The Start of a Great Day (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Recognizing God via a morning prayer brings gladness and joy into our lives because we have invited Him into our lives ― early, before heading out into the world. When we walk with God and become aware that He is with us from our waking moments, being thankful for even the simple things in life, such as for the air we breathe, then we will become ever more cognizant and in tune to realize that the LORD our God indeed made this day to be enjoyed by His children.

Psalms 5:1–3:
-1: GIVE ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditations.
-2: Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
-3: My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

David, in praying says directly to God consider my meditations. He is asking God to take notice that he has meditated, as David’s thoughts were upon the Scriptures and his belief in the promises of God for a wonderful day. Then he further asks God to hear the voice of his cry. This does not mean that King David was a “cry baby” but a man in need (as we all are when we look to God’s help and deliverance throughout the day). David’s voice was humble, solemn, and constant in the morning for God to hear his prayer.

King David set a wonderful example for believers to follow; to remember our God in the morning starts our day’s journey off with God in our hearts, thus commencing for you and me The Start of a Great Day.

Inviting God first in the morning into our day’s journey by way of our prayers can set the pattern for the whole day, for it will be a day to enjoy the blessings of God in our life. The phrase, and will look up illustrates a twofold meaning. First, David would look to God Who answers prayer, and secondly, because David prayed, he would be looking up (or out) for the blessings of God that he prayed for in the morning to return to him throughout his day.

Time spent with God in the morning is always fruitful and permits the mind of the Christian to believe that he or she is walking with God; this comforts men and women who will then be able to acknowledge that this day will be filled with great expectations of deliverance in victorious living as God’s children.

Psalms 143:8–9:
-8: Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee {in prayer}.
-9: Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. {What a wonderful prayer offered in the rousing moments of David’s new day; the day which the LORD hath made!}

David confessed to God, I flee unto thee to hide me because David understood that in the LORD his God, in fellowship with Him, there was safety to be found away from his enemies, and an inner peace to be thoroughly enjoyed in each and every day.

From time to time, there are spiritual forces inspiring evil men to set themselves against the believers, and therefore David knowing this prayed (as we can) that his God would hide me, that He would watch over David from the beginning of his day with lovingkindness in the morning. True, “They {antagonists with evil-inspired intentions} have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones” (Psalms 83:3), and yet David not only prayed for a wonderful day knowing that evil waited for him at every turn, but because he prayed, he was enabled to experience days full of joy because his God was with him. David knew this because he prayed, for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way {in this day} wherein I should walk.

David wrote, “If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Psalms 138:8–10). David knew that wherever his daily path would lead him, he had his God with him even when he was encompassed by his enemies, unknown dangers, or unseen catastrophes.

David knew: Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me!

Psalms 91:1–2:
-1: HE that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
-2: I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

This Psalm begins with the word HE, and HE is the Author of the Scriptures, the Author is God, God is Spirit, and God’s Spirit is sending out an unrestricted invitation to come and dwell with Him. God is conversing in this first verse to enlighten the heart dear to Him who accepts His invitation and then begins following His guidance to receive the blessings that are revealed to believers. To dwell is to be at peace immersed in quietude of heart over what the Scriptures identify as the secret place of the most High.

This place is in a state of peace between the most High and the person who accepts, remains, and appreciates the serenity tendered through this offer. The secret place is what I like to call, the sweet spot of life, where one walks with God through His Son, who “is our peace” (Ephesians 3:14), and knows this to be true in his heart. This is known and enjoyed because the believer is benefiting from daily blessings along with an unparalleled relationship of fellowship with God in Christ Jesus, giving each believer evermore reasons to abide with Him.

The most High is the Possessor of heaven and earth and He is the dispenser of blessings to the dweller in His secret place.

Abide under the shadow of the Almighty is not that bad of a concept when you think about it because the Almighty’s true brilliance is that of being perfect light, as we read in I John 1:5, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Therefore, being under the shadow of the Almighty is very enlightening and uplifting to the soul and as the Psalmist wrote “in thy light {in God’s light} shall we see light” (Psalms 36:9).

To abide is first being in and then remaining in a state of fellowship with the most High.

“The fear {respect and honour} of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide {ABIDE} satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23).

Under the shadow also means to be shaded from the heat that rises up from the pressures of life which can oftentimes overwhelm and melt away one’s hopes and dreams, all the while he or she that is abiding under the shadow is enjoying the sweet fellowship of being under a peaceful covenant of graceful living in thankfulness with the Almighty.

The Almighty is the giver of all grace because He is “the God of all grace” (I Peter 5:10), as He is the All-bountiful supplier to those who walk with Him in their hearts.

Psalms 84:11–12:
-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.
-12: O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

II Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

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

Above, in verse 1 of Psalms 91 is a brilliant reflecting pool of understanding, in that as one begins walking with God in His secret place, then the recipient of the Author’s blessings comes to know that the LORD is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

The reason why we know and believe this to be true in our hearts is because we have been dwelling in the secret place of the most High, fellowshipping with Him, and as a result are abiding under the shadow of the Almighty!

Psalms 18:2–3:
-2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. {In this verse we read of eight wonderful attributes that the LORD became to the Psalmist, eight qualities that He desires to also be for you. He can be your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your God, your strength ― and in His strength you will trust, and He can become ― your buckler, your salvation, and your high tower where the views are always spectacular!}
-3: I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. {If there ever was a dire time and age where these promises of God can be claimed in Christ’s name to great advantage, this is certainly that time! “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble” (Psalms 37:39).}

Psalms 9:9:
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

Psalms 27:5:
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Psalms 62:8:
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him {in prayer}: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Psalms 31:19–21:
-19: Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear {reverence and respect} thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
-20: Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
-21: Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.

Psalms 32:7:
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalms 46:1:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalms 119:114:
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Taking the time to start our day with God, taking a moment to perhaps read a verse or two (like these above or some of your favorites), and meditating on them before we enter out into the hustle and bustle of daily life, and to set a little time aside to pray in the morning will indeed bring great things to pass in our lives.

Whenever trouble, danger, or fear arises, the average instinct is to recoil, withdraw, and become encased in fear, but with God in our lives we are encouraged to continue standing with Him on His promises. This is the meaning of God not only being your refuge, but also His setting you “in a large place,” or up upon a rock.

Even when you are out there and exposed, God is with you, you who have called upon Him. “I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalms 34:4), and thus, even though David was out there ― he was safe. “I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me” (Psalms 118:5–6).

David in summing up the 5th Psalm shows to us the joys and blessings that can travel with us throughout the day as we permit God into our life.

Psalms 5:11–12:
-11: But let all those that put their trust in thee {God} rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them {God covers and protects us with grace}: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. {In this one verse alone we have the words, rejoice, joy, and joyful; this is the result from permitting God and His healing Word into our lives.}
-12: For thou, LORD wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield. {The shield that compasses us is God’s loving favor upon His children as He watches over them.}

Whenever we read such powerful promises such as – God will defend those who trust in Him and that He will equip them with a shield and that they may experience this while being accompanied with heavenly joy – it is such an awesome blessing. Yet, for so many confessing Christians, these promises seem to be so distant from their present reality.

You and I can expect to have a great day with meaningful purpose as we take time to acknowledge our God by reading His Word and in our prayer life, as this forms a loving bond and relationship that will last through eternity.

The link that bridges the gap between the promises of God and one’s receiving them is coming to understand what it is to actually have and know the certainty of the living Christ in one’s life as he leads believers to God and His promises.

Mark 1:35:
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he {Jesus} went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Jesus, a great while before day, took the time to be alone with his thoughts, to be alone with God, and to pray for his day. This set the pattern for a wonderful day at the very start.

When we follow the example of Jesus, we will increase our believing trust in our God, and this will help us to recognize that God is always with us. Remembering that we are God’s children is easier as we acknowledge Him and place the promises of His Word in our hearts ― in the early hours.

Jesus Christ has given you and me permission to use his name in our prayers to God, as he taught us in the Gospels, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23). You see, Jesus’ name is as a golden thread that connects our hearts to the Father’s, and His promised treasures of whatsoever ye shall ask!

Jesus took the time to explain to just one man the way to God’s heart, the way to His secret place, and this is it: “Jesus saith unto him {Thomas}, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

Today this way is still open and readily available to you and me; it is through Christ who said, I am the way, for he is the hope of life everlasting and our entrance into the loving arms of our heavenly Father.

I Peter 5:10 reads that, “the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by {through} Christ Jesus,” for he is, as he confessed, the way that leads men and women to God’s eternal glory! “Christ also received us to the glory of God” (Romans 15:7), because “Jesus Christ is Lord {he is the Lord because he is the way}, to the glory of God” (Philippians 2:11).

As Jesus told Thomas that he was the way, he still is the way for us, individually, as we are all personally invited into the glorious “household of God.”

Ephesians 2:18–19:
-18: For through him {through Jesus Christ} we both {you and me} have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
-19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Whenever a believer is having trouble finding their way to God, His loving embrace, and His refuge from the storms of this life, we always encourage him or her to try going with Jesus by following his lead through the Scriptures, as he taught, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). The more one sees and recognizes Jesus in the Word, the more clearly he or she will see the Father and the easier it becomes to believe in God’s awarded promises.

Jesus is the “author and finisher” of their personal faith, as his faith can help carry the load he or she has been trying to carry alone.

Ephesians 3:12:
In whom {in Christ} we have boldness and access {to approach God and His promises} with confidence by the faith of him.

Hebrews 12:2:
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {Jesus is already there at God’s side, seated at His right hand, therefore, Jesus who is the way, is our guide, and he blazed the trail for us to follow him into daily victorious living.}

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, {Jesus pronounced to} 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.

Coming to personally know Jesus Christ certainly leads to the open doors of an amazing, spiritual abundance and insights and heavenly gifts that we can believe and pray for and receive in Jesus Christ’s powerful name.

John 14:12–14:
-12: Verily, verily, I {Jesus Christ} 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 {and he has, and so we can ― do}.
-13: And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
-14: If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

Christ Jesus is our connecting point to the God of heaven and His promises. You see, God’s will is to, “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (I Timothy 2:4–6).

It certainly is due time to testify of our loving Savior and of his powerful name, because he is our mediator to heaven’s throne, to God Himself, which is the knowledge of the truth.

Jesus commenced his day with prayer; we are also instructed to pray in his name because he is the master key to ensure The Start of a Great Day!

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.

The Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Did you know it is available for believers to actually have the mind of Christ? This is a foreign concept for all too many Christian people, yet the Epistles are full of encouraging statements to inspire us to begin thinking in terms of having the Savior’s thoughts be also in our own minds so that we as individual believers can be more than a conqueror in daily living. One such thought that I think about daily is “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). I think about this verse when doing the most challenging task that is before me as well as when I am relaxing and enjoying the life God has afforded me so that I can be at spiritual peace with Him (Colossians 3:15).

Where does the Bible say the life of a Christian would be easy? The Bible does not say that standing for God is easy (Mark 10:29–30, and II Timothy 3:12), but the life of a Christian man or woman can be strengthened with joy, peace, love, and grace through life’s challenges and adversities (I Corinthians 10:13). Even though life is filled with challenging pressures and pleasures by way of venues offering many temptations, by utilizing the mind of Christ we can overcome such obstacles and be successful in our personal endeavors.

I Corinthians 2:16: For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind; the whole of God’s thoughts is known only to Him (Romans 11:33–36). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds. The reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 1:18, 17:25–26, and Hebrews 13:8). So then when we retain in our minds the Word of God, we will be experiencing the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” thus, the Bible encourages believers to put on in our minds the thoughts of Jesus Christ that are exclusively revealed to us from the Scriptures.

Romans 13:14a: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of Christ into our minds. The Word reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals glimpses of God for our understanding (John 14:6). Christians have Christ within by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words therein, we will discover the mind of Christ is the express lane on a paved highway to godliness.

II Corinthians 1:21–22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit so that we can be with Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who can become such an integral part of ourselves. So as we have Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to enjoy access to the mind of Christ, who is eternally alive and spiritually energizing believers as he indeed is the physician of the heart.

Some people think in the heart of their hearts that success is not forthcoming and that they must suffer their way through this life and believe themselves destined to failure as their true lot in life. But this is just not so for you ― you have the ability to have the mind of Christ and he is no failure, God made no failures, and with the mind of Christ, you can think and believe that for once – NO – from now on, victory is in your grasp. Think this, say this, and begin to believe this until you actually triumph over something ― anything, and then start riding on that momentous wave of success that will rise up on the winds of your positive confessions of the Word, for the fresh air of God’s Word inspires you to achieve. Yes, it WILL happen for you ― you who believe to receive. Repeat to yourself, “I am successful and I am more than a conqueror because this is my lot in life ― I was born to be a winner and become triumphant and I am just going to have to learn to live with that destiny!” And then – begin living with this mindset ­­– as this is your true lot in life, allotted to you by God Himself.

You can reward yourself by being your best for your God, for your Savior, and for yourself! You already have been awarded the God-given permission to have the mind of Christ, and with him, you may be at rest as he helps lift your burdens and he will lighten the load you carry.

Matthew 11:28–30:
-29: Come unto me {says Jesus}, 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.

When the thought arises to either do your best or take the easy road and the simple way out of something, think about that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and you will be empowered to succeed, and you will “mount up with wings as eagles” with the mind of Christ. This is the renewed mind in its wonderful manifestation. This is the powerful permission and commission you have been given through God’s Word; this is following through with Jesus’ instruction in John 14:12, “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.” And he has gone unto his Father (Mark 16:19), and so we can ― do!

Isaiah 40:31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Recall Philippians 4:13 encourages that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. If we are really going to believe this verse ― it will take some action on our parts because believing is a verb that signifies action. When we believe on what the Word encourages in our renewed mind, then all kinds of things that used to defeat us, things that seemed too big and appeared unobtainable suddenly seem to become reachable because Jesus said “all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23).

When we have the mind of Christ by placing God’s Word on in our minds, then we will understand the true spiritual knowledge that is within the mind of Christ, and his thoughts give men and women true spiritual understanding with heavenly glimpses of God. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7). When we know that we have the mind of Christ, we will enjoy a spirit-to-Spirit connection with our God, one that gives us spiritual power and love that is empowered by sound thinking.

Romans 13:14: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and {then you will} make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

By putting on the thoughts of Christ today, we will recognize the true wisdom and power of God (I Corinthians 1:24). Men and women individually find the wisdom of God with the wonderful mind of Christ.

Isaiah 40:31 (The Amplified Bible):*  But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Philippians 4:13 (The Amplified Bible):**   I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright (c) 1965, 1989 by the Zondervan Corporation.
Used by permission.

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

Lamentations – Revealing Our Hope

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of The Lamentations of Jeremiah contains many of the reasons why Jeremiah and Israel would have cause to lament. Zion, the Holy City of David, was destroyed and the people were taken into captivity.  This can be traced back to their rejection of God’s Word and His guidance which took Israel out of God’s promised rest.

God did not forsake His people, rather they by their actions and disbelief were turning their backs on God’s Word and they walked away from the guidance of His prophets and became encased in unrest as their hope in the coming Savior dissipated from their hearts.

When reading Lamentations, we find a sad and lowly state of the chosen people of God.  We find them engulfed with loneliness, having to bear the suffering that bondage begets, weakened with heart-wrenching disappointments, and living in their own shame for turning their backs from the true blessings that come from God.

And still, even in the Book of Lamentations there is a ray of hope, a beacon of divine light shining through their days of great darkness with a promise of continued hope if and when they would (as a nation) try to again turn their ways back to God’s Word. God would give them hope, which grows in the believing heart from anticipating the Savior’s day of redemption.

Lamentations 3:22-26; 57-58:
-22:  It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
-23:  They {God’s mercies} are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
-24:  The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
-25:  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
-26:  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
-57:  Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not.
-58:  O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul {knowing my heart}; thou hast redeemed my life.

Hope is manifested in the lives of God’s people when Christ is acknowledged to be our genuine entrance into the promises, mercies, and graces of God.

God is always faithful to His Word, ever renewing His daily mercies. Jeremiah said “Great is thy faithfulness” because he knew that God never left him without a lifeline of hope, and that hope is “Jesus Christ which is our hope” (I Timothy 1:1), and he leads humanity to God.

James 4:8a – Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you . . .

In Acts 17:28 we read “in him {God} we live, and move, and have our being;” because our God is everywhere present. When we draw nigh to God with our believing actions we will begin to realize that God never left us alone, rather we are drawing near Him by our believing.  James 4:8 literally means that when we decide to draw nigh to God we will find Him to be as close as our very own breath.

When we believe in Jesus Christ who is the way to the Father, then we will clearly recognize our God’s presence.  Jesus said “I shall shew you plainly of the Father” (John 16:25), and the more we believe in Jesus Christ who is the way, he continues giving us divine hope and inner spiritual rest “for we which have believed {on Christ} do enter into {his} rest” (Hebrews 4:3).

Matthew 11:28-30:
-28:  Come unto me {Jesus}, 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 {humble} in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30:  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The word “light” is an interesting word; it is an adverb reflecting on the light burden that we have with Jesus, and this relieves us of our earthly burdens that often weigh heavy on our shoulders. The word “light” also implies God’s spiritual light which is uplifting to our souls and this “yoke is easy” to bear.

Jesus enlightens the heart with inner assurance that we may have continued rest in hope because we have believed on the redeeming work of him who gave his life for us, and he reveals to our hearts the Father in true spiritual light.

Come Unto Me, Said He

Come unto me, {Jesus pronounced to} all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light- Matthew 11:28-30. Coming to personally know Jesus Christ certainly leads to the open doors of an amazing, spiritual abundance and insights and heavenly gifts that we can believe and pray for and receive in Jesus Christ’s powerful name.” ~LMJ~