Compounding Faith

There is such a thing as compounding interest whereby an amount of money grows by the interest and then the new interest takes into account the previous amounts already added. The basic idea is the initial amount increases or compounds quickly. As we have talked about moving from faith to faith (Romans 1:17) as a growing maturing principle of our journey as ambassadors for Christ, we want to add the concept of compounding faith.

While the growing of our faith is a rather internal process, and we are individually responsible for applying our faith, Paul talks about our faith being added to other people’s faith. Romans 1:12 says: “that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

This is a huge arsenal in our battle against the things of this world and our common enemy. There is so much in today’s society that moves us towards  isolation and self-sufficiency. Lions looks to separate their prey from the pack because they know there is weakness in isolation.

That is why it is vital for us not to avoid gathering with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and to join our faith together with others to see mighty things accomplished for the Kingdom of Yahweh.

When we connect by phone or text or meet with one another, we should always take advantage of this chance to bring our faith in unity as a powerful weapon to glorify the Lord and enjoy the blessing and profiting that comes with it. This applies to engaging in warfare with the enemy and also in calling forth our destinies in Christ, our provision, and our spiritual growth.

Remember, there is a time to be in your prayer closet, but make sure to put compounding faith into action as often as possible with your church family.

 

Breathing Testimony

We trust that you have never read or heard about a “breathing testimony” before? This will now be something that can be removed from that famous bucket-list of so many people. Ha-ha!

I heard someone a while ago talking about ways to deal with stress and the point of the talk was about breathing exercises. I had heard about this before and was ready to take a quick nap in the back of the room.

The Holy Spirit had other plans and told me to pay attention. Since breathing is called an autonomous function, we don’t spend much time thinking about it. When we get into stressful situations, our breathing generally becomes more shallow and rapid.

So what’s the big deal? The big deal is that the vast majority of us spend a lot of time in relatively stressful situations. Even watching the evening news in the comfort of your home can make us rather anxious. When this happens, we end up going through the day with a lowered amount of oxygen getting into our blood and into our brains. Oh, so that’s why we say and do more stupid things when we are under pressure and stressed out.

As I started to listen to the speaker explaining this, I began to get more excited because my job comes chock full of stressful situations since working at a hospital. The suggestion given was to regularly spend some time focusing on your breathing.

The thought came to me that while focusing on my breathing while dealing with stressful situations, it can also be a chance to thank the Lord for being alive and for the amazing process of breathing that we all overlook.

I started doing this and my stress signals began to get smaller and my thankfulness for Yeshua’s love and goodness became greater. I didn’t check my oxygen levels but I bet they were higher. I was able to view those stressful situations with much more confidence and more positive speaking. I was able to better avoid that “whining and complaining” thing we tend to do when the going gets rough.

This takes no skill whatsoever, but you will need to give yourselves a reminder to do it, especially when your boss or spouse are not keeping your strong points in mind.

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He Gave Us Power and Authority

Yeshua had a mission on the earth, part of which was to destroy the works of the enemy. (1John 3:8) He shared that mission with His disciples – He “gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.” (Luke 9: 1) He delegated His authority to accomplish His mission then and has delegated it to us, His current batch of disciples.

As co-heirs with Christ, as His ambassadors now in this earth, we have the same anointing, the same authority to continue His mission. We must embrace this truth and resist the work of the enemy as we encounter it around us. Why in the world would Yeshua not include us in this work?

There is much sickness and demonic oppression going on around us and it is increasing because the Church is not exercising the authority that Christ gave us. We need to believe just like the disciples needed to believe that we have “healing hands” and we need to start using them.

Does not mean that every sick person that we touch is going to be miraculously healed on the spot? Is that how it was for the disciples? There is one recorded incident in Matt 17 whereby a father complains that the disciples could not help his son.

We can develop this healing anointing but we have to exercise the authority we have been given. We do this by responding to people who are ill by laying our hands on them and believing the healing grace of Yeshua is being released to make them whole.

Our faith and authority can’t grow if we don’t step out. We don’t need to make a big production out of it but we always want to seek the direction of the Holy Spirit. It comes down to our faith and the faith of the recipient to receive (“…believe you receive…” Mark 11:24)

Let’s remember the next time and the times after that when we have the chance to place our hand on someone’s shoulder or arm or give a hug or even shake hands, we are calling upon the authority Yeshua has given us to see healing and shalom change lives.

 

we can have authority bu t not do anything with it

Push Up Profits

For those of you who can do 50 push-ups, please raise you hand. How about 30? How about 10? How about 5? Come on now! Have you never heard that Paul preached to Timothy in the New Testament on push up profits?

We’ll have to do a survey of the Body of Christ at some point and see what percentage of time and effort is put towards building the spirit, building the soul, and building the body. We would be willing to guess the figures would come out something like this: spirit – 20%, soul – 70%, and body – 10%. And the scary part about that is the 70% effort for our souls is probably a lot of entertainment and pity parties. Ouch!

Sorry, let’s back to Paul and Timothy. Paul doesn’t mention push-ups exactly, so you don’t have send us a warning calling us heretics, but he does say in 1Tim. 4:8 “Bodily exercise profits a little…” Paul is acknowledging that there is some profit in physical exercise because he is comparing it to the profit that comes from the pursuit of godliness or being like God.

That can’t be right because Yeshua never mentioned the value of bodily exercise. Ever heard that kind of reasoning before? Christ never mentioned it because exercise like walking and lifting and farming was a part of your everyday lives back then. Getting somewhere involved either walking or riding a horse, and if you have ever rode a horse,  you know it’s exercise. Even having and working a small backyard garden takes a lot of bodily effort.

Let’s not ignore putting some effort into keeping our bodies fit. There are so any benefits to doing this. Keep it simple to something like walking in your neighborhood or doing popcorn stretches in your living room – take it easy on the butter though.

A healthy body is able to fight off illness better and that means less down time and more time to devote to those things you love and are called to.

 

Seeing Beyond

Looking into a microscope for the first time opened up a whole new world for us, a world that we could only have imagined before this first glimpse. This microscopic world was very much alive and impacting our lives even before we took that first look. Paul in 2 Corinthians 4 tells us the importance of seeing beyond our light afflictions and recognizing a whole new world of Yah’s glory in operation.

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

This is a spiritual realm where we are being renewed daily and our glory account is being built up. While there is so much for our physical senses to take in, there is even much more going on in the spirit realm. We must not lose sight of this and take the time to focus our attention away from the things that are temporary and gaze upon those things that are working eternally in us.

Our physical existence is limited but our spiritual existence is boundless, and the more we get in touch with this truth, the more we will rise above our challenges and experience the unspeakable joy and victories that are ours in Christ. If we made a commitment to Christ and His Lordship, then we have also committed to being His ambassadors. (2 Cor 5:20)

So, how do we get better in touch with this truth? We have to balance out that time we are focused on our worldly responsibilities with the time we are spending in His heavenly presence. There is much to enjoy in this world but sadly the world will only pull us down. We must counter these destructive influences with the glory of our Savior and develop our spiritual focus of seeing beyond into those things “unseen”.

Please join us on this journey of becoming effective Glory Ambassadors for Christ, or renew your commitment if you have already started.

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Eye Is The Lamp of the Body

Everybody knows the huge role our eyes play in our quality of life and in our enjoyment of life. There is also much talk about having spiritual eyes that enable us to see things of the Spirit. Yeshua said that the eye is the lamp of the body (light of our bodies) and our eyes play a big role in the condition of our souls. (Matt. 6: 22-23)

What role is that exactly? What we allow our eyes to focus on and receive leaves an impression on our thoughts and attitudes and can even trigger strong emotions. Basically, the things that we look at we will change our perspective on our circumstances and even about ourselves.

How we view ourselves and the events we  deal with act as a filter on our ability or inability to receive what our Heavenly Father has made available to us. There are some super-charged images (a tragic accident or crime) that can leave a lasting impact on our lives with just 1 look, while a steady diet of peaceful or conflicted images (mountain scenes or angry faces) will create changes in our values or expectations in life.

As a result, can we radically conclude that we should be very careful about what we allow our eyes to stay focused? Yes indeed, because what we allow our eyes to dwell on will impact our spiritual growth. It will do this because what we allow our eyes to look at effect our values, our thoughts, our feelings, even our hopes and dreams and our capacity to believe.

While the example of what Jacob did in Genesis 30 to create striped and spotted livestock does not have a direct application to us walking around with spiritual stripes or spots, we believe it effectively illustrates the principle that we are talking about here.

It would be very wise for us to be sensitive and discerning to the things we gaze upon and  only dwell and look upon on those things that are true and noble and just… ( Phil 4:8)

Encouraging Partners

We all need partners as we take on the quest of becoming effective ministers for the kingdom of God. Our witness to the rest of the world is a valuable thing, especially in this age of social media and political correctness. We can’t take the “monk” attitude and keep our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ at arm’s length or greater.

As we accept the honor and challenge of being glory ambassadors for Christ, we also need to be positioned to give and receive encouragement from people we trust. We’ve heard it described as a pitcher that is being poured out and then getting replenished so that the process can continue and expand.

Do you have an encouraging partner that is available for you? If not, please take the time to ask the Lord to open those doors for you. This arrangement can also be an excellent opportunity for marital couples to join together for spiritual growth and for improved communication and strengthening for their marriage.

Today’s culture puts a huge emphasis on independence which results in a lot of people becoming isolated. While women may experience this to some degree, men generally are at much more risk to fall into this trap of isolation. Please pardon us for the using some gender identity labels here. Not really!

Let’s place some time in our schedules to pursue some “encouraging partner” possibilities if we don’t have one, or reach out to our “encouragers” to invite them for on-going contacts.

Where Have All The Healings Gone?

The most frequent activity of our Savior Yeshua while He was on earth was healing the sick. He even commissioned His disciples to go out and proclaim the the Good News and heal the sick and cast out demons. We also see in the Book of Acts many accounts of healing occurring. But in the 21st  century, where have all the healings gone?

Why are we not seeing more supernatural healing happening today? It is happening and has been happening for quite some time but should be happening much more. There have been many more situations in our private lives that we have not seen healing take place compared to the times that it did. We had one son who was miraculously healed of a serious blood condition, and years later we are still thankful for it.

What’s the key when it comes to seeing the people getting healed by the Lord? The gospels pretty much make the connection to our faith (“your faith has made you whole, according to your faith”, etc.) To answer our initial question, the answer is basically found in the question, where has the church’s faith gone?

Much of the Christian church teaches that divine healing is not even available to us any longer. Faith for healing is not being taught in many churches. Many churches will even ridicule Christians who teach this and practice this belief of praying for the sick to be healed.

The other major reason is that many Christians are not willing to take the risk of praying for someone to be healed. We firmly believe that every Christian has the anointing in them to release the supernatural grace for healing, whether we are talking about dealing with a cold or dealing with cancer.

If more churches would preach about healing and more Christians would would start laying their hands on people suffering from some illness, we would see more healing events.

We must start somewhere and call upon our anointing for healing to do the work of Yeshua in our world now by using our healing hands. Believe that there is healing from Jesus in your hands.

The Mighty Tongue

What kind of power has been given to mankind? The Lord granted us great influence and power through the mighty tongue. This power can be used for great evil or great good. The people back in Genesis 11 took it upon themselves to use the collective power of their communication to work together “to make a name for themselves” by building a tower to the sky. The Lord responded by confusing their language which resulted in their work ceasing.

We have seen in man’s recent history how the communication of ideas and directives to wield power and influence for selfish reasons have resulted in the deaths of millions of people. James calls the tongue “a fire, a world of iniquity” in chapter 3 of his book.

Thank the Lord that our tongues were redeemed when we became His sons and daughters, but there is still much discipline we need to exercise over our tongues, our words. We can still use it to curse others or bless them.

James liken the power of our tongues to a horse’s mouth bit which directs that horse and to a ship’s rudder which determines that big ship’s course. The Lord has given us the ability to direct our own lives and the lives of those around us through the use of our words, for evil or for good.

Your harsh words or your words of encouragement impact people’s lives everyday and that is why we must choose  our words wisely. Our words have the most influence over our own lives more than anything else. James is pretty much saying that we set the course for our lives by the words we speak.

An example of this in scripture is found in Joel 3:10, “Let the weak say I am strong…” Use your words to bring forth life and grace and encouragement and shalom. Don’t allow circumstances or discouragement force you and those close to you down a path of destruction.

Use the power of your tongue EVERY DAY to set the right course, a path of life and love and God’s glory.