Faith – Foundational Principles – 6


When you pray, from where does your believing arise?

Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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Faith, foolishness, presumption, mental assent; they all represent some level of believing.  FAITH is built solely from the Word of God.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  FOOLISHNESS is belief built upon the erroneous thinking that one does not need to obey the Scriptures.  The fool hears the Word of God, knows it is truth, but responds to the Lord’s Word by saying, “No.”  PRESUMPTION is a belief that arises before any knowledge or true thought and is without any true proof of ability to succeed. 

MENTAL ASSENT is the most deceptive of the belief mechanisms that mimic faith in some way.  God tells us, “Come, let us reason together.”  God tells us, “Let this mind be in you,” and “think on these things.”  From these commands, we can see clearly that the soul (mind, will, intellect, & emotions) do indeed play a role in our walk with Jesus.  He does not want us behaving like mindless robots, but as intelligent, reasoning human beings our of our own will to love and serve Him.  Of course, the most obvious difference between faith and mental assent is that faith arises from the heart (the human spirit), while mental assent exists solely in one’s mind (the soul). 

Learn to recognize, not only the voice of Holy Ghost, but also the voice of your own spirit.  Realize that God does not want you to be deceived.  He will teach you to accurately recognize the different voices that come to our lives.  No, I’m not talking about a mental illness where one hears voices.  I am speaking about the truth that God has a voice, and He uses it to speak to His people.  Your spirit-man has a voice by which it speaks to your soul.  Your soul has a voice by which it speaks to your spirit-man.  And sadly, Satan has a voice by which he attempts to deceive and ultimately destroy God’s people.  By learning to recognize these voices, especially the voice of God and the voice of your own spirit, you can learn to walk in a full assurance of faith that what you are hearing is that which comes from the Lord and is pleasing to Him.  It is THAT VOICE to which you should lend yourself in obedience, feeding your faith, living by faith, and pleasing Father.

Manna for Today – Mark ll:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3; Romans 10:6-17; Matthew 7:24-27;    Matthew 25:1-13

Faith – Foundational Principles – 5

There’s more to being Biblical than quoting Scripture.

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Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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Quoting Scripture does not make one Biblical in position, stance, conviction, or authority.  Even Satan can quote Scripture, and in fact, he did when tempting Jesus.  We’re talking about faith, and in particular, speaking in faith.  Yes, if you’re speaking in faith, the foundation for all you say MUST be the Word of God.  Boldness in speaking faith is important, for in true boldness is a powerful indication of true confidence in what one is speaking.  But remember here, boldness does not have to be shouted or screamed.  In fact, it can be spoken in a still, small voice.  But another element of our speaking is critical if we are truly speaking in faith.  Since faith works by love, when we speak, our motive MUST be righteous.

God is love.  Therefore, everything God does flows from His being, and that is love.  We all certainly remember John 3:16 … “For God so loved the world…”  When we speak, when we pray, when we petition our Father, our motivation for that petition, intercession, thanks, praise, worship, or agreement MUST be thoroughly rooted in love.  If we have sin in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us.  If we ask with the wrong motive, that we might use an answer to prayer to further our own lusts, the Lord will not hear us.  All of this is a vital part of praying and speaking in faith in an absolutely Biblical manner.

As we prepare to move on through our series on Faith – Foundational Principles, let’s collect our thoughts once again relating to speaking in faith.  First, speaking is absolutely necessary, for you will have what you say.  Speaking releases faith.  Second, speak accurately.  Make sure the words you say are in full agreement with what God’s Word says about any situation you face.  Remember, faith is always built upon the Word of God.  Third, speak boldly.  Boldness arises out of true conviction.  It’s not about loudness, brashness, or boasting.  It’s about the certainty of knowing the truth.  And fourth, speak Biblically.  Be sure the words of your mouth arise from a pure heart and with right motive that is pleasing to Father.  Oh, and always remember, faith speaking is never selfish.  Do you remember the first two words of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples?  “Our Father…”  It’s not just about you.

Manna for Today – Mark ll:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3; Romans 10:6-17; Ephesians 4:15;                  1 John 5:14-15

Faith – Foundational Principles – 4

There is something powerful about true boldness in the faith.

Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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When one speaks the Word of God, it should come forth with a level of certainty, decisively, with conviction, and boldness that what is being said is indeed from the Lord.  I am fully aware that all of us can have thoughts and opinions that are good to address, but cannot be spoken with the boldness and certainty that comes with being fully invested in faith.  While we may discuss these things with others, especially those of proven wisdom and insight, and while they may even burn passionately in our hearts and minds, faith provides a level of boldness that should eclipse all other sources.  By being bold, I am not implying loud.  There are many loud voices with no faith at all, only anger, bitterness, vindictiveness, and hatred.  Loudness does not mean victory; faith does, for this is the victory that overcomes the world, even your faith (1 John 5:4).

When speaking in faith, one needs to speak and stand in all the godly boldness available to them.  Such boldness arises from several sources. 

  • After the new birth, and grows in its richness as the believer’s knowledge of his righteousness grows (Proverbs 28:1). 
  • When he is filled with Holy Ghost (Acts 2). 
  • As the knowledge of covenant Word increases in the heart of the believer (Acts 13:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:15; Ephesians 6:10-18).
  • When one walks in one’s own anointing that has taught the believer (Luke 4:18-21; 1 John 2:20-29).
  • When one does the work of a deacon, serving the ministry of helps with right motive (1 Timothy 3:8-13).

While this is not intended as an unabridged list of sources of boldness in the faith, it does set the stage.  As one studies the Word of God on this matter, more elements may be seen, and even the ones listed may be greatly amplified.  The take-away from this examination is this; boldness from God is indeed available, and at great levels.  And when one stands in faith that is securely anchored in the Word of God, boldness is a powerful asset that God has not only made available, but which one can increase by applying themselves in obedience to God’s Word.

Manna for Today – Mark 11:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3; James 5:16; Romans 10:6-17; 1 Timothy 3:13

Faith – Foundational Principles – 3

All things being equal, anyone can speak.  But there’s more to it.

Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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The Scriptures declare that “the righteousness which is of faith speaks” in a certain way.  That same passage in Romans further indicates that it speaks what God’s Word says.  So, when we examine this matter of speaking, it’s not just about saying words.  It is also about the matter of speaking accurately.  God is a God of faith.  Without it, you cannot please Him.  Faith is based on God’s Word, living in one’s heart, and accurately spoken.  “Sloppy” does not work with God.  Yet, the church today is extremely loose, or sloppy, in the way it handles God’s Word.  If one were to be testifying in a court of law, the words of his mouth must be extremely accurate.  To speak less than absolute truth in one’s testimony could produce catastrophic results.  Innocent people could be imprisoned, or someone guilty of a heinous crime could go free.  To speak loosely in a court of law could bring about lawsuits that would bankrupt major businesses.  There, truth is demanded.

And yet there are ministers who stand in pulpits around the world who flippantly toss words about, even misquoting Scriptures in a way that could cause people to spend eternity in the lake of fire.  My friend, this ought not be so.  None of us is perfect in our own rights; in our flesh, we are flawed and can make wrong decisions and choices.  But to flippantly toss God’s Word about is a dangerous thing.  Jesus has warned us that WE WILL give and account for every idle, non-productive word that comes out of our mouths.  Take heed, my friend, that the words that come from your mouth are accurate, truthful, life-giving words, and not words of destruction, devastation, distraction, or distortion.

If we will be the people of faith the Lord desires us to be, if we will be the people of the end times, if we will be the people God has established in the earth to close out this age, we must be people of extreme accuracy with our words.  Our speech must be salted with the Word of God every time we open our mouths.  Our preaching, teaching, and prophesying must be accurate and in alignment with the will of Father if we expect Him to confirm our words with signs following.  So, speak, faith person, but speak accurately. 

Manna for Today – Mark 11:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3; James 5:16; Romans 10:6-17

Faith – Foundational Principles – 2


If you really believe a thing to be true, you will have no difficulty is speaking it as truth.

Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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The first foundational principle we examined was, “Have faith in God.”  This is a direct command from the lips of Messiah Himself.  The second foundational principle is “say,” or “speak.”  Look closely at our Text for Today.  The intended point of these words from Messiah was to lay out a basic outline for the operation of faith.  Have faith, speak whatever you desire to be done, hold fast to your profession of faith, do not doubt in your heart, but rather believe in your heart, and you shall have what you say, that is the words of faith you have spoken.  Notice the second principle is that you speak whatever you desire to happen.  That principle of operation for faith is seen from the beginning to the end of the Scriptures. 

While some folks might think the next principle a bit strange to be placed here, it really isn’t.  Consider the first three words of the Hebrews 11:1 definition of faith.  They are, “Now faith is…”  Stop for a moment and think deeply about that.  We have a time frame for the operation of faith, the noun “faith,” and a verb designating its tense of existence, NOW.  This teaching is deeply established in the Word.  When Father created the world, as soon as He was ready for that to happen, He spoke; He said something.  He spoke what He desired into existence. 

By now we can see clearly why speaking whatever you desire to be done is the second principle.  If you really have faith to do the work, you will speak.  It is the Word of God that builds faith into you for whatever it is you desire.  If you can’t find it in the Word of God, then you can’t have faith to receive it.  If you don’t have faith to receive it, your words will only be empty.  But if you have built your faith on the Word of God, then you have faith to receive what you say.  When that happens, what you speak will have the power to bring it forth.  God’s Word is God’s power.  No Word from God is void of the power required to bring it to pass.  God’s Word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He pleases.  Apply all these passages to Principle 2, and your words spoken in true faith will produce the results you desire.

Manna for Today – Mark ll:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3; Luke 1:37; Hebrews 1:3; Isaiah 55:11

Faith – Foundational Principles – 1

If you want something to work properly, follow the instructions for assembly.  Don’t improvise.

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Mark 11:22-24 – And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

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Ask most church folk what faith is, and many of them will begin to say, not what the Scriptures say it is, but what someone else has always told them what it is.  And sadly, much of that they say will be based heavily on tradition which can make the Word of God of ineffective.  I believe you will find that few people will simply reply with the Bible’s own definition of faith; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  By the same token, ask most Christians what faith does, and their answers will fall far short of it “calls things which be not as though they were.”  Words are keenly important for every believer, and the believer’s success in this life rests heavily on how accurate a believer is in his use of the Word of God and any spoken word that comes from his mouth.

Let’s look at what must be the first foundational principle in the operation of faith.  It’s simple.  You MUST have faith.  In our Text for Today, we see that it is commanded.  This is NOT a suggestion by the Lord, but a commandment from His Own lips.  A commandment is an order from God about which there is no choice and from which there can be no turning.  Once again, our heavenly Father commands us through His first-born Son to “Have faith in God.”  The marginal rendering in some Bibles says, “Have the faith of God.”  I have also read it as, “Have the God-kind of faith.”  Any way you say it, it means one thing.  God is commanding His covenant people to have His faith abiding in them.  And just what kind of faith is the God-kind of faith?  It is a completely creative faith, arising from the Word of God, and always motivated by the love of God.  It created the world, and brought about the redemptive work of the Lord.  And it is that same faith, that at the new birth is given to each of us in “the measure of faith.”  God does not exercise partiality.  Each of His children has equal opportunity from the new birth to feed, develop, and utilize the faith that has been authored and perfected by the Lord Jesus for us.

Manna for Today – Mark ll:12-26; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 5:1-5; Matthew 15:6; Hebrews 12:2;       Mark 7:13; Romans 4:17; Galatians 5:6; Romans 12:3

Faith Required


To live in outer space, a space suit is required, to vote, citizenship; to please God, FAITH.

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

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Allow me to offer two points of reference as we begin.  The word “FAITH” is used in the Old Testament two times, and in the four Gospels and New Testament245 times.  Our Text for Today states it as clearly as it can be stated.  “But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).”  If one takes just a few moments to truly consider the power of that statement, the reasoning of that consideration will bring one to a staggering conclusion.  Let’s do it together, keeping it as simple as possible, approaching it from the point of view of a Christian.  It might flow as follows.

Romans 14:23 states, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  Since the Christian should live free from sin, living by faith is vital.  Mark 9:23 declares, “All things are possible to him that believeth.”  A believer is a Christian, and to believe in this context is to have faith.  In Mark 11:22, Jesus commands us to, “Have faith in God.”  That is NOT a suggestion, but a commandment.  And then we add our Text for Today, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).”  To attempt to please God outside the use of faith is sin.  Both faith AND love are commanded.  Love without faith achieves nothing.  Faith without love is nothing but noise.   Do you want to please God?  You MUST HAVE FAITH.

That should forever settle the issue in the heart of any believer.  Now the question arises, how does one have this kind of faith.  It first comes at the point of the new birth.  When you’re born again, you receive “the measure” of faith (Romans 12:3).  Your faith increases as you feed your spirit man on God’s Word (Romans 10:17).  It does not come by prayer, fasting, or works of any kind.  Faith  comes ONLY by hearing the Word of God.

So, do you need mountains moved, a way through the sea, deliverance from lions or fire, the ability to stand against armies, healing, provision, deliverance?  Any and all these things can be accessed by your faith, and faith is your servant.  The sum of all that has been written here.  To live for Christ requires faith.  To please the Father God requires faith.  To have faith, one must be born again and be a hearer of the Word of God.  That, my friend, is the beginning.

Manna for Today – Hebrews 11:1-40; Romans 12:1-3; Matthew 8:26; Mark 11:22-24; Acts 15:7-12;    Romans 4:13; Romans 10:6-17; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 4:5-13

Becoming Covenant Minded


Because we have Christ’s mind, we can learn to think like Him.

1 Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

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To be covenant minded is to think in the terms of the covenant to which one s joined.  While a contract is much weaker than a covenant, if you make a purchase, but are not fully aware of the contractual agreement, which includes warranty, you may very well find yourself never enjoying the full benefits of the contract.  The same is true if you contract someone for certain work, which may include parts and future services under warranty.  It pays to read and be intimately familiar with any contract into which you enter.

Covenant should be considered much more important.  You see, a contract may have legal standings, but a true covenant has life and death standing.  A true covenant can only be made when the flesh is parted to the flowing of blood.  That’s why God’s covenant with Abraham had to be honored by the shedding of blood of certain animals, and even the shedding of man’s blood through circumcision.  The covenant of the Law of the Old Testament, likewise, required the shedding of blood.  And for the New Testament to be a “better covenant” with “better promises,” there had to be the shedding of blood from a better sacrifice.  God offered His Own blood through sacrifice of His first born, Jesus, and Jesus offered His Own blood as a man, having emptied Himself of all divine privilege.  Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for both God and man.

Therefore, it becomes paramount for the believer to receive, embrace, and put to work the mind of Christ as the mind of covenant with which he must continually think.  Anything less than Christ-thinking will NOT work for the believer to become covenant minded.  When one is born again, the mind of Christ is made available to him.  To have that mind firmly established in you, you must study the Word, meditate constantly upon the Word, speak the Word in every situation of life, allow no corrupt communication to come forth from your mouth, always speak in line with God’s Word (His Will), walk and work within the light of God’s Word, do all things by love and in faith, give attention to the Word, incline your ears to the Word, keep the Word before your eyes, and keep your heart filled with the Word.  When one lives that lifestyle, thinking at God’s level and in God’s manner can become your way of life.  The greatest things in this natural world come to the greatest thinkers.  And it is to Christ-thinkers that the things of Christ will surely come.

Manna for Today – Philippians 2:1-11; Romans 12:1-2; Joshua 1:6-9; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 9:1-10; Hebrews 10:1-18; Romans 15:5-7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians1:27; Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 12:24

Covenant of Complete Redemption


No other covenant could do what the New Covenant could do
.

Hebrews 8:6 – But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

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When Father sent Jesus into the earth as His only begotten Son, He left nothing out in the plan of redemption He instituted.  At the close of His earthly ministry, Jesus, coming to His final steps, offered Himself as the complete and final payment in full for our redemption.  That payment covered us in every arena of life; spirit, soul, and body. 

  • The Spirit Man – the real you; you are a spirit, have a soul, live in a body.  The redemption He provided produced for you the new birth, making you a living member of a new species that never existed before His resurrection.  You are alive unto God, His child, one with Him, heir of God, joint heir with Christ, and assigned full power of attorney to speak His Word in His Name to accomplish anything He could do, and greater.  You, the spirit man, are born of God, and possess His nature.
  • The Soul Man – your mind, will, intellect, and emotions.  Your redemption means you have full and complete access to the mind of Christ, the ability to develop a will of His strength, an intellect that could only be defined as divine, and emotions that serve you for strength and holy purpose.  You have through redemption the ability to think, reason, and rationalize as Jesus Himself would do.
  • The Body (Physical) Man – this is the flesh that is useful because of the five senses; sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch.  Despite the frailties of the flesh, for the believer, it is still redeemed.  By the stripes of Jesus, we were healed.  Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.  He sent His Word and healed us. 

When we consider the salvation provided through our redemption received from Jesus, there is yet more to consider.  Salvation, or sozo, is an all-inclusive term that covers the whole man.  It means more than what we’ve already stated.  The full coverage of salvation includes the new birth of the human spirit, the renewing of the mind (soulish realm), and the complete healing of the physical body as we’ve already indicated, but more.  It also includes your deliverance from all temporal evil, and the complete provision of every human need.  All of that is included in the salvation that belongs to the believer through redemption.  So, when the Word declares that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,” it means COMPLETE redemption from the COMPLETE curse.  The only element of that complete redemption that we will not receive in the present natural life is the glorified body that will be ours when Jesus comes for His church.  Get ready.  It draws closer daily.  Remain faithful and diligent.

Manna for Today – Hebrews 8:1-13; John 3:16-17; Galatians 3:13-29; Ephesians 2:1-22; 3 John 2; Isaiah 53:4-5; John 14:12-14; Matthew 8:17; Psalm 107:20; Deuteronomy 28

Our Need for Covenant

There are some things one absolutely needs in life.  Covenant with God is the most important.

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Ephesians 2:12 – That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

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It has been said that one can live (generally) 40 days without food, three days without water, three or four minutes without air, and perhaps even less than that without hope.  It is surely true that all these elements are absolute necessities for life.  But there is more to consider.  As a human being, you were designed by your creator to live forever.  And you will . . . somewhere.  And while I would not really call in living to spend your eternal existence in the lake of fire, it is, by its very nature, eternal.  But to have true eternal life, to live in joy and the presence of the Lord for eternity, one MUST have covenant with the Lord.

Take a moment and read our Text for Today once again.  Its content is absolute truth, and the reality of this is absolutely horrifying.  When a person exists in this earth outside of covenant with the Lord, that is, being “without Christ,” the condition that represents is, as I’ve already written, horrifying.  As a Gentile, that is, one WHO outside the bloodline of Israel, this passage calls them “aliens.”  An alien is someone who has not legal standing, especially through birth, and subsequently lives without certain rights and privileges that belong to citizens.  Such people are also referred to as “strangers from the covenants of promise.”  The “covenants of promise” refer to the Old Covenant that was God’s covenant with Israel, and of course, the New Covenant, that is God’s covenant with anyone who believes in Jesus and has been born again.  All the promises of God are in Him, Yes and Amen.  Imagine the potential emptiness of living beneath those promises.  We then read that those living outside the covenants of promise are people “having no hope, and without God in the world.”  My imagination simply cannot grasp living in such an estate.  I desperately need the Lord, I know it, and I have chosen to NOT live without Him.

My dear friend, ALL OF US desperately need Jesus.  All we need to do is look about us to see the desperation in which multitudes of humanity exist.  What they are experiencing is NOT life, but is rather the symptoms of death that is the wages of sin.  ONLY through Christ can that be changed.  Religion can’t produce it.  Philosophy can’t explain it.  Education can’t teach it.  Riches can’t purchase it.  Society can design it.  Mediums can’t conjure it.  ONLY CHRIST CAN GIVE IT!  ONLY BY FAITH CAN YOU RECEIVE IT!  Oh, how He loves you and me!

Manna for Today – John 3:3-7; John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Galatians 3:13-29; Ephesians 2:1-10