Deliver Us from Evil

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The will of God is our deliverance from all evil. Some people believe or at least suspect that God tempts us, and that He also punishes His children when they slip up. This is not the truth of the Bible. God’s desire is that we may escape all temptations, and He can indeed help us out of any negative situation in which we may find ourselves. Let us read what God said in II Corinthians:

II Corinthians 1:10 – Who {God} delivered {past tense} us from so great a death {because we are saved}, and doth deliver {present tense}: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us {future tense};

Not only has God delivered us in the past, but He continues to deliver us currently, and in our future we also have the promise of even more deliverance to be given to us. As a child I always thought that God was out to get me, and that He was keeping a score, and I was absolutely afraid of Him. However, I have learned by experience that “God is love” (I John 4:8), and that He in love always wants to deliver us from evil.

James 1:13 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

Well praise God! God says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God loves us and He desires that we have “an expected end,” an end that is really just the beginning that we can look forward to in anticipation rather than being in any kind of fear.

II Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

I Corinthians 10:13 – There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer {allow} you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

God Himself is faithful and He is always able to keep and to protect you from evil. True, temptation and evil do come our way from time to time, but they never come from our God, and whenever there are temptations to deal with He will always make a way to escape. As we resist our temptations, God will always deliver us from evil, for He is our “refuge from the storm” (Isaiah 25:4).

Whenever you pass through a temptation believing that God will help you out, you will inevitably become stronger, more courageous, and be victorious. Evil never lasts, it always subsides and God will always show you the light at the end of the tunnel, and guide you to the easiest and best way out.

So today please look to your heavenly Father and allow Him to be your guiding light.

Good Gifts (Good Things)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him– Matthew 7:11? Matthew 7:11 commences with If ye then, being evil; this simply means ‘having the potential of being evil,’ and does not mean that all people are evil, plus Jesus was teaching his disciples, i.e., good people. Although people have the potential of being evil, we normally give good gifts to our children; however, God is never evil, in fact: God is even kind unto the unthankful and to the evil- Luke 6:35 (also see Jeremiah 29:11 and James 1:13), and He will only give good things to us. Giving comes and is offered in many forms, from sharing our talents with others, our resources, our time, and sometimes from our finances. We are never instructed or commanded in the Church Epistles simply to give mindlessly despite our own feelings or apprehensions about giving. Giving needs to be freely offered from the heart and in the love of God in order to receive the full spiritual benefit. When we share without restraints, demands, or coercion, then the spiritual blessings will return many-fold because your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him!“ ~LMJ~

God’s Merciful Grace!

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

One day we received an e-mail from a woman wanting to know what our thoughts were regarding two religious denominations. I wrote her back and explained that as a Christian, I always endeavor to look at believers from God’s point of view, as God always looks at the heart, and He always loves us (John 3:16). I try to see the best in people and I am very happy to know that people love God, rather than worrying about where someone may fellowship around God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Romans 12:9 encourages us to “Let love be without dissimulation {or without discrimination}.” The next day she e-mailed back and stated that I was perfectly correct, then for about three pages she explained the evils of those two denominations, and warned me about how devilish and sinful they were (in her opinion). We have not been given the privilege from God to be dispensing condemnation or His wrath (Romans 12:19). She became a judge over other people and wanted to hold onto her anger about other churches and people simply because they did not go to her church or believe and practice her denominational doctrines.

We should be so blessed that God called us individually to His gracious Word, and be happy for all of God’s children. Jesus said in the Gospel of John 10:16 “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” It is futile to worry about what other people may think or believe; as someone once said, “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” In other words, it is next to impossible to change someone’s mind when they believe in a certain way ― right or wrong.

We would be much better off being concerned and content that we ourselves walk with God and that He has mercy and grace on our souls rather than worrying and being negative about what other people may or may not believe. We Christians could be much kinder, happier, and gentler, Christ-like people if we were more concerned about ourselves rather than worrying about what our Christian neighbors might practice or think (Galatians 6:10). Besides, what other people practice and think is honestly between them and God, and we really do not know for certain what people think in the heart of their hearts as stated in I Corinthians 2:11.

I Corinthians 2:11:
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save {except} the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Only God knows for sure what is in the heart of man “for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee” (I Chronicles 28:9).

Romans 2:1 reads, “THEREFORE thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” This verse is quite expressive in reflecting that one’s judgments will always and ultimately return back to those who assume to sit as judges over other people (not in the laws of the land, but in spiritual issues of the heart).

Matthew 12:36-37:
-36: But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
-37: For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

God’s merciful grace can be discovered and enjoyed anywhere by anyone because wherever you are, so is God, and where other Christians are, so is God because He dwells in believers without discrimination. Recognizing this is acknowledging the immensity of God’s merciful grace upon our own lives because we have not always walked perfectly with God and followed His will completely. Yet God still loves us and He has loved and forgiven us for our faults just as His loving grace and forgiveness is upon others who love and walk with Him to the best of their abilities.

Jesus said in Matthew 7:1 “JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.” This is the instruction from our Savior, and he always spoke for God: “For I {Jesus} have given unto them the words which thou {God} gavest me; and they have received them” (John 17:8). So the question is: Have we received the words of God, have we believed them, are we judged or are we not judged? If we judge not, then the promise of God is that we are not judged. Let us follow Jesus’ teaching of God’s words about judgment in Matthew.

Matthew 7:1-5:
-1: JUDGE not, that ye be not judged.
-2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete {measure out}, it shall be measured to you again {“for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”― Galatians 6:7}.
-3: And why beholdest thou the mote {a tiny splinter of wood} that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
-4: Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
-5: Thou {would be a} hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

The beam and the mote are literally the same things with this one huge exception: the beam is like having a figurative “telephone pole” stuck in one’s eye causing one to not have good vision (nor comprehension in terms of judging others), as opposed to a fragment, a small mote that may be in someone else’s eye.

Just to judge for judgment sake and being critical of others is as Jesus said, hypocritical, and the same judgments will always return back to the giver. Jesus is teaching us that it is quite easy to find fault with others, especially when other’s faults are the same as our own (Romans 2:21-22). One of the great lessons in this teaching by Jesus is that as we get healed in our lives from our own faults when we are not judgmental, then we become truly able to, first forgive, and then help another walk with God without judging each other.

Proverbs 26:20:
Where no wood is {such as the beam or the mote}, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer (to murmur, whisper, backbite, slander), the strife ceaseth.

In the context of Jesus’ teaching, the lesson shows us that judging others is having a beam in our own eyes, but when one stops judging, then he or she will become healed from that temptation to judge. Ultimately, then one can begin to help others out of this same temptation of nitpicking away at people they may love or acquaintances or even others they may not even know personally, whether they are living in or out of their spheres of influence. Judging is always detrimental, for with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Psalms 15:1-3:
-1: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
-2: He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in {or from out of} his heart.
-3: He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

As we become conquerors over our own shortcomings, such as being judgmental, then with God’s help we may show fellow believers the true graces that God has bestowed upon us can also become theirs. This is when we “clearly see” God’s merciful grace upon our own lives when our focus is to bless and help our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Romans 12:18, and 14:19:
-18: If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
-14: Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and the things wherewith one may edify {build up} another.

God sees the motive behind thoughts and actions and He looks at His children with unconditional love and not on the underlying doctrines of establishments to judge one group more chosen or special or holier than He would another. No one group can stake claim to having a corner on all the truth; I do not know it all and neither does anyone else. It is when people think they know it all that they end up shutting all the doors of true outreach and forgiveness, for they will begin to imagine that everybody else is wrong except for themselves. The same thing happened to the Apostles back in the Gospels: “And John answered and said {to Jesus}, Master, we {the Apostles} saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us” (Luke 9:49).

The Apostles shunned someone who was not following their religious practices, so Jesus further instructs them to “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us” (Luke 9:50). Sure, not every place teaches everything accurately and more than likely, some will teach things that you or I do not agree with. If someone loves God and is fellowshipping with other likeminded Christian believers, then praise the LORD, because He is blessed and so are they.

I have no doubt that most Christian people are motivated and inspired by God’s Word, love, and grace, and to think evil or less of others is a waste of time. If they are teaching God’s Word and the people are blessed to receive it; then praise God for their efforts (Philippians 1:15-18); Paul wrote, “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth” (II Corinthians 13:8). In other words, “the Word of God is not bound” (II Timothy 2:9) because God’s Word is always liberating and will always build up the believers with grace when it is planted in the fertile ground of the human heart.

“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). God is all love and His Word encourages us to be followers of Him with and in His love, and not allow the temptation in our minds of judging others who also love God and who are, according to Jesus, “for us.”

Ephesians 5:1-2:
-1: BE ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
-2: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.

If we are blessed in our place of worship, then praise God for our ministers, teachers, and fellow believers. However, if we are being beaten down over and again with condemnation and hell fire, and if they are teaching us to dislike other believers from other places, then perhaps we should look for a better place to fellowship.

I do believe that there are wonderful ministers, teachers, and preachers living in almost every community who would love nothing better than to teach you the Scriptures, who are inspired by God to encourage, strengthen, and build up their congregation in love. If we need to move on for spiritual nourishment, we can be thankful that our former place of worship helped to propel us into searching for a better way, especially when we find it and our lives become ever more blessed for God’s grace and mercy in our lives.

Philippians 1:15-18:
-15: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
-16: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: {Paul was in jail for preaching ― no freedom of speech for a man of God back then!}
-17: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
-18: What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached; I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

I enjoy reading verse 18 above, from the Amplified Bible:

Philippians 1:18 (The Amplified Bible**):
But what does it matter, so long as either way, whether in pretense [for personal ends] or in all honesty [for the furtherance of the Truth], Christ is being proclaimed? And in that I [now] rejoice, yes, and I shall rejoice [hereafter] also.”

Paul’s teaching is that regardless of who preaches Christ there is cause to rejoice, yea to rejoice repeatedly, for he will rejoice as we also can rejoice. When Christ is preached, then people receive the Word of God, and the Word can make people free. God’s graceful Word will bless and strengthen people regardless of people’s motivations for preaching (though most preachers and teachers have only godly intentions). God’s Word will always profit (II Timothy 3:16) and give blessings to the recipient, for this is how God designed His gracious Word!

Isaiah 55:11:
So shall my word {God’s Word} be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void {useless}, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

God’s gracious Word encourages us to always look to Jesus rather than to look on man because the more we look at people, the more we will see error, the sin nature, and imperfection. However, the more we look to Jesus, the more perfect we will become and as we gain his perspective and incentive, we can learn to love believers to a much greater dimension. I Peter 4:8 encourages, “above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”

Hebrews 12:2a (The Amplified Bible**):
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection] . . .

An honest concern and question for some people is: Which Church, or which group of people are truly the ones that God blesses? For some people the answer is obviously clear, the one they belong to! This is true; however, all believers have received an unconditional and eternal salvation in the sense that God Himself always looks at the heart rather than at the denomination or group we might belong to, “For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7).

God is love (I John 4:8, 16), and according to His Word anyone who is saved belongs to Him for eternity because God is no respecter of persons or groups. Anyone, anywhere, and under any circumstance can become saved and become a member of His household. We are members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27), and we may fellowship around God’s healing Word with whomever we desire.

God is our Father and He is blessed when we are blessed; He is never upset simply because we go somewhere to learn more about Him Who counsels and comforts us in our deepest spiritual thoughts. God loves us unconditionally right where we are, and He never thinks ill of us for fellowshipping with His children and wanting to know more about Him: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). When believers are receiving spiritual nourishment at their place of worship, then who am I to say that they are wrong, devilish, or whatever? Nobody, that’s who!

I John 2:9-11:
-9: He that saith he is in the light, and hateth {disdains, dislikes} his brother {in Christ}, is in darkness even until now.
-10: He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
-11: But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

God has given to His children tremendous light and understanding through knowing His gracious Word and the only thing that will turn the light off (spiritually speaking) is to dislike fellow believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we will spend eternity. The Bible records that we are to, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5), and Jesus always loved people, he is all love, and he is our daily example.

Acts 2:47:
{The believers were} Praising God, and having favour with all the people {How many? All the people!}, And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Who adds to the Church of God? God! God brings people to Himself; He draws us to Him through Christ who is the mediator between God and men (I Timothy 2:5). God is the searcher of all hearts (I Chronicles 28:9; Psalms 139:1; and Romans 8:27), and God never makes mistakes; His calling us to Himself is by His grace, and this alone should humble our hearts just to know that we were allowed into His household (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Romans 11:29:
For the gifts {of God’s graces} and calling of God are without repentance.

The gifts we receive from God are always by His grace (including our eternal life, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8) and our calling by God is without repentance, meaning that He never takes it back. Our God will never be sorry for calling you nor confess or even imagine for one second that He has made a mistake in calling you because He is perfect and His calling to you is by, with, and through His grace and mercy.

John 10:28-29:
-28: And I {Jesus} give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
-29: My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

We have a wonderful section of Scripture from the Gospel of Luke expressing a vivid mind picture of how to look on others, showing us Jesus’ perspective for perceiving other people who walk with God.

Luke 18:9-14:
-9: And he {Jesus} spake this parable unto certain {people} which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
-10: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican {a tax collector}.
-11: The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
-12: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
-13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven {a custom to show humility and reverence for God}, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
-14: I {Jesus} tell you, this man {the publican} went down to his house justified rather than the other {the Pharisee}: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The Pharisee practiced “good works” of tithing, giving, and fasting ― believing that by his own works he was saved, that his works made him a great believer; however, let us notice what he did not do. He refused to humble himself before God; he believed that his way of religion made him a better man than the humble tax collector. He literally separated himself out from the entire human race, believing in his heart that he was better than other men. He never recognized that he himself was a sinner, unlike the publican who knew it was only by God’s grace and mercy that he could be justified.

The word merciful in the publican’s prayer in Luke 18:13 in the Greek Text is the word for “reconciliation” as in Hebrews 2:17. The tax collector was earnestly praying to be reconciled back to God (he obviously knew that he was a sinner and that he needed God in his life), while the Pharisee believed in himself that he was already reconciled above and more than other men.

The Pharisee was more concerned about the condition of others than of his true condition; he was convinced that he was saving himself by all of his works, yet Ephesians 2:8-9 reads: “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.” However, only the publican went home justified, and the word justified literally means, “just-as-if-I’d never sinned.” By being humble before our God, our God-given justification can be thankfully received and enjoyed within our hearts. Jesus, in the verses from Luke above, sums up a wonderful Proverb for us:

Proverbs 28:14 (The Amplified Bible*):
Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man who reverently and worshipfully fears {respects} [the Lord] at all times [regardless of circumstances], but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

The publican fits into the first category of a blessed man, while the Pharisee will inevitably run into trouble for hardening his heart against other people. Sure, there will be times in life when we are down, when we do not walk in the light, when we have fear and condemnation because of the sin nature. Yet when we do come back to God, back to the throne of God’s wonderful grace like the publican did, then we can enjoy blessed verses of healing Scripture demonstrating God’s loving comfort to us that will always build us back up and strengthen our lives so that we may continue walking for God.

Psalms 34:18 (The Amplified Bible*):
The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent {sorry}.

James 4:10:
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Our loving heavenly Father always sees our heart, and when our heart condemns us because we are out of fellowship, and we then realize it and become thoroughly penitent, God will forgive ― ALWAYS! The greatest blessings in life come to the believer when he can control his thoughts and actions (see James chapter 3) to be a blessing to his fellow man ― especially those who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10 (The Amplified Bible**):
So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].

Enjoy your message because today is The Season for God’s Merciful Grace.

I John 1:5-9:
-5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
-6: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
-7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
-8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
-9: If we confess our sins {to God}, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

*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.

Our Prayer of Faith in the Book of James (A Longer Version of the Bible Byte: James – Revealing Our Prayer of Faith)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Book of James is specifically addressed “to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1), yet today all believers can enjoy the instructions that encourage us to walk into the fullness of our prayer of faith. The word “faith” is the Greek word pistis and always means “believing faith,” as is recorded in the verses below.

Jesus taught us that we should offer up all our prayers in his name, so that when we pray we invoke his own power and believing faith, “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (John 15:16).

In order for people to genuinely have believing faith in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, it takes knowing him, as he taught and encouraged us to “learn of me” in Matthew 11:29. Learning of Jesus builds up our trust to enjoy a partnership with both him and his powerful name which combined will mature our believing faith to receive the precise answers to our prayers of whatsoever we shall ask.

Jesus is our golden thread to God’s abundance, yet for so many people, Jesus is so often bypassed on their way toward God’s promises that are recorded in His healing Word. I cannot think of a faster way to learn of Jesus and of his readily powerful name than through our new eBooklet series, The Golden Thread, that presents Jesus in crystal clear revelations through the whole Bible.

James 1:1-2:
-1: JAMES, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.
-2: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers {many} temptations.

Temptations are so often signs that a believer is doing something good, noteworthy, and godly, as the pressures of life often arise to cause the Christian believer to fall off the path he or she is walking on. Though the “temptation” itself is not a literal joy, but the proof that a believer is heading along in a godly direction that leads to everlasting joy, like my friend, Dell used to say, “I must be doing something right or the Devil wouldn’t be bothering me so much.”

The Apostle Paul taught, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12), yet Christians who pass through temptation can count it all joy, because they will know, as Paul knew, “the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me” (II Timothy 4:17).

Temptations are peripheral and temporal, while Joy is continuously inside the believer’s heart as a “fruit of the spirit” (Galatians 5:22), and as Jesus said, “your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you” (John 16:22).

The Bible does not suggest that being a Christian will always be easy, but a Christian can always be joyful and overcome the pressures of life and be rewarded for all eternity for standing faithful upon the convictions of their believing faith today.

James 1:3-8:
-3: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith {your, believing faith} worketh patience.
-4: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting {or lacking in} nothing.
-5: If any of you lack wisdom {about what to actually pray for}, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not {will not criticize or reprimanded for asking}; and it shall be given him.
-6: But let him ask {God} in faith {believing faith, with} nothing wavering {not allowing surging doubts that can crash into our hopes and dreams of receiving a positive answer to our prayers}. For he that wavereth {doubts that his prayer will be answered} is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
-7: For let not that man {who doubts his prayer will be answered} think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
-8: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

The words, trying of your faith in verse 3 has been used (by some) to suggest that God Almighty tempts His children’s faith just to see if they can pass His tests. This concept presents a false understanding about our God Who is a God “of love and peace” (II Corinthians 13:11).

The Prophet proclaimed for God Almighty, “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God never tempts His beloved children: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13-14). Lust takes people into temptation and it can hold them there, but our heavenly Father never has, never does, and never will!

Only by bypassing Jesus, who is “the way” and “the truth” to God’s promises, can people imagine that our God had tempted or is tempting them. You see, without the truths of Jesus in one’s life, false doctrines can and do hatch and take flight on the winds of error and produce the blinding falsehoods that cause one to conceive, confess, and then believe that God is tempting His beloved children in the guise of making them better Christians.

It is a temptation to envision and confess that the God of all love is the actual source of your temptation, but it is not true, as we just read neither tempteth he any man! This world is already filled with temptations without adding our loving heavenly Father into the equation; in fact, it is His will to deliver His children through Christ (Galatians 1:4, Colossians 1:13).

God is not the cause of one’s problems, but He can become the cure when we learn to see Him through the eyes of our Savior. Remember in the Gospels, Jesus was tempted by (not God, but by) the Devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Well, the Devil was so named THE TEMPTER in verse 3, and yet today there are some Christians who imagine just the opposite and blame God for being THE TEMPTER, and this is slanderous to the God of all love!

The belief that God tempts His children distorts biblical truths and compounds giving rise and power to the wrong concepts of a vengeful God rather than coming to recognize the truth that He is a loving Father to His children.

Recall, God not only “so loved the world,” but to prove His love He also “gave His only begotten Son,” as stated in John 3:16, and through His Son one can come to know the truth, the truth that makes one free, with the explicit freedom that allows one to know the wonderful love God has for His children individually. Jesus said in John 16:33 that “in {or through} me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world {for you}.”

Even in the midst of tribulation, which the world is full of (Philippians 2:15), we can experience the comforting peace of Jesus Christ who reassures and consoles us in our inner hearts. In the world, one is enclosed in tribulation but in Jesus, one is lifted up to daily victories over temptation.

I Corinthians 15:57:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through Jesus, thankfully, we can experience victory over the real Tempter who is the source of all temptation, as we continue walking with Jesus who not only overcame the world, but also showed us how to follow in his own footsteps. In addition, God helps us to escape temptation when we look to Him and His strength through Christ because God then can “with the temptation {that we may be struggling through} also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear {up and out of} it” (I Corinthians 10:13). For those who claim James 1:13-14 (that we read above) is the truth, and that God, one way or another, still tempts them, then please reread James 1:8 – above – again – please.

Now back to James 1:3 and the phrase, the trying of your faith which simply means that a person is trying out and practicing their believing faith (taking it out for a spin, so-to-speak, for “practice makes perfect”), and this helps develop godly patience. James 1:3-8 is set in the context of prayer rather than on the subject of temptation, and receiving the answers to our prayers is paramount. We are encouraged to have patience with our believing faith in order that we may fully receive all our answers.

The word try is translated “approve” in Philippians 1:10 because we are to test with patience our believing faith until we begin receiving, which will in turn develop in our lives greater and greater results as we stand faithful in Christ. A test pilot takes an airplane, in a leap of courage, up into the sky and flies it to its limits to test its design, but his job is not a temptation, rather it is a joy for him to maneuver his plane through the air and test out all the new designs built into the airship.

Well it is the same basic concept with our believing faith; it is not a temptation to try out our believing faith, rather it is a privileged joy to experience what our believing faith will bring into our lives, it is a leap of faith and in this, we should count it all joy.

Believing faith is actually very, very, very simple to utilize, but takes a lifetime to master. “And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith {our believing faith}. And the Lord said, If ye had faith {believing faith} as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine {mulberry} tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:5-6).

Many prayers are not answered immediately; if they were, that would be a miracle which does happen from time to time, but most of our prayers are fulfilled at a perfect (future) moment in time to bless us individually as we maintain our believing faith, and this takes patience and steadfastness with believing faith that we SHALL receive.

I Peter 1:7 relates: “That the trial of your faith {believing faith}, being much more precious than of gold.”

The word trial is the same word in the Greek Text as trying in James 1:3 above. God absolutely loves it when we “believers” actually “believe” when we pray and then maintain that belief until we receive!

After a prayer is offered up to God, then believing in that prayer commences as we maintain a positive attitude until we receive – this affords the believer with what God prizes as being much more precious than of gold.

The prayer of (believing) faith works better than a gold credit card, for God does not charge His children any interest nor are we expected to pay Him back with anything but with a thankful acknowledgement that He is our sufficiency.

Proverbs 4:5-7:
-5: Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
-6: Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
-7: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding {as well}.

The Book of James (1:6, above) teaches believers to ask first for wisdom because with (God’s) wisdom we will assuredly know what to ask for in prayer and come to know Him intimately as our sufficiency. This word wisdom in this verse means God’s knowledge received and then applied by our believing faith.

James 4:2:
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill {the word kill is a very poor translation, for kill means lust, as it is written in the center margin of the King James Version}, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war {within the mind of the lustful}, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

To lust and desire after things beyond what is a need in our life is not something God provides for His children. God will supply your needs, but greed is something people attempt to acquire by their own labors. Whenever we simply believe in prayer offered to God for Him to take care of us, and we began believing that our prayers are heard, they will absolutely be answered. However, James says that, ye have not, because ye ask not, because simply “wishing or hoping” that God is our sufficiency is not the same thing as asking and thanking Him in our prayers to be our sufficiency as we manifest our believing faith with confidence.

God wants us to pray and thus connect with Him on a spiritual level, as He wants to answer our prayers on a physical level; and believe me when I say this: He wants to return our prayers answered even more than we want to pray them. God is our heavenly Father, He loves us, and nothing is too hard or difficult for Him, rather it is our believing faith in our prayers that determines the actual outcome.

Jeremiah 32:17:
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

I have heard it said, “Give your prayer to God, and then forget about it, for it is now in His hands.” But this negates what the Book of James has stated. Would a farmer plant a seed and then sit on his tractor and never start it up or take it out of the barn and forget about all his labor, thinking, it is now in God’s hands? Well if he did, the seed would eventually be choked off with weeds.

When believers pray and continue believing, they also are cultivating a particular prayer with positive believing faith and with patience; this opens the doors of receiving. Hebrews 6:7 states, “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs {vegetables} meet {meet means worthy} for them by whom it is dressed {cultivated}, receiveth blessing from God.”

It is the one who cultivates with continued believing faith in a prayer to be answered; this is who will reap the blessing from God with a bountiful harvest. It would be a better practice to say, “Give your prayer to God, and then do not take it back by doubting Him, but believe until you receive, for until you do it is in His Hands and it is on its way.” What did the Prophet write, “Now faith {believing faith} is the substance of things hoped {or prayed} for, the evidence of things not {yet} seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

James continues with man’s greatest downfall in prayer:

James 4:3:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

So the question becomes, how do we know what to ask for so that we may receive? The answer goes back to first asking God for wisdom, and then secondly, knowing what God promises in His Word because if we claim any of God’s promises (and there are hundreds of them that we can ask for) in Christ’s name, then God will supply them to us.

One of the greatest joys in this life for the believer is discovering God’s promises and, in addition, trying out our faith, our believing faith, that God will answer our prayers; the more we do so, the greater and more priceless our believing becomes, much more precious than of gold. Have you ever considered why our believing faith is so much more valuable than of gold? A man may sell his soul, but he cannot buy eternal life, peace, joy, true inner happiness, or love, even if he possessed all the gold in the world. These are all gifts of God and freely given to men and women who enjoy believing faith!

We can stand in total awe of these gifts and thoroughly appreciate them for they far surpass any monetary value.

Proverbs 8:11, and 16:16:
-11: For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

-16: How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Believing faith gives us the joy to believe God will care for us, as we do the best we can with what we already have and what we already know about our God.

Who is richer, a person with a large checking account or someone who has all his needs met by having believing faith in his heavenly Father to be his sufficiency? No contest, the believer is by far the crowned winner in God’s eyes because “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

James 5:16:
Confess your faults one to another, {This does not imply confessing all our sins to each another, but rather in context: when we try over and again to believe and still fail, we may go to a fellow believer who has received answers to their own prayers, and they can help guide us to improve our own believing and, as well, they can pray with us:} and pray one for one another, that ye may be healed {in regards to our prayer life}. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

My wife, prayer partner, and best friend says I sometimes have greater believing when I pray for others than I do for myself – thank God she not only prays with me but for me! The point is, it is great to have a prayer partner, for when one falls a little short in their believing faith, the other can give comfort and a shoulder to lean on.

Matthew 18:19-20:
-19: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
-20: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Matthew 18:19-20 is such a wonderful, thrilling, and powerful section of Scripture that Jesus spoke; I want to re-quote this for you, from the Amplified Bible. Enjoy!

Matthew 18:19-20 (The Amplified Bible):*
-19: Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
-20: For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.

When you have a prayer partner, your emphases literally change from the focus of you only receiving – to giving, and that is a very important key for unlocking your believing abilities and your receiving potentials.

Receivers, whose focus is on gaining always take and use more and more, while givers, whose focus is on giving and blessing others always receive more and more (Luke 6:38, Acts 20:35, and Ephesians 4:28)!

Proverbs 27:9, 17:
-9: Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.
-17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:
-9: Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
-10: For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

It is a good idea and very rewarding to have a prayer partner, someone we can pray with and for you and someone you can pray with and for in Jesus Christ’s powerful name. Having a Christian friend who can inspire us, encourage us, and even confront us, if needed, is priceless and so very satisfying to the soul of man, and if you do not have this right now, then, I would suggest trying out your believing faith and pray for one.

The Book of Hebrews further encourages us to not to forget the leadership in the church who have so much to offer the newer believers that can help them to develop their own prayer of believing faith in order to receive from God.

Hebrews 13:7-8:
-7: Remember them which have the rule over you {in Christian leadership positions}, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith {believing faith} follow, considering the end of their conversation. {Their conversation about the teachings of Jesus Christ that never change with time but, if anything, they become more concise over time, as the next verse continues to explain:}
-8: Jesus Christ {is} the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

You see, the lessons Jesus taught about having believing faith to receive are still as powerfully real as they ever were. As Jesus taught us, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (John 16:23) and this is still as true today because Jesus Christ {is} the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The Book of James gives us a great example of an Old Testament believer who had learned to operate his believing faith, and received.

James 5:17-18:
-17: Elias {Elijah} was a man subject to like passions as we are {who failed and succeeded, yet his believing continued to grow}, and {then, finally one day} he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
-18: And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

This record of Elijah is recorded in the Old Testament in the Book of I Kings 17:1 and 18:1, 41-45; God had told him that it would not rain, this was the wisdom of God, which then Elijah could pray for with believing faith. This is not a license for us to pray for rain or drought on a whim, or to pray for disasters like some people wrongly believe, and who miss the mark completely on God’s true intent.

The point here is that Elijah received God’s Word, and then he believed in his prayer as God brought it to pass. However, today we have God’s whole Word available to us, and we can find promises that will meet our daily needs. One great promise is recorded in John 15:16 (see the beginning of this Bible Study), which is really quite vast, where the word whatsoever is used, as long as what-so-ever we ask of Him in Christ’s name does not contradict or run at cross purposes to God’s whole will.

We have God’s permission to pray with believing faith and to keep on practicing, for this is more precious than gold, especially when we begin receiving our every need (Philippians 4:19), because gold cannot buy us happiness, peace of mind, love, joy, or any of the gifts that accompany eternal life. Our Prayer of Faith brings God’s healing Word to life in our hearts and His Son (our golden thread) into focus in our minds, as we continue believing God in Christ’s name for blessings to be in and around our lives.

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

“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” ~Isaac Newton~

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

Who Am I to Say – Who Is All in with Me? Nobody, That’s Who!

“God is love (I John 4:8, 16), and according to His Word, anyone who is saved belongs to Him for eternity because God is no respecter of persons or groups. Anyone, anywhere, and under any circumstance can become saved and become a member of His household. We are members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27), and we may fellowship around God’s healing Word with whomever we desire. God is our Father and He is blessed when we are blessed; He is never upset simply because we go somewhere to learn more about Him Who counsels and comforts us in our deepest spiritual thoughts. God loves us unconditionally right where we are, and He never thinks ill of us for fellowshipping with His children and wanting to know more about Him: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end– Jeremiah 29:11. When believers are receiving spiritual nourishment at their place of worship, then who am I to say that they are wrong, devilish, or whatever? Nobody, that’s who!” ~LMJ~