Dr Norm's Mid-Week Faith Booster

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What is Fellowship

Posted By at Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Who do you spend time with?

It's important because we become like the people we hang around with! Someone once said, "If you hang round with a dog long enough, you end up getting fleas!"

It is important for our spiritual lives and growth that we spend time with other Christian people, who are born again, Bible believing, faith talking, sons and daughters of the Living God.

Learn to fellowship upwards, not down.

We should spend time with people we can learn from, not those who are always taking from us. In other words, spend time with those who are older and more mature spiritually in the faith so you can glean from them.

Spending time with the 'old crowd' we used to run with before getting saved, will continually cause you to be challenged in your faith by criticism and temptations.

Get to as many Church meetings as you can - because good things happen as you are taught The Word of God. The presence of God can be very real in the meetings as God confirms His Word with signs and wonders following the preaching of His Word, and as the people believe it.

In the early days you will be excited about what has happened to you and if you do not keep in fellowship, you will be like a coal taken out of the fire; that soon loses its heat and effectiveness. However, if that coal is put back into the middle of the fire where it belongs, it will soon burn brightly again and be effective and producing again.

As we fellowship with other Christians, we begin to notice we do not enjoy the company of the 'old crowd' any more, as they are not born again and have different interests. We end up in conflict with them, if we continue to ‘run’ with them.

The whole idea of Church is fellowship. It is a group of people coming together as a family in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave us an example to follow in Luke 4:16 "When He came to the village of Nazareth. His boyhood home, He went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures."

Fellowship is not just 'receiving' from The Church and the Ministry, but it is participation, as we get involved to enhance the lives of others.

Amos 3:3 "How can two walk together except they agree?"

Find people of like mind and vision who are going the same way you; who are saying the same things and fellowship with them.

It is vitally important for us to have fellowship with such people and God's Word suggests we tend to it.

Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not neglect our church duties and meetings as some people do, but encourage and warn each other especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near."

Norman

SPECIAL NOTICE: First Thursday Faith Connection continues Thursday September 6, 2018 from 7.30 - 9.00pm. Please pray about these monthly meetings, they will continue on the FIRST Thursday of each month through 2018. Invite friends and neighbours who need to be saved or need a touch from The Lord! There will be BRIGHT SINGING and also I will bring a word about successful living. There will be opportunity for prayer for needs and testimonies to praise God.

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What about your vision?

Posted By at Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no progressive vision the people dwell carelessly."

I have been thinking a lot about this word recently, I mentioned it before in our messages. The word contains a lot of truth even in itself.

1. THE FIRST LETTER I SEE IN VISION IS  “V”

Starts from one small point and the two arms gradually reach out, wider and wider, showing us the unlimited possibility in a God given vision.

Paul says in 1 Cor 2:9 However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him."

2. THE SECOND LETTER I SEE IN VISION IS “I”

In fact it appears twice, showing us that each individual is involved in the vision. We should not be alone in the vision, it's a joint effort. Two also happens to be the number of witness and testimony, and is also the number of increase. It is in addition to number one.

The Bible teaches us in Deuteronomy 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?

Eccl 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.

Eccl 4:10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!

Eccl 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

Eccl 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

3. THE THIRD THING I SEE IS THE WORD "SION"

Zion is the Church and represents our gathering together unto Him. God our Father has great plans for the church. He didn’t bring it this far to let it go. If the Church assembly is without a vision it will perish.

Isa 2:3 Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isa 40:9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

4. THE FOURTH THINGS I SEE ARE THE WORDS “IN” “IS” “ON”

True vision is in the purposes of God and on target! We should be in the ways of God and on the right path. The word indicates that vision is for now; it is present tense.

Psa 23:3-4 Living Bible Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

5. THE FIFTH THING I SEE IS THE WORD “SON”

God said in Matt 17:5 “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

The Bible says in Heb 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

Remember the words of the chorus:

"Lift your vision high, in a way you have never done before.

Lift your vision higher and you will see the glory of the Lord.

For without a progressive vision you will dwell carelessly.

For without a progressive vision you will dwell carelessly.

So lift your vision higher and you will see the glory of the Lord.

We thank God today for the ongoing vision of the Church."

Norman


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If You Want to Lead

Posted By at Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Matthew 5:41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

By law, a Roman citizen or soldier could compel a subject from one of Rome's conquered lands to carry his backpack, or load, for him for one mile, but one mile only. As Jesus was preaching His Sermon on the Mount, He said, "If someone compels you to go one mile, you should double up and go two."

The first mile is required of us. The first mile is always the hardest. Ask the distance runner. The second wind never kicks in on the first mile. The truth is, it's not as easy to enjoy the things we have to do, as it is to enjoy the things we want to do.

The Christian life has its own mandated mile that's motivated by God’s law. It is tough to get started on the first mile. Ask any first-century Jew under Roman rule. The first mile interrupts your schedule when you are compelled to perform it. It causes you to swallow your own pride and bear an extra burden.

Likewise, often the most difficult part of the Christian life is getting started on the first mile. This is true with almost everything in life; with exercise programs, dieting and scores of other disciplines. Even in scripture memorization! 

In fact, many try to jump over Matthew 5:41. That is, they want to enjoy the little extras of the second mile, but they do not want to deal with the requirements of the first mile.

But according to Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.

If we really want to succeed in life; we need to find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it, find a barrier and pull it down. The secret to personal success is to meet a need!

Any business will only be a success if it seeks to serve its customers honestly.

That means it is impossible to serve without putting the other person first. Isn't that just what Jesus did for you and for me in denying Himself and taking up the cross? And He said we should do the same if we want to be His followers.

I heard it described this way; 'to be a servant you must be willing to bear the cross and you can't succeed unless you serve'.

I also heard it said this way; 'a missionary is not someone who crosses the sea but someone who sees the cross'.

Jesus said if you want to be a leader, you first become a servant, deny yourself and seek to serve, not to be served.

Matt 20:26 Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.

Norman

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You can change it!

Posted By at Wednesday, May 02, 2018

 

William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States ever produced. His views were not necessarily as we see God's Word today, but there were Biblical truths in what he had to say.

He said, "The greatest discovery of our generation is that we can alter our lives by altering our attitudes."

Consider that for a moment; its your thinking and your thoughts, not your circumstances that determines your happiness.

That is exactly what God's Word says.

Proverbs 23:7a KJV For as he thinks in his heart so is he.

Ephesians 4:23 NLT There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.

So we can change if we want to. If you really want to change for the better, let me give you some suggestions to follow:

1. What do you really want?

When you are popular and others like you, it makes you feel good about yourself. If you're successful you create joy within yourself. That means happiness is an inside job.

2. Plan your days in prayer!

To achieve God's goals for your life you must plan with prayer. Here is something I wrote in my prayer manual; Prayer and preparation precede the pouring out of God's power! [Prayer manual EFFECTIVE PRAYER is available for $30 from this ministry post free].

Proverbs 16:9 Living Bible "We should make plans counting on God to direct us!"

3. Don't expect others to make you happy and successful.

God gave you the Word to study and He calls it seed, so start planting it and watch it grow.

Galatians 6:4-5 Message Bible Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Why not try these suggestions today and look to God for other things to improve your day. If you ask Him, He will soon show you what you need to do, you can change it if you really want to.

Norman

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Develop a Hunger For God

Posted By at Wednesday, March 28, 2018

 

If you're dissatisfied inside and feel a little dried up spiritually; I can help you with this life changing and challenging news today.

1 Cor 15:1 Amplified Bible And now let me remind you [since it seems to have escaped you], brethren, of the Gospel (the glad tidings of salvation) which I proclaimed to you, which you welcomed and accepted and upon which your faith rests.

Paul the Apostle is writing to born again, spirit-filled church people and he said that he needed to remind them about some things.

Oftentimes we hear things but they don't make an impact on us and so we need to hear them again and sometimes more than once, that’s why I repeat things over again often in my teaching.

Paul tells them to hold on to what they have learned and remind themselves of it often. He said in Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.

We should hunger and thirst after righteousness because Jesus said in Matthew 5:6 Message Bible "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God."

God will respond to your hunger and thirst for His Word and Jesus said when we hunger and thirst we will be filled.

Don't wait for God to move, you make a start today and make your move towards God. When you demonstrate to Him you are hungry for His Word and His presence, then He will move and bring you all you need to be blessed with and for you to be a blessing to others. You will see His glory and power and you will be blessed beyond measure; He wants to bless you with overflow.

Don't wait any longer, get busy and desire His move in your life; get hungry and thirsty today, and you will be filled!

Norman

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Just Stay Calm

Posted By at Wednesday, March 21, 2018

 

Proverbs 17:27 He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

It is dangerous to let your mind become so agitated that you can't consider your actions carefully. Having a calm mind is a great asset in this life. Without it your devotional life will not bear much fruit. If your heart is troubled, you are vulnerable to the enemy of the soul. When you're agitated, you are not able to make good decisions. You will stumble into the devil’s snares.

Our old adversary the devil specializes in confusion. He loves to prey upon minds that are torn and upset by multiple worries, and often has his greatest success in tempting us when we're so beset by cares that we act on impulse, failing to consider the consequences of our actions.

Note that Solomon observed, in the verse above, that a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

But how can we have a calm spirit when many stressful things come at us at once, all of which seem to have to be considered? There surely can be no question that this is one of life's most difficult challenges and there are no easy answers. Like most difficult things, however, cultivating a calm mind is a matter of training.

Our brains may have a more complicated connection to our spirits than the other parts of the body, but the brain is still a part of the body and as such, it has to be trained to serve, rather than hinder the spirit man.

Naturally unruly, and seemingly with a will of its own, the mind has to be put in its place, disciplined and taught to help us get to heaven.

Training our minds to be calm is like every other kind of training in that it has to be done in small steps. It's a matter of incremental growth over time.

What we must do is put ourselves on a deliberate regimen of training as we exercise our minds each and every day. We find some little thing we can do today to help calm our minds, and that victory encourages us to do the same tomorrow.

At the very least, we need to consciously value a calm spirit. We need to pursue it and when we find ourselves without it, we need to be wise enough to see the danger we're in, and make Godly efforts to recover our calmness as soon as possible. If we can't always be calm, we can certainly grow in that direction.

Today, like every day, there are steps we can take that will lead to a mind that's more peaceful -- and more careful.

What is that step?

Paul, in Romans 12:2 tells us what to do. "Don't copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is!"

Norman

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A Vision For Your Life!

Posted By at Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

Why do you think we need a clear vision for our lives? Because it gives us a much clearer picture of the future. We have one life to store up treasures for eternity. Having a clear vision for our life helps us to make the most of our life. Having a clear vision for our life helps us to number our days. Each day once lived can never be regained. Each day is a gift from God. Knowing and following God’s will for our life enables us to make the most of every day of our life here on earth.

The Lord said in Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.”

We are able to make better choices in life because our future is determined by the choices that we make today. Having a vision helps us make wise choices in life each day. We cannot change our past but we can make wise choices in the future. Having a Kingdom focus for our life helps us to be disciplined when we face temptations and trials of the enemy.

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law.”

Another translation says: "Where there is no progressive vision the people dwell carelessly."

With a clear vision for our life we can make plans to see the vision come to pass. As we continually commit our plans to the Lord He will guide and direct our every step in life, helping us correct our plan to get in line with His plan.

Jeremiah 29:11 Amplified Bible "For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you," says the Lord, "plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

As we are faithful in the little things God begins to enlarge His vision for our life. A clear vision for our life helps us to make plans and to take steps of action to see the vision come to pass.

Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.”

God has a special plan for each believer's life and it leads to the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The moment a person enters into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ they also enter into God’s plan for their life. As believers we must continually maintain a close and intimate walk with the Lord, so as to ensure that we stay on course with what God has planned for our life. Given the times that we are now living in, it is imperative that each believer knows God’s will for his or her life. Jesus Himself warned that in the last days many would be offended and betray one another and because of lawlessness, the love of many would grow cold.

Maintaining an intimate walk with the Lord is crucial in our times and is the key to continually knowing the will of God for our life.

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:15-17 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Paul also wrote in Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

God's plan for our life is far greater than we could imagine. God is never limited by our ability but only by our availability. If we wholeheartedly follow God’s plan for our life we will see Him performing great things in and through us. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness and He empowers us to do great tasks for His glory. He is also able to redeem our lives from the deepest of pits and to turn around the circumstances in our life for our good.

Norman

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God is Trustworthy

Posted By at Wednesday, November 01, 2017

We live in a fallen changing world where promises are often broken, almost every day. But God always keeps His Word.

Malachi 3:6-7 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you…”

In the Word, we learn Sarah was 90 years old when God told her husband, Abraham, in Genesis 17:15-16 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

Sarah means 'mother of many princes'. Abraham considered this so unlikely, he laughed, Sarah was barren and never had a child and now was 90 years old.

But God was truthful and faithful to His Word.

In our world people put little value on their words. We’ve seen politicians retract campaign commitments once they've taken office.

Though many people "swear to tell the truth" in court, many resort to lying for self-preservation.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whom and what we can trust.

Thankfully, there is One who keeps His Word and never changes.

Hebrews 10:23 tells us, "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He [God] who promised is faithful."

God always keeps His promises—the same today as He did in the Bible days. Yet some people become discouraged because they fail to see results after asking for His assurance. We can avoid frustration by understanding how Scripture teaches us to claim His promises.

First, be aware that some promises are limited to a certain situation. God told Abraham he would have a son. However, Genesis 17:16 is not a general promise for everyone to claim personally, as it was meant specifically for the Abraham and Sarah. However, you could remind God of His promise to Abraham and tell Him you need His intervention in your childless marriage, just like He did for Abraham.

Second, many promises are intended for all believers, such as God’s assurance that He’ll never leave us.

Hebrews 13:5 says, Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Third, some promises are conditional.

For example Psalm 37:4 requires obedience: “Delight yourself in the Lord AND He will give you the desires of your heart.”

When evaluating a Bible promise, we should ask yourself:-

Am I asking for this promise with a spirit of submission to the will of God?

Will the answer to my petition harm any person or interfere with God’s will for their life?

Does the Holy Spirit bear witness to my spirit that God is pleased by my request?

Does it contradict the Word of God?

Will my desire advance my spiritual growth?

If you claim the Lord’s promises with a right spirit and pure motives, you will honour Him, receive what you ask and grow in intimacy with your loving Father.

In today's changing world where vows are often easily broken, it’s reassuring that believers serve a God who keeps His word. Think about the hope His promises provide, and praise Him for the way they reveal His character.

Norman


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Obey God's Voice

Posted By at Wednesday, September 06, 2017

 

In the book of Samuel in 1 Sam 15:22 Samuel the prophet spoke to King Saul about his disobedience to God.

When Samuel was just little boy, really an apprentice to Eli the priest, he began hearing God's voice. In 1 Sam 3:4 The Lord called Samuel as he was sleeping and Samuel, thinking it was Eli, replied: "Here I am!"

The Lord called Samuel three times and each time the boy went to Eli the priest and asked him what he wanted. Each time Eli said he didn't call the boy and told him to go lie down again. But the 3rd time it happened, Eli knew that it was The Lord calling Samuel, and so he told the boy in Vs 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, "Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The point of the story is really found in verse 7 where it says: Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the Word of the Lord yet revealed to him.

Samuel was in the process of learning to recognize God's voice, so the lesson for you and me today is we need to also recognize God's voice. We do that by spending time with Him and getting to know Him better through His Word, but it's not something that is learned quickly, because God speaks to different people in different ways.

  1. It requires us to start to mature spiritually. Jesus said His sheep follow Him because they know His voice in John 10:4. Jesus said that His 'sheep' not His 'lambs', know His voice. Lambs just follow adult sheep until their senses are trained. Thank God He has grace for the immature. If your spiritual ears are not yet developed, God will work with you until you learn to recognize His voice. Remember incomplete obedience is just disobedience.
  2. It requires guidance and confirmation from Godly leadership. Heb 13:17 "Obey your Spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls." So who is your spiritual pastor? It is important to be part of and committed to a local Spirit led and Spirit filled church.
  3. Don't limit how you'll hear God's voice to your previous experiences. God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus 19 and the whole mountain shook. In 1 Kings 19 He spoke to Elijah in a cave in a still small voice.

So don't limit God; He will always speak to you through the Scriptures, through those qualified to teach you His Word, through a song and even your own thoughts and desires when you're submitted to Him.

The key is to stay close to God and keep your receiver switched on.

4. Then above everything else, it requires obedience. In Genesis 22:18 God spoke to Abraham, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

When it comes to recognizing God's voice, don't be slow in responding! And don't ever substitute religion for obedience to God's Word.

Just be ready to obey His voice because He only speaks to those who obey and continue to obey His Word.

Norman

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Seeking God

Posted By at Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Psalm 53:2 NLT God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God.

Are you a person who is a seeker of God? The Lord delights in seeing those children of His who truly understand the meaning of life and why there is only one thing worth seeking - and that is God Himself.

I can always tell when I have not been seeking God. The cares of this life, urgency over seemingly important and petty irritations - are all the symptoms of a life that has not been in the presence of God. Elizabeth always knows, because she says I get testy and irritable.

Do we understand, I mean really understand?

That is the question God raises to each of us today. If we understand, then why do we spend day after day toiling and fretting over what really doesn't matter?

Why don't we set up proper boundaries in our lives that don't allow our time with Him to be continually stolen away with trivial matters of little importance when compared with the eternal greatness of our life in Christ?

It is a challenge in a world that always screams "activity, activity!"

Have you set a regular time of seeking Him in your life?

Are you committed to developing that intimacy with The Lord that He so desires? If not, ask Him today to help you. This is the longing of His heart.

Ask Him to make it the longing of your heart. Then you will demonstrate to Him that you understand and you really are a seeker of God.

Norman