Did you ever buy a toy for a child that said "Easy assembly, a 12 year old could do it"? Then after two hours you decide you are too old to put it together; or you get it all together and find out you left out spacer G and must tear it apart for one little, insignificant piece? Or, maybe you work and work before you read the instructions because it looked easy and you didn't need any help. We all know what happens at that point. It usually ends up as a strain on our religion.
Many have problems today which they cannot find the answers to. There's a saying that says: "God is bigger than any problem we have."
If that is true, then why are Christians still carrying around all the problems and troubles in their lives? One of the reasons this is happening is because they are not "Appropriating the Principles" of God in their lives.
The Parable of the Sower shows three reasons why people lose their salvation. Many today say "once saved, always saved"; but the Bible does not bear this out. The Bible does reveal that those in the parable of the sower have received the Word in their hearts.
"The sower soweth the Word. And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the Word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the Word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the Word. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word, and it becometh unfruitful." Mark 4:14-19
Those by the way side heard the Word and never got into the main stream of what God was trying to do in their lives. They stood by the way side, never getting involved in what God was doing.
Satan took them back. They had no power to resist. Most people think going to church is all that is needed to be pleasing to God. Going to church is for our good; not for the good of God.
We fellowship that we may be taught and trained; that we may be usable, that we may learn to minister, and come into His image. This is pleasing to God. Taking the truths of the Word and sharing it with a dying world is pleasing to God. But today there are many pew warmers standing by the wayside allowing satan, not only to steal the Word, but also their inheritance in God.
In Verse 16, the stony ground Christians never got their roots down into the good earth of the Word. When persecution and trouble came, they simply fell away.
Psalm 1:3 says we should be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. This is the River of Life and the waters of this river are the Word of God. We should be partaking of that River of Life and the water of the Word. Our roots should go down deep in that water so we may draw life and health from it.
When adversity comes we can draw strength from that which comes from God. We will bring forth fruit in our season and our leaf will not wither. What we do, shall prosper. Those who are shallow rooted will fall away.
The seed that is sown among the thorns are those who get into the main stream. They go to church and read the Word. They do good works. They look good on the outside but the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches and the lust for the things in this world choke out the Word. They get so busy they have no time for God or His Word.
The thorns are the "don'ts" in the church. The people are more interested in personal appearance than in their inner appearance which God sees. The cares of this world soon make them forget their concern for God. They did not "Appropriate the Principles".
Jesus spoke in Matthew:
"Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21
It is not the ones who are crying, "Lord, Lord", that will enter in; but those who are doing the Father's will.
Many today have let the cares of this world, or the burdens they carry, choke out the Word of God because they do not know how to "Appropriate the Principles" in the Bible.
What are the problems in your life that you do not know how to take care of? What cares in your life are choking out the Word?
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1
The word for weight is ONKOS and means "a mass, bulging load; a heavy burden". What are the heavy burdens in your life? Are you unhappy, sick, in debt? Are you hurt? Is your peace gone? Do you have marital problems? Are there people you do not like? Are you having problems maturing in your Christian walk?
What problem is it that is weighing you down? For all life's problems, God has given us divine answers. Before we can appropriate any of God's principles we must have faith.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
"For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30
Jesus' burdens are truly light. The burdens we try to carry get mighty heavy. But those are not His burdens, the heavy ones are ours; the ones we brought with us when we came to Jesus. Jesus says to get rid of them.
How do we "Appropriate the Principles"?
#1 Is your peace gone in your life? Is there turmoil all around you?
When God's peace leaves, what takes its place? FEAR. You either live in peace or fear. You can call it worry or doubt but it is FEAR.
"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
Jesus left His peace. The world does not know this kind of peace. Jesus knew when His peace left us, fear would come in. Therefore, if Jesus left His peace, it is available to us. Let not your mind be troubled and let not fear come in.
How do we "Appropriate the Principle" of handling fear?
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7
This scripture reveals much:
1 - Fear is a spirit
2 - Fear does not come from God.
If fear is a spirit and it does not come from God, where does it come from? It comes from satan and it is a demonic spirit.
We have no excuse for fear in our lives because we have the power to overcome it. Our peace leaves when this fear is present. When fear is conquered, and your will is in line with God's will, your peace will return.
#2 What about sickness? God gave us a Principle to Appropriate.
"Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." James 5:14-15
Do we believe God heals the sick? James 5:15 says the prayer of faith will heal the sick.
"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17-18
Jesus heals when we believe. James 5:14 also tells us to call the elders. The elders are the leaders in the Body. This healing should take place in the local Body by those who have been ordained by God to minister to the Body. Most want to run to a big name healer. The principle we are to appropriate is that God's healing is to take place in the local Body.
Healing the sick is no problem to our Lord. But it takes faith and the local ministry.
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." I Peter 2:24
". . .By whose stripes we were healed ". This verb is past tense. All we must do is accept and walk into the healing. It is already done. If you are sick, God wants you to appropriate His principle, the Word.
#3 Are there hurts in your life?
These hurts could go all the way back to childhood; or they could be more recent. You may have been hurt by someone and have hard feelings. These may have become sin in your life. Hard feelings are sin in God's sight.
Jesus said in Luke 4:18 that He was sent to heal the broken hearted. The heart is the mind. He came to heal those broken in the mind; those who are harboring hard feelings, guilt and unforgiveness. Many have shoved hurts and hard feelings to the back of their minds and have them sealed there. They suffer tremendously; and may not even realize why.
What about the hurts you have in your life you are not aware of? You may think this is just a part of your nature. You may feel it is something you were born with.
We are told that mothers who consider abortion, mark the child. The child goes through life feeling unwanted and rejected. The child may never know the reason why. Many of these strike back at society through child abuse, wife beating or end up in some other violent crime; not knowing the cause of their problem. But Jesus came to heal the broken hearted.
What is God's principle to appropriate if you are hurting? First, let's deal with the area which concerns the hurts you know about. Unforgiveness and hard feelings seem to be a great problem today. Both will destroy you physically, mentally and Spiritually. The human body was not made to harbor these feelings. John talks of hard feelings and unforgiveness.
"Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained." John 20:23
What are the sins we remit? This does not mean man has the right to forgive men's sins. It does mean if you have unforgiveness in your life and are unable to forgive the other person, then you are retaining that sin of unforgiveness in your life. If you forgive that sin, it is remitted unto them. Once we remit that hard feeling or unforgiveness, we feel a weight or pressure taken from us. We then have a right relationship renewed with the Father.
When counseling as a pastor, I find that 99% of the time, when people come with problems, we end up dealing with the affects of the problem. The people are not willing to get to the real problem in their lives. These problems have become so deep seated that the hurt is too severe to get to the root of the problem.
"To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ." II Corinthians 2:10
Paul says, "You forgive them and I will forgive them." Paul did not just tell the person, but he did it in the presence of Christ. Why is it necessary to forgive everybody?
"Lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." II Corinthians 2:11
If we harbor hard feelings or unforgiveness, then satan would have the advantage. We are not to be ignorant of satan's devices.
Why is it necessary for us to forgive others? It is necessary to forgive others so we do not quench the Holy Spirit in our lives.
What about the hurts in your life that you do not know about? You know you are hurting; but you do not know what to do about it?
You need to do some deep soul searching. You may need pastoral counseling in this area (not a psychiatrist). You need someone who understands Spiritual things; a psychiatrist never heals anyone. They can only give you an excuse for the way you are and tell you how to live with that excuse.
You need a good friend in whom you can confide to get these things out in the open so they can be dealt with. You need someone you can be in subjection to; one you can trust 100%; someone who operates in love. This soul searching is very important.
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:30-32
Many times we put a scab over things we are not willing to face. Do some soul searching. Put all these things away. Get rid of all these deep roots. Why is this necessary? It is hindering your walk in Christ.
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." Hebrews 12:15
Many are defiled. They have allowed a root of bitterness to spring up and make them unclean before the Lord. We need to root out this bitterness in our lives.
Jesus came to heal our hurts. He came to heal the broken hearted. He gave us the principles and how to appropriate them.
#4 Does God have a principle to appropriate concerning marriage?
He certainly does. Marriage includes the husband and wife and also the children. God has set principles for the husband and wife which carry forth to the rearing of the children.
"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Genesis 2:24
How can one flesh go in two different directions? Yet, we see husbands that have their lives; and the wives who have their own lives. The only thing they have in common is the house they live in.
They were to leave father and mother. They were to start their own home and family. Because of financial strains many today try to live with their mothers and fathers. This puts a great strain on the marriage. Many marriages do not survive. This is because they do not appropriate God's principles concerning marriage.
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." I Corinthians 11:3
This is God's principle for the home and how it should be set up. Christ is the head of man. Man is the head of the wife. The children should be taught this order that they may learn how to operate their own homes. If the home is in this order, God can bless it. If the home is not in order then the church, which is made up of these homes, will not be in order. The home must come into order before the church can be in order. (1)
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3
These are the principles God has set for the home. Nothing else works. What are the children to do? They are to obey. Unless your children are in obedience, your home is not in order.
If you want a happy home, then appropriate the principle.
#5 Are you in debt? Did God intend for us to be in debt?
"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Romans 13:8
God said He would take care of our needs; but it is our wants that keep us in debt. Today, many Christians are badly in debt to the world system; no longer free to do the things God desires them to do.
Today, people borrow money to try to keep up; but you cannot borrow yourself out of debt. Some continue to go deeper and deeper into this bondage; but God has a principle concerning this. Who are we to look to when we need something?
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Will God supply our needs according to our worthiness, according to our own ability, or according to our wants? No. God will supply your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If you have debts, you need to apply this principle. If you have debts, you have needs.
You need God's help to get yourself out of debt. Since we cannot borrow our way out of debt, we need to quit going into debt.
We need to turn to our Lord who will give us wisdom and guidance in getting out of debt and free from the world system. This will take a conscious effort. We can all be debt free. This is the way God intends for us to live.
God is bigger than any problem we have, but we must appropriate His principles.
There is a story I am going to tell you. I do not know if this is a true story, but it is very true.
Many years ago a man had a need. He wrote to his father and said, "I'm really in trouble and I need your help." So his dad sent him a Bible. He wrapped it all up and on the outside he pasted a paper that said, "Son, all of your needs will be answered in this book."
When the son received the Bible, he threw it in a corner, saying, "That religious old fanatic. All he knows is the Bible. All he knows is how to preach to me about getting my life straightened up."
The son's solution for his physical need was to steal. He ended up in jail. He, again, called his father and his father bailed him out and took him home.
The son said, "Dad, I asked you for help and you would not help me. That's why I got into trouble." The father said, "Son, didn't you get my package?" He said, "Yes, but all you sent me was a Bible. I needed money."
The father said, "Do you still have the package?" The son said, "Yes." The father asked him to go get it. When he brought it to him, the father asked him to open it. On the first page was taped a $100.00 bill.
The father said, "Son, this book will not only meet your Spiritual needs, but also your physical needs."
Many, today, are ending up in trouble with the world and God, because they will not open the Word of God. Too many do not read the book. Too many do not "Appropriate the Principles" in the Book.
You may say, "I read the Bible. I know all the things you say are true, but I still have problems."
God gave us a way to appropriate His principles. This is a secret God has hidden from us. It has been shrouded in His Word for all the history of mankind.
Today I am going to reveal unto you how to appropriate His principles. Ready?
It is called "prayer and faith". This is how we appropriate God's principles.
Prayer is acting upon your faith and putting into affect what you believe. We must learn to appropriate God's principles when we pray.
Hebrews 11:6 reveals that God"is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
The word diligently means "to search out, investigate, to crave". God rewards those who search out, investigate and crave His presence in their lives. We do this through prayer.
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Matthew 21:22
Many have used this, and because they did not receive what they asked for, they were sure God did not answer their prayer. But there are other principles which God put in His word that our pattern of prayer must follow.
"And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us." I John 5:14
We must ask in His will. We must always pray in God's will if He is to hear us.
"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:2-3
Many fail to obtain because they do not ask. Others do not obtain because they ask amiss. They pray that they may consume it upon their own lust. You can have all the faith in the world, but if you are not applying these principles to your prayer; God will not hear your prayer.
The Holy Spirit will guide you into what you are to pray for. When you pray in the will of the Father, there is nothing that God will not give you. Begin today to appropriate these principles.
There are many carrying around heavy burdens and weights that God never intended them to bear. If you believe God is bigger than any problem; then appropriate God's principles in your life today.
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2
"For every man shall bear his own burden." Galatians 6:5
We are to bear our own burdens. We are also to bear one another's burdens. If you have a burden, do not be proud. Share it with someone so both of you can take it to the Lord.
God is looking for a people who are ready for His service. God is looking for those who have gotten rid of all the excess heavy burdens and weights that hold them down. (2)
If the Lord called you into His service today, could you go, or is your debt load too heavy or could you not afford to miss work?
Are there areas of unforgiveness and hard feelings that have not been taken care of that you would have to deal with before you could minister for the Lord?
Do you think that God cannot use you? Maybe He can't because of all the excess weight you are carrying. If we appropriate God's principles in our lives we will strip off the excess weight that we may run the race God has set before us.
This is the people God is looking for to send into the harvest. The earth is ready to be harvested.
Are you ready? (3)
(1) See "Order in His Courts" by George Kirkpatrick
(2) See "God Preparing A People" by George Kirkpatrick
(3) See "Day of Preparation" by George Kirkpatrick
See also, "Becoming the Word" by George Kirkpatrick
1. Why do many Christians still have a lot of problems and troubles in their lives?
2. What parable in the Bible shows three reasons why people lose their salvation? Mark 4:14-19
3. What must we have before we can appropriate any of God's principles?
4. What two important things does the Scripture reveal about fear? II Timothy 1:7
5. When God's peace leaves a person, what takes its place?
6. Jesus heals when we .James 5:14-15
7. In what ways will unforgiveness and hard feelings destroy you?
8. If we harbor hard feelings or unforgiveness, who will have the advantage?
9. In order not to quench the Holy Spirit in our lives, what is necessary?
10. What are some things you can do about hurts in your life?
11. What happens when we remit hard feelings and unforgiveness?
12. Unless are in obedience, the home is not .
13. What must come into order before the church can come into order?
14. Did God intend for us to be in debt? Romans 13:8
15. Why are so many people today ending up in trouble with the world and with God?
16. What is the secret of appropriating the principles in God's word?
17. Who does God reward?
18. If God is to hear us, we must always pray in .
19. Who is God looking for?
20. What is the earth ready for?
Appropriating the Principles
1. Q. Why do many Christians still have
a lot of problems and troubles in
A. Because they are not appropriating the principles of God
2. Q. What parable in the Bible shows
three reasons why people lose their
salvation? Mark 4:14-19
A. The parable of the sower
3. Q. What must we have before we can
appropriate any of God's principles?
4. Q. What two important things does
the Scripture reveal about fear? II
A. 1) Fear is a spirit 2) Fear does not come from God
5. Q. When God's peace leaves a person,
what takes its place?
6. Q. Jesus heals when we . James
7. Q. In what ways will unforgiveness
and hard feelings destroy you?
A. Physically, mentally and Spiritually
8. Q. If we harbor hard feelings or
unforgiveness, who will have the
9. Q. In order not to quench the Holy
Spirit in our lives, what is
A. To forgive others
10. Q. What are some things you can do
about hurts in your life?
A. 1) Do some soul searching 2) Seek pastoral counseling 3) Confide in a good friend whom you can trust
11. Q. What happens when we remit hard
feelings and unforgiveness?
A. A right relationship is renewed with the Father
12. Q. Unless are in obedience, the
home is not.
A. Children, in order
13. Q. What must come into order before
the church can come into order?
A. The home
14. Q. Did God intend for us to be in
debt? Romans 13:8
A. Romans 13:8 says "Owe no many anything, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law", so we should not get in debt.
15. Q. Why are so many people today
ending up in trouble with the world and
A. Because they will not open and read the Word of God
16. Q. What is the secret of
appropriating the principles in God's word?
A. Prayer and faith
17. Q. Who does God reward?
A. Those who search out, investigate and crave His presence in their lives through prayer
18. Q. If god is to hear us, we must
always pray in .
A. God's will
19. Q. Who is God looking for?
A. A people who are ready for His service and have gotten rid of all the excess heavy burdens and weights that hold them down
20. Q. What is the earth ready for?
Vital Words to the Body of
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give