Do Your Best

Do your best; stay connected to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 604: Do Your Best.

Good morning my friends, how many times have we said or heard said, “I try my best” or “I’m trying my best to be good”. The feeling and thinking behind the statement: We all want THE BEST in our lives. As Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who try and live by the Word of God, we want to be the best we possibly can be and we want others to think or know that we are God’s holy people.

However, the reality is, we’re only as good as our BEST. You see the Lord doesn’t want us to be as good as WE can be, but He wants us to be LIKE Jesus. Why? Because He knows that Jesus standard of goodness far exceeds our own, because Jesus was and is perfect. Hence the reason Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing”… We are only as GOOD as our closeness to Jesus.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

If we are ‘trying our best’ without getting close to Jesus Christ first: then our best means or is worth NOTHING. Even if you’ve got the whole Ten Commandment and are trying to live according to them, and you only fall down at just one point in God’s Commands, perhaps you covet a little. Then we’ve become God’s Law Breakers and we’ll be guilty before God on Judgement Day.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Jesus wants us instead of trying our best to draw near to Him then we’ll be doing what’s best, to come close, to live our life with Him: When we respond, then we WILL BE FRUITFUL.

You see my friends, it’s not OUR BEST that God is going to be looking for, but how much of Christ is in us, how much we’ve become like Jesus Christ, there’s only ONE WAY to do that: BE WITH Jesus. The more time, the more energy, the more focus you put upon actually being with Jesus as you go about your daily life in this world, the BETTER you will be at being what you know your heart’s desire is.

Sadly, too many Christians get into other things, these good things get in the way of our relationship with Christ, we become like a detached branch, we become like a branch that’s actually been cut off from the Vine. What happens when a good Christian looses his first love, looses his connection with the vine? We begin to wither and die: Our Joy goes: Even our desire for worship and being with other brothers and sisters dries up.

It happens very Slowly of course:

Did you know a vine branch can live for a little while apart from the main branch? You can plant a vine branch in the soil a couple of weeks after it’s been cut off from the vine and it will still begin to put down it’s own roots and grow. I know this, because I’ve done it. We had an uncultivated vine for a while, but it only ever produced tiny little bitter grapes.

However, when a branch begins to grow on it own; apart from the Lord, it’s a wild vine you’ll have, not a cultivated one. It will not have the root-stalk of the old vine and will have it’s own nature. A cultivated root is selected for it’s characteristics of the wine it produces, and the actual vines that are grafted into it will be protected by the cultivated root vine.

Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the Branches: We’ve been grafted into this Heavenly Cultivated Vine. It’s Holy life giving sap flows through our veins. Jesus gives us the NEW WINE of the KINGDOM.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we “Do our Best”?

It’s easy to say something and much harder to actually do it. How do we stay close to the Vine and connected to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus said it and the Apostles applied it in the rest of the New Testament.

Jesus said: “If you obey my Commands, you ARE my Disciples”: so it’s obedience to Christ’s Commands.

Paul said to Timothy:  2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (tested and tried), a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Do Your Best: Stop saying “I’m trying my best” start thinking “I’m DOING my best”: The BEST thing you can do is get close to Jesus every single day. You are to strive with all your might to get ready to stand before God: You will already have been; tried and tested by Him. You do your best: to handle correctly the word of truth. This means: To understand and apply God’s Word to your life. To live according to what you know and understand. It’s going to take your own personal effort to draw and remain connected with Jesus Christ and to read, understand and apply God’s Word to your own life.

There are many ways to do it today: Thank God for the internet, the WWW (World, Wide, Web), here you can find so much “Good Teaching” and “Application” of God’s Word: This will help you to understand it. However, don’t just stop at getting an understanding of God’s Word: Stay close to Jesus Christ yourself: pray, be with Him in prayer, and He’ll guide you. Get filled up with God’s Holy Spirit every day. Pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit, I need Him, I’m asking in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour. Amen”….

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Monday is magnificent, be with Jesus today, start your week right and keep at it every day.

So;

STOP saying, “I’m trying my best” START saying, “I’m DOING my BEST to stay connected with Jesus Christ” Amen!

Don.

One of the best and most practical ways to Keep Close to Jesus: Is to take captive every thought and bring it into subjection to Jesus Christ’s teachings:

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

It’s our Thought Life: where battles are won and lost. Let’s take captive EVERY thought that’s going against what we KNOW is God’s Word.

Amen.

 

Faith Comes From God

Faith is a gift from God

Daily Spirit & Word 578: Faith Comes From God.

Good morning my friends, I’m still enjoying holiday time. Recently we’ve been having family staying and it’s been really great catching up on our daughter’s life. Hearing her joys and hardships and experiences; stories that without meeting up would remain untold or forgotten. It’s amazing how many things don’t get said often enough.

Faith doesn’t come from inside the individual: It is first generated by God.

We often imagine that faith comes from our own efforts:

I recently bought some silicone sealant: It comes in great long tubes and it’s really difficult to get them flowing at first, requiring great effort to squeeze out even a tiny dribble of the thick-creamy-goo from the nozzle. However, once it’s flowing it’s quite easy to keep it going, getting it to go where you want it to go is another thing though. I’ve watched trained craftsmen and they’re just dazzling they way they make straight lines with silicone; mines are more often than not; wobbly, lumpy and with peaks resembling a lemon meringue pie 🙂

Some people think that faith needs to be squeezed out like that, but it’s not by effort or force that faith comes.

Listen to how the Bible tells us that faith comes, and from whom it comes, because once you know this you’ll be less likely to be frustrated by your own and other people’s lack of faith. Also, If you want other people to come to a living faith in Jesus, then you’ll know how to achieve it, because you’ll be freed from many false expectations and you’ll also be able to set other people free too.

1) Faith is a Gift:

 Ephesians 2:8 (NLT) “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”

It’s not by our own effort of good works or anything else we do, it’s a GIFT from God.

2)  Faith comes by hearing:

And it comes into a person’s life by hearing God’s Word.

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message (the good news about Jesus Christ), and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

The ‘message’: (Read Romans 10:8-17 in Context below) It’s the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ: How all have sinned against God, what it means that we’ve sinned, how we have sinned, the consequences of sin, what happens to sinners if they were to die in their sin, God’s heart for sinners and how He demonstrated His love by sending His Son Jesus to save sinners from the wrath to come, then what it means to trust in Jesus by repenting and receiving Him as Lord: That’s the MESSAGE: People receive the gift of faith when they hear that message, it’s a gift that comes from God.

Sometimes as you share the ‘message’ of Christ, you’ll actually see faith coming upon a person, it changes them physically. Once a person has faith enough to believe, then all that’s needed is for them to exercise that saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Rom 10:8-17.

3) Faith grows:

The more you exercise your God given faith, the more it will grow and the easier those mountains will be removed.

1 John 5:4-5  “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

That’s Mountain Moving Faith:

Matthew 17:20-21  “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief (lack of faith and trust in God): for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.”

4) Faith is BELIEVING:

Remember that faith is BELIEVING in God, or believing what God has said. Jesus reminded His disciples on many occasions that they could move mountains if they had just a tiny amount of faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. When you’re ready to believe God, what God has said in His Word; you’re ready to do ANYTHING.

Hebrews 11:1-13 Faith is Believing (Trusting / Risking Everything in and on God).

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
2  This is what the ancients were commended for. 
3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 
4  By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 
5  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 
7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 
8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.
9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.
10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 
11  By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
12  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 
13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.

Conclusion:

“Faith comes from God; it’s His gift to those who hear the Gospel, but it needs to be exercised for it to grow stronger, exercise your faith and you’ll see mountains being moved.”

So my friends, if you have found that your own faith has begun to smoulder, then you know how to get it glowing again; get into God’s Word and let Him speak to you afresh. Avail yourself of all that He’s provided to enable that GIFT of faith to grow.

Secondly, if you’ve got friends who don’t yet believe or know God personally, then don’t simply say “Believe in Jesus” because that’s like trying to force silicone-sealant out of the tube with your fingers instead of using the device that’s been provided to make it easy. Faith is a gift from God, it comes by HEARING God’s Word, then it needs to be exercised to make it grow.

Another way to think of faith: It’s like a muscle. We’re all born with the gift of muscles, but some people get really huge muscles because they exercise them, the same is true with faith, God will give the gift of faith to anyone, but to make it grow it needs to be exercised. The way to spell faith is RISK 🙂

Have an awesome day, growing in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Share your faith by letting those who don’t know Jesus know His Word and see how faith explodes into life in those professing atheists 🙂 Watch them backslide away from atheism.

Don.

NOTES:

Read Romans 10 in Context Below:

Romans 10:6-17 6  But the righteousness based on faith [imputed by God and bringing right relationship with Him] says, Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into Heaven? that is, to bring Christ down;
7  Or who will descend into the abyss? that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we could be saved by our own efforts].
8  But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach,
9  Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10  For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation.
11  The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed.
12  [No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith].
13  For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved.
14  But how are people to call upon Him Whom they have not believed [in Whom they have no faith, on Whom they have no reliance]? And how are they to believe in Him [adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him] of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?
15  And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!]
16  But they have not all heeded the Gospel; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed (had faith in) what he has heard from us?
17  So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).