For I Believe God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the book of Acts, we have the record of the Apostle Paul traveling (as a prisoner) on a ship toward Rome. The ship was about to sail into a fierce storm. Let us pick up the story in Acts 27:

Acts 27:10-11:
-10: And {Paul} said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading {cargo, freight} and ship, but also of our lives.
-11: Nevertheless the centurion believed the master and the owner of the ship, more than those things which were spoken by Paul.

Because Paul was a believer, God could inspire him, this is why Paul “perceived” that trouble was imminent. Paul was correct! The ship came into a great storm, and the reason that this happened was that they (the Centurion watching over Paul, and the ship’s owner, and ship’s captain) believed, but their believing was incorrect. They believed in something that was wrong, when they should have listened to a man of God, especially when that man believes God’s Word.

Acts 27:20-22:
-20: And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest {a hurricane} lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.
-21: But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss.
-22: And now I exhort you to be of good cheer {I exhort you to believe with me now in enthusiasm}: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.

The ship and all the people went into that storm with Paul onboard as prisoner as well. But because Paul believed God’s Word, he was delivered from the storm, and the same is true for us today, whether the storms are physical, mental, or spiritual (Isaiah 25:4).

Acts 27:23-25:
-23: For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
-24: Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.
-25: Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.

Sometimes we cannot help the circumstance we may find ourselves in, like what happened to Paul, but we can always be aware of God’s deliverance from any storm of any kind, because God is a refuge from our storms.

Often our believing not only saves us, but even those around us. When and where we believe what is recorded in God’s Word, not only will we receive, but when we do receive from God it will be inspiring to others. On that ship the people lost all hope, but our God is a God of hope – and this becomes ever more realized as we believe in the recorded Word and will of God. When we find ourselves believing in God’s Word, our hearts will be “of good cheer,” for life itself becomes exciting, and we can say as Paul did, “for I believe God.”

Have Joy, and Then Repeat – This Is the Result of Rejoicing

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice– Philippians 4:4. Joy is something God gives as a spiritual inner quality of life, while happiness is something man has at times and is conditional upon circumstance. For instance, if someone gave us a Cadillac, we would certainly be happy, but over time as the car wore down and rusted out, the happiness would begin to dwindle, especially when it needed servicing. However, joy can continue to bubble over into rejoicing regardless of any circumstance for it is literally a gift of God, and God’s healing Word continues making known to us the complete fullness of His joy.” ~LMJ~

The Crown Incorruptible

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Kings 11:12a – And he brought forth the king’s son {Joash} and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; . . .

At Joash’s coronation as king, he received first his crown, secondly they gave to him the testimony, which was the Word of God; this was to be his standard and rule of practice in ruling his kingdom. They also anointed him.  The anointing set him apart as the king and established him as God’s servant and leader for the people.

Today in God’s grace we, His children, believe in the future crowns that we may receive from God when Christ returns for us. We are anointed today with holy spirit by God Himself (II Corinthians 1:21-22), and we have God’s Word as our standard to believe in and enjoy as we serve one another with the love of God. With God’s Word we can discover His guidelines on how to receive the crowns that will be given to believers who live in God’s love and grace.

II Timothy 2:5 – And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

“Strive for the masteries” literally means to contend or compete in the games.  These games were common to the believers in the first century and were known as the Olympic games. Paul is teaching that when we look forward to the spiritual goal of Christ returning for us, that we must compete lawfully by the rules. The rules are recorded in God’s Word. We are saved for eternity, yet there is more to be received if we follow the guidelines recorded in Scripture, and the underlying principle to everything recorded in God’s Word is always to walk in love.

As we apply and enjoy God’s love we will literally stay in bounds.  When Christ does return, we will indeed receive the prize and be crowned, “I press toward the mark {the finish line} for the prize {the crown} of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Each believer can receive the crowns now offered by God, the crown incorruptible is eternal, and will be “reserved in heaven” (I Peter 1:4).

I Corinthians 9:24-26:
-24: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but {only} one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
-25: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they {in a physical race} do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we {in a spiritual race} an incorruptible {crown}
-26: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly {because we know that we can win}; so fight {box} I, not as one that beateth the air {one who shadowboxes}:

Noting that God uses so many metaphors of competition about receiving our crowns is interesting. In a physical race one must stay in bounds, and one must be “temperate in all things.” Temperate means to have self-control in all things. In the Greek Olympics only one received the prize and only one received a crown of olive leaves, but in God’s Word all believers who strive to follow His healing Word will receive the “crown incorruptible.”

The crown incorruptible is for believers who practice self-control over life’s circumstances and walk within the bounds of God’s wonderful Word. Whenever we walk (conduct our lives) according to Scripture, then, we are more than conquerors. When we walk in love and believe the Scriptures we are literally hitting the mark rather than simply shadowboxing against the forces of evil.

Hebrews 12:1-2a
-1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses {recorded examples of believers who believe in Hebrews chapter 11}, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us {that can knock us out of bounds}, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
-2a: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; . . .

When we keep our eyes on the goal of the coming of Christ Jesus and look to him through the Scriptures we can “run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Running with patience is like getting a second wind (an ease) which believers receive as they continue “striving lawfully.”

Then at the finish line we will receive the crown incorruptible for having patience and self-control in our own lives. Jesus as our “author and finisher of our faith” has already won, we only need to follow his lead by living in the love of God to achieve and receive the crown incorruptible.

To be continued in The Crown of Glory

Rejoice in the Lord (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Joy is something God gives as a spiritual inner quality of life, while happiness is something man has at times and is conditional upon circumstance. For instance, if someone gave us a Cadillac, we would certainly be happy, but over time as the car wore down and rusted out, the happiness would begin to dwindle, especially when it needed servicing. However, joy can continue to bubble over into rejoicing regardless of any circumstance for it is literally a gift of God, and God’s healing Word continues making known to us the complete fullness of His joy.

I John 1:4 – And these things write we unto you {the Scriptures}, that your joy may be full.

The Scriptures are written so that we may know the complete fullness of having joy. We are not half full of joy, and as we come to God’s Word and allow Him to be our guide, He is able to show us with indisputable revelations that we are completely full of His spiritual joy. When Paul said “Rejoice in the Lord alway” he was referring to an overabundance of joy to the point that it was running over. Rejoice is a repeat performance of having the fullness of joy. God’s instruction to us is not only to have rejoicing always, but to rejoice again and again. Amazingly, Paul wrote this from prison, yet he himself had this inner joy that was overflowing.  He had the practical experience in understanding that God continually blessed his life, even though in his current situation he was incarcerated, yet his life continued to be full of joy and rejoicing (John 15:11).

Philippians 4:5 – Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

“Moderation” means that we are to let our patience and our self-control over life’s circumstances be known. The reason that we can have patience and self-control is first and foremost that we know “the Lord is at hand”; He is always with us so that we need not have fear.  This indeed can inspire others, believers and unbelievers.

Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

“Be careful for nothing” is old English and today means to be anxious for nothing, because God indeed will answer our heartfelt prayers. When we give to God our worries, our cares, our concerns, and our fears with “supplication with thanksgiving,” then we will learn to have complete trust that our care is truly in His hands. “Supplication” means a specific need in one’s life, and the Scripture encourages us to make our exact needs known to God in thanksgiving, that is, to be thankful in advance for God giving us the special requests that we ask of Him (Mark 11:24; I John 5:14-15).

Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

“The peace of God” is another spiritual quality of life that God freely gives to us. This peace far surpasses all human understanding, yet we can know with complete assurance and serenity because we indeed have the peace of God in our lives. As we continue in our personal prayer life to God, He continues showing us His peace that not only is in our hearts but all around us. The word “keep” means to watch over and guard us, to spiritually protect our hearts and infuse our minds with tranquil peace. This is the very purpose for why we have the peace of God – to have peace with God. The Epistle of Philippians is such an inspiring revelation that it compels us to praise God for His wonderful Word, and so as the Apostle said “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.”

An Honest Question

“An honest question for some people is, how do we know which Church or what group of people is truly founded by God? For some people the answer is obviously clear, the one to which they belong! And this is actually true because all believers have received an unconditional and eternal salvation in the sense that God Himself always looks on the heart rather than at the denomination or the group to which we might belong. For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart– I Samuel 16:7. God is all love and according to His Word, anyone who is saved belongs to Him for eternity because God is no respecter of persons or groups — anyone, anywhere, under any circumstance can become saved and become a member of His household. We become members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27), and we may fellowship with whomever we desire. God is your Father and He is blessed when you are blessed, He is never upset simply because you go somewhere to learn more about Him Who does counsel and comfort in your deepest spiritual thoughts.” ~LMJ~