praise that pours from our lips as we fellowship with the one with whom we have to do. Golf and fishing will not even register on our "to do" list as all we will want to do is sit in the presence of our Lord, overwhelmed with his majesty and wonder.

Yes, heaven will be a surprise for many, but it will be a pleasant surprise when we arrive there without our old nature. It will be a time unparalleled in our previous existence, where we no longer are influenced by the selfish flesh that housed our soul for so long.


The author is a retired Coast Guard Officer with over 32 years of service. He is also a Baptist Preacher and Bible Teacher. He helps those grieving the loss of a pet to understand the Biblical evidence that proves they live on. His most popular book, "Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates" delivers hope and comfort to the reader in a very gentle, yet convincing way. Visit at http://www.coldnosesbook.com for more information and tips.

The Final Key To Getting What You Want

The Final Key To Getting What You Want by Rob Marshall

In my previous two articles on the topic of getting what we want, I looked at the importance of knowing what we want. If we haven't clearly defined what it is that we are trying to be, do, or have, then it's going to be impossible to know if we ever get it. Making a decision may not be easy, but we have to make a decision or we will never make any progress.

The second key dealt with our faith. We need to develop the kind of faith in God that won't wither when problems, setbacks, or disappointments rear their ugly heads. There is no escaping the fact that we will have to overcome obstacles on the road to what we want. The reason is that God wants to bless us beyond just helping us get what we want, He wants to work something much more powerful in our lives, a little something called perseverance. Because when we add that to our faith, we will never lack anything in our lives.

The third key to getting what we want is the third part of my simple formula for faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

When we break that statement down into the individual parts, we see that faith consists of three things. First is what we hope for, or what I covered in part one of this series, it is deciding what we want. In other words, it's our desire.

The second part is the second key, something the writer of Hebrews called "substance". It is that unshakable, persistent faith that expects to receive what we desire. It is what we really expect, and not simply what we wish for.

The final part is called evidence. This is where the rubber meets the road in our journey toward getting what we want, because this is all about action. It's about the words we say and the things we do that are the tangible evidence that we know what we want, and we truly expect to have it.

The simple formula is:

Desire + Expectation + Action = Faith

There are three kinds of action we need to take.

Focused Action

I tend to make the mistake of trying to collect as much information as I can possibly find before I do anything. What I end up with is a lot of unused, and useless, knowledge. We all have to realize that gathering all the facts, reading all the books, will give us data, but not necessarily help us reach our dreams.

Focused action means doing the things that will actually take us to what we want in life. There are things that we won't learn, questions that we don't even know to ask, until we actually do something constructive and take action on our dreams. As Mike Litman says, "You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going."

Even if you don't know all there is to know, take some step each and every day. Keep your focus on what you want and keep moving toward it, one step, one action, at a time. Constantly ask yourself, "Will this action get me closer to my goal?" If the answer is yes, then do it.

Inspired Action

The Bible tells us that God has given us the ability to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). But how does He do that?

As much was I might like it if God would simply drop the money in my lap, that's not what He does. And if we get confused and think that that is how God operates, all we have to do is look at the lives of people who have won lotteries. Most of them end up worse off afterwards then if they had never won.

The key to inspired action is learning to listen to the ideas and the wisdom that God gives us. Proverbs 8 tells us that God's wisdom is crying out, literally begging for us to come and receive the wisdom we need to solve the problems we face. It tells us that wisdom is more valuable than gold or silver because wisdom will help us create enduring riches and righteousness (Proverbs 8:18).

Inspired action starts when we begin to pay attention to the ideas and wisdom that God brings into our lives. It is then made perfect when we trust God and take action on those ideas. The ideas themselves won't solve anything, but using those ideas will help us get what we want and create wealth that will last a lifetime.

Consistent, Persistent Action

Ecclesiastes 11:4 tells us that someone who worries about the wind won't sow, and because that person worries about all that could go wrong (looks at the clouds), he never reaps. It then goes on to tell us that we don't understand how God will cause things to happen in our lives (we don't know what the wind is doing, or how a baby is formed in the womb), but that God is in control and he makes everything happen.

What is our part in this process? Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."

We don't have to know how God will work things out, and wasting time trying to figure that out will only slow us down. All we need to do is to be consistent, and persistent, with our sowing. As Jim Rohn puts it, "God has the tough end of the deal. What if instead of planting the seed you had to make the tree? That would keep you up late at night, trying to figure that one out."

As we continue to take focused, inspired action toward our goals, and we stop wondering how God is going to work it all out and simply trust that He will, we will find that getting what we want was a lot easier than we thought.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcome any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Monday, February 26, 2007

Overcoming Depression: A Lesson From The Life Of Elijah

Overcoming Depression: A Lesson From The Life Of Elijah by Rob Marshall

One of my favorite Old Testament stories is about Elijah. The story starts in 1 Kings 18 where we read about Elijah challenging the Israelites to decide whether they would serve God or Baal. To help them make their decision, he challenged the 450 prophets of Baal to a little contest. They were both going to prepare a sacrifice, and whichever god answered by fire, that god would really be God.

The prophets of Baal tried all day, and nothing happened. But when Elijah prayed, God caused His fire to come down and burn up the sacrifice, the wood, the water that Elijah had poured on the sacrifice, the stones, and the dirt around the altar.

When the people saw what God did, they fell down and worshipped Him. It was a powerful sign, and a great victory for God and Elijah, who then ordered the people to kill all the prophets of Baal.

And if that wasn't a great enough victory, the story goes on to tell us that Elijah prayed that rain would come to end a three-and-a-half year drought, and God answered his prayer with a deluge.

You might think that after experiencing such a great victory, and seeing God answer his prayer, that Elijah would be feeling pretty good. And he probably was, until he got some bad news.

When Jezebel, the queen, heard about Elijah killing all the prophets of Baal, she sent a message to him that said, "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them." And when Elijah got her message, being the mighty man of God that he was, he got scared and ran away.

I can't really blame him. There have been times in my life when I've gotten news that wasn't half as bad as "I'm going to kill you," and I've gotten scared and run away. The Bible says that, as he was running, he left his servant behind, went out into the desert, sat down under a tree, and prayed that God would kill him.

Have you ever had bad days like that? Days when nothing seems to be going right and you just want to curl up in some quiet corner and die? I know that I have had times like that, and the bad news that I got wasn't a death threat. There have been times in my life when I've wanted to die and the only problem I was facing was a little discouragement.

In 1 Kings 19 we read that Elijah ends up going to the mountain of God and spends a night in a cave. In the morning the word of the Lord came to him, and God said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:9)

Elijah answered, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." (1 Kings 19:10)

We read that God called Elijah out of the cave and that He brought a wind, an earthquake, and a fire to test Elijah.

When I see Elijah standing on the mountain, with a powerful wind howling around him, rocks falling and breaking into pieces near him, the dust from the rocks being blown into his face and eyes, I imagine that he must have been thinking that God was going to destroy him.

I'm sure that Elijah breathed a sigh of relief when the wind stopped, but then the earthquake came and he feared that God was going to open the ground, drag him down into the darkness of the earth, and crush him. And after barely surviving the earthquake, the fire came, and I'm sure that he knew this was it, God was going to consume him in a His wrath and his life would be over.

And all during this frightening show of God's power, God wasn't speaking to Elijah. Throughout this entire ordeal, after each potentially devastating event, the Bible says that "The Lord was not in" the wind, the earthquake, or the fire.

In times when I've felt depressed, and I've experienced a lot of times like that, I find that something happens that I can't explain. I may not be standing precariously on some mountain, but I have felt like my thoughts were destructive winds that tried to sweep me away in a torrent of negative words and feelings. Or my mind has raced on to imagining my life being shaken to the core and everything either falling apart or being completely destroyed, burned up by my own actions or God's wrath.

As I read this story I realize that most of the times when I have felt that way, God wasn't the one that was "in" the shaking. It was the anxious thoughts in my own mind that God was revealing to me. His voice was yet to come, and it came to me just like it came to Elijah, as that still, small voice, that asked me a very important question, "What are you doing here?"

When I look at how God dealt with Elijah in his fear and depression, I see that God is telling me something very important. For one, I need to be careful not to get off alone and allow my feelings to overwhelm me. I don't have to feel like I want to die just because something didn't work out the way that I had wanted.

The next thing that is important for me to do when I'm feeling like I'm stuck in a dark cave, is to put my focus on God. There are things that He wants to say to me, and most of the time, He will start off by asking me a question that will get me thinking about how I came to feel so depressed.

It was after Elijah had experienced the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, while feeling alone and without God, that he was able to hear God's voice. And when God spoke, He let Elijah know that he was wrong about many things. He was not the only prophet left and there were thousands of Israelites that still worshipped Him.

God will bring us out of our depression when we are open to hear the truth. The truth will most likely be very different from the thoughts we've been having, but it will encourage us and give us hope. And then God will give us our marching orders, just like he did for Elijah.

The way that God deals with depression in our lives may seem hard to understand, but what He is trying to do is to get us to hear Him more clearly than ever. What we have to do is to not allow the negative thoughts and emotions to so overwhelm us that we stop listening. And when we hear His voice, He will correct the wrong information that we have, give us hope, and ask us to obey Him and start taking action again.

When we do that, we will rise above depression and find victory in Him.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams. Get two free chapters from "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for our free newsletter. Just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Jesus Never Preached Poverty

Jesus Never Preached Poverty by Rob Marshall

A recent Time magazine cover had a picture of a Rolls Royce with a cross as the hood ornament. The headline read: "Does God Want You To Be Rich?" The article talked about a trend that is developing within the American church to preach what some call the "Prosperity Gospel."

I sometimes wonder what all the controversy is about. I remember going to a meeting with some other Christians and listening to the preacher talk about God's blessings. After the event was over, one of the people I was breathed a sigh of relief and said, "For a minute there I was worried that he was going to start preaching health and wealth."

I believe that I understand what this person was getting at, but I have to ask: "Would you have felt better if he had preached sickness and poverty?"

There is a lot of confusion around the topic of God's blessings in our lives and what it means to live an abundant life. And I have no doubt that some preachers are simply teaching something that a lot of people want to hear, and they may not be all that sincere. But I also believe that God wants to bless His people, and no they don't have to wait until they get to heaven, and yes they can, and should, create and enjoy wealth in this life.

A story from the Gospels that is often cited when talking about the evils of riches is the story of the rich young ruler. This young man came to Jesus asking about what he needed to do so that he could have eternal life. (Matthew 19:16-26)

What I find interesting is that Jesus answered his question in some very odd ways. If we look at it from a "Christian" point of view, He said some things that really don't make sense. The first thing he told him was to obey the commandments. That's odd because Paul tells us in Galatians 2:16 that no man will be justified by obeying the law, but through faith in Christ.

And I know that some people may say, "Yeah, but this was before Jesus died on the cross." Still, even the Old Testament taught that the righteous live by faith. Even Abraham was justified in God's eyes because of his faith. God's word has always taught that we are justified by faith and not by works.

But even this young man realized that obeying the law wasn't enough because when Jesus gave him a list of commandments that he was to obey, he replied, "'All these I have kept,' the young man said. 'What do I still lack?'" (Matthew 19:20)

It was then that Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21) The story goes on to say that this man went away sad because he had great wealth.

Now before we begin to think that Jesus just told this man he could earn his way in to heaven by giving his money away, let's take a look at what Jesus said. He just gave this man an incredible promise. He told him that, if he would give his earthly wealth away, he would have treasure in heaven. Jesus wasn't trying to find out if this man was too attached to his wealth, He was pointing out that this man didn't really believe in heaven.

Let me ask you a question. If God said to you, "Sell everything that you have here on earth, where moths eat it, rust corrupts it, and thieves steal it, give it to the poor and I'll make sure you can enjoy it forever," what would you say?

Well, if you believed in heaven you'd say, "You got a deal!"

This young man, and everyone who trusts in their earthly wealth more than in their heavenly treasures, will have a hard time getting into heaven. Jesus wasn't preaching to this man that he needed to earn his way into heaven by being poor, He taught us all that our faith, what we really believe, is displayed by our actions.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcome any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Sunday, February 25, 2007

How Your Dreams Can Change Your Life

How Your Dreams Can Change Your Life by Rob Marshall

What is controlling your life? If you're like a lot of Christians you might answer that question by saying, "God is controlling my life." As our pastor likes to point out, whenever a question is asked in Sunday School, most of the time you'll get the right answer if you say: God.

But the question really goes beyond that. Because when we look at what is controlling our lives we see that it is our desires, the dreams that we have, that motivate us and give us the drive to get up every morning and take action.

In Mark 5:24-34 we read the story of the woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years. It says that she had gone to many doctors, and spent all that she had, but that instead of getting better, she had gotten worse. But that day, in spite of the crowd that pressed around Jesus, she fought her way to Him and touched his clothes. The words she said to herself were, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." (Mark 5:28)

For twelve years this woman had suffered but had never lost sight of her dream, the dream of being made whole. She had been willing to overcome any obstacle, and had tried everything she could think of, in order to be healed.

The Bible doesn't tell us how she heard about Jesus, or what she had to go through to be near Him that day, but one thing is clear, her dream, her desire to be healed, had controlled her life.

Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no revelation (or vision), the people cast off restraint."

The vision that we have for our lives will create motivation, drive, and focus. It will give us the energy to persevere when the odds are against us, continue to work towards our dreams in spite of the setbacks and disappointments, and bring us to a place of wholehearted commitment to God.

The apostle Paul wrote that even though there were things in his life that needed to change, God's vision for his life had taken hold of him. He talked about forgetting his past and straining toward what was ahead of him. In Philippians 3:14-15 he says, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you."

As we pursue the dreams and desires that God has given us, we will change. When we allow God's vision for our lives to take hold of us and control our lives, we will put our mistakes behind us and continue to move forward toward our goals. As we do that, God will reveal every doubt and fear that we have, anything that is hindering us, and help us to overcome them so that we will reach our dreams.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcome any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Parable Of The Sower: A Lesson On Faith And Abundance

Parable Of The Sower: A Lesson On Faith And Abundance by Rob Marshall

Many people have heard the statement, "You reap what you sow." Or, as my wife learned when she was making drapes for a living, "You rip what you sew." When it comes to sowing and reaping we often fail to enjoy the blessings that God has for us because we don't fully understand the lesson of the parable of the sower.

The parable of the sower is important because Jesus told his disciples that they needed to understand it in order to be able to understand all the parables (Mark 4:13). Most of the teaching that I've heard on this parable center around preaching the Gospel, but when we look at it from the standpoint of faith and how we sow the seeds of our faith through our words and prayers, we see that we can learn a lot about how to enjoy more of God's blessings.

Seed Along The Path

Jesus starts this parable by saying, "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up." (Matthew 13:3-4) When He later explains the meaning of the parable to the disciples He says, "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path." (Matthew 13:19)

When it comes to our faith, the first problem we all have to face is our own lack of understanding about God and His kingdom. Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith 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."

If we are to avoid sowing our seeds along the path, we need to understand that God is who He says He is. His love and His power are infinite, His kingdom is within us, and all that He has for us is available to us when we seek Him with all our hearts. Nothing is impossible for God, and when we understand that, believe in it, and seek Him, it will bring joy to His heart and strengthen our faith.

Seed On Rocky Places

Jesus goes on to say that some of the seed fell on rocky places and because there wasn't much soil, it grew quickly, but then withered and died because the plants had no roots (Matthew 13:5-6). He then explains it to the disciples and says, "But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." (Matthew 13:21)

There have been many times when I've prayed for something, but then other people have told me that what I was asking for was impossible, or God has taken longer to answer the prayer than I had wanted, or some other problem or trial comes along, and my faith has withered and died.

James 1:2-4 tells us that we should rejoice when we face various problems and trials because we know that our faith is being tested. It is the testing of our faith that helps us develop perseverance. The promise in James is that once we have added perseverance to our faith, we will be mature and complete, and that we will then lack nothing. There have been many times when I've wondered if I have suffered lack in my life simply because my faith had no roots, because I lacked perseverance.

Seed Among Thorns

One of the first things we learn about this farmer in Matthew 13 is that he never gave up. His seed fell on the path, on rocky ground, and he still kept sowing. But the next seeds he sowed fell among thorns, and Jesus said, "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful." (Matthew 13:22)

When our seeds fall among the thorns it's because we fail to recognize that it is God who answers our prayers. He is the one who supplies all our needs. It's not the world; it's not even our jobs. If we begin to worry about how we're going to solve our problems, or start blaming the economy, the government, or anything else for our lack, we are worrying too much about our circumstances and we are forgetting God. When we trust God, we realize that He is more powerful than anything else in our lives.

The other problem that can cause our seeds to become unfruitful is that wealth will deceive us if we begin to think we got it on our own. In Deuteronomy 8:17-18 God warns the people about the deceitfulness of wealth when He says, "You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Remembering that all our blessings come from God, and being thankful at all times, will help our seeds bear fruit.

On Good Soil

The seeds that are sown on good ground are the ones that are sown with the understanding of who God is and that He wants to reward us and answer our prayers. They are seeds that are sown with the understanding that the trials we face are perfecting our faith so that we will never lack anything. And they are the seeds that we sow remembering that nothing is impossible for God, there are no circumstances that He can't overcome, and it is through His power that we are blessed.

When we understand this parable and apply it to how we view our faith, and the seeds we sow in faith through our words and prayers, we will see that God blesses us abundantly. He will return to us thirty, sixty, and even a hundred-fold. Our seeds will bear much fruit and bring glory to Him when we continue sowing and looking for the good soil in our hearts.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcame any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

What does Stewardship encompass?

What does Stewardship encompass? by Debra Lohrere

The Biblical principle of stewardship of our finances encompasses three separate points. Firstly it relates to good money management. We need to be careful not to squander the resources that God gives to us. We should learn good money management techniques, and learn not to be susceptible to impulse buying.

The second aspect of stewardship is related to investing to make the resources that God gives to us grow, so that we can sow more back into the Lord’s work. In the parable that Jesus told about the three servants who were given gold coins. Two of them invested the money and gave their master more than He had entrusted them with. The third servant went and buried it for safekeeping – and the master was angry at that servant for not putting the money He had been entrusted to use.

The third aspect of stewardship is giving. We have been commanded to “Give tithes and offerings to the Lord”.

We have been instructed us to be good stewards and to use what God gives us wisely.

I believe that God wants to bless his children and to bless them abundantly.

Don’t we want the best for our own children? We don’t want them to struggle financially and have the pressure of trying to make ends meet.

I am sure that our Father in Heaven is exactly the same. He wants us to put Him first in our lives, and in turn wants to bless us.

God wants us to be financially secure not just so that we don’t have to struggle with financial pressures – but also because prosperity allows us to bless others more.

When we wisely invest our finances we will have more available to effectively support the missionaries in the field, to finance Christian satellite TV stations and to support the needy in our local community.

A wealthy person has far more power to aide the needy financially than the best-meaning poor person.

I believe God is calling us to embark on the road to financial security so that we can be in the position to fund the resources needed to assist in the great revival.

Some Christians believe that it is wrong to desire wealth, but at the same time they try to give whatever they can. They fail to see that they would be able to give far more generously if they possessed invested what they had and increased their finances.

We need to remember that our finances belong to God. He is our master and we are just the caretakers. We should do our utmost to carefully manage and increase what He has given us, and be open to Hearing from the Holy Spirit to guide us in the direction that He leads us to sow these finances back into.

God is calling us to be proactive with investing. He wants us not only to have faith and believe that He wants to bless us, and to openly and joyfully accept what He wants to give us, but to also seek the wisdom and knowledge that are required both to create and to manage wealth.

With more wealth comes more responsibility. But I believe that as we take care of the little that God has given us, and are faithful in giving as He directs – He will Help us learn what we need to know and will Help to point us in the right direction so that we can continue to create more and use it wisely.

He wants us to become wise investors, and to find out as much knowledge as we can to enable us to make wise, well informed decisions.

At school we were taught skills to enable us to leave school and get a job and earn a wage. But we were never taught how to manage our finances or how to build wealth. We were not taught how to invest.

As good stewards, we need to self-educate ourselves about how-to and where-to invest our resources for the most effective growth.

Debra Lohrere is the author of Christian Prophecy and Investment books http://www.investmentpropertybooks.com/christianbooks.html

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David And Goliath: What Was He Thinking?

David And Goliath: What Was He Thinking? by Rob Marshall

Imagine that you are standing in the middle of a valley. On the hill in front of you are thousands of enemy soldiers all shaking their fists at you and hoping you will die. On the hill behind you are thousands of your soldiers, all scratching their heads because they think that you are crazy. Right in front of you is a heavily armed, very angry giant that is twice your size, and he wants to kill you.

And there you are, all alone, with nothing in your hands except a sling and a few lousy pebbles, and the thought that keeps going through your mind is: What was I thinking?

I don't know if that's how David felt, but I know that I've felt that way a number of times. There I was just following my heart and doing what I thought God wanted me to do, and all along the path to my dream were giants, one after another.

Maybe you've also felt like that on the way to your dreams. Not only do the problems not go away, but they also seem to get bigger and bigger. You wonder if you've made a mistake, and if anyone will notice as you quietly slip away, go back to your "day job," and forget the whole thing.

People have asked me what I thought David was thinking as he stood there facing Goliath. The Bible doesn't really tell us, but I would imagine that he must have had some doubts. But we know from how the story ends that David didn't allow his doubts to stop him.

Throughout our lives we all face "giants" - problems and struggles that stand in our way. They loom large on the path to our dreams and make us feel like the difficulties we are facing are greater than the rewards we hope to gain.

But because of David's example, we have hope - not that the problems will disappear, but that the problems we're facing can be overcome. Regardless of what others may think, we know from our own experiences with God that the victory doesn't go to the one who seems strongest but to the one who is willing to believe.

What was it about David that enabled him to defeat Goliath? Jesus gave us the simple answer to that question when He said, "Have faith in God" (Mark 11:22). But as simple as that answer may seem, putting that statement into practice and living a life that exemplifies faith in God isn't always as easy as it sounds.

In order for us to overcome the "Goliaths" that we will face as we pursue our dreams, we will need to learn how to deal with our doubts. We all have them, and circumstances will continue to happen in our lives that will cause our doubts to surface and even stop us dead in our tracks. But like David, we can't allow our doubts to keep us from taking action on our dreams.

When we have doubts, thoughts that keep nagging at us and causing us to question God, we need to take control of our minds. We should fill our minds with God's promises. God spoke to Joshua and said, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

Like David, we can overcome any giant of a problem, if we will simply allow the word of God to speak to us when our minds are filling with doubts and fears. When we "meditate" on His word, it means that we repeat it to ourselves. We stop the doubts by reminding ourselves of God's faithfulness. He will never fail us and we don't have to let our doubts rob us of our dreams.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcame any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Apparent Mystery of Answered Prayer

The Apparent Mystery of Answered Prayer by T.O.D. Johnston

The true explanation is so simple that the real mystery is why no one I have ever heard or read has so clearly stated it.

The certainty of answered prayer as Jesus taught it depended on being within God's will. He perfectly fulfilled God's will, and every request or prayer He asked was granted. Among men, many have attempted to explain God's will, studying the Bible, and much writing and preaching have been devoted to this theme. The rest of us, in praying, begin or end with, "If it be Thy will," as if we cannot be certain of the outcome. Knowing the will of God is the mystery, especially considering the new, difficult, and complicated circumstances we must deal with.

Here's the thing: with earthly parents, their children, as they grow and mature, learn about the values and goals of their parents. They come to know exactly what they can ask of their parents that will be granted. They also learn what not to ask for.

So it is with our Heavenly Father. The better we know Him, what He values and what His goals are - especially for us, individually, the more certain will our request and prayers be granted.

As Jesus taught His disciples to pray in His name, God also grants their requests in Jesus' Name. Jesus was and is the perfect example. Every single request and prayer Jesus asked of the Father was granted. This is because Jesus was continually within God's will. He and the Father are One. We therefore must continue to mature and grow in understanding God's will as shown to us in every Word and Deed that Jesus said and did. We must put on the mind of Christ. We must learn to ask or pray what Jesus would in that circumstance. It will always be what is best for all those involved. Best is always measured according to God's will.

The simplest way to say it would be: God wants all men to accept His offer of love and reconciliation through the forgiveness that the death of Christ accomplished. He then wants His children to grow and mature toward the perfect stature as seen in His Only-begotten Son. He wishes us to continually strive to become more and more like Jesus. He is The Way, the Truth, and the Life. He will always forgive us when we falter, encourage us to keep going, and to never give up, reaching toward the prize of being with Him and the Father.

He will always hear our requests and prayers - and the closer our relationship, the more certain the answers, in Jesus' Name.

The above lesson was excerpted from the author's online Online Bible Commentaries. He is also a contributing artist and editor for the Martial Arts Media Network.

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What's your motive in giving to God?

What's your motive in giving to God? by Mike Fletcher

Rush hour commutes, soccer practice for the kids, extra work from the office and the everyday demands of live in a culture awash in activities and time demands is posing a serious dilemma for churches across the country.

People are so busy that they simply don't have time to serve on church committees or work in church service projects.

How much do you care about the church?

About God’s people? How much of your time is spent helping… giving…praying for your church? A lot of people give money to the church but much less give themselves.

There are a lot of reasons that move people to give to the church. I know that some people give as a write-off so that they will get a break on the taxes they pay to the government. If that is your only motive for giving, it is not a proper one.

A tax write-off is just not enough. That is not going to help you any with God.

Some people give to the church to gain a reputation for giving.

The Bible truth of the matter is that God really isn't interested in our money. Oh, don't get me wrong. The Bible says we are supposed to give. But it's our heart condition that God is most interested in.

In fact, even more than money, he wants us to give our time, our prayers and our service to the institution he's created to be his hands and feet on this earth: The church.

There are Bible stories galore about the consequences of not supporting the church.

It is striking that the very first death recorded in the church occurred when a couple, Ananias and Sapphira, decided they would gain a reputation for giving that they did not really deserve.

In the fifth chapter of Acts we read that other people were giving property. This couple thought they would get in on the honor and prestige that was being heaped on those who generously gave, so they gave some of the proceeds from tome land they sold. But they pretended that they gave all of it when they really did not.

When the Holy Spirit dealt with that hypocritical kind of giving he dealt very severely with it.

Some people give because they were afraid of dying and they want to make Brownie points with God.

There have been people who give hundreds of thousands of dollars because they felt it would help them in their standing before God at the judgment seat. But they were not giving to help the cause of God or the church. They gave because they thought they could buy God’s favor.

All these are wrong motives.

When it comes to giving, motive is more important than the amount.

God is not so interested in how much you give the church, but why you give. Do you love the church? That’s the example we have from Christ.

More than 24 million seniors collectively volunteer 6 billion hours each year in the United States. Researchers at the University of Michigan recently discovered that the survival rate of seniors who volunteered 40 or more hours a year for a single cause was 40 percent greater than that of non-volunteers.

"Seniors who volunteer say it improves their health, life satisfaction, and social well-being," says Donna Thurmond, director of Senior Services for Volunteers of America.

So helping others and serving as Jesus commands us to do is not only a good thing to do, it's good for us.

In fact, we were all created with a desire to serve. That's why it feels so good when we do so, because it's what we were made to do.

But the real reason we serve is because that is what Jesus did. That's the example he left us in the Bible.

We know it as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you'd have them do to you.

You can read more at the Faithful Christian evangelism portal. The author publishes Online Christian Shopper an church resource site specializing in Christian T-Shirts and Christian clothing.

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Is Unbelief Ruining Your Life?

Is Unbelief Ruining Your Life? by Rob Marshall

They had come to the very edge of the Promised Land. The spies had returned and had not only told them about how wonderful it was, that it was a land that flowed with milk and honey, but they had even brought back some of the fruit of the land to prove it. The people must have been convinced that the land was even better than they had ever imagined. But there was a problem.

The spies also told them about the fortified cities and the giants who lived in the land. They spread an evil report about the land, and that night the people said, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?"

The New Testament book of Hebrews tells us that the people who came out of Egypt were not allowed to enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). And we are told, "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12)

There have been times in my life when I felt a lot like those people. When things didn't go the way I thought they would, or they became much more difficult than I wanted, I would often hear myself say things like, "I knew this wasn't going to work. God never hears my prayers and He never helps me. I should just forget the whole thing."

When we have unbelief in our hearts it doesn't mean that we don't have any belief at all, it means that we believe something that isn't true. When we choose to believe a lie, something that isn't in agreement with God's word, we are choosing unbelief instead of belief.

Jesus said, "For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34) Whatever is in our hearts will come out of our mouths, sooner or later. The words we speak show us what is hiding in the depths of our hearts. For the people that came out of Egypt with Moses, their unbelief was heard again and again.

When they didn't have food, they said, "If only we had died by the LORD'S hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." (Exodus 16:3) When they ran out of water they complained, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?" (Exodus 17:3)

Have you ever gone through difficult, or disappointing, experiences and found yourself complaining like they did? Maybe you weren't thinking God was going to kill you, but have you ever thought, like I have, that He wasn't going to help you?

The sad fact is that those people got exactly what they believed. Their words tell us that they believed that God wanted to destroy them in the wilderness, and they ended up dying there because they refused to believe God.

God had rescued them from slavery so that He could fulfill His promise to their fathers. And when Caleb said, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it" (Numbers 13:30), he was expressing his belief. Because Caleb believed God, he survived forty more years in the wilderness and he was able to enter the Promised Land.

The apostle Paul said, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

We have a choice when it comes to what we think about. We can let ourselves sink into the mire of disappointment, discouragement, and depression, or we can remind ourselves of God's love and power. God told Joshua, "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)

We can become prosperous and successful when we concentrate on what is true. When we consistently remind ourselves about the truth, that God loves us and wants to bless us, we confront the lies that are in our hearts.

Unbelief can ruin your life, but belief can revolutionize it. When you choose to believe that God is willing and able to give you what we ask for, you begin to create belief in your heart. The more you do that, the more you confront the lies with His truth, the stronger your faith will become.

Start today to pay attention to the things you say when you face difficulties. When you hear yourself saying things that aren't true, when you start expressing your unbelief, you need to stop right there. Instead of letting unbelief continue to ruin your life, choose to think on whatever is true so that the truth can bring blessing into your life.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams. Get two free chapters from "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for our free newsletter. Just visit:

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God's Abundant Blessings: 5 Steps To Enjoying More Of Them

God's Abundant Blessings: 5 Steps To Enjoying More Of Them by Rob Marshall

God loves us and wants to bless us abundantly, but we often choose to suffer instead of enjoying His blessings. We live in a sinful world and suffering is a part of life. But that doesn't mean that God wants our lives to be full of pain and constant struggle.

The Bible tells us that Christ died so that we could have life and abundance. (John 10:10) But God never forces His blessings on us, instead He tells us how we can choose to receive them.

Choosing God's blessings

In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy we read about the blessings and curses that God would bring on the Children of Israel. Chapter 28 lists all the blessings that would come on them for obeying God, and all the curses that would happen if they didn't. In Chapter 30 we read that if the curses have come on them, and they remember the blessings and repent, then God will again bring His blessings upon them.

Before we can enjoy God's blessings we have to choose them. Deuteronomy 30:15 says, "See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction." The choice is ours, and making the decision to obey Him and receive His blessings is the first step.

To whom much is given

I think that most people would take God's blessings without a second thought if they were simply dropped in their lap. But they usually come along with greater responsibility and that scares them. The servant who received only one talent was afraid to lose it, so he hid it, and because of that he lost a lot more than just one talent.

When we choose to enjoy God's blessings, we are also choosing to accept the problems and responsibilities that come with them. Jesus said, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." (Luke 12:48) So the second step to enjoying God's blessings is to be willing accept the responsibility that comes with them.

Are you trustworthy?

An important step that we can take in preparation for greater blessings is to be faithful, or trustworthy, with what we currently have. How faithful are you when it comes to giving of your time, talents, and treasures? Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much."

God wants to be sure that His blessings will be properly handled. When God plants a seed He expects it to grow and multiply. It's the same with His blessings. He gives them to us so that we can share them and multiply them. The next step to enjoying God's blessings is to be trustworthy with what we have, sharing our blessings with others so that they increase.

Do you remember God?

In the parable of the sower, Jesus talked about how some of the seed was sown in the midst of thorns. The thorns choked those seeds and they didn't bear much fruit. One of the "thorns" that He talked about was the "deceitfulness of riches." If we are to enjoy much fruit and enjoy God's blessings, then we need to be careful to avoid being deceived by riches.

Deuteronomy 8:10-11 says, "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day."

Riches deceive us whenever we fail to remember that it is God who gave us the ability to get them, even if it's just the riches we enjoy from our current job. Whenever we believe that we did it on our own, we choke the fruit and can't enjoy His blessings. One of the most important steps for us to take is to remember that all we have, and all that we will receive, comes from God and we are to always praise and thank Him for it.

Are you waiting for the bad news?

Some people are afraid of good things happening in their lives because they are convinced that bad always follows good. Have you ever caught yourself thinking, or saying, "Things may be good now, but it can't last."

There are those who believe that the universe is perfectly balanced. That there is up and down, right and left, as well as good and evil in equal portions. And we learn from Job that we need to be willing to accept both good and bad in life, but we have to remember that God is good. His promise to us is that all things will work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

Just like the heavens are greater than the earth, God's blessings and goodness are more abundant than the pain and suffering that we see in life. The final step to enjoying His blessings is knowing that above everything else, God is good. In our lives we will experience more good than bad, and God will even use the bad things for our good.

When we follow these steps, and believe in His love and goodness, we will enjoy His blessings.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams. Get two free chapters from "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for our free newsletter. Just visit:

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Is America the Last Home for Those Who Love the God of Love

Is America the Last Home for Those Who Love the God of Love by Rev Michael Bresciani

America is sliding fast toward becoming the next great post Christian nation behind Europe. This is what all Godless societies throughout time immemorial have thought would be their final advance. Secularism has always labored under the notion that civil government and secular society is all we need to get it right. Perhaps as it pertains to kooky religions, cults, heresies and pseudo Christian religions that may be true. The absence of real Christianity as given to us by Christ himself will produce a vacuum that no one can bear.

As a young man and a new believer I was told that true Christianity as not a religion at all but a great love affair. The people of God love God and his son Jesus Christ. Oddly it is because they find out how much he loves them and are awestruck by his compelling gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

In the Muslim religion God is painted as a murderous entity that requires that we kill and destroy anything or anyone who will not submit to its tenants. It is a picture that is diametrically opposite the picture of Christ dying on the cross not for anything he had done but for the sins in thought, word and deed done by all mankind. This is what draws enlightened men and women who have exercised reason good judgment and faith after investigating and prying into the matter with full cognizance. In other words Christianity requires some real thought not just the consent of dumbbells.

Christians don’t worship other Gods because they think they’ve got the best one. Rather he is the only one. There is only one creator and one redeemer and one King that shows up at the end of time to rule for all eternity. God is not jealous of other Gods, because there aren’t any. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me, De 32:39.

Mans insistence in creating other gods is evidence only of mans persistence in idolatry. Beyond that the darker and more sinister truth is that the god of this world (Satan) does not stop short of deceiving men with standard temptations. In addition to fame, fortune and power he has religion and those with the proclivity toward it in the palm of his hand. God knew better than to trust men to go shopping for a true religion as if they were trying to find a nice cut of meat. That also is what separates Christianity from any and all other religions.

God provides a revelation of who he is and exactly what he wants in the person of Jesus Christ. He allows no shopping around and does not encourage guesswork. Thank God. The only thing he doesn’t do is force faith on us but as a loving God allows us to see what he has done and to decide for ourselves if we want to get onboard. How else could he be sure if he had the right ones? If I was God I wouldn’t want the coerced, the threatened or the cajoled around me either. That’s not love!

We don’t believe because we are forced and we don’t obey on that premise either. Jesus said we would only obey him if we loved him. John 14:21 More amazing is that when we do decide to obey him the first, greatest and most compelling commandment of all is to spread the love around. Matthew 22:37 No diatribe against Islam or any other religion in the world here, just one deal…love. Got love?

Trying to imagine America without these people that love is harder for me to imagine than a world without the oceans or the moon or the trees. I have worshipped with faithful Catholics and Protestants of every kind. I have never needed an ecumenical manifesto to see that when they worship God in “spirit and in truth” they are all one regardless of what church they hail from.

I can’t see a country where there are not huge Catholic cathedrals and every sort of Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and other types of churches to numerous to name spotting the roadsides in every city, town and village in America. I can’t imagine the names of the great evangelists no longer being mentioned like Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and great teachers such as Donald Barnhouse, R.C Sproul and others. It wouldn’t seem right, it wouldn’t be America.

Hearing the gospel being bellowed late at night on powerful radio stations while riding down the highway would leave only the secular rant of the news caster and the farm reports and God knows what kind of music. Many a soul would not have pulled their car over to the side of the road weeping after hearing of the love of God toward them. Not seeing the telecasts of TBN, CBN and televised gospel crusades would make television the “vast wasteland” a former head of the FCC once called it.

More than just the loss of familiar Americana the absence of the Christian faith and its visible churches would create a void for which there is no substitute. Godless secularism by its very nature requires a confidence and a strong will to maintain. After all it requires man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. Intelligence, savvy human will and lots of other exaggerated notions are required to prop up pure existentialism. But Christ knows us better than that. We are not always strong, smart or aware but more often than not we are weak, wishy washy and woeful. Guess what, God doesn’t care about that, he only cares about you.

To the end of my feeble life I will always thank God that on any day of the week I can freely call a pastor, find a good church or a group of people to pray with. I will be thankful that I live in a country where I am not hindered from doing this at least for this moment in time. May God help us in our future?

Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite's hope shall perish: Job 8:11-13

Rev Bresciani is the author of two Christian books. His articles on the second coming of Christ, faith, politics and the American way of life are read in every country in the world. Come visit http://www.americanprophet.org

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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Second Key To Getting What You Want

The Second Key To Getting What You Want by Rob Marshall

His mind was racing and he just couldn't believe what was happening. The father had brought his son to the disciples so that they could heal him, but not only had his son not been healed, the disciples were now arguing with the teachers of the Law. He kept thinking, "Wait a minute! This isn't right. What about my son? Who is going to heal my son?"

As all of this was going on, Jesus returned. The people quickly ran to Jesus and the father burst through the crowd and cried out to Him, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not." (Mark 9:17)

When reading this story in the Gospel of Mark it's interesting that the first thing Jesus does is to reprimand the disciples for their lack of faith. When the father cries out and says, "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." Jesus looked at the father and said, "'If You can?'" He pointed out that the problem wasn't what Jesus could do, but what the father could believe. He told him, "Everything is possible for him who believes." (Mark 9:23)

It is safe to assume that the father had come to Jesus' disciples expecting that his son would be healed. He had come in faith, but when things went terribly wrong, his faith had faded. And when Jesus came, there was probably nothing left except questions and doubts.

There may be a lot of people who say, "I know what I want in life, but I just can't seem to get it." Like this father, we come to God hoping that He will help us, but things don't go as we had planned and we find ourselves full of questions. God tells us that everything is possible if we will believe, but all we can say is: "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

When we decide to go for the things we want in life, one of the first things that will happen is nothing. It's at that point that most people will scratch their heads and wonder if they've made a big mistake. We often fail to get what we want in life simply because we don't really believe that we can get it. So when things go wrong, we give up.

God isn't expecting us to have a huge amount of faith. What He does expect is that we have enough faith that we won't give up when things seem to go wrong. He wants us to have enough trust in Him that we don't question His ability and willingness to answer our prayers, even when it seems like nothing is happening.

If the father in this story had given up, his son may never have been healed. But because he went to Jesus and admitted that he was struggling, Jesus helped him overcome his doubts and unbelief, and his son was healed.

When it comes to faith I like say, "If there is no room for doubt, there is no room for faith." Our faith is not strong because we have no doubts; it's strong because we continue to look to God in spite of those doubts.

In order for us to get what we want, we first have to know what it is. Once we know what it is, we have to be willing to hold on to our faith, continue to believe that God will hear us and answer our prayers, even when we still have questions.

The second key for getting what we want is developing the kind of faith in God that doesn't crumble when things go wrong. It's the kind of faith that continues to believe in God's abilities no matter what happens, and that gives us the confidence to expect an answer from God even when we are struggling with our doubts.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams. Get two free chapters from "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for our free newsletter. Just visit:

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Are all the dead Christians in Heaven?

Are all the dead Christians in Heaven? by Debra Lohrere

It has long been taught that when a Christian dies they go straight to heaven. Is this what the Bible teaches or have paganistic doctrines and myths crept unbeknown into our Christian faith?

What did Jesus say about his friend Lazarus who had died? John 11:11-14 “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead”.

Jesus clearly showed us that the dead sleep. If Lazarus had gone to heaven Jesus would have said that he was in heaven with the Father. Also, after Jesus raised Lazarus, did anyone ask Lazarus “What was it like in heaven? Tell us about it”. No one did, because it was the belief of the day that when someone died they slept until the resurrection on the last day.

This is further clarified in Psalms where we are told that when we die our thoughts perish Psalms 146:4 “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish”.

We are also told that we will not rise again until the heavens are no more (when Jesus returns) Job 14:12 “So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep”.

Paul reinforced this understanding 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first”:

Many Christians believe that when they die they go directly to heaven, even though the day of judgment has not even occurred yet. They visualize themselves in heaven with the angels praising God. But what does the Bible say? Psalms 115:17 “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence”.

It is clear that the Bible writers all believed that the state of the dead is like sleeping, to be awakened the moment after they closed their eyes at the final trumpet at the coming of Jesus on the day of redemption. 1 Corinthians 15:52 “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”.

Job made it clear that we return to dust and are no more until the resurrection Job 7:21 “And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be”.

There are many deceptions of Satan going on in these end times and spiritism is on the increase. If people realized that the dead are all asleep and can’t communicate with us, then they would start to question who exactly it is that they are communicating with. There are many deceptive demonic spirits in the invisible world around us, who take every opportunity they can to lead people astray. It is time that we recognized that when mediums are speaking to the ‘other side’ it is actually the evil angels that they are talking to and not dead beloved relatives.

How can we help those who have been tricked by these deceptive spirits, if we don’t demonstrate to people from a Biblical perspective that the dead are asleep and have no thoughts, so it can’t be them doing the communicating?

All Bible references are from the King James Version.

For more information on this topic please visit http://www.thetruthaboutdeath.org/
Debra Lohrere is the author of Christian Prophecy and Investment books http://www.investmentpropertybooks.com/christianbooks.html

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What If God Is Late?

What If God Is Late? by Rob Marshall

Have you needed an immediate answer from God, but no matter how much you prayed, even begged or pleaded with Him, God's answer was late? There is an old saying that God is seldom early, but never late; but that statement begs the question: How do you define late?

In the Old Testament book of first Samuel we find the story of how King Saul found himself in a situation like that and, because of the bad decisions he made, he lost his kingdom. This story teaches us some two important lessons we must learn so that we can avoid Saul's mistake.

In 1 Samuel 13:1-15 we read that Saul's son Jonathan had attacked their enemies, the Philistines, and had really stirred up the proverbial hornet's nest. The Philistines got really mad and gathered their army to attack Israel. The Israelites were completely outnumbered, and Saul's soldiers were so scared that they were running away.

Saul was desperate. The prophet Samuel was supposed to come and help Saul seek God's guidance and blessings, but Samuel was late. Saul felt that he had to do something, so he broke God's commandments and offered a sacrifice without Samuel being there.

In the Sunday school class I'm teaching, we were discussing this story. We realized that Saul wasn't that much different from us. We each recognized that we had all been in circumstances that seemed impossible, and that out of desperation we had made bad decisions. But unlike Saul, we had not lost everything because of them.

So what was the difference? Why had Saul's actions had such severe consequences when our mistakes had been costly, but had not ruined our lives?

In 1 Samuel 13:10 it says, "Just as he (Saul) finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him." In other words, Saul had just finished making a big mistake when Samuel arrived. If Saul had just waited a little longer, Samuel would have come and the problem could have been avoided. So why was Samuel just a little bit late?

The first lesson we learn from Saul is based on one of my favorite verses, Psalm 139:23, which says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts." There is probably one thing, one "test," in life that will reveal our anxious thoughts faster than anything else, and that's when God seems to be running late.

Samuel was late because it created a test that revealed something in Saul's heart, something that is in all of our hearts, it revealed his doubt and fear.

One of the hardest and most valuable lessons we each must learn is patience, also known as perseverance. In James 1:4 we read, "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

I wonder how many times I have ended up lacking things simply because I had not had the patience to wait just a little longer for God's help. The promise in James is that our faith will be complete, and that we will lack nothing, if we simply let perseverance, patience, finish its work in our hearts. By revealing our doubts and fears, God gives us the chance to face them, and overcome them, through the promises in His word.

The other important lesson we learn from this story comes from Saul's answer to Samuel. Samuel asked Saul what he had done, and he said, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD'S favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."

When we look at Saul's answer we see something that is basic human nature, blame shifting.

We will all face desperate times, and most of us, probably all of us, will make bad decisions. We will do things out of fear and doubt rather than faith, and that may lead us through some hard times. But we need to learn from Saul.

Even if we have blown it, the moment we realize that we made a mistake we have to take responsibility for it. I believe that Saul would not have lost his kingdom if he had simply said, "Samuel, I blew it. I was scared and I did something that I should not have done, will you forgive me? And can we now seek God together for His help?"

Saul paid a very high price for his mistake because he refused to acknowledge his sin. In my Sunday school class we all had stories of times when we had made decisions out of fear, but we also had seen that God had miraculously fixed our mistakes once we had acknowledged them.

When we face desperate times and believe that we need an answer immediately, it's then that we must learn patience and perseverance. In those times we must wait just a little longer.

And when we make bad decisions, we can know that even then, God will forgive us and help make things right again.

Rob Marshall is the author of "Taking On Goliath - How to Unleash the David in All of Us." Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any "Goliath" that may stand between you and your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for our free newsletter.

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Christianity - The Religion that is Not

Christianity - The Religion that is Not by Rev Michael Bresciani

In the seventeenth chapter of Matthew the Apostles Peter, James and John were with Christ when he suddenly was transfigured (glowing or glorified) and was seen talking with Moses and Elijah. Instead of trying to hear what was being said between Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter decided that building a shrine to commemorate the event would be a better idea. A voice came from above that changed Peters mind and is still changing minds to this day. The voice said “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Mt 17:5

Here was a microcosmic but very typical example of mans penchant for religion and God’s answer to it. Peter wanted a shrine, a building or edifice to mark the spot where something happened. God wanted them to hear and see Jesus. To understand this is to see what separates real Christianity from religion.

Ecclesia is the Greek word used in the New Testament to describe the church. It has nothing to do with a religious system or a building. It refers to a called out body of believers made up of individuals. The church is a group of believers with or without a cathedral or building. The idea of going to church has long supplanted this definition. But such a connotation of the word cannot change the definition. The believers themselves are the church.

Christ was very careful not to instruct his disciples to build churches, shrines or an edifice to centralize his deity or worship. He told them rather to go out into the world and live out his message and tell it to others. How well he knew that we would make another religion out of his life in record time. It had already happened with the previous revelation God gave to the Jews.

The Mosaic form of religion reached its height around the time of Jesus. With the Temple in Jerusalem at its center it was a swelling complexity of oral and written traditions that would be hard to contain in the largest computer data bases of today. Christ spent a good deal of time resisting the extremes of that system and rebuking its leaders for their shallowness and misconceptions about what God really wanted and who he really is. He called its leaders a generation of snakes and said they used their religious rules and codes to laden men with mountains of unnecessary restrictions and meaningless rules.

In the Christian era it is said that Catholicism with its centuries of encyclicals, patristic teachings, ex cathedra and pontifical statements is ancient Judaism’s twin. In this late hour in time many churches have slouched into the same patterns including many historical denominations of the protestant movement. These religious bodies are not wrong just because they are burgeoning but they are heavy with the weight of their own complexity. Resultantly they offer much less to a troubled world that doesn’t even have time for itself, much less a fat religion that only adds to the stress of the modern day.

What has happened to Catholicism has been the problem for all the once great Christian churches or movements. They laid a construct over the simple gospel one single strand at a time. Doctrines, viewpoints, rules and codes some explicit, some implied and some harshly enforced.

Like the ancient Jews who had ceremonial laws, hygienic laws and moral laws to deal with, the more external forms of the religion finally cover the more important spiritual and moral aspects of it. The construct that so carefully was laid out now becomes the mask or the obstruction that keeps anyone from seeing the original all important first messages. When the simplicity of the gospel is covered by mountains of rules, liturgy and ceremony it becomes a sort of vaccination that keeps people from getting the real thing. The real thing is a way of life not a religion.

When the believers in the first century had not yet formed any denominations or sects they were told to tell others about Christ’s new way of life. “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” Acts 5:20. Jesus had told them often that he came to bring life to men not another religion.

Knowing that mans proclivity to religion was second only to his tendency to sinfulness Christ instituted two and only two outward ceremonial ordinances. They are partaking in the Lords supper (communion) and water baptism of repentant adults, not children or infants. Religious leaders added statements of faith, extra biblical doctrines, ceremonial observances, liturgies, rules of conduct, sacraments and the list goes on and on. If Christ were on earth today he would rarely ever be invited as the guest speaker in many churches. He would no doubt be found rebuking the religious nonsense of today’s church as he did centuries ago.

What really separates true Christianity from all religions in the world is simply that it is not a religion at all. Men have devised complex systems of piety and religious observance of every kind in an effort to placate or appease God. In Jesus Christ, God holds up a stop sign to the world. God says stop guessing who and what I am and what I want. I will show you who I am and what I want and in the process give you what you need…life.

The remaining difference between faith in Christ and all other religions is that Christ alone will show up at the end and judge the living and the dead. He alone will take the governments of the world away from man and rule as Sovereign Lord of all.

We debate religion but God will judge the souls of men, not by some religious belief system but by the example he showed of his life, his death on the cross for the sins of the world, his resurrection from the dead and every word he uttered during his life. We will not be able to argue the matter of our lives or offer God our adherence to some religious system as an answer. Jesus said, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48

Religion based on true Christian teaching is not necessarily bad. It must be used as a supplement and never a substitute for the real thing.

Rev Bresciani is the author of An American Prophet and His Message, Questions and Answers on the Second Coming of Christ, Xulon Press His articles are read in every country in the world. Please enjoy a visit to http://www.americanprophet.org

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

David and Goliath: How To Become An Overnight Success

David and Goliath: How To Become An Overnight Success by Rob Marshall

The story of David's victory over Goliath has inspired millions of "little" people to believe that, even though the odds were against them, they could win. It is the story of a young shepherd boy who no one had ever heard of, but who defeated a giant with a single stone from his sling, and who rocketed to fame, fortune, and success.

We might think that David was simply lucky. Maybe he just happened to be at the right place at the right time. But are there things we can we learn from David that will help us do what he did? Can we learn from David's victory over Goliath how we can slay our own giants and become overnight successes?

Build Your Confidence - Face The Daily Challenges

When the king told David that he would not be able to defeat Goliath, David answered, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." (1 Samuel 17:34-37)

David's confidence that he could defeat Goliath came from having overcome similar challenges while simply working for his father. Because David had learned to trust God in his day-to-day life, just doing his job, he had developed the faith to overcome any problem.

Becoming an overnight success requires that we have confidence when our big opportunity comes. That confidence is built over time as we learn to trust God and overcome our daily challenges.

Don't Give Up - Face The Criticism

In 1 Samuel 17:28 it says, "When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.'"

When we realize that Eliab had just spent forty days being afraid of Goliath, it's easy to understand why he got so upset when his little brother said, "I'll kill him." Eliab was embarrassed that David had more faith and courage than he did, and it was Eliab's doubt and fear that made him so angry with David.

In order for us to become overnight successes, we will have to learn how to face criticism. And even if the people closest to us are the harshest critics, we need to understand that the fears that have kept them from pursuing their dreams can cause them to be hard on us.

Use Your Creativity - Face The Giant

When David first announced that he would kill Goliath, he probably didn't know how he was going to do it. As we read the story we see that he tried to wear the king's armor, but realized that it would not work (1 Samuel 17:38-39).

But something that we learn from David through this incident is that it's OK to make mistakes, as long as we don't go too far. Once we realize something isn't working, we need to change what we're doing. We don't have to give up on our dream; we just need to change how we have been trying to reach it.

We will need to be creative and use our strengths if we want to become overnight successes. The king's armor would have been fine for the king, but not for David. Instead, David looked at his experience and skills, trusted in God, and found a solution to his gigantic problem by using his sling.

Prepare For The Long Haul - Face The Facts

I once heard about an interview with a famous rock musician who had catapulted to success after releasing a live album. The interviewer asked, "What was it like to become an overnight success?" The rock musician replied, "For me it was carrying my equipment in and out of dingy, smoke-filled bars, night after night for fifteen years, until we released that album."

David's goal was to become the king of Israel. His victory over Goliath played a major role in helping him accomplish that goal. But defeating Goliath was not all that he had to do.

Many people have big dreams for their lives, but few of them see those dreams become a reality. The time and effort that it takes to overcome the problems and obstacles that every successful person must face, the Goliaths that they have to defeat, seem to be too great.

Everyone who wants to be successful will have to build their confidence, stand firm in the face of criticism, find ways to use their strengths, and commit to reaching their dreams no matter how long it takes. Because the simple truth is, it takes a long time to become an overnight success.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcame any obstacle, and live your dreams. Get two free chapters of "Taking On Goliath" when you sign up for the Faith-Full Life newsletter, just visit:

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Where Are God's Miracles?

Where Are God's Miracles? by Rob Marshall

I like the story of Gideon from the Old Testament book of Judges. In chapter 6 we read that Gideon lived at a time when the Midianites were oppressing the Children of Israel and taking everything they had. It was a desperate time when people were struggling just to survive.

When we first read about Gideon, he was threshing some wheat and trying to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord came to him and said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." (Judges 6:12)

I don't know for sure, but I would imagine that the angel appearing to Gideon probably scared him because he was trying to be secretive and hide some wheat. On top of that, the angel's greeting probably seemed completely ridiculous to him. After all, he was hiding and barely able to feed himself, hardly the image of a mighty warrior.

After getting over the shock of the angel's greeting, Gideon said, "But sir, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?' But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."

It's not hard to imagine that I might have given the angel a similar reply if I had been the one who was struggling just to put some food on my table. I think that many Christians today are asking these same questions, "If God is with us, then why are things so bad? And where are His miracles?"

We may not be as depressed about our situation as Gideon, because we may not feel like God has abandoned us. But we may feel like God is a long way away and that He may not be very happy with us.

As Gideon was about to find out, God never abandons His people. Even if we have sinned, God wants to forgive us and show us His love. When we feel that God is distant He tells us, "Come near to God and He will come near to you." (James 4:8)

God will come to our rescue and change our lives if we will simply make that first step and begin to trust Him. He is still the same God that we read about in the Bible and He wants to reveal Himself and His power to us.

For Gideon, everything changed when he asked God to answer a few simple prayers. We often talk about Gideon's fleece and that we shouldn't look for signs, but God wants us to see that He hears our prayers and answers them. When we bring some small requests to Him, and then expect Him to answer, we will see that He is faithful.

Gideon never would have been able to defeat the Midianites if he hadn't first come to understand that God had not abandoned them. Gideon's fleece teaches us how God showed a man who was full of doubt and fear that He cared about him. And it shows us that miracles can only happen when we are convinced of God's love for us.

Gideon's story doesn't stop after God answered his simple prayers and neither will ours. As we draw close to God and learn about His love and faithfulness, He will ask us to obey Him. As we learn to trust and obey Him more, we will see His miracles.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcame any obstacle, and live your dreams.

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Faith That Moves Mountains: First, Forget The Mountain

Faith That Moves Mountains: First, Forget The Mountain by Rob Marshall

When reading Jesus' words in Mark 11:22-24, I have never known whether the mountain he mentions is symbolic or real. The Bible simply says, "'Have faith in God,' Jesus answered. 'I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, "Go, throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.'"

If Jesus didn't mean a real live mountain, then the symbol of the mountain could be anything from a mountain of problems to a mountain of debt. The mountain could symbolize any big problem that we face and that we feel we can't budge.

I have heard some teach that the mountain symbolizes the Law of God, and that He's really teaching that we can have forgiveness by faith. And when we read Mark 11:25, I can see how that might be one way to interpret this verse. I just wonder why He gives us such a big promise as, "Whatever you ask for in prayer," if all He really meant was forgiveness.

But if Jesus was talking about a real mountain, it could mean that we have the power to change the physical universe, and that our faith and our prayers are far more powerful than we have ever imagined. It would mean that we could go far beyond just changing our situation, because we can literally change the world.

For the moment, let's just forget the mountain. What difference does it really make if He meant a symbolic, or a real, mountain?

What does it mean to us that Jesus said, "if anyone...does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him?"

The first thing it means to me is that I have a very small, limited picture of what faith is able to do. It means that I need to open my eyes to just how big and powerful God is, and that I need to constantly remind myself, "With God, all things are possible."

The second thing it tells me is that my problem isn't a lack of faith; it's an abundance of doubts. Those doubts can come from being unclear about what we want and extend to being unclear about God's love and power. If I doubt God's love for me, my faith will suffer.

Finally what these verses tell me is that my faith needs to be in God, and not in my faith. It's not about what I believe in, but who I believe in. When I believe in God, all things will be possible because He is the one that makes them possible.

The same faith that helped David defeat Goliath is in everyone of us. In "Taking On Goliath - How To Unleash The David In All Of Us," author Rob Marshall shows you how to unleash your faith, overcame any obstacle, and live your dreams.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Questions, Questions, Questions

Questions, Questions, Questions by Karin Syren

Everything we need to know, not only to receive the New Birth but to live out our lives and callings, is waiting between the covers of the Bible. If we think we need more, it is a matter of the mind, to satisfy curiosity or to build a case for or against prevailing deceptions, such as The DaVinci Code, but not of the spirit.

We must guard against the temptation to seek resources outside the Word of God for purposes other than purely historical or cultural backdrop. Certainly such sources are not anointed to prove anything to the lost. Faith does not come as a result of increased knowledge, but by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). It's not our mission.

It's the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to draw people to Himself. The Holy Spirit stands at the doorway to our hearts and knocks (Revelation 3:20). As believers, we are charged with interceding for the lost, helping to position them in a place and an attitude disposed to hear, aiding those within our sphere in changing their focus, and boldly proclaiming the Good News we know - it's not our job to make anyone understand or believe.

We don't "get people saved" as I sometimes hear people say. By being trustworthy witnesses to the goodness of God and the truth of His Word, we lead them to that place where the Holy Spirit can do His work.

We need never justify anything to anyone - the Word is complete and "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Presenting the Gospel to our friends is part of "every good work." We re never told to add anything to the Word of God. In fact Jesus Himself tells us not one jot or tittle (the smallest of Hebrew markings) will be changed (Matthew 5:18).

Hebrews 4:12 says "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His (the Word's) sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him (the Word) with whom we have to do." (Hebrews 4:12, 13)

Peter made it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt, when he said we have "a more sure word of prophecy" than even the audible voice of. He was referring to the Logos, the Word of God to which we have unlimited access. (See 2 Peter 1:19-21).

In our zealousness, our passionate love for God and for the lost, we sometimes think we need to help God do His job. In fact, when we do more than what we are called to do, which is to live life as salt and light to the world and lead them to the perfect Word of God, that's when we only confuse the situation.

Have faith that God knows how to draw his children to Himself – after all, He drew you.

Copyright (c) 2006 So-lu'shunz Leadership Services

Karin Syren, is a Strategic Life Planning Coach. Using her EffectivenessCoaching Model for strategic planning, Karin works with those who desire to gain greater leadership of their lives, & live more powerfully and significantly - right now.

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