Perseverance

Perseverance is a repeating theme in God’s word to us.  In 1 Kings, we read about Elijah bringing the son of a widow back to life.  Elijah stretched out on the boy 3 times, crying out to the Lord  to let this boy’s life return to him.June 4 2015 Persevering

Elijah didn’t do this just once and, when nothing happened, shrug his shoulders and say it must not be God’s will.

He didn’t do it just twice, hoping maybe the 2d time something would happen.

He did this 3 times.

And I really wonder how many times Elijah would have kept doing this?  Calling out to God!  Crying aloud!

How many of us stop asking God for something if he doesn’t answer the first time?  Or the second time?  How many of us persevere in asking again and again?  5 times?  50 times?.

Would Elijah have kept doing this until God answered?

I believe God always answers our prayers and requests.  It’s not always a ‘yes’ like it was for Elijah in this situation.  Sometimes its a ‘no’ or a ‘wait’.

As Elijah persevered, God answered.  I believe God would have shown Elijah his answer even if it was a ‘no’ or a ‘wait’.  Something would have happened that told Elijah God’s answer.  Elijah wasn’t giving up.  He wasn’t stopping.  He believed God was going to answer and Elijah was going to keep calling out until he got a clear response from God.

God teaches us over and over in his word that he honors perseverance.

Please help us grow our perseverance and faith, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class – It is Possible

Nothing is impossible with God.  We have memorized the whole first chapter of James and I know that would be totally impossible for me if God wasn’t helping.  I’m not good at memorizing things…..but scripture is different.  God makes it possible.James 1 1 - 9

So with hearts filled with gratitude to God for helping us carve these words right into our hearts and minds, we lift these words to you, dear Father:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.James 1 part 2

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position while the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, for he will pass away like the wild flower.  The sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; the blossoms fall and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, a rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because, when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desires, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word that is planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is a like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that brings freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he heard, but doing it – that man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone considers himself to be religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  Religion that God the father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep from being polluted by the world.

One of the ways we keep ourselves from being polluted by the world is memorizing scripture.  God’s truth sinks into our brain, changing our thoughts which changes our attitude which changes our actions.

Thanks you, dear Father.

Sword Fighting Class – Everything Good

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”James 1 1 -9

“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, for he will pass away like the wildflower.  The sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man fades away even while he goes about his business.”

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because, when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to all who love him.”James 1= 13-18

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’, for God cannot be tempted by evil or does he tempt anyone.   But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

Great job!  We’re memorizing James 1 and we are over half-way!  Thank you, dear God, for helping us write your word upon our hearts!  Here are the next two verses:

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the Heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

I love this verse!  Everything good comes from God.  Everything that is true and good and fun and worthwhile comes from God.

This was driven home to me one year when my company had all of the top leaders attend a seminar to help us personally work through things in our heads and hearts because they knew we would be better employees if we were better people.

It was not a faith-based seminar but every main point they made was Biblical……..because all truth comes from God.  All good things come down from the Father of Heavenly light.

There is nothing good on earth that did not come from him.

I like the last part of that verse as well – God doesn’t change.  The rest of our world changes every second, shifting around like shadows that move as the sun moves.    God is our consistent Rock.  He is our only anchor.

Thank you, Abba Father!

Sword Fighting Class – Victory

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be complete and mature, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to him.James 1 1 - 9

“But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord: he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.  But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wildflower.  The sun rises with scorching heat and the plant withers; it’s blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, a rich man fades away even while he goes about his business.”James 1, 9-12

Wow!  We are doing great at memorizing James 1!  Keep it up!  Here’s the next verse:

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

When we persevere in our faith through trials, we grow closer to God.  We have victory over the trials and sufferings of this world.

Victory.  A great word.  An even better feeling of accomplishment.  God gives us victory which helps us find meaning and purpose to our trials.

What a great way to show God we love him – by standing the test of the trials that come our way and remaining faithful.  Obedient.

We love you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class- Expect His Next Move

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.

If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Great job on memorizing James 1!  We’re up to verse 7:James 1

That man should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

And that thinking is so wrong.  We receive everything we have from the Lord.  We’re believing the lies when we get sucked into our culture’s view – that we earn what we have and we deserve what we have and it’s all about us.

It’s all about God.  He owns everything and he decides what to give to us.

When we have this correct in our head, it’s not hard to give back at least 10%.  We get to keep the rest!

And God always answers our prayers and requests.  Sometimes its ‘yes’, sometimes its ‘no’ and sometimes it’s ‘wait, my child.  I have something better coming for you.”  That’s a hard one but it’s very cool later, when we see God revealing what he’s been working on in this area of our lives.  This perseverance thing really works.

So we live our lives expecting answers from God.  Watching for them.  Anticipating the best he has for us.  Listening to the Holy Spirit within us and responding in faith.  With trust.

With Joy!