Archive for October 2013

“Are You Allowing Fear To Hold You Hostage?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

hostage 

Are You Allowing Fear To Hold You Hostage?”

The Black Panthers, a radical militant group of the 1960’s and 70’s, began to threaten the city of New York.  They declared that they would start blowing up all the bridges through the city unless their demands were met.  The authorities responded by imposing curfews, conducting roadblocks and massive manhunts, scouring the city for them without any initial success. 

The leaders of the FBI appealed to a very prominent Black Pastor, Dr. E.V. Hills in Watts, California, to speak to the black community throughout the country to help stop the threats of this siege. 

When Dr. Hill met with J. Edgar Hoover he asked, “How many are involved in that radical movement?”   Hoover replied, “there are 89 militants involved.”  Dr. Hill responded, “89 people are holding two million people hostage in New York City?  How is that possible?”

Fear had brought the city into being held captive, not the 89 militants.  They were being held hostage in their minds and fear was producing unlimited possibilities of mischief and destruction in their thoughts. 

When fear holds you hostage, it will appear to be more powerful, soul-shaking and life threatening than your ability to try to rationally deal with it or spiritually overcome it.

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”

God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit of love, power and courage to face any difficulty and overcome all danger.   Through The Holy Spirit, we will be strengthened and enabled to confront and go through all opposition with a sound mind which is guarded by the peace of God which defies all understanding.   

Being fearful is a matter of choice.  You may not be able to choose what will happen to you in life, but you clearly can choose the attitude you’ll take in responding to things that happen.  You will either choose to be fearful or stand in faith, believing God for His assistance.

The Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to hold fast,  to stand strong upon and to trust the Holy Scriptures.  In doing so, you too will come to realize the unspeakable value of The Word of God and experience the divine and gracious intervention of Christ in your midst.   

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear or a cowardly spirit, to be afraid of sinful wicked men or evil demonic forces.  We must not be distracted or detoured from living our lives, doing God’s will, preaching the Gospel, speaking out against false teachers, reproving people for their evil deeds and touching the world with the love of Christ.

Fear is a tormenting spirit that bombards your mind, creates mental anguish and wants you to surrender control over to others.  It causes people to become frightened, stressed-out and even paranoid.  But God wants you to stand strong against this spirit, resist Satan’s temptations, to endure hardness as a good soldier and be victorious over “the spirit of quit.”

Through Christ, you’ve been given the power to stand up under all the various trials and be triumphant under persecutions.  Though your faith might be tried with fire, we are kept by the power of God through the shed blood of our Lord and should know that the love of Christ Jesus will enable the weak to be strong and stand up in a world that’s fallen down.

Christ has given us His Holy Spirit with many precious promises in His Word.  Without Him, we can do nothing but with and in Him, there’s nothing that we cannot do.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“What Should You Do When “Goliath” Comes?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

learn to trust God 

What Should You Do When “Goliath” Comes?”

 

I have a sign mounted on the wall in front of my desk that says, “Don’t tell God how big your mountain is; tell the mountain how big your God is!”  The sign is there to remind me that we all will face some giants, but what we need is to respond in faith when we’re confronted by them.

You may want to run away in fear, you may try to avoid them and act as if they’ll just go away.  But the giants won’t just go away; they must be confronted and dealt with.  And they can be overcome and defeated!    As you journey through life, battles are inevitable, so you must learn to depend on Christ, take God at His Word, and believe Him for your breakthrough and victory.

In 1st Samuel, Chapter 17, we read a story many of us remember as a child. While we’ve all heard of young, unafraid David and the confrontational Goliath, the Holy Spirit of God has a few things there to reveal, remind and encourage you.

Goliath” represents any damnable hard time, any adverse or abusive circumstance, any negative persecution or stressful situation,  any overwhelming financial crisis, any physical, mental, emotional or spiritually painful condition, any  unshakeable, destructive bad habit or sin, or any surrounding demonic activity or satanic entrapment. Your ‘Goliath’ will confront you, challenge you, oppose you, discourage you and will attempt to defeat you!

You must know that, no matter what ‘Goliath’ confronts you, the love from the cross, and the grace from Christ’s empty tomb is MORE than enough to encourage, sustain and persuade you! In trusting Christ and taking God at His Word you will daily realize that The Holy Spirit in you will enable you to become a giant killerand that it’s time to TRUST GOD.

In 1st Samuel 17:26, David strongly asks,Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

After considering God’s glorious promises and his recent experiences of divine assistance in killing the bear and the lion, David was determined that he would go into battle with the things that had always worked for him in the past. David knew that God, who had always come through in the past, was the very same God who would still come through in this new present situation.

Can you believe that very same Lord that has brought you through trials and challenges before will do it again?  The very same Lord that saved you is more than able to keep you, as you look to Him and stand on His Word.

Initially, David was criticized and even opposed by those he thought supported him. But he trusted God.  Often we too must learn that if God is all we have, He’s really all we need.  So, we must rise and go forward in faith in Jesus Christ and know we can trust him.

David walked into that valley into an impossible situation only because he knew   God had been faithful and would remain faithful.  God had never left him in his dark, dire, and impossible situations, and David believed God would not fail him in this situation either.  And he will not fail you!  If God be for you, who or what can be against you?

You may not see your giants physically fall the very instant you exercise faith in God.  But, don’t let that cause you to lose hope!  For you often cannot believe what the eyes of your flesh see.  But, you can always believe what the eyes of faith see because we walk by faith and not by sight. 

So, even if it may look like you’re outgunned, outnumbered and in an impossible situation, remember that it looked that way for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  It looked that way for Daniel.  It looked that way for the disciples when the storm raged outside their ship.  It certainly looked that way for Jesus as he was lifted high upon that cross.  But God had the final “say-so” in each of these life-changing experiences.

If you want to see the giants in your life lying dead at your feet, you must do as David did.  He believed God was greater than any giant that he could ever face.  He believed that the same Lord that brought him through challenges in the past still reigned on high, and the same sources (prayer, faith, praise, The Word of God and The Holy Spirit) that he used under prior conditions, were always available, and would work under any new challenge!  And that’s still true for you today as you confront the Goliaths in your own life.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

doubt and uncertainty 

Are You Allowing Uncertainty To Crush Your Heart And Rob You?”

On different occasions doubt, uncertainty, skepticism, indecision, insecurity or instability has arisen in the hearts and minds of God’s people to trouble or perplex them regarding God’s power and His promises during  difficult circumstances.

But, nothing should be allowed to give us such a lack of assurance or separate us from the love, grace and the promises of Our Living Savior & Lord, Jesus Christ.  No, not even death itself.

To help us be reminded of this, let’s reconsider the story in Matthew 14: 22-36 of Peter walking upon the water.  After struggling and exhausting themselves to keep their boat afloat on the sea during a turbulent storm, Jesus goes to their rescue by the means of walking on the water.  But when they see Him coming, they’re even more afraid believing him to be a ghost.

So Jesus calls out to them, identifying Himself and tells them not to fear.  Peter responses, “If it is you then permit me to come to you.”  Jesus said, “Come” and Peter began to walk on the water towards Christ.

Then Matthew 14: 30-31 says, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

In this familiar story, Peter being upheld by the power of Christ walked upon the water, not for any personal gain, but to go to Jesus and as long as his full focus remained on Jesus, he was wonderfully borne up.

But when Peter saw and felt the strong hard wind blowing against him and the violent waves of the sea increasing to rise, his eyes became distracted and his attention diverted away from Jesus, who initially was empowering him to walk on top of those opposing conditions.

Even in our worst or most severe stormy days, HE IS OUR VERY PRESENT HELP.  Our dependence should be on Christ.  For He’s far greater and more superior than any hard time, negative situation , painful condition or demonic activity that you could ever encounter or experience. 

To show the greatness of His love, mercy, power and grace, various adversities will arise in our lives to often tempt, discourage, oppose, defeat and even try to destroy us but special promises and grace have been given to all, whose eyes remain focused on Christ.

It was through FAITH in Jesus that Peter was being supernaturally and divinely upheld, but when that faith wavered, the laws of gravitation were suspended during his supernatural walk and then he began to quickly sink.  The violent winds and raging sea may have distracted his attention away, but it was the reduction of his faith that caused him to quickly sink and endanger his life.

After saving his life, The Lord rebuked Peter for his weakness of faith in allowing doubt to prevail to rob him of blessing.  For there is no good reason why Christ’s believers today should be of a doubtful mind when we’ve been given so great a salvation with so many assurances.

According to the Word of God, we should always expect our Lord’s divine intervention into our lives and affairs through faith.  We should trust that His almighty outstretched arms will rescue and deliver us in every situation. 

Satan will speak to your heart and minds in an attempt to distract, divert, discourage and depress your mind and crush your spirit as you face the circumstances in your life.  But don’t allow unbelief to rob you of the blessings and victory God wants you to experience through Christ.

Know that the cure for unbelief or doubt in all situations is to keep your mind  and heart renewed in The Word and Promises of God.  Learn God’s Word, renew it in your heart, recite it daily, meditate on it day and night, never let it depart from you and your life will be descriptive of Psalm 1: 3, which says “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

 

“How Can I Keep Negative Words From Hurting Or Controlling Me?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

 

sticks     

 

How Can I Keep Negative Words From Hurting Or Controlling Me?

  

 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” was a children’s rhyme I used to sing in my early youth. Little did I know back then how harsh negative criticism and hurtful words could do more damage than objects thrown at me ever could.

 

In Proverbs 15:4 God reveals that “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”

 

Destructive voices fill our entire world and in time you are bound to meet all sorts of people that will say things that will cause you pain, for nothing brings hurt or stirs up anger like grievous words from the lips of insensitive or foolish people. Often it’s not from strangers that will affect you most but from negative and hurtful comments from those that you love or care about.

 

Like an arm chair quarterback who has never picked up a football or a backseat driver who can’t control the steering wheel of an automobile, those negative voices are always on the prowl in an attempt to instruct, correct, or slander you without knowing what it’s like to ever walk in your shoes.

 

So why do you care about what others say to the place that you allow it to ruin your day and hold you back from doing the things you really want to do?

 

Their taunting hurts because you keep replaying their comments in your head, over and over again, and are allowing it to become forged in your spirit.  But stop and learn how you can prevent their hurtful words from having the impact within you by you starting to do things differently.  By trusting Christ and walking in fellowship with God’s Holy Spirit, you now have the authority to prevent from taking control or cast down and even destroy the works of the devil in your life.

 

While I cannot keep foolish people from making negative or criticizing comments, with God’s help and strength, I can control my own attitude in how I will react or how I will be affected by what has been foolishly said.

 

Aren’t you aware that you have been given the power to replace bad thoughts with faith-filled, positive, loving and optimistic thoughts?  Surround yourself with people whose lives are full of faith and have a heart for God.  Don’t try to argue back with a fool. Clear up the negativity inside of you and realize how much God really loves you.

 

Become inspired by listening to some anointed gospel music and be encouraged through some anointed and life changing gospel preaching.  Learn God’s view point by studying His Holy Scriptures.   Learn to respond productively and remain poised and in control whenever you’re confronted with rebellious acting or screwed up people.  

 

Take back that power and fully commit yourself to The Holy Spirit of God. Remember, no one can control you unless you allow their control to reign in your life.  Stop being the victim and learn to demonstrate God’s love through your life, in spite of them.

 

Are you aware that God had your best interest in view when He sent Jesus to the cross?   So, confess out loudly that you’ve been redeemed by His blood, forgiven of your sins, filled with His Spirit and are now walking in His Word. And that God’s view point is the only one that matters and that He is the only one you’re concerned about pleasing.

 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Are You Living Under God’s Grace Or Sitting On Death Row?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

death row 2 

Are You Living Under God’s Grace Or Sitting On Death Row?”

“Are You Aware That It’s All Coming Up Again?”  One may not know how or when but there is coming a time when your eternal soul shall be separated from your physical or mortal body through death.

Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.“  Death simply means “to be separated from.”   Physical death separates the soul from the body and spiritual death separates your soul eternally from God, if you died outside of Christ. 

There are no exceptions made because of your accomplishments, rank, beauty, talent, patriotism, wisdom or financial success.   There is no hope of reprieve and none shall escape.

While we are all under the sentence of death, Have you made right preparations for it?”

For after death you cannot come back and do what you forgot or neglected to do.  You cannot return back and ask God’s forgiveness for your sins that in this world you refused to do.  Nor can you return and correct the evil deeds that you once performed.

As believers in Christ, we have the wonderful assurance we shall never walk through that valley alone, but rather will be escorted through that dark passage by God’s Holy Angels, directly into the very presence of our Living Lord and forever be with Him.

However, the unbelievers, those who neglected or rejected Christ, when they pass into eternity, their destiny will also be made known to them with a final interview before The Lord at The Great White Throne, where their doom will be pronounced and delivered for all eternity. (Read Revelation Chapter 20)

Millions today are living their lives in bondage to sin, fear and unbelief, and have excepted it as their normal way of life.  Whether they want to believe it or not, they’re now living on death row and are being victimized and held prisoners by Satan and the forces of darkness.

But Christ has come to set them free, give them life and life more abundantly.  Many don’t have a single clue as to what they’re missing, which is “Life In The Spirit Of God And Walking Under His Grace.”  

Grace from God is offered and meant to be received as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ.  When you live under God’s grace, you’ll begin to awaken to the new life of Christ within you, the magnificence of His wonderful fellowship and the freedom that you now have through Him.

There is no other way to be pardoned from sin or set-free from the powers of darkness than through accepting  the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross and believing in His Resurrection.

Nothing can deliver a sinner from death row and from being condemned on the day of judgment except the atoning blood sacrifice of Christ.  No one will be saved from eternal punishment in the lake of fire who despises, neglects or rejects so great a salvation.

While salvation is free, “It Certainly Didn’t Come Cheap.”  God had our best interests in His heart when He sent Jesus to die for our sins.  Christ took our sins upon himself and bore them on the cross.  He was made sin for us which means that He took our place so that we could become righteous or have right standing with God.

When people deny and continue to reject Jesus, they continue to remain in bondage to sin and live on death row awaiting their execution.

 

One day He shall return as The Judge of glory. Have You Made The Right Preparations To Meet Him?

 

 

 

“Does The Devil Really Make You Do It?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

devil made me do it            

Does The Devil Really Make You Do It?”

Convicted by his conscious, a well-known newspaper journalist decided to start writing the truth about his next assignment.  He was sent to cover the wedding of a very prominent wealthy rich man’s son and published the following newspaper column:  “The groom is a popular young bum who hasn’t done a lick of work in his life and while he manages to dress well and keep a supply of spending money, his rich dad is a softhearted old fool who runs around making his son’s bad checks good instead of letting him go to jail where he belongs.”

“The bride is a skinny, fast little idiot who has been kissed and handled by every boy in town since she was twelve years old, sucks cigarettes in secret and drinks mean corn liquor when she is out joy riding in her dad’s car late at night.  While they are expecting their first child in five months, she doesn’t even know how to cook, sew or keep house.  While their home was just newly plastered, the groom was more plastered than their walls and the bride wore more fresh paint than the house had on it.”

The journalist concluded by telling his readers that he knew this article would be his last day at that job.

While our world has taken immorality and evading personal responsibility to a brand new low depth level, people are continuing to blame their heredity, their environment, their parents, the school system, their employer, the fast food that they’ve recently eaten, their impoverished upbringing, or try to create an insanity plea and make it seem that the devil made them do itinstead of recognizing, admitting and repenting from their own sinful activities.

Believing and crying out that the devil made me do it is crediting Satan with power that he doesn’t have, for he cannot make you do anything.  Shifting the blame by telling others that you were held “spellbound or hooked” by the devil’s power is a false accusation, because you’ve always had the power of choice.

But, all attempts to evade one’s personal responsibility for their individual actions is NOTHING brand new.  In Genesis 3:12 NIV, after confronting him for eating the forbidden fruit, Adam told God, “The woman you put here with me, she gave me some fruit and I ate it.”  Then, when the woman was confronted, she said, “The serpent deceived me and I ate.”  (Genesis 3:13). 

Adam was forced to acknowledge his transgression but he does it in a way to shift the blame and lay it upon God and upon the woman.  When the woman is questioned, she lays the blame upon God and the serpent.  She was saying that “the devil made me do it.”

Temptation is nothing more than an open invitation or an enticement to commit an immoral, illegal or unrighteous act.  And the devil is raging over the earth as a roaring lion seeking to devour people through these enticements.

Temptation will either come at you gradually, building up as you continue to fantasize or rehearse over it again and again in your mind, or it will come upon you suddenly like a flood, leaving no time for you to run and grab your Bible or find Christian friends around you to hold you up in prayer because it’s calling for an immediate decision to be made.

Temptation has been called, training under combative conditionsand you must find the power NOT to give in and become ensnared by his entrapment. 

Yielding to temptation will lead to sin, sorrow, destructive acts, broken marriages, divided homes, incarceration, financial ruin, great embarrassment, mental anguish, untold misery and even death.

So, What’s A Person To Do? “BE PREPARED!” Put on Christ and the whole armor of God so that when temptation comes your way, you’ll know how to respond. When Satan tempted Jesus, he used or misquoted scripture to support his suggestions for doing wrong. But, because Jesus was prepared, Christ knew how to respond, and taught us how to respond, and sent the devil packing.

 

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Have You Ever Felt Like Giving Up As You Waited On The Lord?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

waiting on the Lord 

Have You Ever Felt Like Giving Up As You Waited On The Lord?

 

Whenever hard times, negative situations, and painful conditions arise in our midst, we must believe to see, not see to believe, that our Lord will mightily move in our lives.  You must remember that wherever a believer is, he or she can always find a way to the throne of grace through prayer and trusting God for His Divine Intervention.

Today, many only feel like giving up because they don’t sense God’s presence as they’re focusing on their gloomy situation instead of giving Christ their undivided attention, standing on God’s Word, and listening to the voice of The Holy Spirit.  But The Lord wants to enlarge your testimony and mature your faith as you learn to prevail and pierce through the darkness around you.  And this is not a time to give up, but your hour to BELIEVE HIM!

Now, a special word of assurance and an encouraging testimony is found in Psalms 27:13 where David said,I would have fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

Evil had raised its hand as many false witnesses rose up against him and threatened to destroy both his life and the lives of his friends.  The opposition was so numerous, mighty, and fierce that everything physically appeared helpless, hopeless, useless, and that death was at hand.

Yet David said that his only support was his faith in God and his belief that he would yet be permitted to see the goodness of God upon the earth.  Here David does not speak of a faith that he once had, but of the faith, confidence, and assurance that he now has.  But what was this confidence grounded in?

He believed, trusted, and relied on The Word and The Promises of God.  And with this deep internal conviction, he had the fullest belief that God would intervene to save, heal, provide, and change his present circumstances by delivering him out of the hands of his enemies.

His faith in God was sufficient enough to calm his mind and sustain him under those stressful and heart-wrenching conditions. This psalm clearly revealed David’s state of heart and mind despite the efforts of his enemies to destroy him. David firmly believed in God’s Presence, and by seeking His Face, he was trusting God for His Divine Guidance and His Almighty Invisible Protection.  And God brought great deliverance and victory into His life.

In times of affliction, perplexity, and discouragement, you too can have this same assurance because of God’s Love, Grace, and Power promised to all believers through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Waiting on The Lord does not mean sitting idle on your living room sofa or a park bench just hoping for anything to happen in your midst.  NO!  Waiting on The Lord means standing in faith and waiting with great expectation.  Waiting on The Lord means that you’re praising God for having heard your prayer and thanking Him in advance for His Divine Intervention.

Waiting on The Lord means “Standing In Faith” and standing is an act of aggression and strength.  Waiting on The Lord means that you’re piercing through the darkness in prevailing prayer as you’re standing in faith.  Standing In Faith means that that you are refusing to accept circumstances or the conditions the way they are and you are believing God for great changes, according to His promises in His Word.

As you look to Our Mighty Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, through fervent prayer and faith, you too can be delivered from the hands of the enemy that’s oppressing you.  So remain encouraged and wait on the Lord with great expectation and the full assurance that God will also intervene mightily in your life.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Are You Resting In The Lord’s Divine Arms?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

resting in the Lord 2

Are You Resting In The Lord’s Divine Arms?”

 

Even during the very worst of times, the spiritual lives of those who trust The Lord are divinely watched over and protected by The Grace of our Lord. 

Though at times it may physically appear that you’ve been cast down, you shall not be destroyed by the adverse temptations, vicious attacks, negative situations or painful conditions that have been orchestrated and sent by the forces of darkness.

God’s Word and Grace have given and still promises today’s  believers great security in our lives as we go through the midst of dangers, trials and tribulations. 

Psalm 46: 1 wonderfully reminds us that, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”

How wonderful it is to know that His gracious and glorious presence “MAKES THE DIFFERENCE” as we go through the toughest of times. 

Whether you’re experiencing painful sickness, heart-wrenching financial lack, dealing with abusiveness, or any other type of tormenting anguish that’s trying your soul, it’s wonderful to know that “GOD IS OUR HELP.”

Through Jesus Christ, we have been made more than conquerors against all attacking enemies sent by Satan’s hand.  We have God’s Divine Assurance that HE IS WITH US, THAT HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US, NEVER FORSAKE US AND HE WILL BE OUR DAILY STRENGTH AND CONSTANT FRIEND.

Can we find one more greater than Him?  Run to Him for comfort and safety.  Take shelter under His Wings.  Allow Him to be your fortress or high tower of protection.  When you’re feeling weak, defenseless, tired and overwhelmed allow Him to be your source of strength.   When you’re feeling confused and uncertain, permit Him to give you wisdom from on high. 

For HE IS a very present help, which means HE IS our aid, assistance, helper, savior, deliverer, healer, provider, way-maker, teacher and much more. 

Through Him, many battles have been won, the weak have been made strong, the sick have been healed, closed doors have been opened, needs have been supplied and met, as His amazing Grace and loving presence have been the source of many blessings and victorious outcomes.

Our Lord has a proven, faithful and lengthy history of being there and making the difference in the lives of believers when facing troubling anxiety or going through heart breaking sorrow.  Realize that you have not been brought this far on your own nor to be left alone.

Therefore, rely on Him and have faith in Christ Jesus.

 

 

“Are You Going To Church But Returning Home The Same Way?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

a sad heart 3 

Are You Going To Church But Returning Home The Same Way?”

Do you have questions that need real answers?  Are you in need of a fresh revelation from The Lord?    Are you praying but not seeing answers?  Do you want to see the power of God moving in your life?

Experiencing the grace and power of God is MUCH MORE than just routinely attending a religious service, sitting in a church pew, clapping your hands to the beat of the praise music or saying an occasional “Amen” as the pastor preaches.

The Word of God is The Power of God Through Christ Jesus.  The same Word that became flesh through the incarnation is very real today through His resurrection. And today, Jesus still saves, forgives, delivers, heals, provides for, comforts, enables and strengthens.  DO YOU KNOW AND BELIEVE HIM?

In Acts 8:26-40, we are given an amazing story in which The Holy Spirit goes into great detail to tell us about a man returning home unsatisfied about his religious experience and was still hungry for the truth.

Returning from the Jewish worship services in Jerusalem, he sat reading a scroll of Isaiah 53: 7-8, with a great desire to know more.  There was still a void in his heart as he left, but God went into action on the dusty road as he was on his way back home.

Philip, who was one of the original deacons selected to serve tables in the church, was now mightily being used by God to evangelize the region by preaching Jesus Christ. 

Philip, who wasn’t told what to expect, was being divinely guided to go to a desert road as The Lord was supernaturally controlling the events.  So upon arrival, he found this Ethiopian Eunuch of great authority sitting in his chariot reading.

When Philip appeared, the Ethiopian Eunuch didn’t question Philip about who he was or where he’d come from.  He needed something else, ANSWERS!   Answers that only God could supply.

So a man of God, full of The Word of God, anointed with The Spirit of God was being used to preach Jesus Christ.

God had gone and still goes to great lengths for you to know and experience Him.  The only question that remains is “Are you willing to allow Christ to impact your life through His Word and Holy Spirit?”

In Acts 8:30-31 NASB, the Bible says, “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.

Philip did more than just interpret this portion of scripture, HE PREACHED JESUS to this eunuch.  He didn’t offer any religious philosophy, church traditional views or new age doctrine.  HE PREACHED THE RESURRECTED AND ASCENDED JESUS CHRIST! 

God knows who you are, where you are and what you need most.  If you give Him all of yourself, He will give you all of Himself. 

“Is your heart hungry for Him?” What is it that you’re missing or lacking?   What do you need from The Lord?  What void do you have that needs to be filled? What emptiness are you experiencing that needs to be satisfied?  What do you need from The Living Christ?

Christ, through His Word and Holy Spirit, wants to move in your heart and life and orchestrate in your affairs.  Will you walk with Him and allow God to do something gracious and amazing that only He can do. 

The Jews of that day believed that eunuchs were prohibited from coming into the assembly of God’s people because they were regarded as ritually impure according to Lev. 21: 20 and 22: 19-25.   But Isaiah had prophesied that one day eunuchs would be allowed into the assembly of God’s people in Isaiah 56: 3-5, and that prophecy was fulfilled here in Acts.

So when the eunuch saw there was water near, he asked Philip to baptize him and after making his confession to Christ, Philip didn’t hesitate to baptize him.

Finally, upon returning back to his chariot, he wasn’t troubled that Philip was snatched away by The Spirit of God and it didn’t seem to bother him.  For he now had come to experience the Risen Christ and kept on rejoicing as he went on his way back home.

 

“Are You Believing Your Doubts Or Are You Doubting Your Beliefs?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

believing your doubts 

Are You Believing Your Doubts Or Are You Doubting Your Beliefs?”

Faith in God enables us to do whatever The Lord has placed in our hearts to do.  Jesus openly declared that all difficulties, trials, negative circumstances, hindrances or obstacles could be overcome, removed,dealt with or conquered through FAITH in God.

In the gospel of Mark Chapter 9: 14-29, we’re given the story of Christ coming down from the mountain after experiencing a mighty transfiguration before 3 of His disciple and walking into confusing scene.  A father had brought his son, who was completely being controlled and tormented by demonic spirits, to the other 9 disciples to cast them out and bring healing to the son.  But, they could not prevail in their endeavors.

The father observing the returning Lord, can running and pleading for the healing and deliverance of his son. After describing some of the deplorable demonic activities, he asks Jesus to help them.

In Mark 9: 23 NIV it says,“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Then the man’s desperate, tearful, heart-wrenching and agonizing response in Mark 9:24 NIV was “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Out of sheer anguish, he confessed that his small level of faith in Jesus was being deflected and overcome through the increasing destructive demonic actions upon his son, as he pleads for Christ’s intervention.

Nothing can be more touching as this scene.  An overwhelmed but loving father, distressed at the condition of his son, having gone to the disciples in vain, now pleading to The Lord and not having the full confidence that he thought he needed to qualify for God’s aid, he cried.  Any man would have wept in his condition, but the Lord had compassion and exerted His Authority over the situation.

While the suffering father had been disappointed by the disciple’s lack of power, Christ then attributed the disappointment to the lack of faith.  So much rests upon our “believing in faith” and must be backed up with a life of prayer, studying the Holy Scriptures and fasting, as noted by Jesus’ final comments in verse 29.

Now, the same Bible that informs us that Christ came to save sinners and whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved also assures of The Lord’s promise in Matthew 21:21.

Matthew 21:21 NASB says,And Jesus answered and said to them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will happen.”

“Having Faith” is placing your confidence in God’s Word, believing that He meant what He said and then walking in obedience and trusting Him.

But “Doubting” means to consider unlikely, to have uncertainties, to be hesitant to believe, to distrust, speak words of unbelief and be fearful of.

Our faith should be predicated in or solely rest on what Christ has said and done, which was vindicated by His Resurrection from that empty tomb.   Placing our confidence in The Living Word of God therefore assures us that through faith our mountains shall become molehills or flattened plains before Him if we don’t doubt in our hearts. 

Therefore,no believer should be confused, puzzled or ever doubtful about this promise from the lips of our Savior.  Believers must remember that the enemy has been rendered powerless and ineffective to destroy those who put their trust in the cross and risen Lord. 

Now one of the main problems with many believers is that they are still operating in the strength of their own intellect, senses  and emotions, thereby limiting, restricting and even denying the power of Christ.

In John 4:24 NASB, Jesus declared that “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  

Though His movements are invisible as he orchestrates in our affairs, believers must learn to trust Him even without any outward sign or visible evidence of His divine hand at work in our lives.  We must learn to stand in faith and trust Him even if things continue to appear the opposite of what we’re believing for.

We must view Christ as OUR HOPE and believe that HE CARES.  Christ is still on the throne,  has NOT BEEN caught off guard by your situation and has complete authority over all that you’re facing in this dying world. 

So despite living in these perilous times, have faith in God and keep trusting Him.