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Bryan Cowan

Bryan Cowan

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Blog entries categorized under Religion

Posted by on in Religion

We all have heard the phrase, “turn over a new leaf” especially as we are in a brand new year.  When someone says this they are indicating their desire to make changes within themselves or in the way they live and conduct their life.  Very often when they say this they will tag it with a “New Year’s Resolution” declaring their intent and resolve to see the changes through.

Recently I was talking with some of the members of the church and one of them said that they did not want to make any more New Year’s Resolutions but wanted a New Year’s Revolution!  In saying this they were telling me they did not want to repeat the intentions of resolutions past only to come short of it, but needed and wanted a revolution- sudden, radical or complete change that would enhance their life and cause them to be different after giving themselves to this than they were before.  As they were speaking this to me it really captured my attention and caused me to think of how we all could use some revolution in our lives in one way or another.

What better revolution could anyone ask for in their life than for the rising up of Jesus Christ and the Word of God being our guide, our pattern, our very foundation as we enter into a new year.

II Corinthians 3:18 from the KJV reads,” But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  This verse is telling us that the more we behold the Lord, the more we look into His Word and the more we make the decision to let His Word be our revolution and not some resolution that we think of for just a few days at the most.  But we allow God’s Word to light our lives and cause a lasting change to be apparent, then we will have a revolution and we will be different.

As I close, let me encourage any who are reading this.  If you are a child of God or if you have never accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into your life, let’s all turn over a new leaf and allow Jesus to be the revolution that lights our life and causes 2013 to be the best year we have ever experienced!  God bless you all. 

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Posted by on in Religion

The Bible declares that the just are to live by faith.  Every person who professes Christ as Lord and Savior has a mandate from the Scriptures to live in this manner.  Jesus said in Mark 11:22, “… to have faith in God.”  Another translation of this verse says to “have the God kind of faith.”  Romans 12:3 reads, “…according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:8 and II Corinthians 4:13 all tell us this same thing and that is this; the faith we are to live by comes to us from God.  The scripture in Ephesians says it is the gift of God.  So we could say it this way, “every believer has a measure of the God kind of faith.”  We don’t have to hope we could have it.  We don’t have to work to obtain it.  We do not even have to pray to God to give this to us.  No, the Bible plainly says we have this as we have believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  From there it is up to each person as to what they do with this measure.

As we said at the beginning, we are to live by this faith.  So often Christians do not understand that for a person to live by faith, it is necessary that our faith be strong and in good working order.  For this to happen we must read the Word of God and feed our spirits every day so that faith can grow.  As we do this, the measure God has given to us will continue to increase as we walk with Him.

Let me encourage you today.  Get into the Word of God and feed your spirit.  As you do this you are feeding your faith and your measure will increase and grow as you mature in the Lord.  

Next month we will continue to look at this topic.  We will look at the example of Abraham and how his faith grew.  He came to the place of being fully persuaded that what God had said to him, He was able to bring it to pass!

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Posted by on in Religion

In Mark the 4th chapter, Jesus is teaching his disciples on the parable of the sower.  In this parable Jesus speaks of four types of ground and the fruit or lack of fruit that is produced in each one and in verse 9 he says something that is very interesting.  “And he said to them, He that has ears to hear, let him hear.” NKJV  He spoke this to them indicating their need to hear or listen with the intent of examining their own selves to evaluate the condition of their “ground”.  In other words they were to check the condition of their hearts and their receptiveness to receive the Word of God.  He did this because Luke 8: 11 tells us that “…the seed is the Word of God” and the type of ground one plants seed in can make all the difference as to the amount of harvest that is brought forth.

Jesus speaks in the parable of wayside, stony, thorny and good ground and of these four only the good ground produced fruit and that at 30, 60 or 100 fold.  On the wayside ground the enemy comes and snatches away the Word that was sown.  When the seed is pulled from the ground that it was planted in, of course, no fruit will ever be produced.  On the stony ground the Word was received with gladness but when trouble arises because of the Word, these are offended the harvest is lost.  On the thorny ground the Word is received and fruit begins to be produced but the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lust for other things enter in and it chokes the Word and no fruit is brought to maturity.  But on the good ground, the Word of God is received and out of an honest and good heart they hear the Word, keep it and bring forth fruit with patience and now the harvest is able to come 30, 60 and even 100 times over what was sown.  Praise God!  

In closing let me ask this question.  What kind of ground are we?  Is my heart open to receive God’s Word and let the seed of the Word go down into the soil of my heart and produce all that God has placed within the seed.  My prayer is that we all examine ourselves so that we would be good ground producing much fruit! 

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The Word of God reads in Galatians 5:16 from the (NKJV), “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  

We have the instruction and admonition from this verse that if we will give place to living in and by the Spirit of God we will not fulfill the lust (or desires) of our flesh.  

In order to do this, we must have understanding of what it means to “walk” in this manner.  

The meaning here is: to live or to tread all around.  

It is how we conduct ourselves or we could say, it is our manner of living.  If you follow the definition on out, it also means a “path”.  

In simple meaning, it is a set path; a certain course that God has laid out for His children to walk.  

Of course this path is revealed to us in the Bible.  

So, for me to walk in this manner I must be a person who gives place to God’s Word every day.  

When I say, “give place to the Word”, I mean that each child of God is to read the Word, meditate the Word and make a quality decision that we are going to obey the Word as we live life here on this earth.  

The more I read the Bible, concentrate on, and practice those instructions through my speech and actions, the more God’s Spirit will be displayed in my life.  

Fleshly lusts and desires give way to the light of God.  

In other words, when I give place to the nature of God on the inside of me, I will not fulfill those desires that are contrary to the set path and certain course God has for me.  

This all begins with a decision, and that decision being: I will walk in the Spirit.

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Posted by on in Religion

People can often have many expectations in life.  We have expectations of other people, our government, our neighbors and even our own family members.  The list could go on and on but the point is that in every area of life there are expectations we have.  This is true for our life in this natural world but it should be the same way for the children of God spiritually as well.

Hebrews 11:1 from the New King James version says that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  The word “hoped” here means expectation.  So using our definition we could read the scripture this way, “now faith is the substance of that which we expect God to do in our lives…”.  And really I have to take it a step further by saying that which “I” expect God to do in my life.  Many Christians know that God “can” do this or do that and very often we have no problem believing that God will work in the lives of others but it really comes down to the point of, what do I expect God to do for me in my life.  This is where the rubber meets the road and where real life is.  This is the question that I as a child of God must ask myself and find the answer according to what God has said in His Word.

Abraham in the Old Testament is a great example of what we are saying.  In Genesis 12:1 God begins to tell Abram what He wanted to do in his life and the Bible tells us that Abram believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.  Abram even before God changed his name had to come to the decision that God would do what He said and the Bible tells us that Abraham came to the place of being fully persuaded (Romans 4:21) that what God had promised He was able to perform. Praise God!

Abraham believed God and came to the place of expecting God to bring it to pass in his life.  We must do the same.  What we read in the Bible is more than just stories, it is God writing to His family to tell them of what He has done for them in and through Christ Jesus and what we are to believe Him for and come to the place of expectation that our Heavenly Father is able to perform this in our lives!  Let me encourage you today, take God at His Word and hold fast to it expecting Him to bless your life and cause His Word to be manifested in every area of your being!      

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Posted by on in Religion

In Mark 11:22, Jesus tells his disciples to, …. “Have faith in God.”  Another translation of that verse says to have the God kind of faith.  In Hebrews 10:38 the Word instructs us to “…live by faith…”  Then in chapter 11 and verse 6 of that same book it says that, “… without faith it is impossible to please Him.  …”

From these three verses one can see that faith is important in the life of a believer and that it involves more than our just believing that there is a God.  Jesus said we are to have the faith of God.   In Hebrews we see we are to live by this faith and in so doing be pleasing to Him.  Then it is important to me as a believer to know three things.  One, what is the God kind of faith?  Two, how do I obtain this faith? and three, how do I use this faith so that I can live by it and be pleasing to God?  Let’s look at each one of these from the scriptures.

First, in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus went on to explain what the God kind of faith was in verses 23 and 24 of the eleventh chapter.  From the New King James version it says, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them and you will have them.”  Jesus was teaching his disciples here that this kind of faith says with the mouth what is believed in the heart.  This is done both by speaking to a situation or circumstance in our lives (represented by the word mountain in this verse) or as we pray to believe that we receive from God that which we are praying for and we shall have it.  Again, it is by saying or praying what we believe in our hearts and this is the God kind of faith.  Second, the Word tells us that faith, the God kind, comes to us by hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).   Thirdly, faith is an act.  It is always released in the life of a believer by what we say and what we do.  James 2:20 reads “…that faith without works is dead.”  The word works here means corresponding action and the word dead means useless.  So faith in God is useless in my life unless I have actions that are in line with what I say I believe.  When I live in this way then I am pleasing to God and I have the Faith of God operating in my life.

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