I Believe, But…

We all have a measure of faith that we are given by God.  Without it, we could not be saved.  Without it, we would not believe in anything.  After all, we must have some faith to simply get up and face the day.  We must have some faith to believe that we can accomplish the day’s tasks.  Faith can be grown.  Faith can mature.  Faith can become weak.  Faith can become tested.

When Faith Wavers

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No matter how strong our faith is in God and what He can and will do, we will have times that our faith is weaker than usual. This can be caused by a series of trials and tests which can either be extremely serious situations or minor nuisances.  Even what does not seem such a big deal can get to us if we have had very many minor nuisances hit us all at once.

When faith wavers, as it sometimes will, it is time to go before God and confess it to Him.  His compassion never fails.  He does not refuse the one who comes to Him humbly and openly.  Once you have went before God, get into His Word.  Find scriptures that apply to your situation.  Read them out loud, or, write them down on index cards to keep with you.  If need be, write them down on a sheet of paper and put the paper on your refrigerator.   This might sound extreme, but when faith wavers, it must be built up again.  The only way to do this is by the Word of God.  After all, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Help My Unbelief

In Mark 9, a man’s son was possessed by an unclean spirit.  The man brought his son to some of Jesus’ disciples while Jesus and the other disciples were on the mountain during the transfiguration.  When Jesus came down, the man informed Him that the disciples had not been able to cast the demon out of his son.

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The man asked Jesus to help his son.  At the end of his request, he adds the words “if you can” in some translations.  Jesus told him that if he believed all things were possible.  The man instantly replied, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”  Immediately, Jesus cast the evil spirit out of the young man. Jesus did not wait for the man to confess that his own faith was great.  When the man said he believed, yet, he admitted there was some unbelief in the mix, Jesus moved on behalf of the father and his son.

Although we do not want to make unbelief a practice in our lives, there are times when faith wavers.  There are times when some unbelief is mixed with our faith.  That is the time to tell Jesus that you believe, but, add that you need Him to help your unbelief.  The Lord was moved because the man was pressing past his unbelief.  He did not deny it, but he pressed past it.  That is what you and I must do when our faith wavers.

Willfully continuing in unbelief is dangerous; however, confessing the unbelief to Jesus as the man with the demon possessed child did, brings deliverance.  The man’s faith was built up and deliverance came.  Cry out to Jesus even in your wavering faith.  Deliverance will come and your faith will be stronger.

By Faith

What is faith?  According to Hebrews 11:1, the definition of faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  The phrase “the evidence of things not seen” is an interesting one. Evidence that is not seen sounds impossible, yet, faith pushes us on to believe what is impossible.

Faith Based on What is Not Seen

FaithIn Hebrews 11, many people from the Bible are used as examples of great faith.  They believed the impossible although no physical signs were available to back up what they believed.  Many of the people mentioned in the famous faith chapter were persecuted for their faith.  They believed in a God they could not see with their eyes nor touch with their hands.  They believed what He told them.

God requires us as modern-day believers to walk by faith just as the patriarchs, prophets, and others did thousands of years ago.  Habakkuk 2:4 reminds us that the just will live by faith, and this is quoted in Hebrews 10:38, just before the beginning of the faith chapter.  We are not to be moved by what we see and feel around us.  We are to be moved by faith in God.

Does Faith Ever Doubt?

The people mentioned in Hebrews 11 were not perfect.  They were human beings just like you and me.  There were moments of doubt.  Abraham and Sarah were an elderly couple who were past the age of having children.  To doubt that they could have a child would seem logical.  Sarah even laughed when she overheard an angel speaking to Abraham concerning the promised child.

What about Noah?  He was building an ark and telling people that rain was coming in a world that had never seen rain.  People found Noah amusing, yet, Noah continued, by faith, to do what he knew God had said.

There is a great deal of other people mentioned in the faith chapter.  Some were tortured, imprisoned, or persecuted in some other manner because they believed what God said over what they saw, or what other people told them.  Although they were people of great faith, they were still human.  Doubt came.  What made their faith great?  They did not entertain doubt when it came to visit.

What About Your Faith?

Do you find it challenging to live by faith?  Does it make you nervous when God requires you to step out on what you do not see with your eyes, but only what He has spoken to you in your spirit?  Do you ever experience doubt then condemn yourself for it?Faith 2

You are human.  You can pick up and walk by faith even after having tremendous doubt.  Peter, one of the disciples of Jesus, did.  He denied Christ three times, yet, after the resurrection and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, he was able to preach the gospel and die for his faith.

When your faith is weak, confess it to God.  In Mark 9:24, a man was very honest with Jesus.  The man told Jesus that he believed, but he then asked Jesus to help his unbelief.  What a strange request!  However, it applies to you and me.  When doubt comes in, ask God to help you with your unbelief.

Another way to strengthen your faith is through the Word of God.  Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  Bible reading and Bible study is a great way to combat doubt.

Life happens to us all.  There are devastating circumstances that test our faith.  Disappointments come and go.  Yet, we are still required to live by faith.  Like any other biblical characteristic, faith must be built and cultivated.  We all have some degree of faith, or it would not be possible to be saved.  It is just necessary to keep building that faith because it does get weak from time to time.

 

What about you?  Are you able to live by faith?  Does doubt try to overwhelm you?  You can overcome that doubt by building yourself up in the faith through study of the Word.

Pursue Holiness

What is true holiness?

In Hebrews 12:14, we are told to pursue holiness.  How does one pursue that lifestyle?  Of what does holiness truly consist?  Although much of the Christian teaching we hear would have us to believe that holiness is what we say, what we do, and how we behave, holiness is so much more!

Where is my righteousness?

During my experience as a Bible teacher, I have heard people make the following statement: “I would love to give my life to Jesus Christ, but there is no way I could live it.”  My reply is always this: “You are right.  You can’t.”  I have received some priceless facial expressions with this reply, but the fact is, I am right.  In myself, I am completely unable to live the Christian life as the Bible commands, and so are you.No Confidence in the Flesh

What is a person to do?  Should you just give up and sin recklessly because you are unable to live the life the Bible instructs you to live?  No, not at all.  It is at this point that you should look and see the source of your righteousness—Jesus Christ!

Christ in me!

Galatians 2:20 (MEV) contains an important truth about pursuing holiness.  It states the following: “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  What happens when I come to Christ?  My sinful nature dies, and I come alive to a new nature—Christ in me.  He is the one who makes me righteous.  It is impossible for me to make myself righteous, and that is why many Christians are in such religious bondage–from pursuing righteousness by their own merits.

No Confidence in the Flesh 2If you are in Christ, you will walk free from sin, but it will not be of your own goodness.  It will be Christ in you (see Romans 6).  If you or I were capable of living without sin on our own, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to leave heaven and come to Earth to live and die, then, live again.  We were hopelessly enslaved to the power of sin, but God gave us Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  He is holiness.

Pursue Christ!

Since Jesus Christ is my righteous, my holiness, then to pursue holiness as Hebrews 12:14 says is to pursue Christ!  Go after Him!  You will not have to go far.  He is waiting on you to draw near.  Because of the cross, you can approach Him with confidence.  He is in you if you have accepted Him as Savior.  If you haven’t accepted Him, there is no time like the present.

What good is it to try to pursue self-righteousness?  No good!  Self-righteousness is a pathetic attempt to glorify you.  The righteousness of Christ glorifies God, the Father.

If you pursue Christ, you let go of yourself and allow Him to live through you.  As a result, your life will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The life you live will be a result of Christ in you, and nothing of your nature! Amazing Grace is More than Enough for me!

 

Pursue Christ Himself!  Seek Him.  Love Him.  He will change you, completely transform you.  You will never be the same.  You will lose your self-righteous attitude because you will clearly see that your righteousness in Jesus Christ!

 

Free Bible Study

I have a free study to the Book of Jude that it available for download.  When you download the study, you will be asked to provide your email address.  I am the only one who will have your email address. I will not give it to anyone else.

The PDF’s and videos to an online Bible course I did are available for a very low cost.  Check it out at the links below.

https://341637.e-junkie.com/product/1596177/A-Study-Guide%3A–Jude

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Coping with Stress

We all know that life can be stressful.  Some times are worse than others. Sometimes, everything seems to come at us all at once.  There are some steps we can take to reduce the stress in our lives, yet, there are some stressful situations that we might not be able to escape right away.  Whatever your situation, God has promised to never leave you nor forsake you.

When to Reduce Stress

cropped-your-word-is-life-11.pngThere are just some behaviors and treatment we receive from other people that we simply do not need to put up with.  For example, if you are in a relationship with someone who is either physically or verbally abusive, it is time to make some changes.  To continue to tolerate the treatment you are receiving in that situation is detrimental to your well-being. If you are married to someone who is abusive, seek help through a trusted pastor or other spiritually mature Christian.

If your job is too much for you, then, it is time to decide what you will deal with and what you will not tolerate.  Will ignoring the situation help?  Sometimes, it does.  There are people who get a thrill out of bothering others.  Not allowing them to know they have succeeded is just the response they need.  Other times, it is necessary to confront.  How will you know?  You must seek God in prayer concerning the situation.  He will lead you by peace.

When You Just Need to Cope

There will be some stressful situations in which you must cope.  In other words, there might be a reason that God will not allow you to leave this situation.  It could be a job, a bad marriage, or a church.  When the Holy Spirit leads you to remain in a stressful situation, God is going to bring good out of it.  He is going to use you in this situation.  He will get glory from it in some way.

When coping is the case, you must really draw near to God, or, you will not stand strong in the situation.  You will need God’s grace moment by moment.  Get into the Word of God and find scriptures that apply to your situation.  Quote them out loud. Get before the Lord in prayer. He will give you what you need for the situation, and He will allow you to come out in victory rather than defeat.

His grace is sufficientWe all face situations that we do not like, and we all go through adverse circumstances.  What we must remember is that we do not have to allow those things to destroy us.  We can choose to allow the Lord to refine us and make us better Christians from these situations.

 

What about you?  Are you in a stressful situation from which you should flee?  If so, go in the name of Jesus.  Are you in a stressful situation in which God has told you to stay?  If so, trust Him in this situation, He will bring you through, and you will not be destroyed.

 

What Does the Bible Say About Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is simply being aware of something.  This could consist of a great variety of issues or situations.  One could mindful of eating.  Another could be mindful of words spoken.  Someone else could be mindful of friendships.  The list could go on.

The Word Speaks of Being Mindful

Only you can change your thinking.Although mindfulness has been attributed to aspects of Buddhism, God’s Word has plenty to say on the subject.  For example, Psalm 19:14 (MEV) states the following: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”  If a thought has been meditated upon in the heart, it had to pass through the mind first.  God is concerned with what we think about and our awareness concerning various areas of our lives.

In Psalm 8:4, David asks, “Who is man that You are mindful of him?”  This indicates that God was mindful of us.  In other words, He had a strong awareness of us.  His focus was on us.  If God is mindful of us, shouldn’t we be mindful of Him?  Isaiah 26:3 states that God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are on Him.

Mindfulness that is achieved God’s way brings peace and joy.  If the mind is not focused on what it ought to be, we lose peace, and we tend to wander from the Lord.  Being mindful of the things we focus on raises awareness which can bring the change we need if we allow it.

How to be Mindful

Now that the meaning of mindfulness is understood, the next step is to figure out how to be mindful.  Being mindful is a choice.  It is simple, yet, not easy.  Colossians 3:2 states that we are to set our minds on things above.  If I set an object somewhere, it means I need to pick it up from one place to set it at the desired destination.  To set your mind means you might have to move your thinking from one direction to another.  Mindfulness is work.  To begin with, your thoughts will try to drift back to the place from which you brought them.  After consistent renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2), you will find that the process becomes simpler.  We can never stop renewing our minds, or being mindful, but the battle is not as intense the more we practice the process.Mind

Consider your thoughts and ways.  Ask the Lord to direct you to the areas of your life in which you need to be more mindful.  This will look different for everyone because our struggles are not all the same.  Once He reveals an area in which you need to be more mindful, surrender that area to Him, and allow Him to help you redirect your thinking.

 

What about you?  What does mindfulness mean to you?  Are there areas of you life in which you need to be more mindful?

No Confidence in the Flesh

Once we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, it seems that we should realize we have no righteousness in ourselves.  Deep down, we know, but our human nature tends to push the correct knowledge somewhere in the mind where we are not confronted with the facts.  Although we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we begin to think that we are responsible for our own righteousness, conveniently overlooking the fact that we are saved by grace through faith.

Paul’s Confidence

No Confidence in the FleshIn Philippians 3, Paul discusses the subject in great detail.  In verse 3, Paul states that he puts no confidence in the flesh as many Jews of his day did.  Insisting that new converts to Christ follow the Jewish law was a popular trend in Paul’s day.  Although popular among some Jewish people, it was controversial, and it was not biblical.

Paul, formerly known as Saul, was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He followed the law to the letter.  He crossed all his t’s and dotted all his i’s, so to speak, before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  Although he had great credentials, Paul acknowledged that his greatness was nothing compared to the greatness of Christ.

Our Confidence

Romans 3:23 clearly states that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Why is it that when we begin to gain victory over sin in our lives, which, by the way, only comes through Jesus, that we begin to get pride, a sin within itself?  Any accomplishments we make spiritually are only because of the grace of God poured out on us.  The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts and helps us.

My confidence cannot be in my good works.  No matter how many good deeds I do, they will neither make atonement for my sin nor allow me entrance into heaven.  If that were the case, Jesus would not have come to be the sacrificial lamb for our sins.  The good I do should be a result of my love for Jesus, not a pathetic self-righteousness.

Confidence in Christ

I clearly believe that we can be confident in who we are in Christ, but we also must have a realization of who we are without Christ.  This will keep the balance.  We will have godly confidence without self-righteousness.  We can be confident of who we are in Christ, who we are because of his death and resurrection.  Our confidence should not be in our works which represent a false ability to save ourselves.No Confidence in the Flesh 2

Just as the religious leaders of Paul’s day thought that being circumcised along with following the letter of the law made them righteous, we often think that we are righteous because we do good deeds.   No, our confidence is not in our flesh, but in who Jesus is through us.  We should not be doing good works to be righteous.  We will do good works as a result of the change that has been made inside of us because of Jesus Christ.  Anything else is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

 

What about you?  Where is your confidence?  Place your confidence in Christ, rather than yourself.  The righteousness of Christ is one that does not fail.

Something for You

Overcomer is available in both the Kindle version and paperback.  The Kindle version is only $2.99.  The paperback is $11.99.  I am posting a link below for you to either download the Kindle book, or order a paperback.

In addition to the Amazon link, I am posting a link to my E-shop in which I have some freebies, and I am offering my course “History of Bible Translations” at a very low cost.  The PDF files are available for $7.00, and the videos are available for $7.00.  The total cost of the course was originally $20.00, so you would be getting the entire course for $14.00.  You can download the videos and PDF’s and complete the course at your own pace.

Other links are posted as well.

https://www.amazon.com/Allison-Mitchell/e/B07HLR234Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLpCzSoLEZeZPH3heypKIHA?view_as=subscriber

https://allisonambermitche.wixsite.com/allisonambermitchell

 

Mercy Seat

I don’t know about you, but I need God’s mercy every day.  For the past week, I have been reading in the book of Hebrews.  Throughout several chapters, the Old Testament priesthood is compared with the priesthood of Jesus Christ.  I will share with you some portions of what I read.

Behind the Veil

In the Old Testament, the mercy seat was located inside the most holy place of the temple behind a veil, or curtain.  No one could enter certain places of the temple except for the priests.  The priests, who were from the tribe of Levi, made sacrifices and atonement for the peoples’ sins.

Mercy Seat 1
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The mercy seat was surrounded by cherubim.  In Hebrews 9:5, the writer speaks of the glory overshadowing the mercy seat.  The writer goes on to say that he could not speak in detail of the things concerning the mercy seat and the holy place.  I find that statement compelling.  Of course, he was most likely referring to the magnificence of the tabernacle, yet, we can take his words to heart because it is often difficult to express the details of our gratitude to Jesus for what He accomplished at the cross.

The Veil Torn

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil to the most holy place was torn, not by human hands, but by the power of God.  Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, the complete atonement for our sins.  The veil was torn because we were no longer restricted from an intimate relationship with God, the Father.  People no longer had to go to a human priest to be absolved of sin.  After the cross, people could go directly to the Father through Jesus Christ.

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Unfortunately, it seems a veil is still up for some people.  It is not because God does not love them.  It is because they have not accepted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as the atoning sacrifice for their sins and the only way to God, the Father.  Once you accept Jesus for who He is and follow Him wholeheartedly, you have direct access to the mercy seat.

Receive His Mercy

God’s mercy is available to everyone, but it requires a personal choice.  He forces nothing on you.  Each person must choose Jesus.  Each person must come running to the mercy seat, so to speak.

I know and love Jesus, but I still must come running to the mercy seat.  I need His mercy daily.  No, I do not intentionally sin, but I will fall short of His glory.  You will too.  That’s where mercy comes in.  Am I suggesting that you can be careless and reckless in your sin without consequence?  Certainly not!  However, I am suggesting that when you do surrender to Jesus, you will be changed forever, not perfect, but changed.  Then, you will be humbled by His wonderful mercy, and you will not take it for granted.

What about you?  Have you accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ?  If not, you can do that now.