Scriptures tell us that whatever we do it should be done for the glory (doxa) of God.
Doxa is an ancient Greek word meaning “popular opinion” or “common belief”
Doxa was used by the Greek philosophers in presenting an argument. Their objective was to sway public opinion.
Paul uses the word doxa because in the same way the Greeks used their philosophical arguments to sway the people toward their opinion or view of the world so should Christians by their lifestyle (actions and words) persuade the unsaved that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
In other words, the life of a Christian should represent the King of kings to the world.
Whether our testimony is received or not it is a living witness to the world. We represent Jesus Christ and our lives should bring him glory. (doxa)
All that we do is being observed by those who do not know Jesus Christ. As a living sacrifice the Christian is called to give up their own life in order to be a light in the world.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Roman’s 12:1,2
A living sacrifice means giving up our life as an offering to God, representing him before the world.
Paul says that, “it is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
As members of Christ’s body we are not out our own. “We are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:20
Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus today? Be a living sacrifice for his glory!
All to Jesus, I surrender All to Thee I freely give I will ever love and trust You In Your presence daily live I surrender all, I surrender all All to Thee, my blessed Savior I surrender all All to Jesus, I surrender Lord, I give myself to Thee Fill me with Your love and power Let Your blessing fall on me I surrender all, I surrender all All to Thee, my blessed Savior I surrender all All to Jesus I surrender Now I feel the sacred flame O the joy of full salvation Glory, glory, to Your name I surrender all,
Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23
To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.
But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14
When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.
Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26
The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16
The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28
God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Psalm 119: 114
Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.
We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it. Romans 8:24,25
Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.
Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.
Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19
Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.
Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.
Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5
In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.
Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.
This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!
Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord. Psalms 31:24
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .
Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.
Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.
“You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.
This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.
This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.
The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.
One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.
As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.
The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.
Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.
Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.
God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13
Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.
When the enemy is ruling in the land or promise that the Lord had given to us then we must go out to battle for it. ( the enemy will oppose)
The Lord tells us in his word to not be afraid of the giants or strongholds.
Do not be afraid of the challenges! Remember the past victories that the Lord has given you! Deuteronomy 20:1
“Let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them.” Deuteronomy 20:3
When the Lord had given you a promise (his promises are yes and amen) then the Lord will fight for you to attain that promise. He goes before you into battle! The Lord is our Savior! He is our deliverer!
For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. Deuteronomy 20:4
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6
Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you! Joshua 1:3
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
Remember that our high priest and mediator Jesus Christ is praying to the Father for us! We need not fear!
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15
The Lord told Joshua to go and take the land. God said that he would be with him in spite of all the obstacles he was facing. The voice of our high priest tells us in his word to go forth into battle against our enemies without fear. He will go before us to defeat the giants and we shall be victorious!
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9
Joshua and his army obeyed God. They went fearlessly to battle.
They won the victory because they refused to listen to negative reports but rather they chose to believe God’s word.
They refused to consider how big the giants were because they knew how big their God was.
With bold faith, dedication and perseverance Joshua and his army fearlessly went to battle against tremendous odds.
The enemy is a thief and a squatter. He must be booted out of our territory!
It is only by trusting in the Lord’s ability to fight for us that we are guaranteed to have a successful outcome.
When we keep our eyes on Jesus and not the bigness of the problem, our promise is sure to come! Our enemy is forced to submit to God’s rule whether they like it or not.
Since our fight is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual wickedness opposed to us we must use God’s weapons to fight.
Our weapons are not human weapons. We cannot fight a supernatural phenomenon with our own devices. We cannot defeat the giants of infirmity, debt, lack, or affliction by our own ingenuity or intellectual prowess .
We take up spiritual weapons that are mighty through God to pull down the enemy’s strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4
We take up the sword of the Spirit to cut down the lies of the enemy. We take up the sheild of faith by trusting in God’s word.
We preserve in prayer and do not faint until the Lord brings the stronghold down. Ephesians 6:10-18
We will achieve the victory because we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us. Romans 8:37-39
Rise up and put the sword of the Spirit to the devil’s throat. Make him bow down in submission to God’s word.
Our enemy has no choice but to back off when God is on our side. If God is for us then who can be against us? Romans 8:31.
Is the enemy reigning in your land? Then rise up in faith and pray.
Stand on the promises of God our Savior.
God has given his people the weapons of our warfare to fight the good fight of faith.
Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies. Psalms 108:13
With the Lord fighting for us in the spiritual realm the enemy strong holds are sure to come down.
Rise up and take the land! The promises of God are yes and amen! For the Lord your God is with you!
The Bible says to take up the shield of faith in order to extinguish all the fiery (ignited, inflamed, angry, burning) spears, darts or missiles against you that are evil; hurtful, calamitous, diseased, derelict, corrupt, malicious, grievous and wicked. Ephesians 6:16
A Sheild is a protective covering against the blows, risks, and weapons of an enemy.
The Roman shield was called the scutum. It was a large rectangular curved shield made of sheets of wood that were glued together and covered with canvas and leather.
Although it was lightweight the shield was large enough to cover the entire soldier. This made it difficult for an enemy to penetrate. Not only that but the shield had a metal round piece of material called an umbo in the center.
The umbo was used to deflect blows from the enemy by making a punching motion towards the blow.
Attacks were prevented from penetrating by pivoting the shield about the body to resist the oncoming blows from an enemy.
God says in his word that he is a shield and a buckler to those who put their trust in him.
In other words the Lord protects us from enemy attacks if we trust him to be our shield in times of trouble.
Faith in God thwarts all enemy attacks against us. When we put our trust in the Lord as our deliverer then he delivers us.
The Lord tells us in Genesis 15:1 I am thy shield. I am your protector and defense.
The Lord also tells us in his word that he is our shield. We are saved by his help. Deuteronomy 33:29
The Lord says that he is our shield that goes before us in battle. 1 Samuel 17:41
He is our shield of salvation. 2 Samuel 22:36
The Lord will compass us about like a shield. Psalm 5:12
The Lord will break the arrows of the blow by his shield. Psalm 76:3
His truth is our shield of defense. Psalm 91:4
He is our help and our shield. Psalm 119:9
The Lord is our hiding place. Our shield as we hope in his word. Psalm 119:14
Have faith in God. Trust him in times of trouble. He will surround you as a sheild of defense. No weapon formed against you will alight. The Lord is your protector. He is your sheild!
Psalm 144:1, 2
Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.
Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8
What is not commonly delivered to the Christian message today is the very Biblical truth of suffering or affliction. When the message of suffering is presented it is relayed as a common ailment which Christians must endure because they belong to Jesus Christ. Just because we belong to Jesus is the admonition.
However according to the Bible our suffering or affliction have a clearly defined out come. In other words suffering has a purpose which results, if endured patiently, in a victorious end.
2 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that our light affliction (burden, persecution, anguish, trouble, tribulation) which is temporary or for a fixed determined time, is WORKING FOR US.
That is our temporary affliction is accomplishing a purpose.
What is that purpose? Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding (super eminence beyond measure) weight of glory.
So our light affliction is working for us a beyond measurable weight (abundant authority, dignified honor) of glory .
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
This means that our suffering or affliction is working out for us something good in the end but also scriptures tell us that our suffering and afflictions will work for the benefit of others too.
Examples of this are when Joseph was in prison. What was an affliction and suffering in some respects was also a training experience for Joseph. In the end it worked out that Joseph gained favour and was elevated to a position of leadership. He represented God’s Kingdom in Pharoah’s kingdom.
Our afflictions in life are in reality training ground for our purpose in the Kingdom of God. Even our mistakes teach us valuable lessons.
Joseph was a bit of a braggart. His gift of favor was envied by his brethren. They wanted to get rid of him but in the end God worked it out for his good. Joseph’s life ended up bringing glory to God. (Acts 7:10, Genesis 37,38,39)
Paul suffered much affliction and persecution. However his experiences brought not only an increase in the gospel but much of the New Testament to Christians for the last 2000 years.
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel. Philippians 1:12
Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 2 Timothy 2: 10
Peter made some mistakes. Even denying the Lord. However his life experience resulted in the furtherance of the gospel and writing parts of the New Testament as well.
It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. Psalm 119: 71
The Bible is filled with stories about afflictions resulting in victory. Paul tells us to endure the hardships we face in life like a soldier in the army.
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3
A solder doesn’t concern himself with worldly affairs. A soldier fights in battle. A soldier knows he is appointed to endure hardships for the sake of his country.
How much more Jesus Christ’s soldiers in the Kingdom of God ?
Paul tells us that we are to rejoice in our sufferings not for the sufferings in and of themselves but because we know that our afflictions are working out a purpose in the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 6:4)
David tells us that the righteous suffer many afflictions but the Lord delivers the righteous out of them all. ( Psalms 34:19)
As we are appointed (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 2 Timothy 1 :8) to suffer afflictions in this life we are also appointed to be delivered!
Are you experiencing trouble? Affliction? Persecution? Suffering?
Then rejoice for God is going to work it all out for your good! He is training you, teaching you valuable lessons, getting you ready for your purpose in this life!
Be patient in affliction scriptures tell us. Don’t be moved by them!
That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 1 Thessalonians 3:3
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Endure like a soldier! Have faith in God! Fix your eyes on Jesus!
In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.
Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.
Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.
Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.
The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?
Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.
Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.
According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.
“And he must needs go through Samaria.”
Jesus had an appointment.
The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.
After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”
Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.
Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.
Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.
Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.“
Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.
Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”
Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.
Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.
When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.
Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.
One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.
Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.
The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.
“When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.“
Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”
Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.
When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!
There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.
The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.
Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!
Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.
Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16
When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51
Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8
Notice the pattern?
Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.
Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?
Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.
Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.
Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8
Resting in the finished work of Christ is the key to walking in victory. Regardless of how much we apply Biblical principles to our life, unless we have this main key to the kingdom of God, we will find failure at the end sooner or later.
What is resting in Christ’s complete work? It is a spiritual principle that is set right out in scriptures but missed by many of us.
One sure way to know that we are not resting in Christ is striving. That is to make great effort to achieve something.
When we find ourselves in this state we know right away that we are not resting. Then we must get immediately back to the cross.
Does resting in Christ equate to passivity? No indeed it does not! What resting in Christ does is to set our eyes on the victor for the victory and not on ourselves.
To rest in Christ is to set the Lord always before us. That is to acknowledge Jesus as our Captain. Our leader and victor over all difficulties that may come our way.
Paul knew this resting in Christ. He said that the life he now lived he lived by the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was accepted in the beloved. How could Christ who loved us enough to give his very life for us not also supply us with all the things we need to live victorious in this life?
To rest in Christ is to rest in his finished work. He beat the devil! He conquered sin! Jesus rose victorious!
What is our part? To rest in this fact! When we do we can be assured that Christ who lives in us will complete all the work that is needed in our lives.
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
Resting in Christ is to abide in Christ. To accept what Christ says as true. To remain fixed in. To continue to dwell in. To remain in.
“If you abide in me,” Jesus said and his words or his teachings abide in you then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)
In other words all the things that we need will be given to us as we rest in Christ. To rest is to have complete faith in the Lord’s ability to perform his word. It is to nestle in his bosom with absolute confidence. Does the Lord not know what is best for each of us? Is his plan not the best plan?
Have faith in God!
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith in the finished work of Christ gives us hope. We never have to be worried that Jesus will not come through. He has promised! If he loved us enough to give his life for us how much more would he not freely meet our needs? We have only to patiently wait. (Romans 8:32)
Resting in Christ is to set our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will prefect that which concerns us as we trust in him!
It is Christ who lives! Christ who has conquered! Christ who is Lord of all! We rest in these facts and abide in his love.
Jesus is all our righteousness! He is working all things out for our good as scriptures tell us. (Romans 8:28)
We are complete in him!
“And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10
To be complete is to have all things without lacking. It is to be full and entirely in Christ! Can you see this by faith? IN CHRIST!
Jesus is the head of all principality and power. That means that because we are seated with him in heavenly places we are also positioned with him high above the rulers of this dark world. We are more than conquerors because we are in him! Let us rest in this knowledge!
Jesus is the name above every name. His victory is our victory. His completed work is our completed work because we are in him! Can you see this by faith? Then you are resting! Resting in assurity that Jesus Christ is the head. The chief and principle power of all in this life. If you are in him then you are secure. Rest in this reality.
It is finished Jesus said. Whether we are wrestling in prayer, serving, teaching or ministering we are always resting in Christ. Always confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.
Are you resting in Christ today? If not won’t you get back to the cross? The place of your victory is there! The work has already been done! (Romans 8: 37)