Articles

Every Good Gift is From God

God is a giver. In-fact every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Some of us may be familiar with the scriptures that speak on this point, but how often do we truly stop to consider the implications of what they are saying? Do we really believe and understand that every good gift actually comes from God?

In this study today, I would like to share with you just how deep and wonderful this truth of God actually is; and as we see it together, we will be able to appreciate the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ and His Grace, all the more.

Beware the Strange Woman

Proverbs chapter 7 has some strong warnings about what some translations call the “strange woman” or more aptly, the woman who is a stranger; not familiar. The literal translation is “woman who draws away”. And this is precisely what the warnings in the chapter are against… being drawn away.

But being drawn away from what, to what? If we are to truly understand and heed the warnings in the chapter, we need to understand what is actually being warned against. Who or what is the strange woman? What does she represent? And what is she trying to draw us away from? What methods does she use?

These are the questions that we will be examining in this study today – as always, through the lens of Grace and the finished work of Christ.

You Have Every Gift in Christ

Most people enjoy receiving gifts. For believers, this is also true of spiritual gifts. Now the term “spiritual gifts” has been somewhat misunderstood over the years to mean spiritual realm only with no earthly effects; when in-reality, spiritual gifts are actually gifts from the Spirit of God, which have very great earthly effects. In-fact, the gifts which the Spirit of God gives can completely transform your life, and the lives of those around you as well.

The trouble comes in when people start chasing after these gifts, as if they do not have them; and some have even been taught that the gifts are no longer active and that they are no longer being given.

What I want to share with you today in this study, is how because of the finished work of Christ, in Him you already have been given every single gift. You do not need to strive for, beg for, or plead for God to give you any gift. You do not need to sacrifice in an attempt to merit the gifts, because the sacrifice has already been given – Jesus Christ Himself.

How to Handle Emotions, Thoughts and Feelings

The title of this study today, is honestly a topic that people have struggled with from the very beginning of time. When a thought, emotion or feeling comes your way, especially a negative or even oppressive one, what do you do about it? How do you handle it?

For some, thoughts, emotions and feelings can be controlling and even rule their life. Some people are held captive by their emotions, and allow their feelings to rule their life. But what can be done about it?

Well, in-fact God has quite a bit to say on the subject, and we are going to answer these questions today, as always by looking at Jesus, and seeing the reality of His finished work for us.

Selfish Prayers Don’t Work! … Or Do They?

If you have listened to the typical “Christian” messages, you’ve probably heard some form of rebuke against selfish prayers. People will typically say things like “You know, God’s not a genie!” – “God’s not here to satisfy you! – He’s Lord and Master!”

Now immediately, I must say that it is true, that God is indeed Lord and Master of all. However, are we truly so ready to accept the idea that God is not the one who satisfies us (in every sense of the word)?
If God is not the one who satisfies us, then who is? Where should we look? If God is not the one who gives to us our needs, wants and desires, then who or what is left?

Do we believe that He wants us to be left unfulfilled and unsatisfied? Is that how a loving Father would treat His beloved children?

Today we are going to answer these questions in the most simple way possible: by looking at Jesus.

How to Respond When the Situation Looks Grim

Over the years I have had a number of people ask me: James, things just aren’t working. Things just don’t look good. What am I supposed to do?

And I can understand how these people feel. I can understand their heart. We have all of these promises which God has given to us; what is the proper way to respond if what we are currently seeing doesn’t seem to line-up with what was promised?

Well, today we are going to answer those questions.

And the answers will strengthen our understanding of what is actually going on, as well as to enhance our perspective of God’s Grace and goodness, even when the situation looks bleak.

The Names of God Show Who He is (Part 4)

Last week, we looked at one of the most important names of God, which was יהוה צדקנו – The ever-exiting God is our righteousness. And we saw how that righteousness is not merely a separate thing that He gives to us, but that He Himself is our righteousness. A very important distinction that highlights His glory, His grace, and the amazing union that we have with Him today in Christ.

Now in this study today, which is part four of our series looking at the names of God, we are continuing this theme by looking at the name of God יהוה מקדשכם, the ever-existing God, who is your sanctification.
This goes hand-in-hand with His name that we studied last week. And as before, it highlights His glory and His grace. As as we see this today, we will be able to enjoy deeper levels of unity with Him as we rejoice in the fact that, yes, He is both our righteousness and our sanctification.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 3)

The last two weeks we have basically begun our journey to look at the names of God, and already we have seen some amazing things about God and His character, including some things which may have possibly shattered some preconceived and long-held ideas about Him.

For example, we’ve seen that He is always with you. That He will in-fact never leave you – which is a pressure-point for some people who have believed that God comes and goes, or that He ignores and leaves us if we manage to upset Him through bad performance.

We also saw that He is a provider, not just of our bare essential needs, but also a great many of our wants and blessings on top of all that as well.

Today, we are going to continue with this theme, as we look at the ultimate provision and protection that He has offered, as we look at another name of God, one which is guaranteed to break down some spiritual barriers.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 2)

Last week, in part one, we began taking a closer look at the names of God. As mentioned, names carry more of a meaning than what we have come to generally think. That’s why we see God changing the name of people whenever He made a covenant with them, or blessed them; such as Abram to Abraham, or Jacob to Isaac for example.

Given the importance of names, it would therefore benefit us to examine the names which God has given Himself. If He places importance on names, then all-the-more would God then want us to understand the names which He has revealed to s about Himself. After all, He didn’t name Himself for His own benefit, He did it for our benefit, because He wants us to know Him and His character.

So we continue today to look at the names of God and what they show us about Himself, that we would have a deeper understanding and relationship with Him.

The Names of God Show Who He Is (Part 1)

Many times I have heard people express to me, “I just don’t know what God wants! I just don’t know His will!”. Usually this is in regards to some type of situation, especially one concerning divine intervention. And this problem while common, is easily solved by simply knowing more about God and His nature and character.

That statement has offended some in the past, and they’ve gotten angry and said “are you suggesting that I don’t really know God!?” – to which I have responded with an honest: “not as well as you could.” Because God has made Himself known, even through the very names by which He calls Himself.

To God, and to the ancient Israelites, names were very important – they weren’t merely stylistic choices as we make them out to be today; rather names carried great purpose and meaning.

So today in this study I would like to share with you, the names which God has given Himself for us to know, and by these, we would get to know Him more, and understand His character and will, through the names which He has made Himself known to us.