Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  1 Timothy 6:12 NIV


The fight of faith is a good fight. A good fight is a fight that you win! It is a good fight for a good cause with a good ending. The only way you lose the fight is if you start in faith and end in doubt and unbelief. Doubt and unbelief are the only things that will defeat you and take you out. As long as you stay in faith, God can work on your behalf. And you know that if God is for you there is no foe – in heaven, on the earth or in hell – that can stand against you!


Faith begins with a confession – a declaration. The day you were born again, you made a declaration before heaven, earth and hell. You said, “I don’t belong to this world anymore. I don’t belong to the devil. I don’t even belong to myself. I belong to Jesus!”


But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.  Romans 10:8-10 NIV


There is power in your mouth. The words you speak, from a heart that believes, have the power to change your life. All the power you need is in your mouth.


My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV


God’s word is life to you and healing to your flesh. As you hear His word and as you speak it out of your mouth, it has the power to give life and to heal you – spirit, soul and body.


From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death,

and those who love it will eat its fruit.  Proverbs 18:20-21 NIV


This scripture is saying that you will be a partaker of what you are saying. If your stomach is going to be filled with what comes out of your mouth – you better make sure that it is sweet. If you want to be a partaker of life and blessing and health and healing – you better be declaring those good things over yourself and your family!


For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up your face to God. You will make your prayer to Him, He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. You will also declare a thing, and it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.  Job 22:26-28 NKJV


When you delight yourself in the Lord and when you put your trust in Him and pay your tithes and give your offerings – then you will declare a thing and it will be established and come to pass in your life. Job 22:28 NIV says, “What you decide on will be done.”


“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  Mark 11:22-24 NIV


The key to receiving what you need is to first believe and then speak. Speak to the mountain. Declare God’s word to and over your situation. Don’t speak the problem – that is doubt and unbelief. Speak the solution. Speak the answer. Speak God’s word in the present tense. Decree and declare it. Confess that you have it now – because God has already given it to you. Once you have asked God for what you need, once you have spoken His word over the situation – begin to thank God that it is already done. In the Spirit it is done. You must thank and praise Him with your lips until the answer gets to you!



Therefore then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. Looking away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, the Leader and Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 Amplified


Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning – despising and ignoring – its shame. The cross was no picnic, no walk in the park. It was a sacrifice, a total commitment, laying everything on the line. It was a one shot deal. If something went wrong – there were no second chances, no recourse, no way to undo the mess. The cross was a very long time in the making. Before the foundation of the earth, God set in motion the plan to save us from the devil and ourselves (our own choices). God was infallible, but His creation was not.  He had to have a plan to save and preserve His creation and He did. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to complete the work and everything rested on His shoulders.


Jesus could not afford to make a mistake or to put one foot wrong. He had to conduct Himself perfectly for thirty-three and a half years. He had to prepare Himself, God’s sinless and blameless Lamb, without spot or blemish, to be sacrificed on the altar for the sin of man. He could not allow the thought of the pain and the shame to prevent or hinder Him from following through with the perfect plan of the Father. It was the Father’s plan, but He had to willingly step forward to accept the assignment, or it would not have been carried out to its glorious conclusion. As a soldier accepts his president’s call to fight and to give his life, if necessary, for his country, so Jesus accepted the call to sacrifice His life for the benefit of those who might never, ever appreciate nor appropriate what He had to endure on their behalf.


Those who saw His fate despised Him, thinking God was against Him. Without opening His mouth to explain, defend or justify Himself, He had to submit to their scorn, their abuse and their judgment.


He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:3-5 NIV


Men did not esteem Him, rather they despised Him – the One who would purchase their freedom, the One who would die so they could live, the One who would stand in the gap, pleading with the Father to forgive them, release them and pronounce them free from sin and all bondages that were imposed by their own choices and decisions. Men thought that it was God who smote and afflicted Him.


Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  Isaiah 53:10-12 NIV


It was God’s will to crush Jesus, in order to purchase our lives. We are not our own, but we are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23). Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning – despising and ignoring – its shame. We are His joy – He did all this for us. What are we prepared to do for Him? What is our joy? What are we looking forward to? What are we prepared to do to obey God and see the blessed outcome of that obedience? We must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Fix your eyes – do not take your eyes off Jesus – or the prize that awaits you if you finish the race. Jesus is the One we look to. He is our example and also the One who cheers us on together with a great cloud of witnesses, who have gone before us, paving the way for us.


Whatever we endure for the cross or His Name – it is nothing compared to the joy that lies before us in the eternal presence of God!


The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.  Deuteronomy 28:12 NIV


You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands, and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers.   Deuteronomy 30:8-9 NIV


We all want the blessing of the Lord on our lives, and indeed, He desires to bless us! He is not the One withholding blessing from us. He tells us that He wants to bless us and He also tells us what we must to do to receive His blessing. The Word clearly states that God will bless the work of our hands! God cannot bless nothing. We must give Him something to bless. We have God’s promise that if we are obedient to His word that He will bless our work. So we must do two things to receive God’s blessing – work and obey! If we do the right thing – we will be blessed and our family will be blessed.


For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.  2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 NKJV


God commands us to mind our own business, to work and to do good. God gives us our own areas of responsibility and He expects us to take care of those things that He has placed in our hands. He also expects us not to be interfering in other people’s areas of responsibility. If we are overly concerned with other people’s business, we will not have enough time for our own. Some well-meaning yet misguided people spend too much time trying to solve their friends’ problems, while their own family’s needs are neglected. You are not responsible for other people – you are responsible for your own family. By the same token, other people are not responsible for solving your problems either.


Some people don’t take care of their responsibilities and then when everything falls apart, they want the church to make it right for them. It is not the church’s responsibility to feed, house and clothe you and your family – it is yours. We, as Christians, are to be a blessing to others, but we are not responsible for others. We should do good to others if it is in our power to do it and we should help people when they need our help. There are people who have fallen on hard times and they need a helping hand so that they can get back on their feet. However, each person is responsible to work and to provide for themselves and their family. Laziness and irresponsibility are not acceptable before God or even in the eye of the law. The law holds you responsible for your family – to provide for them and to protect them. If you do not take proper care of your children, then under the law, the state is obligated to punish you.


If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8 NIV


Whether you are a believer or not, you are obligated to take care of your family. This is your first responsibility before God. You must feed them, clothe them, put a roof over their heads and keep them safe and happy. Before you go out to save the world – you must work to take care of your own family.


Too many people sacrifice their family on the altar of ministry – something that God has not asked you to do. God must be your first priority, your family second and the work of ministry third. However, if anyone sacrifices anything for the sake of ministry it should be the one whom God has called – you – not your kids who have no choice in the matter.


We remember some ministers for their great ministries, but all their kids remember is no Christmas, no birthday presents and no parents there when they needed them. Even if you work and work hard to provide for your family’s physical needs – you must do whatever it takes to take care of their emotional needs too. Remember, they need you and your love and attention more than anything else. You must work to provide for the needs of your family’s bodies, but you also need to work to provide for the needs of their souls and spirits. If you will work hard to provide for your family, spirit, soul and body – you will have a blessed family.