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Salt and Light?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

1 Chronicles 16:25 For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the LORD made the heavens. Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and gladness are in His place. Give to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Tremble before Him, all the earth. The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved.

As I reflect and think back through the years I can't help but remember all the good things He has done in my life. He is great and greatly to be praised!

This morning I will go to church and worship the Lord. It is the Lord's Day! And I will again be honored to be in His presence; to join together with others as we proclaim how great our God is!

Hebrews 10:24, 25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

With that joining together in worship comes more opportunities to see God work in and through my life and the lives of those around me. God has so blessed me with the ones that are around me to encourage me and, likewise, that I can encourage and support in their walk with the Lord. As time draws near to the return of the Lord Jesus we each will have more and more opportunities to be “Jesus with skin on” to those around us. That may sound arrogant to some of you, but if the Spirit of God lives within you then you are to some the only reflection of the character and nature of Jesus that they might see. There was a song years ago that said, “you may be the only Bible that some people ever read.” This morning I would like to ask you, “of what reflection are you to those around you”? Are you reflecting Jesus to the world or would they be surprised to know that you belong to Jesus?

Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Salt and light....Jesus said we are to be salt and light to those around us?

Salt – according to Webster's 1828 Dictionary it is 1) the muriate of soda, a substance used for seasoning certain kinds of food, and for the preservation of meat. 2) In chemistry, it is a body compounded of an acid united to some base, which may be either an alkali, an earth, or a metallic oxyd. 3) Taste; sapor; smack 4) Wit; poignancy;

We are to season people with our speech and our presence. As He changes us we will have the natural ability to perceive and understand the things of the Lord and have a keenness and quickness of perception or discernment. Sometimes we will have a sharp or pungent flavor to those around us. That means that they won't always agree with us, but if we speak with a saltiness we will whet their appetite for the Lord. Salt always makes people thirsty. We then preserve them by our witness to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Wit – 1. The natural ability to perceive and understand; intelligence. 2. a. Keenness and quickness of perception or discernment; ingenuity.

Poignancy - sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste keenly affecting the other senses: poignant beauty; sharp or pungent to the smell or, formerly, the taste .
Our speech, our presence and our witness bring people to want the saving knowledge of Jesus for themselves when we reflect the character and nature of the Lord.

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Our speech is to be with grace, which by one definition is unmerited favor. As we talk with people we are to show them favor, undeserved mercy, giving them love and acceptance even though they may not be worthy of it. God extended grace to us in saving us. He gave us His life in place of the death that we deserve. He gave His very own Son to exchange our sin for His forgiveness; our sickness for His health; our poverty for His riches! We are salt to those around us!

Light – Greek word phos – Strong's #5457 – meaning “to give light”, expressing “light as seen by the eye,” and, metaphorically, as “reaching the mind,” whence phaino, “to make to appear,” phaneros, “evident,”.

Jesus said we are to be “light” to the world; we are to make Him appear, or make Him evident to those around us. We are to be “Jesus with skin on”, set on a high hill shining for all to see that Jesus lives in us and wants to live in them. We are to express God to the world!

Food for thought: How salty are you today? Who are you reflecting? How bright is your light? Are you a preserving witness of the Lord Jesus Christ?

You know what? God doesn't expect us to do these things on our own. It is only as God changes us that we can offer the reflection of the Lord that changes those around us. You may feel, as I do, that my reflection at times is dim, that my speech isn't always seasoned with grace and that I reflect my own fleshly desires more than His. It is then that I have to go back to the word of God that says:

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed ot the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

You see, it is as we see that God is the One doing the changing that we are in awe of His greatness! We come back full circle to the reason why we worship the Lord; because of His greatness! I can't change myself and you can't change yourself, but we can yield to God's working within us. We can pray that He will show us the things within that He wants to change and allow Him to have the freedom to do that.

I think that the New Living Translation really gives me a greater understanding of what is taking place within me when God is working:

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.

You see, it is God giving us the desire to obey Him and then also giving us the power to do it! That takes the responsibility totally off of us and places it on Him. He is responsible for making the changes even to the point of giving us the desire to be changed!

Now can you join me in saying “How GREAT IS OUR GOD”!!!!

Father, I thank You for Who You are to me, in me and through me. You are great and greatly to be praised! I am in awe of Your greatness! Thank You for working in me giving me the desire to obey You and the power to do it! Thank You, Father, for this day that I can gather together with other believers in corporate worship of You! May You be blessed by our praise! Father, as we live each day, I pray that You will cause us to be mindful of the words that we speak and how they should be seasoned with grace. I pray that You will show us how to reflect You in all that we say and do; that You will change us so that our light will shine brightly and we will reflect You as You draw all men unto Yourself as we lift You up. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer as I offer it in the name of Jesus! Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 8/10/2012 11:17AM

    How great is our God!


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KAYYVAUGHN 7/30/2012 6:28AM

    I agree Amen! God does answer prayers.

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DARLENEK04 7/29/2012 8:04PM

  Amen and Amen Sis....


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GABY1948 7/29/2012 2:43PM

    “How GREAT IS OUR GOD”!!!! I join you in saying it because it is so TRUE and I LOVED the statement you made, "“Jesus with skin on” to those around us" and it is NOT arrogant...it is what we are SUPPOSED to be...I always say that I have to let the world see the "light" in me...same thing...but I love your way of saying it!

As usual, I am so thankfurl for you and your blogs! God Bless you, Avanell! And thank YOU!

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LOOKINGUP2012 7/29/2012 9:37AM

    Amen! Great verses. Also, He is the head, we are the body. I think about this alot. I hardly ever seeing my body do something I didn't think first. emoticon to be part of His body on earth.

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GOLFGMA 7/29/2012 7:34AM

    So happy that we have been given opportunity to praise Him and to be guided by Him to do those things that would please Him and enrich our lives. I am thankful for saving grace and a loving father!

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EDITOR 7/29/2012 7:30AM

    You tell it like it is, Avanell. So did Jesus.

Blessings come back full circle also. You will receive in full measure the sowing of the Word. One sows, one waters, God gives the growth. Yes! I can praise God this day for being fully in charge.

Thanks for being you, the goodie, and for complimenting my blog this morning with a seasoned word on the unclean.

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Going and Growing!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Okay, folks, we've had a couple of inspirational blogs so now it's time to pull up to the table and share a meal of the meat of God's word. There's an old song we used to sing years ago entitled “Come and Dine”. Here's the chorus:

'Come and dine', the Master calleth,'Come and dine'
You can eat at Jesus' table anytime.
He who fed the multitude,
Changed the water into wine
To the hungry calleth now, 'Come and dine'.

So, this morning I invite you to come and dine with me at the table of God's word!

Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

When we are babes in Christ we need constant milk whereby we grow just as babies begin their lives. But as we are fed the milk of God's word and begin to put our roots down in Him we find the necessity of going forward and growing in the things of God so we can be nourished by the solid meat of the word and not just the simple, feel good scriptures that give us the warm, fuzzy feelings. There is a place for inspirational messages and a different place for those that challenge us and cause us to grow up and become the over-comers that God intends for us to be. It is only as we exercise what we learn that we will grow. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Paul said in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

What happens when we go through a crucifixion? It is the dying of our fleshly motivations in living life so that Christ can live through us to His honor and glory. We see from the crucifixion of Jesus that He had to lay aside His will in order to fulfill the will of the Father. It takes faith to do that. Paul said that once he had crucified his flesh, in order to continue to live the life that God wanted, he had to do it by faith.

Faith makes things possible, but not always easy! Walking by faith means that instead of reacting to something that happens in my life, I will respond according to God's word regarding that situation. Faith is believing what God says before I see the reality of it. We often make the statement that “seeing is believing”, but faith says that “believing is seeing”.

Abraham is listed in God's word as being the “father of faith”. As we look at the example of how he lived his life by faith we can see a pattern to follow in living our lives.

Romans 4:17-21 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

God gave Abram a promise: that He had already made him the father of may nations. Abram could then either react in disbelief because it had not yet been manifested in the natural, or he could respond in faith by choosing to believe what God said over what he saw in his situation. He saw the deadness of his body and that of Sarah, his wife. He heard the negative voices that came into his mind saying “this is not possible. You both are too old. It's never going to happen. Look at how long you've been waiting for this promised child to arrive.” All those things came against him, just like they come against you. But Abram didn't waver in believing what God had said, but he made the choice to stand with God and resist the enemy that tried to come to destroy the covenant promise that God had made to him.

God promised a child to Abram and Sarai and when He made the promise He sealed it with the sacrifice of a blood covenant.

Genesis 15:8-11 And he said, “Lord GOD, how shall I know that I will inherit it?” So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

Child of God, He has made promises to us throughout His word, sealed by the blood of Jesus that are covenant promises. It's time that we shoo the vultures away from our covenant and begin to take a stand on His word that paves the way for the manifestation of His promises. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy our lives, God's promises to us, and we are the ones that have to enforce the protection of those promises through faith until we see the reality of them. Faith looks out into the future and grasps what God has promised as if it already exists.

Colossians 3:1-3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

What are you thinking about? Do you have your mind set on the things of God or what you see going on around you? Abram had to lay aside the negative thoughts and pictures of his situation in order to embrace the truth of God's promise. He had to die to self and live in God. We have been born again, given a new life, and that life is the life of faith that God lives within us; we are in Christ Jesus, a new person, created in His likeness and image and given the ability to function by faith through His strength and power.

We are to put off the old man and “put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge, according to the image of Him who created him,” (Colossians 3:9,10)

God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did! (Romans 4:17) Are you calling things that don't yet exist as though they did or are you reacting to the situation by speaking about the reality of life as it is now?

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things now seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand the the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith sees things that are not real in the natural, but understands that the spiritual viewpoint over-rides the natural. The spiritual is real, the natural is a manifestation of what we have already seen in the spirit realm. If your focus is on the negative aspects of life, you will find that those negative things which you have meditated on will become a reality in your life. The elders obtained a good testimony through believing that what God said was the reality and then walking it out. God framed His world by what He said. He brought the spiritual into the natural through His words.

Paul said that even though he went through persecutions and difficulties that he realized that God was working in his life and the situations he encountered were so that the life of Jesus might be manifested in him. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:13: And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak. You see, faith takes God's promise, believes it first and then speaks out of the mouth what is believed in the heart. Speaking gives faith the avenue to bring into your natural world what God promises in His word!

Jesus said it this way in Matthew 12:34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

What we put into our hearts and meditate on will eventually come out of our mouths! If we believe that God lives in us and is the greater One within then we will begin to speak that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (1 John 4:4; Philippians 4:13) If we believe that the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in us and has seated us far above the principalities and powers that are arrayed against us, then we will speak that and act on it! (Ephesians 1:19-23)

Jesus encountered a “faith issue” with His disciples in Luke 8:24, 25. They encountered a terrific storm in their lives as they were crossing the sea and Jesus was asleep in the boat. As the storm raged the disciples became more and more fearful of what was going to happen. They awoke Jesus and this is what He said to them:

Luke 8:25 NIV He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked His disciples.

This morning I ask you, “where is your faith”? Are you believing the lies of the devil that your life will never be any different than what it is today; that the bad things that he has brought into your life are what exist in your future? Or will you stand up and say, “no, I choose to believe that God has a good plan for my life and that is what exists in my future”!

Father, I thank You that You have equipped us with the God-kind of faith; faith that believes Your word and acts on what You have said. Father, I pray that as we are challenged to walk in faith that we will not be offended by what we read in Your word, or by the messengers that you send into our lives to share that word with us, but that we will be encouraged knowing that You have already made the way possible to for us to live as over-comers; soaring above the storms of life, rather than chickens who always are looking here and there for a morsel of food, hoping that the bareness of the ground around them is not an indication of the future. May we be not only hearers of the word, but doers! Thank You, Father, for the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 8/8/2012 11:00AM


This is something I can definitely benefit from working on.

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FISHINGLADY66 7/28/2012 8:44PM

    WOW! What an awesome blog. Thanks. I couldn't help but sing “Come and Dine” .while reading this. PTL.

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BABY_GIRL69 7/28/2012 1:46PM

    Come on in the table is set & the feast of the Lord is going strong...is a song we sing. Thank you for this song & the invite. I am definitely FULL!

God bless,


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BESTSUSIEYET 7/28/2012 10:39AM

    "Respond" not "React" -- something I try to remember. We Always Have a Choice! God will provide a way of escape from every temptation. We must choose to look for that way. We must choose to take His way.

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JUDY1676 7/28/2012 9:53AM

    Thanks for some great "food" to start my day!

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GABY1948 7/28/2012 8:47AM

    Oh, Avie, what an awesome blog again. Speaks right to me! How often have the teachers in my life spoken o me of this faith and it seems I attain it for a little while and then LET, unwittingly, the enemy come and steal it away!

This particularly struck me:

"God gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did! (Romans 4:17) Are you calling things that don’t yet exist as though they did or are you reacting to the situation by speaking about the reality of life as it is now?"

Sometimes I feel so foolish speaking it out loud, yet that is what God WANTS and RECOMMENDS...so I KNOW I have to put GAYE down and defer to GOD!

Everyday you teach us so much...and it is up to us to process it and run with it! Thank you for your faithfulness and love for us to continue without fail!

Comment edited on: 7/28/2012 8:48:39 AM

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EDITOR 7/28/2012 7:30AM

    Oh what a full meal as we feast this morning!

Thank you so much that this was an all-you-can-eat banquet provided on the
house by God!

Thank you for your comment on my blog this morning. We hear and follow the Living Word Who provides daily. Avanell.

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Don't Worry!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sometimes my husband points out to me that I am worrying. I'm thankful that God brought him into my life to help me keep a proper perspective on casting my cares on the Lord and not allowing worry to steal my peace!

So, God tells us in this scripture that we are not to worry about anything. Wow, how hard is that? Have you ever caught yourself fretting over something? I think we women especially have a tendency to do that. But God actually gives us a “pattern” to follow for success in this portion of scripture.

1) Don't worry – instead pray!
2) Tell God your needs – and don't forget to be thankful for what He does for you!
3) Result – God's peace will encompass your mind and your heart!
4) Rest – will come as you trust in Christ!

Now, how simple can that be? It all boils down to our willingness to place our trust in God and allow Him to handle our problems instead of us trying to do it on our own. He's a BIG God; the only true GOD! He created the universe and all that's within it! Who are we to think we can help Him out by worrying? Jesus says in Matthew 6:34 that when we worry we actually borrow from tomorrow's trouble. Wow, who would want to bring tomorrow's troubles into today? Instead He says that when we seek His kingdom and His righteousness, or His right way of doing things, that everything that we have need of that we've worried about will be added unto us. What a great exchange.....trading our needs for His provision! I think I'll concentrate a little more on doing that. How about you?

Father, I thank You for always meeting my every need according to Your riches in Christ Jesus. Thank You for handling the things that I tend to worry about. You are so much better at dealing with life's issues than me. I thank You that when I present my requests before You that You hear me and set my heart at peace. Thank You for always being there for me! And now Lord, I bring my friends before You. So many of them are struggling with their own problems right now and need encouragement and provision for what they are experiencing. Father, You've said that You would provide for their needs according to, or in the same measure as, Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I pray that they will receive that provision today, Father. And that You will give them an assurance in their hearts that it's been taken care of and that You are working in each situation bringing the resolution that they have need of. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLEAF 8/8/2012 10:47AM


As I've been away and then had so much to deal with on my return, I've got really behind in reading your blogs, but I will catch up slowly.

This message is one that I 'know' very well and yet always benefit from being reminded of it, so thank you.

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GABY1948 7/27/2012 6:42PM

    I actually have this same problem sometimes but I feel so much better to know that YOU could possibly sometimes have the problem too. We are BOT so blessed with such God loving husbands. I thank the Lord EVERYDAY for putting John and I together! And you and Gerald. God Bless you, Avanell, and LOVE!

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DARLENEK04 7/27/2012 5:32PM

  Thanks for the re-inforcement....turned over my problems.
By the way, I am in prayer for the Chick-Fil-A people and
intend to support them on August 1st, for their right to freedom
of choice.
Thanks for the blog,

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LOOKINGUP2012 7/27/2012 12:30PM

    Beautiful prayer. My friend is needing prayer.

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EDITOR 7/27/2012 11:55AM

    Thank you for a blog on worry. My hubby is the one that does that. You are right, of course. We can worry or we can pray. Which one gets us our desired results? Live in the present and in His Presence!

Thanks for posting on my blog. Thanks for the rose goodie and note of encouragement on its symbolism. A friend once told me every time she sees a red rose, she knows a miracle is on its way.

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Never Give Up!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Matthew 14:28-33 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

So often we hear the story about Peter walking on the water and we focus on the fact that he sank! But, HEY, he walked on the water before he began to sink. It was only as he looked around him and saw the great waves of the sea and felt the blustery winds that he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink. Fear over-whelmed him and affected his ability to walk in faith. How many of us have walked on the water? I can't think of a single time when I was in the ocean or the lake or even a swimming pool when I walked on the water. So why do we condemn Peter for stepping out in faith, after hearing God's voice, to do the impossible? Why do we focus on the fact that he sank rather than the fact that he walked on the water? We often experience the same difficulty in life's battles when we take our eyes off Jesus and look at the enormity of life's difficulties and begin to sink. Our immediate cry is just like Peter's “Lord, save me!” The water that we are walking on are the “seemingly impossible” situations that we face in our own lives. The answer is found in keeping our eyes on Jesus!

Isaiah 26:3, 4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

You want strength and peace of mind, the ability to walk on the cares of this life? Trust in the LORD!

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

You want to be able to endure the difficulties of life? Look unto Jesus; He is the author and finisher of your faith. He will give you the strength, peace of mind and the faith to win every battle!

I realize that very often my blogs have been long and “meaty”. I do not want to overload you with teaching so just as I sometimes have a “snacky” meal instead of a full-blown, 3 or 5 course meal, I think you need to have a “snack” instead of a full-blown teaching. I will at times, then, be posting a short devotional to encourage you or give you something to think about. This is the first of those types of posts!

Be encouraged in knowing that God never leaves you or forsakes you. He is always there to encourage you to stand strong in your faith and resist the enemy who wants to discourage you and cause you to sink! Never give up; never quit and never cave in!

“O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

"Little faith" -- Greek word oligopistos - Strong's 3640  Small, faith, describing a faith that lacks confidence or trusts too little.  Another way to term it is "under-developed faith" as opposed to outright unbelief or distrust.

Food for thought: Where are you in your faith walk? Are there different levels of faith? Does doubt keep us from experiencing God's best?

Your comments are important to me. Let me hear what you think about these questions.

Father, I thank You for being there for us to help us “walk on the water” of life. Thank You for lifting us up when we fall down; for strengthening us so we can grow in our spiritual lives and for giving us the victory over the battles of life. You are God! There is none above You or beside You. You are the One who brings us through to victory! Thank You, Father, for Your peace in the midst of the storms. And thank You for giving us the ability to focus our eyes on You and win over the enemy's fiery darts that try to bring us down and defeat us! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSPEACHES3 7/27/2012 6:27AM

    Amen to this blog. Thanks for posting.

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KAYYVAUGHN 7/27/2012 5:59AM

    We thank Him for everything. He keeps us going from day to day.

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FISHINGLADY66 7/26/2012 9:25PM

    Wonderful Bog. It so reassuring to know that we are never alone. emoticon

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JUDY1676 7/26/2012 6:11PM

    Amen! Thanks for sharing.

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DARLENEK04 7/26/2012 3:57PM

  Amen Avie, and I needed to read this today.
Sending you a private email to explain, it is
not me....but David....


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VINGRAM 7/26/2012 12:02PM

    Good! emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 7/26/2012 9:19AM

    Great Blog! Faith and the realization that we are never alone makes each day a joy to behold. emoticon

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RSSSLHB 7/26/2012 7:54AM

    emoticonpost emoticon

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GABY1948 7/26/2012 7:40AM

    Avanell, thank you once again for the perfect Word you give. I love this blog and the pictures and I love both the long and the short blogs...anything God's Word!!! I thank God for your faithfulness to Him and to always answering my quesions or helping with my thoughts. You are right about my support "team" but you left one very important one out...YOU...God bless you always! Hugs and xxx

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CAM2438 7/26/2012 7:40AM

    Great Post for all of us to remember!!! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 7/26/2012 7:06AM

    Yes-yes!!!! --Never give up! emoticon

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EDITOR 7/26/2012 6:58AM

    Yes, yes, and Amen.

Often others need a period of being weaned from the milk before allowing them access to chew on the meat.

Whatever you do, you have those that need to be fed, and I commend you, Avanell, for doing that.

May we grow in faith daily, and walk as He would have us walk---a pace that is neither to slow or to fast. You make that easy for your readers as they expand.

Thanks for the goodie and notes on your physical and spiritual updates. Today, you look a great deal like Paul, my Biblical pal.

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If You Can Believe!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe......”

Jesus was talking to the father of the little boy that was demon-possessed. His disciples had tried to cast out the demon with no success and the father's faith was evidently shaken and needed a little bolstering from the Lord.

Sometimes our faith is shaken. We get a negative report from the doctor and go for prayer and nothing seems to be any different. Our faith is then shaken and we lose heart in believing that God still heals today. But doesn't He? Doesn't the word proclaim in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”? Yes, it does! If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then wouldn't we be able to look at His walk on earth and see that if He healed then, that He is still healing today? What happens, then, when our faith is challenged?

Jesus said “If you can....”, leaving me to think that the burden of responsibility for our receiving from God is on us. If we can believe, or exercise our faith for the promise to become a reality then it will happen. Wow, that stretches me, how about you?

We know that it is within God's power to heal; it often comes down to us believing that it is His will to heal us! Many times we add the phrase, “if it be Your will”, to the end of our prayer. But can't we know God's will? I believe we can, by studying God's word, understand that certain things are clearly shown as being His will in His word.

Hebrews 1:1-4 GOD, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

Jesus is the brightness of God's glory and the express image of His person. Jesus said it this way to His disciples in John 14:9-11: Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. “Believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

Jesus said that when they looked at Him, they were looking at the Father because He and the Father were One. He asked them to believe either based on what He said or what they saw, knowing that it was the Father speaking and doing His works through Him! Today He is still challenging us to believe that He is who He said He is and that He still does what He did over 2,000 years ago. He is still the same healing Jesus today as He was when He walked on the shores of Galilee!

John writes in John 1:18 AMP: No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has reveled Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Jesus, Himself, has made God known! He has revealed Him, or brought Him out where He can be seen. He has interpreted God for us by showing us examples of how God feels about people and the needs that they have; that He wants to deliver them from the bondage of sickness and disease. He has the compassionate heart of a Father who longs to free His children from the grip of the spirit of infirmity. His heart is to set them free! We see example after example of that through the ministry of Jesus. God's heart is demonstrated through the actions of Jesus as He walked on this earth.

Luke 4:18, 19 “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

God, Himself, proclaimed that He is the LORD who heals you in Exodus 15:26:

and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statues, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”

This was written under the Old Covenant. God proclaimed Himself as the “LORD who heals you.” It is written of Jesus in the book of Hebrews that He is the Mediator of a better covenant.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of t a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

If God proclaimed Himself as our Healer under the Old Covenant and Jesus is the Mediator of a better covenant then the New Covenant must include healing as well. The Old Covenant was made obsolete and the New was established on better promises. Promises that secured salvation for the total man: spirit, soul and body. Jesus died that we might have a covenant of healing spiritually, emotionally and physically. In order to understand that we must look back at the original Hebrew definition of the words describing the crucifixion of Jesus in Isaiah 53.

Isaiah 53:4, 5-6 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Let's look at a few specific words here in these two verses:

Griefs – choliy – Strong's 2483 comes from the root word chalah which means to be weak, sick afflicted, diseased. So choliy means malady, disease, grief, sickness.

Jesus bore our sicknesses and diseases. He was made sick so we could be healed.

Sorrows – makob or makowb, or makobah; Strong's 4341 – means anguish, affliction, grief, pain, sorrow.

Jesus carried our pains, our anguish, affliction and sorrow. He bore on His back the stripes that were needed to bring healing for our bodies.

He was wounded for our transgressions.

Wounded – challah – Strong's 2471 deriving from Strong's 2490 meaning to puncture or pierce through, to slay.

He was pierced through, His body punctured, slain for our transgressions.

Transgressions – pesha – Strong's #6588 – meaning rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass.

Jesus was slain for our rebellion, sin and transgression.

Bruised – daka – Strong's 1792 –meaning to crumble, beat to pieces, break in pieces, crush, destroy, smite.

Jesus was beat to pieces, crushed for our iniquities.

Iniquities – 'avon – Strong's 5771 – meaning evil; fault, iniquity, mischief, sin.

He was beat to pieces and crushed for our evil sin.

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.

Chastisement – muwcar – Strong's 4148 – bond, chastening, check, correction, discipline, rebuke.

Jesus was disciplined, corrected, rebuked, chastened for our peace.

Peace – shalowm or shalom – Strong's 7965 – welfare, health, prosperity, peace, wholeness, well-being.

Jesus was chastized or rebuked, punished for our welfare, health, prosperity, peace, wholeness and well-being. This comprises every area of man: spirit, soul and body. Peace, prosperity and wholeness; well-being for the total man.

And by His stripes we are healed.

Stripes – chabbuwrah – Strong's 2250 – blows that cut in; black and blue marks; bruised, hurt, stripe, wound.

Jesus was beaten with blows that cut into His body to secure our healing!

As we have taken a closer look at these particular words describing the crucifixion of Jesus I don't see how we could deny the work of His sacrifice on the cross for man's total redemption: spirit, soul and body.

But to further confirm, let's look at some scriptures in the New Testament:

Matthew 8:16, 17 When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

Jesus carried our sins, sicknesses and diseases on His back when He was nailed to the cross, redeeming us from the kingdom of darkness and translating us into the Kingdom of God. Physical healing is just as much a part of redemption as forgiveness of sin. We were forgiven of our sin over 2,000 years ago when Jesus hung on that cross. Likewise, we were healed of our sicknesses and diseases when He hung on that cross. Our wholeness was secured for us spirit, soul and body when Jesus was beaten and crucified. But it is not made ours until we receive it.

If I brought a gift to you and said that it was yours, that I had brought it for you, when would it be yours? As far as I'm concerned it was yours the minute I bought it and laid it down before you. But you can turn and walk out of that room and that gift will not be yours because you didn't pick it up and take it with you. So it is with salvation, whether it is forgiveness of sin or healing for your spirit, soul or body. If you don't receive it; it will do you no good. It has to be made personal. That is done through God's grace, by your faith.

Saved -- Sozo -- Strong's #4982  To save, heal, cure, preserve, keep safe and sound, rescue from danger or destruction, deliver.  Sozo saves from physical death by healing, and from spiritual death by forgiving sin and its effects.

Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, least anyone should boast.

Salvation is a free gift, given by God's grace and received as we exercise faith for it. The way that we exercise faith is by believing it in our hearts and speaking it out with our mouths.

Romans 10:8-10; 13 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach); that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

You must align the confession of your mouth with the belief in your heart! Salvation is a free gift, but we have to believe it in our hearts and confess Jesus as Lord with our mouths.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Have you called on the Lord for your sins to be forgiven? Have you asked for His healing power to flow through your body bringing healing and wholeness? Have you confessed that Jesus is your Lord and Savior; that He is your Healer? What do you believe in your heart?

Yes, Jesus forgives; He heals and He delivers from oppression. He died for you to be saved, healed, delivered, and set free. The question is this: Will you now receive it?

If you have never asked Jesus into your heart to be your Savior and Lord this is the place of beginnings for you. If you would like to do that just pray along with me and mean this with sincerity in your heart:

Father, I come before you in the name of Jesus. I confess that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I believe that You gave Your Son, Jesus Christ, to purchase my redemption from sin. I ask You to forgive me and save me. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for dying for me and I confess you as my Savior and Lord. Please come into my heart and live through me. I commit myself to you and choose to live for you the rest of my life. Thank You for saving me! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

If you are sick and in need of the Healer, just reach out and receive your healing today! It is yours, Jesus purchased it for you. Exercise your faith to believe for His healing power to flow through your body right now.

Father, I ask You to flow Your healing power throughout my friends' physical bodies right now. I speak life to their bodies, in the Name of Jesus! I declare that sickness and disease has no right to exist in their bodies, for they are children of God and their bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Sickness and disease must go right now, in Jesus Name. Father, I thank You for touching them and making them whole! Thank You for healing them! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed with me this morning to receive the Lord Jesus as Your Savior and Lord, I would like to hear from you. You may privately email me if you so desire or leave a comment on this blog. Either way, I want to pray for you and rejoice with you in your decision to follow Jesus.

If you have prayed for healing for your body, I would like to stand with you in faith believing for the manifestation of that healing. You may contact me and I will be happy to offer further assistance in standing in faith believing for the manifestation of your healing. God bless you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AVANELL 7/25/2012 2:09PM

    I want to address SLIMLEAF's questions here so all can see it.

SLIMLEAF: "But sometimes Christians with great faith have prayed for healing and have not been healed."

Yes, absolutely, and why? I don't have all the answers. I can only tell you what I see and have learned from the Word. I believe that God's word teaches that healing is ours because of the blood of Jesus that was shed to purchase our redemption. Only God knows the situation and circumstances and what is in the heart of the person needing healing and where they are in their faith walk with Him. We can't judge people or condemn them on what we see in their lives where faith is concerned. There are a lot of things to take into consideration that affect our ability to receive; such as fear, pain, lack of support while standing in faith, negative doctor's reports. All these things take a toll on people and their ability to stand believing for healing. This is not something to be condemned in them, but instead we need to pray for them, encourage them and stand with them where they are in their ability to walk by faith.

SLIMLEAF: "I think it is very important to make sure that a Christian who is suffering with some illness or disability is not made to feel even worse by being led to believe that it is their lack of faith that is preventing them being made whole"

Absolutely, we are never to discourage or pass judgment on a person needing healing.

SLIMLEAF: "I don't think it's a simple formula that 'works' in all situations."

It's never a simple formula that works in all situations or we would all be using it. But there are too many times in the word where Jesus says "be it unto you according to your faith", or "your faith has made you whole" or "as you have believed, so let it be done for you". He ties faith with healing in so many of the accounts that we see where He healed the sick. I don't think that is a coincidence. I believe He is saying to us that our faith is directly tied to our ability to receive from Him.

SLIMLEAF: "God sometimes allows us to suffer in order to teach us stuff, doesn't He?"

God works all things work together for good according to Romans 8:28. He is not the author of sickness and disease or we would have seen it in the Garden of Eden before the Fall. Sickness and disease came through the Fall of man as a result of sin, which has it's origin in Satan. The word says in John 10:10 that the thief does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. When we understand that God's plan is for man to experience healing both spiritually and physically we can then understand that it is the devil, or the thief, that comes with sickness and disease meant to destroy a person. James 1:17 says that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." God is not a Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde type of being that changes from good to bad "to teach us a lesson". He is a loving Father who desires that His children walk in heath and wholeness.

SLIMLEAF: "I remember being terribly hurt by some Christian friends who told me that if I really had faith I wouldn't suffer from depression"

I apologize on behalf of your friends who told you that. We all should be more sensitive to the hurting and not judge them or try to help in a way that will bring offense. It is only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit that we can give "a word in due season" that helps and does not hurt.

My goal is to teach the word of God to bring people into freedom from bondage. I, in no way, ever intend to hurt a person or bring offense. I hope that you as well as the other readers of this blog will see my heart and understand my desire to help and not hurt!

God Bless!

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SLIMLEAF 7/25/2012 1:23PM

    But sometimes Christians with great faith have prayed for healing and have not been healed. I think it's difficult to get the right balance between believing that God can and does heal today and having enough faith to see that happen, and yet acknowledging that God's ways are beyond our ways and He doesn't always give us what we ask for.

I think it is very important to make sure that a Christian who is suffering with some illness or disability is not made to feel even worse by being led to believe that it is their lack of faith that is preventing them being made whole. Whilst I agree that faith is definitely required for healing to take place, I don't think it's a simple formula that 'works' in all situations.

I remember being terribly hurt by some Christian friends who told me that if I really had faith I wouldn't suffer from depression. I think they were intending to help but in fact just added another burden of inadequacy to my already low self-esteem. God sometimes allows us to suffer in order to teach us stuff, doesn't He?

Having said that, I do agree with all that you wrote about Jesus' suffering and death being sufficient to purchase our healing as well as forgiveness.

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EDITOR 7/25/2012 10:55AM

    What do I say that hasn't been said here? Nothing, for in faith believing we receive.

As always this was a full meal and I thank you. I also thank you for your update notes and goodies which make it so very easy to pray for you on a daily basis. Thank you also, Avanel, for the post on my blog which represents our unity in the Triune One Who answers prayer and desires and welcomes our prayers for others, even the obstinate.

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JUDY1676 7/25/2012 10:53AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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GABY1948 7/25/2012 8:17AM

    AVANELL, thank you. Receiving, just receiving, was one of the hardest things for me to understand, yet also one of the easiest...after I RECEIVED Jesus as not only my Savior, but Lord. That was the difference, He was my Savior for years, but it was years later that I understood making Him Lord of my life and LIVING for Him alone. It was at that time that I was born again...even though I thought I was born again 14 years earlier. We have already talked about that, you and I.

As I read this, I realized again, that it is the same for healing, and that is a big one I am working on...there is a certain illness in my family that my mother died of and her mother also...thank you for following the Holy Spirit yet again and giving this Word and just the right time! God Bless you!!!! emoticon

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CLWALDRO 7/25/2012 8:04AM

    emoticon for sharing and being willing to reach out to anyone who needs your help

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GOLFGMA 7/25/2012 7:27AM

    A good blog, very through and easy to understand the process of believing, having faith that God will keep His promises to those who believe in Him! emoticon

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