HOLY GHOST BAPTISM AND TONGUES SPEAKING cont.d.

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A couple of weeks ago I shared a post  on Holy Ghost Baptism and Tongues speaking. In that post, we came to realize the types of baptisms available and their significance in Christendom and in the believers life. Anyway, baptism as defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is, a Christian ceremony in which few drops of water are poured on someone, or the person is submerged under water, to welcome them into the Christian church…..

This of course is the first and commonest type of baptism known to most people, but it doesn’t end there. There is the baptism of death, of suffering, and of the Holy Spirit, which is the focus of this whole baptism post.

This post and subsequent ones will focus more on the the Baptism of the Spirit, how to identify it(the signs of the baptism of the Spirit), and its importance in the Church and in the life of the believer. Before we delve into that, let us take some few minutes to to take a trip back to the origin of this form of baptism. Even though many people prior to this event to be described later had encountered the power of the Holy Spirit, none of them can be classified as baptism. We know of Joshua, Sampson, Elijah, Elisha, David and a host of many others encountered the power and unction of the Spirit in their lifetimes but none of that falls under the term BAPTISM. The first time we hear of being baptized with the Holy Spirit is in Matthew 3:11, which says; “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The same is repeated in Luke 3:16. Water baptism is done by men as John tells the Jews in the texts above but the Holy Ghost baptism according to John the Baptist is done by Christ himself who baptizes us with his Holy spirit; and he doesn’t only baptize us with his Spirit but with fire as well. That will be dealt with later.

This prophesy of John came to pass in Acts 2:1-12, and we read:

2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 

This was the first time the body of believers of the Church in her early days encountered the Baptism. It began with a few and then spread on to many who came to believe in Christ through the message of the saints then. Lets take a look at some of the evidences of the Holy Ghost Baptism.

EVIDENCES OF THE HOLY GHOST BAPTISM

  1. There was a noise like unto a rushing wind which came from heaven and filled the room where the believers had gathered praying.
  2. Tongues of fire rested on each of their heads.
  3. They became filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with “other tongues”  or diverse kinds of tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Note the highlighted text because we will come back to it later.

From what we red above, three things were evident but today, we don’t experience that encounter. The third one however holds. It is rare to see tongues of fire sitting on anyone these days or even that sound of a rushing wind. As a matter of fact, the first sign of the Holy Ghost baptism is the SPEAKING OF TONGUES. This is what happened on the day of Pentecost as the apostles awaited in prayer at the command of Christ before he departed for heaven. When the Spirit was poured upon them and He filled them up, they began to speak with tongues. One may ask, “does that mean that those who don’t speak in tongues don’t have the Holy Ghost???????”

Certainly not! There are two things that the Spirit does with everyone who comes to Christ.

  • The first is He dwells in us. In fact, Christ lives in us through his Spirit. It is the Spirit that even convicts us of sin(John 16:8) and leads us to confess Christ as Lord(1 Corinthians 12:3). When the gospel message is preached, he impresses it upon our hearts, convicts us of our sins and then leads us to confess Christ as Lord through faith. That is the first work of the Holy Ghost. After our conversion, He dwells in us to Keep us to do what is right and acceptable before God.
  • The second one is when is poured unto you and He fills you. This is what we mean by Baptism of the Spirit. It is like pouring water on you or submerging you under water. This is where you receive power, anointing and unction to function in the supernatural and it is totally different from Him dwelling in you. One can be an ardent Christian and still not be baptized with the Holy Ghost. As I have stated earlier, the only thing that symbolizes baptism of the Spirit is Tongues Speaking.  The encounter in Acts 2 attests to this. These were men and women know to the people as Jews, but suddenly they were heard speaking in different languages that were not known to them prior to this event. Those who saw and heard them at first instance thought they were drunk because they could hear them speak in foreign languages of the nation through which they have been scattered. It was an amazing thing to those who had come to the feast in Jerusalem.This is the singular most important evidence of the Spirit. You may have been a christian for many years but if you are unable to speak in tongues, then you are yet to have or receive the baptism of the Spirit. It has nothing to do with age or status. It is there for every believer both great and small, young and old, man or woman, boy or girl. Many times, it comes through the laying on of hands. There are many instances in the book of Acts: 10:44-48; 19:1-17; 8:14-20.Many times too, it comes through the fervency of prayer as in Acts 2:1-4. So as can be seen, Holy Ghost baptism has a lot to do with Tongues speaking. Later on we will discuss the types of tongues and their usefulness, importance and how to receive them. To be continued…………………

BREAKING DOWN THE STRONGHOLDS

The things we accept in life get registered in our spirits, become strongholds and then determine the kind of life that we lead.

If we accept positive things, they get entrenched into our minds, control our thoughts so that we live life with a positive outlook: always looking to the bright side of things. We go through life with the hang the code attitude; ditching facts around us and only believing in our convictions- what the inner man is tells us.

It is the same with accepting and believing negatives, only that they harm us rather than help us. We are filled with gloom and fear of what is or isn’t. We become paranoid and pessimist. In the end we endure life instead of live it. 

You can be here or there: it all depends on one thing: perception and of mentality. Proverbs 23:7 says, …as a man thinks, so is he……
Until the mind is renewed, there can never be any transformation. What you think takes you captive, and that determines the limits of our potentials; therefore we must choose to be slaves to what is positive and helpful for therein lies our success and victories; and to do that we must breakdown every strongholds of negativity and pessimism. 

Many Reformations came about because some people refused to conform to the status quo. Yeah, the facts may say this and that, but what does the truth of God’s Word say? And whose report do you believe, man’s, the world’s or God’s???
Ponder over these scriptures and may the Lord grant you wisdom and insight into his word for transformation. Romans 4:18, 2 Corinthians 4:13.

GOODEVENING
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THE REVELATION: courtesy; Therie Essien

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I was sitting in church one Sunday morning, probably 20 or so years ago, when the pastor invited those in need of prayer to come to the front. I saw an elderly lady go forward for prayer and two elders layed hands on her and started to pray. An amazing thing happened at that point. It was like God somehow opened my eyes to the supernatural and I could see what was happening in the spiritual.

As I looked in amazement God said to me “This woman’s needs are not being met.” I felt compassion flow through me for the woman and cried out “Why Lord?” He said to me “Because there is a deception in the church that is very subtle, but is robbing the church of its power.” I cried out “Lord, what can this deception be?” He replied “They have called the Bible the word of God, but that name has been given to the One who is from the beginning.”

I felt excited about what the Lord had shown me and couldn’t wait to go home and search the Scriptures.

I should point out at this stage that when God mentioned the church, He was talking about the church as a whole. I am very aware of the fact that many, or even most, big time evangelists call the Bible the word of God and have very successful ministries. God’s grace and purpose will always be there for mankind, but often times He “winks”, that is to say that He will overlook things in order to achieve a purpose, but there is a better way.

SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES

As I started reading through Scripture it was obvious that Jesus was and is The Word of God. I am sure no-one would disagree with this. It is interesting to note that He is THE Word of God. The word THE is singular, meaning there is only one.

My study took me into Greek and Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries and many times I had to go back to the Lord and ask Him to shed light on things that I did not understand. He always came through with answers that made sense, as you would expect.

LOGOS OR RHEMA?

When I was at Bible College I was taught that the logos was the written word and rhema the quickened word. In John chapter 1 where the Bible so plainly describes Jesus as being The Word of God the Greek word for ‘word’ is logos.

My studies showed me that in the New Testament that Jesus is The Word (logos) of God. Rhema on the other hand is a revealed or quickened word or message. There is not an instance in all Scripture where the Bible is called The Word (or word) of God.

BIG W OR LITTLE W?

Many people have told me that the word (small w) of God is the Bible and The Word of God is Jesus. When I asked God about this His reply was to forget about the W/w concept and that He would teach me.

JESUS – THE WORD OF GOD

There are many instance in the Bible where The Word of God or The Word of The Lord is mentioned. A couple that spring to mind immediately are:

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 He was in the beginning with God.

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh (Jesus), and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and of truth.

Rev 19:13 And He had been clothed in a garment dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13 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.

The Word of God is the name, identity, title and honour given to Jesus alone. This is who He is. As The Word of God He is the promise of God and the fulfillment of that promise. Because Jesus always was, and always will be The Word of God, the very reputation of God was dependant on Jesus fulfilling the promise of salvation. To call anything else The Word (or word) of God takes this away from Him.

If the Bible is the W/word of God, then God is four, not three. Father, Son (who is the Word Jn 1:14), the Holy Spirit and the W/word (Bible)? I don’t think so!! Scripture tells us 1Jo 5:7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.

THE BIBLE – THE WORDS OF GOD

There is no justification for calling the Bible the word of God in the Bible. People have said to me that:
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness
and is therefore the word of God.

The Bible says differently:

Joh 3:34 For He whom God has sent speaks the Words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

Rev 17:17 For God gave into their hearts to do His mind, and to act with one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast until the Words of God will be fulfilled.

Rev 22:9 Then he said to me, Behold! See, do not do it! For I am your fellow-servant, and of your brothers the prophets, and of those who keep the Words of this Book. Do worship to God.

Joh 17:8 For I have given to them the Words which You gave Me, and they have received them and have known surely that I came out from You. And they have believed that You sent Me.

Below is a Scripture that is a bit different. Rhema is used for “My Words” which indicates fresh revelation such as you would expect from a living relationship with Jesus. If you hear what He is saying to you and are led and motivated by Him He will do what you ask of Him.

Joh 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.

THE DIFFERENCE

According to Scripture, the Bible contains the words (plural) of God. This does not in any way detract from the title of The Word of God that belongs to Jesus.

The trouble is that because we are so used to calling the Bible The W/word of God we automatically think of the Bible when The W/word of God is mentioned. How often have you heard the preacher or evangelist say “Let us open the word of God to..”

This is Scripturally incorrect. Because it is second nature for so many of us to think of the Bible as the W/word of God we often give it the place that Jesus should have. The result is that we become Bible dependant rather than Jesus dependant. We live in accordance with the Scriptures, which is good, but it leads us to depend on the Scriptures rather than the experiential life we should have with Jesus.

Consider the following Scriptures:

Psa 119:105 Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105 is interpreted by many as the Bible being the lamp. In fact, Jesus is the One who knows the beginning and the end. He is the Lamp unto my feet.

Eze 20:45 And the Word of Jehovah came to me, saying,
Eze 20:46 Son of man, set your face toward the south, and drop a word toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the south field.
There are numerous instances right throughout the Bible where the Word of God came to various people giving instruction etc. I can assure you it wasn’t the Bible that did that!

Heb 4:12 For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I have heard many a sermon using this Scripture to justify calling the Bible the “Living Word”. The Bible is however, unable to discern and I can assure you that it IS a book, inspired by God, made by man. Surely it is not hard to see this verse is talking about Jesus.

2Sa 22:31 As for God, His way is perfect. The Word of Jehovah is tried. He is a shield to all those who seek refuge in Him.
The Word of Jehovah was tried on the cross. Let’s not take that away from Him.

These Scriptures all refer to Jesus as The Word of God. There are many more examples like this.

CONCLUSION

I have heard many good sermons, even excellent sermons, where the speaker has spoken of The Word of God, referring to the Bible. In every instance that I can recall, Jesus would have been glorified and His Name uplifted if the speaker had realised his error.

Try reading the Bible with the mindset that wherever you see The W/word of God mentioned, think “could this possible be referring to Jesus instead of the Bible?” The result will be that the Bible will take on new meaning which will greatly enhance your relationship with the Lord.

I feel that I have not adequately covered this subject, but pray that God will open people’s eyes to see His truth so that The Word of God may receive the Honour, Glory and Recognition that belongs to Him alone.

Remember: Every time you call the Bible the W/word of God, you are giving it the honour and place that belongs to Jesus alone.

 

GOD’S IMAGE

The moment you begin to find fault with your own physical make up, you start questioning the unquestionable: God’s creation, and not only that but God Himself.
Honestly, in my life, there have been moments when I have had issues with my physique, my temperaments, etc; a feeling of a deep discontent with myself for who I am and what I look like. There are even times when I felt dissatisfied with my total make up and a silly disappointment with God: wanting to be different, look different, feel different and act different.
During such moments which I term ‘silly periods’, I am mostly depressed, my self esteem is low, and my morale plummets because deep down within, I feel like God has been a bit unfair to me. A silly ordeal to put yourself through! To uneconomical with the truth, only God knows what I would have given to look the ‘ideal man’: tall-y, huge-y, muscled, botch-y and all the -ys that my poor perception of myself led me to imagine.
As crazy as this may sound, I know I am not the only one in this because there are many instances I know people have wished they were somebody else either than who or what they are/were. 

But seriously, is there unfairness in/with God???????? In Genesis 1:26, we read that God made man in his image and likeness. Male and female made He them- for the record, I strongly doubt God is a hermaphrodite. So it doesn’t matter how I look, my emotions or temperaments, I am the image and likeness of God. Of course there may be need for some adjustments in some of my behavioural traits; yeah, but it still doesn’t take away the fact that I am the image of God. God made no mistake with His creation. Genesis 1 again says, ‘and God saw what he had made and behold it was good. If God made any mistake with me or you then he himself wouldn’t be perfect since we are in his likeness.
David says in Psalm 139: 13. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;…

Note that very well. You and I have been FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made, skillfully fashioned in the depths of the earth. The thing is, instead of focusing on our physical looks, we should rather look out for what He has deposited in you and I; that is what counts. If we can’t discover that and find purpose for it, then we have cause to worry with our own lifestyles and not how or what He has made us. 

My brother, my sister believe this when I say that per God’s view, you are a perfect creature, Fashioned for his glory. Never look down on yourself because you don’t look, act or sound a certain way. Your are God’s IMAGE, and his LIKENESS. You are never a mistake in God’s plan and no part of yours is a mistake. You are impeccable, you are for His Glory. Anytime Satan tries to trick you psychologically so as to get you to run yourself down, just say loudly together with David: I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND GRANT YOU INNER PEACE, AND MAY YOUR SOUL ALWAYS FIND REFRESHMENT IN THE SPIRIT.

GOODEVENING
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HOLY GHOST BAPTISM & TONGUES SPEAKING

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Baptism is no new concept in the circles if Christendom. It has been a big part of our religion from its very beginning and though it isn’t a ticket to Heaven, it is a major requisite under the normal circumstances except in rare cases. Peter tells the people at the Jerusalem feast after the Pentecost experience, ”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is something every believer who professes faith in CHRIST JESUS, must go through. Christ began His ministry with baptism,

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”Then John consented. (Matthew 3), and ended it with baptism; Mark 10:38: “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”. As a matter of fact, it was that last baptism of His that sealed our redemption. It is upon that baptism that we as His followers have a relationship with the Father today: his baptism on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus refers to His death on the Cross and the ordeal he had to go through prior to that as baptism. Baptism is of great importance to every believer of Christ and it must be a priority in our Walk with the LORD. Jesus says in Matthew 28:19; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (KJV). The NIV renders it, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, It is a command of Christ Himself that his followers be baptised. 

TYPES OF BAPTISM

Against this backdrop, let us now proceed to the types of baptism. There are four(4) main types of Baptism and all these types are ‘profitable’ unto the believer.

  1. Water Baptism: This is the first type of baptism and the most widely known amongst many believers. This where a believer, usually a New Convert is immersed into water, river, pond or stream- some do sprinkling though. It has two main significance:   
  • It fulfill all righteousness, Matthew 3:15;
  •  It is a symbol of Christ’s burial and resurrection. Our entrance into the water during baptism identifies us with Christ’s death on the cross, His burial in the tomb, and His resurrection from the dead. Colosians 2:12.

  2. Baptism of Suffering: This is when the believer is made to pass through afflictions, tribulations, persecutions etc. This occurs daily in the life and walk of a believer. It affects the flesh and its emotions, whereas the Water Baptism affect the totality of a persons being. It tests our faithfulness and our readiness to walk with the Lord. It instills in us perseverance and endurance and boosts our Faith in the Lord. The more we face and overcome these challenges, the more mature we become, fitting for every good work. Matthew 20:20-23, Galatians 6:17, 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, 4:10.

  3. Baptism of Death: This type of baptism affects the Soul of a person. It has to do with putting off the ‘old man’ and putting on the new man made in the image of Christ, after one has converted. It is a process and continues in a believers life time. In this type of baptism, we put to death the flesh and its desires, so that the believer, now a new man, lives through the Spirit. It molds the heart, transforms the mind and conforms the will; Romans 12:2. In the end, the believer’s character is purified, refined and molded. The desires , passions, and emotions of the believer is silenced.  “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans 6:3-4. The baptism of suffering and death can together be termed as baptism of fire owing to their refining nature.

  4. Baptism of the Spirit: This is one of the most important aspects of a Christian’s life, and most of our discussion will be centered on this.. It is a spiritual occurrence which affects the spirit man. Acts 1:5, Luke 3:16. This type of baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit Himself and its purpose is to rekindle and quicken the spirit man with fire. It transforms the whole totality of the believer, endows him with grace and power to live anew. The ‘excited’ spirit is then enabled through grace to dominate the soul and the flesh. Its initial signs is the SPEAKING IN DIVERSE TONGUES. Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 11:2, Acts 19:1-17, Acts 8:14-20. This speaking of tongues will be our focal point for the Holy Ghost Baptism. To be cont.d………..

SUFFERING CONT.D

A few days ago, I posted something which had mostly to  SUFFERING as Christians;https://mckybarf60.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/christian-suffering/, as followers of Christ. In it I tried to establish what suffering is, its purposes in the believers life and our response or approach to it when we encounter it. We saw something in 1Thes 3:3, which said something about “……persecutions being a part of GOD’s will for us”. Why? Because it is only through that is the believer perfected and made “equipped’ for every good work. Through it we become mature and experienced in our walk with the LORD, and in our dealings with the flesh, the world and Satan. It is like a child learning to walk: he falls, trips, somersaults, etc, but little by little, he gains experience and then is even able to run about the house. If the parents have fear of the child getting hurt and decide to carry the child all the time, then it might take a long time before he learns to walk or even do anything for himself and sooner or later becomes a burden to all around since he will need help with just anything. God doesn’t intend for us to be so. He intends for us to grow, mature and become experienced in the faith and in our walk with Him,; to be able to stand up and not give up and run dry in times of adversity. And to achieve that, He permits suffering to come our way.

However, I want to emphasize the fact, though He permits them to come our way, He isn’t the author of it; SUFFERING. James 1:13 says ” Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: I believe that text explains itself. No one can tempt GOD with evil and HE himself tempts no one.

Beloved of Christ, we live in a dark world ruled by the dark forces of evil. In the day that Adam and Eve, his wife sinned, they relinquished their authority and power to Satan, and since that day, he has exerted his evil and dark influences on what should have been man’s. The famine, drought, hunger, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, sea storms, diseases, wars, etc, all are master-minded and orchestrated by Satan, the false prince of this world. One may ask, why he does all these things; well just to instill fear in us and not only that but also to cause us to lose faith, confidence and trust in GOD; maybe incur his displeasure by cursing Him(GOD), then later end up just like him(satan) awaitng hell fire and that dark bottomless abyss. He did same with Job. Read the book of Job chapters 1&2 to get the full picture. The good news, however, is that Job never for once fell for any of his tricks. Job stood his ground and today has become a great example unto us. Later, after he had endured, persevered, and overcome that fiery trial, he got double for his trouble. His end, was greater than his beginning because he had passed the test. God passed a vote of confidence in Job and he didn’t disappoint. That is GOD’s desire for us, you are me who are followers of Christ.

Persecution, trials, tribulations, pain, sickness, etc all have their purpose we have established already. Make no mistake! GOD could have done something about it and prevented Job from all that trouble but He didn’t, all because it is needful unto us. Like that young boy, God expects us to grow through the things we suffer daily. Paul tells Timothy, ‘ Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus’. 2Tim 2:3(NIV). A Christian automatically is a soldier and being a soldier in real life comes no easy at all. Anyone who knows something little about military life knows for certain that civilian life has nothing to compare with it. The disciplines and routines one has to go through and endure to fully qualify as a full fledged soldier is no easy task at all. So Paul admonishes Timothy to endure ‘hardness’ as the King James Version puts it, as a good soldier. Other words that can replace ‘hardness’ include opposition, hostility, adversity, tribulation, afflictions etc. It is only through this that we become partakers of His glory and earn for ourselves crowns of salvation. Our perfection only comes when we endure these. If we expect to have a share in in the fruits of righteousness then we must also labour in its field. 

What am I trying to arrive at with all this; though GOD does not author our suffering, He expects us to endure them and persevere under them. It is needful for us to suffer. We must not try to avoid them on our path because there are no shortcuts to success. James 1 says; 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Note the highlighted portion of the text. James refers to our SUFFERING as the testing of our Faith, and as we endure them, we grow in perseverance which having finished its work makes us Mature and Complete, not LACKING in anything. It is that simple. The forerunners of our faith all went through this same process so why should we be exempted. Besides, it is for our own good, a point i have not failed to impress on. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to suffer for our faith like they had to, as some were fed to starved lions, sawn asunder, burned at stakes, scourged, etc. We make up fpr that with our struggles with life, but it is all to our benefit. If we endure and persevere in suffering it means we love the Lord; And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;…Romans 8:28-29. Let us gird ourselves up for the battle is great and promises better things to those who are unrelenting and overcome in the end.

Never give up, never give in, hold on tight and stand firm for you shall reap its rewards in due time.

 

Faith

I lopve the song

Pam's Perambulation

George Michael told us all we “gotta have faith…”  Depeche Mode told us to “reach out and touch faith” (you can take a girl out of the 80s, but you can’t take the 80s out of the girl!)  If only it were that simple.

Faith is confidence or trust.  It is not believing the ridiculous, it is stepping out with God.  Faith is what helps us to live God’s ways, to respond to his call.

Hebrews 11:29-12:2

29 Because of their faith, the people walked through the Red Sea on dry land. But when the Egyptians tried to do it, they were drowned.

30 God’s people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.

31 Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn’t killed with the people…

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