Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

GROWING IN GODLINESS


           Growing in Godliness

                  August 17, 2014


 

James 1:2-8                                       

 


My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 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 1:2-8 NKJV)

 

Most people have an ill-conceived notion of what it means to “grow in Godliness”. They construe it to mean anything from an increased knowledge of scripture to simply “being good”.

 

Godliness is not the ability to quote more scriptures than your next door neighbor.  While knowledge of the Bible and its understanding is a desirable trait to develop, it should be done from hunger. Demons in hell know scripture by heart...but they’re looking for loopholes. Godliness is not the ability to control your fleshly desires. While it is a fruit of Godliness, that in and of itself is simply the power of human will. People do it every day and simply call it dieting. And by the way,  it will fail you.

 

No friends, Godliness is not about restraint or repartee...it’s about relationship. Godliness sees fruit that is the result of hunger for His presence. Those things we just mentioned above are the fruits of Godliness, but Godliness manifests in one’s life when He or she buries themselves in the personality and care of God’s breast with the desire to know him and love him and serve him above all else.





Always believe

 

 

Mark 11:20-24

 


Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 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. (Mark 11:20-24 NKJV)

The disciples were astounded that what Jesus said would come to pass actually happened.  This revelation was the opus that would spawn their paths to the miraculous. While they were not yet operating in such power, they were on their way in the adventure.

 

 

Jesus uses a seemingly innocuous statement that was in fact filled with power.  He said, “Have Faith in God”. That single concept changes lives, situations, and dispositions every day.  Faith in God is in fact the only concrete that exists in this world. Everything else is gambling.

 


The world works overtime trying to displace God as our place of trust.  Satan knows that if the church ever truly trusted God, his season would be cut exponentially shorter.  No matter what the situation, resorting to a worldly solution will always be temporary at best.  Always believe, have faith in God. Trust His way...and your path will be prosperous.

 

 


Never doubt

 

 

Matthew 11:1-6

Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” (Matthew 11:1-6 NKJV)

 

 

Doubt does not hurt God or even hurt the church. Doubt hurts you if you call yourself a believer. The moment you step away from faith and enter into doubt...you align yourself with despair. Despair is the first cousin of hopelessness which all goes by the family name of “ignorance”.

 

Here in Matthew 11, Jesus is approached by two of his disciples who have happened upon John the Baptist. This is the man who had forged the path for the savior. He was now beaten, broken...and in despair....awaiting his death by beheading. He sends a message to Jesus...even He, the amazing John the baptizer, the earthly herald of the messiah...has begun to doubt.  He asks Jesus from prison through the disciples “Are you the chosen one??? OR should we look for another???

 

Jesus’ response was not to do a teaching on faith, but to send word of the manifestations of God.  “The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them” ,  He basically told John...It’s  happening!!! God be glorified! Your mission has been accomplished!


Don't sweat the small stuff

 

John 16:33

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)

 

 

The small stuff is anything from the top of the flesh down.  We concern ourselves with the affairs of this life. We worry and stress and wring our hands about our daily affairs. In Matthew 6, Jesus gave us a dissertation on worry that really should answer all of our questions. He says that God takes care of the smallest details of creation, why would he not meet your need???

 

Yet we go to town creating opportunities to give the devil a field day in our lives. We place our future in the hands of the world rather than in the hand of God. Most of the small stuff will resolve itself...one way or another. If God be glorified, He will make a way for us. God places a failsafe reset on life for those who trust and believe in Him.

 

The small stuff can ruin your life. It robs your joy. It causes you to make kneejerk decisions. It denigrates you to the level of trusting horses and chariots. Most of all, it is an indictment of doubt in your life.

If you give God the small stuff, he can entrust you with the big stuff. His word says that if He can trust you will the little things, you will be entrusted with much. If we have the sense to trust Him with our problems, His is faithful to bombard our lives with answers. He gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning.

 

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