For I Believe God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Walk with God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Jesus, when speaking to his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew encouraged them (as well as us) to think heavenly thoughts, for when believers have heavenly thoughts, they will begin realizing how much they walk with our God.

Matthew 6:19 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

“Moth and rust” means doubts and worries, and the “thieves” represent fears. In the culture that Jesus lived in they were always consciously aware of what they would think about and what they would allow into their minds. “Treasures” mean thoughts. Jesus was laying the foundation for not only how to walk with God, but also how to recognize God Who walks with us.

Matthew 6:20 – But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Jesus was instructing his disciples to think the Word of God, to hold in their minds the words of life that are (according to Jesus) heavenly treasures. These heavenly treasures will assuredly cast out doubts, worries, and fears, and replace them with confidence and believing trust in our God.

Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

When we are thinking about God and His wonderful Word, our hearts will be right-on with God’s thoughts, which are His treasures. Nobody walks around continuously thinking about God and His Word (for we are not perfect); however, we can at least have precious moments of serenity throughout the day that can help us to remember God and His many promises to us.

Philippians expresses further dynamic truths that can help us discover God in our hearts. His Word shows us many wonderful things that are all around us which are godly and are thought-worthy and spiritually inspirational.

Philippians 4:8-9:
-8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
-9:  Those things {listed above}, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me {in the life of the Apostle Paul}, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

When Christians place heavenly thoughts in their minds, they will have the assurance that the God of peace shall absolutely be with them; this is how to walk with God. So enjoy this day knowing (thinking) that as you indeed walk with God, you will be walking with “the God of peace.”

A Plea to Flee Those Alluring Deceivers (What’s at stake? Your Steadfastness in Faith!)

And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ– Colossians 2:4-5. Beguile means to be deceived, and enticing words mean to be persuaded falsely with a perverse discourse of false reasoning. The Apostle Paul had a concern that other people would attempt to persuade them out of God’s Word. Paul wanted the believers to stand with conviction in the knowledge they received from God and to enjoy the spiritual treasures of godly enlightenment that God gave to them to personally learn the truths about the Christ within. Their order was their orderliness in continuing in the truth which makes the believers’ lives free. Their steadfastness in their faith was their continued believing in Christ who was their complete Savior.” ~LMJ~

Receiving in Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Giving can certainly give us an incredibly good feeling. However, when it comes to receiving from God or others, the human mind sometimes seems to refute these blessings either because of sin consciousness or because of a feeling of unworthiness. Yet God wants to bless our lives and He wants to give us the desires of our heart. God has already made us worthy to receive His blessings.

Romans 12:1:
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.

Our God with His divine mercies is calling, beseeching us to present ourselves to Him having been already made holy and acceptable to Him, and this is reasonable for us to believe for, because it is the truth and the will of God. God wants all the blessings that He can possibly bestow upon us to be graciously accepted by us. It is truly up to the individual how much he will actually receive from God by believing His Word and then receiving all His spiritual blessings.

Acts 26:18:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto {the power of} God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me {Jesus Christ’s own believing faith by which He sanctified us}.

This was the ministry of the Apostle Paul, to open our eyes so that we may see; to help people turn from the darkness of this world to the light of God’s healing Word. God called him to deliver God’s children from the power of Satan to the power of God, with this purpose – that they may receive from God genuine forgiveness, and that they may receive the rightful inheritance as the children of God.

This ministry of Paul’s parallels the same ministry that Jesus Christ had (see Luke 4:16-21) when he was physically here blessing people’s lives and giving them the spiritual joys that can only come from the Creator of life.

Receiving God’s gifts can become a natural response as we learn to receive with the love of God in our hearts that we totally deserve to receive and enjoy.

Do you remember the story of the ten lepers who wanted Jesus to have mercy on them and heal them of their leprosy? Well Jesus indeed healed them, but only one returned to give him thanks; let us look at this in Luke.

Luke 17:17-19:
-17: And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
-18: There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
-19: And he {Jesus} said unto him {the one who returned}, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Ten were healed, ten received blessings from God through Jesus Christ, yet only one was truly thankful for the mercies of God – the same mercies that God beseeches us to accept. The other nine followed the nature of most people to refute the graces of God. But that man who returned to give glory to God, Jesus further said that his faith (which was his believing action in accepting the gift of healing to the point that he returned to give thanks), is what gave him (not the other nine) wholeness.

To thankfully accept the gifts of God in love gives us true spiritual wholeness, and wholeness gives to the children of God real and defined purpose and direction in life.

God’s Blessings

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest things in life are free. A man may sell his soul, but he cannot buy eternal life, peace, joy, true inner happiness, or love. These are all gifts of God! We can stand in total awe of these gifts, and thoroughly enjoy them, for they far surpass any monetary value; as Philippians 4:19 reads “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The richest people on earth are those who have their needs supplied by God, day to day from the riches of His glory. Conversely, the people with large wallets may not be experiencing all the gifts and blessings of God in their lives. The Scripture in I Peter 1:8 informs us that we can “rejoice with joy unspeakable”; or joy beyond explanation, and this joy is an inner quality of life which is a spiritual manifestation of having God in Christ in our hearts while we are receiving and enjoying heavenly, God-given blessings.

II Corinthians 9:15:
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Although we cannot fully explain our inner joy and the unspeakable gift of God, we certainly can enjoy realizing unmistakable revelations of having these divine gifts. As we begin experiencing the true treasures of life, recognizing from whence they come and Who gave them, then we will be totally unfettered to give freely from our heartfelt inner joy and thankfulness to God.

God desires that we receive and grasp the realities of our heavenly blessings and treasures which He alone freely gives to men and women who are meek and humble to His healing Word and will.

Acts 20:35b-36:
-35b: . . . {The Apostle Paul said that we are} to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
-36:  And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

The word blessed means to be happy or to have happiness. These words that Jesus spoke were remembered and talked about by the believers and are not recorded in the Gospels, only here in the Book of Acts. The commentaries have always assumed that verse 36 was narrated back to the Apostle Paul who knelt down and prayed with those he was teaching. However, from the Greek Text verse 36 is a continuation of the words and action of Jesus: “it is more blessed to give than to receive, and when he {Jesus} had thus spoken, he {Jesus} kneeled down, and prayed with them all.” This completes and fulfills the true understanding that Jesus was explaining in the Gospels, and because of the prayer they were experiencing happiness, and thus, they were expressing inner thankfulness to God. We can find nothing to suggest that the Apostle Paul did not also follow through with Christ’s example and prayed with those whom he was teaching in Acts 20. “More blessed {happy} to give than to receive” does NOT negate the blessings of receiving, rather it is in reference to the more we give thanks to God, the more we then can receive to then have to give again out from what He gives.

God always wants His children to be happy, and as we learn to discover His true blessings upon our lives, then happiness follows, and the first, the very first thing that we do is to return thankfulness to God. “. . . a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12b).” The threefold cord as it concerns “giving and receiving” is that God first gives divine spiritual treasures to man, secondly man in return gives thankfulness, honor, and respect back to God, then thirdly God again returns to man the spiritual blessings in physical abundant realities. This is a threefold cord that God will honor and continue to reward. This is what Jesus and Paul were explaining by teaching and by example. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 16:17). See how the blessing came first before any giving is even mentioned? This gives us a spiritual mindset on giving based on receiving blessings.

Psalms 146:5:
Happy {there is that word again} is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Let us look at Jacob in Genesis who sought God for his help and who spoke to Him in a way that at first blush would seem to be a little rude if not downright blasphemous (in the way some think, believe, and teach on tithing these days). Nevertheless, what he said to God was in fact following the theme of what we just read about from Acts and Deuteronomy, above, and the theme of God’s Blessings that we are looking at in this study and the reason for Jacob’s happiness that could be ours as well. “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If {IF, IF} God will be with me, and {IF You} will keep me in this way that I go, and {IF You} will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then {THEN} shall the LORD be my God” (Genesis 28:20-21). Wow, really? Yes ― really, IF God would, then he would ― and God did, and he did.

Jacob went to the source of abundance, “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof” (Psalms 24:1), he went directly to the LORD God, Who “giveth thee power to get wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18) and said IF YOU SUPPLY ― THEN I WILL GIVE. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22); note, the only thing given here is a prayer, and a prayer is simply believing with thankfulness to God. It is from this request and understanding that Jacob not only lived an abundant life, but he concluded “of all that thou {God} shalt give me {of all things, whatsoever he asked in prayer and received} I will surely give the tenth {of what You give me} unto thee” (Genesis 28:22). See a Bible Byte study titled: Prayer with Thankfulness, which sheds light on this very subject of receiving from God in light of verses such as Matthew 21:22.

Psalms 46:7:
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Jacob would contribute only after his receiving, and his life was indeed blessed; he was praying and being honest with God and being true to himself for the prospects of his inner happiness. Since the God of Jacob is still our refuge in today’s world, should we not want to learn from him and follow his example and belief system? Jacob indeed was a principled man and wanted to know why it is more blessed to give than it is to receive, and as he received from God first, he then realized it is also blessed to give in return from out the blessings he received (because they were not his in the first place making his giving much easier, it is like playing with house money). This is the reasoning behind cheerful giving (II Corinthians 9:6-9) because one will manifest happiness! “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help.”

It is not wrong to think as Jacob did — it is right to think as Jacob thought, it is not wrong to behave as Jacob did — it is right to behave as Jacob behaved, it is not wrong to believe as Jacob did — it is right to believe as Jacob believed, it is not wrong to say what Jacob did — it is right to say to God what Jacob said, in fact, God said of him “Jacob have I loved” (Romans 9:13). Furthermore, God did not curse Jacob for saying what he said, but blessed him. “Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal” (Ezekiel 18:25), in other words God’s way is right and Jacob proved to himself that God’s way was very equal and abundantly pleasing to him. Man’s way is to give first, God’s way is to receive first; man’s way is unequal, God’s way is equal. Man’s way is unbalanced and although God’s way may at first seem unbalanced and narrow-minded in man’s mind, it is actually perfectly balanced, as Jesus stated “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). I ask, have we found God’s way, His equal way? God’s way turns the tables, so-to-speak, and rights one’s course into true godliness, “godliness is profitable {PROFITABLE} unto all things” (I Timothy 4:6).

Truth (which makes one free,― John 8:32) purposely inspires the joy of giving from within the heart; error drains the joy of giving from the heart to become an uninspired, compulsive and legalistic function.

“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). Sacrifice and burnt offerings were based on giving something in the prospect of getting something (i.e., a quid pro quo/tradeoff), while God desires mercy and knowledge which assures more. In fact, Jesus said of Hosea 6:6 “go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matthew 9:13). Mercy means the withholding back of that which is deserved, like a punishment and condemnation for a past sin, while God gives something so much grander, such as total forgiveness, love, mercy, peace, grace, and an abundant life; “no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11). These kinds of treasures we can come to know and experience and receive when we understand that it is He Who gives us not simply a tradeoff but more abundance because He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). A nutshell version: When your giving is a sacrifice, it is not what our God of love intended. “Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:7-8).

Who would not want to walk humbly with God and know for certain that He is blessing them personally simply because He loves them? “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn {called} thee” (Jeremiah 31:3). Who would not want to give from their personal God-given blessings with which He has blessed them? We receive blessings in order that we may enjoy an abundant life that comes directly from the ebb and flow of receiving from God and therein we are enabled to enjoy a heart of giving without having shortage or making sacrifices. From a biblical perspective, Jacob’s spiritual joy and physical happiness opened up to him the flowing simplicity of godly abundance, and is the foundation of discovering why it is more blessed to give than to receive because it is the key to more of what is free from God.

It certainly is easier to give out of what God blesses one with than to give out of what you have to start with and just may need to live on in the first place. When God becomes your God as He became Jacob’s, then the true perspective of life with God in your life will become living and real and life becomes a joy worth singing about. It is more blessed to give and receive Jacob’s way, which just happens to be God’s way! Yes, this is why it is thankworthy to pray with happiness and thank our heavenly Father. Jesus and Paul never taught “with effort you have worked, so freely give,” rather they taught God’s children, “freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).

Psalms 81:1:
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

When we, the children of God, live our lives in this perfect harmony of receiving and giving, then the greatest treasures in life become ever more available and real to us. Then God’s Blessings continue coming in and we can experience genuine spiritual happiness living our lives in all the joy God originally intended.

Psalms 35:27-28:
-27: Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
-28: And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

“We are justified, not by giving anything to God . . . but by receiving from God, what Christ hath done for us.” ~William Gurnall~

For more on this topic, see: The Seeds of Authentic Abundance (What Is Not in the Scriptures Is so Often Just as Important as What Is in the Scriptures!) and The Fullness of God (The First Principle)