Today 2023年3月06日 - 2023年3月10日


Just Add Faith

Heb 4:2
2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. NKJV
Although there seems to be many types of Christians, we have explained how really there are only two types of Christians. There are Cultural Christians and there are Committed Christians. Cultural Christians are people who profess Jesus but they do not walk in His power or authority. They go to church out of a sense of duty and tend to see being a Christian as rules to follow. They tend to become legalist. Committed Christians are passionate people who know Jesus and are more focused on the relationship with God than being attached to rules or tradition. Their worship is lively and you can really sense the presence of God emanating from them. (If I have the choice of going to a Cultural Christian church or staying home, I would stay home and spend time with God there). I love to be around Committed Christians.
The interesting thing about both groups is they have all heard the gospel. The difference is the reaction. Basic physics tells us for every action there is a reaction. We have all heard the Gospel but it is a matter of what we have done with it. How did you react to it? Do we see being a Christian as being a package of laws, restrictions, and a burden, or do you see it as freedom and blessings. When you go to a church of Committed Christians you should feel freedom. The Word says in 2 Cor 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Your life of being a believer does not come down to God and “His will”. Many people get trapped in always trying to guess His will even though it is clearly laid out right in the Bible before them. God wants our lives to be bringing heaven on earth. ‘Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven’. It comes down to you and your will. This is really clear in the Word. I will be blessed, I will get up and be in church, I will tell people about Jesus, I will NOT fear. In Hebrews, we see that the Word worked for some people that heard it. But in the same verse we see it did not work for others. Why not? They did not have faith.
We started our church in our living room and quickly moved to a city hall as. We knew that God wanted us to focus on young people and young families but the limitations of the public space (we couldn’t always get the same time or days) was not how God wanted us to operate as a church so we began looking for a place to meet. Financially speaking, we did not have the money to buy or rent any type of facility but we began looking in faith. We found our place but were unable to get the location. By faith, we knew that was the place for church but we could not get in. We believed in faith as we continued to meet at the city owned hall but began preparing to get our space. We started looking for a builder and thinking about what we were going to do once we got our space. We knew that was the place for us so we just thanked God for the space and waited, thanking Him for the space every time we thought about it. It took a year, but by mixing a bit of faith with our plans we were able to get our first building. We are believing God for even more as our church grows and overflows from our first location.
Life is so much the same. If you need something, don’t just say, “I wish I had …” Add faith and action to it and really believe God for it. When God created the world He did not just say, I wish I had light. No! He said, let there be light! What happened? There was light.
There are two types of people who hear the Word. Those who just hear and those who hear in faith, act in faith, and believe by faith. Add faith to your life today!


The God Supply-What You’ve Got

Phil 4:19
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. NKJV
God is our supply, God is our source. We are the ones that have to put the action to our faith, but ultimately everything belongs to God. What is faith? Faith is believing that what you expect is going to come to pass. What is fear? Fear is believing what you expect is going to come to pass. So what is the difference? Hebrews 11:1 says
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. NLT
Faith is knowing that what we are hoping for is going to happen. Faith is positive, but fear is negative. When my wife and I first came to Japan we had nothing. We had just gotten a hold of the Word and were just starting to learn the importance of using our faith and setting our expectations for what God had planned for us. We were in the first year of our marriage and knew that God had some awesome adventures of faith in mind for us.
I left my country with my wife, 5 suitcases, and the promise of a job. If I could have looked into the future and seen what God was going to entrust to me, I would have been amazed. By faith and God’s Word we have come a long way from 5 suitcases. The powerful thing is that what we have, what we own, is not based on our supply. It is actually entrusted to us from God’s supply. In the end, every man and woman will go before the Father and have to give an account of what they did with what they had when they were here on earth.
When Jesus walked this earth, He really preached one message continuously. He preached on the Kingdom of God. He was constantly showing people that it is not about accumulating wealth or just trying to satisfy yourself while you are alive on this earth. It is about using God’s riches, using God’s supply, to bring people into the Kingdom. One Kingdom story that perplexed me was the parable of the ten minas. I didn’t understand it for a long time.
In the parable, the master gave everyone some resources to be faithful with. Two guys doubled what they had by doing some type of business. I always felt bad for the guy with the one mina. He buried it and brought it back. He brought back just what he got. If he were a child, we would say “Good boy, you didn’t lose it”. In Luke 19:25-26, the master in the parable responded saying take the one mina and give it to the top guy that doubled the resources were given him. Jesus said,
25 And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!' 26 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. ESV
God is our supply, but if we want to do more for the kingdom, we have to be faithful with what He has given us. Are you faithful with what God has given you? Here comes the God supply!


Watch Out For Religious Tradition

Col 2:8
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. ESV
Many arguments were made and wars were fought because of religion. By the dictionary definition, Christians are considered by the world as being religious. The English dictionary defines religion as a system of beliefs. However, believers know better than that.
We know being a believer is about having a living and active relationship with Yahweh through Jesus the Messiah. Just because I call myself a Christian, does not actually mean that I am. It is about personally knowing the Creator of the Universe.
We have to be diligent to protect our hearts and minds. We have to make sure what we are listening to is in line with the Word of God. You see here in Colosians 2:8 the Bible defines religion. Religion is human traditions or some translations say the traditions of men. I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely zero interest in following human traditions. Human tradition is a path leading nowhere. Human traditions are sometimes pulled into Christianity. That is when Christianity just becomes a religion. This is what we call Cultural Christians.
There is no life in religion because it is just ‘human tradition’ according to Colossians. However, there is something behind religion that we all need to recognize. When you see the idols of South Asia, or the so called ‘gods’’ pictures in a restaurant why do we sense darkness? The reason is there are powers behind religion. The New Living Translation Bible shows that very clearly in Colossians 2:8
Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.
Religion is the humans’ attempt to get to God, but most of the time religion is the influence of demons trying to deceive people. Why? If people get tied up in some cult, the enemy hopes that they will never listen or even be open to the message of the Kingdom. If you get tied up in tradition, then you won’t be able to walk in the power and the gifting of the Holy Spirit.
As a believer, we have to protect our hearts and make sure we do not become religious folk. Anyone can get bound up in human tradition. I have met people who call themselves Christian just because their grandfather or grandmother was a Christian. Being a believer is not some meaningless tradition, it is a relationship that you and I have to keep up. Jesus wants us to have a passion for God and a passion for His people. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 summarizes it beautifully,
4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. NKJV
Do you know God? He wants to personally know you.


Got the Picture?
2 Cor 10:5
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, ESV
In the King James version of the Bible, the old English translation translates arguments as imaginations. It really gets you thinking because why would we need to destroy imagination? In this case we are to destroy, throw out, and get rid of imaginations that go against the knowledge and the Kingdom of God. Imaginations are very powerful. The enemy can use them to put us into bondage or fear. However, as a believer of strong faith your imagination can be used in conjunction with your faith. Some people say, you are what you eat. This is very true, if you eat junk food you will not be strong. You have to eat foods that are natural and not processed. For your mind, it is very similar. You are what you think you are, is also very true.
In America, we have many sports but American football (not soccer) has got to be one of the most popular, surpassing baseball. The summer between Junior High and High Schools I went to football practices at my new high school. It was a big program with 4 coaches to run the teams. The coach recognized the importance of teamwork, fitness, but also the condition of the mind. I remember going through a Saturday seminar where they were teaching the kids to control their thoughts. I will never forget them repeatedly saying, ‘Get the Picture’.
You were taught to use your imagination and visualize yourself running the play, If you were the quarterback, visualize yourself throwing a pass, a fullback would picture themselves running through the opponents’ line, the defensive players would picture themselves tackling the offensive players with the ball, or sacking the quarterback. You were supposed to picture yourself executing the play well. Once we got our imaginations in line that summer, then we began to train for the game.
Whether in a game or in practice, the quarterback was taught to give the play in the huddle before running the play and say, ‘Got the picture?’ The players were to use their imaginations to picture themselves running the play. Using our imagination really helped us. Even though the team was never really famous for having great players, they were always able to take the players they had and do great things. Virtually, every year they would go to the state championships. Imagination is even more important as a believer.
As a believer, you are to picture yourself healthy and well, you need to picture yourself laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, you need to picture your children growing up in the ways of the Lord, picture yourself singing on the worship team… But just like any successful team, it is not just about using your imagination, you also have to be at church on Sundays, be in the Word during the week, spend time fellowshipping with the Father.
Don’t let your imagination run wild. Control it and use it for the glory of Yahweh. How are picturing yourself?


Dealing With The Skeptic

Rom 1:20-23
21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. ESV
Within every man and woman, it is created in us to know there is a God. As young boys and girls we all come to what is called The Age Of Accountability which is the time where we ask ourselves, ‘Why Am I here?’ This comes to every human, at which point we either shrug it off and deny it, or begin to wonder about God. For those who wonder about God, it is amazing how He puts people into your life that can tell you about Jesus and how He died to bring you back into fellowship with God.
We’ve got to realize that there are also those who are going to deny that question of why they exist. With age they try to intellectualize why they exist through theories like, humans are an evolutionary result of some prehistoric monkey-like species, if there were a god the world wouldn’t be such a mess, or because I have gone through such a hard life there must not be a god. If you are a faithful Faith Builder, you already know the answers to all these questions.
However, we have to realize, that no matter how much we talk to them, some people have these mental or spiritual blocks that they are trying to keep up. We all our created to know God exists but when a person goes the other direction and starts to deny that God exists, then it is just as bad as dealing with religious people. Remember Jesus said what He thought about religious people. He said
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Matt 23:27 NKJV
People who deny God can become anti-Christ. Just like a religious person who puts on a show on the outside but is really clueless on the inside, a person who will so vehemently deny God against the very nature created within them is moving towards the darkness.
They are not just unbelievers, but they have opened themselves up to be deceived and sometimes even used by the enemy. They are denying what is within them. Why would you pray to a rock, tree, animal, or some other form made by human hands? Why would you think that humans can solve all world problems without God (humanism)? God loves these people but we really have to be led by the Spirit in dealing with them. The Word says to pray the Holy Spirit will draw them. Your prayers are powerful when you pray in faith.
You want to effectively share Jesus with the people around you. Look for people who are open and willing. People who are open will see that the historical and spiritual accuracy of the Bible, the power of the Holy Spirit working through you, and the authority of your testimony is exactly what they need in their lives.
Share what Jesus has done for you with someone you meet today? Let them know that God loves them and has an amazing plan for them.


Complete Victory

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world … our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? NKJV
As a believer, what is the most important thing you can do?
Give time and effort to helping the poor? How about, working in a soup kitchen, laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, believing God for a financial break through and then getting it or even inviting someone to church? Or course, all of these things are good, but to me the most important thing you can do is share your faith with others.
Faith in God is not just faithfully tithing to your church, attending your church every week, fellowshipping with other believers, and talking to God. Faith in God is also sharing His goodness with others in everyday life because you know Him.
God wants you blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. He wants you to share His love with others and tell them that He loves them and that He has an awesome plan for them. The most important thing we can do as believers is to tell others about Jesus. Once you start telling your friends and the people you meet about what Jesus is doing in your life.
I remember a Brazilian Japanese guy coming into my company one day. He came in to see if he could get some business as he was just starting his company and trying to sell his services. As we sat there in the meeting room, I remember hearing his sales pitch. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and revealed to me regarding some challenges He was going through in His life. After he went on for a while I stopped him and said, “I am sorry to stop you, but I really sense God really wanting to say something here. You can try to run your business without God and hope for the best. However, I have worked without God and I have worked with God. Working with God is so much better. Let’s pray to accept Jesus as your Saviour today”.
The Holy Spirit used my words and the guy was amazed. He began to share how he had to have cancer surgery on his head and showed me an open wound covered by a bandage of where some cancer had been removed near his ear. He opened up and sharing his fears about a recurrence and the high possibility he had of dying of cancer. I shared with him, that maybe the doctor says that, but with God, all things are possible. God is our victory through our faith in Him and our action according to that faith. We prayed for his healing. He also prayed to repent and accept the work that Jesus did to make him right with God. That day a salesman made it into the kingdom. Hallelujah!
If you want to see God working in your life, your family, your business, then pray for boldness, and start sharing Him wherever you can. Of course, we can’t normally share Jesus when the company is paying us to work, but share Him on your time, at lunch or other breaks, and watch things happen. Your church will grow, your business will grow with opportunities coming from all directions, but most importantly you will grow. Share your victory today!


The Glow Of The Presence

Ex 34:30-31
30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. NKJV
When you spend time with God, it will change you. In 2008 I took a trip to Sydney Australia; I wanted to be in Japan and really didn’t want to be in Australia. However, I decided to take advantage of it. I booked a hotel near the site I was supposed to be at all week. After the meetings, I grabbed a sandwich or yogurt and headed directly back to the hotel. In the hotel room, I disconnected the TV and pulled out my notebook and computer and listened to a series of messages via my computer. I would praise Him in the morning and spend time with Him before I walked a couple blocks up the street to my meetings. It was powerful and I could feel my faith grow dramatically each day during those five days. I had plans to meet one guy for dinner on Wednesday during the week, but I felt I needed to get back to my room and into His presence that week. I cancelled that meeting and dedicated my time with the Father.
Moses had a similar experience. He was in the Sinai Peninsula between current day Israel and Egypt. He saw the manifested presence of Yahweh descend on the mountain. He went up to where He was. As Moses spent time in His presence, he was energized. It was not just a spiritual thing. When he returned to his people waiting at the base of the mountain, the people saw the presence of God on him. They not only noticed it, they were afraid of him because He was so permeated with God’s presence. If we get around the filth of the world, it is easy to get dirty spiritually. That is why we need Yahweh. But if we get into His presence each day, we will have the supernatural power of God each day with us.
When I came back from a week of being in God’s presence, I was energized. That Sunday I preached a message and one of the guys came to me after church saying, “Pastor, your face is glowing”. That comment was an inspiration to me. Even though they didn’t know it, I had been in God’s presence especially long that week. The people at our church could sense that something was different.
When you spend time in God’s presence, He gives you joy inexpressible. You are energized and your can sense His presence with you. You can sense His power on you. When you share Jesus with people, you can feel the direction of the Holy Spirit of what you need to say to that individual because God knows their issues. When you pray for the sick, you see healing manifest. When people come to you with issues, you know immediately what is demons, and how to deal with them. You see them flee at the mighty Name of Jesus. It is like the Holy Spirit enhances your senses. What you would normally not sense, you see very clearly around you. You see what God sees.
It is awesome to get into God’s presence. It is a spiritual charge that nothing can beat. Get into His presence each day this week and see what a difference it makes in your life.
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