The Foundation and Perfecting of our Faith

What does it actually mean to walk by faith and not by sight?

Many of us have heard this but do we understand how to apply it in a practical sense? How are you and I to walk this out?

I have a dear friend who is very pragmatic in her approach to life; actually the very epitome thereof and she has such a saavy and mind for a no-nonsense business approach to life. Her example has instilled into me a sense of excellence that has helped to move me in the process of bringing me to where I am today. This has helped forge in me a quest for excellence and that builds character in a very pronounced way, which is by the way a process that one does not obtain overnight.

It is acquired through diligent steps of consistent action. It is being shown what it takes to advance in all of life while applying principles centered and anchored in the Kingdom of God while guided by scripture; line by line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

This involves applying wisdom and gaining understanding. (Proverbs 3:13-24) I urge you to read and pray this passage daily; it will transform your life as you apply it.

However, where do we start?

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. (Jude 1:20-22)

I see a formula here, do you?

1. Build yourself up; in and through your most holy faith. A faith that sets you apart, not based solely in what you know you can do but centered in the Living God who can do all things abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20); a faith that purifies your choices, through every prayer and thought that has a scripture behind it. This is foundational. Otherwise we tend to lean upon our own understanding which will get us into trouble if we are not careful.

Be mindful with the Word of God at your helm. “All Scripture
is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17). Be washed by the water of the Word of God in your mind.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1,2) Don’t be conned into forming your basis of thinking to the ways of this world. But rather be “transformed” by the renewing of your mind through the Word of God. As a man thinks in his heart so is he. May we cultivate hearts that will help to re-shape cities, states and nations and thus transform a world.

My focus in this arena happens to be in the arts and entertainment industry; to be instrumental in crafting new scripts for society to reference. In my instance to screen write telling God’s story depicted in writing, in word, in song, music, motion picture and crafting of art. I say lets overshadow Hollywood and transform our media and avenues of entertaiment.
It is long overdue. The possibilities are infinite. It is time for such a new sound and it is coming forth per God’s plan. I desire to co-create within such a plan.

Summed up this is faith-filled prayer in the Holy Spirit. Not by ones own power and might but “by my Spirit” says the Lord, within such we are to build.

2. Keep yourselves in the Love of God; relying upon His mercy and grace.

3. Have mercy upon those whose faith wavers and who are tossed about with doubt and fear. All of us experience this to some extent in our lives and should encourage, uplift and uphold one another. Be one who is willing to be a partner with God’s saving grace without respect to person, with loving compassion. Love from the love that God has for you and do so unconditionally, endlessly and sacrificially. Be generous liberally. Give and it shall be given unto you. Good measure, shaken down, running over. With the same measure that you measure it out it shall be measured unto you again, poured into your lap so that you can pour out again and again. This instigates and fuels Kingdom prosperity. God says to “prove me herewith”. (Luke6:38)

4. May we have a disdain or aversion to ways or practices that cater to the gratification of self-centered driven motives. Become self-less, willing to remain nameless and faceless to see God glorified to the fullest extent possible. With God “all” things are possible through faith in His principles. You are “an impossible possibility” in and through Jesus Christ. Be a willing testament to such. This is my heart’s cry; for you and I.

One simple formula to apply here; “pray and take action”, walking out your prayers. Determine you will be willing to walk out the story God has written for you. Yes, we all have one! God is not a respecter of person. He gives gifts to each and all. Do we offer them up to Him in faith-filled anticipation in what He do through such willing vessels and potential trophies of His grace?

“Every high thing must come down that is in contrast to such. Jesus came and overcame all for you and I through His ultimate sacrifice on His cross. May we take up our cross and follow in like manner looking unto Him, the author and finisher of our faith who “for the joy set before him” endured the cross and despised the shame and it set down at the right hand of the Father. Raised with Him, we sit in heavenly placement and our lives which we can choose to lay down to help bring that heavenly realm into this earthly life wherein we live and move and have our being.

Persevere with the fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Let’s get started!

There is one simple formula I propose and that is to “pray and act”. Begin right here and now. God is waiting to meet you at the crossroads.

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Heart to Heart

When one is truly touched by the Heart of the Father to the depth of the core their being there is such revelation as to His nature that it is then that the gaze of the soul begins mirror this in such a way that they begin to actualize who they are.

We are created in His image to walk out a story He has already written for us before we were ever formed in the womb.
(Psalm 139:13-16)

Beloved, we are “now” children of God, and “what we will be” has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. Well, Jesus came so that you and I may have Life and have it more abundantly. That we might mirror an image as to who He is. How are you and I to mirror such an image? It takes a living interacting relationship “with” to become “like”.

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He (Jesus) has made him known. We are told that “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Who is at the Father’s side? Why His only begotten Son, Jesus!

He makes the Father known to us. We can look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. It is through our precious like faith in who He is, that we make that approach.

It seems to be our nature to think we know who we are and what we want. We go about to establish that and then our life falls all apart and we wonder why things are not working well for us. Well that is where we get into trouble. Things get unravelled. Why?

Jesus, as Immanual which means “God with us” brings and restores us to the Father’s heart. God is “all for us” and if He be “all for us” who can be against us? Only the mind that is apart and separated from the Fathers heart and the life that is out of alignment with the story written for it and the heart ends up astray because in that instance one is “off script”.

This brings us to the end of a false identity or image we carry of ourselves. It is only a true revelation of Jesus Christ that wakes us out of our slumber; the renewing of our minds through the washing of the water of Word of God. Born of Water and Spirit.

When you allow yourself to behold His countenance through His Word coming alive to you it is then that you are truly born again. Until then one may have been merely stating words when being reborn is purely relationship.

Let me just encourage you today if you sense that your life is “off script” then why not choose to allow God to rewrite the story for you and give you new lines of a brand new script that may have been rolled away as a scroll by you perhaps unknowingly.

Today is your day to unroll that scroll if you have not yet done so. Yes, today is the day, take that moment now that it is in front of you. Every Word and Promise therein given to you is YES to every Amen! Simply receive it.

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A Life of Fulfilling Promise

God promises us direction for our lives. He knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. We can be of good courage and confident that He will bring us out of captivity as He promised Israel in Jeremiah 29:10 when they were in such a state of being.
We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we are to walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are to be of good courage, and as we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord, in some instances we can make it our aim whether we are at home or away, to please him. Without faith it is impossible to please Him for those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Wherever you may have been carried into captivity in the course of life He says that “I will visit you, and meet you right there where you are at if you will believe me for it and press in taking steps that I am waiting and willing to show you”. He will free you where you got stuck. You don’t need to think it out.

“I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”
(Jeremiah 29:10-14)

It is the unseen realm beyond our five senses is where we enter the supernatural where He designed us to operate in. If you and I will diligently pray His Word consistently and decree it over every moment of our lives we will find ourselves beginning to see it mirrored in how our lives unfold or unpackage. We become that Word because it is alive with the resurrection power that rose Jesus from the dead victorious over death, hell and the grave. In His likeness we can walk in that same victory. The gates of hell shall not prevail against such. They cannot. When He touches our lives I can testify we are never the same again and our lives radically shift into transformation that is above and beyond what we can ask or think according to His power that is at work in us through faith. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

So why do we hesitate; why do we halt between faith and our own opinions? Oh, I pray that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened, that you and I may know what is the hope to which he has called us, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. Yes “WE” are God’s inheritance, the Bride of Christ Jesus which why He so pursues each of us with an everlasting Love that transcends any concept of love we may carry; utterly extravagant. Nothing compares so why wait? With Him all things are possible. For with God nothing shall be impossible to they who believe by faith. (Luke 1:37.

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Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time. Stories already lived have had their glamour mirrored into the light of their readers . Have you ever been very inspired by a story you’ve read? Sure, most of us have. I believe that a great movie is all about story, story, and more story. I take that quote from Mark Andrew Job of ICT Productions. I happen find his work and life testimony inspiring.

It is not once upon a time in what “was”, that hold my focus but rather it is “this time” right now in which we live. Where and how God would have us move into fully living, moving and having our being, in the expansive creativity that rests within and when the Spirit of God ignites it, well who knows where that might lead one to explore.

I have a storyteller within that God is asking me to allow to birth into fruition. This seems to have been crying out for expression and now is coming to a greater expression of life apparently. Within a realm of conventionality, there rests basics that are foundational and beyond that a uniqueness that calls for expansion arises. How we walk that out is unique to each. All things are possible through faith when fully surrendered to God.

I choose to venture the call to screen write and entering the arts and entertainment industry is for me truly a huge step of faith. Whenever I am inspired I must write or create music or art and I would say am driven toward each but writing is my passion. Expression is my passion and I have always loved to create with my hands and have been very inventive in doing so at times and whenever I have come upon a creative outlet to do so.

I love artistic creative endeavors and as I venture now into the story God is asking me to believe Him for and I believe He calls for excellence in what I am to bring forth; to walk out. We all run a race called life but one receives the prize and that is the one who strives for excellence. Excellence builds character. Without it we are pressing into our world without giving our very best. I can longer settle for less than the very best coming forth from my life. That is something I must fully walk out and I have learned the hard way to not seek to do that in my own strength. Yes, I have failed many a time and at many things and that is sometimes due to not fully surrendering my actions unto God. We are to seek wisdom above all and there is nothing more priceless than having your creativity centered in and birthed from the Word of God as I allow that to speak into the very depths of my being.

I have an immense desire to have a part in providing a godly alternative in which I believe is to overshadow what Hollywood has put out. God gives gifts to men and women without exception. Each and every one of us is uniquely formed in the womb. We each are “an original” created in God’s image. I share this today because I sense an inspiration from God to do so.

I would like to encourage you to stir up the gift God has put inside of you and allow Him to bring it forth in you and out through your very life until it blooms and bursts forth in beautiful fruitfulness. God has put certain people in my life over the years and now, not by accident. Some have inspired me and continue to even though maybe have I haven’t seen them face to face for a while or yet. Some have gone on and left this life to be with Jesus. Yet their life displays a God given legacy because they chose to bring forth their very best in excellence.

Every promise from God is Yes to every Amen. Every Word He has ever given you is for you and to fully lay hold of and run with. Believe him. Trust fully that He who has called you and that He who is faithful that calls will also do it if you let Him. I pray you will do so fully and solely for His Glory.

And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith in Him and His finished and complete work on His cross that gives us all things that pertain unto godliness (Revelation 21:4.) To live and move and have our being in and through.

Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

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Faithful Fulfillment that brings Contentment

Do you feel like there are situations or conditions in your life that just are not finding resolution? Does it seem as though you’ve cried out to God repeatedly in like what feels like forever and perhaps wonder if He even hears you?

Sure many of us have been or are may be there right now.

Like the Psalmist your prayer may have been as “answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
(Psalm 4:1) May it be now!

Be assured that He has always heard and will always answer. The answer may not necessarily come in the way we expect. Have you and are diligently sowing your situation or condition be it for yourself or for another in a seed bed of faithful consistent prayer? Are you praying the Word of God? Are His Words framing in and encircling your experience? If so are you “moving” in faith? We are not meant to not be motionless in life. There are times or seasons when we are to wait upon God and then out of the stillness He will speak in some way or show you a step to take or bring something to your attention.

Yes, there is a matter of what “I can do” but maybe that is not what He is ultimately after. He may be asking something of you beyond this and that may be that “I may I be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. (Philippians 3:9) This goes beyond confidence in the flesh; in what I can do.

It is about his relationship with you and I being cultivated. May I count as loss for the sake of Christ “anything” that may be standing in the way of the fulfillment of such. “Indeed, may I count everything that must be let go of as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake may I be “willing” to suffer the loss of all such things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.

That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11 paraphrased)

When you “let go” of what He asks you to release your hold on in your life “then” is where the power (dunamis) that raised Him from the dead begins to resurrect you in the midst of perhaps your greatest points of weakness that has may have you bound. There is where you begin to experience true freedom. Then is where and when you begin to become more in His likeness. Less conformed to the world of familiar experience that is found surrounding you and being transformed into being more like Him.

Straining toward such a goal your life will be “transforming” as your mind is renewed by the washing and cleansing of his living Word.

Don’t give up… but press in! Victory awaits. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. For by His grace through faith are you delivered and that faith is anchored in His Word. That word is as near as your mouth. The power of the blood of Jesus through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross coupled with your declaration of His words and steps of action in faith in testimony of His Word in action in your life “does and will” move mountains.

I find that as I am still in the midst of periods of great weakness physically in my body that there is a power that arises from an extravagant love that comes from Him that surpassses my understanding. It brings my life into a new indentity and corresponding experience that aligns me with new revelation of “who He is” and of unprecedented provision coming for what I truly need in life to be who He created me to be. It is faith not in what is seen but rather in what is unseen. My light temporary afflictions are but as a moment in the light of eternity. The question is what am I doing to prepare a place in my life that invites His glory to come in and fill the void of life’s tolls. There is nothing that compares to the weight of His glory and being consummated in and by His Presence!

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The Story of the Alabaster Jar

Today my attention was drawn to the story of the alabaster jar as told from Luke 7:37-38. Why did the alabaster jar hold such significance? Why would an unnamed woman poor perfume from the broken alabaster jar onto Jesus’ feet?

“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.” (Luke 7:37-38)

Alabaster jars were often made from a precious stone found in Israel. This stone resembles the texture of marble, and was extremely expensive to own. These jars contained ointments, oils and perfume. The thick stone prevented the aroma from escaping and kept the perfume from spoiling. The shape of the jar usually had a long neck and a sealed top. To open the jar, the top had to be broken, which allowed it to be used only once.

The unnamed woman was described as someone who lived a life full of sin. She discovered that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of expensive perfume and she broke a highly valued jar in order to offer it to Jesus.

She freely and willingly gave up which to her was likely a prized possession and offered and surrendered this to Jesus in a an act of total submission as washing feet in that day declared such.

A life poured out. She offered her very best to the Master. Such an example is only seen twice in the New Testament. The other example of this is told from the account of Mary who anointed Jesus (John 12:1-8).

In the account of Mary’s case she took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Would you or I allow what we might value as our very best to be shattered and poured out? If making an offering should it not come from our very best that we can offer? This reflects excellence. Character calls to no less. Where honor is due may it be given without respect to preconceived judgements of estimated value in view of one’s own eyes.

May we not show partiality as we hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? Where your heart truly is where you also will you invest you’re your very best; your treasure.

Be rich in faith and let your actions demonstrate the same.

James, as in the book of James is spoken of as a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, put it this way; the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:3-5)

Following an example God sets for us may we ask ourselves; “Do I have a heart of a servant who gives generously and is ready to offer up my very best unconditionally to serve whosover God places in my path in perhaps what may even seem to be not convenient in the moment? Can I follow in Jesus’ footsteps and serve as He did?

Lacking nothing and possessing all things. In Christ we can choose such. It is our choice to make.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

Consider what the crown of life speaks of.

Are you caught up in the trials of life? Maybe you do not understand why. I didn’t either but now I am discovering perhaps some of “the why” which I am sharing with you right here.

Love God with your very all and all others as yourself.
Do as Mary did and smash the alabaster jar, and perhaps be overcome by the fragrance of Jesus. A sweet smelling savor of a life offered up and poured out.

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The Perfect Law of Liberty and Living with Destination

Whosoever looks into the perfect law of liberty not forgetting what manner of man or woman they were shall be blessed in their deed.

The trouble in life is that some may indeed forget that liberty. We lose sight of it perhaps unknowingly and we drift into a state of unawareness and often we don’t notice that until our joy in life has seemingly departed. Then we ask how did I get here to this state of being?

Have you traveled the road of life and grown weary? Is it befitting that joy has departed to some degree?

If any man be in Christ he is indeed a new creation and old things are passed away and all things become new.

Has that newness somehow worn off over time and circumstance?
It doesn’t have to remain so. Have you somehow conformed to this world to an extent that the beauty in life has grown dim? Renew your mind immersing it in His word once again.

In this life we see through a glass darkly yet may I remind you that the day approaches when we shall see face to face and we shall know as we are known.

There is One who knows you and I through and through and His name is Jesus. There focus your attention.

I perceive that in some ways some have grown very religious; religious in their thinking, redirecting their focus away from the God who made the world and everything in it. Being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of our own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’’
(Acts 17:24-28)

Nothing in all of creation is hidden from his sight. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:13)

The things of this earth have a way of growing strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Perhaps that may be the recipe we truly seek and have somehow wandered from?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be the kind of firstfruits of His creatures. ( James 1:16-18) Yes, in His likeness we are fashioned.

We are not designed to hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory with partiality. We are designed to bear His glory into fullness actually. Yet it is a matter that I must decrease that He may increase. It is a matter of asking, “am I willing?” It is remembering the cross; His cross and the gift that it is to us. Am I willing to take up my cross and follow him?
Maybe some have forgotten what this means.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
(2 Peter 1:3-4) Here is the key.

The words that have been and are being spoken over you of God are spirit and they are life. They shall be health unto your navel and marrow unto your bones.

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.

Why be you cast down Oh my soul? I place my hope in the Lord for He is the Light of my countenance. It is a lively hope; a living hope.

May my words be seasoned with grace, likened unto honeycomb, bringing sweetness to the soul and healing to the bones.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that have been broken rejoice.

The Words of God bring life again unto the bones left dry in throws of life.

Breathe oh breathe oh breath of God, words long since forgotten, restore once again.

“Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the LORD.'” (Ezekiel 37:5,6)

For by Him and through Him (Christ Jesus) were all things created. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. It is His very essence that holds the cells of our body together. He connects us one to another. And He is the head of the body, the ecclesia, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
(Colossians 1:16-18)

Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up.

Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, you are to love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.
(James 2:8)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Run to be victorious!
(1 Corinthians 9:24)
Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And run with perseverance the race marked out for you, fixing your eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith.

Jesus came that we might have life and have it most abundantly.

Live the story He wrote for you to walk/run out. Do so with joy and allow the zeal of the Lord of hosts to perform it…in and through you!

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