Power Principles For Standing

(This is an excerpt from Pastor’s book, “How To Stand When Others Fall”)

The multitudes have left and Jesus turns and asks, “…Will ye also go away?” Then Simon Peter answered him and he said several things that will keep you standing when others are falling.  These things will hold you in place when right seems wrong and wrong seems right.  They will hold you in place and keep you standing when you do not understand the circumstances that are surrounding your life.

Jesus Is Lord

So the first principle is to make Jesus the total Lord of your life.  Notice Simon Peter called Jesus “Lord” because the truth of it is, if Jesus is Lord no one else will be Lord in your life.  If Jesus is Lord, no material possession, no achievement, or trophy will be your Lord.  Who or what is Lord in your life?  If you are born again, Jesus is Lord!  That is what Christianity is all about.  He is not one of many good teachers.  He is not one of many saviors.  He is not just another noble person.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life!  Jesus is Lord!  Making a bedrock decision about that will keep you standing when times are tough. There is no one that is Lord, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  You can build all the mosques you want to build.  You can build all the tabernacles you want to build.  You can build all the shrines to whomever, but my friend, when it is all said and done, you will stand before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and you will acknowledge Him as Lord!

The second principle is stick with Jesus.  When Peter says in verse 69, “Lord to whom shall we go?” he was saying that there was no one who could take the place of Jesus.  Stay close to the master.  Refuse to do anything that will separate you from Jesus.  It is important that you be where Jesus wants you to be.  We know there was a day when Peter did depart from Jesus.  In Peter’s disappointment after the crucifixion he went back to fishing and others followed him.  John 21:3 says “Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.”  But after a night with no results they came towards the shore where Jesus was waiting for them.  Jesus told them to cast their nets on the other side to find the fish.  They did and immediately began to catch fish.  One of those with Peter recognized it was Jesus that had spoken to them.  We notice that this is the same situation Jesus delivered Peter from in the past.  He had spent the night fishing but caught nothing.  This illustrates to me that as long as you stick with Jesus you will not repeat past failures.  If Peter had stuck with Jesus then it is possible that the other disciples would have also.  They would have avoided that unproductive fishing trip.

The third thing that Peter said in John 6:68 was “to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” In other words he was saying,Lord, only You have the Word.”  The Word will always play a part in your victory faith walk.  Peter recognized that he needed the Word.  Your answers are in the Word of God.  Do whatever it takes to remember the Word of God.  Underline it, put a red pencil on it, or a yellow marker, get a hold of God’s Word for yourself.  Let God quicken His Word to your spirit.  Hold on to it and do not let go.  I thank God for the Word.  It is a lamp unto my feet.  It is a light unto my pathway.  Take everything I have, but give me my Bible and I will stand in victory through it all.  Others were falling, but Peter is telling us how to stand, “Lord…only you have the words of eternal life.”  You make your stand on the Word of God.

The fourth thing Peter said was, “And we believe . . .” (John 6:69).  He may have thought, “I do not know what those others believe, but speaking for those who are here, we believe in You. We are believers.”  He went on to say that, “. . . we believe and are sure . . .” He is saying we should be fully assured, “. . . and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” One thing you must be sure of is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.  Drive a stake in the ground of faith on that point and refuse to move!

You can meet people in any church who are constantly changing their doctrine or philosophy.  They are not really sure about anything.  They have not really settled on anything because unbelief always has a hard time finding the will of God.  Being led by the flesh and not the spirit is a very dangerous pathway.  We can say with confidence, “Lord, there is nowhere else to go, You have the Word.  We will come through the difficulties of life because we are sticking with you.”  Thank God for the Word of God.

Hold Steady

(This is an excerpt from Pastor’s book, “How To Stand When Others Fall”)

What helps you to hold steady when you get a negative report from the doctor?  What helps you to hold steady when the media is reporting bad news?  What keeps you on course?  These are very important questions because the Bible says that there were those who “went back” and “walked no more with Jesus.” There were some following Jesus who had been healed by Him, who ate the multiplied loaves and fishes, some whose lives were changed, and yet “. . . many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” 

Think about it.  Our text details that this was such a dramatic event that Jesus turned to his inner circle and said, “Are you leaving, too?” Could you ever erase the memory of those eyes looking at you and asking if you were going to desert him? Peter responded so powerfully on that occasion saying, “…thou hast the words of eternal life.”

People often say, “If you make a disciple out of someone they will never go back.”  Well, excuse me, right here we have a mass exodus and these people were called disciples.  The truth is that loyalty and faithfulness are matters of the heart.  I do not wake up every morning and ask myself if I am going to stay with my wife Joy.  I have lived with her for many years.  I do not wake up each morning and try to make a decision about being faithful to her.  I have already made that decision.  She is the best wife (and the only wife) I have ever had.  I am going to stay with her.

Peter did not always rise to the occasion in the appropriate way, but if there was ever a time in the Scriptures he did, it was at this point.  The same Simon Peter that went to sleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, the one who cut off a man’s ear, the disciple who was not at the cross, eventually walked out this confession in John 6:68-69: “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

The Good Fight of Faith

(The following is an excerpt from Bob Nichol’s book, “How To Chart Your Course Of New Beginnings.”)

As we study the life of Abraham, we realize we all need new beginnings.  We all desire them, but how do you navigate the unknown?  Charting your course is a 100% faith deal that is based on the Word of God.  This is not hype, positive thinking, or mind over matter.  It is simply getting a promise of God and remembering that the Bible said, “Therefore it is of faith . . .” (Romans 4:16)I have been a pastor many years, and have experienced many things.  I have been in the trenches with people that were hurting.  I have been with precious people that felt that their world was being challenged.  People face a lot of challenges, but I believe with every fiber of my being that God has a new beginning for them.

In Acts 27 Paul faced shipwreck and possible death. In the midst of the storm God sent an angel with a message for Paul that he would survive the trip.  Eventually the ship would run aground and he would be forced to swim to an island to survive.   I believe even as it was with Paul, if your ship goes down, you are still going over.  You have to lock into that kind of faith mentality.  Not all ships make it.  I wish I could tell you that everybody’s ship makes it, but I cannot.  I will tell you this, even after the ship went down, Paul was able to safely make it to the shore.  As a result, Paul had an island-wide salvation, healing, and Holy Ghost revival.  He did not need the ship to do it.   You see, the storm destroyed the ship but it did not take Paul’s faith.  He refused to let the storm steal his faith in God’s Word.  He refused to let the shipwreck ruin the rest of his life.  Even when he was washed ashore, the challenge to his faith was not over.  In an attempt to keep warm the survivors started a fire.  When Paul laid the sticks he had gathered on the fire, a poisonous viper came out and attached itself to his hand.  Immediately he shook off the snake into the fire without suffering any harm.  No matter how greatly blessed we are, our faith will continually be challenged.  But the bottom line is, if we do not quit, we win.

The Anointing is on His Word

(The following is an excerpt from Bob Nichol’s book, “How to Change Your Destiny.”)

The hand of God in a person’s life could be seen as the anointing.  When the anointing is on a person it produces results.  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” Acts 10:38. When Jabez prayed “…that thine hand might be with me…” he was asking for God’s anointing to face a difficult task.  Some commentators believe that the occasion of Jabez’s prayer was the expulsion of the Canaanites from his territory. The only thing that was going to get him through that situation was the anointed direction of God.

We all face situations where we need to hear from God.  Many times God will speak to us during a church service where the Word of God is being preached.  I have heard of this happening to business people in my congregation more times that I can recall.  They were just sitting in a service and the Spirit of God would give them direction for their business.  He would show them what adjustments to make to get out of financial crisis.  The message preached that day would not even be about finances, but the anointing on the Word brought them direction.  That adjustment would not have been thought of without the anointing touching their life.  I love God and want to please Him. I want the hand of God on my life!  The anointing on my life will help me be a good husband and father.  Let the hand of God be upon me!  Anointing, fall on me – live big within me!  Touch me!  Anointing of God take this piece of clay and do something with it.

Multiplied Seed

Many years ago, there was a women who went to our church here in Fort Worth. Her deceased husband had left her a small pension from his work in the railroad which included a few benefits. She was a dedicated member of the church, a consistent tither, and a generous giver. One day she came into the church and handed me an offering of several thousand dollars, something that she had never done before.

“This is my entire savings account pastor.” She told me. I had an idea of how much she made with her pension. She would have had to been saving for a couple years in order to have gathered a seed of this size. I would never encourage anyone to give away their savings; unless someone is directed by God, I would think this type of giving is foolhardy.

“Now sister, this is just too much! You don’t need to give this.” I told her, but she was not moved. She looked me square in the eyes and said, “Bob Nichols, you take this offering. You have been teaching about giving and I want to give this as a significant seed.” See, this is the posturing of people who are operating by faith in their giving. They aren’t moved by what anyone says to them. So I took the offering, believing for her to receive a harvest.

A couple weeks she told me that a friend of her husband had come over and asked her if she had heard about a obscure part of the pension that she would have to sign up for in order to benefit. She had not and after she signed up, she received double the amount of money per month than she had been receiving and she also was given more benefits! When you sow a seed in faith the result is a harvest of multiplication!

Lacking Nothing

When I first started my church here in Fort Worth, I had an older couple in our church. The husband was known to be stingy and didn’t want to tithe. His wife secretly gave the tithe out of her grocery money and would always try and give something in the offering. In the early years of our church, offerings like hers sustained us because we didn’t have a large attendance and were needing to make payments for upgrading the structure we were in at the time.

Eventually the husband’s job took them over to Midland, Texas and so they left. Soon after we had a large need for lumber and supplies. I purchased the lumber and sheetrock on short term credit, trusting God would supply. It wasn’t but a couple days that a check came in from this lady with the exact amount we needed! It turns out that she had heard God tell her to sell her old used car and give the money to the church. You know, it wasn’t but a few days later that she received a call from a friend who wanted to gift her with a brand new car! This woman gave a significant seed out of obedience, and look what God provided for her!

Years later her daughter came to talk to me after her parents died. She was like her father, someone who complained about giving, but she made a comment to me that was profound. She said, “You know I would always tell mom that she was giving too much money away, but she never had any lack. I don’t know how it came in, but she always had enough.” Praise God! A seed planted in faith can produce a multiplied harvest that will leave you lacking nothing!

From a Vision to a Cause

(The following is an excerpt from Bob Nichol’s book, “The Secret Power of a Cause.”

What exactly is a vision?  A vision is a compass providing steady guidance along the path that God is leading you.  It is a divine point of reference that steadies you and keeps your eyes off of present circumstances and allows you to see the prize ahead of you.  When difficulties arise, the vision reminds you of your future success.  The Bible has many things to say about the importance of a vision.  Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Without a vision, there is no sense of direction.  The vision is vitally important to the believer, but it does not guarantee success.  The problem with a vision is that it can be put on the shelf.  It is optional.  If the glamorous vision becomes too difficult to achieve, it can easily be put aside.  A vision is needed, but there is something more.

In Acts chapter 26, Paul is testifying before King Agrippa about his encounter with Jesus.  He tells the king about how Jesus changed his life and how he knew he had to accomplish what God wanted him to do.  A vision was birthed in his heart on the road to Damascus.  In verse 19 of chapter 26, Paul tells the king that he had “not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.”  Paul kept the vision before him.  He knew his duty was to spread the good news and his vision kept him on track.  His vision provided a reference point that encouraged him to continue “pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14).  Paul was given a vision on the road to Damascus, but somewhere along the way there was a shift that took place.  He knew his vision would not come to pass unless he went to work.  The vision that God gave to Paul on the road to Damascus became a passionate cause.  His vision became a cause.

The Time is Now

“Build your faith before the storm.

 

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Luke 6:47-49

 

Victory Action

I will build my faith before the storm by daily obeying God’s Word.

The Time is Now

“Build your faith before the storm.

 

47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:  48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

Luke 6:47-49

 

Victory Action

I will build my faith before the storm by daily obeying God’s Word.