Sometimes you have to lose in order to gain!

 

by Dr Joyce Meyer

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The Power of Faith

 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.  Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”  [b]

 

Mark 11:20-27 New International Version (NIV)

Footnotes:

  1. a:Mark 11:23 Some early manuscripts “If you have faith in God,” Jesus answered, 23 “truly
  2. b:Mark 11:26 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 6:15.

 

Temptation

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]

 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]

 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]

 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]

 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Footnotes:

  1. a: Matthew 4:1 The Greek for tempted can also mean tested.
  2. b: Matthew 4:4 Deut. 8:3
  3. c: Matthew 4:6 Psalm 91:11,12
  4. d: Matthew 4:7 Deut. 6:16
  5. e: Matthew 4:10 Deut. 6:13

Faith without work is dead

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:17; James 2:26 – New International Version

 

God so Loved the World

I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John 3:12-21, New International Version (NIV)

Christ the Power and Wisdom of God

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”[a]

Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

Footnotes:

  1. a: 1 Corinthians 1:19 Isaiah 29:14

The Lord is my helper

 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.  Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.  Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]

 So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b]

 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:1-8New International Version (NIV)

Footnotes:

a:Hebrews 13:5 Deut. 31:6

b:Hebrews 13:6 Psalm 118:6,7

Christ is how all things happen!

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.  Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;  for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.  Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.

 

Philippians 4:12-17New International Version (NIV)

Strength

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31 New International Version (NIV)

Why does it seem that Muslims are upset at the World!

In order to understand why muslims  are at war with the rest of the world, you will have to know your bible and how Islam came about.

Origin of Islam: According to Secular History
The origin of Islam can be traced back to 7th century Saudi Arabia. Islam is thus the youngest of the great world religions. The prophet Muhammad (circa 570-632 A.D.) introduced Islam in 610 A.D. after experiencing what he claimed to be an angelic visitation. Muhammad dictated the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, which Muslims believe to be the preexistent, perfect words of Allah.

Origin of Islam: According to Islam
The origin of Islam is generally accredited to the prophet Muhammad but to the devout Muslim, Islam began long before Muhammad ever walked the earth. The Qur’an was dictated by Muhammad but, according to the Qur’an, it did not originate with Muhammad. The Qur’an testifies of itself that it was given by God through the angel Gabriel to the prophet Muhammad. “This is a revelation from the Lord of the universe. The Honest Spirit (Gabriel) came down with it, to reveal it into your heart that you may be one of the warners, in a perfect Arabic tongue” (Sura 26:192-195). “Say, ‘Anyone who opposes Gabriel should know that he has brought down this (the Qur’an) into your heart, in accordance with God’s will, confirming previous scriptures, and providing guidance and good news for the believers'” (Sura 2:97).

The Origin of Islam: The “Previous Scriptures”
The origin of Islam is controversial. The “previous scriptures” mentioned above are the Hebrew Torah, the Psalms of David, and the Gospels of Jesus Christ (Sura 4:163; 5:44-48). The Qur’an accepts these books as divinely inspired and even encourages us to test its claims by these “previous scriptures.” “If you have any doubt regarding what is revealed to you from your Lord, then ask those who read the previous scripture” (Sura 10:94). But this is where we run into a problem. The problem is that the Qur’an thoroughly contradicts the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels. For example, the Qur’an explicitly denies Jesus Christ’s crucifixion (Sura 4:157-158) while all four Gospel accounts clearly portray Jesus Christ as crucified and resurrected.

One contradiction in particular has caused a great deal of conflict between Muslims and ethnic Jews and is thought to have been and continues to be the cause of much bloodshed in the Middle East. According to the Hebrew Torah, God made a covenant with a man named Abraham. God promised Abraham a child through whom He would fulfill this covenant (“the child of promise,” Genesis 15). Abraham was at that time childless. His wife, Sarah, was barren. This of course made the promise very special to Abraham. But it would require nothing less than a miracle. Sarah, conscious of her condition, decided to help God out. She offered her maidservant Hagar to Abraham with the hope that Hagar might conceive and bear the child of promise. Abraham agreed to take Hagar as his concubine. She conceived and bore Ishmael (Genesis 16). God allowed Ishmael to be born but Ishmael was not the child of promise God had in mind (Genesis 17). God promised a child through Sarah, not Hagar (Genesis 17-18), and in due time God fulfilled His promise. “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him-whom Sarah bore to him-isaac.” (Genesis 21:1-3) Isaac was the child of promise. Isaac later begot Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the Messiah, Jesus Christ, eventually came into the world through the nation of Israel, fulfilling the covenant which God had made with Abraham. God also promised to give the land of Canaan (Palestine) to Isaac’s descendants, the land which Israel possesses today (Genesis 12:4-7; 13:12-18; 15:1-21; 17:1-22; 21:1-14; 25:19-26; 26:1-6; 35:9-12).

The problem is that the Qur’an teaches that Ishmael was the child of promise (Sura 19:54; compare Sura 37:83-109 with Genesis 22:1-19) and so Muslims believe that God’s covenant promises were meant for Ishmael’s descendants, not Isaac’s. Muhammad descended from Ishmael and so Muslims seek to lay claim to these covenant promises, namely the land of Palestine. Since Israel’s U.N.-sanctioned return to Palestine in 1948 there has been unceasing hostility between Israel and her Arab neighbors, with major armed conflicts in 1948-49, 1956, 1967, 1973-74, and 1982. That Israel remains today is a miracle in-and-of itself.