2017 BOOKS


New


Make Your Faith Work for You

By Elphas Sipho Mdluli

Jesus did a great job on the Cross. He made all things possible through the faith He gave to us as believers. You have a servant at your exposure. That is faith. It can always work for you. But how can it work for you? Let us look at the following scripture found in Luke 17:3-10. This scripture is very important.

So be careful! "If your brother or sister in God's family does something wrong, warn them. If they are sorry for what they did, forgive them.

Even if they do something wrong to you seven times in one day, but they say they are sorry each time, you should forgive them."

The apostles said to the Lord, "Give us more faith!"

The Lord said, "If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Dig yourself up and plant yourself in the ocean!' And the tree will obey you.

"Suppose one of you has a servant who has been working in the field, plowing or caring for the sheep. When he comes in from work, what would you say to him? Would you say, 'Come in, sit down and eat'?

Of course not! You would say to your servant, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Then get ready and serve me. When I finish eating and drinking, then you can eat.'

The servant should not get any special thanks for doing his job. He is only doing what his master told him to do.

It is the same with you. When you finish doing all that you are told to do, you should say, 'We are not worthy of any special thanks. We have only done the work we should do.'"

When Jesus talked about the importance of forgiveness, which appeared to be perpetual, the Apostles were heard asking for more faith. Surprisingly, Jesus indicated that it was not an issue of faith. That is what we all often do. When there is a challenging situation before us, we think we need more faith.

Apparently Jesus said they did not need much faith. A tiny faith could do the job. He illustrated using the smallest grain of a mustard seed. He said having faith of that size could uproot a tree and have it cast into the sea. We learn from Romans 12:3 that we already have faith in us. It reads, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Believers were given 'the measure of faith'. What does that mean? It means we were all given the same size of faith. That is the faith Jesus used to calm the raging sea. The same faith that Peter used to raise Dorcas from the dead. It is the same faith that Peter and John used to heal the crippled man at the gate 'Beautiful.' We hear Peter saying, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:1). We received "like precious faith" with Peter. So, your faith is not a problem.

Now the issue here is using that measure of faith. We view it as strong faith when it operates in other believers' lives and that is because they exercise it. They use it. We know that anything that is not used or inactive for a period of time eventually starts deteriorating or malfunction.

In order to illustrate the issue of using faith, Jesus starts talking about a servant that comes from work. Probably he is tired. Servants worked hard during the times of the Bible. There was no mercy shown. It was unlike today where there are issues of rights. One would expect to have the tired servant to come and sit down and be given food. Jesus says, "Who can say that?" The servant is given more work. He meets the needs of the Master. Then when the Master is full and satisfied, the servant can get his own food to eat and then rest. That is how faith needs to be used. It is your servant. There should be no rest until it has fully done its assignment. Let your faith complete its job. Do not allow your faith to die down having not brought what God provided for you. Patience can assist your faith most of the time. It can sustain the strength of your faith until you receive whatever you desire from God.

Now I pray that the Lord may grant you the spirit of wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Him in Jesus Name. Receive what has been the desire of your heart through the faith that you already have, in Jesus Name. God's blessing on you today!

Visit http://freedomcentreinternationalchurch.blogspot.com// for more information. I help People Find Spiritual Solutions through Training, and Counseling by the Word of God. The Word will Sustain your life. Do what it says and your life will never be the same again.


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When Disagreement Leads to Misunderstanding, Disappointment and Discouragement

By Steve Wickham 

"They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company."

Acts 15:39 (NIV)

If there is anything that has gotten me down into the serious discouragement of depression it is the sharp sort of disagreement that occurred between Paul and Barnabas. It's occurred to me more than once.

There is little doubt, personally, most growth can come from the area of disagreement, being misunderstood (and my misunderstanding of another), and the disappointment that leads to discouragement. And the spiral runs downward when bitter shards of contempt have urged me to disobey God's command in the Lord's prayer: "... as we forgive those who sin against us." (Matthew 6:12) So merciful is God not to look away from my sin, but to continue to ask me to reconsider. And I do, as He gives me strength. But it can be a battle.

If Paul and Barnabas, great servants of the Lord, disagreed sharply, then we, too, who love the Lord, also, will disagree sharply. Sometimes we won't respond well. None of us like feeling like we don't have control. We all like to be listened to and to be understood. Sometimes we have views that we cannot compromise - views we believe God put there. We tend to think we're right, they're wrong, they're obstinate, and we're the ones who make most sense. That God's on our side. Couldn't be on theirs.

If I'm honest, I have to consider that those I've had disagreements with will have felt misunderstood, disappointed, and discouraged. Because I was difficult to deal with. That they, too, have wrestled with forgiveness; of me. That they couldn't reconcile how I thought or felt about an issue or issues. That I'm unreasonable.

I would say I'm ashamed of my actions of reaction at times. Anger has gotten the better of me on a few occasions. I've been a fool when there have been times in my earlier life when I would never have done that. It's easy to think up some excuses, yet there are also times in my earlier life when I would not have done that, either. Yet, God is gracious.

Maybe it's simply a case that we cannot work together. Disagreements can reveal this. Sometimes, but not most of the time, we can agree to disagree. Halcyon times, those.

I'm trying to learn all I can so I don't repeat the same mistakes I've made. By the fear only God can put in me, I don't want to betray a call I received over twelve years ago. How could I do that to the younger version of me who had faith enough to enter ministry with gifts to be shared for the benefit of the Body of Christ? There is this comfort, the fact I've made mistakes puts me in excellent biblical company, which is why the Bible is encouragement, not simply instructional, so long as learning is stowed. It's no good to stay in the wrong.

I pray that, as Paul and Mark (who Barnabas and Paul disagreed over in the first place) reconciled, there would be sweet reconciliations ahead with those who I've had sharp disagreements with. God has this in hand.

The Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God is what the work of ministry is all about.




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