The Faith of the Son of God – Jun-Jul 2018

Paul exclaimed, “I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). Wait a minute, I know we are to “…walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), but Paul talks about “the faith of” God’s Son, not his own faith. Is that possible? Can we live by the faith of the Son of God, rather than by our own frail faith? Let’s see what the Bible has to say about it.

The Bible says, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father” (Galatians 4:6). This is beautiful! God wants us to fully participate in being His children. To accomplish this, He has given us the Spirit of His Son in our hearts crying, “Abba, Father.” He wants us to have the same close Father-Son relationship that He has with His Son. Amazing!

As a result of having the Spirit of God’s Son in our hearts, we also get many other benefits. Paul continued, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23). All of these are characteristics of the Son of God. Included in the fruit of the Spirit is faith. Whose faith is that? “The faith of the Son of God” of course! (Galatians 2:20).

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Does Jesus have faith? The Bible says He does! Faith is depending upon the word of God only, to do what that word says. We know this because Jesus identified “great faith” when a man said to him, “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8-10). Jesus trusts completely in the word of His Father.

Jesus said, “I do always those things that please [the Father]” (John 8:29). The Bible also says, “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Jesus always pleased His Father, so He had to have faith all the time.

The Faith of Jesus

The last generation of God’s people on the earth will be special. Of them God will triumphantly proclaim, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Having the faith of Jesus is a vital part of the lives of those who live in the last days. Friends, we are the ones who need this experience! Of all people, we are the ones who must have the faith of Jesus to survive the crisis about to face this world. May we say with Paul, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and 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). For studies on the last days, request The Mark of the Beast, A Time to Choose, and Thriving in the Last Days.

We are “…justified …by the faith of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16), we receive the promises “…by faith of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:22), “…we have boldness …by the faith of him” (Ephesians 3:11, 12), and we have “…righteousness, …through the faith of Christ” (Philippians 3:9; Romans 3:22). The faith of Jesus is necessary for every step of our spiritual growth. However, we cannot have the faith of Jesus without Jesus living in our hearts. For this to happen, we must be born again.

Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.… Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:3-7).

You must be born again! Nothing else matters until this is a reality in your life. Make sure you know what this means and how it is accomplished. You were born of the flesh on your birthday, but you are born of the Spirit when you open the door of your heart and invite Jesus to live in you by His Spirit. (Please request the booklet, You Must be Born Again for a deeper study on this vital topic.)

Being born of the Spirit includes receiving the Spirit of the Son of God, along with His faith. Jesus explained, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23, 24). Being born again is the start of a new life. Before this new life can be enjoyed, your old life has to go. Yes, that’s right, your old life must be put to death. That is the beginning of following Jesus. All of your ambitions and goals must be laid at the feet of Jesus. “…ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).

I was talking with a man recently who asked, “Can I hold onto part of my life, such as smoking marijuana, and doing certain things I enjoy, and just let God direct the rest of my life?” No! Absolutely not! True Christianity involves out with the old, and in with the new. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” (Luke 9:24). He is not talking about exiting a burning building to stay alive. He is talking about holding onto your old impure life. If you hang onto your old sinful practices, you will lose your eternal life, for the Bible says, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?… For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:16, 23) “…sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).

In my old life, I wanted to be a rock star. I was working every day to further my goals. But when God found me, He gave me a new life, with new ambitions and goals. Being a rock star is not even interesting to me anymore. I promise you, whatever God asks you to lay down, He will give you something better (Matthew 19:29). You may not be able to understand it all right away, but His new life is much better than your old life. I cannot express to you how liberating it feels to know there is nothing between you and God. When all your known sins are surrendered and forgiven, that is the best feeling you can ever have. When I first experienced it I felt higher than any drug had ever made me feel. If you hold onto something that you know displeases God, your freedom and relationship with God will suffer severely. Let it go, no matter what it is, and your joy will be fuller than you have ever imagined (Matthew 5:29, 30). My new life in Christ is so much richer than my old life. I would not trade back for anything.

The Family of God

Being born into the family of God is a wonderful gift. This new life is a Spirit driven life. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). This is truly a blessing. Imagine having someone direct your life who wants what is best for you and who knows the outcome of every decision you could possibly make. Surely, the direction of someone like this is worth more than any price we could pay. But this counsel is given for free! Praise God!

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Some people think you are strange if you hear a voice, but that is exactly what Jesus said would happen. If you are His disciple, you will hear His voice and follow Him (Isaiah 30:21). If you don’t hear His voice, then pray and ask Him to teach you to listen. Heed this counsel, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Praise the Lord that He has given us His Word to teach us, His law to direct us, and His Spirit to empower and guide us into all truth (John 16:13). Following the voice of Jesus by obeying what His Spirit tells you to do is being led by the Spirit. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). This new life is a powerful life.

The Bible says of Jesus, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). When you are born again you have a new power that was not there before. You have power to follow the direction of the Spirit of God, for that is how sons of God live (Romans 8:14).

Absolute Trust

Jesus lived a life of absolute trust in His Father. He said, “The Son can do nothing of [or from] himself, but what he seeth the Father do…” (John 5:19). Jesus also said, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things” (John 8:28). Jesus did not originate any of His actions or words. He proclaimed, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30). Jesus sought the will of His Father. This is active. He did not wait to be confronted by the will of His Father, instead, He sought for it. He wanted to know God’s will every moment.

Friends, you can know God’s will too (Colossians 1:9; 4:12; Mark 3:35). Jesus told us, “…seek, and ye shall find… he that seeketh findeth” (Matthew 7:7, 8 Ephesians 5:17). To really know the will of God you have to search with all your heart. God said, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Don’t seek the will of God only to turn from it to do your own thing (Psalm 66:18). Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).

The Son of God declared, “I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). A few verses later He said, “…I live by the Father” (John 6:57). Jesus was not interested in seeking how He can improve His own life; what would make Him happy. Instead, His number-one goal in life was to please His Father by doing His will.

When He was asked by one of His disciples to show him the Father, “Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:10). That is astounding! Every word Jesus spoke, and every action He performed was not Him doing it, but the Father who dwells in Him. When Jesus had compassion on the woman caught in adultery, saying, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11), that was not Jesus speaking, but the Father who was living in Him. When Jesus knelt down to do the work of a servant by washing the disciples’ feet, it was the Father in Him doing the work. That is humbling!

Jesus was so committed to doing the will of His Father that He never spoke a word without the Father directing Him what to say. Jesus declared, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak” (John 12:49, 50). This is the heart of why Jesus lived the way He did. He knew that His Father’s commandment is “life everlasting.” He knew that His Father’s direction was better than anything He could come up with on His own. He trusted His Father with everything. This is the faith of Jesus, absolute trust in His Father regardless of the circumstances.

Think about that for a moment. The Bible says, “…whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). If you live your life outside of trusting in the Father’s guidance, it is sin. It doesn’t matter how many good things you do, or how little you hurt others, whatever is not of faith is sin. Every time we choose our own way we are making a statement to the universe that our way is better than God’s way. When you say, “I got this, I can handle it,” and ignore the instruction of God, it is sin. You cannot improve upon what God directs in your life (Matthew 4:4). He knows what is best, and His “commandment is life everlasting.” You can’t do better than that! The fall of Satan began by a belief that he could do things better than God. He was sorely mistaken. His way is terrible! You cannot improve upon God’s instructions for your life. Sin is disbelieving this and trying to do things your own way. Don’t try it, it will not turn out well.

In a prophecy of Christ coming into this world, Jesus spoke through David saying, “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:7, 8). Paul quoted this in reference to Jesus when he wrote, “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7). Jesus came down to this earth to do the will of His Father, and it was His delight. He knew that His Father’s will is better than anything else. God has a perfect plan for your life too, and you cannot improve on perfection. Begin by obeying His voice in the little things (Luke 16:10; Matthew 25:21).

A Glimpse into Eternity

John expressed, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1_John 1:1-3). The life that was with the Father from the beginning was manifested to us when Jesus was here. John also wrote, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men…. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:4, 14).

The life that humanity was privileged to behold was simply a manifestation of the life that was with the Father before the world was. We beheld the life of “the only begotten of the Father,” the same life that He lived before coming to this world. The complete trust in His Father that He demonstrated while upon this earth was the same complete trust He had in His Father before the world was. He learned things while He was here, for the Bible says, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:7-9).

His experiences here on earth as a human gained Jesus valuable lessons that He imparts to us, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour [help, relieve] them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). Yet, His dependence and trust in His Father were what directed His life before coming to this earth. His Father told Him, “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1). Jesus trusted that His Father’s plan is the best, and He obeyed, “expecting till his enemies be made his footstool” (Hebrews 10:13). Later He was sent into this world, “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world” (1 John 4:14). Speaking of the time after Jesus was resurrected to heaven, the Bible says, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3). Christ’s life has always been directed by His Head, God, the Father.

And not only that, He will forever in the future be subject to His Father, for the Bible says, “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

The life of Jesus we beheld in which He manifested total dependence upon His Father’s instruction was a glimpse into eternity so we can see how He has always lived, and will always live. This gives us a deeper understanding of how thoroughly Jesus trusts in His Father. This is the faith of Jesus, absolute trust in His Father at all times and under all circumstances.

An Important Lesson

One day a rich man approached Jesus saying, “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” (Mark 10:17-22).

There are a lot of lessons in this scripture, and the first is that “there is none good but one, that is, God.” That is an incredibly important lesson. Goodness is not something that we can manufacture. All goodness comes from God, for He is the source of everything good (James 1:17). No matter how many good things you do, you will never become good separated from God. As soon as one separates themselves from God, at that moment they have lost the ability to be good (John 15:5). This lesson will require another study to dig deeper into the weight of it; it is a very important lesson.

Another lesson we learn is that perfectly following the Lord is more than keeping His written Commandments. This rich man claimed to have been keeping the Commandments since his childhood, but he was missing the love of God in his heart. He hadn’t killed anybody, he was not a thief, a liar, nor an adulterer, but he still was not perfect; he was missing some-thing. Jesus said to him, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

This is the exact formula we read about earlier where Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To the rich, young ruler, Jesus replaced “deny himself” with “sell that thou hast, and give to the poor.” This helps us to understand what it means to deny yourself. He does not ask everyone to sell all of their possessions, but He does ask everyone to forsake everything. He said, “…whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Everything you have, every-thing you are, and every moment of your time belongs to God. Give Him what is His to direct as He sees fit. There is nothing better you can do with your life. He knows what is best.

Jesus gave this man instruction that was not written in the Ten Commandments, yet it was vital for his perfection. Perfection cannot come by obeying the Ten Commandments, the letter of the law (2 Corinthians 3:6). It is not enough to memorize the rule book and go play by the rules. There is something more God wants to do for us, He wants to live in us and direct our lives from the inside. Christ abiding in our hearts, the living Law written in our heart (Hebrews 10:16), takes us beyond what the letter of the Law could ever do; it brings perfection (Hebrews 7:19; 13:20, 21; Matthew 5:17-48). God is amazing! He has designed a plan where He can direct our lives in a way that will not violate His written Law while fully manifesting His unselfish character of love (Ephesians 3:16-19).

The Root of Selfishness

Selfishness began with the idea that a person can improve upon God’s plans. The Bible says, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

Satan, who was called Lucifer, abandoned the idea that God’s ways are perfect, and decided that he could make improvements. The Bible also declares of him, “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. …Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee” (Ezekiel 28:14, 15, 17).

Satan became proud, thinking that he could be good on his own. His wisdom became corrupt. Jesus said of him, “…the devil …abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44). The devil originated selfishness, the lie that one can pursue his own agenda and be good without the source of goodness. This selfish ambition drove him to rebel against God, which brought all the pain and suffering we see in our world today.

Jesus knows that God’s instructions are life everlasting. He trusts Him completely. This is the faith of Jesus. He knows that any deviation from the will of God always brings sorrow and pain. Satan disagreed and decided to go out on his own to direct his own affairs. Disbelief that God’s way is the best way was the root of selfishness, and it always leads to disaster.

Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells all working together so we can function as a body. Suppose one of your hands decided to have a mind of its own. When you decide to eat and tell your hand to move a sandwich towards your mouth, if it decided to rebel and throw the sandwich out the window that would be chaos. Things would become very difficult, and the hand would be rebelling against what is keeping it alive. In reality that is what Lucifer started when he chose to rebel against God. It was a disbelief that God’s guidance is the best that opened the door to sin.

God’s Plan to Save Us

God cares for all of His creation. He wants what is best for us. He told Adam and Eve not to eat of the forbidden fruit or they would die. He gave them the freedom to choose God’s instructions or go their own way. Sadly, Satan tricked Eve into believing the fruit would help her (Genesis 3:1-6). Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Because of this, sin entered the world and mankind became selfish. It seems like such a small sin. “It was just a piece of fruit!” It was rebellion against God’s government. It was making the choice that man’s way is better than God’s way. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23).

This sin introduced a principle in man that is at war with God. Selfish desires drive mankind now. All the perverse lifestyles that exist today cannot be blamed on God. “I can’t help it, I was born this way.” This is not the way we were created. We were created to be windows through which God can manifest His love. The problem that arose by the introduction of selfishness into mankind’s bloodline must be solved. God does not want us to remain in the sinful condition in which we were born, that is why we must be born again (John 3:3-7).

Lovingly, God made a plan where man can be rescued from the ruin he brought on himself. He sent His Son to this earth to gain the victory over sin and implant His love, His faith back into man and restore our created value through the new birth. Empowered with the faith of Jesus in our hearts we can trust God with everything and be free from the pull of our sinful natures. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

If you are convinced with the faith of Jesus that God’s ways are always the best thing you can do, it becomes a delight to do His will (Psalms 40:8). With the faith of Jesus, you too will desire to seek for God’s will in every detail of your life, not as a burden that you have to, but as a privilege that you can be guided by the most intelligent being in the universe, who knows and wants what is best for you (Hebrews 11:6).

When my kids were small I overheard them tell others, “Well, my Dad said…” They completely trusted everything I said. Sadly, as they got older their trust level has decreased. However, Jesus still believes everything His Dad says. He knows that His Father loves Him completely, always gives the best advice, never tells a lie, and knows everything. That type of trust in God makes things run much more smoothly than any relationship we have witnessed on this earth.

Jesus has absolute faith in His Father, so thoroughly that He delights to do His will every moment of every day, for He knows there is nothing better. Can we too, have this experience? Is it possible?

A Deeper Experience

Friends, God has given us everything we need to succeed in the life of faith. He “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20). I am asking for the faith of Jesus to be so fully manifested in me that I cease from my own works (Hebrews 4:9-11) and do always those things that please Him.

I know this is possible, because the Bible says, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge [punish] all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). Thinking that you can improve upon God’s instruction is a high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. This imagination is cast down using the shield of the faith of Jesus and the sword of the word of God (Ephesians 6:16, 17). We must be ready to punish every evil thought the moment it is recognized as contrary to God’s will.

It is not a sin to be tempted. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14, 15). The battle must begin at the thoughts. There is a saying, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest there.” You can’t keep evil thoughts from entering your mind, but you can keep them from becoming a part of you. Not every thought is your own, don’t claim the evil ones. As soon as you recognize a thought to be contrary to God’s will, remove it with the Word of God (Matthew 4:3-11; 16:21-23). If every thought is brought into the obedience of Christ, then every word and action will follow.

I know that His commandment is life everlasting; there can be no improvements. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13, 14). This is what I am going after and it requires forgetting those things which are behind, those are old things, even if they were five minutes ago, and they are passed away. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

When I started this journey of faith with the Lord, I was 19 years old, with a background of drugs and alcohol. I came before the Lord in faith asking for a new heart and believing that what He promised He would perform (Ezekiel 36:26, 27; Romans 4:21). At that moment I became a new creature, my old life of drugs was behind me and passed away forever. That was 27 years ago. I was just as much a new creation that first moment as I am 27 years later. It was accomplished by faith. I have never done drugs since. I was advised to believe that I have a new heart, and continue to believe. At first, there was no evidence that anything had taken place, but after a few days the change was evident. I started responding to things differently. Instead of desiring to get even with people for mistreating me, I felt sorry for them and wanted to help them. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

I have had failures since then, many of them, but God is faithful and the faith of Jesus is growing in me (2 Thessalonians 1:3; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:24). I want to be like Him so I am beholding His goodness (Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 3:18). I praise God for a challenge a dear brother gave us; to go thirty days with no media (not even Facebook other than to respond to messages and post invitations to our Bible studies), reading or listening to the Bible at least one hour per day (free mp3s at www.faithcomesbyhearing.org), praying at least one hour throughout the day, and fasting for two 24-hour periods each week. That challenge seemed daunting, but three of us in our group agreed to it, and I am so glad we did. That was three months ago. It has brought permanent change in my life. It boosted my prayer life and my commitment to God.

Conclusion

I challenge you to commit yourself completely to God. Seek for God’s will to be done in your life (Matthew 6:10). So much of what is around us is temporary. “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17).

Make sure your focus is on the right place; your connection to Jesus. He said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). If you abide in Christ His life will flow through you, but if you focus on trying to produce fruit and avoiding doing bad stuff, you will probably do bad stuff. The only job of the branch is to abide in the vine, then good fruit will come out. When Peter was walking on water, he was fine until he turned his eyes off Jesus to focus on the dangers around him (Matthew 14:29-31). Make sure your connection to Jesus is strong, and your life is lived as a result of knowing God’s love for you  rather than in an effort to win Hs favor (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Many promises are given in the word of God, so that “…by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2_Peter 1:4). You can win this battle, my friends; you can escape the corruption of selfish lusts by claiming the promises of God’s Word. Accept what the word of God says about you, and by faith walk in that reality. Proclaim:

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).

I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

I am God’s child, for I am born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God, which lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23).

I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works (Ephesians 2:10).

I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I am a believer, and the light of the gospel shines in my mind (2_Corinthians 4:4).

I am a doer of the Word and blessed in my deeds (James 1:22, 25).

I am a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).

I am more than a conqueror through Him Who loves me (Romans 8:37).

I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).

I am a partaker of His divine nature (2_Peter 1:3, 4).

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).

I am part of the chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people (1 Peter 2:9).

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ (2_Corinthians 5:21).

I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

I am His elect, full of mercy, kindness, humility, and longsuffering (Romans 8:33, Colossians 3:12).

I am filled with all joy and peace (Romans 15:13).

I am filled with all goodness and knowledge (Romans 15:14).

I am forgiven of all my sins, healed of all my sicknesses, and washed in the Blood (Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 103:3; Revelation 1:5).

I am redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).

I am cleansed from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

I am called of God to be the voice of His praise (Psalm 66:8; 2 Timothy 1:9).

I am healed by the stripes of Jesus (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24).

I am raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12).

I am greatly loved by God (Romans 1:7; Ephesians 2:4; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4).

I am strengthened with all might according to His glorious power (Colossians 1:11).

You can have the faith of Jesus that completely depends upon the word of God to do what that word says, knowing that His instruction is the best thing you can follow. This faith is a free gift given to those who ask for the Spirit. Jesus said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). And the fruit of this gift is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

If you have the faith of Jesus, your life will show it. Be faithful (full of faith) unto the end, and Jesus will soon say to you, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

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