Teaching / 15 posts found

A FAITHFUL FRIEND

Shared by:  Jeff Rowland

You’ve heard it said that you don’t know who your friends are until the bottom drops out from under you.  We have all had fair weather friends that are there when things are going great, but a true friend does not leave you when things are falling apart.  The scriptures declare that God is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

The ultimate measure of friendship is not measured during comfort and convenience, but during challenge and controversy.

Therefore the test of friendship comes during adversity.

God shows His great faithfulness to us during times of adversity in our lives.  I love the emphatic statement that Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful.”  All through the scriptures God has proven His faithfulness to His people.

Abraham received a promise of a son.  When it looked as though this promise would never be realized, God proved His faithfulness.  Noah received a word from the Lord that there would be a flood.  Though time passed and it looked as though this word would never come to pass, God in His faithfulness fulfilled this word and provided for Noah.  God again proved His faithfulness to Elijah by feeding him with the birds.  God again proved His great power and faithfulness to Gideon with just 300 men.  God met with a little boy named David in His battle with Goliath.  God parted a sea for His children to cross over on dry ground.  Jesus Christ met Peter while walking on the water.  He shook the jail for Paul and Silas.  On and on we can name instances where the Lord proved His faithfulness to His children.

Remember that true faithfulness is proven during times of adversity and hardship.  This brings us to the opportunity there is for the believer during these times.

Seeing Him who is invisible

by Joseph

Offered By:  Jeff Rowland

Four times in the scripture the bible says, “The just shall live by faith.”  This is an imperative declaration.  It doesn’t say that we might live by faith, but it says the just SHALL live by faith.  This implies many things. Faith is the ultimate key to the victorious Christian walk.  It doesn’t matter what you are facing in life, if you are walking in faith you are setting yourself up to see miracles in your life.

It is possible to go into an unhealthy extreme in this area as well.  If faith becomes the object of our goal instead of the object of faith, which is Christ, then you will fall into extremes that will lead you into misapplying scripture.  The power that becomes manifest in the believers life is as a result of who we have faith in and not faith itself.

I want us to consider a key element associated with faith in this article and let it encourage us to begin a lifestyle of faith that will bring us into fullness in our relationship with Christ.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hope for.”

Faith can be viewed in a two-fold manner.  It is an action as well as an attitude.  James says that faith without works is dead.  Therefore there must be action to faith or it is a dead faith.  Paul lists faith as a spiritual gift in his writings to the Corinthian Church.

People who have the gift of faith walk around in an attitude of faith most all of the time.  Going back now to the first line of verse 1 of Hebrews 11, we could say that our actions or attitude of faith, then we have the verb is.  This makes faith a present tense action or attitude.

Next we have the word, substance.  Substance defines faith as the reality of the object of faith.  So then, actions and attitudes of faith are the present tense reality of things hoped for.

Hope can be defined as the future tense of faith becoming sight.  I have the hope of heaven because I have been redeemed by Christ’s blood.  My hope is yet future.  However, in this verse we can say that the actions of faith are the present tense reality of things that are yet future in our lives.

Speaking from a spiritual perspective we can say that faith takes what is yet our future hope and places it into our present day.  I can enjoy the joys of heaven while on earth through faith.

This verse goes on to say that faith is the evidence of things not seen.  That is it is the proof of what is invisible.  Through the eyes of faith we can see things that before we could not see.  This being the case we could say that unless our faith is strong we will not see the things that God wants us to see.  We will be blinded to it.  I wonder how many are walking around in darkness now even though they have been saved but their faith is weak and they are blinded to spiritual realities that could be right in front of them.

This truth from verse 1 would bring us to a question that should be asked.  How do we strengthen our faith?  Verse 3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”  Verse 3 gives us the basis for faith building.

Romans 10:17, “So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

THE ACTIONS OF SIN AND THE POWER OF KINGDOM FAITH

Shared By: Jeff Rowland Romans chapter 14 is in my opinion the most pivotal chapter in the Word of God concerning relationships between believers.  This chapter also gives the streamline and basic fundamental principles of Kingdom living for the people of God. We are living in ages of social dilemma’s that shape the political landscape of our nation.  Every issue that we look at, points to the rules of conduct for our leaders and our citizens.  For the believer, the kingdom of God has certain guidelines and principles that are to guide our lives concerning relationships with others, ourselves and […]

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE AND DOUBT AT THE SAME TIME?

Shared by:  Jeff Rowland

John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  Very often we find ourselves talking to a friend who is going through a difficult time in their life and can only say one thing.  “Well just trust the Lord.”  Sometimes there is nothing else you can say.  Even though we know from the Word of God that every trial has purpose which is to bring us more into the image of God’s Son, we still don’t have answers that can bring comfort.

In Mark chapter 9 Jesus said to the father of a demon possessed boy, “If thou wilt believe, all things are possible.”  The father said to Christ, “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.”  The man was saying, “I have faith, but my faith is weak.”  How many can relate to this time in our lives?  How many times have we all felt this way?  How often does are faith weaken in a situation that last for a long period of time?  The bottom line to this thought is that it is possible to believe and doubt at the same time.

Consider for a moment the man John the Baptist.  The courage of this man is recorded in the Bible in many different ways.  In Matthew 3:2 we hear the message of John ring out with passion and conviction saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  This was the message that was to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.

In Matthew 3:7 it is recorded who this message is going out too.  “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”  We find John calling the religious leaders of that day a generation of snakes.  Later in Matthew’s account of the life of John the Baptist we find John calling out the sins of the political leader of that day.  John had declared that Herod the governor was in adultery with his brother Phillips wife.  This kind of bold courageous preaching is what we need in our day today.
In John 1:29 we have John’s confession of who Jesus was.  By his confession John is embracing his calling and purpose in ministry.  John was sent to prepare the way.  John was to bear witness of the light, he was not the light.  In John’s confession he declares 3 things;

  • Who Jesus was- He said, “Behold the lamb of God.”  John gave understanding beyond what he even knew.  He signifies that this Jesus was the God’s lamb of sacrifice.
  • What he came to do- He said, “Which taketh away the sin.”  John was looking forward to the ultimate aim of God which was to remove man from his sin.
  • Who it would involve-  He said, “Behold the lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.”  John is inferring that Jesus was the Savior not just of the Jews, but also to the world.  This philosophy was not even heard of at that time, however John was speaking it forth.  Johns commitment to Jesus was seen when his crowds were going away and following Jesus.  John responded to this by saying, “He must increase but I must decrease.” 

A God Encounter

Shared By: Jeff Rowland

John’s writing in the book of the Revelation is an amazing look at the revelation of Jesus Christ and gives us a great look at a God encounter.  I believe that we desperately need a God encounter each and every day in order to stay focused in our life on the things of the Spirit.

The definition of an encounter is described as; a meeting, particularly a sudden or accidental meeting of two or more persons or bodies.  I have watched through the years people who suddenly have a God encounter.  I have also seen those who accidentally walked into the presence of the Holy Spirit and were transformed and changed in an amazing way.  I believe the church of today needs a fresh encounter with the person of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are four dimensions I want us to consider in this article concerning John’s encounter with Christ recorded in Revelation 1.
1.     THE CAUSE OF THE ENCOUNTER. (VS 10)
John says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lords day.”  What does it mean to be in the Spirit on the Lords day?  I have seen many in the 21 years that I was a pastor come into the church in the spirit.  However, some wasn’t in the Holy Spirit, but some other spirit.  To be in the Spirit means that you are under the control of the Spirit.  This can only happen when you lay down your agenda and perspective of what things are suppose to look like when people are under the control of the Holy Spirit.  God does what He does simply because He can and chooses to do so.