May 16, 2012

Jesus Can Change Your Life

Jesus Christ Changed My Life. Learn how God's salvation can do the same for you.

For centuries we have been told about Christ’s return. What does it take to wake up and prepare oneself for the coming of Christ?

We have become a generation of lazy Christians. We expect our pastors, and our evangelists, to teach us the word of God. We simply don’t want to take any time out of our life to read God’s Word for ourselves. God has taught us to search the
Scriptures for ourselves lest we be deceived!"

~Henry Miranda

Is something missing in your life? Do you want to find the answers? Learn what Christ can do for you ... Read The Path To Eternal Life

Apr 26, 2012

Christian Growth

When you accepted Christ as your personal savior, the Holy Spirit came into your life and sealed you forever as a child of God. Salvation is a one-time experience, but our Christian growth is continuous. God wants to use and bless you to your maximum potential but you must be willing to step out and trust God in faith.

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (CEV)

Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Faith is:

1. Confidence or trust in God.

2. Believing in what is true.

3. Being convinced of the truth, being certain of reality.

4. Believing, hoping in, embracing, and seizing the truth.

When you accepted Christ as Lord of your life, your spiritual eyes were open, and it started a process of growing in Christ, and in some respects it is a slow process. Your Growth will not be automatic. It takes time, work, effort, and patience. Christian Growth occurs in the realms of obedience and trust.

One very difficult thing for us Christians to do is to simply say, “This matter is in God’s hands.” Our human nature likes to retain control, because we want some grip on difficult situations. Christian Growth is something we need to work on every single day. We need to learn to put Christ first in all situations of our lives. One way to do that is to meditate on God's word.

Biblical meditation is of immense value if we are to listen accurately to God. It is the key to our spiritual growth.

Definition: What is biblical meditation? It's a period of time set aside to contemplate the Lord, listen to Him and allow Him to permeate our spirits.

Psalms 27:4 (NLT)

The one thing I ask of the LORD— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

Psalms 77:11-12 (NKJV)

I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

I will also meditate on all Your work, And talk of Your deeds.

We spend so much time in contact with this world's value system, we desperately need to be with God and regain a biblical perspective

(Romans 12:2 (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Meditation also takes time—occasionally as little as five minutes but often 30 minutes or an hour. IF you don't prioritize time with God as you should, ask Him to search your heart for the reason why. Then pray, asking Him to remove that barrier. God wants you alone sometimes because He wants your undivided attention.

The pressures of our lives begin to dissipate when we are secluded, silent and still before the Lord. Through daily times of meditation, you allow God to love you completely. Nothing will impact your life more than this powerful practice of meditation.

In order for our Christian growth to be strengthened it must be refined...by fire. God allows Satan to test us at times knowing we can overcome the testing from Satan. Such testing, leaves us strengthened for God's service.

The ultimate purpose of a trial is to strengthen our Christian character. As Christians we must die to our old self and become like Christ, in our (spiritual birth) new creation forgetting the things of the past and continuing to our Heavenly destination even though we struggle with trials and tribulations.

James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,

knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Christian Growth is the process of reaching maturity, and conformity to the character of God as revealed in Christ:

Colossians 3:1 (NKJV)

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:1 (CEV)

You have been raised to life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ rules at God’s right side.

Colossians 3:1 (NLT)

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.

Part of Christian spiritual growth is learning to trust God. Christ said, I am the vine and you are the branches. We must remember that without the vine there is no nourishment for the branches. That is why it's so important for us to stay in Christ for Christ is our source of strength; he makes us strong in our spiritual growth.

AS Christians we don’t court suffering, but we do expect it. We must rejoice when suffering comes, because it is a testing or trying of our faith, helping faith to mature. We need not--and should not--blame God for suffering which is a result of our own foolish, intentional sinful actions. Such actions direct us to the unlimited forgiveness and grace of God. Final response to the suffering and testing of God is always to Praise God.

Job 1:21 (NIV)

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."

Hebrews 12:7 (NKJV)

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

Suffering, for the Christian, is not punishment. It is discipline, specifically the discipline of Christian character. It is the way God demonstrates that we are His children we are never alone in our testing, even when we feel we have left God or He has left us. As Jesus prayed for Peter while being "sifted like wheat" and as the Father continued praying for the return of his lost son (Luke 15), so Jesus never takes His loving attention from us. He is always praying to the Father on our behalf. Thus, whatever suffering we endure as a testing of our faith is cause for joy, not despair.

2 Corinthians 10:15 ( NKJV )

not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,

The hardest thing about suffering is remembering to keep our faith strong. If we lose this focus, we fail the test, but Failure is never final; God is always forgiving and will restore us even when we have failed. We must Praise God always in all situations good or bad.

After the trial, we are never the same. A trial, as God intends, exposes and deepens our weaknesses even as it uncovers and develops new strengths and opportunities for ministry. The tears of trials, therefore, are the chisel God uses to change our Christian’s heart painfully--but skillfully--to enliven our hope in Jesus Christ.

Do not yield to discouragement because of suffering. This is one of the greatest battles we will ever face - the battle to stay encouraged and joyful. PRAISE is a major key to making it through trials. If offered sincerely, in faith, to God, it will help you get out of troubles faster than anything, and you will get stronger and feel less pain in the whole process, because God dwells in the praises of His people. Just consider how quickly God delivered Paul and Silas from the jail in Philippi when they praised Him in the middle of the night (Acts 16)! This is a good example for us. Here is where major spiritual battles are won or lost. Praise God instead of grumbling. It will make the world of difference.

False Faith

When God is at work planting saving faith (a genuine response to the Gospel), you can guarantee that the devil is hard at work planting false faith (counterfeit Christianity). Satan uses his cunning and power to convincing people that they have saving faith when they do not. The parables of Jesus show that we are continually warned against self-deception. For example In Matthew 13.24-30 Jesus tells the parable of the wheat and tares, In Matthew 13.36-43 he explains the meaning to His disciples. There will be tares in the church until the rapture.

How can we tell the counterfeits from the true Christians? This is not always an easy task. I have known church members for years, believing that they were dedicated Christians, only to find out later that they were counterfeits. Just because someone goes to church and carries a bible with them does not mean they are Christians. Remember a counterfeit looks like the real thing, but it’s not.

There are many false teachers today that are counterfeits. The counterfeits do not know or understand the gospel of grace that saves so their teaching is usually man centered. 90% of the teaching in the churches today is about the Christian life and how to live it. This is Satanic because it turns people’s eyes into themselves, and away from God. They want to make you feel good but in reality they're taking you away from God.

As Christians we need to read the Bible for all its worth, otherwise we are going to be misled. Study Scripture in Context, (out of context is using verses to say what you want them to say).Don’t rip single verses or even portions of verses out of their context. We can make the Bible say almost anything by combining different verses; even verses that sound similar may in context address quite different topics.

There are those willing to have Christ as their Savior, yet who are most reluctant to submit to Him as their Lord, to be at His command, and to be governed by His laws. There are unregenerate Christians who profess Christ as Lord, and do not have a genuine response to the Gospel.

Matthew 7:22-23 ( NKJV )

Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

2 Corinthian 13:5 (NKJV)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

Paul here reminds the Corinthians—and us—that it is quite possible for a man or woman to profess Christ and salvation, yet still be unsaved. They may even deceive themselves into thinking that such a profession has saved them. Therefore, we need to examine ourselves, to prove ourselves. The sure proof is the realization that Christ is indwelling us, by the Holy Spirit, resulting in godly lives and glad acceptance of all the revealed Word of God, as inspired by the same Holy Spirit.

Without regeneration it is spiritually impossible to believe in Christ. Except a man be born again, he cannot see, he cannot understand, he cannot come to Christ (John 3:3; 6:37, 44; 1 Cor. 2:14). Regeneration is the renewing of the heart and mind; and the renewed heart and mind must act according to their nature.

Regeneration is the act of God alone. But faith is not the act of God. It is not God who believes in Christ for salvation; it is the sinner. Although it is by God's grace alone that a person is able to believe, faith is an activity of us alone. In saving faith we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation. True, this is a strange, and to some extent, undefinable mixture. But this is precisely what the Bible teaches. This is God's way of salvation, expressing His supreme wisdom, power, and grace.

Many Christians come to receiving the blessing of God through following the steps to salvation, and once they get to the point of "FAITH" they slack off. The reason is because of unbelief. UNBELIEF is the major reason Christians have “little" faith....

Matthew 6:30 ( NKJV )

Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Unbelief is the opposite of faith, and Unbelief is doubt. Unbelief is believing the wrong thing...usually a miss-understanding of the word of God....Today it is even worse because of the many different bible translations. The old trick from the Devil is to play on words, just like he pulled on Eve in the Garden.

Some translations are paraphrase, which makes them more misleading at times. Difference Translations (Bible) are good at times to get a better understanding of what we are studing, but we need to check back to the original King James to get the fullness of the gospel.

The gospel is about Jesus Christ, his life, his death, his resurrection, his position at the right hand of God. The gospel calls into question all that we think and as Christians; It is the deciding factor as to who is a real Christian and who is a counterfeit. There is only one gospel and there is only one way to believe and have faith.

The apostle Paul said, “That if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9. There is no room for any kind of false gospel. We must know beyond a shadow of a doubt how and what the Lord wants us to believe and have faith in, for our very souls depend upon this.

The gospel is a very simple message. Christ has saved us by doing for us that which we are not capable of doing for ourselves because we were dead in trespasses and sins. By his righteous life he has offered everything to the Godhead that the law requires. He did this in our name and on our behalf just like we did it ourselves. When Christ lived, we lived in him

The Christian life is a life of repentance. We are called to turn away from a life of sin and embrace the truth--------Jesus is the truth.

As Christians we need to be aware that there is a lot of deception these days for we are getting close to the return of Christ. The devil is working overtime in preventing Christians from going to heaven

Rooted and Grounded In the Word

Hi Smitty, here are a couple of articles
Henry

Apr 24, 2012

Beware The Winds of Doctrine

"Beware the Winds of Doctrine" by Author Henry Miranda is a call to stand fast upon the Holy Word of God, the Bible. As many preach the Gospel, we as Christians are called to be diligent students of the Word of God. By doing this we are taking hold of the truth, which enables us to have the knowledge not to be deceived. Many false teachers and preachers evangelize a Gospel that has turned away from the true Word of God. Henry Miranda in his book exhorts the born again Christian to study diligently the Word of God in this hour to know the truth and to not be led away by false doctrines.

As winds blow from one place to another, so the author writes that preachers have turned from the Word of God to become people pleasers. Many preach not the true Word of God, but preach what people want to hear. We as Christians are called to live a godly, holy life of repentance, turning away from sin and the lure of the world. Knowing your Bible will not only keep you from being deceived by false doctrines, but will also lead the reader on a path to living a life in Christ.

False religion is a tool of man and Satan that can keep one bound in false doctrine. therefore, we must know the Gospel of Jesus Christ only and daily live out the Gospel in our own lives as followers of Christ.

The author backs up his work by many scripture references. This book is suggested to be very helpful for the new Christian. Henry Miranda urges others to study the entire Bible in context and to read fully the entire gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to test the teachings we hear, to make sure they line up according to scripture. Jesus warned that there would be many false teachers and false prophets and warned us to be aware of wolves in sheep's clothing. The author is sounding the call to all Christians to study according to the Bible and not to believe everything that is preached from the pulpit.

Henry Miranda is a Bible teacher, Author, Writer and Evangelist. He lives in Southern California and has four daughters. He has written five books to include:

Eternal Life, Fellowship with God: Bright Lights on the Path Leading to Jesus, You've Been Warned, The Path to Eternal Life and his current book, Beware the Winds of Doctrine. You can learn more about Henry Miranda and his books by visiting Author Henry Miranda.

To order Author Henry Miranda's book Beware the Winds of Doctrine and other Henry Miranda books visit Beware the Winds of Doctrines on Amazon. You may also get the book on Kindle and you may also visit the writer at Faithwriters where you can read additional writings by the author.

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