church

Where do I Belong? Feeling like a Misfit

By stephanie reck

Dictionary.com defines belonging as something that belongs. I don’t know your background, but did you get a sense that you belonged? The world and society says you only belong if you perform up to a certain standard. We can be insecure when we lack a sense of belonging.

You may have not known your parents, whether through adoption, abandonment, or death. You may have not been shown love, acceptance, or felt like you belonged. You may have experienced being bullied or ridiculed by your peers, and felt the sting of rejection by certain groups. You may have endured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and you have never felt like you belonged. You may struggled in school and not made the highest grades. You may have experienced being a teenage mother. You may have struggled with your health, and perhaps even been homebound. You may have come from a financially poor family, and struggled with trying to keep up. You may have a physical disability. You may struggle with your mental and emotional health.

A misfit does not quit fit into anyone class or group. There is a sense of not belonging.

I am a firm believer that attachment and belonging start in infancy and even in the womb. Our parents give us our first sense of belonging and acceptance as well as our image of God. Have you felt like you have never quit fit into a particular group? Have you searched for significance and belonging? I believe, that most girls/women and some men become promiscuous because they are longing to fill the void of belonging, attachment, and love. We see in our society every form of trying to fill the void of belonging and love, whether through gangs, cults, and even religion.

Psychologist, John Bowlby, introduced the attachment theory. Bowlby presents that when we are accepted by others we experience warmth and security, and by contrast when we experience rejection by others it can cause shame and anxiety. Bowlby’s work included his theory on the relationship between infants and their caregivers. It was proposed that strong, secure attachments found in early years were associated with an individual’s ability to form intimate trusting and emotionally secure relationships.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, introduced the “hierarchy of needs.” Basically he formulated a pyramid with five levels of our basic needs, one of the five, he labels love and belonging. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, including family and friends. Humans need to love and to be loved by others.

You may be thinking that you have not received that kind of love and belonging in your relationships, whether family, friendships, or others. As a child, I did not fit in and belong, and even as an adult I still have not found one particular group of people I can say I totally belong. Even though, I do belong to the Body of Christ, there are stills groups and cliques we form in the church. I am eclectic, a hodge-podge of various things, and I am not a typical “church girl.” I don’t like dresses, things that are “frou-frou,” I don’t come from a Christian heritage, I prefer to hang-out with people who are the misfits, and I have a prodigal son that I had as a teenager.

Maybe you are physically disabled, homebound, homeless, an orphan, a widow, a teenage mother, have no children, single, financially strapped, have health ailments, or even emotional issues. Maybe you have come from an environment that you did not feel loved and felt like you belonged. Maybe you were abused, abandoned, rejected, and tossed-aside. Maybe you were forgotten or misunderstood. Maybe you have always felt different. You are not alone. There are countless others, including myself, who have experienced these difficulties.

BUTReflect on these truths

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

~ Don’t compare yourselves to others.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:10

~ Know matter your family background, you have been adopted into the family of God.

God has a special place in His heart for misfits. God always had in His heart to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless. Jesus did not just come for the powerful, the prosperous, or the religious, but Jesus came for the blind, the lame, the diseased, the dead, the hurting, the outcasts, and the sinners. Just look through the Bible and you can find numerous misfits God choose to use and redeem for His purposes. God is a redeemer that means whatever your losses have been, He will rectify them. Abraham and Sarah, a childless couple, God chose to make a great nation though them. Moses, had a speech impediment and was a murderer, yet God still used him. The disciples were misfits, tax collectors, fisherman, and just commonplace. Rahab, the prostitute, obviously a misfit, was used by God and was seen as faithful. Naomi, a widow and, and bitter because of her circumstances; God sent her a kinsmen-redeemer, and she was used mightily with her daughter-in-laws.

God still uses misfits today! If you are a misfit, you can rejoice that God has a special plan and purpose for your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you belong to God’s family. Though you may have been rejected by people or may have not felt accepted; you are accepted and loved by God.

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian coach & counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2013, Hope Counseling Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Where do I Belong? Feeling like a Misfit

By stephanie reck

Dictionary.com defines belonging as something that belongs. I don’t know your background, but did you get a sense that you belonged? The world and society says you only belong if you perform up to a certain standard. We can be insecure when we lack a sense of belonging.

You may have not known your parents, whether through adoption, abandonment, or death. You may have not been shown love, acceptance, or felt like you belonged. You may have experienced being bullied or ridiculed by your peers, and felt the sting of rejection by certain groups. You may have endured physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and you have never felt like you belonged. You may struggled in school and not made the highest grades. You may have experienced being a teenage mother. You may have struggled with your health, and perhaps even been homebound. You may have come from a financially poor family, and struggled with trying to keep up. You may have a physical disability. You may struggle with your mental and emotional health.

A misfit does not quit fit into anyone class or group. There is a sense of not belonging.

I am a firm believer that attachment and belonging start in infancy and even in the womb. Our parents give us our first sense of belonging and acceptance as well as our image of God. Have you felt like you have never quit fit into a particular group? Have you searched for significance and belonging? I believe, that most girls/women and some men become promiscuous because they are longing to fill the void of belonging, attachment, and love. We see in our society every form of trying to fill the void of belonging and love, whether through gangs, cults, and even religion.

Psychologist, John Bowlby, introduced the attachment theory. Bowlby presents that when we are accepted by others we experience warmth and security, and by contrast when we experience rejection by others it can cause shame and anxiety. Bowlby’s work included his theory on the relationship between infants and their caregivers. It was proposed that strong, secure attachments found in early years were associated with an individual’s ability to form intimate trusting and emotionally secure relationships.

Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, introduced the “hierarchy of needs.” Basically he formulated a pyramid with five levels of our basic needs, one of the five, he labels love and belonging. According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups, including family and friends. Humans need to love and to be loved by others.

You may be thinking that you have not received that kind of love and belonging in your relationships, whether family, friendships, or others. As a child, I did not fit in and belong, and even as an adult I still have not found one particular group of people I can say I totally belong. Even though, I do belong to the Body of Christ, there are stills groups and cliques we form in the church. I am eclectic, a hodge-podge of various things, and I am not a typical “church girl.” I don’t like dresses, things that are “frou-frou,” I don’t come from a Christian heritage, I prefer to hang-out with people who are the misfits, and I have a prodigal son that I had as a teenager.

Maybe you are physically disabled, homebound, homeless, an orphan, a widow, a teenage mother, have no children, single, financially strapped, have health ailments, or even emotional issues. Maybe you have come from an environment that you did not feel loved and felt like you belonged. Maybe you were abused, abandoned, rejected, and tossed-aside. Maybe you were forgotten or misunderstood. Maybe you have always felt different. You are not alone. There are countless others, including myself, who have experienced these difficulties.

BUTReflect on these truths

You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, that you may proclaim the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

~ Don’t compare yourselves to others.

For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:10

~ Know matter your family background, you have been adopted into the family of God.

God has a special place in His heart for misfits. God always had in His heart to take care of those who could not take care of themselves, the orphan, the widow, and the fatherless. Jesus did not just come for the powerful, the prosperous, or the religious, but Jesus came for the blind, the lame, the diseased, the dead, the hurting, the outcasts, and the sinners. Just look through the Bible and you can find numerous misfits God choose to use and redeem for His purposes. God is a redeemer that means whatever your losses have been, He will rectify them. Abraham and Sarah, a childless couple, God chose to make a great nation though them. Moses, had a speech impediment and was a murderer, yet God still used him. The disciples were misfits, tax collectors, fisherman, and just commonplace. Rahab, the prostitute, obviously a misfit, was used by God and was seen as faithful. Naomi, a widow and, and bitter because of her circumstances; God sent her a kinsmen-redeemer, and she was used mightily with her daughter-in-laws.

God still uses misfits today! If you are a misfit, you can rejoice that God has a special plan and purpose for your life. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you belong to God’s family. Though you may have been rejected by people or may have not felt accepted; you are accepted and loved by God.

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian coach & counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2013, Hope Counseling Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Are You Persuaded?

All You Need is Love

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Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 – by R. Marie Thompson

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJ

This passage of scripture reminds me that no matter what, God loves me! It also reminds me of how much I love Him! My favorite words, “I am persuaded.” I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of tribulation because I know that He loves me and He is with me! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror when I am distressed because I know that He loves me and He will help see me through! I am persuaded that I am more than a conqueror during persecution for His name sake because I know that He loves me and that He honors those who honor Him! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of famine and nakedness because I know that He loves me and ‘He knows what I have need of’ which means He will provide for all my needs. I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of peril because I know that He loves me, He is my sword, ‘my shield and my buckler.’

There is nothing that can separate us from His love for us. It is constant and ever present. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love for us, His creation, never changes. His love is the lifeline that sees us through and it is the one thing that we can always count on! His love for us is more powerful than death, life, angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths, or any created thing.

I too, am persuaded that nothing can separate us from His love and so – me and my house, we will LOVE the Lord!

R. Marie Thompson is a Youth Pastor from New Hampshire who has a love for God and a passion for sharing His Word. Contact

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Think About What You Are Thinking About

By Irma Green

Be careful what you think!!  Most of us do not think about what we are thinking about.  We just let our minds idol on anything.  if we don’t think about what we are thinking about Satan will inject his thoughts into our minds (idol mind is the devil’s workshop).

Most of the time, we spend time thinking about things not worth thinking about.  Think about what you are thinking about!  Is it really worth your time thinking about it?

Some of us spend so much time thinking all the wrong things.  Some of us are addicted to wrong thinking.  We get up in the morning thinking wrong thoughts; we go all day thinking wrong thoughts; we go to bed at night still thinking wrong thoughts.  And wonder why we are so miserable.

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT THOUGHTS!  YOU MUST SAY: “I choose NOT to think that.  I choose not to allow that thought to fester in my mind.  It is shocking how many believers are pulled down simply because of the thoughts they allow to fester in their minds.  You can have victory simply through changing the way you think, and by controlling the thoughts that flow through your mind.

You need to stop sometime and think about what you are thinking about.  Watch what you think about during your every waking hour.  You have authority over your thoughts.  You must choose what you think about.  The Bible says, “If it is not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, if it is not virturous, or praiseworthy, do not even think about them.

The reason for pure thoughts is to get Satan out of your mind.  There is a proverbial saying, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from making a nest in your hair.”  By the same token, you can control your thoughts!  You can’t stop them from coming into your mind, but you can stop them from staying there.

We are told to, “Set our minds on things above, not on things of the earth.”  In other words, think Godly thoughts.  Instead of exercising our minds on negative things and worrying over things we can’t do anything about.

Instead of thinking about the problems in our lives, let us think about the solutions. Get the solution you want in your mind and hold that thought; make it your dominate thought.
Let me ask you something? If you would take inventory of the thoughts you’ve been thinking the past week, what kind of thoughts were they? Were they negative? Were they focused on your problems? Or, were they positive?

How much time have you spent over the past week thinking about the goodness of God? How He is your healer, your deliver, your provider, etc. Or, were they problem focused thoughts?

You need to be careful how you think about people.  That person that you are holding an evil or negative thought against is a bondage, it’s a stronghold that Satan has you in and it is blocking your blessing.  Not only that, that person is controlling you, your happiness because you are constantly thinking about that person – morning noon and night.  I want you to know that, the thoughts and feelings you send out to this person are going through you.  And what goes through you returns to you.

You cannot hold negative thoughts against someone and expect God to bless you.  That negative thought is more harmful to you than the person.  Think about what you are thinking about!! – God bless

Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Motivational Speaker/Bible Teacher
Reality Life Coach for Women
www.birthinganewyou.org  irmagreen8@aol.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Who You Are Not!

Worship

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By Steve Countryman

That is a statement that you must always keep in mind when Satan attacks your mind.  For he will always try to remind you who you were and what you used to do.  He wants to drag you back into your past and keep you there.  It is one of the many lies that he tells you as he tries to deceive you into believing it.  But God has delivered you and set you free from your past and from your past sins.  YOU ARE NO LONGER THAT PERSON!  It is easy to forget who you are now when you slip up and commit a stupid sin like one from your past.  You have to remember that you are not that person but are now the King’s child, adopted into God’s family, an heir to the thrown and a child of the Most High God.  You have been set apart, made Holy and righteous.  You are deserving, worthy and covered in His glory.  All the power and authority of heaven lives and resides in you daily and His name is Jesus!

Once you were lost living a life without purpose and meaning.  Having the hope of the world trusting in man and man’s wisdom.  But the very best man can do is to let you down.  For the truth and wisdom that man relies on is his own not God’s.  A truth that is always changing and wisdom that is based on situational circumstances.  Not on what is right but what is right for now.  As a child of God you have a hope and a future that the average person lacks.  You get to rely on God’s wisdom and never changing truth.  You are not who you used to be.  Who you used to be is now part of your testimony.

The Bible declares who you are.  You are more than a conquer.  You are more than an over-comer.  You are a believer.  You are above and not beneath.  You are the head and not the tail.  For you can do ALL things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you.  You are a Holy Spirit filled believer who walks by the leading of the Spirit and has all spiritual blessing and gifts made available to you.

You are not who friends say you are.  You are not who your parents say you are.   You are not who family says you are.  You are not who schoolmates say you are.  You are not who co-workers say you are.  You are not who teachers, professors, bosses or clergy say you are.  You are not who Satan says you are.  You are not who your past says you are.  You are not who doctors say you are.  You are not who the authorities say you are.  You are much, much more than all of that.  Though “who you are not” may be a big list it is not near as important or as meaningful as who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you!  That is who God says you are!  Who you used to be is not who you now are and is not why you are here!

______________________

About the Author:
My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Jesus Died for You…What are you doing for Him?

JesusTribe

@creationswap/ryanharmon

 

By: Arlene Price

 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (New International Version (NIV))

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

If someone told you today that tomorrow they will die so that you might be saved what would you do for them, what would you say to them? Meditate on this and really imagine how you would respond.

Jesus did this very thing for you already; he died on the cross so that you may be saved. Are you waking up each morning and thanking him? Are you asking him each and every day “What can I do today Lord to serve you?” Is going to church your only sense of obligation for such a great sacrifice? Why would you not put God first in your life? Christians are Christians because they put Him first – that is what a Christian must do. Have a grateful heart, pray continuously – not just when there is a need or emergency – praise his name throughout the day for all you have, forgive quickly and often. Serve your church – it is the house of God.

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version (NIV))

Do Everything without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Everyday adopt the attitude that firmly says “I will do something spiritually meaningful today.” Do you think you have not talent, no skills, nothing to offer? God has given you all you need to give back to him.  Do you often ask yourself “How can I help my church?” You should be doing this each and every day; it’s you real “job” on earth once you are a Christian. If you ask your church if they need your help, what will they say? I can tell you it’s a resounding “Yes!” No matter what you think you can do or can’t do you can always do something. Whether it’s one large project or little things every day, you have what God needs and he is asking you to use your gifts. So close your eyes and ask the question: “God, what would you have me do for you today?” then LISTEN…the answer is sometimes instant and other times it will suddenly hit you during a conversation, a car ride, or numerous other activities you could be doing and you will “know” what you can do. Here are things God says you can do for Him and his church:

I can …

…write spiritual poems, essays, articles, stories.

…paint a picture for the enjoyment of the lonely or to raise money for charity.

…make house repairs for those unable to do for themselves.

…put together a gift basket or care package for the needy.

…give my testimony; someone needs to hear it today.

…help my neighbor, my friend, a family member, a co-worker with a problem.

…cook a meal, a desert, a casserole for someone in need.

…hold the hand of dying child or elder and let them know I care.

…read the bible to someone blind.

…invite a friend or neighbor to church.

…take someone outdoors who is unable to walk and let them enjoy beauty of the day.

…sing a song for the Lord. I can praise his name aloud.

…assist with church activities: take photos, make video of church events and sermons, submit items to our website and/or newsletter, help with an event, make phone calls, talk to the community, decorate, draw, play an instrument, join the choir, teach, volunteer my time wherever needed. The list is endless…

I can develop into a real Christian today by praying, studying my bible, asking questions of those who can help me grow.

I can do all things through Christ today.

I can serve…

I will serve…

I am serving the Lord.

EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING

Any of the things above or something you know will help. There are no excuses when it comes to serving the church and serving the Lord. There are no excuses to wait until tomorrow; there are no reasons not to do your part – no other obligation in you your life means more than your service. When you become a Christian you must let Christ live within you and guide you, if you try  to do it alone or are only on Sunday Christian, you will get off track and things will start going wrong in your life fast. Let Him show you the way. Believe in yourself because you are a child of Christ and through him you CAN NOT FAIL. Do not live life for your desires or for the world; it’s about HIM and his sacrifice for YOU. Do all these things in His name and you will receive so much joy and you will live in wonderment at your many blessings. You will go to bed satisfied — knowing that today you have served the Lord first.

Galatians 5:24  (New International Version (NIV))

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

How to know what you must do?

Step 1: Pray for guidance

Step 2: Meditate on those things you enjoy or are good at doing. LISTEN for the answer.

Step 3: Go forward and take action asking God to go before you and make your way smooth.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 every day.

Why wait another minute? Get busy with God’s work now. He made the ultimate sacrifice for you by giving his Son to die upon the cross for your sins. There is no sacrifice you could make of your time that could be greater than what has been done for you. As a Christian you put away worldly things and put Christ at the center. His will is now your will, not the other way around. Wake up! Take up the cross and do the work you were called to do.

Galatians 2:20 (New International Version (NIV))

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Arlene Price©2013, All Rights Reserved

Prayers God Answers – The Prayer of Jabez

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In the midst of a long list of who beget whom is a short, two verse, story about an honorable man and his prayer. It was a prayer that God answered. This powerful Old Testament prayer can serve as a model for our own prayers. Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez, became a huge success. It became so successful that many people felt that there must be something wrong with it. But this prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:10 is a great prayer for one simple reason: God answered it. And we need to take another look at this simple, but effective, little prayer.

“Oh, that You would bless me indeed,” 1 Chronicles 4:10b

Many people feel that it’s wrong for us to ask God to bless us, but they miss the point. The point is: God wants to bless us.

Psalm 67:1-2 says, “God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, Selah. That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.”

When God blesses us He reveals to the entire earth just who He is. And God’s salvation, His power, love, and mercy, are proclaimed when He blesses His people.

“…and enlarge my territory,” 1 Chronicles 4:10c

Jesus’ disciples got into an argument about who was going to be the greatest among them. Jesus knew that they were having this discussion, so He confronted them about it. What’s interesting is that He did NOT say to them: “You shouldn’t want to be great.” Instead He gave them specific instructions about HOW to be great. In Luke 22:24-2 , Jesus tells the disciples that the Gentiles believe being great means ruling over people, but that is not how they are to understand greatness. He says, “he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.” To be great, we must become greater servants. Our greatness is not determined by who we look down on or who works for us, but by the kinds of people we serve, the number of people we serve, and the way in which we serve them.

” …that Your hand would be with me,” 1 Chronicles 4:10d

Most people spend their lives trying to figure out how little they can get by with. They want to get more for doing less. Jabez knew that by asking God to help him serve more, he was asking God to help him do more than he could possibly accomplish on his own. He purposely asked God to put him in a position where he had to depend on God. As Michelangelo once said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”

“…and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” 1 Chronicles 4:10e

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” in Luke 11:4. Sin and evil are all around us and we need to be aware of our dependence on God to live a life that pleases Him in every area.

But a second aspect of this prayer becomes clear when we read that the name “Jabez” means pain. It was the name that his mother gave him because of the pain he caused her during birth. Jabez had spent his entire life, every time he was introduced to someone or whenever someone called his name, being reminded that he had brought pain into his mother’s life. We all have to pray for God to help us overcome the wrong beliefs that we have about ourselves. Whether it was our parents, teachers, or anyone else who said them, we all have beliefs about ourselves that simply aren’t true. They are nothing more than what others have projected onto us because of what they were experiencing or what they believed.

God wants to bless us and help us become greater servants. In order to do that He wants us to depend on Him completely in every area of our lives. And He wants us to believe the truth about who we are. We are His children, He loves us, and He is with us every moment of our lives. He wants to do great things in our lives. At the end of of this simple prayer in

1Chronicles 4:10 we read, “So God granted him what he requested.”

When we pray this prayer that God answers, just like Jabez , our lives will never be the same.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rob Marshall is the author of “Taking On Goliath – How to Unleash the David in All of Us.” Learn how you can unleash your faith and overcome any “Goliath” that may stand between you and your dreams. http://www.TakingOnGoliath.com
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Do you have Faith or do you Doubt? – By Henry Miranda

doubt640x380

Photo compliments of:©CreationSwap/Thomas Roberts

Hebrews 11:1-2 (NKJV)
1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
These are some scriptures on doubt:
Matthew 21:21   James 1: 6  1 Timothy 2: 8  Jude 1: 22   Mark 11:23
Matthew 14: 31  Romans 14: 23  Psalm 86: 2   Matthew 28: 17

Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (NIV)

Faith is believing God without a waiver, without doubting and without questioning what He says. It is taking God at His Word and believing that what He has promised He is able to deliver. It is believing not only that He is able, but that He will do it. It is the act of counting those things that “be not as though they were” (Rom. 4:17). Faith is also the absolute conviction that what God has promised and what we have asked according to His Word is already done. It is “the substance of things hoped for” and the first payment on things that we desire from God (Heb. 11:1-3).

Doubt is to be uncertain about something you consider questionable or unlikely, and hesitate to believe. There are many Christians who have doubt or dealing with doubt.

Not only can you be a Christian and still have some doubts, but Doubting is a common experience among Christians.  You can hardly be a Christian without doubting at times. After all, if doubting was not possible, faith would not be possible either.

Doubting does not mean that your faith stops. It means you are trying to understand your faith at a deeper level. Rather than being afraid of doubts, we should allow doubt to take us into a deeper experience of faith and growth in our Christian walk. Doubts about God can enter our Christian life at any time, but that doesn’t mean we have a weak relationship with God.

The problem is that we want something tangible we can see or touch. But
God is spiritual and often so is the work God is doing in our life. No matter how many times God has intervened and rescued us in the past, we quickly forget. Then we want a sign that He’s involved in our lives again. That’s just the way we are as human beings. Like the apostle Thomas, “seeing is believing” for us.

Doubt is something all Christians experience. When bad things happen to us, we wonder why God isn’t there. When people ask us questions about God that we can’t answer, doubt rears its ugly head. How do we overcome doubt and believe in what we can’t see?

It’s first important to understand what causes us as Christian to doubt. And that would be Satan the primary enemy of God. (Genesis 3:1-6) Just as God, work in a spiritual realm to draw us near to Him, Satan and his demons work to drag us away from God. One of their weapons is doubt and they love to plant seeds of doubt in our mind. When we doubt the existence of God, the power of God, the love of God or the sacrifice of Christ, we give the enemy a foothold in our minds.

Once Satan has a foothold, he has an invitation to work away at our mind. We’ve given him permission to do so by agreeing with him that there is cause for doubt. At this point, we have a choice, to go on agreeing and be pulled away from God or to seek help in pulling out the seeds of doubt. We don’t give up our feelings of doubt right away; we rescind the invitation that we gave to Satan by our agreement with him. Once we decide to seek the truth, we regain control of our minds and can pursue those things that would reassure us in our faith.

Related to doubt, but not quite the same is the state of unbelief. Doubt says, “I don’t think that can happen.” Unbelief says, “No way can that happen.”

Zacharias is an example of unbelief. The angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him that his wife would conceive, even though she was beyond childbearing years. (Luke 1:18-20) He refused to believe even with an angel standing in front of him! Unbelief is what doubt grows into. Somewhere within Zacharias was a preconceived notion that there are limits to what God can do. When confronted with a miracle, the seeds of doubt bloomed in Zacharias’ mind.

This point is important because we never know what God has planned for us. What if He comes to you with a miracle someday and you lose out because your seeds of doubt bloom into unbelief? We must always guard against doubt. All around us is testimony to the power of God. The intricately delicate world that is our habitat and the amazing bodies that we live in testify to a Creator every day.

Satan is not to be trusted. His warfare is not going to be carried on in an honest, reliable fashion. Satan loves to take advantage of us. He lays snares for us. He uses his wiles, and his devices are very clever.

Active living faith is necessary in order to get answers to prayer. We must learn to use this kind of faith in God. We must learn to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold of God and His Word. We are surrounded by an unbelieving world and we live in an atmosphere of doubts. Demons, fallen angels, and evil men have lived for centuries in unbelief and wickedness creating currents of doubt and mistrust that are very subtle and deceiving to those who desire to have faith. True faith is having complete confidence in Christ at all times no matter what is going on in your life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)
7  For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith causes you to know in your heart before you see with your eyes. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith in Jesus Christ calls for total reliance on Him even when things don’t make sense to us. A blind person has to have faith. He must believe that his guide will not lead him into any dangerous situations. He can’t see he must depend on whoever leads him. To have faith is to believe in something or someone, to fully trust, to be so confident that you base your actions on what you believe. To have faith is to be fully convinced of the truthfulness and reliability of that in which you believe.

Faith in God is having the kind of trust and confidence in God and in Christ that leads you to commit your whole soul to Him as Saviour (Justifier, Cleanser, Healer, and Deliverer) and Lord (Master, King) of our lives. Faith is a tough thing.  Sometimes it’s really hard to trust God, but that’s what He wants.  He asks us to be totally dependent on Him. God is waiting for us to follow the examples in the Bible, acknowledge that we can’t do it alone, and put everything in His hands.  Easier said than done? Perhaps, Worth it?  Always.

You first have to learn how to put complete trust in God, then faith will follow.

God is in control of everything in heaven and on the earth. You must have complete trust and complete faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in the Lord leads to a complete conversion. You have to have faith to be able to face tomorrow with confidence. Confidence that you will get that job that is faith. Sometimes, all we need is to be reminded of what faith really is.

God has given us the ability to choose and decide. Sometimes we are bound to be tested and God again assures us in 1 Cor 10:13 that He will never let us be tempted beyond what we can take. All in all, with the great challenges that we must all undergo, we can be victory and emerge as stronger men and women of God. We never need to go looking for trials and tribulations, they will find us. But when faced with them, God gives us strength to overcome.

Great and motivating faith is based in trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and His ever willing desire to meet our needs. We are called to look to Jesus, the originator and perfecter of our faith, who bears witness to us of the faithfulness of God All who believe (and remain) in Christ will certainly be saved (John 6:37, 40; 10:27, 28; Rom. 8:1).provided, that he does not fall away from God and become apostate.

True faith will always bring results if one will intelligently seek to know what God says and base his faith upon the Word of God

About the Author:
I now live in San Bernardino, California, graduated from La Puente high school in 1963 and became a Christian in 1984. From there I went on to do four years of community college. After 20 years of being a Christian, I completed four years of Bible College and earned a Bachelor of Christian Ministry

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Jesus died for you….what are you doing for him?

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (New International Version (NIV))

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

If someone told you today that tomorrow they will die so that you might be saved what would you do for them, what would you say to them? Meditate on this and really imagine how you would respond.

Jesus did this very thing for you already; he died on the cross so that you may be saved. Are you waking up each morning and thanking him? Are you asking him each and every day “What can I do today Lord to serve you?” Is going to church your only sense of obligation for such a great sacrifice? Why would you not put God first in your life? Christians are Christians because they put Him first – that is what a Christian must do. Have a grateful heart, pray continuously – not just when there is a need or emergency, praise his name throughout the day for all you have, forgive quickly and often. Serve your church; it is the house of God.

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version (NIV))

Do Everything Without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Everyday adopt the attitude that firmly says “I will do something spiritually meaningful today.” Do you think you have not talent, no skills, nothing to offer? God has given you all you need to give back to him. Do you often ask yourself “How can I help my church?” You should be doing this each and every day; it’s you real “job” on earth once you are a Christian. If you ask your church if they need your help, what will they say? I can tell you it’s a resounding “Yes!” No matter what you think you can do or can’t do you can always do something. Whether it’s one large project or little things every day, you have what God needs and he is asking you to use your gifts. So close your eyes and ask the question: “God, what would you have me do for you today?” then LISTEN…the answer is sometimes instant and other times it will suddenly hit you during a conversation, a car ride, or numerous other activities you could be doing and you will “know” what you can do.

Here are suggestions of things you may do for His church daily –

I can write spiritual poems, essays, articles, stories.

I can paint a picture for the enjoyment of the lonely or to raise money for charity.

I can make house repairs for those unable to do for themselves.

I can put together a gift basket or care package for the needy.

I can give my testimony; someone needs to hear it today.

I can help my neighbor, my friend, a family member, a co-worker with a problem.

I can cook a meal, a desert, a casserole for someone.

I can hold the hand of dying child or elder and let them know I care.

I can read the bible to someone blind.

I can invite a friend or neighbor to church.

I can take someone outdoors who is unable to walk and let them enjoy beauty of the day.

I can sing a song for the Lord. I can praise his name aloud.

I can assist with church activities: take photos, make video of church events and sermons, submit items to our website and/or newsletter, help with an event, make phone calls, talk to the community, decorate, draw, play an instrument, join the choir, teach, volunteer my time wherever needed. The list is endless…

I can develop into a real Christian today by praying, studying my bible, asking questions of those who can help me grow.

I can do all things through Christ today.

I can serve…

I will serve…

I am serving the Lord.

Everyone can do something. Any of the things above or something you know will help. There are no excuses when it comes to serving the church and serving the Lord. There are no wait until tomorrows, there are no reasons not to, no other obligation in you your life means more than your service. When you become a Christian you must let Christ live within you and guide you, if you try do it alone or only on Sunday, you will get off track and things will start going wrong in your life fast. Let Him show you the way. Believe in yourself because you are a child of God and through Him you CAN NOT FAIL. Do not live life for your desires or for the world; it’s about HIM and his sacrifice for YOU. Do all these things in His name and you will receive so much Joy that you will live in wonderment at your many blessings. You will go to bed satisfied that this day you have served the Lord first and your day was better for it.

Galatians 5:24 (New International Version (NIV))

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
How to know what you must do?

Step 1: Pray for guidance

Step 2: Meditate on those things you enjoy or are good at doing. LISTEN for the answer.

Step 3: Go forward and take action asking God to go before you and make your way smooth.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 every day.

Why wait another minute? Get busy with God’s work now. He made the ultimate sacrifice for you by giving his son to die upon the cross for your sins. There is no sacrifice you could make of your time that that could be greater than what has been done for you. As a Christian you put away worldly things and put Christ at the center. His will is now your will, not the other way around. Wake up, take up the cross and do the work you were called to do.

Galatians 2:20 (New International Version (NIV))

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Arlene Price ©2013