Faith Is Present Tense

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

When is faith actually faith? When you are seeing things as already done in the present tense. Faith has a time. Faith is not past tense, nor is faith future tense, faith is now, present tense. When someone says they are believing for God “to do” something they are not actually in faith. This is where many miss it when it comes to faith. Romans 3:27 tells us that faith is a law, like the law of gravity. If you step off a building the law of gravity goes to work and you will fall. That law is there, always present tense, even though you can’t see it with your natural eyes.

Faith works in the same way. It is a spiritual law. Even though you can’t see it, when you do the things that scripture teaches to walk by faith that law goes into effect, but it was there all along. A key to activate that law is to BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART that what God has said is already true, present tense, not one day going to happen. Want further proof? When God appeared to Moses He revealed His name. What is God’s name? I AM. He is not the I was, nor the I will be God, He is the great I AM, always present tense God.

In Romans 4:17 scripture tells us that God, the great I AM, calls those things that be not as though they were, present tense. God is a God of faith. We are to imitate Him. Until you can believe in your heart what God has said is already so (present tense), and prove your faith by calling those things that be not as though they were, you are not walking by faith, and this is one of the keys that governs how the law of faith works. Faith is always present tense.

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“Do Not…”

Matthew 6:25
“Therefore I say to you, do not…”

In today’s times where many churches are more interested in tickling itching ears the “do not” messages of the scriptures are not popular, but many don’t realize the power of this statement. Realize that anywhere in the Word of God where the phrase “do not” is used, that means you have a choice. You can choose to not do the things we are told “do not”. You have the power over these decisions. The great thing about this is you are the one in control of your life because you have the power to choose. Let’s look at a couple important “do not’s”.

Matthew 6:25 – Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life,… Worry is a choice, not something we have to do. Many would say everyone worries. Not true. First of all realize the Lord would never tell us not to do something if we were not able to do so. Those who worry choose to focus on the wrong thing. Worry is a way of saying God lied. If you truly believe God’s Word then why would you worry.

Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,… No believer in Christ should look like the worldly sinner, being conformed to the worlds ways. It is a choice once you are born again. You can choose to renew your mind and live a transformed life or to live carnal, it is completely up to you.

There are many more “do not’s” in the Bible, and what is powerful about these truths is you really are in control over these things, because the Word of God would not say “do not” if you could not. When we make the choice to “do not”, we choose to live a much better life that every believer has the ability to live.

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Obedience Through Love

John 14:15
If you love me, you will obey my commandments.

Obedience clearly has benefits as revealed in many places of scripture, but if the motive for that obedience is the wrong motive, we will lose sight of the gospel and what Christ has done for us. If our motive becomes a way we try to prove “how good we are” when in fact Jesus said there is none good but One, God, we must go back to understanding the truth about the good news. When we do our motive will shift to an appreciation for what the Lord has done for us.

We are tempted James said with our own desires. If there was no desire for sin, then we could not be tempted. But our old fleshly nature has within it the desire for sin. When we try to overcome sin with a focus on us being good, we will eventually fail and fall prey to sin. The way you overcome sin is by loving someone more than your flesh loves sin, and that someone is Jesus. This is where the gospel comes in. Why should we love Him? Because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

When you truly understand the gospel, you realize Jesus exhibited His love for us by not only going through the death of the cross, but He also took the punishment that our sin deserved. When we fully understand what He went through for us, we get a true picture of the gospel, and that produces a love for Him, which leads to obedience. Our obedience is the result of loving Him more than our flesh loves sin. We are to present our bodies unto God as a holy sacrifice, and when our love for Him is the reason we do so, the focus remains where it should always be, on Him not on us.

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As a believer it is critical for you to understand who you have become in Christ Jesus. Knowing this will help make all the difference in how you live out your life every day.

Do Not Worry

Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.

The beginning of worry is the end of faith. The beginning of faith is the end of worry. Worry is never good for your life, but a lot of believers do not realize that where worry exists in one’s life, faith does not. Worry is without a doubt one of the biggest faith robbers there is. Faith and worry are like water and oil, they do not mix. How do you get rid of worry? Walking by faith.

It is not possible to believe in what God has said or promised, and to worry at the same time. If you know what God has said is true, then why would you worry. If for example you truly believe that God will supply all your need, then why would you worry about getting your bills paid or needs met. If you believe God’s Word on healing, knowing you are already healed by the stripes of Jesus, how could you worry about sickness or disease if you truly believe He bore all your sickness and disease.

If you look at the above verse you will see this proven. As Paul states do not worry, on the contrary, make your requests known to God with thanksgiving. This is a prayer spoken in faith believing it has been received, for you don’t give thanks unless you have already received something. So if you have any worry in your life, that indicates you need to develop your faith more by feeding on what God’s Word says until it becomes a reality in your heart. The beginning of faith is the end of worry, and the end of a defeated life.

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One With The Word

John 8:31-32
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

A disciple of Jesus is more than just someone who is born again. Being born again is just the beginning. The word disciple means one who learns through instruction under a teacher, with the purpose of adhering to their example. Many who say they are Christians seem content just to be born again, but the purpose was to become one who learns from and adheres to the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We should look and sound like Him.

Here in the above verses Jesus gives us another key nugget of what it takes to be His disciple. We must abide in His Word. What exactly does it mean to abide in His Word? The word abide means to remain and become one with. We are to become one with the Word of the Lord. You cannot do that if you do not live in His Word. Many today rarely pick up their Bibles, and modern day teaching says it’s bondage to try and live according to the Word of God, but that is not what Jesus said. He said if you become one with the Word it would bring liberty.

You see the devil doesn’t want you set free from sin and carnal fleshly ways, so he has deceived many saying that obedience to the Bible is bondage. But he is a liar. Stop listening to the voices of those who say such things. They are deceived themselves and trying to lead you away from the liberty and lifestyle of Jesus. If you renew your mind to the Word of God it will transform your life to live like Jesus (Rom. 12:2). If you want to become who Jesus made you to be, abide in His Word, become one with the Word, and you can follow in His footsteps as a disciple of Christ.

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The Cost of Discipleship

Luke 14:33
In the same way, if you want to be My disciple, it will cost you everything. Don’t underestimate that cost!

Before Jesus left He gave a clear mandate to His disciples, go and make disciples of all people. To be a disciple of Jesus takes more than just a born again experience. To not become a disciple of Jesus Christ is to come short of what He desired for you to be. One thing you don’t hear much teaching on today is the cost of becoming a disciple, and sad to say the reason this is true is because many don’t want to pay the price it takes to become one. Why would we not want to become a true disciple, one who lives like Jesus after all He has done for us.

As Jesus stated in the above verse it will cost you everything to become what He desires for you to be. The early disciples of Jesus knew this. Think about all they gave up in exchange for following Him. They walked away from their jobs, their families, the comfort of their own homes, walking into an uncertain future with a certain Savior. They did not know what all lay ahead of them, but they knew who they were headed down that road with. How does the example of the early disciples compare with us today?

You should not make your job your god and focus only on “your career” and not on serving the Lord. Many do, putting money or their position in life before the Lord. Jesus even said in Luke 14:26 if anyone loves their family or even their own life more than Him, they cannot be His disciple. Many today allow family to determine if they go to church or serve God or not. The other thing many do not want to do today is leave their comfort zone in life. They are unwilling to give up things they want to do for what God wants them to do, such as being involved with outreaches or soul winning.

The goal is to become a disciple of Jesus, not just to be born again. To be a disciple of Jesus takes complete abandon of self to the person and the presence of Jesus Christ. Anything less is not fulfilling what He has planned for our life, which is the greatest life you could live, following in His example.

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The Sacrifice of Praise

Hebrews 13:15

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

There were different types of sacrifices offered in the Old Testament, some of which were simply to be a thank offering unto God. In the New Testament we are told in this verse from Hebrews we are to now offer a sacrifice of praise, and we do so through thanksgiving. Giving thanks to His name is giving thanks for all that the Lord has done for us, having fulfilled all that is needed. There is nothing else the Lord needs to do in providing for us all things that pertain to our life. He has already done His part.

Too often believers are still asking God to do for them what He has already accomplished in Christ Jesus. We simply need to have sincere gratitude in our hearts for all Christ has done, and we need to express that gratitude in giving Him thanks, instead of bawling and squalling about our circumstances. Doing so does not change things for the better. God responds when genuine thanksgiving is offered up to Him. If you recognize that the Lord has done His part, then you can get in faith and begin to thank Him for what He has done.

Acts 16:25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Paul and Silas chained in stocks and in prison knew the power of the sacrifice of praise. I don’t think they felt like praising God at that moment, but they did with all their hearts. As you read the rest of the story the earth shook and the jail cell flew open. God inhabits the praise of His people. So remember to always offer thanksgiving unto the Lord for what He has already done, and you, like Paul and Silas, can see God move in your life.

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Faith & Patience – Part 3

Hebrews 6:12
…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

PART THREE: In the first two parts of how to obtain the promises of God we talked about walking in Bible faith, and persevering in faith. You cannot just start to walk by faith, you must stay in faith. The third area to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises is walking in love, and the source of that love is love Himself, which is God. Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works through love. So if you want your faith to work you must walk in the love of God.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Notice this verse clearly tells us that God is love. When you have known of and believed in the love God has for you, you will not question His Word, but have complete confidence in what God has promised. You will also in turn walk in love toward others, which we are commanded to do so, and don’t forget faith and obedience go hand in hand.

So how do we walk in the love of God? Look at the last part of that verse. To abide in love we must abide in Him and He in is. When you become born again He comes to abide in you, but you must also abide in Him. Simply put, you need to daily spend time with God, in His Word, and through prayer. Whoever you spend time with they begin to rub off on you. God is love and when you spend time with God, He rubs off on you, and you will walk in His love. You to can obtain the promises of God by imitating those who through faith, perseverance, and love have obtained God’s promises.

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Faith & Patience – Part 2

Hebrews 6:12
…imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

PART TWO: In part one of how to obtain the promises of God we learned that you must be walking in Bible faith. The second thing you must do is persevere. As our foundation scripture teaches, you are to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. The word patience means to persevere. You don’t change your course, you keep acting in faith, walking in obedience to what God’s Word says you are to do to obtain His promises. A great example of perseverance is the apostle Paul.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Notice Paul tells Timothy here that he “kept the faith”. Simply put, he never swayed from what the Lord had told him. It is one thing to get in faith, it is another thing to stay in faith. Often believers who begin in faith change their confession and actions, acting contrary to the Word of God. You will not obtain your inheritance unless you stay in faith.

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me…
Paul learned that to obtain the promises of God he could not allow other things to change what he was doing, walking in obedience to what God said. You cannot allow your reasoning, emotions, how your body feels, what others may say, etc, to move you to stop walking in line with God’s Word. Remember faith, as Hebrews 11 reveals, is acting upon what God has said, but you must never stop doing so to obtain your inheritance. Abraham did not consider his own body nor Sarah’s body, he only considered what God said and acted upon it. You must stay in faith if you are to receive God’s promises.

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