Dr Norm's Mid-Week Faith Booster

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What Goes Around Comes Around

Posted By at Wednesday, March 07, 2018

 

In 2 Samuel 12 the story is told about God sending the prophet Nathan to David to tell him a story about two men.

2 Sam 12:1 So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story, "There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor."

2 "The rich man owned many sheep and cattle."

3 "The poor man owned nothing but a little lamb he had worked hard to buy. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter."

4 "One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing a lamb from his own flocks for food, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it and served it to his guest."

5 David was furious. "As surely as the Lord lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!"

This story is not really about a rich man taking a poor man's lamb. It is really about David taking another man's wife and then having the man killed in war so it looked like an accident of war.

Why the pretence? I think the Lord was letting David dictate his own punishment.

In Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

This is what happened to David. He received what he gave out.

David demanded the death penalty and much more. This man not only had to pay with his life, but was made to make four-fold restitution. This is what happened to David, David's baby son died and the sword would never stop pursuing David.

More than that, God permitted evil to rise out of David's own house to afflict him. David's wives were taken from him the same as he had taken Uriah's wife. Although David committed his sin privately, God would execute His judgment publicly.

We can all praise God that we have a superior and better covenant.

Heb 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, in-as-much as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

God will not judge us the way He judged David under the Old Covenant, because Jesus bore all that judgment for us.

However, there is still the principle of reaping our own judgment. People will treat us the way we treat them. If we are harsh and unforgiving, then people will treat us that way.

Those who show mercy receive mercy!

James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

We don't have to learn everything the hard way, we can learn by other people's mistakes. David should be an example to us all. We need to remember that the way we judge others is the way we will be judged.

If we want to be treated mercifully; now would be a good time to start sowing mercy. Remember you will get back what you give out. You will reap according to your sowing. It works just like a boomerang.

Norman

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God's Will is His Word

Posted By at Wednesday, August 02, 2017

 

In His prayer in John 17, Jesus prayed for five important things for all of us.

The five things He prayed for were as follows:

The First Request - UNITY! John 17:9-12 NKJ version “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."

The Second Request - JOY! John 17:13 NKJ version "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."

The Third Request - PROTECTION! John 17:15 NKJ version "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world."

The Fourth Request - PURITY! John 17:17 NKJ version "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world."

The Fifth Request - ETERNAL LIFE! John 17:24 NKJ version “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

He prayed that the Father would keep His disciples safe and from evil. Then He reveals the way that God will accomplish this - through His Word. Anyone who desires to live for God, must reject the devil and reject the world's system they must know God's Word, otherwise it will be a hard walk.

When people study the scriptures they reveal the will of God in our actions and attitudes. To be filled with the knowledge of God's will, we must be filled with His Word because God's Word is His will! Those who are ignorant of God's Word will be ignorant of God's will, and they will continue to struggle.

Knowledge of God's will is foundational in developing Christian conduct and character. There is no way we can fulfil God's will if we don't know what it is.

The starting point for any Christian is in understanding God's will for one's life.

How does a person obtain such knowledge? The first step is to desire it.

Jeremiah 29:13 "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

Many people ask the Lord for knowledge of His will, but don't receive it because they aren't seeking with ALL THEIR HEART. No one who has ever sought the Lord with his whole heart has ever been disappointed.

The Holy Spirit is the dispenser of God's wisdom. It is through Him that we know the things God has revealed to us. One of the primary ministries of the Holy Spirit is to reveal God's will to us.

There is no way we can walk worthy of the Lord and please Him if we don't know His will. Furthermore, we can't be fruitful without the knowledge of His will.

God has provided all that we need to be successful and victorious in this life. Believe His Word.

Have a wonderful week enjoying the WHOLE TRUTH!

Norman

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Never EVER Give Up!

Posted By at Wednesday, June 21, 2017

 

Some of the most successful people in history experienced significant setbacks as they followed their dreams, but instead of being discouraged and defeated, they refused to give up.

Henry Ford was an entrepreneur who tried and failed five times at business until he finally invented the automobile and became a financial success.

Walt Disney actually had to go through bankruptcy several times in the process of building Disneyland.

The famous minister, John Wesley encountered many difficulties and opposition as he preached the Gospel but refused to give up, and eventually saw hundreds of thousands of souls come to the Lord as a result of his ministry.

Most people don’t ever experience the life of their dreams simply because they give up way too easily. Not giving up on your dreams also means being smart. You can try all you want but if you’re taking the wrong set of actions, you’re not going to get very far.

We may fail at one thing or at several things, but that does not make us a failure. The truth is, we are never a failure unless we give up.

If you face opposition to your dream or calling and think it's easier to just let it go, there are some radical adjustments you must make in your thinking that will strengthen you so that you will not quit.

Here are some things to consider, as you make these adjustments.

1. There is always “a way.”

When the devil or people say, “This will never happen,” it's easy to become discouraged. But the truth is, there is always A WAY because Jesus is “The Way!” [John 14:6] Even the prophet Isaiah said that God would make a way in the wilderness [Isaiah 43:19].

It may not be easy, convenient, or happen quickly, but if you will simply 'keep on keeping on' and refuse to quit, you will accomplish what God has put in your heart.

2. Consistency is key.

If we want to make progress in any area of our lives, we need to keep doing the right thing; not always the same thing, but the right thing, over a period of time. In fact, that is what consistency means. Someone said that the greatest testimony we could have is, “I’m still here.” The Apostle Paul finished what he was called to do even though he had ample opportunities to give up. But he declared to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:7 “I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

3. You have authority over satan.

Jesus said in Luke 10:19 “Behold I give you power (authority) to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

We are to use the Word of God and the Name of Jesus as our authority and drive the devil and his cohorts out of our lives, our affairs and our areas. We must take responsibility to speak God's Word to the devil and drive away the evil forces that hinder our lives and what God has called us to do. The Word says in James 4:7 that as we submit ourselves to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us. So stand your ground and resist him in the power and anointing of God.

One of the primary reasons people give up is that when they try things and don’t succeed, they then feel like a failure. The truth is, we're never a failure unless we give up altogether. We can always win no matter what we feel like.

Just remember; 'a setback is just a setup for a comeback!'

Norman

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Are You a Promise Keeper?

Posted By at Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Do you remember when you were younger and sometimes made promises to your friends? To show how serious you were you would make a promise like, "Cross my heart and hope to die," if you did not keep the promise.

Maybe I'm more cynical now as an adult, but it seems that instead of the intense desire to live out our word, the slogan for this generation is more likely to be, "Promises are made to be broken."

Gone are the days when we could seal a promise with a simple handshake. Now even signed and notarized documents are often called into question. The legal system can over-ride most promises that are challenged in court.

Even one of the most important promises that people can make in life, their wedding vows, are not really taken very seriously anymore. Elizabeth and I are now almost into our 54th year in a few weeks time.

One minister told of a time at the end of a wedding rehearsal when the groom spoke to the pastor with an unusual offer. He said, "Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I'm supposed to promise to love, honour and obey and be faithful to her forever, I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that out."

He passed the minister $100 and walked away feeling satisfied.

On the day of the wedding when it came time for the groom's vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said, "Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?"

The groom gulped and looked around and replied in a very small voice, "Yes." Then he leaned toward the pastor and whispered, "I thought we had a deal?"

The pastor then put $100 back into the groom's hand and whispered, "She made me a better offer."

So it seems most promises made nowadays are made to be broken and are not really taken seriously. Now I know that's not true of everyone. I'm sure most of us still value the importance of keeping our word. 

An older minister who was a good friend of mine, [he's now in heaven], used to add a vow to all marriages he performed and it was, "We promise before God this marriage will not end in divorce!"

But it is a sign of our times that many people don’t like making promises at all—just try throwing a party and ask people to RSVP! Very few respond because they don’t want to break their promise that they will attend—they want to keep their options open incase they get a better offer.

At many church services people promise to attend and then without excuse don’t turn up at all. However The Word says in Heb 10:25 AMP not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.

I know God is serious about keeping His promises otherwise we would have nothing to live for! He certainly expects us to keep our promises, just like HE keeps His!

So do you really believe that when God makes a promise, He’ll keep it? Or do you think that God is perhaps a promise-breaker just like many others, you might know?

It would be very hard to pray confidently and in faith if we thought that way about Him!

Norman

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Don't Go With the Flow, Swim Against It!

Posted By at Wednesday, July 13, 2016

James 1:7-8 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

James 4:7-8 Submit yourself then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Someone has explained how, in the frigid waters off Greenland, thousands of icebergs float around. More than 75% of their bulk is under the surface of the water. Some are very tiny while others tower skyward. At times the small ones move in one direction while their tall and gigantic counterparts go in another.

Why is this?

The small ones are pushed around by the winds blowing on the surface of the water, but the deep ocean currents carry the huge deep ice masses along.

In this day that we live in there is great pressure for all of us to go with the crowd, to be politically correct, to do what is convenient regardless of whether it is right and biblical and ethical or not.

The reality is, however, unless we have deep roots in God, we too can easily be swayed by the popular winds of the opinion of the moment and we would then be double-minded and unstable in all we do and swim along with the crowd instead of standing against the tide and saying what we believe according to God's Word.

Think of Jesus; He never worried about being politically correct, or pleasing the crowd or the religious leaders of His day, or even King Herod for that matter.

His only concern was to do right and please God His Father. He did right regardless of the consequences. For you and me to make a difference we, too, need to stand for the Truth and do right regardless of the consequences. We are supposed to stand out from the crowd, not to blend in with the rest of the world.

To do this we need backbone. That means commitment and stick ability; not giving up when the pressure comes on to go along with the crowd, to be popular and to be liked. We need to make a difference and stick to our Godly principles and heritage and obey God's Word and be in the services whether it is convenient or not.

As the saying goes, "Any dead fish can float down the river, but it takes a live fish to swim against the flow and make it upstream."

Furthermore if you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

So how is your swimming today?

Norman  

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Do You Keep Your Promises?

Posted By at Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Do you remember when you were younger and sometimes made promises to your friends? To show how serious you were you would make a promise like, "Cross my heart and hope to die," if you did not keep the promise.

Maybe I'm more cynical now as an adult, but it seems that instead of the intense desire to live out our word, the slogan for this generation is more likely to be, "Promises are made to be broken."

Gone are the days when we could seal a promise with a simple handshake. Now even signed and notarized documents are often called into question. The law can over-ride most promises and probates when they are challenged in court.

Even one of the most important promises that people can make in life, their wedding vows, are not taken really very seriously anymore. Many are already thinking about an escape clause even before the honeymoon. We are proud of the fact Elizabeth and myself clock up 52 years together next month!

I heard a story about a time at the end of a wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer. He said, "Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to the part where I'm supposed to promise to love, honour and obey and be faithful to her forever, I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that out."

He passed the minister $100 and walked away feeling satisfied.

On the day of the wedding, when it came time for the groom's vows, the pastor looked the young man in the eye and said, "Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life, and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?"

The groom swallowed loudly and looked around and replied in a very small voice, "Yes." Then he leaned toward the pastor and whispered, "I thought we had a deal."

The pastor put the $100 back into the groom's hand and whispered, "She made me a better offer."

So it seems most promises nowadays are made to be broken.

I had a dear friend who was a minister for many years and has now gone on to be with the Lord. When he did wedding services he always insisted that the couple took an extra vow saying, "We promise before God this marriage will not end in divorce!"

Now I know that’s not true that everyone will want to take such a vow, but as far as I know, almost all of the wedding ceremonies he performed never ended in divorce.

Many of the people I know still value the importance of keeping their word.

But it is a sign of our times that many people don’t like making promises at all—just try throwing a party and ask people to RSVP! Very few respond because they don’t want to break their promise that they will attend—they want to keep their options open.

In Proverbs 6:16-19 Solomon lists 6 things that God hates:

These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

A proud look, A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood,

A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil,

A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.

Today in many church services and other functions, people promise to attend and then without excuse, don’t turn up at all. 

But God is very serious about keeping His promises. 

Do you believe that when God makes a promise, He’ll keep it? 

Or do you think that God is a promise-breaker?

You must be like God and keep your word! Don't be a promise breaker!

Norman 

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Don't Settle For Second Best

Posted By at Wednesday, May 18, 2016

 

Coming in second just means you are the first of the last.

KJV James 1:2-3 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

Vs 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."

I have to admit it's hard to be enthusiastic about going through tests and trials. But can you get excited about being totally supplied in every way and in wanting nothing?

New Living Translation "Dear brothers and sisters when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow."

The Message "Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way."

You must realise that God does not send trials; they are a work of the enemy to get you off course and away from what God is doing in your life. But you can turn the tables on him and use them to your benefit.

According to the Word of God, if you will use these trials to develop patience, you're going to be in precisely that position! 

Matthew Henry's Commentary says: As good people are liable to be scattered, they must not think it strange if they meet with troubles. These outward afflictions and troubles are temptations to them. The devil endeavours by sufferings and crosses to draw men to sin and to deter them from duty or unfit them for it; but, as our afflictions are in God’s hand, they are used for the trial and improvement of our graces.

You see, patience doesn't mean what you thought it meant. Most people think patience is just sitting back and letting life run over you like a freight train.

It does not mean settling for second best while someone else wins.

It does not mean standing meekly by while the devil tramps all over you. 

No, patience is a POWERFUL word. The New Testament meaning of it (as translated literally from the Greek), is: To be consistently constant or to be the same way all the time, regardless of what happens.

To understand how much power is involved in that, you have to realize that it's one of the most outstanding attributes of God Himself.

The Bible says God’s the same yesterday, today and forever. 

Malachi 3:6 Amplified "For I am the Lord, I do not change."

Heb 13:8 Amplified "Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages)."

Think about that for a minute. The one who cannot be changed by anyone or anything is an extremely powerful person, wouldn't you say?

Obviously, God has that much power. But you know what? You do too! By the power of the Holy Ghost working within you, you can be the same every day no matter what happens! If you'll put your trust in the Word of God and let patience go to work, it won't matter what happens, you still are a winner.

But you won't ever have to accept anything less than total victory again.

Now that is something to get really excited about.

Norman  

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You Have Strong Abilities In Christ

Posted By at Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 

Over the years many people have told me what they can't do when I've asked them to do something in church or serving the things of God. But God's Word declares what we can do for every one of us.

  • We can pray
  • We can fast
  • We can read God's Word daily
  • We can help feed the poor
  • We can reach the lost
  • We can preach the Gospel
  • We can lead people to Jesus
  • We can intercede for others
  • We can serve God
  • We can do all things through Christ.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things in Christ.

Many Christians consider developing their spiritual abilities as optional. They consider it low priority relative to evangelism, group growth, missions, Bible study or prayer. Although you may sympathize with this way of thinking, you must also recognize that the development and exercise of spiritual abilities is a basic provision of God for group growth.

In fact, my primary job of a Pastor according to Ephesians 4:12 NIV is “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up...”

We all have an equal value in God's eyes, but we don't all have equal abilities or gifts. Everyone reading this today is capable of doing something better than the next 1000 people. This could be called your strong abilities and I encourage you to find them and make the most of them. You may be good at sharing with someone on a one to one basis, while someone else may be more able to stand before a crowd and share. You may find prayer something you enjoy doing or you may have been blessed financially, so you can help others in that area.

It doesn't matter how aware you are of your abilities, how you feel about yourself, or whether you have previously achieved success. You have God given abilities and He wants you to develop and use them for His glory.

But you can only develop the abilities you have; not the ones you want. When it comes to your character, you must never stop working on any areas of weakness. But when it comes to fulfilling your God-given assignment, you must recognize your strong abilities and give yourself to them wholeheartedly.

Norman
 

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God Can Do It

Posted By at Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

Too many Christians are moved by their emotions and the things people do or don't do. This directs their actions and often causes them to miss what God wants to do in their lives. But God's Word says in Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.

Jesus knew firsthand what it meant to have family question His actions and to be rejected by those He wanted to serve. In John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

However, He never allowed such circumstances to control His emotions or dictate His actions. Instead, He chose to trust that the Father was able to carry out His Word and do what He had said.

We are called to follow Christ’s example and believe that God is able to do what He has promised.

For example, the Bible pledges eternal salvation for everyone who asks for forgiveness in Jesus’ name. Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

The Son satisfied His Father’s justice by dying on the cross for all our sins—from little white lies to unspeakably vile acts. When we have true faith in Jesus, God will forgive us and make us a New Creation in Christ as 2 Cor 5:17 says. No matter what we may have done, He invites us to draw near in faith and receive the gift of everlasting life.

Having saved us, God says He will establish us in truth as Paul says in Romans 16:25; after giving us a firm foundation in Christ, He makes us righteousness. Paul says in 2 Cor 5:21 Through the leading of His Holy Spirit and the Word, we start to see things as the Father does and learn what pleases Him.

By believing that God keeps His promises, we will become stronger in our faith and more at peace. Hardships that once would have thrown us off course will lose their power to shake us. Hope will replace discouragement, and trust will overcome doubt. Each time trouble comes, focus your attention upon your loving heavenly Father and His ability to care for you totally according to His Word. He can do it. 

Norman

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Don't be a Complainer!

Posted By at Wednesday, February 26, 2014

 

In Jude 16 we find some interesting insight into some people's behaviour that does not please God.

It says: These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

That's an interesting list of qualities.

The word complainer is really two Greek words joined together.  The first word means to blame and the second word means your fate or lot in life.  The point is that complainers blame someone else for their lot in life. I find it amazing how someone can make wrong choices, and when they have to face the consequences of those choices, it is always somebody else's fault?

So, I have two pieces of advice for you on this. 

  1. If you are a complainer and grumbler, stop.  God is not honoured, and you are only showing that you are “walking according to your own lust,” not according to God’s Spirit.
  2. Stay away from people like that or you will end up being like them. 

Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.  

Their attitudes and mindsets will bleed off on you.  Did you ever throw a white shirt in the washing machine with red socks?  What happened to your white shirt?  It probably turned pink, didn’t it?  The red dye bled over into the white shirt, and the white shirt was no longer white.  It was now a colour of pink. 

Likewise, if you hang around with people who grumble and complain, their attitudes will bleed over into your way of thinking.  And the last thing you want to be is a grumbler and complainer like them.

Kenneth E Hagin used to say If you hang around with a dog long enough you end up getting fleas.

Think about that verse in Jude and meditate on these different versions for a while.

The Living Bible These men are constant gripers, never satisfied, doing whatever evil they feel like; they are loudmouthed “show-offs,” and when they show respect for others, it is only to get something from them in return.

Amplified Bible These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers) who complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires [controlled by their passions]; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage.

JB Phillips These are the men who complain and curse their fate while trying all the time to mould life according to their own desires. They “talk big” but will pay men great respect it if is to their own advantage.

The Message These are the grumpers, the bellyachers, grabbing for the biggest piece of the pie, talking big, saying anything they think will get them ahead.

Wow that says a lot, I'm sure you can think of some people like that where you are today. Pray for them.

Norman