Faith Is Your Ability To Believe, And Receive

Author: Dr. Samuel Galloza

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” – Mark 11:22-24

There are certain text in the above Scripture which have been highlighted bold in order to give us an understanding of how we position ourselves to receive from God:

  1. Have faith in God – The Ultimate Provider – Source
  2. Whosoever shall say – The Spoken Word – Declaration
  3. Shall not doubt – The Fearless Assurance – No Wavering
  4. But shall believe – The Faith Power – Confidence
  5. He shall have – The Manifested Word – Results

Summary:

“When ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”

Poisonous thoughts of doubt and fear paralyze our ability to receive. The bondage that is found in our minds caused by this poison withholds from us the results. We self-sabotage by not taking the steps we need to take in order to put in motion the faith in God and in ourselves to expect the miracles in all areas of our lives. Our potential dwindles away, hiding in the background while we just sit back and let life just happen.

We can change our outcomes by releasing our minds to not only believe, but expect for that which we have declared over, even if it currently resides in the midst of the impossible. Within spiritual realm, we can enter into that place where impossibilities do not exist. It is the place where the light of the All-Knowing and All-Powerful God shines away all darkness.

Life must be lived by decree and not by chance. We must speak to our today and expect our tomorrows to conform. Whether we are aware of it or not, we already do. Proverbs 6:2 says, “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth”. And in Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. What are you giving death to, with the words you are declaring? What are you giving life to?

Today you are living the results of your thoughts and decrees found in your yesterdays. The Word of God says in the above Mark text, that the created world must align itself with your declarations spoken in faith and not doubt, in order to receive the instructions of what your tomorrow should look like. God has given you dominion over your world, which consist of that which surrounds your life. It is a world of probability. A world that works on cause and effect, through your spoken words.

The world was created by the spoken Word of God! The matter of the material world consist of that which was spoken out of the spiritual world by God. Jesus, in the above text, tells us that we must speak to the material world and expect it to subject itself to our commands through our ability to believe and not doubt that what we say shall come to pass, if we do not doubt!

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The Transforming Power of Grace

Author: Dr. Howard M Sarkela

Grace is the power at work that draws in those that have had a disregard for God yet, by His great love and mercy, are drawn to an encounter with the living God. A misconception normally accepted is that we find God, when in reality God was not in need of being found, for He was never lost or missing in the first place.

Mankind was lost, and it was God’s gift of Grace that has allowed for us to be found. It is during this time of grace, that we are drawn to believe. (See John 6:44). We cannot allow ourselves to entertain the thought that it was through our own strength, merit, or right that we have obtained our salvation. The fact is that our salvation is a result of a free gift, given to those that are enabled to believe through the manifestation of the gift of faith by grace. (See Eph. 2:8-10).

The atoning act of the cross at Calvary boggles the mind of man. And the resurrection induces man to ridicule it, outside of the revelation of the Holy Spirit. The fact is that the natural man sees the sacrifice of Jesus as total nonsense. As an act that is totally outside of human reasoning. It is an illogical even impossible act to the eyes of men.

But it is His Grace that allows us to penetrate into the revelation of the love of God towards humanity, and provides us the faith to accept and believe what is regarded in the world as the foolishness of the Gospel. Through this act, God has confounded the earthly wisdom of the wise, who are shielded by their unregenerate minds from understanding the simplicity of the Gospel.

We do not come to Christ through our own intellect, personal righteousness, or through any form of human ascent. In reality, it is we who are drawn by Him only. It is He that causes us to believe through His gift of faith by Grace. We cannot glory in our own salvation as if it was our work that caused it, for our only act should be that of appreciation of what He has done for us. There is only one who is worthy, only one who deserves all the glory, and only one to which all honor and praise is due, and His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Praise Him!

His atoning sacrifice has made us righteous through the washing and cleansing of His sinless blood. Yet our righteousness is just a reflection of His righteousness. It is His divine righteousness, bestowed upon us through Him alone, that allows us to legally stand on His authority. As slaves to the sin of this world, it was His blood that paid the price for our freedom. A glorious and Holy transaction has taken place. We were literally purchased off of the slave market of sin. Through this act, He has made us heirs with the family of God, giving us the authority that is rightfully administered through our personal relationship in His Kingdom. God the Father, represented in Scripture as our Abba, or Daddy, sees us as His children, heirs and joint heirs with Jesus. By Grace, through Faith, we have been adopted into the family of God. and we now share a relationship with our Brother, the Firstborn, Jesus Christ. With the work of redemption completed at the cross of Calvary through His shed blood and resurrection from death, Jesus signaled to Satan and the world, “It is finished”. Oh what a glorious eternal victory.

Now blood bought Christians have the legal right to claim His authority when we pray (or) command in the name of Jesus. We can now operate in the authority of His Holy name by faith. We now have the authority and privilege of being called children of the King. We exchange our vestments for that of Royalty, clothed in privilege and authority by His grace. We walk transformed through the Holy Spirit, who counsels us and protects us. And we are provided, through His Grace, ministering angels that are alert to our commands for protection and guidance through the authority that was given to us in His Holy Name. Glory to God!

It is because of this that we should continually grow to be Christ like. This is what is represented when we speak of the fruit of the Spirit, Christ likeness. The more we become empty of ourselves, the more we are filled with Him. We are to continually search out His will for our lives, and then we should operate at the center of it. His thoughts should be our thoughts, and His ways, our ways by grace through faith.

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Going to the Cross

Author: Dr. Howard M Sarkela

I am nothing, He is everything. In and of myself I am worthless. My only value comes from His presence.

My daily goal is to go to the cross and die with him, so that He may be alive in me. Only in my emptiness can He fully manifest through me. The power of His resurrection is awesome as He comes alive in me, with His wisdom, His direction, His counsel. It is in those times that we are able to be fully obedient to His commands as we have been willing to sacrifice our selves. We are nothing, He is everything.

Jesus said, “I do nothing of my own initiative, but I speak these things as my father taught me.” (John 8:28)

He is our example, we are to do nothing of our own initiative and we too can be filled with His presence so as to be one with His teachings, even as He is ONE with the Father, so are we.

We must go to the cross daily and die to self, that He may live in us and manifest through us. I am crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ. (Gal. 2:20a)

To know Him in the power of His resurrection and in fellowship with His sufferings, we must continually come to the cross to identify with our Lord. Our goal is to be filled with the fruit of the spirit. What is the fruit of the spirit, other than Christ-likeness. We cannot be Christ-like in and of ourselves. But, we can go to the cross and die to self daily and allow Him to live in and through us in the power of His resurrection.

The greatest compliment is that others recognize Jesus in our behavior, in our actions, counsel and ministry. Have you recognized the need to die to self, to empty yourself and be filled with His presence? Are you going to the cross daily?

Lord Jesus, teach us to desire only your will for our lives, to be used of you in the accomplishment of your plans through us as your disciples.

Jesus addressed the Father and said, Sanctify them in Truth father, Thy Word is Truth.” “As Thou didst send Me into the world, I have sent them.” (John 17-17-18) ” That they may all be one; even as Thou, Father are in Me and I in Thee, that they also may be in Us, that the world may believe that Thou didst send Me and the Glory that thou hast given me, I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and thou in me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as thou didst love me.” (John 17: 21-23)

Let us all desire even as the Apostle Paul desired, ” That I may know Him in the Power of His resurrection and in fellowship with His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)

How else can we do this, other than to go to the cross daily?

I pray that each of you would make Galatians 2:20 part of your life in such a way, that you would wake up reflecting on these powerful words, that you would consider them throughout each day and that they would be your final reflection prior to going to sleep each night.

Take a few moments today and read Philippians Chapter 2:1-11, and Galatians Chapter 2.

 

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Concerning Enslavement by Material Desires

Author: Dr. Howard M Sarkela

Many are enslaved by their thoughts……..Some enslave themselves with material desire.

Some plan on the acquisition of material goods, and measure progress in life accordingly. Some set goals of accomplishment based on getting stuff..Once we have stuff, we seek to upgrade that stuff which we have. We give the best years of our lives to jobs which return income to us, so that we can acquire more stuff. Some work to have the basic necessities. Some just work, to acquire more stuff and are enslaved by a vicious cycle of working, earning, spending and acquiring more stuff. They have become slaves of material desire. But “stuff” never satisfies. Stuff will never bring love, joy, peace, fulfillment and contentment.

The natural man has a void in his or her life, an empty hole which can never be filled by natural means.

The desire for fulfillment can never be satisfied through attaining material possessions.  But, there is a spiritual solution and this solution can only be found in Christ Jesus. Looking to self or to material possessions and physical achievements or temporal accomplishments, will never satisfy and bring ultimate fulfillment to your life.

The void in many people’s lives is a spiritual emptiness that natural man cannot recognize or identify. When a person becomes spiritually enlightened and drawn by Grace into faith, based on believing the Gospel of Christ, he or she then becomes spiritually awakened and aware of the fact that only Christ can fill that emptiness, that void in their lives. Once enlightened by His Grace, Jesus becomes the most important focus and center of our lives. Improving our new personal relationship with Jesus becomes our goal. The idolatry of material desire and pleasing our ego, is no longer the driving force in their lives.

Enslavement by material desire is a sad but common phenomenon which exists because our desires cause us to set material goals and then spend the best hours of life striving for the income to acquire those goals (getting more stuff). All of this leads to more stress and does not bring peace and happiness. The pagan ZEN philosophy is that one should desire to have No desire, that in having No desire, one finds peace. But, in Christian enlightenment, we seek to grow spiritually mature through prayer, and Bible study and fellowship with mature role models in our desire to grow into a deeper, closer personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Christ, we learn the importance of surrendering our personal ambition.  We seek selflessness and Christlikeness as we learn to die to self. and not to fulfill the desire of the flesh. We must learn to go to the cross and be crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20) that He may come alive in us and live in and through us. Only then, can His ways become our ways and His thoughts, our thoughts. In fact we must learn to die to self daily… We do this by going to the cross daily. We must learn to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection, and also in fellowship with His sufferings.  We are no longer self centered, we become Christ centered.

As Christians, our goals are no longer to please SELF, through focusing on material desire, but to please GOD. We must be seeking to know HIS divine will for our lives and to grow in harmony with HIS plan for our lives in Christ who becomes the head of our lives. Our focus is no longer on acquiring stuff, but on pleasing Jesus.. We do not have to worry about our sustenance for HE has promised to meet our every need. In fact we are taught in HIS word that we will always have all sufficiency in everything…….Jesus said,” Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all of these things shall be added unto you “. As children of the King we have been provided for. We need to correct our priorities. Are we living for self, or living for God? Are we living to please self, or living to please God in Christ?

We all know that as Christians, our values have changed, we have become new creatures in Christ, we are different and we have changed our behavior, but we are not perfect, we will still make mistakes and slip back into, old behavior patterns from time. However, Jesus is our good shepherd. He is so very faithful in caring for us and He faithfully sends His Holy Spirit to patiently counsel us and direct us back to the right path.

.As we seek to grow spiritually, He is always there to forgive and teach and guide us by the presence of HIS Holy Spirit. Spiritual growth is now more important than material acquisition…For what does it profits a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul….

As obedient servants of our Lord Jesus, we are no longer enslaved to self by material desire..We are now joyfully enslaved to our great Master and Savior alone. Jesus, alone is worthy of our obedient desire to learn of Him that we many obey Him as Lord and master of our lives. Jesus is our Lord and Master, Jesus is the very image of the invisible God, in whom dwells all of the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.. Our Lord Jesus said, “Deny yourself, pick up the cross and follow me”….”My yoke is easy and my burden is light”… We are to deny self and follow Him.

Jesus also said, “You shall know the truth and the TRUTH shall set you free”.

What is TRUTH? it is the word of God..Do you want to know the TRUTH? Then study the word of almighty God.  Jesus prayed in John 17:17: “Sanctify them in truth father, they WORD is TRUTH”.. Jesus also said, “I am the way, the TRUTH and the life and NO man comes to the father, accept by me”.  We become alive as we come into His faith by His Word.  We grow from selfishness to selflessness, by the power of His living Word.. He draws us to faith (John 6:44)

The scripture says Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. Do you want to be FREE from the bondage and enslavement of material desire? Study His Word, learn it, digest it, live it… He lives in His Word.. His Word will live in you.

Forget what is behind..Strive for the mark, of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus…

May the Lord bless you as you grow closer to Him as you come to know Him better. Pray to Him constantly, commune with Him. Listen for His direction and guidance in your life.

Obey Him. He alone is worthy.

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Concerning the Importance of Good Counseling in Ministry

Author: Dr. Howard M Sarkela

The Holy Spirit is the counselor. He will direct you with wisdom and wise counsel as you minister to others. Just remember that the anointing breaks every Yoke.

Always be prayed up and ready for a counseling session. It is good if you have studied and are familiar with the writings of: Crabb and Adams and Tournier they are great counselors and teachers of counseling.

A key function in counseling involves our ability to listen and take quality notes.

We must never rush or hastily give counsel.

All psychological behavior problems relate to SIN. More specifically most behavior problems relate to the client having made a wrong assumption concerning how to achieve either SIGNIFICANCE of SECURITY, and then taken inappropriate having action on that wrong assumption. Your job is to listen and prod until you cause the client to realize that they have made a wrong assumption and acted upon it, what the wrong assumption was and when they made this wrong assumption, should be clearly identified.

In other words, behavioral problems relate to wrong thinking. As a man believeth in his heart, so is he. We must listen, identify and help the individual to see when a how and why they made this wrong assumption, or formed this wrong belief system, and then acted upon it.

That is the easy part. The tough part is in how long it takes for the counseling relationship to build to the point of trust, so that the client will open up and reveal their true inner feelings and not try to hide or mask them. We must first build a relationship and earn the clients trust. This can be difficult because of hurts that the individual may have suffered when trusting others in their lives.

But, when you reach this point of trust and the client opens up and becomes truthful, this is when healing can begin. This is the breakthrough period. Tournier calls this COMMUNION.

Our goal in counseling is to form a trusting relationship and to achieve COMMUNION with our clients. Our prayers should be directed toward this outcome which will bring about healing as you peel back the layers of protection one at a time and the client then has confidence and a willingness to expose their true feelings, to become vulnerable while trusting you with the truth about their lives.

Prior to the close of your counseling session, you should give a home work assignment to your client. Perhaps to read a scripture text relative to their problem area, they should be required to study the scripture and then write a short essay applying what they learn from the reading, to their lives. It is of crucial importance to instruct the client on the value of prayer and the need for regular prayer to establish a communicative, intimate relationship with Jesus.

Each session should end with your praying in the authority of Jesus name, binding the strong man and asking for the Holy Spirit to fill the client and to force out all that is not righteous and holy in their lives. You can lay hands on your client and command that they be FREE in the name of Jesus by the power of His shed blood and call on the Holy Angels to protect and fight of demonic influence.

Even if you are an experienced counselor, I strongly advise that you read the Jay Adams Books on Christian Counseling. If you maintain a close walk with the Lord, the Holy Spirit will operate through you in His capacity as the ultimate Counselor to others. Your strong faith in knowing that He will tear down every strong hold, and break every yoke, will help many during your lifetime, ahead of counseling in and through our Lord’s Great Love.

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Northwestern Theological Seminary in Argentina

On April 27, 2008 the new Northwestern Branch of Neuquen, Argentina began with a class of 30 new students who are preparing for their Bachelor of Theology in Biblical Studies, under the direction of Dr. Patricio Valenzuela, South America International Director of Northwestern Theological Seminary. Class meetings will be held once a week for 2-1/2 hours of Biblical study.

Neuquen is one of many other cities in Argentina where Northwestern Theological Seminary is currently operating branches.

Please pray for the work that Northwestern Theological Seminary is accomplishing through Dr. Valenzuela for the preparation of those in Argentina and throughout South America who will be studying the Word of God.

Northwestern Theological Seminary

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Northwestern Theological Seminary in Pakistan

Northwestern Theological Seminary has been working in Pakistan since 2005 and every year they are graduating many Bible students in the different cities where branches have been established throughout the country. Bishop Dr Jefferson Tasleem Ghauri is Vice president of the Northwestern Seminary and the Director of Pakistan. Dr. Ghauri has begun many branch seminaries in different parts of the country educating Christians about the Bible. NTS Pakistan introduced two courses in the Bible; a Certificate of Theology in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Theology in Biblical Studies.

Northwestern Theological Seminary

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