The Word of Faith (The Longer Version)

 Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we will take a closer look at the word “faith” from a biblical perspective. The words “faith” and “believing” are the same Greek word pistis and always mean believing or believing faith. We are born with the innate ability to believe, however, there is another kind of believing faith that the Bible reveals called, “the faith of Jesus Christ” and this faith is something new and introduced to believers when they become saved. With salvation, the believing Christian receives Christ in them (Colossians 1:27), and thus we become endowed with the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself which is purely perfect.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus {who is} the author and finisher of our {believing} faith,” and since he is the author and finisher of our faith, we can look to him in the Scriptures for our example of how to grow our believing faith to maturity. Another way we could look at this is that without Jesus, we will have a lack of Christian faith. So then, how do we learn more about this faith of Christ that we now have? We go straight to the Word of God!

Romans 10:17:   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The faith of Christ comes to us by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This verse carries a double meaning. First, the word hearing is repeated doubly to emphasize how the faith of Christ comes to us, and that is by hearing, and hearing to the point of our believing – and believing one thing and one thing only – and that is the word of God! The second meaning of the word hearing here is that the more of the Word of God we hear, the greater our own believing can rise to believe in the promises that are laid out for us in God’s faithful Word to receive and to enjoy. There are promises such as, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4), and “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12), and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Since Jesus ascended unto his Father after his resurrection (Acts 1:9–11), just as he said he would in John 14:12 above, the “greater works” that Jesus promised can become something we can now accomplish. One of the major works Jesus did was to completely believe what God’s Word said about him. Jesus’ believing faith was perfectly complete; he had believed to do more than anyone on earth had ever done, and then (because of the resurrection) God gave men and women who will believe on and accept his resurrection, the actual faith of Jesus Christ. His believing faith is similar to our believing faith, but Jesus never doubted the Word of God, which caused his faith to be immensely precious and extremely powerful. We find in Mark 9:24 that a man came to Jesus Christ in need, imploring with tears in his eyes ― “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Well, today Jesus still helps our unbelief mature to faith equaling his own, for he is “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.”

The Epistle of Galatians 3:23–26 sheds some interesting light on Jesus’ faith:

Galatians 3:23:  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Before faith came means that there was a time when there was no faith. Many people believe that faith, all faith, has always been around, but the faith that Galatians is referring to in verse 23 is the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself. Before faith came, refers to before Jesus was on earth, and therefore his believing faith was not available. Thus, the Scripture says, we were kept under the law until Christ and his faith came; for the Law was designed to protect the believers up until Jesus would come and give men and women his faith, the faith that would be from “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.” But what confuses people sometimes about the word faith, is that it is used for our believing faith (pistis), and this word is also used for Jesus’ believing faith (pistis). In both usages throughout the Bible, faith is the same Greek word pistis. Only when we observe the context where pistis is used will the difference be apparent of which faith the Text refers.

For an example of the confusion of one word with more than one meaning, I could say, “I am at the bank,” and it could mean I am near a river, or it could mean I am depositing money at the bank, or I could be in a bank of snow for that matter. We need to view the broader context to know where I am and we can use the same logical deduction with the word faith, pistis. Only as we see the context in which the word faith is set will we understand whether the Scripture implies Jesus’ faith, or ours. At the conclusion of this study, you will be able to recognize many more of the passages where the word faith is used, and more verses will open up for you and become much clearer.

Galatians 3:24:  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto {or until} Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The Scripture says we are justified by faith but by whose faith were we justified? When we see the context of this verse, we find we are justified by Christ’s faith! As Romans 4:25 declares, “Who {Jesus Christ} was delivered {unto death} for our offences {our sins}, and was raised again for our justification.” We are justified because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, not because of our faith, thus, Ephesians 2:8–9 reveals, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Our justification into salvation is a gift from God through faith, and since salvation is not based on our works, then our salvation is given and received because of the faith of Jesus Christ who had done all the work so that we could receive by grace. The Epistle of Romans celebrates this blessed truth of our gift of God which is our salvation, “but the gift of God is eternal life through {by the work and faith of} Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 Galatians 2:16:   Knowing that a man {or woman} is not justified by the works of the law, but {a man or woman is justified} by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

See how not only the immediate context fits together with Christ’s faith, but all the related passages work towards a wonderful enlightenment that we are justified because of his faith! With the believing faith of Jesus Christ, we have received our justification, being made completely justified from the dictates that the Law demands. It took the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself to give his life on our behalf to redeem us; his own faith now sets us free from the Law, giving each of us an equal justification, affording us a perfect standing before God, as we simply believe in the completeness of Jesus’ faith. This is the perfection of the faith of him who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Romans 5:1:  Therefore being justified by faith {i.e., Jesus’ faith}, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Acts 26:18:  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God {this is literally the mission of the Pauline Epistles}, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me {Christ Jesus}.

Today in grace, we are not only justified by Christ’s faith, but we have peace with God, and we are also sanctified, and we have “the righteousness of God which is by {the} faith of Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). We also have access into God’s grace by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2:  By whom {Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Any faith that we read about in the Old Testament and in the Gospels is man’s own believing faith or that perfect faith of Jesus Christ. However, in the New Testament, faith could be man’s own faith, Jesus’ own faith, or believers utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ as in these verses, Acts 3:16; 6:5, 8; 15:9; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 2:5; II Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19; 6:16; and I Thessalonians 2:13. Today, in grace, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We are able to live in a Christ-like lifestyle because we have received the faith of Jesus Christ, which is, the faith of the Son of God.

Recall that Galatians 3:23–24 above talked about before faith came, but now the Epistle continues with “after that faith is come:”

Galatians 3:25–26:
-25: But after that faith is come {again, Jesus’ own faith}, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
-26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in {of or by} Christ Jesus.

Now that the faith of Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the rules and regulations of the schoolmaster, i.e., the Law. Believing faith was always around since the beginning of time, but a new and enhanced, spiritual faith came with Christ, and with Christ came spiritual freedom to experience a much greater life than what the written Law offered in the Old Testament times (see Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 7:16–19).

Galatians 5:1:  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage {i.e., the schoolmaster — the law}.

The main difference between man’s faith and the faith of Jesus is that human faith can only rise up to believe in that which is seen, like the phrase says, “seeing is believing.” As Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In stark contrast to seeing before we believe; the faith of Jesus Christ is given so men and women can rise all the way up to believe in that which is not physically seen, yet is spiritually real ― such as salvation, love, peace, grace, joy, and the faith of Jesus Christ.

 II Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7:
-18: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-7: For we walk by faith {Christ’s believing faith}, not by sight:

In truth, man needs Jesus’ faith to fulfill his own faith, as we read in Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus {is} the author and finisher of our faith,” and this is how Christians can become fully satisfied, feeling complete within their hearts (Colossians 2:10). The faith of Jesus Christ is only available to the Christian believer, as II Thessalonians 3:2 emphatically states, “for all men have not faith.” This cannot be one’s personal believing faith, for anyone can believe, but not all men have the faith of Christ to apply towards believing God’s Word and to enjoy and believe for help in times of great need. This is also why spiritual truths in the Bible make perfect sense to the believer, whereas the same truths make absolutely no sense to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1:18–31, 2:14).

Living by the faith of the Son of God works like this: If someone was to tell you that you are going to hell or if you once thought so yourself, now being equipped with your upgrade of the faith of Jesus Christ, you can say and believe in your innermost being that is not true. Instead, you can say to yourself ― I am heaven bound, and you can think and say this with believing conviction because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say you are unrighteousness or if you ever assumed this of yourself, now with faith, you can know in your heart that you are as righteous as God Himself is because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say to you that you are destined to failure or if you believed in your heart that success was not for you ― with faith, you can rise above that negative perception of yourself because faith has made you more than a conqueror through all situations. Faith believes the Word of yourself, faith delivers to you the promises of God; faith is the power of Christ manifested in your life! This is why I Corinthians 2:5 boldly proclaims, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We Christians have “the same spirit of faith” (II Corinthians 4:13) to believe that we are “filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Talk about ease of believing ― Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and all we have to do is follow Jesus’ instructions to “come unto him.”

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light {nothing brings peace and rest into our souls like coming unto and accepting and enjoying the uplifting faith of Christ}.

There was a time that I believed that I was so far removed from God that hell was to be my ultimate destiny, for I believed I was a sinner and had no rights to heavenly blessings, and I believed this with all my heart, and obviously I feared the end of my life. But with the believing faith of my Savior, who is my hero and everything to me, I can boldly say with believing conviction, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” What made the transformation in my thinking and in my inner heart? The faith of Jesus Christ; his faith now flows through my heart and assures me that God loves me completely! I now know effortlessly that I am justified and sanctified and that I have peace with God through the faith of the Son of God. Christ’s faith gives the Christian believer the feeling of flying high because God has, “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), and “ye are risen with him {Christ} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

We only need to believe in the work that our Savior has done for humanity (and what he has accomplished for you personally), to experience completeness and fullness. For with Christ’s faith we collectively, “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Our Savior’s faith is now so pleasantly real that it causes one to simply accept the grace of God with humbleness. Rather than searching for “more faith in yourself,” you will find faith to be real – to be palatable – to be in you – and to be enjoyable.

Romans 10:8–10:
-8: But what saith it {the Scriptures}? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

The word of faith when preached (as well as when heard, when read, when understood, and when believed), will be as close as in your mouth and in your heart. Because the Word of God is that close to you ― you can spiritually taste its divine presence (and presents), as it settles deep within your soul, giving you tangible impressions of God in meaningful revelations of divine truths, so that your believing the Word continuously becomes an exciting daily adventure. You will increase your own believing by tapping into all the believing faith that comes with having Christ within your heart (Colossians 1:27), and his faith accompanies your salvation with your belief and confession of Romans 10:9–10.

We have shown the simplicity of receiving and utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ is as it is succinctly stated in Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Today, I invite you to think about the word of faith that God has placed within your mouth and heart, for the word of faith delivers to you the salvation of God (Romans 10:8–10). When you begin believing the Word of God within the depths of your soul, you will come to experience the realities of the Word effectually working in your heart and life and surroundings, as the word of faith Christ’s faith – continues blessing you and all that you have and all that you do.

I Thessalonians 2:13 (The Amplified Bible):**  And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Perfecting God’s Love – Within

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I John 4:11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

What an awesome verse of Scripture, commencing with the word Beloved, for this is God’s point of view of you and me, He recognizes us as His Beloved. The word if is not written to imply a question or a doubt, because the word if in the Greek Text is the word since. Thus, the Scripture reads “Beloved, since God so loved us,” for God has loved us since the world began (Ephesians 1:4).

The words we ought implies another extension of the true depths of love of God, because He is not demanding a reciprocal love back to Him or challenging us to love others, He is simply stating that we ought to love one another. The human love that sometimes manifests itself and that many people have known demands equal love in return to sustain its presence; however, God’s love (spiritual love) is always with us, because God loves us unconditionally and therefore we have continuous access to His love. God simply states that we should learn to share His love towards one another as proof (to us individually) that He indeed loves us.

I John 4:12: No man hath seen God at any time {with his eyes}. If {or Since} we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

God does dwell within the heart and fiber of the human soul who is a Christian, and when we do love others, we will begin to realize we do have God’s love dwelling within. Not only will we realize that God lives in our hearts, but His love becomes perfected in us, love comes into full bloom and perfection in our hearts as we reach out and love others.

I John 4:16–17:
-16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
-17: Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

God is love, for this is ― as he is, and when our God-given love is made perfect via loving one another (see verse 12 above), we will become, as God is love.

Have we judged ourselves worthy enough to love others with God’s love, or do we simply judge others? With God’s love in our hearts, we have boldness – today – to love even the unlovable! The day of judgment is today, not at the end of the world, but right now. Many believers suspect that the Day of Judgment includes us having to pay retribution for sins committed, but just look at the setting in which this statement sits: our love made perfect is on one end and on the other we find as he is, so are we in this world. The context that the day of judgment is set in – is now – and is to be lived with His love. Do we love today? Has our love been made perfect in this present day of grace? Do we know and believe that we are as he is (and He is love, see verse 16 above), or are we estranged from the Father and His love? Christ has “delivered us from the wrath to come” (I Thessalonians 1:10). No Christian ever has to feel separated from God or His never-ending love (Romans 8:37–39), because God always loves us; recall that we are His beloved, and He desires us to experience the wonderfulness of enjoying the perfection of His love in us by our loving today (period).

In Colossians 3:4 we read that, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Note that we will not appear in shame, or to be judged, but we will appear with him in glory. We Christians have a Savior and he assures us of our salvation and relieves us of the unfounded misconceptions of judgments, condemnations, and tribulations ― for he overcame the world for us.

John 3:15–17, and 16:33:
-15: That whosoever believeth in him {Jesus} should not perish, but have eternal life.
-16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
-17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
-33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Walking with the love of God in our hearts today will relieve of us any and all fears about our glorious future to be with God and our Savior. God has made us accepted as His beloved in Christ (Ephesians 1:6), and as members of His family (Ephesians 2:19), and when we reach out with His love, then we will know this with an absolute certainty, and we will enjoy His spiritual love enthusiastically.

Growing up I was afraid of God and the fires of hell like so many others. God in His magnificent foresight must have known that I would not be alone carrying around this unfounded burden of fear, so to bless His children, God simply had the next two verses written to dispel these fears from our lives and He gave us His love to back up His promise.

I John 4:18–19:
-18: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
-19: We love him, because he first loved us.

We have total access to a spiritual love that has been bestowed on us by the Creator of the Universe Who also happens to be our heavenly Father, and now that we have become aware of this love, we may love without fear or hesitation. We may enjoy God’s love, thanking Him for the strength His love gives, for the load His love carries, and for the burdens His love lifts ― His love is simply uplifting. When we actually reach out with love to others, we will experience a totally perfect, fearless lifestyle of love that will assure our hearts in the present tense that our future is going to be simply marvelous!

Have you ever wondered, how can I know for certain if I completely love God, and how will God know that I do love Him? Well, the Bible has a test that will prove your love for God to your heart’s content, and the answer to this assessment is the next two verses:

I John 4:20–21:
-20: If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
-21: And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

Whenever we actually reach out with God’s love to others, especially believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:10), we may prove to ourselves that we indeed love our God, and as well, this is how we know and believe the compassionate love God has for us individually!

 Colossians 3:14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

God’s Word instructs above all things that we put on charity, which is the love of God, and the Bible says that love is the bond of perfectness. The word bond means that which ties, holds, or binds together, and in this verse we find that love is what holds us together. The word perfectness means total completeness, for there is absolutely nothing greater than having the love of God manifested in our own lives. When believers begin realizing that they have God’s divine love in their hearts (Romans 5:5), and they begin using this love in daily situations, then they will come to experience a genuine reassurance that they are building their spiritual lives on the true bond of perfectness.

In a world where almost everything is imperfect, we can tap into something that is a perfect constant reality, and is our bond of perfectness, for God’s love allows us to enjoy precious moments of total completeness immersed in God’s most perfect love. As we reach out to one another with God’s love, we can come to experience that God’s love is perfected within us.

 John 16:33 (The Amplified Bible):**
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

I John 4:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen.
-21: And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

God’s Garden

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When I recall first becoming a Christian at age twenty, one huge concern of mine was about making any kind of commitment to God because ever since I was a child I heard and learned that Christians must suffer their way up to heaven. I was told that Christians could not have any fun in life, and I really did not want any part of that kind of life. But when I finally came to the Word of God, I began realizing that walking with God was fun, and that Jesus Christ suffered so that I did not need to, as I had feared.

There is nothing equal on earth in comparison to what we currently can receive from God. I used to think that the very best time to get saved was after I enjoyed life (like on my deathbed). Yet God’s wonderful healing Word has made my life such a pleasurable joy that the old way I used to think and behave is almost like looking back on an elusive nightmare, for there is no comparison on this earth to enjoying life with God and personally knowing Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Over time, committing my life to God became easier as His Word began to lift me up from within, and it has been a wonderful experience for me to also see how God works the same miracle in the hearts of other believers.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In this study, I wanted to highlight the phrase “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” This implies that God desires us to commit ourselves (presenting the whole person – wholly unto Him); for in doing so we will begin proving to our inner conscious minds that the will of God is so “good,” and completely “acceptable,” and even “perfect!”

When we begin committing our lives to God (our bodies, i.e., our very souls) we can then begin proving to ourselves that life with Him is truly spectacular and always rewarding. This is “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

To name just a few things that are acceptable that can be proven are: His love that we have within, which we may daily utilize; that we have joy overflowing, which we may bask in; that we have God in Christ in us, which is certainly much greater than walking alone without God in this world. This is why the greatest giving that man could ever give is to commit oneself to God Who is the Father of Lights. Then beyond this, the receiving from our heavenly Father truly flourishes in one’s spiritual growth, and the reason why may just blow your mind (so-to-speak).

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Amplified Bible): **
For we are fellow workman (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under {God’s} cultivation, [you are] God’s building.

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of God and they were to cultivate the Garden themselves (Genesis 2:15) while they lived in complete serenity with God in His divine grace. Yet as we know, they fell from grace with the entrance of sin while Paradise, the Garden of God, ceased to exist for man. However today, because of the redemption we received by the completed work of Christ, we can now walk again with God in His divine grace equal to that of Adam and Eve’s original fellowship and union with God. We are now laborers together with God in His cultivated home in fleshy tables of the human heart (II Corinthians 3:3, 4:7).

We are a new spiritual Garden of God’s making and design, wherein God provides the cultivating, nurturing, and growth of our spiritual lives, and in our hearts is where we may freely commit our very souls to Him.

In God’s Garden, we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to Him (Ephesians 5:1–2). It is interesting to note that the word for “grow” in Matthew 6:28 for the growth life of lilies is the Greek word auxano and means to grow from within without compulsion, in the best conditions, having the best light for photosynthesis to promulgate the growth of life from within. This word is also used for the growth of the temple of God whom we are (Ephesians 2:21–22), for we are continuously growing in and with God’s cultivation, immersed in the light of His love (Ephesians 4:16).

Today we walk with the Father in the Garden of His delight wherein He is our sufficiency as He continues to deliver and honor us. “He {you and I} shall call upon me {God}, and I will answer him: I will be with him in {or through} trouble; I will deliver him {from trouble}, and {I God will} honour him” (Psalms 91:15). WOW – God honors us! “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and this is why we are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified {by believers}” (Isaiah 61:3).

We today are God’s spiritual Garden, for we are His habitation (Ephesians 2:22), living in and enjoying our heavenly Father’s own cultivating. He gently pulls out the weeds of doubts, worries, and fears, and increases our confidence, trust, and believing faith to commit ourselves to His healing Word. Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). In other words, our heavenly Father can deliver us from whatever holds us captive, no matter how deeply seated (or seeded) it may be, for God is the cultivator of the human heart.

God warms our souls in His marvelous light as He gives us spiritual growth that blossoms out from our heart’s commitment to Him.

Giving of oneself to God is the greatest act of giving because it is the greatest act of receiving God’s loving-kindness within!

We may plant and water by placing the healing Word of God in our minds. Simultaneously our heavenly Father will cultivate and give us the increase (auxano), with which we need to grow in the spiritual Garden of God’s care as we enjoy a continued perpetual springtime.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Living in the Care of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 34:10:
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.

Even the kings of the jungle lack the power to provide the complete supply for their young and so they have lack and suffer hunger. This shows that it really does not matter how powerful or rich a person is, without seeking God first he will have lack, not only in physical things but even more so, mentally and spiritually. We who “seek the LORD shall not want any good thing,” means that our God can meet our needs in life, and that living without want is available because our God is the supplier and our true sufficiency.

Matthew 6:33:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things {food, clothing, and the things that give men and woman mental, physical, and spiritual abundance in life} shall be added unto you.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Living in the care of God is contingent upon believing the words in the Word of God. When God’s Word expresses that God will “supply all your need,” then that is exactly what He means.

Psalms 37:23-25:
-23: The steps of a good man are ordered {ordained} by the LORD: and he {God} delighteth in his {your} way. {The Lord God is in total delight when anyone walks in the steps that God ordains.}
-24: Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
-25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed {his children} begging bread.

Who is a “good man” according to the Scriptures? A “good man” is a man or a woman who does one thing and one thing only; and that is they think about the Word of God (to the end that they believe His Word), they think the Word of themselves, and they believe the words God promises when He promises that He will not forsake them.

Hebrews 13:5 (The Amplified Bible):*
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Life is such that people, no matter the strength of their faith, may from time to time fall, yet God promises that He will, with His hand (by His power and strength) lift them back up again.

Matthew 12:35 reads, “A good man out of the good treasure {i.e., the Scriptures} of the heart {that we have purposely placed there} bringeth forth good things,” and in Psalms 119:11 we also read, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” We Christians, by believing in God’s Word will bring forth good things into our lives, families, and surroundings. This is the promise of God to His own children.

Psalms 84:11:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. {Walking uprightly is walking with the Word in our hearts, and these are steps that God ordains.}

The challenge in life is to elevate our believing to the standard of God’s Word, for it is the truths and standards of His Word that allow us to genuinely and honestly live in the care of God.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (I Peter 5:7).

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Prayer with Thankfulness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Prayer is believing with thankfulness and believing is HOW we receive from God. Prayer with thankfulness is what builds and strengthens our relationship with God wherein we come to understand the freedom we have to believe and know that God is present, willing, and able to answer our deepest and most desired prayers.

Prayer is the key that helps release us from our doubts, worries, and fears as we daily give our concerns over to God (Philippians 4:6-7). God in turn will manifest Himself to us, becoming our true sufficiency in life — this is the joy of personal prayer.

In the Gospel of John, we have a short prayer that Jesus offered and spoke deliberately to teach others around him how to pray and believe with thankfulness in their hearts.

John 11:41b-42:
-41b: . . . And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
-42: And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

First, let us notice that Jesus spoke intimately with God, calling Him Father, as we also can. “Giving thanks {i.e., prayer} unto the Father, which hath made us meet {worthy} to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:12),” and as Jesus taught in John 15:16, “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Secondly, observe that the very first thing Jesus said to the Father was I thank thee. Being thankful to the Father is one of the greatest keys in receiving answers to our prayers. Yes, being humbly thankful, even before receiving, is absolutely the most important principle to utilize in order to receive answers from our heavenly Father when praying. This is the message Jesus taught us from the Gospels, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24), thus being thankful in advance is a wonderful and very powerful key to receiving from the Father.

Thirdly, it is a valuable lesson to see Jesus acknowledge that God, his Father, always heard his prayers. This is a great message to us so we may always know with believing that God, our heavenly Father, indeed hears the prayers of our hearts. “For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Asking your Father does not negate the truth that even though He already knows your every need that you should not bother to ask Him in prayer for His assistance because prayer is a relationship builder — between you and your heavenly Father.

Prayer builds your one-on-One counsel with “the Father of lights” (James 1:17).

Prayer is your spirit-to-Spirit connection between you and “the Father of glory” (Ephesians 1:17).

Prayer is your opportunity to build a heart-to-Heart relationship with your heavenly Father (Philippians 2:13, I Peter 5:7).

Prayer allows the individual believer to have a one-on-One conversation with his or her heavenly Father and a thankful prayer life builds trust and confidence while maintaining a lasting relationship with heaven’s Holiest as Jesus demonstrated (John 11:41, Ephesians 4:21).

Prayer gives comfort from the Comforter that you are never alone, but are with “the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:6).

From prayer offered to prayer answered, you also can receive the heart-touching confirmation that your heavenly Father knows the things you have need of, because prayer assures you of being in contact with heaven’s throne, and with His never-ending supply line from above to you!

I John 5:14-15:
-14: And this is the confidence that we {can} have in him {in God our heavenly Father}, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we {already} have the petitions that we desired of him.

Fourthly, Jesus believed that his prayer would inspire others to believe as well. Believing in our prayers with thankfulness, believing that we will be receiving from God, is a biblical requirement in our receiving from Him, and this will always be inspirational to others as they see our believing manifested by the end result of our enjoying the answer to our prayers.

Matthew 21:22:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

“And when he {Jesus} thus had spoken {his prayer above}, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43). This verse is the pinnacle of Jesus’ prayer, and Lazarus was raised from the dead because Jesus was thankful and he knew that the Father heard him, and Jesus believed this in his heart. Blessed results follow those who pray with a believing and thankful heart.

In Jesus’ prayer, he was thankful in advance, thankful in simply knowing that his prayer would be completely answered, and this would also be an inspiration to others in their prayer life. Jesus was teaching us (by his own example) how to believe the Father for the answers to our prayers.

Many a prayer has drifted off to the island of unanswered prayers when the spiritual connection becomes interrupted between the sender and the Receiver of prayer simply because of the absence of advanced thankfulness. (Thankfulness is how to properly address a sent prayer.) The unintended consequence of not being thankful has always been and will always be the cause of shipwrecked prayers. However, thankfulness guiding one’s prayer will see it to its intended destination at the safe harbor of heaven’s throne with the return address intact. So it would behoove us to get in the habit of always starting our prayers with — “God, my heavenly Father, I thank You in the name of Jesus Christ for . . . (your prayer request).”

With thankfulness to the Receiver and Giver of your prayer-request, you the sender and recipient of your request may enjoy the intended result by the thankfulness originally sent and maintained.

Advanced thankfulness always has been the true key for genuine receiving from the Father. The Apostle Paul taught us that “whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks {GIVING THANKS} to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Hebrews 11:1:
Now faith {believing faith} is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I Peter 1:8:
Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

The healing Word of God encourages that we first believe that our prayers are heard (see Mark 11:24 above), and from the lessons of Jesus we can learn that being thankful is how he believed to receive, and is equally how we can receive.

Thanking our Father in advance and believing that we have received will bring great things into our lives, to our families, and our surroundings. The Apostle Paul wrote, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8), because the first thing in prayer is thankfulness, and thankfulness builds positive believing, and all believing equals receiving. Paul thanked God in the name of Jesus Christ, demonstrating that our prayers offered in the name of Jesus Christ will afford us the answers we seek. “Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you (John 15:16).” As thankfulness applies to properly addressing a prayer request, applying the name of Jesus Christ is the postage paid‑in‑full stamp on the envelope of your believing faith that will be personally delivered up to the Father!

Jesus said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The reason we are blessed is that we know how to first believe before we receive the gifts or answers that we desire from the Father. Giving prayers and receiving results is a Christian lifestyle that is not only desirable but also obtainable as our union with the Father continues to blossom into an exciting, daily adventure; this is the result of your Prayer with Thankfulness.

Colossians 4:2 (The Amplified Bible):*
Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.

Ephesians 5:20 (The Amplified Bible):*
At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (The Amplified Bible):*
-16: Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always);
-17: Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly];
-18: Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Amplified Bible):*
-6: As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
-7: Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE. The Amplified New Testament copyright © 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.” ~Mohandas Gandhi~

“Daily prayer offered in the name of our risen Lord and Savior places one in the receiving line, and initiates the ebb and flow of spirituality.” ~LMJ~

Thank you for your prayers and support.

God Bless You!