Dr Norm's Mid-Week Faith Booster

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Move Up to Higher Ground

Posted By at Wednesday, July 26, 2017

James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work this one will be blessed in what he does.

It is not from just positive thinking alone that we make spiritual progress, but rather from thinking and doing the Word, and then learning from what we’ve done. Whoever makes an honest attempt to do what God’s word has taught him to do, that person, James says, will be blessed in what he does.

We get to higher ground not by meditation alone, but by obedience and movement.

The conscience is a cautionary faculty that warns us when we’re about to violate our principles. It was given to restrain us. But sometimes we need to be stimulated and our conscience should do that also. It should move us to act in ways that are consistent with our principles. Often, however, we fail to act. Afraid of making a mistake, we do nothing. And consequently, we LEARN nothing. By failing to act on the best of our present understanding, we forfeit the opportunity to grow in that understanding.

Improvement is the result of examining what we’ve done. The more we do, the more we have a chance to improve. But if we wait to do anything until we think we can get it exactly right, we’ll probably do very little.

Perfect conditions for action rarely present themselves, and the person who waits for them is wasting valuable time. Ecclesiastes 11:4 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

In the real world, we have to go ahead and do the best we can.

Spiritual growth has more than one dimension.

On the one hand, it requires that we shun evil. But on the other, it requires that we do the good we know to do, and then learn to do even better.

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

Maturity comes from actions carefully considered beforehand, and then carefully evaluated afterwards.

Renewal is the principle and the process that empowers us to move on an upward spiral of growth and change, of continuous improvement. Moving along the upward spiral requires us to LEARN, COMMIT and DO on increasingly higher planes.

Norman

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If Faith Seems a Struggle

Posted By at Wednesday, July 19, 2017

James 1:5 tells us that God gives wisdom to anyone who asks. However, he goes on to warn that if we doubt, our prayers will not be answered. But at times, many struggle with some degree of doubt.

What are some reasons for doubt?

1. Faith is not human reasoning, it is accepting the Word of an unseen God and believing all things are possible through His name.

For example, when we are in financial difficulty, logic says to save every penny, whereas God says He will bless the generous giver.

2. Feelings of fear, inadequacy, or guilt can interfere with trusting biblical truth that produces faith.

Fear is faith working in the opposing direction. I believe there are 365 times 'Fear not' appears in God's Word, that's one for every day of the year.

3. Too often we focus on the circumstances rather than our Father's Word. He is working all the time to bring us to a place where He can bless us, yet we fail to see His hand.

So you must get your eyes off the problem and onto the answer, His Word.

4. Too much uncertainty about God’s will leads people to doubt Him.

Wavering faith has severe consequences: missed blessings, lack of peace and joy, and a heart that is easily thrown off course when difficulty arises. James said in James 1:8 the double minded person receives nothing.

How, then, can you avoid faltering in your faith?

In Mark 9:23-24 a man pleaded with Jesus to rebuke the spirit possessing his son. Jesus replied, “All things are possible to him who believes.” The father said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” And Jesus granted his request to heal his son and cast the spirit out of him. Like that man, we can ask the Lord to increase our faith. 

But faith only comes by hearing God's Word as Rom 10:17 says, so we should also spend time reading God’s Word and meditating on His promises. We are the ones who have the ability to increase our faith, God gives the means but we must exercise our faith just like the athlete exercises his muscles.

From the same story in Luke 9, we know that doubt is common and that God is patient and understanding. Faith comes from hearing His Word. 

So when you are at a crossroads and the right response requires faith, or even when you pray and notice doubt, ask Him to help you believe to increase you faith to overcome the situation and He will help you as you read His promises and obey them.

Norman

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Consider Your Position Not Your Condition!

Posted By at Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I think many Christians need to stop worrying about their condition and start focusing on their position!

I say that because your condition will never change until you understand your position.

Any condition is temporary; they come and go. But your position 'in Christ' is eternal.

2 Cor 4:17-18 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Look at what Paul says in 2 Cor 5:17 "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature old things have passed away and all things have become new."

And then he says in Ephesians 1:7 "in whom we have redemption through his blood..."

That means you're forgiven, redeemed, and perfected in the eyes of God - that's present tense!

Redemption means 'payment of ransom.' It depicts God holding you in prison under a death sentence because of your sin. But when He sees the blood of Jesus all claims against you are thrown out of court, your prison door swings open and you're set free.

How awesome is that? No matter how hard you try or how dedicated you become, you couldn't, in fifty lifetimes, pay off your debt. Only Jesus could do that because only He could offer a life completely free from sin.

So when the devil points to your condition, you have to remind him of your position.

Show him you are working out what the Holy Spirit has already worked within!

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HAS blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places IN Christ.

When you stumble or face a problem, God doesn't fall off His throne with worry.

No, He's already placed within you all that's necessary to handle the situation and overcome it.

You see, maturing In Christ is simply the process by which we learn to work out what God has already worked within.

Think about a baby in its mother's womb. It already has every gene, every chromosome and trait required, built into it from conception. Likewise, when you're born into God's family, you don't just get one or two spiritual blessings; you get ALL spiritual blessings. As a baby Christian you don't know who you are or what you've got, so the Holy Spirit's job is to reveal it to you.

When you do the standing - God does the strengthening!

Paul said in Phil 4:13 NKJ "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

God doesn't just strengthen you once; He'll strengthen you again and again. He'll strengthen you every time you face a difficult challenge, every time a memory comes back to haunt you, every time you're reminded of your imperfect past, every time you face a difficult decision.

Drawing from God the strength you need to stand up to the devil may take some effort. It may take your praise, your prayer and getting into His Word with intensity like you've never done before.

But the fact is - you can stand up to the devil if you really want to!

Have a blessed week, don't wait, do it now!

Norman

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Faith Hope Love

Posted By at Wednesday, July 05, 2017

1 Corinthians 13:13 "And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these [is] love."

Faith, hope and love [that is God's kind of love; 'agape' love] are all Godly attributes.

Satan possesses none of these and hates everyone who does possess them.

God is the God of faith; the God of all hope and God IS love. These are three of His wonderful characteristics.

Those who genuinely possess these qualities are God possessed for these only come from and through the Lord Himself.

Galatians 5:6 “Faith works by love.”

Yet many Christians who profess faith certainly do not exude this love. They act often like they have no love. How can this be so?

Many people in today's society sometimes lack these Godly qualities, but they have existed since God breathed His life into man and they will be here as long as He continues to live in men's hearts. They abide regardless of political systems.

Natural men however, under the direction of the devil, have tried to eradicate them, but their efforts have fallen short and always will.

* Love - never fails according to 1 Cor 13:8

* Faith - overcomes the world according to 1 John 5:4

* Hope - we are saved by it according to Romans 8:24

These are the qualities that give your life meaning and great enjoyment.

These characteristics distinguish men from animals. If you remove them then the people begin to act like wild animals.

However, if you inject faith, hope and love even into the vilest heart then it can be melted and reshaped in the image of God. Living without faith, hope and love diminishes the quality of life.

Satan seeks to strip men and women of these three God-like qualities while God never wants us to be without them. There is constant warfare between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness over these three special virtues.

Today, why not let God fill you with His faith, His hope and His love and then be a channel through which He can release these virtues to those who need faith; those who need hope and those who are starving for true agape love.

Have a great God-glorifying week and determine to be all that God has already planned for you the rest of your life!

Norman