National Poetry Month – Mountain of Life

DerrickMountain of Life

By Derrick Collins

I feel a strong wind blowing across my forehead,

The thought of what I’d live my life to be.

The pressure that I fear is coming faster,

And sometimes when I close my eyes I see.

Future lights shining my name boldly,

And past forgotten, all except my friends.

But sometimes the lights are dim and dirty,

And in the race for life my sorrow wins.

The few years that I’ve lived I’ve learned some lessons,

The first like on the bill, “In God We Trust”.

I’ve also learned of passion and perseverance,

Focus, don’t be distracted by every lust.

When it seems you’re all alone remember Jesus,

He’ll lead and guide as only Jesus can.

But don’t just turn your back on every person,

For God to make it work He uses man.

Make sure that care and love reflect your image,

Don’t be afraid to show what’s deep inside.

Realize that each mistake is just a lesson,

And learn, don’t get deceived by foolish pride.

Remember as you travel up life’s mountain,

That love’s the prize possession that you own.

And with your faith, your strength and God the Father,

At the top of the mountain you will set your throne.

National Poetry Month – Speak the Unspoken

marcus2Speak the Unspoken

By Marcus McGhee

Speak the unspoken

Awake the unwoken

While standing on mounts of Sinai with Moses

Conversing about the commandments of God

Watching bushes burns and rivers split

Remembering the children who dwelled in deserts

Decades upon decades upon decades yet they still entered lands of promise.

See lies no longer cover the truth and blessing unveiled like sight to those that touch the garments of Jesus.

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone…

Why Christ didn’t snatch the nails nailed into his hands and feet with hatred out

Why he allowed lashing after lashing, flogging after flogging, beating after beating

And peasants to spit at the feet of a king…

When we would have

If we could have,

Rendered the sight full eyeless without eyelids and the voice full voiceless

Tyrants that seek to keep their sinful pulpits of power tongue less with mouth less teachings.

Yet he remained humble.

Never questioned his father,

Even after the piercing at thorns into his brow,

Bones bruised and broken, still he walked

Miles upon miles over cobblestones of demonic prayers.

And all we saw was the weight of an oak carved wooden cross,

Not realizing it bared the sins of our souls, the doubt of our minds,

The cruel meditations of our hearts,

Yet he pressed on

Yet he pressed on

To the top of mountain were he set to crucified

Were ornery on lookers shouted and danced at what they thought was a trader’s demise.

Spitting, while shouting; “ surrender to our believes, to our God”

And where is God now

If you are indeed all-powerful remove yourself from this situation from this persecution and we too will believe

NO ANSWER…

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

SPIT NAIL FLOG LASH

AND WITH HIS LAST BREATH HE SPOKE

FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

Lie and tell me that when you were standin’ in the rain

In pain cryin’ sighin’ still lying wouldn’t ask for forgiveness even though the beast was

Kickin’ your spirit with your soul.

That it was he who handed you the umbrella

That it was he who became your pain killer

That it was he who became the shield in which shielded you from the foot of the beast

And yet you can’t believe

You can’t open your eyes to see that if it was up to you

You would still be standing in that piercing rain, licking your blood trying not to get wet with an umbrella that never opened.

Come on, come on

Tell me again and again

How the devil had you stressed out and stretched out

Standing in a blacked out cave.

No exits, no water no sight no food and no direction

How you were in a hole so deep that the dirt filled your lungs

That no loan no man woman child or machine could have dug you out

Yet when he delivered you,

When he delivered you

That cave became full of light

You saw the neon exit signs

You had food and water for your journey

That Tylenol you were given was called prayer

And your stress no longer stretched you out

That hole in which you were once buried no longer even covers your feet

And the words that the devil once whispered have become foreign and you can no longer understand his language

And tell me you don’t believe

Tell me you can’t conceive the thought

Can’t buy into the notion that he who stands with God never stands alone

National Poetry Month – I’m New

All_New_Season_eBook_cover_030613I’m New

By Julia Royston

New life, new walk

New right to a new talk

Newness in Christ

The payment and the price

A sacrifice made for me

The rugged cross on Mt. Calvary

I’m clean and free

No longer bound indeed

Free to give, free to love

The spirit in me from above

Free to worship free to praise

Living with the father the rest of my days

Purchased by the father

from the enemy, there is no doubt

Planted in the Kingdom of God

Makes me want to shout

Prayer: Father, I ask that you daily help me to walk in the newness of the Christian life and to be pleasing in your sight.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Julia Royston is a singer, songwriter, poet and producer poised to expand the boundaries of Praise & Worship with her anointed voice and uplifting lyrics.

In 2007, Julia recorded and released her first live CD/DVD “A New Season in Word and Song” with an accompanying book of poetry and inspirational writings titled, “A New Season in Word: Inspirations for Divine Living”.  Visit her site at http://juliaroyston.net/

National Poetry Month – Who is She?

Denise nolanWho is She?

By Denise Nolan

The pain that was stored in my heart felt like black coal

Rooms are listening to the cries of the unwanted goals

Friends that look up to me are confused and started

asking Who is She?

See looking in the rearview mirror makes life troubles

Harder to overcome I ask where do my lessons come from?

Driven to the outer limits of my soul leaders are watching me

And the question again is raised Who is She?

A woman seeking her internal wisdom that can’t be

Expelled wanting to dismiss her outer shell fighting with

Temptation that only causes dreams to fail.

Living an afterlife state of mind wanting to grow in a

Different time question is Who is She?

Fallen into an unrighteous way it’s hard to not go astray

Misery has increased the travel illusions in my mind

Must cease

Walking blind in the wilderness looking for love and

Direction to obtain His protection

Unspoken knowledge that curves the mind, trying

To delete my past taken by this uncontrollable task

Question is Who is She?

Treating me as a criminal in the place someone

Forgot to tell you, I’m saved by God’s grace

In the center of His heart is where He placed me

He has taken me by the hands and now I walk with

Thee. He has taken me under His wing and now I’m

Convinced He has a plan out there for me.

Now Satan is confused and he’s asking

“Who is She?”

Denise Nolan, known as Pizazz, is a slam poet, speaker and radio personality driven to inspire and encourage women of all ages to embrace life and grow their inner strength. Visit her site at http://www.exhaleradio.com/

5 Tips for Increasing the Sales of Your Kindle E-book

ebookI want to share with you 5 things you can do to increase the sales of your Kindle eBook.  Now, if you are an author with a book on Amazon, I don’t have to tell you how important it is to have your book available, not only in print format but also in a digital format.  The sales of digital books are skyrocketing and have been for several years.  In April 2011, something amazing happened.  For every 100 print books Amazon sold, they sold 105 Kindle eBooks.  And with new tablets and smartphones coming out almost every quarter, it is important that you are in place to benefit from these trends.

But, you know all of this stuff.  You have published your book, it’s available in both print and digital format but… it’s not selling.  Sure, Amazon is selling 105 eBooks for every 100 print books, but they may not be your eBooks.  Let’s change that.

Tip number 1 – Make sure that your book is formatted properly and that you have your best foot forward in the Kindle preview.

The Kindle website allows potential buyers to preview the first 10% of your book.  How does it look?  Is it formatted properly?  This can be a huge problem if you allowed your book printing company to automatically format your book for Kindle.  You cannot just take the manuscript you used to print your book and covert it to Kindle.  Well, you can, but it will look horrible.  Not only do you have to take out the headers and footers but you must make sure that you don’t have extra spaces or not enough spaces so that it flows properly.  It is not hard to format a book so that it looks good on Kindle, but it does take work and you need to know what you are doing.  Amazon has even published a free Kindle book designed to give you step by step instructions on how to format your book.  You will find a link to the book in the description area below.

Tip Number 2 – Make sure that your description is well written and compelling.

Amazon allows you a fair amount of space in this area so use it.  Why should I buy your book?  What problem does it address?  What are the benefits of the book?  Basically, what’s in it for me?  Make sure you reach your audience on an emotional level.  I don’t mean get sappy with it.  I want to know how your book will make me feel.  Will I feel empowered because of the new skill that I will learn?  Will I feel grateful and energetic after I lose the weight?  You get the picture.

Tip Number 3 – Make sure you have completed your Author Central page.

Many times readers want to connect with the author.  Make sure that your Author Central page is complete with a recent bio, photo and links to your blog.  Also, make sure that all of your books are listed here.  If there is a problem, you will find contact information on the page.

Tip Number 4 – Take Advantage of Kindle Select Free Promo days

If you are a new author and you have not really established a following, you may be interested in participating in Amazon’s Kindle Select program.  You can visit the link below to find out more information.  Basically, it’s a program for those that are willing to allow Kindle to be the exclusive distributor for their particular eBook for 90 days.  If you agree, you are able to give your book away for free for up to 5 days in that 90 day period.  I know you may be saying, Vanessa, why in the world would I want to GIVE my book away.  I thought this was about increasing sales.  It is.  If you do your book promo right, you will give 1000’s of copies of your book away.  Each of these free downloads will help your ranking and help get your name out there as an author and can even help you get some great reviews.  The ranking you have during your free days and the reviews that you get, provided that they are good will increase your eBook sales when it comes off of promo.  I didn’t believe it either until I tried it, not once, not twice but 3 times.  I ran free promos for 3 different books, none of which had any Kindle sales before.  And at least one of these books had been available on Kindle for almost 2 years with no sales.  I found out how to get the word out about my promo and gave away almost 5000 books in the US and UK.  In the 3 months after the promo, that eBook sold over 100 copies.  Now, you may not think that 100 copies is much, but that book had not sold anything before the promo.  It also increased the sales of my other 2 books on the market.

Tip Number 5 – Make sure that you take advantage of the features of an ebook to drive traffic to your site and build your mailing list.

If there was one thing that I wanted you to walk away with from this training, this is it.  This tip probably speaks more to increasing sales of your future Kindle books but it is very important.  You must understand that an eBook is not just an electronic version of your print book.  It is an electronic version of your book that provides a gateway to instant access to everything else about your business, your brand and you.   The links in your eBook are truly alive.  I can click a link in your book and instantly go to that site without losing my place in your book.  That is huge.  You can direct traffic anywhere you want it to go.

So how do you use this to build your list?  You incorporate the things that Brendon Burchard and others have taught us.  You offer a valuable free gift as part of your book.  And you use the techniques that we have been taught with email capture, squeeze pages and the like to do it.  Let me show you what I did.

My first book, Intensive Faith Therapy, was an inspirational book based on Bible lessons that could be used as an individual Bible study or part of a group study.  When I first converted this to Kindle, I learned the hard way that you cannot just push a button and have a beautiful conversion without some major modifications.   I developed an 80 page workbook out of the parts of the book that I could not use on Kindle such as the journal sections.  When they clicked the link in my Kindle book, which is at the end of each chapter, they were taken to my website where they were asked for their email address.  You know the drill from there; they sign up, confirm their email and were sent a link to download the book from my website.  I received 55 signups from this one effort alone.  Now I know, 55 people may not seem like much but it was something.

So, don’t forget the 5 tips:

Tip number 1 – Make sure that your book is formatted properly.

Tip Number 2 – Make sure that your description is well written and compelling.

Tip Number 3 – Make sure you have completed your Amazon Author Central page.

Tip Number 4 – Take Advantage of Kindle Select Free Promo days.

Tip Number 5 – Make sure that you take advantage of the features of an e-book to drive traffic to your site and build your mailing list.

What Good is Prayer?

By Robert Burk

prayerSome experiments have been done to test if prayer works but this is not what this article is about. The question here is “What good is prayer?” Usually we already have the answer given us in Scripture.  At other times the answer is our head and two arms. We know what God wants. We have the information in the Bible and the tools in all the good things He has given us. Often all we need to do is to obey.

So, what good is prayer?

Prayer will not change the Laws of God; it does not change the Great Commission. Prayer does not alter what the church is or how we are to act with one another. After we pray, the words in the Bible remain as they have since dictated to the prophets.

Prayer does not change things. God’s Plan will unfold. It is the one certain thing in this universe. Yet, we all pray and many believe this is the main focus of a Christian’s life. But what good is prayer if it does not change anything?

Prayer does not feed the hungry. Prayer will not put a roof over a homeless person’s head. Prayer does not give those who are lonely a friend. Prayer does not introduce the lost to Christ. God works through us. What good is prayer if we are not the answer? We pray that lost souls should be saved but what is the point if we do not seek to save the lost?

What is the point of prayer to make the world a better place if we are not living as we ought? There is a right and wrong in this world, if we are not living right what is the point in praying for things to get better? God has given us our instructions and everything we need to carry them out. The Bible tells us how to live.  Why pray and ignore what He has told us to do?

What good is prayer when we are the answer? We are the way God answers prayers. If we are not the answer to prayer then what good is prayer? God made us to be an answer to each other’s prayers. If we were the answer to prayer, life would be far different and far better.

If the world does not believe prayer works it is because we do not do what we are meant to do.  We are not answering prayers and we are not doing the work of God.

The church prays but the church does not answer prayer. How then can prayer change anything? We were given a head and two hands for a reason.  If all we are to do is pray, Scripture would be far less demanding and contain fewer instructions. If we would focus on being an answer to prayer, we could and would change the world. We would create a church that is one body under Christ. Denominational difference would melt under the light of our love. And no one would be asking, “What good is prayer?” for they would see us and know the answer.

About the Author – Robert Burk is a writer and consultant on motivation who studies the Bible as a document that provides real clues to how we should be living and organizing our business and economics. http://www.rationalexchange.com/

Voices in a Crisis

by William Higgins

Crises are a part of life. If you aren’t experiencing one at present, you can be sure someone close to you is whether you know it or not.

healthelandDeath of a loved one, a family member in prison or living on the street, news of a debilitating illness, loss of a job; they all bring pain and added stress. The pain you feel is real. The stress you experience is real. And they aren’t to be minimized. They won’t go away with just a few words, or a few days. It will take time. And the time will be a challenge to your well-being and your faith.

Others go about their lives seemingly without a care in the world. Life’s a breeze. Everything’s great. But you’re dying inside!

During this time there are numerous voices clambering for your attention. Which voices do you listen to? Which voices do you give credence to? Do you listen to:

The voices inside your head? This voice challenges you to make it on your own. You say to yourself, “I really don’t need others to help me with this, I can do it.” You don’t want to rely on others and appear weak. You want to pretend that all is well and carry on as you always have. You are proud after all. This voice could also present the other side; you just can’t make it through this pain. You won’t survive.  However, in listening to these voices you’re denying what Christianity is all about; helping others and being a body as described in I Corinthians 12. Don’t listen to these voices.

The voices of others? These voices tell you to try this miracle cure, or that exciting moneymaker, this magical remedy, or that amazing counselor. While Christ does tell us in Luke 16 that the people of the world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind, you must weigh what these voices are saying. Too often they’re acting only on worldly wisdom, humanistic philosophy and easy escape routes. Weigh what these voices are saying on the scales of scripture to see if they have value or not. Don’t just listen to them and do what they say.

The voice of God? God is there in times of crisis. He is there to carry you through it. But His voice isn’t easily heard. His voice may be drowned out by the other voices you hear. You need to pay attention to what He’s saying, and how He’s saying it. Learn from the prophets of old.

Elijah was in a crisis. He had told Ahab of his wickedness and God’s punishment in the coming drought. He further angered King Ahab by defeating the prophets of Baal. He had a contract on his head thanks to Queen Jezebel. So he did what any of us would do; he ran. Forget the victory over Baal. Forget how God had taken care of him in the past; he just ran for his life man! Forget even trying to hear God’s voice. Doesn’t Elijah sound just like us?

But was this man trying to hear from God, or just running away from his crisis? You read the story starting in I Kings 17 and you decide. Even in Elijah’s running God took care of him. First, ravens fed him. Then a widow helped him out, an angel brought him food, water and comfort. But that wasn’t enough. Elijah kept searching for what he couldn’t seem to find. He went to the cave, he went to the mountain; but didn’t find God. He looked for God in the tornado, in the earthquake, in a firestorm, but God was not there. We look for God also, but fail to hear His voice.

But God finally got his attention in a gentle whisper. C.S. Lewis says, “God screams in our pleasure, but whispers in our pain.” God challenged Elijah to remember His faithfulness, encouraged him to retreat and spend time alone with Him, prompted him to reflect on how God had been there in the past, and directed him to re-establish relationships. These were the keys to Elijah’s renewal and are your keys to a renewed relationship with God also, and to handling a crisis.

Other biblical characters faced crises also. Joseph was a spoiled son to whom his father Jacob  presented a beautiful coat, which only added to how his brothers felt about him. They hated him and Joseph didn’t do anything to appease that hatred. He flaunted his dreams in their faces, so when they had the opportunity they threatened to kill him. Instead of killing him however, they sold him to a band of wandering traders. The traders in turn sold him to a high government official in Egypt where he worked as a slave. He was then thrown in prison as a result of a false accusation, where he spent the next ten years. You could say Joseph had a crisis, and his went on for over 13 years!

But we catch a glimpse of the fact that God was at work in him and for him even during the crisis. His story starts in Genesis 37, and in Genesis 40:2 you find a phrase that is repeated over the next few chapters, “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered…” We don’t have a lot of detail in the chapters starting in Genesis 37 about what Joseph did and didn’t do to find God blessing him, but what we do find is that Joseph was true to how God had made him, and he was true to his God

When he couldn’t see what was happening, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When he did what was right and still suffered, Joseph was true to himself and to God. When his crisis went on for years, Joseph was true to himself and to God. You can read more about Joseph and how God worked on his behalf in a soon-to-be-released book; Your Road to Damascus: 6 Biblical Secrets for an Effective Job Search (www.MindWarePublishing.com).

You can make it through your crisis; not just by listening to yourself, not just by listening to others, but by listening to God. He is there, and He knows your pain. He may not be visible. He may not be audible. He may not reveal Himself in miraculous ways, but you can trust that He is there and is working on your behalf.

The way Joseph and Elijah handled their crises is also your answer to how to handle your crisis and what voices to listen to. Learn from Elijah and remember God’s faithfulness, retreat and spend some time alone with Him, reflect on how God has been there in your past, and re-establish relationships to help you through the crisis. And learn from Joseph and be true to yourself, how God has made you, and true to God by believing that He is still in control even when you can’t see anything to prove that.

He is working and He’s not finished yet!

About the Author: BILL HIGGINS is currently the Managing Director of MindWare Incorporated, an independent training and career coaching consulting firm. He previously served on the pastoral staff of churches in the U.S. and Canada, and worked in a managerial capacity for industry leading organizations. Bill is a graduate of Biola University and Talbot Theological Seminary.

A Prepared Place

From the book: “The Promises of Jesus” By Vanessa Collins

Scripture Lesson

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

 John 14:1-3

Prepared PlaceMeditation

It was a strange day the disciples probably thought.  It was just all kind of strange.  Jesus was acting strange, Judas was acting real strange and now it just all seemed, well, strange.  First Jesus washed their feet at dinner, then Judas abruptly leaves and now Jesus was talking about leaving, again.  He had mentioned this leaving thing before, but this time it was different.  It seemed more imminent now.

Moving and travelling was something that the disciples were used to.  For the last 3½ years, they had been on the move.  But now Jesus was talking about going somewhere that they could not go.  They had worked together as a team for the last 3½ years, and they had left everything and everybody they knew behind. To the disciples, it was apparent that there was still a lot of work to do.  This gospel of the coming of the Kingdom of God had to be preached everywhere, including Rome and places even further away.  This was no time for the leader to bail out.  Besides, who was going to do all of that work?

It is here that we find our promise for today.  Jesus told them, in the previous chapter, that they could not go with Him.  This news was heart breaking.  However, Jesus encourages them to not allow their hearts to be troubled.  It was now time to believe, not just in God but in the power of His Son, Jesus.  He told them there were many mansions in His Father’s house, real mansions.  He told them that He would prepare a place for them and that He would return to receive them unto Himself so that they would be where He was.  Not only did they not need to fear His death, they did not need to fear their own.  They would spend eternity with Christ.

That same promise is also for us that are born again.  We will have eternal life with Jesus Christ.  Because of that, we don’t have to worry what will happen when we die.  Will we stay in the grave until the rapture?  Does our spirit immediately go to be with Christ?  Is there a holding place somewhere?  Will we be in heaven or will we be on earth?

You can have lots of fun proving or disproving the many theories there are associated with the afterlife, but there is one thing that is for sure.  When it is all said and done, we will be with Him.  That is the only thing that is important.

Affirmations

Jesus has prepared a place for me to be with Him forever.  As a born again believer, I will have eternal life.  I do not have to worry about dying.  I rejoice and I am grateful for the promise that Jesus will come again and receive me and that where He is, I will be also.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

Truth Forged in the Fire

From the book: “Truth Forged in the Fire”  By Michael D. Daniel

TruthForgedintheFire_VCIn what continues to be a perpetual cause of concern for the body of Christ today, is the glaring absence of New Testament truth emanating from our pulpits. Uncompromising men of God that once flourished in the church just a generation ago are now only a fading memory. Saintly men that graced the pulpits like A.W. Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, Paris Reidhead and Watchman Nee, once set the bar of Biblical truth at a benchmark determined by God Himself. These stanch men of God knew nothing of concession, and would have gladly laid down their lives in defense of their sheep; their God; and their love of the truth. But where are their kind today?

 

The measure by which God tells us to judge anyone is by their fruit, and the fruit of a preacher must be evident almost immediately within his selfless humility. His life of surrendered obedience to God will only be exceeded by his complete hatred for anything that brings recognition to himself or his ministry. Like his Master, he will not shy away from the unpopularity that truth brings; but will embrace any hardship that counts him worthy to suffer as his Lord did. He will have a dedicated love for his sheep and will suffer with them through every affliction. In everything that he does, his life will be completely transparent, giving no place to the enemy or man to accuse him of questionable conduct. And most importantly, he will never neglect his time with God; his time in the prayer closet will be his most precious time of the day and will always exceed his time spent in the company of men.

 

Men of this caliber are not made by other men in the seminary, but are hewn out of a divine building material reserved exclusively for those saints that were chosen long before the foundation of the world; men that God knew would one day be willing to lay down their life in humble obedience to do His will. The great weight of their cross will never be relinquished for a minute, but will remain a constant source of self-renunciation as they surrender every hint of friendship with the world and the love of comfort that so easily ensnares those of a less noble character.

 

In contrast, what we find today is the product of a generation of politically correct crowd pleasers. The benevolent humility of the preacher’s heart has long been sacrificed on the altar of ambition, as he yields to the pressures to build bigger and better sanctuaries. The cross has become little more than a small piece of a vast curriculum learned by rote in the seminary classroom, and has never gained entrance into the preacher’s heart. The price for this costly sacrifice will be felt as soon as he opens his mouth to preach.

 

The greatest loss however to the body of Christ is not to be found in their loss of time sitting through hours of lifeless sermons, but in the loss of something much more costly; namely their relationship with Jesus Christ and the experiential knowledge that comes from an intimate revelation of New Testament Christianity.

 

The primary objective of every true shepherd should be to impart a vivid understanding of the sufferings of our Lord; the death of the flesh associated with His cross; and the spiritual maturity that is to be acquired on the other side of that suffering. But this kind of lesson can only be taught by someone that has carried his own cross and born his own stripes. Anything short of this experience will make the shepherd a product of his own design, and the sheep he feeds no closer to God than himself.

 

Those holding on to the teachings of Christianity without suffering, are those that have not examined the teachings of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Hebrews were promised material blessings in exchange for their obedience (Deut 28:1-14). In the New Testament, Christians are told to be content with their basic needs being met (1Tim 6:8). In the Old Testament, believers were provided treasures here on earth (Deut 8:13). In the New Testament, believers are told to store up for themselves treasures in Heaven (Matt 6:20). You cannot claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ and expect material prosperity in this lifetime. What you can expect is to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29), who was meek, lowly, humble, and homeless! (1Co 4:11)

 

That’s not to say that a Christian can never be financially blessed; but before God would trust one of His children with something as spiritually lethal as wealth, he would first have to destroy every desire that the Christian might have in attaining that wealth!

 

This is the message of New Testament Christianity; deny yourself and take up your cross! Jesus set the example for those that wanted to follow in His footsteps; does anyone have the right to teach anything other than this (Gal 1:8-9)?  If your church makes no effort to teach the meekness, humility, and hardships that identified the followers of Jesus Christ, then this is not a New Testament church. It is one thing not to know the truth and be mislead, it is quite another to follow the crowds that choose to believe the lie!

 

Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Choose to be one of the few; surrender all affections for the world, and fully submit to the chastening hand of your Heavenly Father. The hearts of the saints are being tested my brethren; the Lord is separating the sheep from the goats, and sealing His remnant for the final harvest. Stay close to God, stay long in your prayer closet, and only pursue those treasures that will be laid up for you in the Kingdom of God!

 

About the Author – Michael Daniel was born in the early fifties in North Texas and raised in Southern California.  My career went the way of professional salesman and motivational speaker. God has since broken that man, replacing unquenchable pride with abject humility. Homeless now for 18 months.  http://www.whollysanctified.com (personal ministry website) michael@whollysanctified.com (email)

Evidence of Your Faith

From the book: “Intensive Faith Therapy” by Vanessa Collins

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

court supremeWe will focus on the second part of our scripture today.  According to the author of Hebrews, faith is the “evidence of things not seen”.  It is by our faith that we stand on the promises of God, even when we do not see the actual manifestation.

In our judicial system, evidence is very important in legal matters, especially criminal and civil cases.  If the system is running correctly (which, unfortunately, does not happen all the time), the party that can prove his/her case by the preponderance of evidence wins the case.  The stronger your evidence, the more likely you will have a ruling in your favor.

The best evidence you can have in a courtroom is factual, tangible evidence.  If you can, so to speak, produce the “smoking gun with fingerprints”, you have something that, in most cases, the judge will allow you to admit as evidence.  It will be admissible in court.  Admissible evidence leads directly to something else.  You can trace it to a logical conclusion.  You do not have to infer or guess where or to whom it points.  It is direct.

Sometimes, factual evidence is not available.  In this case, the lawyer may have to refer to circumstantial evidence or even hearsay.  In most cases (again, where the system is running properly) one rarely gets a major conviction based solely on circumstantial evidence.  The bigger the issue, the more evidence is needed in order to get a ruling in your favor.

How does this relate to our study?  Faith is the evidence of what we do not yet see.  How strong is the evidence that you will receive the promises of God that you are seeking?  Are you standing on strong, factual evidence or is your case weak, based on hearsay of what you think God might do?

What factual evidence do we have concerning the things of God?  Our biggest “smoking gun” if you will, is the Word of God.  As Christians, we believe that the Word of God is true.  We also have a true and righteous judge.   Psalm 96:12-13 tells us that the Lord shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth.  Therefore, we can stand on the Word of God as evidence to that which we seek. God even instructs us to put Him in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26).  If God says in His Word that He will do something, you can depend on that Word.  In Isaiah 46:11, The Lord tells Isaiah;

…I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

The Word of God is our strongest evidence that God will do what He has promised.  When this evidence is presented, a favorable ruling can be counted on.

What other evidence can we use?  Lawyers often rely on the testimony of witnesses to convince the jury and judge to rule in their favor.  The best witnesses are those that are credible and are basing their testimony on actual facts that they have experienced.  If they can say, “I know this happened because I saw it”, your witnesses will have a great impact on the case.  However, if they say that we were told that something happened but they did not actually witness it, it may be ruled as hearsay and not viewed as strongly as other testimony.

What testimony are you using to build your case and build your faith?  Proverbs 14:5 tells us that a “faithful witness will not lie”.  Are you listening to the witness of the “faithful” in God?  You need to surround yourself by those that will give you ammunition for your case.  Leave the doubters alone!  You need people in your life that know that God will make a way.  You will then have a faith that is strong and able to withstand the scrutiny of the courtroom of life.


For your edification, answer the following questions.

What type of evidence would a lawyer rather have in a courtroom, factual or circumstantial?

 Answer the following questions in your own words.

Why is the Word of God strong evidence for the Christian?

Why is the testimony of a faithful witness important to you?

 We want to not just hear the word, but put it into action in our lives.  Answer the questions below to help you apply this lesson to your life.

What is one of the major promises that you are seeking God to fulfill in your life right now?

What evidence do you have in the Word of God that God will do what you are seeking?

Name the “faithful witnesses” in your life that you are using to build your faith.

What is their testimony relative to your situation?

Lesson Summary

Court is now in session!!!  We know that our faith must be tried and the evidence must weigh out. We know that we have solid, truthfully evidence of God’s goodness and faithfulness to His people in the Word of God.  We are going to search out the scriptures and find our evidence.  We believe that God is a faithful judge and that He is no respecter of person.  We have no time for doubters and unbelief.  We believe God’s Word and we are building strong faith in Him. God is faithful and He faithfully takes care of His children.  See you in court!!!