Sitting on the top of a mountain in Jamaica, overlooking the beauty that is that country, we asked, in such a time as these are how does one not believe in God? In Him lay all the keys to a life that is superior. I find it rather difficult for any reasonable thinking person not to see the need for God in their life. Not religion but that soul saving relationship with the very King of the Universe. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Perhaps it is time more ministers return to this verse, for there are so many people who do not know Jesus as the one who loved them so much that he gave his life for them. What is so amazing is that if you were the only one in that universe He would have come and preformed the same action just for you.
Recently on a trip to Jamaica, Dianna (my wife) and I were asked how we first met in June of 1976. Our conversation was always upon Christ, His goodness, His love, His walk within us. We simply were not interested in anything else. Jesus could be coming today and we wanted to be right there, ready to go.
She had grown up in the church and received Christ as a child; I was but months old in Him. The need for Him in both our lives was great. I believe in God but more than anything else, I wanted Him to believe in me. Give me an opening and I turn any conversation to my life in Christ. It didn’t matter how little I knew, it only mattered that the little I knew I was going to make use of it. I wanted to be an established soul for the one who gave His life for me. 2 Chronicles 20:20B Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. Ask of me Lord and I will perform to the best I can. I believed the bible as it was written, therefore whatever I saw, I did. It said preach the gospel (good news) so I would preach what little I knew, if I had never learned another verse except John 3:16, It would be enough, for within it is the entire gospel. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. I just thank Him I was one of those preached to.
There is the great thing however, the more you gain knowledge of Christ, the more you seek to find. Dianna just assumed that all she knew, I also knew, because there was no other conversation, but of Him.
God of course had been working on my heart for some time prior to my receiving Him. A friend or two which were saved, a landlady who insisted on receiving her rent only on Sunday and only after we were made to watch Oral Roberts and Rex Humbard. She never once preached to me, but daily she showed her life as one which anyone would want to emulate. Many other small things, all added up to seeing Christ for who He is. Like a small poem prayer written on the side of a lonely stretch of highway while hitchhiking to no place in particular. 1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. He so wants to show you His love, check out those small things in your life and see Him there, crying out to you “come to me and I will hold you close and under my wings shall you be safe”.
Psalm 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings. There is nothing that should take from us the love, joy, hope and peace there is in Christ Jesus. Romans 15:13 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.
Dianna and I would sit on her backyard picnic table and do nothing but talk of God until her neighbors would yell out to us to stop talking, 2AM, looking up at crystal clear nights in the Rockies and seeing all those stars the conversation would always be about Him.
Our world was (and is) about Christ, The world has psychoanalysis to assist them in life’s troubles, but the world is not free. The world has the greatest medical minds, but the world is sick. The world has the money, yet the world is breaking and in debt. The world has success and motivational teaching, yet failure is the rule by which the majority live. The world has a thirst for life, they exercise, diet, take pills yet death is overtaking them. What the world has great need for peace yet they live in fear and turmoil.
So as Christians what do we have? The best place to answer such a question is to turn to scripture, look at Ephesians 1:1-23. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Here we see exactly what we have, but the first order is to know what we have, we must know who it is coming from. Ephesians 1:1‑2 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
What we have is from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. This is important for us to understand that, for it represents the fact that the fullness of the old and new covenants are found therein, both in scripture and in us. What the Father promises as Jehovah (the God who fulfils covenant and keeps promises) will be in your life, for the work of the cross is complete and fulfilled. We must always keep in mind that what we have from the Father and from Jesus came to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus and therefore came at highest price ever paid, and can never be taken back or revoked.
The first thing we find that is ours is Grace and Peace. These set the pace to which we will live, they make everything else well worth having.
GRACE: [charis]: it means that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, good will and favor. So the first assurance in possessing what you already have is to know that it will be good for you. Many people have much that is neither good for them or worth having, yet what God offers is Grace that which is good for you. You can have delight and pleasure in the Father and Jesus. Grace will sustain you in the face of every adverse circumstance; you can go through because Grace is with you. The best way to remember what exactly you have with grace is to use it as an acronym:
Gods, Riches, At, Christ’s, Expense
Next we see that we have been given peace, but not the peace that worlds, which is a peace from outer strife, but a peace that will encompass every area of life, spirit, soul and body. This kind of peace can only cause you to be a winner as a total man.
PEACE [eirene]: which means: A) a harmonious relationship, B) friendliness, C) freedom from molestation, D) to have rest and contentment, E) to be prosperous.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (KJV)
So then when Jesus said that His peace He was leaving us, He was leaving us all these attributes. To live in less is to live outside of the goodness of God Himself.
To have peace we must live in Christ Jesus. His words are to abide in Him. Turn to John 15:4-11, AMP, Abide in Me (this is a command not just a good idea). Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 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.6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
The operation of peace comes to us in the form of what we have in Him, when we abide in Him. So to understand peace we must know our place of residence. We reside In Him:
Romans 3:24, In Him we have redemption.
Romans 8:1, In Him there is no condemnation.
Romans 8:2, In Him is freedom from sin and death.
Romans 8:39, In Him is perfect love.
Romans 12:5, In Him is oneness.
1 Cor. 1:2, In Him is sanctification.
1 Cor. 1:30, In Him is wisdom, righteousness and sanctification.
2 Cor. 2:14, In Him we are triumphing over the enemy.
2 Cor. 5;17, In Him old things die away.
Ephesians 1:3, In Him are all spiritual blessings.
Ephesians 2:6, In Him we are seated in heavenly places.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, In Him is Gods will for you.
To abide outside of Christ is to choose confusion over peace, that of course will never do.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (KJV)
The next thing we have is the security of being blessed, blessed means to be supremely happy, or the power in you, on you and around you to prosper. Notice that nothing is left out, all in the Greek means all, you can’t miss out on any spiritual blessing.
Did you know that what happens first in the spirit will take place in the soul and the body? So as the spirit is empowered with blessing, the other gifts will also come with blessing. This is plainly seen in 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (KJV) This divine power is the dunamis power, or the power that reproduces itself, miracle working power, power for ability, talent, strength, and all wonderful works of the Spirit.
Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (KJV)
What we have now is the fact that we are chosen, many feel alone and left out, never favoured or belonging, yet God says that He has chosen us. To be chosen is to be favoured above all others, so just think you are one of God’s favourites. When were you chosen, before the worlds were formed; now the interesting thing is that word worlds? The earth, the heavens, no, this is not the word for earth or heavens, it is the word Kosmos which means: a harmonious arrangement or constitution, a government. So before any governmental system, including that of Satan, you were already chosen. Some say that the nation of Israel is God’s chosen, that is a fact, but according to this scripture, God had you on His mind, even before their governmental system was established in the heart of Abraham. You were chosen but not as a terrible sinful person but rather one who was spotless and clean, holy.
Ephesians 1:5-6 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (KJV)
You have a destiny, one of success, one of joy, one of love. Your future looks very good because it is planned, one that is intended to bring you into His will, there providing Him with pleasure in seeing His will done in your life.
Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (KJV)
You have been redeemed from all your past, it is forgotten, thrown into a lake of forgetfulness, God placing a sign there on saying “NO FISHING”. Once again it is through that grace that you become the favoured of God.
Ephesians 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (KJV)
He has provided you abundance, with wisdom in the supernatural knowledge of God, working it to the fullest within your situation or circumstance. Prudence is: practical wisdom applied in the best time and manner to secure the best results, knowledge and a holy love for the will of God. It is not common sense, for it will take one beyond the senses into the realm of faith, remember common sense can only work for those to whom it is common within. If one has never heard of something it is not common to that one. Great chefs know certain techniques to achieve certain results, these are common to the chefs, for a chef not to use them would be against their senses. Yet for the average cook they may have never have heard of such tricks and thus they are not common to them. So the same applies to the things of God, in order for them to be common you must have the knowledge of the Word, this can only happen if you spend much time in the Word.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (KJV)
The most holy knowledge one can have is that of the covenant, the one has in Jesus Christ, knowledge of the anointed one and His anointing.
This brings us the next thing we have in God, Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: We know the will of God through the knowledge that we have of Him. There can never be a time that we should wonder what is the will of God for us in any situation, we have already been given the answer to the circumstance. Once again notice that God will forgive, and that gives Him pleasure. We know that only faith pleases God, therefore what His will for us is revealed to us but we must perform that will through faith.
The word mystery is the Greek word “musterion” which means: to shut the mouth, to reveal something that was previously hidden. God great plan for your life had been kept secret until now, now it has been revealed to you for His pleasure. One might be wise in asking oneself a simply question, “what I am about to do, will it give pleasure to God?” If the answer is no, then it is not the plan of God for your life.
Ephesians 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (KJV)
Now by following His will we find that we obtain a better life giving Him pleasure. We already have been given our inheritance, an inheritance is something we obtain after the death of someone. Well Jesus died then rose again to make sure your inheritance was given over to you. What are the terms of His inheritance given to you? 1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (KJV)
Your inheritance is, just what Jesus is, everything He is today we are today, how you see Jesus is how you should see yourself.
Everything you have in Jesus is sealed right there within you. Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (KJV) You are sealed for security sake, secure in Jesus, secure in His anointing, secured through the Holy Spirit.
Sealed, you are concealed from the attacks of the enemy, you are a chosen people, remember 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: (KJV) Now did you know that that word here for peculiar means: God’s own special treasure. That’s you, God’s own special treasure, sealed to Him forever to be secure and confident that you are and will be, just as He is.
Sealed, confirmed or approved by your testimony, what is your testimony? The Word of God in Revelation 12:11 says, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (KJV) Your testimony should always be the Word and nothing less.
I believe in God, Mark 16:15-20 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached ever where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen
I believe in God, but does He believe in me? He said go, so why do we stay? When I received Christ I just believed Him and I wanted everyone I met to know, so I went. There is nothing I agree with in the religion in which I was raised, (Jehovah’s Witness’) but they have a song which partly says:
“Lord here I am send me, send me, I will preach the gospel faithfully, no greater honor could there be, Lord here am I send me, send me” When I sang this in the kingdom hall I believed it, I still do, except now I have the right message.
When He said Go into the world you must do so with excellence. There are two words in the church that bring much confusion and misunderstanding; these words are discipleship and leadership. However both are summed up with a way of life, that way is called having excellence in Christ. Jesus said “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. So then great leaders are first great followers, why even the Lord himself followed after what he saw the Father do. He said “I do nothing except I first see my Father do it”. So He leads by example, He became a disciple of His Father, before He lead by experience raising disciples of His own. Great leaders must first be great followers.
When we examine what it takes to have a life of excellence, it is not just in one area, but in all areas of life. 1 John 4:17 says that as Jesus “is” so are we in this world. So then how is He? He is the most excellent being alive in the universe, and His desire is that we are exactly the same as He. What is He? His entire purpose is to disciple us in His ways causing us to become leaders, leading others into the same life of His excellence. It is being magnanimous
“Magnanimity” generous in forgiving an insult; free from petty resentfulness or vindictiveness. It is being high minded, noble, proceeding from or revealing nobility of mind, character, or spirit. Synonyms: big, liberal, un-spiteful, elevated, lofty.
Becoming such a person is something that we must realize in our lives, that something is the fact that excellence can be learned.. Philippians 4:8-9, 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. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you Here we find that the life of a Christian being one of magnanimity (magnanimous). Verse 8 gives what this life should be like, verse 9 however reveals to us exactly what we need to know.
The life of excellence can be;
- A) Learned, it is Christian practice, James 4:7-17
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? 13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we
God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other shall live, and do this, or that. 16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
- B) Received, it is Christian blessing. Deuteronomy 11:26-28;
26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your gods, which ye have not known.
Psalm 1:1-3; Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Proverbs 10:6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
- C) Heard, it is Christian doctrines. 1 Timothy 4:5-6
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
- D) Seen, it is Christian miracles, mighty power, or mighty works. Galatians 3:1-14 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
We must always keep in mind that although the life of a Christian be uneven and rocky (it is rarely smooth, when it is challenged, this how you grow) that when trials, testing, and temptations come, it is through the life of excellence that they are defeated. These four elements found within these scriptures show us that excellence is not something far off but as near as our learning will take us. It is through these elements that those around us will notice a difference and seek out whatever you may have. What you should have is excellence in life, being ready to lead and disciple.
2 Corinthians 4:13-18.We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
It is not a question as to whether or not you have a choice as to living in a life of excellence; it is the simple fact of the spiritual life that you have been called to live this life. Live it, then boldly speak it.
You are of a royal blood line, 1 Peter 2:9, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: This is not something you should take lightly, nor is it something that you should ever be allowed to be stolen from you. Every attack that Satan brings against you is such an attack. Giving in, reduces your quality of life and the Excellency of it. At times we must refer to very bad people as “Your Excellency” because of the position they hold, you however, are a very good person, called into Royalty, so begin to call yourself “Your Excellency” for it is who you are. Excellency: the title of someone in an important official position, especially someone, such as an ambassador, who represents their government in a foreign country.
You are Christ’s ambassadors, made righteous, therefore administering the same to all you meet, an ambassador of heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:19-21 King James Version (KJV) 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Satan desires that he pulls you down and then flaunt you in front of all to declare “see how noble, royal and regal this so called Ambassador of Christ is”. Don’t ever give him the pleasure of doing it to you.
You must come to a realization that it is the quality of your spirit that brings this nobility into your life. That which first takes place within the spirit realm will eventually find its way into the other realms of your life. Anything that Satan can use to degrade the spirit he will. Ephesians 3:9-21. And to make all men see what is the fellowship (THE STEWARDSHIP) of the mystery( the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but plain to the godly), which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places (angels and demons) might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches (abundance of external possessions) of his glory, to be strengthened with might (dunamis, explosive working of the power contained within) by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Now it is only through a lifestyle of excellence in the faith that those things that we desire can be found. We must never compromise our stand of nobility; our integrity must be of the highest order. Proverbs 11:3-13. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. 4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death. 5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. 6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. 7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. 8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. 9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered. 10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting. 11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked. 12 He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace. 13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
To be of a faithful spirit is to be full of excellence. Why is it that a person of the highest orders are called “your excellency” because they stand for their word regardless of circumstances. Psalms 15:1-4. 1 A Psalm of David. 1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
What is it that reduces the Christian to just another religion? Many differing things will, unbelief will, following after the things of the flesh will. Things like lying, stealing, cheating, living in strife, be full of resentment, etc. etc. etc. Ephesians 2:3-5. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
2 Corinthians 10:4, (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Here is where the true test of the life excellence is, in what fashion or manner will you respond in your present situation, through the flesh or through the spirit. The magnanimous person will always respond within the spirit.
Webster defines magnanimous as “that elevation of dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence”.
All this can only be completely done within the spirit and through actions of the Holy Spirit. You too can have the life of excellence when you discover the power of “as He is, so are you in this world”.
Many people today are miserable because they know not what kind of seed they are and they will not know until they plant themselves and begin to grow. John 12:24-26, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Jesus compares his own life to a seed. It had an eight fold purpose. Just as he did so too does ours. It becomes the reason that we live in this life. Verse 24 shows us the eight elements.
- A) Necessity; (except) Here we see that the life of Jesus was essential, for without it we could not be born again nor have any future. So too are our lives are essential for without us God can do nothing here on the earth for others. Jesus said “I am the way, truth and the life” and He is. Yet he uses us to bring others to him. We are essential because we bring destruction to the enemy. We are essential to the lives of others, for if we are the body then they are part of us and we part of them.
- B) Cause; (fall into the ground) The action placing things behind us once we find the necessity of living. Another word we could use here is requirement. What are the requirements that we place on Jesus. These same requirements are what we place upon ourselves in order that we know our cause. Our cause is simply to provide for all who come our way, which is the message of the good news of the gospel.
- C) Place; (into the ground) There is a place for every seed. Certain seeds grow only in certain soil, under certain conditions, in selected places. What is your place? It should be exactly where God would have you. When we get out from that place then we fail to bring forth the ideal crop. In some they bring forth no crop at all. Have you ever had someone say to you “you need to know your place” generally trying to put you down, as the enemy would do. Yet Jesus gave you have another place with Him, the highest of all places. Hebrews 1:3 King James Version (KJV) 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
- D) Present state; (death) Know that your present state is not relevant to the final outcome, a small ugly seed once it has died brings forth a beautiful plant full of it’s own fruit, be that seed. Knowing that as a seed that you are going to die is very exciting for once you’ve died only then can you bring forth a crop.
Galatians 2:20,21 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. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
2 Corinthians 4:10-11 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
- E) Unselfishness; (not alone) When you sow your life in Christ in excellence it becomes the greatest act of unselfishness. Jesus sowed His life into you, you into His. The seed begins to grow and realizes that in order to live I must continue to draw nourishment from the others around me so I also must put something back into them. Then I will live and be successful.
- F) Resurrection; (bring forth) Here we find the reason that we desire to become a seed which we sow into Jesus, for the seed is resurrected as a thing of beauty; a change took place in you. Now you are new fresh and clean, that’s not all, in the resurrection you’ve multiplied, just as Jesus did, so that now more than 1 billion Christians live on earth. We in Jesus must multiply as well.
- G) Purpose; (much fruit) The very result of our sowing ourselves is that we bring forth much fruit. If our lives are as Christ’s then the fruit will be good. If our lives are as our old man then fruit will be rotten.
- H) Faith; Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Without faith none of this would be possible. We must believe that through faith all things are possible. So that when the dying process begins, we believe that we’ll be back only stronger, richer, and with beauty.
John 15:1-8 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 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. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
The process of sowing is best summed up here; it is abiding in Christ Jesus, in other words to have a constant, enduring, eternal, immutable and permanent relationship with Him. We take up residence within Him, to never leave home. We do this through many and varied methods, Luke 9:23-27 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (take his stand in Christ) daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? 26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Here we see that one way is self denial. That does not mean we deny those things that we do. It does mean that we do not allow the things of the flesh to take charge of our lives. It also says here that we are to take up our cross and follow Him. Have ever wondered what that really means. It means that we are to live that life of excellence; we are not to live a life of compromise, its God way or no way.
Every day we pick up our cross by sowing our lives into him. Romans 8:29, For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. We conform to his image and away from ours.
Faithfulness, the key to maintaining all that is given over to us. One cannot prove faithful to one’s goals and the life of excellence unless one proves themselves faithful. When examining the faithful we must conclude that they posses elements in their character. The faithful will be found to be; Allegiant, constant, dedicated, devoted, loyal, steadfast, trustworthy and secure. Without these elements no faithfulness will be found within a person.
Many are the examples of the faithful person in scripture; one that I like is the one of David King of Israel. Regardless of who and what he faced he stayed faithful to God. Psalms 31:14-24, But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. 15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. 16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. 17 Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. 18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. 19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! 20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD: for he hath showed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city. 22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. 23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. 24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
David would commit the events of his life over to God; God in turn would lift and encourage David, in this passage of scripture David brings light why we serve a God such as the Lord.
Verse 14) He trusts in God, why because He is his Lord. This is a statement of the faithful, in it he is saying that all of the elements needful to be found faithful.
Verse 15) My times are in your hands, the events, circumstances, situations of my life are in your hands. Therefore deliver me from those or that which may be contrary to your desires, for it is they that become my enemies. It is their involvement in my life from which my persecution comes.
Verse 16) Make your face to shine upon me, give me your favour. For in your favour I have deliverance, comfort, healing, provision, preservation, protection, assistance and holiness. Psalms 28:6-9, Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. 8 The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed. 9 Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever. The favour of God v 6) He hears my prayers, v 7) He is my shield, v 7) He is my help, v 8) He is my strength, v 9) He is my salvation, v 9) He is my blessing, v 9) He is my blessing, v 9) He is my food, v 9) He is my support.
Verse 16) Save me for your mercies sake, show me all this favour because of the kindness you show to me in all that I am faithful in.
Verse 17) Let me not be ashamed. Do not allow me to be embarrassed, humiliated, guilty of not be faithful to you. If not then I will not grief stricken or remorseful.
Verse 18) Have those who are found to be unfaithful be put to silence.
Verse 19) Your goodness is far beyond measure, but although it cannot be measured it has been all laid up for me so I receive it. For you have promised it to the faithful.
Verse 20) Psalms 91, Dwelling in the secret place of the Most High.
Verse 20) Strife of tongues, contentious plots.
Verse 21) The trials of the tongue come yet I am blessed for my tongue sings nothing but the praise of the Lord. His favour I have as I dwell within the secret place.
Verse 22) Sure I said the wrong thing at the wrong time, yet I confessed these before you and you still listen to my prayers.
Verse 23) For those who are faithful and take pride in doing the Word, God preserves them and rewards them.
Verse 24) So be of good courage and go all out for God, those who are faithful to Him.
1 Timothy 1:11-13 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
The Gospel can only be given over to those who show themselves to be faithful. So why don’t we take a moment to examine the word faithfully which is to be strict or thorough in the performance of a duty, true to one’s word or promises, reliable, trusted.
Psalm 15:1-5 A Psalm of David. 1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
How is that one shows themselves faithful, 2 Peter 1:1-10 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
V 1) Like precious faith, what the Lord has and is, we too are should have and be the same.
V 2) Grace, peace, and knowledge all help us to maintain faithfulness.
V 3) His divine power (the gospel Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ) Working through us, without this power faithfulness is hard to maintain. All things that pertain shows us Gods faithfulness to us.
V 4) It is these exceeding great promises that develop with us the capability of a servant and it is the servant of love which remains faithful to God. When are partakers of God divine nature, we become the faithful, for our ever changing nature is conforming to His, in the process our nature changes, so too, will our character.
V 5-8) The elements of the faithful. Proverbs 28:20, A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
Excellence in Christ Jesus\Integrity
Integrity: soundness of & adherence to moral principles and character; uprightness; honesty. The state of being whole, entire, undiminished, of prefect condition.
Proverbs 11:3, The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. The integrity of the upright shall guide them.
The just man walks in integrity. Proverbs 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
We must be conformed into Gods image, to conform is to accommodate, adapt, adjust tailor, agree, harmonize, follow, observe, obey and comply with God. In what? It is not so much as in what but rather into what. That’s what His character is, one of the greatest character traits of God is His integrity, to us and to His Word. What He says He will perform. Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God said it that settles it.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Jesus is ever unchanging; His word will perform for us just as it did for Him. One can place complete and utter trust onto the Word of God.
Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. Psalm 119:89-93 Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. It should be our desire to walk in integrity then it is our desire to be like Christ. We must then walk after the manner that He walked.
14 ways to be like Jesus (Dakes Annotated Bible).
- A) Follow after righteousness as He did. 1 John 3:7, John 15:10-14.
- B) Walk free from the world by being in the Word. John 17:14-16.
- C) Self crucifixion. Galatians 2:20. Setting aside our desires and seeking after His.
- D) Walking in newness of this life. Galatians 5:16-26.
- E) Enduring persecutions. John 15:18-20.
- F) Being diligent to do the work of God. John 14:12-14.
- G) Operating in the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:21-23.
- H) Being totally set apart unto God. John 10:36.
- I) Walking in the light. 1 John 1:7.
- J) Having unity with God. John 17:11.
- K) Suffering on the behalf of others. 1 Peter 2:17-24. Lamas
- L) Our life and conduct should be in line with His. 1 John 2:6.
- M) Enduring temptations. Hebrews 6:18.
- N) Manifesting the fullness of God. John 3:34-36.
Psalms 7:8, You are judged according to your integrity.
Proverbs 11:3, Your integrity will be your guide.
Proverbs 19:1, Integrity makes you a better person.
Proverbs 20:7 Your integrity blesses your children.
Psalm 141:3, Proverbs 18:21; 19:9, Your integrity is seen through the keeping of your words.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, Put a guard around your words and your actions.
Quitters never win, Winners never quit.
The life that most Christians lead is not always one of ease. In fact more often than not we face situations and circumstances that many in the world never have to. Why, because we do not belong to this world it belongs to Satan and therefore our presence here is a tremendous threat to him.
Since that threat is constant our need for knowledge to overcome the ever changing threats is also constant. For us to image that we have arrived at the knowledge or in victory can be a fatal mistake. It is usually this kind of arrogance that leads to the defeat of a person and the back slidden results in their lives.
The simple fact in life is that although most never feel that they are winners just having Jesus Christ in their lives as Lord and Savior makes them such. To possess Christ is to possess His knowledge, strength, abilities, compassions and most importantly His love.
So why then do we not feel like the winners at times when the Word declares us to be. The answer is a very simple one, most winners know they are winners. They rely on that fact and not on their feelings. Usually when they win is when they’ve pressed themselves to a point where their feelings are not good but poor. When you rely on your feeling they will speak lies to you and cause your defeat. Feelings or emotions are not a good guide to use when evaluating your situation.
So let’s examine the life cycle of a winner. Joshua 1:6-9, Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. 7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. 8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 9 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.
Here God is giving Joshua the keys to being a winner in Christ. First He tells Joshua to be strong. But where was he to gather strength from. Well verse 7 gives us the answer “the book of the law”. To be strong requires one to exercise the muscles that they have, or to develop what they already have been born with.
When you were born again you were given the strength of Christ, but to never use that strength is tantamount to living weakly. To be strong is to be powerful, healthy, more than competent, abundantly supplied with something, solid, easy to defend, capable of exerting influence, tenacious, convincing, moving with a great force, it is to see the complete work of God protruding from you.
However there has never been a strong Christian who has never spent a great deal of time in the Word of God and in prayer, for this is where the power comes from, this is the strength of the winner.
The next thing God says to Joshua is the very courageous. That is not the same as being strong. To be courageous is to disregard what we may fear and to follow through on the direction given to us. Some time what may be required of us is not what we like or want to do. The courageous person knows regardless of how they feel, it is the right thing to do. It is the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to meet danger or opposition with fearlessness, calmness, and firmness. To be steadfastly minded, established and fortified in a direction of life.
Winners must be strong, yet they also must be constant, that is why God says to be “very courageous”. We must set our course and head only in that direction. The courageous are the ones who know that in the end they will win. Therefore they think, talk and act as if they already have won.
“Be not afraid”. Fear will steal all ground gained and place the possessor of fear in a position of lost instead of winning. Fear is Satan’s death trap, his strongest desire is to see you dead. If he can’t then he wants to see you sick, defeated and fearful. Fear steals faith, paralyses courage and destroys strength.
For all these reasons Gods say be not afraid. The Lord gives us great assurances.
- A) He is with us wherever we go.
- B) His Word is a suit of armor protecting from all the wiles of the devil.
- C) His Holy Spirit lives within and causes all fear to flee in terror from us.
Next God says to be not dismayed. To be dismayed is to; live in alarm, have anxiety, to have apprehension, to live in dread and trepidation and care. To disappoint, have discouragement, disillusionment, to dishearten, to dispirit, and to intimidate. There can be no victory in such a life. In order to live upon this we must take comfort in the fact that everything that God says is so.
The key to prevent any form of dismay coming upon us is that we must be obedient to God, His leadings, and His Word. Never has God brought disappointment to any of His children who truly followed after Him. Jesus said it was the “cares of this world” that steals our faith seed, it does grow and therefore we gain nothing. Mark 4:19 King James Version (KJV) And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
The next key to the life of victory or being a winner is to know that you cannot do it alone. Those who are loners cannot see what surrounds them in all directions. You need the support of like minded persons. Not those who will tell you it can’t be done you already know that. God only uses those who know they are limited. So if the victory is going to come it will have to be through the power of God. When we surround ourselves with others who do not agree with us, their constant negative chiding will place us in a position of weakness. Weaknesses are what Satan looks for, to capitalize upon, so that his weapons of destruction may work they’re worse. Judges 20:22. And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day.
Winners must always exercise patience, without patience no victory will ever will be possible. Psalms 27:14, 38:15. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. 38:15 For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
The victor knows that winning comes only through hope, not hope in the desired result but hope in God. Psalms 39:7 And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee.
The victor knows to win he or she must get familiar with the name of God for it is through His name that all power and authority is given. Psalms 44:5 Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
Know that once you are on the side of God that you are not your own any longer, you’re God’s and if you’re His he’ll look after His own. Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalm 118:6 King James Version (KJV) 6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Finally believe. Every person who ever won anything believed that he could do it. Mark 9:23-24. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
How To Have The Winning Attitude
Before one could have a winning attitude one, one has to understand what an attitude is. An attitude is: an opinion, an outlook, your perspective, any stance taken, a viewpoint. So it is what you think based on the available facts, senses, emotions, and imaginations. In order to have a winning attitude it would be necessary to control these attributes.
Let us look at these closer, remember we said they are facts, senses, emotions and imaginations or fiction. Fiction or imaginations are just what they say they are, an untruth or lie. Of these there is nothing that we can settle upon. They are ever changing according to the whims and wishes of the holder and his thoughts. Believable fiction is a lie so attractive that anyone would have faith in it. Yet it does not change, it is still a lie. Should one base their attitude upon their imagination or what is fiction? No, for if they do they will develop a wrong or poor or even bad attitude toward our own opinion.
Emotions, can our emotions be depended upon so that we could develop a right and true attitude? Again, the answer would have to be an unchallengeable, no. Why not, because your emotions cannot be trusted them self. They are situational and therefore subject to change according to the circumstance that one would find them in. Emotions such as anger, envy, hate and sorrow will warp our viewpoint and cause us to think only upon them. All emotions will blind us to what is beyond them and restrict us to only what they want us to see.
Therefore most, if not all, emotions are lies from the point of view that they are restricted to only their way, they are only related to the moment. If the emotion is temporal and consequently subject to change, could not an attitude developed by it also be subject to momentary fluctuations. Should our attitude fluctuate, it soon becomes evident that it cannot be depended upon.
Senses, we can readily accept that our senses are not the way to assist us in our opinions formation. When is a rose not a rose, when it is in a can of deodorizer! We smell roses yet they do not exist. We may only see a limited amount of persons in a room, therefore our senses say that the world is limited to what we can see, yet we know that to be completely erroneous. We may hear music from a compact disc, but that does not mean that the band is nearby. We may taste a peach in the center of a dessert, however in reading the packaging we find it say artificial flavoring. Our senses cannot be relied upon to help us develop our attitudes.
This leaves us with only one area that requires examination in developing the winning attitude. That area is fact. Yet what is a fact, it is an actuality, certainty, reality, or truth. It is exactly this that we need to use to develop our attitude from. It is these that will cause us to ever have the winning attitude. We need but ask ourselves such questions as;
Is the situation I find myself in, actuality what is happening, or, is there something beyond this that I cannot yet see?
A certainty is an absolute, is this circumstance absolutely without change?
What is the reality of what I am about to say, do, or think?
Is what I see, feel, think and hear the truth, and should I be examining something beyond this to know what the truth truly is?
Once we get clear and definite answers then and only then can be develop an opinion on that situation and then we will have a winning attitude toward the circumstance. James 1:2-22 God always works from the inside out, Satan always works from the outside in.
James 1:2-22 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Therefore our attitude is dependent upon the forces used to change you inside. Use the forces of Satan and your inside will be corrupt and twisted, so too will be your attitude. Use the forces of the Word of God and your inside will be right and true, so too will your attitude. You are able to say “I can afford to have a closed mind, I’m right.
James 1:2, Count it all joy. Joy then cannot be an emotion it must be something greater. It is a force called, blessedness which is “God’s divine favour on us”. We must then know that if God’s favour is upon us then our attitude toward our situation will be as God would declare it to be.
Temptations, testing’s and trials all will come to attack our attitude. When we lose our attitude or the truth of the outcome then it is at this time we either stand or fall into them. Notice that the verse says “when” you fall, so there is a possibility that we may not fall, and if we do then we know there is a way out.
“The trying of your faith” not the destruction or downfall of your faith, just the trying of it. It may be burdensome, demanding, exacting, arduous, difficult, strenuous, taxing or an uphill climb but to try something is not to defeat and destroy it. The trying of your faith is the keeping of your attitude. We have heard “try, try, and try again” faith will continue to try until it finds it’s way.
This why the verse says “works patience,” the word comes from the Greek word “hupomonê” which means to abide under. Under what, under the joy of the Lord. In English patience means composure, forbearance, tolerance, diligence, persistence and stamina. They simply do not get the meaning, for to abide in something is to live in it. If we are to live in God’s divine favor then the trial, test or temptation cannot live there as well.
Notice to that is not you that is on trial it is your faith. Your faith in what, in what you are abiding in. If you are abiding in God then your life in God in on trial. God cannot fail so therefore neither can your faith. Your attitude is protected by your life in Christ and His Word.
Verse 4, To paraphrase “Let what you are abiding in have complete and full control of your life so that you may become fully mature and grown in a life of prosperity, health, deliverance and you become preserved for the work of the kingdom of God”.
Psalms 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.“ With joy and salvation restored in our hearts, the gifts of salvation would only naturally lead us to the right attitude.
The next area to examine in obtaining the winning attitude we find in verse 5 of James 1. Here it simply says that if any lack wisdom “coming from the Greek word sophia” which means the insight into the true nature of things. When we can’t see the full intent of the circumstance we are in, we lack wisdom. Then all we do is go to God, ask for the full picture, then we will be able to comprehend what is about to take place. We must “ask”, if we don’t, how is the answer to come? There are no foolish or faithless questions that we ask of God. James 1:5 King James Version (KJV) 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
After we have asked we must receive the instruction, we must be obedient to the instruction. Many people do not obtain a winning attitude because they disobey the instructions they are given to carry out, or they simply do not act upon those instructions. To be obedient is to stay focused on the instructions given, to be of one mind, heart and action. Romans 8:5-6 King James Version (KJV) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace..
We readily see that the disobedient are in no position to receive from God. In verse 8 it says a double minded man is unstable in all his ways. What’s a double-minded man? A man has two minds, the conscious mind and the subconscious. The conscious mind is what makes us aware of what is happening around us. It makes use of the five senses and then derives an attitude and an action based on what it assimilates. As we have already seen this may not be the correct action.
The subconscious mind is the mind of the spirit. It is what causes us to act without thought for it has been proven to be factual and therefore something that is trustworthy. Being called by your name causes you to respond without thought. You don’t check to see if you are really you when someone speaks your name, you know it as fact. It’s within your spirit, it is correct and that is just the way it is. It is unchangeable.
The double minded person is the person who attempts to place the things the senses show him into his spirit as fact. They are not proven, nor will they work, yet he depends completely upon them for the results that he needs. He wishes for the provision of both the world of the senses and the world of the spirit, when only one will bring the desired result.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
He is the man of “plan B”. He looks for what God says, if doesn’t like it, or if that does not work then there is always another way to do it. When it comes to the things of God there is only “plan A”. God never has a plan B because he never requires one. His plans are prefect and the person with winning attitude gets the prefect plan the first time.
Romans 13:14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Lusts, anything the flesh desires that counters the word of God. Formulating a plan B when God gave plan A just in case it doesn’t work, it is a plan of the flesh, a plan B. If it doesn’t work then God didn’t give it in the first place. Jeremiah 1:12 Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it. God will watch over His Word to perform it.
Say, the next area we examine is the winning attitude in the area of our mouth. What is that we are saying, verse 13. Be sure that we examine our mouths before we go about saying that is God or even that God said it. James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Instead of blaming God learn to submit to Him. That will keep your attitude in check.
The next area to see is that we must “receive the Word”, verse 14&15. To receive the word is to believe it in the heart and to speak it with our mouth. For until it is flowing from our mouths we cannot really say that we received it. To receive something is to obtain it and make it your own.
The final area in having a winning attitude is simply to just “do it”, verse 22. Failure to act on the word is failure to do the things of God. To not perform the things of God is to perform the things of Satan and with him no one wins. Only in Christ and His Word is there any victory, and that’s where the winning attitude can be found.
Harden Not Your Hearts
In this life many of the faith people live lives in much victory. Each has testimony after testimony as to the powerful works that God has performed within their lives.
Yet seemingly for every testimony that comes forth to bring praise to God there are 20 others sitting in the same church that has nothing to praise God in or for. Why? The answer is one main reason, that reason is, the hardening of their hearts toward God.
Now not many would readily admit that they have a harden heart, but then not many understand just what exactly is it that has become hardened. The word simply means to make dry. So then it is to make our heart dry to the things of God. Okay we understand that, it’s easy to see, but what is the method of drying up.
Let’s look at Hebrews 3:7-19 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Here the nation of Israel lived in the very presence of God Jehovah Himself, yet, they disbelieved Him, doubted Him, and this is called a provocation. They provoked God into taking an action that He had no desire to take. They died and the plan of God was put on hold for more than forty years.
The hurting of the heart comes through the failure to believe and trust God. To trust and rely on anything other than the Lord is to fail God and He views it as a great injustice done to Him.
There are those who claim to be standing in faith for many years yet they are actually provoking God because of their unbelief. They claim to confess His word but their tongues do not speak the word of truth. Their actions are contrary to what scripture says, and are in line with what their flesh dictates to them.
Paul brings a stern warning to the church in this passage.
- A) v7, Today hear the voice of God.
- B) v8, Harden not your hearts through the refusal of the Word of God.
- C) v12, Entering into unbelief.
- D) v12, Departing from the living God.
- E) v16, Open rebellion against God.
- F) v17, Open sin, habitual provocation.
- G) v19, Death caused through unbelief, spiritual death.
Hebrews 10:35-39 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Confidence: trusting reliance, an assurance of the mind or firm belief in the integrity or stability of another, or in the truth and reality of a fact. Belief in one’s own competency. He or that which supports. Safety or assurance: security. Boldness, courage.
We must learn the lesson given in Hebrews 11:6 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.
- A) We must have faith.
- B) We must please God.
- C) We must come to God.
- D) We must believe that He is.
- E) We must believe in His reward system.
- F) We must diligently seek Him, (this means after the answer comes just as much as before).
We also harden our hearts by not taking up our residence in Him. John 15:1-16 Phillips version. 500 people saw Jesus ascend into heaven, only 120 were left to experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What happened, they cast away their confidence, and they left from fellowshipping with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:1-6 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
The Ten Most Common Causes of Failure
1) Blaming Others
- A) Who did this to me.
- B) What caused this in my life.
- C) It’s the other guy’s fault.
- D) The other person doesn’t appreciate me.
- E) Each of us will answer before God for His own life. Eph.1:4, Matt.7:1-2, 12:37
2) Blame yourself (in private).
- A) Why was I so dumb. Job 5:1-4 To consider oneself dumb is tantamount to calling yourself a fool. A fool is; one who is dull or stupid, a heedless one, a blockhead, an idiot.
- B) Why do I always do the wrong thing. Romans 14:1-8
- C) Self-blame is the cause of self pity which leads to self-condemnation and eventually to self-destruction.
- D) Blaming yourself opens the door to feelings of guilt. Romans 8:1
- E) Blaming yourself closes the door to self-development.
3) No goals.
- A) Habakkuk 2:2, Amplified version
- B) Proverbs 29:18, no vision, no life
- C) People without goals float through life waiting for the big one to happen.
- D) Many peoples only goal in life is to have fun.
- E) Remember DEAD FISH DON’T SWIM THEY FLOAT.
4) Choosing wrong goals
- A) You must choose your own goals, don’t allow family, friends or circumstances choose them for you.
- B) Study your desires, set your path, then don’t waver from it. 2 Tim. 2:15
5) The short cut
- A) Taking the path of least resistance is not always the best course to take.
- B) There are no short cuts in a life of excellence. Psalms 16:11, Proverb 2:6-15
6) Taking the long road
- A) Israel took so long in getting to the promised land that they never did arrive.
- B) People die and never enjoy what they worked all their lives to gain. Joshua 1:15
- C) Be sure to “stop and smell the roses”. Eccl.2:24, 3:13, 5:18-19, 1 Timothy 6:17
7) Neglecting the little things
- A) There is no substitute for diligence in our lives. Proverbs 4:23, 2 Corinthians 8:7
- B) Proverbs 27:23-24
- C) Proverbs 24:3, Living Bible version
- D) A misplaced decimal point on a patent application once cost Thomas Jefferson a patent and subsequently millions of dollars.
8) Quitting too soon
- A) Men do not fail they give up. Psalms 126:5
- B) Galatians 6:9
9) The burden of the past
- A) 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
- B) It is easier to lie on a bed digging into the past than to sit in a chair and face the future. Psalms 55:22, Jer.17:24
10) The illusion of success
- A) Don’t make the mistake of aiming for what others will approve of. Philippians 1:10
- B) There is more to success than what Hollywood and infomercials tell us. Mark 7:21-23,
1 John 2:16
- C) Matthew 16:26
“The sum total of the whole is greater the sum total of all the parts”.
“Human effort in cooperation with divine grace in the production of salvation”.
Psalms 90:16-17, Colossians 1:10-12, Hebrews 6:9-12
Psalms 133:1 Living Bible, How wonderful it is, how pleasant, when brothers live together in harmony.
Unity is a key principal to living a life free from frustration, strife and loneliness. Ephesians 4:3&13
Even Jesus did not attempt to do the work that the Father had given to him alone. The bible records 12 apostles, 70 disciples and up 500 followers. He had many widows and rich support Him so that work could be accomplished. John 5:17,9:4. The results of no unity or harmony is disarray, Luke 11:17, divided means separated into parts, groups or sections, separate in opinion or feelings, to cause to disagree.
To fail means; to be completely overthrown.
Matthew 18:18-19, Agreement, an expression of the love and compassion of God.
Deuteronomy 32:30, Power in agreement.
Isaiah 59:19; the standard is the agreement with the word in our lives proceeding forth from our mouths and by our actions.
We serve a great and wonderful God. I believe in God and He believe in me.