You Have What It Takes To Make A Difference!

God desires for His people to walk by Faith, to walk in continual victory, and to testify of that victory in order for others who don’t know God, to hear the testimony and desire a relationship for themselves.

hold fast

Heb_10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

If you are a Christian, what makes your witness affective is your personal testimony. When you begin to share what God has done for YOU, then you put yourself beyond the realm of argument. You were there! You are a first hand witness to what happened and that gives your witness credibility.

I bring this up because it’s so important for us to understand the part we play in God’s plan. He desires for us to be influential in our world. In the Unites States, we’ve enjoyed a Government that had great respect for God, Christianity and Israel and because we as believers have had it so good, we as believers have grown complacent. We have been shielded from the suffering and persecution that Christians endure around the world. Because we have not experienced that kind of heat, many American Christians don’t pray or read their Bibles regularly and many have even quit attending church regularly. In this country we seem to have a Low Impact Christianity. This low impact Christianity has created a group of Christians that often endure the Sunday sermon through a hang-over from Saturday night.

The Supreme Court has announced a change in the policy of the United States Government that puts the 14th amendment on a collision course with the 1st amendment. We are now seeing Christian business owners persecuted, sued & fined because they refused to violate their conscience.  Jesus said persecution would come – (see John 16:2).

The reality is that some will fall away because of persecution. Those who are not fully persuaded will abandon the truth they have heard when persecution arises. (Mark 4:16 & 17).

Unlike so many other religions where someone can be born into it, Christianity is chosen. It’s a personal decision. You can not legislate the hearts of men.  I have firmly held beliefs concerning God & what’s right and wrong.  No law brought on by legislature or judicial interpretation can change that belief if I will not let it go.  That’s why Paul admonished Timothy, the writer of Hebrews admonished the Hebrew Church, and Jesus admonishes all believers to HOLD FAST.

2Ti 1:13 – Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Heb 10:23 – Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Rev 3:11 – Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

Each of us makes choices based on evidence. In a sense, we all have a personal court room where testimony is heard and witnesses are allowed to speak. We make choices based on the evidence seen and the testimony heard.  A good example of this is my friends at Quality Comfort Air.  I chose them to put in my furnace and air conditioning based on the evidence provided and the personal testimony of those who are first hand witnesses of their fine work. I have not been disappointed. We all do this.  This very thing is why the BBB and Angie’s List even exist.  Do you read online reviews before you make a purchase? We use reviews to help us make better, more informed choices.  The court that matters most in this hour is the personal, judgment bench where each individual judges truth and makes choices based on the evidence that convinces THEM.  This is where the witness and personal testimony of Bible believing Christians matters most. Don’t be shy about talking about what the Lord has done for you. Don’t be afraid to allow the Lord to take your scars, suffering and victories and use them to give some lost soul new hope.  By living a life pleasing to God and using your personal testimony, you can help win one heart at a time and when we do that, the Holy Spirit will confirm the Word with signs following.

If you are not a Christian and want to know more, click here.

Possess Your Vessel Like A Boss!

Holy Spirit's Instruction - Wood textureMany have realized that having a relationship with God is right and they want to do what’s right, but they struggle living a life that is pleasing to God. They fail to see the truth concerning their own salvation. The purpose behind it and the will of God concerning them. They struggle in the low life of trying to resist sin on a carnal level which means by sheer willpower. Battling the wrongful desires of the body strictly in the carnal, natural realm will lead to frustration as you are beaten over and over again. Not that many people have the natural willpower to stand up to a strong pull of the flesh for very long in any area, let alone in every area. If you have not made Jesus the Lord of your life, then this is the realm that you live in and without Christ, you have no expectation to do any better.

Scripture says in Ephesians 2:12 (KJV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

If you do have a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, you have a different set of circumstances. The scripture below is written to Christians. People who have received Jesus as their Lord and submitted themselves to Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (KJV) –  Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

Receiving the teaching of Paul will allow you to please God. This means by faith. Scripture says in Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But 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.   Also, it shows that if you will please God, obstacles and hindrances will be removed that would slow or stop your progress allowing you to abound more and more. Hebrews 12:1a (KJV) says “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”  When you walk as you ought and please God, you will be seeing Him manifest in your life more and more which means increasing in the things of God. Increasing in influence, abundance, anointing, spiritual gifts, effectiveness and usefulness to the Father. Greater manifestations of God in your life and family will begin to happen.

1Th 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.  3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:   4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;   5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:   6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.  7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.   8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Paul in his writing to the Church at Thessalonica wrote in chapter 4 of the 1st epistle, 1Th 4:4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Paul is speaking to the CHURCH at Thessalonica. He’s talking to Christians. Those who have believed on Jesus as their Lord and have submitted themselves to His will. He’s NOT speaking to those who have not confessed Jesus as their Lord.

He’s telling them that EVERY ONE of them should know how to possess his (or her) vessel in sanctification and honor. This is something that every Christian in the Thessalonian church should know how to do. This reflects what God expects from His church as a whole. EVERY ONE. We should all know how to possess our vessel in sanctification and honor.

When I look at the word “possess” in the Greek, the definition speaks specifically of – acquire (by any means; own): – obtain, possess, provide, purchase. The word in the definition that sticks out to me is the word “Own”. The one who owns something is the one in charge. In other words, being in control of, or being the boss of.  Then looking at the definition for “Vessel” in the Greek, the words used are vessel, implement, equipment or apparatus. Paul is telling the Church at Thessalonica that they need to own and be the boss of their equipment and not let their equipment be the boss of them.  Believers should not be letting their flesh run their lives!

The one who owns something is the one in charge. In other words, being in control of, or being the boss of.

Paul’s thought is continued in the next verse.1Th 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.”  The word Concupiscence means to desire what is forbidden. Lust = Strong longing.   The people who don’t KNOW God have given themselves to desire and longing for forbidden things. The difference maker in this situation then is God himself. Those who know Him can possess their vessel in sanctification and honor but those who don’t know Him can’t, and probably don’t want to.

1Th 4:7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit.

The word “despiseth” used here is a little vague. In the Greek it means to set aside, dis-esteem or to neutralize. It’s actually exactly the opposite of honor.  Paul is warning them that to set aside and to ignore God is to neutralize His power in your life. They have the ability to stop the power of God by not valuing it.  Despise here means to lightly esteem and dishonor God. That is what we do when we intentionally set aside what we know to do in order to yield to the strong pull of our body.

Verse 8b. But God, who has also given unto us His Holy Spirit.  There He is – the difference maker. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is what strengthened Jesus when He struggled in the garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Spirit is the difference maker. Jesus called Him the Comforter.   In his book “Home, a short history of an idea”, Author, Witold Rybczynski says:

“The word “Comfortable” did not originally refer to enjoyment or contentment.  It’s Latin root was confortare – to strengthen or console – and this remained its meaning for centuries.  We use it this way when we say “He was a comfort to his mother in her old age.”  It was in this sense that it was used in theology: the “Comforter” was the Holy Spirit.”  

One of the primary things that the Holy Spirit does in the life of the believer is to strengthen and console them.  Equipping them to overcome.  Please understand that the Holy Spirit has never gotten involved in anyone’s situation – ever – where there was not way more than enough power for them to completely overcome.  There is no situation that is so big that His power is not enough and FAR SURPASSING.  Don’t take Him lightly and by so doing, actually neutralize His power in your life.   Jesus said in John 14 that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide the believer into all the truth.  He can show you exactly what you need to see in order to give you the motivation to overcome.  He will not do this though if the believer ignores and sets aside the things that He reveals.  Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 that we can actually take away the effectiveness of the Word of God by simply believing a tradition of men instead of God’s promises.  We limit the Holy Spirit’s ability to work in our lives when we set aside and value lightly His instructions.

Real help is found in walking in the light that you have.  Many people have already heard enough, They just haven’t been a doer of what they know.

This is a little long but we’ll unhook here and pick this up later.  If this has helped you at all and you think it can help someone else, please share it.  Also, Please join the conversation and leave a comment.