Faithful To Your Family

Most of us value our families above all else because they are actually part of us. Nothing will change a person like becoming a parent. You find a love you never knew was even possible for a human to experience as you look upon that child made of your own flesh and blood. I think there is a parallel truth here for Christians who are born again and part of God’s Eternal Family. We are now “bone of his bone and flesh”, just as Eve was taken as a rib from Adam’s side, the Bride (Body) of Christ was taken from His wounded side when He was pierced by a Roman spear where blood and water flowed out. Think of it, when Jesus looks at you, He sees someone that came from his own flesh and blood, and He loves you. 

There is something that happens when we are born again and become part of His Family, we share the same DNA with all those who are born again as well, and we find a new love for these family members we never knew. As Jesus said “By this shall all men know you are my disciples, because you love ONE ANOTHER” John 13:35. This is not a natural love because we may have personality differences (and other issues) that make us unlikable to others at times. But in spite of all this, there is the love of God in our hearts that overlooks things and has compassion instead of complaints about people in the Family.

There is a love you discover as you grow together with others in Christ that you may not at this time even know is possible. But this love grows as we “live in community” with others and are faithful to our family relationships in Christ.

Here is an amazing verse that shows us the love that is possible to experience as we learn to live together, serve together, pray together, eat together, learn together, and worship together,

“Hereby perceive we the love of God,  because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16

This is a great love that is more thrilling to experience for the one loving, than the one being loved. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. We have achieved a great level in God when we grow to this point.

We are the “Family of God” as Paul said in Ephesians 3:15, “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” This is God’s Family, and you are part of it forever.

As we comprehend these deep truths, we will start to relate to the “family” with faithfulness, we will care for one another, watching out for one another’s spiritual well being. We will come to worship services because we love one another and have the “family spirit” that seeks community and relationship. Joining a small group will be something we desire in order to grow in our love of one another.  Being part of God’s Family is so much more than attending an occasional worship service because we “need some Word this week,” or “we need to show up so no one thinks we have backslid.” This type of thinking reveals ignorance of what God intends for His Children, and is missing the greater life of love that is only the result of “Living In Community” and being Faithful To The Family.

At Faith Church International, our motto is “Learn The Word, Live in Community, Leave a Legacy.” If we an help people achieve these things, we will see God’s Name be glorified in the earth.

Dr. John Polis

You Hold The Key

19449887_sAs a believer in Jesus Christ you hold the key to victory in all situations that you will encounter in this life, Jesus said so!

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 KJV

Jesus was talking about using the authority you have been delegated as a result of sharing His position at the “right hand of God.” We have been delegated the authority of heaven. You and I have been raised together with Christ to sit in the heavenly places. We have been given the same authority Jesus Christ has as Lord of all. When we go forth in His Name, the Name of Jesus, we are acting as a representative of the Lord Himself.

Matthew 28:18 says, “All power (Greek word exousia meaning authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go YE therefore…” When you see a “therefore,” stop and see what it is “THERE FOR.” Jesus is sending us as His representatives with full authority to enforce His will and bind the forces of hell against God’s people. The word, “bind” in this verse means to “tie” like when you tie up someone with a cord. It is used in Matthew 14:3 when speaking of John the Baptist, “For Herod had laid hold on John, and BOUND him, and put him in prison.”

We must learn to use our authority against the devil when he oppresses us with sickness, mental torment and fear. Bind him in Jesus Name and forbid him to continue operating in those ways. He MUST stop! Jesus was keen to teach his disciples how to use the authority delegated to them, and they learned it well as is indicated in the report they gave Him when they returned from a ministry assignment.

“And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the Devils are subject (obey) unto us through THY NAME.” Luke 10:17 KJV

When any of the enemies works begin to manifest in your life, immediately tell them to stop. Don’t wait to call someone else for help. you hold the KEY! Use the Name of Jesus to enforce the enemies defeat and be confident that he will obey YOU. You may say, “I’m not the best Christian, I don’t know if the devil will obey me.” You are “IN CHRIST” and have on the “badge of authority,” the Name of Jesus. When you stand in that Name, Satan sees Christ and not you and he will run in terror.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee (Greek meaning run in terror) from YOU.” James 4:7 KJV

Dr. John Polis

Broke or Broken

11793555_sThe Bible speaks of two types of poverty, “spiritual” and “material” poverty. Most believers have heard the message of Biblical Prosperity and know how to advance themselves in material possessions; however, there is a lack of understanding of spiritual poverty and how to be rich in spiritual things as well.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” Revelations 3:17-18 NKJV

According to these verses, we can be materially rich, and yet be living in spiritual poverty, we can be broke spiritually. If we see material possessions as the hallmark of God’s blessing, then in fact we have become Materialists who have a “spirit of mammon.” Materialism exists in our lives when we are trying to meet spiritual needs with material possessions, something God denounces in the Word. When we focus on our material accumulation at the expense of our spiritual richness, we are called “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked,” these are not the things I want to hear spoken over my life or ministry and yet, many believers have never progressed beyond the pursuit of material blessings.

Being spiritually rich means that I have an abundance of revelation of God’s Word in my heart and that I have sought and learned how to flow in the Gifts of the Spirit in order to fulfill the ministry of Christ in this world. There is only one way to become spiritually rich, we must be broken vessels before the Lord. We do have a treasure in these earthen vessels as scripture says, but for the anointing to flow in our lives and be released to others, we must have a “broken and contrite spirit.” (see Psalms 51:17) This is simply a heart that is fully yielded to God in submission and obedience to His will. The story of the Woman with the Alabaster Box illustrates the fact that God wants our full surrender, a will that is completely submitted to His will before He will bring us into the abundant spiritual life in Christ. We are not talking here about  a doctrine or works but being in position for God to work in and through us for His own glory. We are either broke or broken when it comes to our relationship with God. Which are you?

3G Christians

32014371_sIn the cell phone world there is 3G and 4G service allowing us to connect with one another at any time and place (usually).  I happened to think about 3G’s relating to believers in Jesus Christ the other day and thought others might be blessed by them.  As a pastor/teacher, part of my spiritual gifts include receiving and giving messages to the Body of Christ, so here goes.

GOING TO HEAVEN

As Christians we know that we are “Going to Heaven” because of the shed Blood of Christ, and that is our first “G”.  This “G” corresponds to what I call “babyhood faith,” because as new believers this is about the extent of our revelation.  But hopefully, we will not remain spiritual babes for long, but will get into the Word of God and start growing up in Christ.

GROWING UP

This brings us to our second “G” – “Growing Up”, or what I call “maturing faith.”  The Bible speaks of Moses “when he came to years” (Hebrews 11:24-27) as having made some mature choices that resulted in him becoming the leader who brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  The Word says that Moses“chose to suffer affliction with God’s people rather than to enjoy the pleasures of Egypt.”  As we grow up in Christ, we must realize that confessing Christ publicly may result in some persecution as well, but we embrace it by the grace of God.  Moses also had spiritual values because he “esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.”  How true it is that when we encounter the Living Christ, our appetites change and we consider Him our greatest treasure.  Finally, Moses demonstrates the level of maturity he had reached by “not fearing the wrath of the king (Pharaoh), for he endured seeing Him who is invisible.”  Moses lost the fear of Pharaoh when he had revelation of his God Who was greater than all the kings of the Earth.  We also can grow spiritually to live like Moses did even during hardship, persecution, and unfavorable circumstances (like having an army chasing you into the sea).

GOING INTO THE WORLD

The last “G” is “Going into the World.”  I call this “ministry faith.”  We have “babyhood faith,” “maturing faith,” and “ministry faith.”  Our spiritual growth is not complete until we have reached this third dimension, where we are actually doing the “works of Jesus” by going into all the world with the Good News and proclaiming it to others.  We not only share the Gospel with others, but we do what Jesus did by praying for healing, deliverance and miracles that will exalt God and confirm our message of faith in the resurrected Christ.

Are you a 3G Christian yet?

Obedience

38863682_sStep two in your Christian walk, after faith, is obedience.  We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9); we start out with faith and learn to receive “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense” (GRACE).  That is great, but can become very one-sided if it’s all about “what He did for ME.”  Many believers never get beyond the faith and grace message because they never get beyond self.

We can be extremely blessed because of God’s grace that we receive by faith (not works), but never become mature Christians because maturity doesn’t come by faith, it comes by obedience.  Faith is all about what He did for me, but obedience is all about what I do for Him.  Maturity means taking responsibility for the work that Christ commanded (not suggested) that we do on His behalf (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).  Obedient people take responsibility for the work of evangelism, discipleship and shepherding the flock of God.  The people who are mature are ones that God promotes in His kingdom work, giving them favor and influence that turns people’s lives to God.  Don’t be deceived into thinking you are a mature believer because of God”s blessings of health and wealth.  You are mature when your hand is on the plough and you are working in the vineyard.  Not a popular message, but truth anyway.

Where are the laborers who are serious about obeying Christ?  If you teach people how to receive all God has for them, they will shout your praises, but when we start recruiting laborers for the harvest, the tone often changes.  I suggest every believer do a word study in the New Testament on “work” and “works”, not just faith and grace.  You will be shocked to find out that obedience and work are spoken of as much as faith and grace.

It’s time to stop postponing obedience while we are building the good life for self.  Delayed obedience is disobedience.  You are NEEDED in the work of God (Matthew 9:35-38).

EFFORTLESS PRODUCTIVITY

14594305_sJesus told the Parable of the Vine and Branches (John 15:1-6) to show us how to become productive people in regard to spiritual fruit.  From this parable we learn that our lives can become increasingly productive as we bear “fruit”, “more fruit” and “much fruit.”  Moving from one stage of productivity to another corresponds to our maturity as we grow from “babyhood” to “childhood” and finally to “adulthood” in the Christian Life.

FRUIT THAT GETS BETTER

As with any fruit tree that produces fruit, is pruned and continues to produce, its fruit gets continually more delicious and rich.  As Christians who are also growing spiritually, our “fruit” of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) will also get more rich as time goes by.  So what is the key to this abundant fruit in our lives?  It is the “sap” that flows from the Vine to the branches.

FROM FUNCTION TO FLOW

The branches have only one function, and that is to “receive” the Sap that flows from the Vine continually.  We must learn that the branches can do nothing without the Sap, the Holy Spirit that is given to us, from the Vine, which is Jesus Christ.  If there is little flow of Holy Spirit into our lives, there will be little fruit produced, and if there is a great flow of Holy Spirit there will much fruit.  The key is to learn what Jesus meant when He said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).  We are not to struggle to produce fruit from our own flesh, or self-effort.  No, we are to continually receive the flow of God’s Divine Life into our spirits by spending time in communion with Him daily, resting in His Presence and waiting for the Sap to flow from the Vine.

ACTIVE REST

Coming to the place of rest in Him is to realize that we are in absolute dependence on Him for Life.  When we know we are totally dependent, we wait without anxiety, knowing He will give us what we need.  If we are to speak to someone about Christ, we are assured that His Life in us will flow from us to the person we seek to reach with the gospel.  If we need longsuffering to deal with a difficult person in our lives, we need not struggle, but to look to Him for the Sap to flow and bring forth the beautiful fruit of Christ-likeness in us.  If we are challenged with a problem that needs to be solved, we rest in the assurance that Wisdom will flow into our “branch” and bring the solution.  In our own “selves” we can do nothing, but through Christ we can do all things necessary (Philippians 4:13), because we have learned to depend on Him and allow His Life to flow into us as the Sap flows from the Vine to the branch.

Secrets of the Christ Life

Jesus Christ is the “pattern Son” for all other born-again believers.  In other words, Holy Spirit has come into our lives to enable us to “pattern our lives” after the life of Jesus Christ as He lived it on earth.  Jesus didn’t have a life free from problems and harassment by the devil; on the contrary, He was in a continual battle that required a diligent walk of faith every day of His earthly life.  Jesus experienced trauma, disappointment, betrayal, physical abuse, and finally a cruel death.  What was the secret of His victorious life over all these circumstances?  How did He never lose his testimony and remain faithful and continue to glorify His Father in Heaven?  The first secret of His continual victory was this:
 
He remained surrendered to God’s will, regardless of the hardship it might bring.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, He “counted the cost” of full surrender and embraced God’s will over His own human desires.
 
Secondly, Jesus depended on the grace of God to enable Him to fulfill His commitment.  After He said, “Not my will, but Thine be done,” we read that “angels came and strengthened Him.” (Luke 22:42-43).  The Father always provides the supernatural strength, the “grace of God,” after His will is embraced by His children.  This is what Paul meant when he said, “I can do all things through Christ (the anointing or grace of God) which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).
 
Today’s Christian should not always be looking for a “way out,” but a “way through” their problems.  I hear many crying out for freedom from the problems that result from living a righteous life in a wicked world, when we should be “appropriating more grace” to deal with our problems triumphantly in a way that will glorify our Father.  Instead, many churches are filled with people who continually whine and whimper about their problems, expecting the “professionals” to work a miracle for them whenever needed.  Paul’s advice to the Ephesian Christians who were encountering great spiritual warfare and problems from living in an idolatrous society was: “Finally brethren, BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER (GRACE) OF HIS MIGHT” (Ephesians 6:10).  Paul didn’t escape all his trials, but rather was told that “My grace is sufficient for you.”  This made Paul rejoice and respond  by saying, “Therefore I will boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  Let’s humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and receive His grace to live victoriously above all things.