Tag: faith in God

Power in prayer and declaration

Scripture reading for July 27th: Matthew 21

Key Scriptures: Matthew 21:18-22 “In the morning, as He was returning to the city, He became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, He went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And He said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.””

Jesus was spending His last days on earth before the crucifixion teaching His disciples and imparting truth that would help them be overcomers and fulfil their mission on earth. On this particular morning, Jesus was returning to Jerusalem from Bethany and came to a fig tree that was covered with leaves, but upon inspection had no fruit. Jesus spoke to the tree with a declaration: “May no fruit ever come from you again!” Matthew records that the tree withered at once at Jesus’ Word. The disciples were mystified and asked Jesus how this happened. Jesus gave them clear instructions about their authority through faith to speak to whatever ‘mountain’ or problem and see it removed. He put it simply: “Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Take a moment and let that truth sink into your soul and ask God to increase your faith to act on His Word. This is the fruit that Jesus is looking for.

Matthew 21:43 “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for this powerful truth about faith in Your Word and producing fruit of answered prayer. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and faith today and bring this truth to my remembrance every time I face a situation that looks impossible. May You receive all glory and a harvest of souls as I produce fruit!

Proverbs 18:20-21 “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

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Have faith in God!

Scripture reading for June 11th:  Ezra 6-8, Acts 27

Key Scriptures:  Acts 27:22-25  “Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.  For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar.  And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.  So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.” 

Paul was aboard a ship caught in a terrible storm.  All despaired of life, expecting to drown at sea.  But Paul was visited by an angel who gave him a Word from God.  All would be saved but the ship would be lost.  They were not to be afraid!

Ezra 8:22-23 “For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way; since we had told the king, “The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him, and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him.”  So we fasted and implored our God for this, and He listened to our entreaty.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for listening to the prayers of your people.  You are awesome and we have faith in Your Word.  Amen.

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Believe and receive!

Scripture reading for February 22nd:  Numbers 18-20, Mark 11

Key Scriptures:  Mark 11:22-25  “And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.””  

The disciples were marveling at how quickly the fig tree had withered after Jesus had cursed it for having no fruit.  Jesus used this event to teach them the importance of believing prayer.  Faith in God can move mountains!  But hearts right with God and others are required for trusting faith.  Moses failed to trust God when he struck the rock the second time instead of speaking to it.

Numbers 20:11-12  “And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.  And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me, to uphold Me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”  

Prayer:  Lord,  Thank You for these examples in Your Word.  I want to show You as Holy by believing Your Word and walking in believing faith. Amen.

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“Have faith in God!”

Scripture reading for February 24th:  Mark 11

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Passover week to the cries of “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  (Mark 11:9) He went to the temple and looked around, taking note of the activities there.  Since it was late, He went to Bethany to the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  As they walked back into Jerusalem the next day, Jesus saw a fig tree and went to see if it had any fruit on it.  He saw it had nothing but leaves, because it was not yet the season for figs.  “He said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.”  (Mark 11:14)

Jesus went back to temple and cleaned house!  He drove out the money changers and those who were buying and selling there.  “And as He taught them, He said, “Is it not written:  “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'”?  But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.'”  (Mark 11:17)   The purpose of the temple was to invite all nations to come to God and find Him as their source of comfort, healing, and hope.  The religious leaders had made it into a market,  hindering the multitudes from finding God.

On the way back into town after another night in Bethany, the disciples saw the fig tree was withered from the roots.  “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”  Faith in God brings supernatural results!

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Faith to move mountains!

Scripture reading for October 18th: Mark 11-13

In 1995 my son Marshal and I went on a study trip to Israel.   While in Israel, we visited Bethany and walked the road over the Mt. of Olives that went to the temple.  It was a walk that made this portion of scripture come alive!

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany and Jesus often stayed with them.  Jesus had come to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover week.  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as Zechariah had predicted.  He arrived at the temple but simply looked around and left.  This would have been on Sunday, the first day of the week.

He returned to Bethany and the next morning as He walked back over the Mt. of Olives.  Seeing a fig tree, He went to find early fruit.  He found none on the tree and spoke a curse,  stating that no one would ever eat fruit from that tree again.  He went on to the temple and drove out the money-changers.  He went back to his friends’ house for another evening.  The next morning they went by the fig tree and it had withered from the roots! (Mark 11:20-21)

Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, that whatever you ask  for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

As we walked up the mount of Olives in 1995,  we could see Bethlehem and a place nearby called the “Herodium” where King Herod, in the years just before Jesus walked that path, had moved a mountain!  He took one hill and put it on top of another using thousands of slave laborers.  In the distance we could also see the Dead Sea glistening in the valley below.  When Jesus spoke that parable, He had an object lesson for his disciples!   As Herod had used thousands of slaves to move the mountain,  their faith in God would empower them to move mountains with their words!

 

 

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The Blessing of Godly Parents

Scripture reading for January 19th: Exodus 1-2

It is a wonderful blessing to have godly parents!  Godly parents seek to follow the Lord and are concerned about what God wants rather than what is convenient.  Godly parents pass the faith that they possess on to their children and pray for them.  God uses godly parents to prepare His children for their part in His saving mission! I know, because I had godly parents and they helped prepare me for my calling as pastor and teacher!

After nearly 400 years had passed in Egypt, the Israelites had multiplied and found themselves in slavery to leadership that had forgotten Joseph and his contribution to the Egyptian’s welfare.  Pharaoh ordered the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, to kill all male babies and let the female ones live.  These women feared God and refused the orders given them.  Because of their faith and their bravery, God took care of them by giving them families of their own.  (Exodus 1:15-21)

A Levite married a Levite woman and they gave birth to a son.  The woman hid her son for three months in order to preserve his life from Pharaoh’s death squads.  When she could hide him no longer, she prepared an ark from a papyrus basket.  She coated it with tar and pitch, making it waterproof.  Then she placed the baby in the basket and carefully placed it in the Nile river near where Pharaoh’s daughter came regularly to bathe. The baby’s older sister watched as Pharaoh’s daughter approached. Noticing the basket, Pharaoh’s daughter had it brought to her.  The baby inside touched her heart and Moses’ sister stepped forward, volunteering to get a nurse for the baby.  It just so happened that the nurse was the baby’s mother!  What “luck” that was!

So in God’s providence, He used godly Levites to raise this child, Moses, and placed one of His own people inside the court of Pharaoh.  Moses got to learn the ways of Egypt and yet know his own God through the training of godly parents in this strange relationship.  His education and training concerning Egypt were provided by the one’s who would face him as God’s leader a few years later.  From his parents, Moses learned the promises of God to deliver His people.  Thus, God prepared one of the greatest leaders of the Old Testament for delivering His people!

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Mountain-moving Faith!

Scripture reading for October 19th: Mark 11-13

In 1995 my son Marshal and I went on a study trip to Israel.  We visited about 70 sites around Israel and also went to Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia where we traced the route of the exodus ending in Egypt.  While in Israel, we visited Bethany and walked up the road and over the Mt. of Olives that went to Jerusalem.  It was a walk of 2-3 miles but had some very interesting history that made this portion of scripture come alive in a different way!

In our reading today, Jesus and his disciples were staying in Bethany.  Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany and Jesus often stayed with them.  They had come to Jerusalem to prepare for Passover week when all Jewish men were required to appear before the Lord.  Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey as Zechariah had predicted.  He was actually the final sacrifice for the last Passover ever needed! He arrived at the temple but simply looked around and left.  This would have been on Sunday, the first day of the week, what we know as “Palm Sunday”.

He returned to Bethany and stayed there another night. The next morning as He walked back over the Mt. of Olives, he was hungry.  Seeing a fig tree, He went to find early fruit.  He found none on the tree and spoke a curse over the tree,  stating that no one would ever eat fruit from that tree again.  He then went on to the temple and did a cleansing job there that caused quite a stir.  He went back to his friends’ house for another evening.  The next morning they went by the fig tree and it had withered from the roots!  Peter called Jesus’ attention to the tree! (Mark 11:20-21)

Mark 11:22-25 “Have faith in God,”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, that whatever you ask  for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Here is what we learned by walking where Jesus walked:  There was a fig grove on the Mt. of Olives in 1995.  From that location one could look and see Bethlehem and a place called the “Herodium” where King Herod, in the years just before Jesus walked that path, had moved a mountain!  He took one hill and put it on top of another using thousands of slave laborers.  In the distance you could also see the Dead Sea glistening in the valley below.  When Jesus spoke that parable, He had an object lesson for his disciples!  With faith in God, moving mountains is easy!  But watch your heart, forgiveness is imperative!

Today, take time to meditate on these verses from Mark’s Gospel and put them into practice!  Use prayer to move the mountains you face in your life! What a blessing it is to walk by faith in Jesus!


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