Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Are you really walking in Faith?

It's been a bit since my last blog, and I had something else in mind; however, I'm led to shed some light on faith.  I've been conversing with a lot of people in varies backgrounds and organizations and what I'm finding is this phase: "I'm just walking by faith" is just that to most who use it and nothing more because sadly to say they really don't understand what faith really is:

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
James 2:14-25 NKJ, also read NIV translation

Whenever you proclaim to have faith, it means you're actively doing something to bring about a different result - to bring change. This verse helps you to understand the truth of faith, and it specifies that: as the body is dead without the spirit, so is faith without works is dead also. This tells me that as the spirit gives life to the body so does works give life to faith; therefore, works is the life behind faith.  When you understand faith you should understand that faith is always busy doing what is needed to change the situation or circumstance.

When you speak of being one of faith this should be evident in your actions-your speech, thoughts (understanding), your visibility (perception), your deeds, your lifestyle and your acceptance in how or what direction your life will take.  To often I meet people who say they're walking by faith but they're not going anywhere, they're not progressing-nothing about them has or is changing. Everything they do contradicts what faith really is.  Faith brings change, it increases, it stretches out because it has no limitations in its ability to do what is good, what is right-what it is purposed to do.  Faith makes your hope visible.

Hebrews 11:1 speaks of faith's purpose and ability, it says: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Substance means: essential or absolutely necessary.
Evidence means: proof - now this word comes from the root word "Evident" which means: clear to see

So what this tell me about it's purpose is: faith is absolutely necessary to receive what you're hoping for , but watch its ability; its the evidence of things not seen, which simply means it has the ability to make what you're hoping for become clear to see-to you and others.  However, there is a requirement; you have to put forth some action-some work. Faith is a busy and productive fellow, it causes you to work toward what you're hoping for in order to make it visible.  At the end of Hebrews 11:1 it speaks of faith being the evidence of things not seen, understand that not seen or unseen does not mean nonexistent. Something can be invisible and still exist as with our thoughts and words because they eventually create our surroundings but then that's another blog.   

Hebrews 11:3 tells us how the invisible creates the visible:  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

This tells me that when you walk in faith-faith causes that invisible hope to become visible, but it also tells me that God Himself operated in faith, and He put that faith to work so that He could make the intangible; tangible and the invisible; visible.  Anytime you're walking in faith, something should be happening, something should change and at some point it should become evident.  If you say you're walking in faith and nothing has change, something is wrong; and perhaps you need to evaluate your faith, perhaps you need to put that faith to work because faith produces and it manifest whatever it comes in contact with because it's always at work, which simply means if you're walking in it, you too should be at work, doing something to move toward or manifest what you're hoping for.  So I challenge you, to take a good look at what you're calling faith, and if it's not actively putting forth some effort, than perhaps what you call faith is not really faith at all.

Grace & peace!

Any feedback or comments are always welcomed. If you'd like to know more about me please feel free to visit my site:   http://www.berthabarrett.com/JUST-BELIEVE.html


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dealing with the original instructions - conclusion

Replenish – to make full or complete, by supplying what is lacking – to fill again.

This third instruction is no doubt one of my most favorite as it speaks to our ability to really be like God.  Through this one word He instructs mankind to complete what He’s started, to go out and fill the earth and whatever or wherever is lacking.  This one word speaks volumes:

To Fill
To Furnish
To Provide
To make Provision
To Refresh
To Renew
To Restore
To make better
To gather resources
To transform
To contribute
To revive
To give life
To minister or serve

All this from one word and I find that the greatest of these definitions is the word serve because in serving we’re able to effectively do all the others.  Serving is a way of saying; meet the needs; make what needs to happen; happen.  So as we examine these instructions (be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth), we find that there are some very important requirements expected of us by God, and He’s requiring these things because He knows that He has given us everything we need to complete the assignment.  He’s given us everything needed to be fruitful (increase) in what He’s placed within us, and multiply (duplicate) the gifts He’s given then replenish (serve) in all that He’s given.  And there has to be some importance to it because even after His frustration with sin and He destroys the earth with water, He still comes back in Genesis 9:1 and repeats the same instructions to Noah. God gave Noah the same instructions He originally gave to Adam and Eve-He hasn’t changed His mind about this thing.  Apparently there’s something in this that God meant and still means for mankind to do. 

Now it seems for some time there’s been something called the Gap Theory going on were people are trying to figure out exactly what this word replenish meant and it seems that some have through this theory come to the conclusion that because God said replenish the earth there must have been others here in the earth besides Adam and Eve.  I’m not going to try to get into this theory as it bares no truth to me according to what my bible says.  But I will get into how significant these instructions and this word replenish is to us and how God intended and yet intends for us to walk here in this earth.
As noted the word replenish can also be seen as to serve.  To serve means to provide with a regular supply, apparently there is something that we have that the earth is in need of, and God says He wants us to supply it regularly.  In Romans 8:19-25 we’re told how the earth is in frustration and groaning waiting for us the children of God to be revealed, which simply tells us that even the earth understands the need for God’s created image to be in their rightful place because until that day comes nothing in the earth is free to function as it ought.   

19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 

This passage speaks to our need to get back to the original instructions because in those instruction is a place of order, and without that order nothing can operate as it should.  Now what is our rightful place; in this same passage in verse 23 it speaks of those who have the firstfruit of the Spirit, meaning those who believe the truth that our God has spoken and yet speaks. What is rightful place?  It’s in the firstfruit, it’s in possessing the Spirit of God because when we do, we realize that God has given us everything we need to live in this earth realm effectively, (productively, increasingly and sourcefully).  I find it amazing that the act of God giving mankind power and dominion over the earth simply means He allows us to be the source (power) with authority (dominion), another meaning for replenish is sourceful, to supply.  When we get back to the original instructions and realize who we really are, possessing the Spirit of God within us, it’s then realize that He has given us everything we need to live abundantly here on the earth and stop using the excuse that we’re waiting on God and realize that He is waiting on us because He has equipped us to be the source for everything here in the earth.  When we provide the universe with what it needs-the sons of God walking in power and dominion, bearing God’s likeness “fruitful”, increasing in our God given gifts “multiplying”, and being the source for everything “replenish” by speaking life and showing our godship; then the universe will yield to us whatever we ask.

I could go on and on with this because it excites me to know that God has entrusted us with so much and yet, at the same time, it also grieves me because we have yet to realize how much we posses, and how resourceful we can be here in the earth to restoring unity and harmony as God intended.  So although I could go on because there’s so much in God’s word that declares to us our ability to do the exceeding great work that Jesus says we would do, I’ll stop here and hope that you would search God’s word for yourself and allow Him to reveal unto you truth, so you can walk in your God given image.

Grace and peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dealing with the original instructions - Part 2

Multiply – means to increase, enlarge, intensify or manifold; as an adverb it means: in several or many ways.  Anyway you look at it, you’re suppose to increase and since God did not specifically point out 1 or even 2 areas in which He wanted this to occur I’m left to believe that He desires increase in all we do:

In His word
In His image- living a god life so that others may see as desire to serve and be like Him
In our gifts
In prosperity-understanding the purpose of all we posse
In knowledge
In love
In all we do for Him and the list can go on for days

As with fruitful this word multiply was also thought of as having many babies; to procreate only in the way of humanity; however, because God is God and I know Him to be a God of many aspects (healer, sustainer, protector, provider; God of love, peace and joy but more importantly a Father); He made us in His image, with the ability grow in many aspects. 

In verse 27th of Genesis 1, you’ll notice that after He created man, the first instructions He gave was be fruitful, multiply and replenish.  And although I don’t believe He just wanted mankind to increase in number, I do believe in the mist of mankind increasing He wanted us to increase the created image we were made in, which is the image of Him-which requires us to maintain a godly image. However, outside of that He desired for mankind to increase in the creation of this world or the creativeness of this world; He wanted mankind to multiply in their ability to be creative beings and although as you look around the world it seems that we’ve done just that.  We’ve been creative in the way of building and a vast of creative methods, inspiring, motivating, encouraging and innovation. From the fabulous structures you see and visit daily, to literature, music, spoken word, film and dance.  All sorts to creative outlets and yet we lack in our ability to multiply in one of the greatest areas most dear to God’s heart; “love”. 

The very idea that He would desire for us to multiply here in the earth significies that there had to be love in the mist because without it, we would do just as we are doing now which is to destroy each other.  This destruction is done through many ways, in our actions, words, our betrayal of each other, the lack of support we show each other and so on.  However, when love is in the mist it conquers, it units, it heals, it revives, it supports, it blesses and it creates an atmosphere of peace and atmosphere suitable for His presence.  God is love; I believe it was out of love He created us, He sent His Son to die for us and it’s the reason He continues to be there for us and forgive us.  It’s clear that God desires for mankind to multiply in the areas of life He has assigned for each individual but more than this He desires for us to multiply in our ability to be like Him and through our knowledge of Him.  The more you know about Him the more you increase.

All throughout the scriptures it is clearly shown that we should be multiplying, increasing or adding to; in some area of our lives:
2 Peter 1
John 14:26
John 10:10
2 Peter 3:18
John 15

As you read these scriptures and many others throughout the word of God you will notice that God desires for His people to increase, to expand and to live in the abundance of all He has purposed for us.  I pray, that from this day forward you would make a decision to heed to His voice so you can live in the increased blessings and love He has awaiting you and desires to manifest through you.

Grace & peace


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dealing with the original instructions - Part 1

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

First instruction - Be fruitful
I'm always floored at the fact that many Christian today although we confess to live according to God's word we often forget the initial instructions He gave. This idea of fruitfulness deals with a range of things: productiveness, character, the way you speak and the words you accept for your life.

In His instructions, the first was to be fruitful, the definition of fruitful is to be productive. And although for years this was referred to as having many babies God desires for us to do more than just have babies, and the idea that He would give us a vast of abilities gives proof to this. We have the ability to produce fruit from our hands, lips and mind. We have the ability to be creative in a range of ways and yet many Christians today are looking for a sign in order to give some indication on if they should step out and be productive in their abilities-in their gifts. Remember the initial instruction was to be productive, this has not changed - it's still in effect; therefore, the only sign needed is in Genesis 1:27-28.

There are fruits that we should bare in our character, and although it's becoming a rarity in what is non as the church body it's still a requirement. Perhaps if we remember that we are associated with the body of Christ and become sincere in our living in Him this spiritual character will become and often trait seen in those of us who call ourselves Christians. Galatians 5:22-26 shares with us this expected character:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited (opinionated), provoking one another, envying one another.

In my traveling I meet many leaders from small to mega churches and it seems as many of these people reach what is seen as an elaborate lifestyle, suddenly this spiritual character is no longer needful. However, God still requires it, which often leads me to thinking if He's really as please with them as we tend to think based of how they're living. However, before you mistake me as one who depicts the leaders of the church let me say that this lack of character extends beyond leaders but is also seen in much of the Christian body. We must - and I say we, because I too maybe looked upon as one who lacks spiritual character (I pray that I'm not, but you never know); however, we must become conscious of our character and work on the lack of, so that we're able to do the true will of God which is to love, because in loving we draw others to Him. If we don't get this straight we too will take part in what Jesus is speaking in Matthews 7:21-23:

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The way you speak:
Proverbs 18:20-21 tells us how we will eat the fruit of our lips:

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

How you speak is very essential to your life and the life of others depending on if they accept what was spoken. To often I hear the conversations of those who call themselves Christians and after listening to them, it leaves their confession to be questionable. Your conversation should be clearly evident of your confession as a Christians (God's child, a Believer). Situations and circumstances are subject to change and how you speak over them can affect the change for the better of for the worse. Your words are seeds and they literally affect your life through the harvesting of how you speak. Depending on the type of fruit you desire for your life, you'll need to seed words which will yield what you're hungry for. If you desire to obtain all God has for you; you must learn to speak according to His word, you must learn to speak positively in your life.

Words you accept for your life:
As you should know at the beginning of creation God, breathe life or spoke life into mankind; as He continues to do with each of us. If you understand anything about words and how they react in your existence you know that words are like seeds and depending on whether or not you accept what was spoken it has the ability to produce a harvest in your life. Don't allow negative, deadening words spoken into your life affect how you live. God desires for you to live this life happy, fulfilled and prosperous in every area of your life. One of the greatest gifts God has ever given mankind if the gift of choice- you do have a choice. You can choose to accept or reject whatever words you don't want to harvest in your life.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.3 John 1:2

God expects us to be fruitful in every area of our lives; in our productivity, our relationships, on our jobs, in our conversations, our character, our life style, our body (healing), in the manner of which we prosper and in our influence in this earth. So let's be fruitful so we can manifest as God desires in the earth.

Grace & peace


Saturday, June 18, 2011

From the heart

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 
Matthew 15:18 NKJV

Throughout the word of God we come across scriptures speaking or illustrating the essence of one’s heart. The matters of our heart seems to be of great importance to God, and therefore should be as great of importance to us.  Though we hear the famous words in 1 Samuel 16:7 in church and often quote them ourselves “For man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart”, are we really conscious of this throughout life. 

The heart is the intellect or soul of a man, it is a person’s character or disposition; meaning the state of mind – the place where one understands or believes.  We use this word heart in many phases as an adjective:
“At heart” – in essence or reality
“Lose heart” – to become discouraged
“Take heart” – to become encouraged and more confident
“Take it to heart” – to take something seriously
“With all your heart” – completely and sincerely

It seems the heart of a person depicts their very being, and depending on the content of it; it has the ability to encourage or discourage.  As Jesus emphasize in Matthew 15:18, we see that the content of the heart can defile (damage, corrupt or destroy) a person because of its actions, coming from ones speech. 
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:44-46

In the book of proverbs 23:6-8 we’re told as a man thinks, in his heart so is he.  The word think in this chapter is a transitive verb meaning believe, and all though we’re taught that we think within our brain here in proverbs it tells us that one thinks in his heart.  While the brain helps us to rationalize things, meaning it helps us to interpret things by given us a clear and logical perspective; yet, it’s not until those thoughts become established (rooted) in the heart, that we create a belief system or “better said”, it’s not until these things become true to our heart (our being) that we’re able to think on them or believe in them, thereby allowing us to think with our heart.  Again after Jesus gives the parable about the sower (Matthew 13:3-8) and he explains it’s meaning (Matthew 13:18-23) we find that although something can be sown in one’s heart (the act of rationality in the brain), it’s no until that which has been sown is also rooted (understood or true) in the heart that one is able to believe (think) thereby allowing them to bear fruit and produce the wealth or value of what has been sown. So you see the reflection of one’s heart depicts the abundance or righteousness of how one lives in the eye sight of God.  God is watching and what He’s looking at has so much more to do with what appears to evident to man; we can
make our outward appearance appear to be more than what we are, just as we can make our mouth speak something other than what we believe to be true but we cannot hide our heart, our character, our true self from God. When our true self depicts a godly (righteous) appearance then will we become the good ground that Jesus speaks of in the parable of the sower.

The essence of our heart speaks to our character; as believers we should constantly examine the matters of our heart on a daily basis, looking to see if it is equivalent to the word and character of Christ.  In our examining of the heart we should understand that our submission to Christ through prayer and the reading of His word is very essential to our daily existence if we are to possess the type of heart God is looking for.  Let us not continuously be mislead by the appearance of what seems to be, what we call prosperous because of what we’re able to see on the outer but however; let us be lead by the examining of our hearts making sure we possess the character that God is looking for so that we can become prosperous both in the inner and outward appearance so that when the time of harvest comes we’re able to be gathered into His barn and not burn into the fire (Matthew 13:24-30).
As you start a new year, I encourage you to start the habit of examining your heart; make a conscious effort to see if your heart holds the character of Christ – be honest with yourself! If you need a reference to help you in your examining process start with Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9.  Remember what comes from the heart has the ability to either profit your life or defile your life so make the matters of your heart amount to the wealth of life you desire to live starting today.
Grace and peace.

Heavenly Father we thank you for looking at our hearts and not our outward appearance.  We pray that you teach us to examine our hearts so that when you look at us, your pleased with what you see.  We pray with ever word that we speak those who hear us will reap the abundance of life and all that is good because of the abundance in our hearts.  We ask that each day we commune with you through prayer and the studying of your word, that you would allow your word to become rooted and grounded within us so that we will not become easily distracted or discouraged by the cares of this life but we will stand strong in your word. We're grateful that you've allowed us the ability to choose what type of character we will posses by deciding what we will allow our hearts to focus on.  We give you honor and praise for all that you've done and continue to do in Jesus name we pray.  Amen 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Righteouness Of Faith

But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?  (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead,). 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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. Romans 10:6-12 NKJV

I’m always amazed at the simplicity of God’s word, and how it produces extraordinary things when we apply it to our lives.  So often there are people who think in order for the word of God to have an effect in their lives, it requires multiple, task wrenching, religious tactics; tactics that have been told to them by the religious people around them but does not profit any into salvation.  Paul calls it in the book of Romans 10:2 “having a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.”  It’s when someone remains strong and enthusiastic for God, but all that strength and enthusiasm is without knowledge.  He continues to say: Romans 10:3-5 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law. “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Paul helps us to understand how sometimes in our enthusiasm for God we forsake knowledge; that is we forsake the truth of His grace giving to us through His word and the life of Christ Jesus.  When we forsake the knowledge of God we tend to establish our own knowledge, our own rightness; because we have not completely submitted ourselves to the knowledge of God; which is to His rightness.  

I remember my earlier experience in the church as a newly born again Christian, I was excited and ready to conquer the world in the name of the Lord.  I felt, since I was going to church hearing the word and allowing the more seasoned women to steer me I would be good and well prepared to live out my life in the Lord and establish great things in this world.  But suddenly something took place in my life that almost took the excitement away, because although I was excited about God I had no real knowledge of God's word, I only had what was instructed to me by others. Suddenly, I found myself in a ritual of religious righteousness, one that taught me to be careful that my skirt wasn’t too high above my ankles, if I joked too much it was a sin because I was being idol and I was never to forget as a woman I had my place-this was certainly mentioned in every service so I could feel the wrath of my inferiority.  Not to mention if I didn’t shout according to how those steering me thought, something was wrong and perhaps I was slipping away from salvation but if I shouted too much then I must have sinned or was going through something extreme and had to be laid across the alter.  There was this whole list of rituals that had no salvation in it because the focus was more own religious laws then on the righteousness of God and while they meant well their tactics made many feel as though it was hard to serve God, live according to His word, and reap the goodness He has laid out for us.  They had one foot in the laws of the old testament and the other in the grace and faith of the new testament, and while there are things we must learn from the old we should know that we are no longer bond by the laws of the old testament and therefore should not bond others by those same laws.  I had almost became so focused on getting my outward appearance acceptable to those around me that my inward appearance had almost gone neglected and I almost lost sight of what really mattered which is the salvation of Christ Jesus and how that salvation effects my confession and how I believe.  Anytime you allow religious tactics to guide you in your walk instead of finding that intimate place with God, so He can teach you how to live; you risk loosing sight of what really matters.    (To be continued)

Grace & peace

Just Believe

The book Just Believe is about using one of the greatest abilities given to mankind by God so we can operate in this life effectively, obtain all that is available to us and live life in its fullest capacity.  It will help you to understand how to live a life of purpose by first helping you to perceive life as the gift it is.  With Mark 9:23 being the foundation for the book it shows  you how to access all the possibilities awaiting you. This book covers many topics that will help you search within yourself and identify the things which keeps you from living the life you desire so you can begin moving forward and possessing all God has designed for you.
It's my desire to reach both Christians and Non-Christians because I believe God desires to awaken all of mankind to their true abilities so they can begin living the abundant life He desires.  Just Believe will change your life and the way you live. 

Grace and Peace