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BELIEVING IS DIFFERENT THAN HAVING FAITH

I don’t know what step you need to take next, but I do know which you need to take it. For a number of you, the subsequent step is to simply accept Jesus Christ into your lifestyles. For others, it may be to be baptized. Perhaps you want to join a church, get into a small group, tithe, discover a ministry,
pass on a task journey, or invite a pal to church. I don’t realize what your subsequent step is, however I do know this: you have one. God will never be completed taking you deeper in faith. There is constantly a subsequent step.
At the same time as Faith surely includes the detail of belief, they may be not one and the same. Simply one should accept as true with that something, or a person, exists before it is possible to put one’s faith in that person or component. However, I can trust a few things that do not have an effect on my lifestyle. My beliefs don’t change the way I live my life. The Bible tells us that this form of ‘belief’ isn’t true religion and will not bring about a saving relationship with God.
To place one’s ‘faith’ in something, or someone, manner that one is putting his or her consider in that person or thing. Who or what one trusts will have a far-reaching, even eternal, results. It means reliance on, dependence upon, that man or woman or aspect. I’m able to say that I believe a plane can take me from here to there, but I am afraid to get on it. This show my lack of faith in that planeAdditionally, if I don’t get on the plane, I can’t expect it to take me where I want to go. I have to work out my ‘faith’ in that plane, through boarding it, if I am to receive the advantages it offers.
In case you don’t go forward in faith, you may find it difficult to survive in this world. Your heart will be cold, and you will feel more distant from God. He isn’t going to will help you with step 3, 4, and 5 until you take the first step. In case you’re asking God to help you with something, he’s asking you, “Why haven’t you accomplished what I’ve already told you to do?” you can have “been aiming to” do something. Stop aiming and pull the cause.
There’s only one manner to comply with Jesus on the road: Take the subsequent step. Faith is greater than believing. Faithis more than thinking, speaking, or having convictions approximately Jesus. Faith is motion. It’s miles movement; it is hobby. Faith is something you do.


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RELIGION IS MAN MADE…SPIRITUAL IS NOT!

An easy definition of religion is that religion is man’s try to reach God. Being spiritual is opening ourselves to God’s impact on our entire being. Let us see the difference between these aspects.
Religion focuses on what pleases man. Being spiritual focuses on what pleases God. In our generation, what we see people do is what they believe to be right according to their religion. A lot of changes are made to what is spiritual in the eyes of the lord to suit a religion. People do amazing things; artist create the best art. Poets, writers and singers play with words to soothe their souls all in the name of religion. People tend to choose churches through their size, location, and visibility inside the community. Part of this judgment is how properly the minister of the church entertains the congregation. A great speaker can bring a lot of people into the church as long as he does not offend and brings lots of humour to his listeners. The mega churches of our day are groups that have found out this formulation and do it properly. 
The New Testament indicates spirituality as a vivid alternative to religion. John the Baptist and Jesus did not come to the world as smooth-talking, sharp-dressing, aesthetically-attractive individuals. Paul worked as a tentmaker and Peter turned into a fisherman. The early Christians were not the wheelers and dealers of their time. 
Religion follows man’s requirements whilst spirituality follows God’s requirements.
Religion involves feelings and externals while spirituality includes the complete being. Religion has a tendency to tell humans to react to their emotions and express them visibly. In In today’s modern times, there’s an emphasis on wearing things that angry individual express their convictions and doing things which are dominated by using their feelings. This is done by preacher who don’t teach these people how to stay motivated even when they are alone
Spirituality involves one’s total self in their relationship withGod. The Christians in 2 Corinthians 8: 3-6 have been identified by means of Paul as being of special spiritual nature due to the fact they gave themselves to God. The image we get of church inside the first century is not of entertaining preachers in fancy homes, but human beings assembly collectively regularly in houses–sharing their burdens and needs and supporting one another within the demanding situations of everyday existence.
While we look at the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, we see very little appeal to feelings. Jesus used parables which required His listeners to suppose and purpose. A lot of His coaching was to have His situation country an understanding after which He would complicated on it. Paul spent over a year at a school (Acts 19:9) and reasoned with the human beings in terms where they may think. Whilst he saw the artefacts of worship on Mars Hill in Acts 17:28, he declared God to be a God in whom we stay and pass and feature our being. 

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LEARNING PATIENCE THROUGH GOD

Part of becoming spiritually mature is learning the difference between “no” and “not yet,” between a denial and a delay. The Bible tells us, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Hebrews 10:37 NIV)
If you’re discouraged because God is delaying to answer your prayers, then you have to understand that the delay is NOT a denial. Just because the answer hasn’t come – YET – that doesn’t mean God is not going to answer or that he’s forgotten you or that he doesn’t care about you.
It simply means “not yet!” So you have learn to be patient. Not only once but for every minute you spend working to pass the test. Until you pass the test that God has given you, you will not see any changes in your life. But you have to be patience in your journey and you might not feel the pain of the wait. You have to let the patience be you, it should be a part of your life or rather your lifestyle. God tests you so that you could you can realise His faithfulness in all your trials. 
There is purpose in the process of your trials. Hebrews 12:2 says; waiting on God forces us to look to Him. We are forced to cast our eyes into Him as the source of our faith. It reminds us that Christ’s death and life is the reason we can be filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Trials cause us to continue by increasing our knowledge of God and relying on Him on all that we do. Standing patiently when we wait on the Lord does not mean being stuck at a dead end or in the middle of nowhere. Ephesians 6 tells us to “put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then.” 
To hold ground by remaining obedient to the Lord while waiting is not being passive. Realise that the word stand is repeated three times. Patience is an act of the will to claim ground for the Kingdom of God, and is rewarded richly by Him. Revelation 3:10-11 talk about God’s care for those who persevere through the battle.
Whether we feel we lack patience to wait on God, or to continue to love those that may be hard to love, we do it knowing that we have access to all the patience we need. We can trust God to give us the strength to bear our circumstances and instead wasting time questioning Him and trusting in Him and His word.

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WE NEED GOD HOW DO WE BUILD A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM?

The first step to building a close relationship with God is accepting the Gift of His spirit to dwell in our hearts and minds. God’s Spirit works to transform human nature to a godly nature, therefore instead of being inclined to selfishness and sin, we become inclined toward love and godliness (Philippians 2:1-5). To receive the Holy Spirit, we must repent of our sins and be baptized.
Acts 2:38 give us a clear instruction of how we can ultimately stay close to God; “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 8:6-9 also speaks to us on how we can change and develop our mind set towards the will of God. ”For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
The psalmist wrote, “It is good for me to draw near to God. I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, that I may tell of all your work.” (Psalm 73:28) A relationship with God begins when God calls us or draws us. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up [resurrect him] at the last day” (John 6:44). This teaches us to listen and obey God’s instruction, to make Him our protector, our helper and shelter, and above all, putting Him first before ourselves. 
Then proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions… So we fasted and entreated our God for this, and He answered our prayer. (Ezra 8:21, 23)
Among the spiritual tools for drawing closer to God, fasting is a real power tool! Fasting is valuable when we are faced with vast challenges and we urgently need God’s help. Even when we aren’t faced with big problems, we should fast occasionally as a special form of worship and to draw closer to God. When we fast sincerely, this is pleasing to God and in turn He will help us grow spiritually.
“Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” Joel 2:12
Reading the bible and being part of a study group are also valuable ways of drawing ourselves closer to God. It is in these methods that we can be able to learn and adopt the ways of God. Proverbs 3:13-15 encourages us to gain knowledge and understanding of the word of God so that we can be able to comprehend how it feels to be seated on the feet of our heavenly father. “Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she [wisdom] is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
The Bible is more valuable than all the books in the world; it is priceless! It is the God’s revelation to His creation regarding His plan and how we should live our lives to fulfilour purpose and to obtain, by far, the best results. Even kings were commanded to read the Scriptures daily (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). The Bible is God’s WordGod speaking to usTherefore, we must listen, and listen very carefully!
God desires a close relationship with everyone. In fact, He wants of us to eventually be His “sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18).


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WHEN YOU KNOW YOU HAVE CONFIRMATION FROM GOD?

God speaks to us in a still small voice that prompts us in our spirit. There are confirmations that can help us to really distinguish God’s voice in everything that we hear. These confirmations will strengthen our faith and enable us to hear God more clearly as we grow in our faith.

Today we are going to discuss the methods of confirmation that can best verify the message that you have received.
1. The confirmation of God’s written Word – the Bible. Everything that God says will agree with his written Word. He will never tell you to sin or go against a teaching in His Word. This can simply clarify many “messages”. When we read the bible we should not have any preconceived ideas of what it is saying.
2. The confirmation of Godly counsel. God has placed people in our lives to help us to hear His voice. These people may include pastors, teachers, parents, and godly friends. In most cases, they will confirm the voice of God to you and help you to see His plan. This is not to say that you should rely on them only. These people are human and can have their own feelings and fears distort their objectivity. However, they can be a very valuable source of confirmation when you are uncertain of God’s voice. 
3. The confirmation through circumstances. Christians can carefully studying their situation for indications of God’s will. Some Christians have called this the Gideon method or “putting out the fleece.” When God told Gideon that he was to lead Israel into battle against their enemies, Gideon put a fleece out on the ground in order to receive a sign that God was really speaking to him. If you feel led to use this test, come to God with a humble attitude and not a spirit of testing Him. Pray for God to reveal His will and carefully watch the circumstances that relate to that decision. 
Remember that prayer is a conversation. When you ask God to talk to you, be still and listen for His voice. If you expect Him to speak and you are listening for it, He will speak to you regularly. God wants you to hear His voice and He will reveal it to you. 
*Please note that the following resource has been used for research http://www.allaboutprayer.org/how-do-you-know-god-is-speaking-to-you-faq.htm


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MAKING A COVENANT WITH GOD

Entering into an everlasting covenant with a holy and eternal God is a very serious matter. So serious, in fact, that a soul intending to make such a covenant must possess a clear understanding of its enormous substance, importance, meaning and enduring quality. 

Webster’s New-World Dictionary defines the word “covenant” as follows: 1. The promises made by God to man as recorded in the Bible. 2. The binding or solemn agreement made by two or more individual parties, etc., to do or keep from doing a specified thing. 3. An agreement among members of a church to hold to points of doctrine, faith, etc. Simply put, a covenant is an agreement and a promise. Both in a secular and religious sense it is an agreement between two persons, both of whom intend to keep their end of the bargain.
In the spiritual realm we find the most important covenant of all: that in which God promises eternal life through Christ Jesus unto all who will turn to Him in repentance, live in obedience to Him, and hold fast by His grace until life’s end – a two-way promise.
Essentially, there are two major Biblical covenants. The old covenant found in the Old Testament, and the new covenant found in the New Testament. The old covenant gave way to the new because Christ our Lord came to fulfil the law. 
The old covenant was God’s promise to faithful Abraham and to his seed in succeeding generations. In Genesis 12:2-3, God spoke to Abraham saying: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” The old covenant is further conveyed in Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine”. The old covenant is also elaborated on in Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know, therefore, that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and mercy with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations”.
The making of a covenant is an official acknowledgement of God’s promises to man and man’s intent to accept and be obedient to God’s promises and commandments. The covenant with God is conditional on man’s obedience until life’s end.
*This information was taken from a study and an essay written in acpublications that can be found in the below link. http://www.acpublications.org/media/pdf-download/0705_making_a_covenant_with_god.pdf

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BE THE LIGHT OF CHRIST

“Being a light” sounds great, doesn’t it? But it’s also that easy to understandSo, how exactly do you become this brilliant beacon to people around you? Here are a few tips to help in your journey 

1. We have to always be careful what we say. The Bible calls the tongue “a restless evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Therefore we should take our speech seriously. We have heard a lot of parent always telling their children to be nice or rather they don’t say anything. This is the perfect advice and even us as adults should really listen and practice these words. Words are powerful and can be used for good or bad. Here is a perfect verse to always remember when you are losing your way; “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Teach yourself to say and do nice things. 
2. Think about the places you visit and what you do for entertainment. Where do you go for fun? What shows or movies do you watch? What kind of music do you listen to? Ask yourself; would I go to the same places, watch the same things or listen to the same music if Jesus were sitting next to me? Or would you be embarrassed? It might sound silly, but asking those questions is a good way to keep yourself in check, whether you’re alone or with your friends and loved ones.
3. Use social media wisely. Remember people are watching what you post, whether they interact with your posts or not. Think about the things you’ve posted recently—articles, comments, photos and so on. Could they be seen as prideful? Self-centred? Rude? What’s your motive? To put others down or make them jealous? Remember that is not who you areYou should always aim to make informed, respectful posts that truly represent who you are and your God. 
4. Always think of others. Consider other people’s needs and help meet them. Encourage instead of criticize. Be patient. Give others the benefit of the doubt. If you hear gossip, distance yourself from it or change the subject. When you encounter a difficult person, remember that they were made and are loved by God. Above all, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).
*For more information on how you can shine in the world, please visit http://billygraham.org/story/shine/

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WHY GOD MAKES YOU SUFFER SOMETIMES?

Why do you think does God allow you to sufferHave you ever considered if He really cares about your sufferingsToday I want to tell you that there are reasons why the lord makes us suffer and those reasons are included in the following according to James L Milton.

Some People Suffer for the Salvation of Lost Souls
God makes us suffer because He is trying to tell us something. By allowing suffering He is showing us that something is wrong. God doesn’t ENJOY seeing anyone suffer, but He does ALLOW people to suffer for various reasons. God may bring tragedy into your life so that he can get your attention. Like for example the leper of Matthew 8:2, do you think he would have come to Jesus if he had been in perfect health? What about the blind man of Luke 18:35? 
The Bible is filled with cases where God reaches people through suffering. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t fear God until God humbled him by making him spend seven years of his life on his hands and knees like an animal (Dan. 4:30-37).
No one suffers in vain. God always has a reason, and sometimes He is trying to show someone their need to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. Could this be true in your own life? Think about it. Could the Lord be convicting you of the fact that you are a sinner, and you need to be saved?
Some Christians Suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ
II Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Then II Timothy 2:12 says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him…” Jesus said, “. . . . If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke. 9:23) 
When a Christian chooses to deny himself and follow Christ, they choose to suffer for the Lord. The world has always found a way to persecute God’s people, and we should not be surprised when persecution arises. Jesus suffered for us, and we should count it an honour to suffer for Him. In Acts 5:41 the Apostles rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus said that we should rejoice when we suffer for His sake, because GREAT is our reward in Heaven (Mt. 5:12). I Peter 2:19-21 tells us that it is our duty to follow our Lord’s example in suffering, and I Peter 4:12-16 tells us to be happy when we suffer for Christ, and it tells us not to be ashamed. 
God Teaches Us Valuable Lessons Through Suffering
Not all suffering Christians are disobedient Christians. There are many very dear Christians who go through great agony every day, yet they are some of sweetest and most God-fearing saints you’ll ever meet. Why does God allow them to suffer? There are many reasons.
One reason is humility. If we believed some of the popular “Faith Healers” of our day, we’d believe that people suffer because they lack faith in God, but this isn’t necessarily true. The Apostle Paul didn’t live in sin and he didn’t lack faith in God, but he DID have to suffer. Why? He tells us why in II Corinthians 12:7: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” Whatever this thorn in the flesh was, verses eight and nine tell us that God chose NOT to take it from Paul. Instead, He chose to give Paul the GRACE to bear the burden. God used this problem in Paul’s life to help keep him humble, to keep him from being exalted above measure.
Sometimes God sees the need to put us through some things for the purpose of making us stronger. God will also use suffering to teach us patience. Romans 5:3 tells us that, Tribulation worketh patience
Some people suffer so that they will be better equipped to comfort others in their suffering (II Cor. 1:3-4). It’s always a blessing to know someone who has gone through the same troubles that you are going through, for they usually have some helpful words of comfort and wisdom. Are you going through some pretty tough times? Maybe the Lord is giving you the experience that you’ll need to help someone else later.
*To read more of James L Melton’s words of wisdom, please follow the link belowhttp://www.biblebelievers.com/jmelton/suffer.html

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