Words of Life ~ BELIEVE

The word BELIEVE is first found in Genesis 15 in reference to Abraham’s response to the word of the Lord, but if we look back to the beginning of creation, when God spoke to Adam and Eve, they did not believe Him. Disobedience is the result of unbelief. Had they believed God, they would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. They forfeited the paradise prepared for them.

We see a difference between Adam and Abraham who is the “father of our faith.”

 And he believed in the Lord;
and he (the Lord) counted it to him for righteousness.”
Genesis 15:6

He proved he believed by acting in obedience to the word of the Lord.

Belief occurs one time and BELIEVE occurs 143 times in 131 verses in the KJV. All references can be found through the two links below. We will let the Lord speak through His own Word in the following verses.

Old Testament H539
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; ‘aman ä·man
to support, confirm, be faithful;to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in

New Testament G4100
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; pisteuō pē-styü’-ō
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

How and why do we believe?

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.
John 6:29
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
 Acts 13:12
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Acts 15:11
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Acts 18:27
And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Romans 4:1718; 24
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
1 Corinthians 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
Ephesians 1:19
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believeaccording to the working of His mighty power
Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
2 Thessalonians 2:13
…..God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

What is the result of believing?

Exodus 4:31
So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Psalm 106:12
Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.
Daniel 6:23
So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Psalm 27:13
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Jonah 3:5
So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
John 3:18
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:47
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 7:38
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 8:31
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 9:38
Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
John 11:40
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
Acts 2:44
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Acts 11:21
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Acts 13:39
and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 13:48
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 19:18
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds
Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:10
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
1 Peter 2:7
Therefore, to you who believeHe is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
1 John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:5
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:10
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
1 John 5:13
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
1 John 3:23
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Why do some not believe?

John 10:26
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

What happens to those who do not believe?

Luke 8:13
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Jude 1:5
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

If we study these passages and other references, we find that all belief is not believing unto salvation. Belief is grounded in God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit and will produce the fruit of His working in us.

Gracious Father, thank you for your Spirit that brings those whom you have chosen to salvation in the power of your Word. Sanctify us in your truth. Enable us to continue in your Word assured of our salvation in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

Treasury of Light and Truth

Keeping our last post within reading limits, I left out an important under-truth, thinking someone would read and add to what was posted. Here is the part we posted.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Paul had mentioned in vs. 2-4 ~ though by manifestation of the truth the gospel may be hid from the lost…

“...the god of this world hath blinded
the minds of them which believe not,

lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ,
who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now, here is the dynamic part.

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellency of the power may be of God,
and not of us.
2 Corinthians 4:7

It is the Father’s LIGHT and TRUTH in and through His Son given to us to believe. There is nothing in our darkness to bring the light into our hearts. By His Word and Spirit, He alone has the power to open our minds and make Christ known in these jars of clay ~ it is the excellency of His power only that does this spiritual work in us.

Dear Father, how precious is your light of truth in Christ. How can we see Him except you shine the light of the gospel in our hearts? Have mercy upon our blindness and save us from the god of this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Abiding in Light and Truth

This post could fit as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity or in Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory, still in progress

Light and Truth are the walls of the Christian faith that house the Life that is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ. Without them, any structure in which we live will fall and crumble (Matthew 7:24-25). Christ is the sure foundation of a living and indestructable faith.

Light and truth are the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the spiritual encompassing of our heavenly Father.

Light enables us to see physically and spiritually.

In the beginning, God, in the middle of darkness, said, “Let there be light.”

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:6

Who has done what?

God shined THE LIGHT in our hearts

 Of the knowledge

Of His glory

In Jesus Christ

What is in THE LIGHT?

Knowledge

Knowledge of what?

The glory of God

Where is the glory of God revealed? In whom is this light given?

In His Son, Jesus Christ

What is the purpose of light and truth?

In Him was life; and his life was the light of men.”
1 John 1:4

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I
 am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.”
John 8:12

“he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;”  (John 14:9).

If we have this light and knowledge in us, we see Him and the Father.

THE LIGHT draws us to Christ and keeps us in Him.
If we live in THE LIGHT, we live in Christ.

THE LIGHT reveals THE TRUTH that is in Christ.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:4

Jesus was speaking of eternal life, the LIFE that He came to give.
THE WAY of eternal LIFE is revealed in Christ

He is THE WAY to eternal TRUTH that leads to true LIFE.

 Abiding in Light and Truth is living in Christ and Christ in us by the power of His Holy Spirit. This is a spiritual truth known only to God’s children, children of the heavenly Father. It is a heavenly, spiritual, divine reality beyond any earthly knowledge. Light and truth do their work reflecting His grace and glory in us.

It is the truth in Christ by which we are sanctified (John 17:19), transformed (Romans 12:2) and conformed to His image (Romans 8:28-29). God’s written Word reveals Christ as the living Word.

In the beginning was the Word….with God,
and the Word was God
.” John 1:1

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us
……full of mercy and truth.   |
……grace and truth came by Jesus Christ
.”
John 1:14, 17

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
John 17:17

 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7

He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing
.”
John 15:5

Holy and Righteous Father, again I am in awe of the knowledge of your glory that is revealed in Jesus Christ. We thank you for your Holy Spirit who continually shines this light into our hearts. We praise you that nothing and no one can keep your light from us. Keep us abiding in Christ and your Word. Shine your light and truth through us into the darkness of this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

(To discern both physical and spiritual things wisely, we need the proper lightWhat the Holy Bible says About LIGHT.)

Overwhelmed

As I continue to talk about our newest project ~ Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory ~ responses are varied. From those who never heard of Christ living in us, to not understanding the power of the Holy Spirit in human life, I sense the great need for this work and ask you to please pray for the wisdom to assimilate the great store of God’s Word that speaks to the truths of our relationship to God the Father through His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of His Word and His Holy Spirit.

“And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  
Romans 5:5

God the Father is the main source of Life, giving us His Life through His Son Jesus Christ, by the power of His Holy Spirit. The power to think spiritually was lost in the beginning with our first parent’s disobedience to His Word. The spiritual (supernatural) Life our Creator intended for His creatures was rejected. Except for a few who were given faith to believe the promise of a Messiah, the world lived in rebellion. In the Father’s timing, Jesus came to earth, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit to be born of a virgin and live in full obedience to the will of the Father. In so doing, we are given the same power of the Holy Spirit for Christ to be born in us.

Christ in you ~ Filled with Grace ~and you in Christ ~ Wrapped in Glory~ is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the heavenly Life working in the physical lives of God’s children. It requires a change in our way of thinking ~ from a fleshly, earthly mindset to a transformed, heavenly, spiritual Life of words, thoughts, and actions. Such a Life in God’s children brings Light into the darkness of this world ~ proves the difference in good and evil, truth and deception, and draws others to Him and His kingdom. Truth has been buried for centuries. The world would rather keep Jesus buried but He lives victoriously at the right hand of the Father with the power of the Holy Spirit directing all things according to His will. It is time for truth and goodness to descend and penetrate the wilderness in which we live. We must pray for the Holy Spirit’s work in our own lives and the lives of our families and churches. In faith, we must anticipate the power of His Life consuming us by His grace as we have never before experienced. He wants to overwhelm us with His Word, His Spirit, and His glory.

Dear Father, from whom all creation receives its true name and true life, hear our prayer for you to descend in power. By your Holy Spirit bring the two-edged sword to our own hearts, divide asunder between heaven and earth, between the spiritual and the flesh. Make new in your image new creatures in Christ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

Remembering Whose We Are

At different times in this life, we tend to forget things ~ a person’s name, an event, directions, etc. The human mind is not always under our own control. As we age, time can take its toll on our memory.

As I am nearing my eightieth birthday, losing my memory is not what I want to think about. Still vivid in my mind are those years of caring for my mother, who died at the age of 92 after suffering through years of dementia.

This experience left me with many things to consider, which we have published in our books. For this article, one thing is on my mind.

It is to remind and encourage God’s children to spend time with Him ~ quality time ~ every day, getting to know our heavenly Father through His Word, Jesus Christ,  and communion in His Spirit; and to teach your children.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

When we are unable to think or speak as we normally do, we naturally go into default mode ~ deferring to the things in which we are rooted and grounded.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 may be able to comprehend…” 
Ephesians 3:17

What has been established in our hearts and minds is our one hope that brings us through times of uncertainty. Filled with His truth and grace, we can be assured that we are in His care ~ wrapped in His glory, forever.

My prayer at this stage is that the Lord will keep me filled with His grace, surrounded by His love, caring for me. Even when I forget everyone else and my own mechanisms fail, I pray to remember whose I am as a witness to others of His grace ~ for His glory.

Dear Father, show us who you are,
that we may remember whose we are.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Fran

Suggested Reading: First Things That Last Forever;
The Garden of God’s Word
What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of God
Child Keeping: God’s Blessing to Parents

Just When We Thought

We were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel……

It was mid-2006. Mother had continued to decline in the four years she lived with us. Her physical condition was adding its toll to her dementia. We had done all we could since my dad died of cancer several years before.  While caring for her, we kept two of our granddaughters two days a week ~ a joy and a respite for us and Mother.

But, something had to give.

Her month in a nursing home before she died did not make life any easier. Even so, we hoped this would end our adventures with adversity. No so. Five weeks through the settling of her small estate, Jerry had emergency by-pass surgery on his left leg.

A month later, his leg had to be amputated. After three years of not healing, he had a third surgery to remove the graft inserted for the by-pass.  The stump finally healed seven months later and for a short while he used a prosthesis with a walker. But it is still painful.

For the last two years, he has not driven a car, walked, or worn a shoe because of issues with wounds that would not heal. His heart disease and diabetes are not our best friends.

Why am I rehashing these affairs? One reason is to witness of the fulness of God’s grace during trials in this life and to compare the lives of God’s children to the children of Israel as He delivers us from our bondage to self and sin and brings us through this wilderness to His promised land for us.

A Worse Scenario
God’s people had been in bondage four hundred years when the Lord sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt. Their case before Pharoah to deliver Israel only made their condition worse. Not only were they still required to make bricks, but they had to find their own straw. They could not understand how the Lord was working for their freedom.

“Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. And they said to them, “Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Exodus 5:20-21

Like the people of Israel, we cannot see how the Lord is working on our behalf until we get past a breaking point. Adversity is His means of proving His presence and power in the lives of His children, enabling us to live in the assurance He gives and to praise Him every day.

“My brethren, count it all joy
when ye fall into divers temptations; 
Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:2-4

More and more, we are learning what Paul meant when he said, “I have learned to be content.” Jesus becomes more precious with each trial, endears us to Him and excites our hope for eternal life with Him.

It is in the “something has to give” times that He fills us with His grace and shows His mercy ~ growing us in the process to understand the truth and reality of His promises. Christ in you ~ the hope of glory is experienced in every turn of this life, bringing us closer and closer to Him, His glory and His joy.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

Dear Father, as we are still learning what it means to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray your Holy Spirit to prove us to be yours. Fill us with your grace and make us know your goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives; that we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Suggested Reading: TWO FULL PLATES ~ Learning to be a Caregiver

Image: Pixabay

The Muddy, Murky Waters and the Monstrous Mushroom of the Multitudes

 “And we know that we are of God,
and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
1 John 5:19 KJV

We know that we are from God,
and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
1 John 5:19 ESV

How can we, as God’s people, endure this world’s evil environment?
We are inundated on all sides, surrounded by the pollution of wickedness and oppression that pervades this earth. More and more, we are becoming persecuted; many are dying because they follow Christ. These are the muddy, murky waters in which we live.

If this was not enough, the news of this world’s wickedness covers the airwaves. Any hope that should be ours in our Lord Jesus Christ is smothered by the cloud of despair that, if possible, would make our faith useless.

Such conditions of this world perpetuated by the masses whose only God is self has to be addressed and overcome by those whose hope is in Jesus Christ ~ the only power to live in this present world without being drowned with the multitudes or caught up and carried away in the monstrosity of repetition.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Illustration:
From a body of water looking inland, the Bible is the dock. “The muddy, murky waters” are strewn with fetuses, guns, syringes, devices, etc.
Above is a dark, “monstrous mushroom” ~ an overarching cloud reflecting the elements in the water.
Slicing through the middle of the mushroom is light from above shining on the path extending inland from the dock.
The light and brightness in the background add color in the middle of the darkness. (Kourtney, our granddaughter, is working on this.)

 It is only through God’s Word that we learn the truth about life, and by which we know our only hope of salvation in this world. Christ in us and us in Christ is the power to live through the degradation of this world victoriously and to rescue others.

 

 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless,
the sons of God, without rebuke,
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life.”
Philippians 2:14-16

Such is the need for the truths of God’s Word in our newest book in progress. Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory is the presentation of the spiritual truths for which Jesus came to earth, died, arose, and ascended to heaven, sitting now at the Father’s right hand as our High Priest interceding for us.

By the power of His Holy Spirit, He is living in His followers. Not only is He living is us, but we are living in Him ~ raised with Him and made to sit together with Him in heavenly places.

Truths from God’s Word
The Holy Bible ~ God’s Holy Word ~ is filled to overflowing with the revelation of His Holy power working in and around us ~ the same power that raised Him from the dead. Although threatened at every turn by the enemy, the Holy Spirit is finishing His work on earth to bring us safely to Him.

We must understand the power that is ours in Christ if we are to overcome the conditions in which we live and endure to the end.

 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit.”
“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love;
and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:13,15,16

Two Books at the Same Time
A few weeks ago, I mentioned working on Focus, Balance, and Order, a book started a few years agoAs I began to see where this was going and was focusing on our heavenly Father, I was led further back to eight years ago when I started this blog.

The name God’s Grace ~ God’s Glory was not an immediate choice.  It was given after considering many others ~ an answer to my desire for this to be God-centered and only for His glory. Soon after, this title Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory came to mind without any understanding of what it meant.

It wasn’t until a few years later, through His Word, the Lord began to show me the riches of His promises to live among His people. The kingdom is within you made more sense than ever before. 1 John 5:4:13-15, together with all the references of Christ living in us and us in Christ began to germinate from the seed planted in 2011.

In the last week, His Word has been profound as these truths continue to be a reality. The more I focus on God, our heavenly Father, His Son, and His Word the easier to see His balance and order in the world for His people.

As I study and search His Word, I am in awe and know that I am not worthy to handle such precious gems of truth. I sense a deep need to experience these truths before I can write them for others to understand. I pray and trust that He will fill me with His Spirit and grace to progress in this work ~ by His grace and for His glory.

My hope along the way is to share how our Lord is completing this work in and through me. Your prayers and comments would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Father, oh, how we need you to reveal your presence among us, Christ living in us by the power of your Holy Spirit, filling us with your grace, covering us and surrounding us with your glory. Show us these truths through your Word. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran