Orderly Diligence – Part 13


“Divine nature” gained through orderly diligence, carries with it inherent warnings.  Heads up!

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Thus far in our journey toward the “divine nature,” we have seen the need of giving “all diligence” to this process.   While this is an utterly awesome experience through which one can live, there does come with it certain warnings, and they are not minor.  Take a moment and read 2 Peter 1:9 – “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”  I urge you to seriously consider my words.  I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in our present world for a moment while being spiritually blinded to what is going on, unable to see what is ahead and what my ultimate outcome will be, all the while having my mind flooded with memories of past failures and sins.  To me, that would be a most horrible way to live, and what’s worse, to die.

Once again, I urge you to pay close attention to what I am sharing with you.  Our God has provided for us, His children, His “divine nature.”  Not only has He provided it for us, but has given to us a “line upon line, precept upon precept” model for us to access that “divine nature” to its fullest.  That is what I have been writing to you for the last twelve Second Milers.  Only one question remains.  Will you make the decision to walk in those precepts, line upon line, and by doing so, build yourself up in the Lord and His Word so you may become a full partaker of that “divine nature?”  If you will make that quality decision with no turning from it, there awaits you that point of becoming “partakers of the divine nature.”  I urge you to take this challenge and move forward into it with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. 

And again I remind you, the alternative is NOT a pretty one for anyone, especially for the child of God.  Why would any Christian choose, and it is a choice, to go without these wonderful, powerful, and God-pleasing tools, and fruit, leaving himself blind, unable to see afar off, and live a life having forgotten he was purged from his old sins?  My dear fellow believer, please don’t leave yourself in that position.  You can choose to walk free from it right now, and begin your journey to becoming a partaker of the “divine nature.”

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

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Orderly Diligence – Part 12

Let’s take a look at the fruit of the “divine nature.”

2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Now we come to a point of discovery, a place of revelation that should, in all reality, be actively and diligently sought by EVERY believer – the point of exhibiting the “divine nature” towards which we have been building for the past eleven weeks.  Let’s take a close look at 2 Peter 1:8.  This is remarkably powerful.  Look closely. 

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Here, dear fellow saint, is one of the most marvelous opportunities and privileges that can be offered to any child of God.  Imagine living in this world where you are fulfilling the Father’s desire for you to be fruitful with a fruit that should be long-lasting in the work of the kingdom; fruit that gives clear indication that you are a child of the most-high God; a never-ending and ever-increasing growth and production of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.  And keep in mind that there is “NO LAW” against such production.  It is ALWAYS pleasing to Father. 

Are these things (faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity) abounding in you right now?  If they are, rejoice, for you are modeling the “divine nature.”  If they are NOT abounding in you right now, do not despair.  YOU have been given, not only the capacity, but the command of the Lord to “give all diligence” to the work of doing that very thing.  It is within your grasp.  What the Lord commands of you, He ALWAYS works with you and supplied everything you need to carry out His command.  To that end, none of us hold any legitimate excuse.  No one else can do it for you.  You must carry out this command deliberately, diligently, and in an orderly command, obeying the steps as they are ordered by the Lord.  To do that you MUST believe God and what He has declared to us through His Word; believe it absolutely, with no turning from it, with no reservation, and without hesitation.  The Lord Himself through Holy Spirit is waiting to walk with you throughout this journey, and awaiting you as you fulfill His commands is His “divine nature.”  Are you ready to live in that place?  Then it’s time to begin this glorious journey.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 13

Orderly Diligence – Part 11

Let’s put the capstone of this process in place.  What awaits you is absolutely divine.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Moving forward in our journey to living the life of divine nature, we come to what could be called the cornerstone, or capstone of this system of ordered diligence the Lord has set before us.  Thus far we have added, in an orderly and diligent fashion, faithvirtueknowledgetemperancepatiencegodliness, and brotherly kindness.  While brotherly kindness, what is known as “phileo (philadelphia)” is known as one kind of love, today we look into that Paul called, “the greatest of these,” that being “charity,” or “agape.”

Here is God personified.  Many people say God’s nature is love.  Not so.  GOD IS LOVE!   That love, agape, is Who God is, and who He is can be expressed in so many ways, all those ways comprising His nature.  AGAPE IS WHO GOD IS!  NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THAT TRUTH!  2 Peter 1:7 indicates that this addition, “charity,” or “agape,” is the final addition to the blend of character of one who possesses and demonstrates the “divine nature.”

Once again, this is “charity,” the 1 Corinthians 13 love of God.  This is the love that transforms a “sounding brass” and “tinkling cymbal” into the spiritual force that carries faith to its loftiest levels in the heavenlies, and by that, breaks through to the lowest and darkest arenas of desperation from which man needs to be set free (1 Corinthians 13:1).  This is the spiritual dynamic of heaven that takes what is defined as “nothing” and transforms it into everything heaven has to offer (1 Corinthians 13:2).  And this is the element of divine nature that transforms great and even life-long inability to prosper/profit , even though being a giver, into a life that is a model of being a prospering/profitable child of God (1 Corinthians 13:3).  This agape love is surely the crown jewel that indicates the presence, power, influence, and manifestation of the “divine nature.”  What a beautiful and marvelous crowning glory to this process to which the Lord has called all His children.  Wake up, my dear friend, and rise to this heavenly calling.  It is awaiting your diligent and orderly application of the Word in your life to make you a glorious example of a saint of God exhibiting the “divine nature.”

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Corinthians 13

Orderly Diligence – Part 10

Definitions are keenly important, and accuracy of their use cannot be overstated.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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While there are several words that are called love in modern English, four come to mind, and whether or not they should accurately be called “love” is definitely questionable.  Let’s accurately define them,  basing our definition as accurately as possible on the Greek language of the New Testament. 

Agape (agapao) – the love of God – the highest order of love that exists; it is a deep, never-failing love based solely on the character of the individual who loves.  In this case, agape (God-love), is based solely on God’s character; holy, pure, unfailing, unchanging, eternal.  It does NOT grow over times, for as God, Who is Love, never changes, neither does agape.

Eros – nothing more or less than physical, sexual attraction.

Storge – simple affection based on the pleasure/benefit received from that which is said to be loved.  This can apply to puppies, special foods, activities, and even human relationships

I have saved the focal point of today’s addition to our journey towards the “divine nature” for last in our list.  It is “brotherly kindness” (2 Peter 1:7), which in the Greek language is “philadelphia,” that being a strong and meaningful relationship that grows over time and development of that relationship.  It is spousal between a loving couple, familial (parent/child, sibling, etc.), or between strong friends.  This love requires a growing and building relationship based on the two or more individual’s personal commitment to each other, and in the case of our present study, particularly between brothers and sisters in Christ as heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.  This is a love of choice that deepens and strengthens over times.  This love truly requires work, attention, diligent giving to and serving one another.  While it is truly a high-quality, high-benefit love requiring great diligence, it CAN be broken, while agape love cannot be broken.  The only thing that can prevent the breaking of “philadelphia,” is the commitment of the one who loves to keep the Word of God as his/her highest priority, for the Word of God will NEVER fail.  Give all diligence in your labor of this love, applying that diligence as it is added to faithvirtueknowledgetemperancepatience, and godliness.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 9

As one climbs higher, it is vital to secure an unshakeable footing for each step.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Let’s continue our forward movement in the divine order prescribed by the Word as we move toward becoming full partakers of the “divine nature.”  My friend, when one considers being a partaker of the “divine nature,” one is staring up at a mountain of enormous stature, and it can ONLY be scaled as one complies with the Word that calls us to it.  At this point we have walked through the process of adding to “faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience.”  Today we add to “patience godliness” (2 Peter 1:6).  It is the Greek word “eusebeia,” meaning “pietyspecifically the gospel scheme: – godliness, holiness.”  In simpler terms, it means to act, move, speak, and live like God; to model the way He does things.  And when we see the phrase, “the gospel scheme,” it makes clear the great need to know the Word, and to act fully upon the Word.

Keep in mind that we are on a journey of faith to a destination that can ONLY be attained as one walks in the power of God under the leadership of Holy Ghost.  This journey is monumental in scope, impossible in the natural, and staggering intellectually.  Each step is of the keenest importance, and can only be accomplished by faith in God’s Word.  It will require a walk of prayer, study of the Word, focused energy on keeping the Word, and that by dedicated and committed choice on the part of the believer.  But when you make that choice to move forward in this lifetime journey, you can be assured that Holy Spirit will bring every tool and resource at His disposal to bear in helping you along the way.  You CAN live a life of “godliness.”

And at this point, please allow me to reiterate as powerfully as I can, there are no shortcuts.  As we come to the next two additions, you will see the deep truth in that statement.  Without the orderly and diligent addition of faithvirtueknowledgetemperance, and patience to godliness, you will not have sufficient foundation upon which to build what Scripture has called “the greatest of these,” that being “agape love.”  And as we work our way to that great end, we will still need all the aforementioned elements to sustain us in this great reach for that “mark for the prize of the high calling.” 

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 8

Good day, holy ambassador.  There’s much work to do.  Have you received Father’s orders?

2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Today we continue our journey of process toward being a partaker of the divine nature by adding to our “temperance patience.”  The Greek word for “patience” in our Second Miler is hupomone (pronounced hoopomonay).  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it means “cheerful (or hopeful) enduranceconstancy: – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).”  That can be simplified by saying “patience” is “joyful persistent consistency.”  There is nothing sad or depressing about Godly patience.  It is wonderfully strong from the presence of the joy of the Lord, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

In James, 1:2-3 we read the words, “count it all joy . . . knowing.”  Joy arises from knowing, and that knowledge follows on the heels of faith that comes by hearing the Word and the steel of spine to stand tall in that faith.  Just as one does not come to that level of faith suddenly, but over time and growth, and likewise gains virtue as conviction of that faith grows, so one must add to that knowledge that fuels temperance and undergirds patience.  As one grows deeper, richer, and stronger in the great truth that God and His Word are unchanging (Malachi 3:6Hebrews 13:8Psalm 119:89), the patience of which we speak today is continually being strengthened.  This grows the believer into being a steadfast, persistently consistent son of God who is like a tree planted by living waters that shall never be moved.

I believe that any true Christian would want to walk before the Lord in a manner that strongly and vividly models his/her heavenly Father.  We are, after all, His ambassadors in this earth.  That is both and important and extremely powerful position to occupy, for in that position we speak and act for the Lord, and as His ambassador, act with His full authority so long as we know we are in His directed will.  Just as an American ambassador to France did not take on that position because he studied social studies in high school, to rise to the level of a fully active and serving ambassador of the Lord to this world requires calling, preparation, training, spiritual growth, and a commitment to leave behind what so many prefer to hold in their clutches.  But always remember, just as an ambassador may have to leave the comforts of his country, as long as he serves that office, he lives full supplied, furnished, and blessed through the government of the kingdom he serves.  I’m God’s ambassador.  I serve God’s kingdom. My God supplies ALL MY NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS.  Rejoice, Ambassador.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 7

There is much to be said about the tempering of the steel God has made you to be.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Today we take yet another step forward in the process leading to the possession of the “divine nature.”  So far, we’ve realized we must give “all diligence” to grow faith, and then add to faith virtue, and knowledge, and in that order.  Today we make the next step and add to our knowledge temperance.  The word “temperance” is the Greek word, “engkratia,” meaning “self control (especially continence): – temperance.”  (from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance).  This points to an element of character that prevents one from going too far off-track in any direction; to being tempered, as one would temper a master sword; of being rigid, but not too rigid; of being flexible, but not too flexible; of being honed to a sharp edge, and being able to keep that edge, even in inhospitable environs.

By this time, we should be recognizing that that point-by-point addition of each element we introduce is truly an orderly progression.  Without faith you cannot please God.  Without virtue (manliness) there will be weakness and lack of courage to use that faith.  Without knowledge there will be no clear truth upon which to base one’s actions.  And today, we see that without temperance, there would not be the balance needed to keep things moving forward properly.

The Word of God is called the “sword of the Spirit.”  With that in mind, think of the tempering of a master sword blade.  The blade needs to be rigid and strong enough to allow a keenly sharp edge to be taken and kept with use.  At the same time there needs to be enough flexibility in the blade so it is not brittle and stiff, easily broken under stress.  To achieve such a blade requires the touch of a master sword maker who knows how to skillfully blend those characteristics.  To be a master sword maker, one must understand the use of different degrees of hardness in the iron used, the proper use of fire and levels of heat, the proper use of oil and water, and the proper understanding of blending all that under the smith’s hammer to make a blade that meets the desired qualities of rigidity and flexibility, while being able to hold a keenly sharp edge.  In the matter of tempering one’s self, there must be knowledge of the Scriptures, as well as the ability to clearly hear the voice of Holy Spirit.  When that is blended, temperance will result.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 6

Someone is willing to give you a fortune.  Are you willing to learn how to handle it properly?

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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In our process of growing up into the divine nature, we come again today to  2 Peter 1:5, where we read, “giving all diligence . . . add to your virtue knowledge.”  So, our focus today will be the process of adding knowledge to virtue.  The Greek word for knowledge in this passage is “gnosis.”  According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, it means, “knowing (the act), that is, (by implication) knowledge: – knowledge, science.”  I find it extremely interesting to see “science” as a part of the understood meaning of “gnosis.”  You see, while knowledge can be attributed at certain points as knowledge received by revelation from the Lord, it can also apply to accurate and factual knowledge that is learned through the application of truly scientific principles attained by scientific methods of learning.  In our study of “gnosis” today, we are referring to that kind of knowledge that requires your personal investment of time, energy, and resources in the gaining useful knowledge through you own diligence.  And once again, I stress the importance of the application of “all diligence” being applied by you personally in the process.  It should be clearly understood that the matter of “all diligence” is important indeed to the Lord.

Allow me to use this example.  Suppose you received notice that in one year from today, you would become the recipient of a multibillion-dollar textile corporation, and that on that date, the running of that company would become your responsibility.  Don’t you think it would be a wise thing for you to endeavor to learn all you can about that company, its products, and the knowledge you need to lead it properly? 

Now look at our Text for Today.  Look at what has been made available to you if you will simply do one thing – give “all diligence” to add sound, accurate knowledge, along with the other requirements to becoming a partaker of “the divine nature.”  Do you see it, my friend?  The “divine nature,” that is the very nature of God, has been offered to you.  But to be able to manifest that divine nature, there are certain things you need to add to your life.  Are you willing to learn, to study, to grow?  Are you teachable, disciplined, and focused enough for this to happen?  God believes you are, there He has commanded that you give “all diligence” to this endeavor.  The choice belongs to you.  Choose wisely.  Time is not stopping for you.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 5

Ladder climbing, even in a competition, is a process.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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When I was in high school, I was part of the track and field team.  My events were called field events; shot put and discus throw.  Though each point of competition required only seconds of personal action, each one required a process if I was to be in any way truly competitive.  There were members of our team who competed in track events that could take anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, and long-distance runners may even have taken hours to finish their event.  While each competitive endeavor was called an event, process was still involved.  Running in the 440-yard hurdles did not happen suddenly.  It took some time, or process, one step after another, one hurdle after another, crossing the finish line ONLY have completing all the steps.  2 Peter 1:5 tells us, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.”  Remember, at each step of this process, we are to apply “all diligence.”  There is never a time to save strength for the next step, or to use less diligence at certain points.  This is an “all diligence” process at every point.  So, apply “all diligence” to add to your faith “virtue.”

When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus’s garments, He perceived that virtue had gone out of Him.  In that instance, the word virtue is the Greek word “dunamis,” meaning “fierce, miraculous power; mighty working; miracle violence.”  This is the power of God that one receives when filled with Holy Ghost.  But in our study today, virtue in 2 Peter 1:5 is the Greek word “arete,” meaning “manlinessvalor, and excellence.”  While “dunamis” is power that comes only from God, and cannot be produced by man, “arete” is the character of a person that is developed over time through diligent process.  Consider the following three statements:

  • You’re a male by birth  (You had nothing to do with your gender; that is genetics).
  • You’re a man by choice (You have everything to do with your personal identification; that is choice).
  • You’re a son of God by the grace and power of God (You are who God made you to be; that is divine).

You have dunamis-virtue solely by the hand of God.  You have arete-virtue by your own choice of diligent application of Godly principles.  If you don’t give diligence to develop it, you would have it.

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11

Orderly Diligence – Part 4

There comes a time when one must put process to work, otherwise the process is never engaged.

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2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

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Some diligence is NOT all diligence.  In the process we’re examining, God requires “all diligence.”   It’s time now to engage the process.  Take a close look at 2 Peter 1:5.  We read, “giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.”  Today, we consider the first element to which we are to give all our diligence in incorporating it into our life, and that element is “faith.”

First, consider some truths that every Christian should know about faith.  They are foundational to faith and should be taught to every believer within a week of receiving Jesus as Lord. 

  • You are saved by grace through faith – Ephesians 2:8
  • Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God – Romans 10:17
  • Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen – Hebrew 11:1
  • Without faith it is impossible to please God – Hebrews 11:6
  • The spirit of faith calls things that be not as though they were – Romans 4:17 & 2 Corinthians 4:13
  • Faith releases power through the speaking the Word – Mark 11:22-24 & Romans 10:6-10

Every child of God should pursue the study of faith for a lifetime.  Being the agent that pleases Father, the believer should understand the imperative of a living, active, vital, and powerful faith in his life.  It should be applied to every facet of life; spirit, soul, body, domestic, professional, financial, and social.  The life that one can live when pleasing Father in each of these arenas through faith goes beyond what any person can imagine.  The Scripture has declared it.  My friend, when Father is please, He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is at work within us.  That power is the Word of God, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and it is that Word of God that is the foundational building block of faith in the life of every believer.  Take hold of this process, my friend, for when you do, the best is yet to come. 

Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11