Weekly Devotionals

Olive Branch Ministries

By Mark and Tinsley Baker

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Have Faith in God

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Reading through the Bible from the very beginning, there is one consistent theme, Godís great love and compassion towards us. He is unchangeable, and in this we can have great confidence. It seems there is no greater motivation for faith than knowing this, God is absolutely for us. He wants us to succeed. It makes it easier to have confidence in fulfilling our purpose and destiny here on the Earth when we know that He has called us to succeed.

He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die in our place giving us freely His life for our death. He did this knowing full well the horrible cost to Himself. Thank you Lord!

He loves us more than we can comprehend and has given us through this Covenant incredible benefits. Even in the Old Covenant He admonished us not to forget His benefits.

Psalms 103:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3. Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4. Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Have we forgotten or have we just never believed in the first place. Regardless, in this day and age like no other, the body of Christ is being shaken. Itís easy in a World full of chaos to get sidetracked and wander from the path God has placed us on. The World seems to be in a meltdown right now and all that is going on can seem overwhelming to us. In the midst of this there is a choice we each have to make. We have to decide if Godís love toward us is real. Mans definition of love is often times just lip service, but Godís love is always manifested through action.

My question would be, how can we know God loves us if we arenít seeing the benefit of it in our lives. First of all the action has already taken place. Jesus finished the work He was sent to do. Regardless of where weíve come from it takes faith to please God. There is absolutely no way around this. If weíve never been taught His promises we can not have faith to walk in them, for faith always comes from knowing Godís will. If we donít know His promises, we can not have a foundation for which to believe. We have to know the promises of God if we are going to walk in them by faith donít we? Jesus said this very thing in John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Knowing God is for us a is a great part of being confident that He will manifest His blessing toward us. Knowing Him is knowing the truth for that is what He is. So many think of God as the enemy instead of as their salvation, and have a tendency to run from Him instead of too Him. Heís the One with the answers, Heís the One Who is an ever present help in a time of need, and Heís the One who has freely given us all things.

Many have been taught how He puts us through every evil thing in order to purify us. Iím here to say this, only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us and purify us. Thereís no use trying to earn it on our own, for it can not be done. I understand there is a process to walk in this sanctification, but the work has already been done. Our work is to have faith in Him. Righteousness will manifest itself in and through us as we believe Him.

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something of which to boast, but not before God. 3. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness". 4. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5.But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

You may be saying Iíve never really seen Godís goodness manifest toward me. If that is your case, then know that first of all you have to look to Him.

Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

If you are looking at all the bad things that are going on in your life then you are looking at the wrong things. You have to turn from the things you are looking at and start looking to the right things. Start by praising Him. Give Him something to work with. Faith is always grateful, faith always praises God. You can't be a grumbler and be in faith at the same time. God canít work on your behalf if you are grumbling and complaining all the time. Check yourself. Make the decision to be thankful even if circumstances seem to say you are failing, and you donít feel like you are ever going to succeed. You certainly wonít if you wonít look to the One who always causes us to triumph in Christ Jesus. You are not praising Him for all the bad stuff that is going on, you are praising Him for His protection, His deliverance, and His absolute faithfulness. He has never failed and He never will. If we want to walk in this victory then we have to walk with Him.

Faith is what pleases Him and praise is a catalyst that activates faith, you can see this over and over through out the Word of God. This is not a formula but a way of life. Learn to trust Him and see His absolute faithfulness.

God inhabits the praises of His people. (Psalms 22:3.)

Another way we could say this is God manifests Himself in the praises of His people.

He is an active living God and wants to show Himself strong on our behalf.

Psalms 34:1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

David had a revelation of Godís great love for him. He was absolutely grounded in it. He wasnít afraid to turn to Him regardless of what was going on. He messed up many times yet in the midst of the messes, David would time after time turn back to Him and rest in His great love. No wonder God said He was a man after His own heart. Sometimes our actions have negative consequences, yet even in this we can and should turn to the One who has all the answers and will show us the way out. Iíve learned this in my own life, when I look to Him I will receive the answers I need to get out of any mess. It is almost never the way you would have chosen to get out, yet it is the way to safety that only He can give.

Heís the One who can restore and show us the path to victory. I know Heís done it for me and He will surely do it for you. Learn to trust Him totally and completely. Say this with me, God is for me who can be against me? As this mindset grows in you, you will begin to climb to higher heights than you thought possible. Let Him manifest His great love to you and see the deliverance of the Lord.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Our faith should be anchored in His great love towards us. So many Christians have faith in their faith alone, as opposed to the One who is the author and finisher of our faith. The more you know Him the more you love Him. The more you love Him the more you trust Him. The more you trust Him the deeper your faith grows. Itís all tied together. It becomes easier as you walk in this complete trust and confidence knowing Heís for us and not against us. This is something that can be developed, we all have to grow in this. Donít be afraid of messing up as that only leads to the very things youíre afraid of. You can be confident that even if you do mess up He will restore you and show you how to get back on track. This certainly takes a lot of the pressure off. His Word tells us that perfect love cast out all fear.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

As we trust Him and walk in perfect love we ourselves become perfected and wonít be afraid of failure. I donít know about you, but this sounds like good news to me. My faith is not in my ability but in Him and Him alone. Do we have faith in our ability to have faith? We can make faith into a formula if we do this. Our faith is not in something but in Someone. Someone the Word declares can not fail. We can take great joy in the fact that He will never fail us as well.

After all He is the One who will do what He said He would do.

Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

God can not lie and He absolutely cannot fail. This reality when received is life changing.

We can rest in this. We should be confident but our confidence should be totally in Him.

A humble spirit will keep you from failing. James said God gives more grace to the humble. (Ja. 4:) true humility is not self effacement but putting our complete trust in Him. This allows Him to give you more grace than you already had, and we need all we can get. Grace is given to fulfill His will. This happens when we turn to Him, and put our trust totally in Him. Our faith will not be in our own ability or anointing, our faith will be in Him, the One who anoints us. See the difference?

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God.

This may seem like an obvious point but so many Christians have their faith in everything but God. Sometimes it is in their church or in other ministers or ministries. Men can fail but God never will. If your faith is in a man or ministry and they fail where does that leave you? We should all be praying for those ministers who have failed in one way or another. We are many times tied to their success. We are all in this together. Their success and failure are many times our success and failures. We need each other. Even so we have to place our faith in God and God alone. We have to be confident but our confidence has to be in the unshakable truth of God and His Word, not in man and not in our own ability. We have no abilities outside of what He has given us anyway.

Jesus continued on to sayÖ

23. "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 come to pass, he will have whatever he says. 24. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

We should have faith, or as Jesus said believe our words. We have to believe what we say will come to pass, yet He first said we were to have faith in God. He didnít get the order of things mixed up, yet we sometimes do. Is our faith in God or in the words we say? If our faith is in God and the unshakable truth of His Word then we can also have complete confidence that our own words will come to pass. We can do this because our words and our faith are both based In Him and the unchangeable truth of His Word. Amen



Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?

If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),

So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).

I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).

I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),

And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!

I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!

Glory to God!!!! Amen.