Category Archives: Faith

The Conditional Promises of Scripture

“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me” (Psalms 18:20).

God’s blessings are not automatic. It’s as we begin to develop Godly character that we begin to see the rewards of God’s blessing upon our lives. As we’re truthful, we get the blessings of truthfulness. As we’re diligent and respectful to authority, we get the blessings that accompany these qualities.

Scripture is full of promises; but have you ever considered that many of these promises are conditional?

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” God has promised to give us the desires of our heart but they’re conditional upon our delighting ourselves in Him and in His character. Our desires will then be a reflection of Who He is and God will then delight in giving us those desires.

Ephesians 6:2 says, “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee…” Do you know any young people today and things aren’t going well for them? Many times it can be traced back to a violation of this conditional promise.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” God has certainly promised to guide and direct us, but that guidance is conditional upon us acknowledging Him in all our ways.

Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee…” Peace is the birthright of every child of God. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). But that peace is contingent upon structuring our lives around Him. If we are dwelling upon the lies of the enemy rather than upon the truth of God’s Word there will be no peace – only discouragement and distress.

As you find promises in the Word of God, stop and consider the condition that may be attached. God’s promises and blessings are not ours to enjoy regardless of how we live the Christian life; but it’s as we die to self and learn the character of Christ that we begin to see the rewards of God’s blessing upon our lives.

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

The Shield of Faith

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).

What can help you overcome discouragement, fear, doubt, and a host of other disabling emotions that can often leave us devastated and destroy our effectiveness as Christians? The answer is the fourth piece of spiritual armor which Paul presents in Ephesians chapter six.

The metaphor comes from Roman military life. The purpose of the shield was to protect the Roman soldier from the spears and arrows thrown by the enemy. Paul recognizes that what the shield was to the Roman soldier, the shield of faith is to the Christian warrior.

We take up the “shield of faith” by quoting the truth of God’s Word whenever we recognize Satan’s lies. When the enemy tells us that God has forsaken us, we can take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing the truth of God’s Word that says, “… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

When the enemy tells us that no good will come from a particular situation, we can take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing the truth of God’s Word that says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

When we feel inadequate for a work that God is clearly calling us to do, we take up the shield of faith by quoting and believing Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

The object of our faith is three-fold. First, our faith is in God’s Person. In Psalm 3:3, David said,

“But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me…” There are more than a dozen other references in the Psalms that testify that God Himself is our shield. The infinite power of the Godhead is our defense.

Second, our faith is in God’s Providence (Romans 8:28). No matter what happens, we need to understand two facts. The first is that God is good (Psalm 33:5). It’s easy to acknowledge that when everything is going well; but even when things don’t go according to our plans, we need to remember that God is still good because God doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8)! The second fact is that God is still in control, because God is sovereign (Psalm 99:1). Nothing takes God by surprise and nothing happens apart from His permissive will.

Third, our faith is in God’s Promises. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We can place our full confidence in the promises of God’s Word. Joshua 21:45 says, “There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.”

When the fiery darts of fear, discouragement and doubt come your way today – don’t be passive, but actively take up the shield of faith as your defense.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

“I’m Here Today Because He Died For Me”

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Charles Spurgeon said that he was so certain of his salvation that he could grab hold of a corn stalk, swing out over the very fires of hell, look the devil straight in the eye and sing, “Blessed Assurance Jesus Is Mine.” That assurance is based upon the truth of God’s Word — yet many Christians today struggle with doubts about assurance of their salvation.

The truth is that if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we are eternally secure because our salvation is not based upon what we do or don’t do; but upon our faith in what Jesus Christ has already done.

During the American Civil War, an informer in a small town disappeared and the commander in charge ordered ten men to be shot in reprisal. Several men were being detained in the local jail as prisoners of war, and ten of them were selected from among them. One of the men was a man by the name of William Humphrey — the father of several small children. Another young man in the prison cell by the name of Hiram Smith volunteered to go in the place of William Humphrey since he thought it was better for a single man to die rather than a man with a family. Hiram Smith was subsequently taken and shot in the place of William Humphrey. As the years passed, Humphrey could have reflected on those events and stated, “I’m here today because he died in my place!”

That will be our only boast in heaven — not, “I am here today because of how good I am,” or “I am here today because I belonged to a certain church” — but, “I am here today because Christ died for me; because He took my place and bore the condemnation of my sins on the cross at Calvary.”

Talk with your children. Know what their struggles are and where they are coming from. If they have trusted Christ as their Savior, help them understand the truth that they are eternally secure in Jesus Christ.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

If You Aren’t Praying, Then Who Is?

“And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

If you aren’t praying for your children, then who is? Given the pressures placed upon young people in our society today, your children need prayer! And if you aren’t praying daily for them, then it is very likely that they have no one else to plead for them before the throne of grace.

But what should you be praying for your children?

Above all else, pray that they will know Christ early in life. Ideally, we can begin this teaching and training before the child is even born – while he is still in the womb. This is confirmed by the Greek word Paul used for child in 2 Timothy 3:15. It’s the Greek word “brephos.” Its precise definition in Strong’s Concordance is “an infant (properly, an unborn infant).” The same word is used in Luke 1:44 when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth and the unborn “babe” (John the Baptist) leaped for joy when he heard the voice of the Saviour’s mother.

Paul says to Timothy, “And that from a child [while you were still in the womb] thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Lois and Eunice the grandmother and mother of Timothy faithfully read to Timothy the Word of God before he was even born – while he was still in the womb – and Paul states that this was instrumental in Timothy coming to faith in Christ.

There is no greater joy or blessing for Christian parents than to lead their children to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Never take the salvation of your children for granted. Just because they have attended church all their lives is no guarantee that they have ever accepted Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. Pray for your children and your grandchildren. Pray that those children will come to know Christ as Saviour at an early age.

D.L. Moody was once asked how many people were converted at a meeting where he was the preacher. “Three and one half,” he replied. “What? Three adults and one child?” asked the man. “No. Three children and one adult,” said Moody. “The adults have already wasted half their lives but those children have practically all their lives to live for God.”

Many parents are quick to cast the blame for their children’s disinterest in spiritual things upon the church or youth group; but we need to remember that leading your children to Christ is not first and foremost the responsibility of the church or the Sunday school, but the responsibility of the home.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Believing the Truth: We Are Accepted Unconditionally

Many Christians have believed Satan’s lie and struggle with overwhelming negative attitudes. I have counselled with many Christians who have been harboring thoughts of suicide. They were looking for acceptance and affirmation from other people; and when they didn’t receive it, the enemy was then able to move in and place the destructive thought in their mind that life isn’t even worth living.

If you have received Jesus Christ as your Saviour then the truth of God’s Word states that you are a child of God (John 1:12), that you belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), that you have been redeemed and forgiven of all your sins (Colossians 1:13-14). The truth of God’s Word tells you that you are a member of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27), that you have direct access to God through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16), and that you are complete in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:9-10).

I talked once with a young man who had been rejected by his family. As he was driving back to college after the Christmas holidays he found a letter from his step mother telling him never to come back. Do you have any idea what it’s like to be rejected by your family? But I tell you this – you will never be rejected by God.

It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past.

1 John 4:10 states: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Paul makes it clear in Romans 5:8 that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

If we constantly look to other people for acceptance, we will give Satan opportunity to plant destructive, negative thoughts in our mind. We need to understand that we are completely and unconditionally accepted by God.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

What Do You Love The Most?

“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (Genesis 22:2).

Our lives are built around the people and things that we enjoy: a spouse, children, special friends, a job, and possessions. These are the things we tend to put our security in – and if one of them is removed, we feel as though our whole world has suddenly come apart. There are times when God simply says to us, “Let go!” If you’ve ever been in that situation, you know the pressure a test like that can exert on your faith.

There was a day in the life of Abraham when God told him to let go of something which he dearly loved. Abraham did not choose the sacrifice. God did! Beware of self-chosen sacrifice for God! God always starts with the things that we love the most, because unless these things are dedicated to Him they will become the objects of our worship. Unless we are willing to place the things we love the most on that altar and dedicate them to the Lord, God will never be able to use us to our fullest potential and we will never experience God’s richest blessings.

Have you ever dedicated the things that you love the most to the Lord? We do that by building an altar in our heart and saying, “Lord, from this moment on these things belong to You. I give them to You. I have no more rights to them or claim on them. If you choose to take them, I will thank You for that. If You allow me to continue enjoying them, I will thank You for that also.”

Like the young boy who gave the Lord his meagre lunch, God is able to multiply whatever we give Him to be a blessing to others.

Seeing God’s Purposes

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).

Many of us have believed and accepted the lie that “It is my responsibility to change my mate.” The truth is: God wants to use your mate to change you. We are all in process – we are all in different stages of character development – that’s why we need to be patient with one another.

God is in the process of developing the character of Christ in each one of our lives. That’s why He put you in the family you are in. That’s why He gave you the spouse and children that you have – even with all of their idiosyncrasies, faults, and personality quirks.

It is God who brings people into our lives that annoy us and irritate us and even wrong us so that we can learn to respond to them with the graciousness and kindness of Christ. If we had never been wronged, it would be impossible for us to learn how to forgive.

If we really want to change our mate, the two greatest means of influencing them for good are a Godly life and prayer. Your Godly response to their hurtful words and actions can be a powerful influence for change in their lives. And it is far more effective to appeal to the Lord than to try and exert pressure on your mate directly. With God nothing is impossible. He has His Own unique ways of putting pressure on a husband or wife and turning a person around, and often our nagging and interfering only get in the way.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

See The Potential of Godly Children

The visiting preacher at a small village church I attended in Cambridgeshire, England, shared about his calling into the ministry. As a young woman, his mother had been deeply impressed and challenged by the martyrdom of the five young American missionaries in South America in January 1956, including Jim Elliott and Nate Saint. As a result, she dedicated her own life to missions; and after she was married, she prayed and asked the Lord to bless her with five sons to replace the five young missionaries who had been killed.

The young man I heard preach that Sunday evening was the youngest of five boys that the Lord blessed that woman with and each one of those young men was serving the Lord in full-time Christian ministry.

So many Christian parents miss the potential of training their sons and daughters to make an impact upon eternity. The Bible calls children arrows (Psalm 127:4). Our job as parents is to straighten the shaft, to sharpen the point and to trim the feathers so that when we shoot them into the world they hit the target and make an impact in this world for Jesus Christ.

Think of the children that God has blessed you with. Think of their potential and the difference their lives could make if you were to take the time and energy to invest spiritually and emotionally in their young lives.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

The Resource of Prayer

1 Corinthians 16:2 – “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him.”

But suppose God has not prospered you; then he does not expect anything from you. But what if God has prospered one, and the man will not give? To that I say, we are not empowered to force or cajole a man into giving — better leave him with God. And yet I would not have us forget that there is always a resource left the church. It is indeed, a resource and power. It covers the illiberal man’s case, and all cases. I have rarely known it to fail. It was tested several years ago in a large city by a faithful layman. There was a pressing burdensome debt of some $16,000. It had rested as an incubus upon the congregation for years. One afternoon this gentleman requested nine or ten other male members of his church to meet him in a certain office. Here they spent a number of hours in humble, earnest prayer to God. As the prayer ascended, of course God descended; and there steadily grew within them a profound sense of their obligation to God. He was their Maker, Preserver, Benefactor; he had given ten thousand mercies, his Son had died for them, he had forgiven them, and this moment had heaven and endless life and blessedness awaiting them. And now what was it that they could do for him? What act or gift or sacrifice could ever repay, in the least degree, even a part of his love? “Lord, what wilt thou have us to do?” Who wonders at what followed? — that on their melted, graceful hearts God poured the spirit of his love, the tender, beauty. They arose from their knees and in ten minutes wiped out the debt of $16,000.

Carradine