August 2, 2011

GOD’S COVENANT- OUR PLACE OF HOLDING FAST: “But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His own Father’s house as a Son and Master of it. And it is we who are now members of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope in Christ.” ( Hebrews 3:6)

“Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has already ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession of faith in Him.” (Hebrews 4:14)

“So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.” (Hebrews 10:23)
TO ALL: Hold Fast In Hope, Confidence in Jesus and Your confession until the very end.

Over the last several days we have come into contact with many who are sick (many are critically ill), and many that are suffering in many different ways-emotionally, physically, financially and in relationships. As you know, Jan and I asked that people send us their needs in the form of prayer requests. We committed as God instructed us, to earnestly pray for each individual and situation. That is what we are continually doing. We left our temporary positions at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center to pursue the ministry of and to God’s people full time-with more passion and intensity of purpose than ever before.

In the last three days our heart/spirit has been greatly moved by the suffering among God’s people. This perpetual suffering ought not to be so. As children and indeed sons and daughters of the living God, we all have the Kingdom of God at our disposal. Not only are we sons and daughters, but we are also brothers and sisters to the King of Kings.
                     Think for a moment what that makes us!!!!

I asked God this morning “What can I tell the people who are hurting and don’t seem to be seeing the manifestation of your hand in various situations. Many are tired and are on the verge of giving up. Why aren’t they seeing results?”

He brought the above three verses to my mind. He said, “They know me and my love, grace and mercy. They love me with all of their hearts, but when they don’t see results they let go of their confidence and confession. This results in deterioration in their faith and blocks the power that I have put forth in their lives through the resurrection of my Son. Tell them to HOLD FAST TO THEIR CONFIDENCE IN ME AND TO HOLD FAST TO THEIR CONFESSION OF FAITH IN ME! I understand that often they are tired and wore down, but if they will hold fast they will see the dawn at the end of night. Many are just a breath away from seeing the manifestation of my love in their lives.
                              HOLD FAST I SAY AGAIN.

In Hebrews 4:14, we see that God tells us to “hold fast our confession of faith in Him.” Hebrews 10:23 tells us to “seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it,” In other translations, the words “confession and confess” are translated profession. In the Greek, the word “profession” means to acknowledge the truth. Our confession is our profession.

We need strength from the Holy Spirit to hold fast in the face of situations that wear down our resolve and faith.

“Holy Spirit help us stand in faith no matter what we see or feel. We can’t stand in our own strength, but we can stand in yours.”

I know we get tired. That is when we let loose of our confidence and confession. I was reminded of Peter this morning. He began to walk on the water in faith and then saw the wind and waves thrashing about. He took his eyes off of the ONE-Jesus. He than began to sink. That is what we often do. Keep your eyes on Jesus and Him only.

Jesus asked Peter one question. “Why did you doubt?” He is asking us that same question. The word doubt in Greek means to judge. “Peter, why did you judge the circumstances?” Peter saw and judged what he saw according to his human experience and knowledge.

We all are guilty of what Peter did. For example, Jan and I are scheduling month long trips to Cuba and Africa this year. At first, we are elated at the thought of ministering under the umbrella of the Great Commission. Then we begin to judge the finances that are required to do this. The elation is soon replaced by a gnawing sensation of doubt. Soon thoughts of defeat or at the very least of a tenuous struggle replace the thoughts and vision of “God will supply all of my needs.” We then have to go back and take hold of our confidence and faith.

See how this trips us all up. If we are not careful we go from faith and profession to mental assent (what we know in our head) to doubt and fear and then to desperation.

BUT, let’s go back to Peter for a moment. Peter sinking wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus reached down after Peter’s simple prayer of “Save me” and took hold of him with the hand of mercy and grace. They WALKED back to the boat together! So, if you have lost your hold, just reach up and take hold of the Master’s hand. Peter’s best days were in front of him and so are yours and mine.


God’s Promise For You Today: BELIEVE THE WORD, NOT THE SYMPTONS: “For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.” II Corinthians 5:7

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