Articles

God Finishes What He Starts

Have you ever started a project and then left it unfinished? I have. In today’s hectic modern lifestyle where everything is competing for our attention, I sometimes find myself starting one thing, getting distracted – sometimes for hours – and then remembering that I left the task I began still unfinished at the end of the day. Even if you’ve never done that yourself, you have probably had someone else do that to you at one time or another; and it can be disheartening, frustrating and disruptive.

Sometimes, leaving a project or task unfinished is unavoidable for us. However it is not so with God. Many of us unconsciously project this same trait onto our Heavenly Father. We assume based on our own experience with others and ourselves that God will also leave some of His tasks unfinished – this can subconsciously create fear, worry and anxiety, because we may start to wonder “Will God actually do this? Will He really bring about what He promised?” However, by seeing the truth of Christ, we can be set free from this anxiety, knowing that He who promised is faithful, and this is what we will be studying today.

Your Obedience is to Jesus’ Obedience

Have you been struggling to be obedient? In many Christian circles today, the focus is on obedience. Many times people say that obedience is important – and I completely agree… the Bible has much to say on the topic of obedience. Where we tend to differ, is the manner of that obedience. And this manner is defined in the covenant that we are under today as believers in Christ. It is important to understand our covenant today in order to truly understand the type and manner of obedience that is required by the covenant.

Most people automatically assume that when they see the word obedience in the Bible that it is always referring to outward obedience via performance and actions. This was certainly true in the Old Covenant of the Law of Moses. However the Bible describes a different type of obedience for believers today who are under the New Covenant of Grace in Christ. This is what we will be studying today, because it is very difficult to be obedient under the terms of our covenant if we do not know what the terms are.

Believe That You Receive

Many times when asking God for something, we expect to see immediate results. There’s nothing wrong with that really – especially when dealing with an all powerful God who lives outside of time. However, when immediate results are not apparent, we as humans start covering and start coming up with all manner of reasons and explanations for why our request was not granted. There is something wrong with this. Because right from the start the assumption is that our requests were not granted, and then based on that faulty assumption we begin conceiving all-manner of anti-Biblical doctrine to try and make sense of our present experience – and the faith of many people has been shipwrecked as a result of such practices.

What we will be studying today is what the Bible actually says about requesting things, faith and receiving. The true words spoken by Jesus may surprise you. Once we see the truth about what Jesus taught, it will broaden the horizon of our thinking and our expectations when it comes to believing and receiving.

Rest Your Faith and Belief on Jesus

Many believers struggle with their believing… they find it difficult to believe because their human senses and their natural mind and thinking overwhelms them when situations and circumstances appear contrary to the Word of God. It’s true. Everyone has felt that way at one time or another, and then on top of that, we encounter Christians who are all too eager to inform us that because we have these thoughts and feelings, that we are “wavering” and that God will not answer prayer, because of doubting. It then begins a vicious downward spiral of struggling with believing, to being told that because we are struggling that we can’t expect anything from God, and so it just gets worse and worse.

My friend, I’ve been there, and I know the depression and feeling of hopelessness that comes from that desperate tailspin. And today in this study I want to share with you a little-known mental-shift found in the scriptures that will completely change your outlook. When you see the truths in the Bible that we will be studying today, it will lift you out of despair and into peace. It will reinvigorate your belief from hanging over the precipice, to on the very mountaintop. It is my joy to share this with you today.

Rightly Discerning the Body and Blood of Christ

Let me state right at the very start that this is a controversial issue. Yet though it is controversial, it is also extremely important. The reason for its importance is because aside from salvation, health is the second-most important gift which Jesus paid for us to have. Without health, everything else falls flat. You could have a great family and wealth of every kind, but if you are sick and laid-up all of the time, you will never be able to enjoy any of it. And God does want us to enjoy life, both now in this present time and of-course in the future with Him in Heaven as well.

That’s why He has not left us helpless; He has not left us without provision. In-fact He has paid an extremely high price for us, for our complete salvation: spirit, soul and body. Yet many people are not experiencing this, due to the fact that many pastors and leaders are not teaching the complete message of what Jesus has paid to give us. Many leaders in the church shy away from what they perceive to be a false doctrine of health and prosperity – however the Bible does not make any attempt to hide the reality of what Christ has paid to give us, and how we are to receive it. And this is what we will be studying today… the complete picture of salvation that Christ has paid for us, spirit, soul and body.

The Real Sacrifice of Praise

A long time ago, there was a popular praise song that we always used to sing; the lyrics in-part were “we bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.” This is a reference to Hebrews 13:15, saying that we should continually offer such a sacrifice to God. This phrasing has always puzzled me. Because in my human mind, the word “sacrifice” always implied cost, or some kind of a victim. Often times we hear preachers say that in order for our praise and worship to mean anything to God, it has to “cost us something”, and this left me even more confused because it really wasn’t costing me anything to praise God – as a matter-of-fact I enjoyed praising Him! So did this then mean that my praise was worthless?

I struggled with this thought for many years, and it led me into a performance-driven, merit-centered mentality where I was trying to give something of value back to God, which I naturally assumed was my own works and efforts; my performance and law-keeping. However, this idea is not actually supported in scripture. In-fact the Bible is very descriptive regarding what the real sacrifice of praise is which we are to offer, and this is precisely what we will be studying today.

You Have A Different Spirit

Ask a typical Christian to describe themselves, and you will likely hear one of a few answers, ranging from “sinner”, to “sheep”, to the more esoteric “nothing”. Likewise, if you ask them to describe their position, status or power, they will often tell you that they have none. Most believers think that they are utterly helpless and totally powerless today, due to a lack of understanding of what the Bible teaches regarding such things.

While it is true that we have no power, authority or position of ourselves, it is also true that we have great power, authority and position in Christ Jesus. The scriptures go into wonderful detail when explaining who we are in Christ and what we have in Him as well. This is what we will be studying today: the realities of the Holy Spirit of God on the inside of us, and what this has made us in Christ.

Rejoice That Your Body is the Lord’s

We’ve all heard it quoted before, that “Your body is not your own, you were bought with a price…” and this quote from scripture is usually delivered in a negative and condemning way in an attempt to bring guilt and fear on the people. In my earlier years, I used to become angry at the mention of this scripture – not because I hated the verse itself, but because I hated the guilt and condemning tone in which it was being presented; and many people also feel the same way about it even today.

It may surprise you then to learn that this verse was never intended to be guilt-inducing, fear-generating or condemning in any way… in-fact it is actually a great encouragement and reason to rejoice! What we will be studying today in scripture is how the promise that your body belongs to the LORD is actually a fantastic assurance, and how this verse no longer has to be something that brings guilt or condemnation, but great joy in Christ Jesus.

Surely Jesus Carried Your Sicknesses

There are many different opinions among believers today when it comes to healing. There are entire denominations today that have built complex doctrines around whether God heals today or not. People in general have a hard time believing in the miraculous aspects of God. If they can’t see it, touch it, or feel it, then it is not “real” to them. This of course is nothing new, people have always been this way, and Jesus understands that. In John 14:20, Thomas declared that he would not believe that Jesus was risen unless he saw the physical evidence for himself, which Jesus indeed gave him, but Jesus also said to Thomas, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Today we will be taking a look at the healing which Jesus provided for – specifically for your physical body. This is important because there are a great number of believers today who are suffering in their physical bodies. They are suffering with sicknesses, diseases, disorders and pains that God never intended, and He went to great lengths, suffering and dying on the cross, bearing the full punishment for your sin and mine so that we would not have to suffer any longer. As we examine this truth today, we will see how important this truth is to God, and to us as well.

Grace is the Cure for Carnality

All across the world, good and honest believers have this idea that they must work at “doing good”. They must struggle and strive to “do the right thing”, to make God happy or to prove their love for Him, or whatever the underlying motivation may be; it leads to the same place: a merit-centered, man-centered mentality which is not focused on God, but is focused on self-performance and behavior.

Many believers think that if they themselves or their fellow brother or sister in Christ is failing in a particular area of behavior, that it is due to some sin in their life, or that they are just being lazy and they need to try harder. But is this what the scriptures actually say?

In this study today, we will be taking a look at what God has to say on this very subject, and how God’s diagnosis of the problem of wrong behaviors is not what we might expect. As you see this truth, it will give you a new mindset regarding this issue, and a new confidence in your relationship with God as well.