Category Archives: works

Miracles From Heaven Movie Showed You Can Lose Your Faith But Can You Lose Your Faith Really

Miracles From Heaven movie imageWe took three of our grandchildren, ages 11, 9, and 7 to the movie “Miracles From Heaven”. We all teared up over various parts of this heart-warming and true-life based film. God indeed can surprise us with miracles! It is worth seeing.

But, one of the points in the movie had to do with ‘losing your faith’ – to which I disagreed.

If we really know what faith is, then it is impossible to lose our faith.

In fact, if we understand what faith really is, then even in the most painful, confusing, disappointing, even devastating circumstances our faith remains solid.

What is false faith

Here are a few lies many believe about faith:

  • It is your faith – you must muster up faith to believe
  • If you do not have faith to believe in God, then you cannot be saved
  • Once you have faith you have to grow your faith
  • If you lose your faith God will be disappointed in you
  • If you lose your faith you could lose your salvation

What is true faith

To understand true faith you have to know its source and its meaning.

  • It comes from God. (Heb 12:2)
  • True faith is God’s faith. We have no faith on our own. (Rom 1:17)
  • He freely gives His faith – it is a gift. It has nothing to do with works. (Eph 2:8)
  • Faith literally means ‘persuasion, divine persuasion of the human heart’.

The true Gospel is about God’s faith in you. The Gospel is His full persuasion of what He believes to be true about you, even before time began. (2Tim 1:9,10)

The Gospel does not demand faith from you, it freely provides faith to you.

The point of faith is not what you believe about God, but what God believes about you.

Dig In

  • Religion said the mother had lost her faith, even the mother thought she had lost her faith. But in reality God remained fully persuaded about her. He never lost faith in her. And He knew how to woo her back to Himself.
  • What a relief it is – if we are faithless, He remains faithful because He cannot deny (contradict) Himself. (2Tim 2:13) When circumstances get overwhelming or confusing – remember to rest in His faithfulness to work it out – even in the midst of sorrow, grief, pain, loss.
  • Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb 11:1) Jesus is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. His faith brings certainty. His incarnate faith is rock solid. Don’t let religion tell you it is up to you.

What Are The Macedonians Riches of Liberality? Are You Rich In Liberality?

Religious institutional Christianity often uses the story of the Macedonians to inspire us or guilt us into being liberal givers like the Macedonians. (2Corinthians chapters 8,9)

However, maybe it is more accurate to call it ‘guilty inspiration’?

Religious preaching makes us note that the Macedonians gave liberally even though they had no money!

God-giving

The Macedonians were God-giving. Their giving came with an abundance of joy in spite of being under great persecution and extreme poverty. (2Cor 8:2) Amazing!

Paul explained that this strange mix of persecution, great joy, and deep poverty caused the Macedonians to abound in the riches of their liberality. (2Cor 8:2 NKJ) What does that mean?

Meaning of liberality

Many might think being very liberal in this context means being generous with your pocketbook.

After all, the dictionary defines liberality as the quality of being generous.

But the Biblical meaning is much different!

New Testament definition of liberality

liberality Greek: haplotés

  • simplicity, singleness, sincerity, purity, graciousness
  • not compounded or over complicated
  • single-threaded

By the way, do you know haplotés is also used about Jesus?

“..the simplicity (haplotés) that is in Christ.” (2Cor 11:3)

Hmm, pause and think about that. Macedonians and Jesus = haplotés.

Importance of the word “in”

Sometimes more understanding comes when we consider little bitty words in scripture verses.  e.g. the word “in”

  • abounded in the riches of liberality
  • the simplicity in Christ

This particular “in” in scripture is

eis – prop. into, unto; lit. “motion into which”, implying penetration and union to a particular purpose or result.

So the Macedonians had experienced a union, a penetration into Jesus’ purity, simplicity, sincerity, graciousness. And it was for a particular purpose or result.

The Macedonians were ‘one’ with Jesus. They were a true reflection of God’s liberality. They reflected Jesus’ purity, sincerity, graciousness. There was no duplicity in their giving, no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive. No ‘notice what I did’ or even a ‘pat on the back’.

Give according to ability

What caused these Macedonians to be effusive in the riches of liberality, i.e. of simplicity?

Paul explained – “…that according to their ability…” (2Cor 8:3)

Doesn’t this sound like self-effort?

It’s up to you. So muster up that ability with positive thinking, positive confession, talk yourself or guilt yourself into it. Be inspired by the preacher’s persuasive words declaring a great need and we need your ability to give.

Right? No way!

Quite the contrary, supernatural stuff was going on here.

  • according tokatá – properly, “down from, e. from a higher to a lower plane, with special reference to the end-point
  • ability dunamis power, might, force (dunamis is where we get our word ‘dynamite’)

Down from a higher plane (Jesus) to a lower plane (the Macedonian’s hearts – it’s intended end point) – God’s power came and wonderful fruit resulted. Now mind you, Jesus is in them/in us – so this ‘higher plane’ is not heaven or somewhere up there that power comes down. It is an internal dynamic.

Oh to give like true Macedonians! Oh the rush of joy!

True Liberality Flows Simply GrowingInFullness Nancy Teague


Dig In

  • Biblical ‘liberality’ flows simply and freely. It abounds in simplicity, purity, sincerity and singleness. It is not complicated! This kind of liberality has nothing to do with religious Christianity and all to do with Jesus.
  • You were made to naturally and easily reflect this beautiful liberality. It’s a God empowerment. He loves seeing you ‘be Him’ in your own unique way.
  • Get free from religion’s persuasive kind of guilt giving. There is no ‘have to’ with God. Let Him empower you with His kind of liberality. It is part of fullness. Enjoy the powerful flow!

P.S. Next post – what is the real source of the Macedonians’ liberality and cheerful giving?

Meaning of Be Doers of the Word James 1:22

“But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (Ja 1:22 NKJ)

Most Christians read James 1:22 as their marching orders to DO WORKS.

We must DO things to please God, to prove we are believers, earn rewards in heaven, maintain our salvation, etc.

If you don’t DO – then figure you will be deceived about the security of your salvation.

Doer Versus Grace

How does grace fit in all this religious doing? It doesn’t.

What do we do with – being saved by grace through faith, and not by works, lest there be boasting? (Eph 2:8)

Remember, when Jesus was asked by His disciples, “What must we do to do the works of God”? Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (Jn 6:28,29)

Hmm, is ‘believe’ a work?

But James said we must be a ‘doer’. What do we do with that?

Religion came to the rescue to tell us what to do.

Traditional Religious ‘Doer’ Meaning
• Pray a lot
• Read and study the Bible
• Memorize scriptures
• Fast
• Worship God
• Weekly church attendance
• Serve and participate in church activities
• Be accountable
• Witness to unbelievers
• Get people saved
• Tithe and give offerings
• Observe the rituals
• Do good deeds

If the above list exemplifies a doer, then what is a hearer? Religion to the rescue again.

Traditional Religious ‘Hearer’ Meaning

Religion would say a ‘hearer’ is one who goes to church, listens to the word preached but forgets the sermon message and doesn’t personally apply its points. But they like to feel good or justified for a while from what they heard.

The religious institution would explain a ‘hearer’ is not committed to the Lord or the church.

Religion would say a ‘hearer only’ is a surface believer. Religion might even say a ‘hearer only’ is not a believer!

Religious Christianity values doers over hearers. They have to, it keeps the doors open.

To Do Or Not To Do_Nancy Teague GrowingInFullnessy

 

True Meaning of Doer and Hearer

To understand the ‘doer’ and ‘hearer’ words, in James chapter one, let’s look at their Greek meanings.

doer – Greek poiétés – (poy-ay-tace’) – a maker, poet, a doer, carrier out, performer

Poiétés is the word from which we get poet. So when you read ‘doer’ think of a creative person, a sensitive person, someone who has heightened awareness of themselves, their surroundings and others. They have empathy and compassion. Consider a performer – be it visual or verbal –  expressive, desirous and able to touch others’ lives.

hearer – Greek akroatés (ak-ro-at-ace’) – a hearer of, a listener to

A hearer is a good thing. Jesus said multiple times, he who has ears to hear, let him hear. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God Christ (actually ‘Cristos’ in the Greek = Christ Jesus). If we truly listen and hear we will be hearing of things about Jesus and listening to what He has to say about who the Father really is and who we really are.

The Father even said, this is My Beloved Son, listen to him! Looks like that Word made flesh has important things to say and for us to hear, not do.

Hearer Is A Doer

In truth, James 1:18-25 is a beautiful picture of a grace-drenched hearer-doer. When you really hear the fullness of the Gospel you can’t help but be a doer!

Dig In
• Many Christians struggle with am I doing enough good works or are they the right good works. This ‘works’ mentality is driven by fear and guilt. Not good. Not God.
• Believe in Jesus – that is the only ‘work’ Jesus Himself said is doing the work of God. To fully believe is an incredible place of trust, confidence, and rest. What a place to live from and ‘do’ from.
• You’re a poet and don’t know it! It’s part of the fullness of your true identity.

P.S. Next post we will go look more closely at the verses in James 1:18-25 which point to the wonderful law of liberty that releases us as true ‘doers’.

Who Are The Ten Virgins? What Do The Ten Virgins Show About The Kingdom of God?

Have you ever considered how the traditional religious punitive retributive mindset about God will keep you from understanding the kingdom of God?

The parable of the Ten Virgins is one of many parables that Jesus used to mystify us rather than inform. The Kingdom is so full of goodness for all that most were blind to that fact. Hence their conclusions (and ours) on this parable meaning would focus on judgment, punishment, and hell.

Ah, but there is good news in the parable of the Ten Virgins!

Check out the video and be surprised at what these virgins show us about the fullness of the Kingdom of God:

 

Dig In

  • Do you have your walk figured out, kind of like the five ‘foolish’ virgins? You have enough. Or do you think God only has a little bit for you? Or are you open to getting so full of Truth that you would be like one of the five ‘wise’ virgins lugging around a jug of oil?
  • Do you think God has delayed, is delaying, or will delay in things you are waiting for? God doesn’t delay. “Behold the Bridegroom!” HE IS HERE NOW! Fill up your jug!
  • Has your religious teaching put a hard edge on the parables and programmed you to see the negative? Do know you really can grasp the fullness of grace that is hidden within them. Repent! 🙂 In other words change your mindset and enter into the inclusiveness, joy, and fullness of the kingdom, of which the parables point.

Did the Apostle Paul Get Born Again As Religion Teaches and Requires?

Do you know the steps one must take to get saved? Have you been taught the “Four Spiritual Laws”? How about “The Romans Road”? Maybe the “ABCs of Salvation” is the better way to get saved?!

Yee gads, how did becoming a believer get so formulated? Man. Man likes to help God out.

Paul, the Apostle, knew none of those formulas. In fact his life is a prime example to blow up all our religious ways of ‘getting saved’ or ‘born again’.

Check out the  to video see if Paul really got born again the way we think it should happen –

Here is a free PDF download with all the details and scriptures –Did The Apostle Paul Get Born Again As Religion Teaches and Requires?

Dig In

  • If any aspect of your walk with God involves a formula, steps, a system then beware. These man made ideas have no LIFE in them. Only Jesus is the life!
  • It was revelation that awakened Paul to who he really was, even in his mother’s womb. His violent action affected NOT the security of being in Jesus and Jesus in Him.
  • True salvation is not dependent on feeling bad about your sins and asking forgiveness. You were forgiven at the cross – all mankind was forgiven at the cross. Now to wake up to that powerful truth! Sin is in NO WAY  more powerful than His eternal love expressed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. There’s certainty and fullness in Christ’s final words –  “It is finished.”

Comfortable Stuck Empty or Resistant to Change – In Your Faith? Dream Says He Has So Much More!

Do you dream? Does God speak to you in your dreams?

Dreams are significant in the Bible and they can be significant in your life. Please know there are “God dreams”. Be open to Him speaking to you this way.

Often you will not understand the complete interpretation of a meaningful dream until weeks, months, or even years later.

Fuller understanding might come after other things happen in your life or the Lord has revealed other truths about Himself to you. Be patient. He knows when you need to have more clarity in a dream that seems important.

Remember – Jesus told His disciples, “I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (Jn 16:12)

Sometimes we cannot ‘bear’ (Greek take up, carry) them because our mindset is so unchangeable that we couldn’t hear it if we even wanted to.

That is why it is so important to be like the ‘Bereans’  – they searched the scriptures to see if what they were hearing was so. They were not searching the scriptures to prove something new, fresh, different was NOT true. (Acts 17:11)

Today I share a dream that happened eight years ago, but the freshness of it is still as palpable as it was back then. What is more significant is seeing fuller  meaning in this dream even after eight years!

Click the video to hear the dream and see if you could be like me!

Dig In

  • We all have religious traditions and a world view through which we determine our understanding of life and God. Isn’t it sweet that God can use even dreams to expose and dismantle misguided or limited views.
  • Are you open to change? If not, ask the Lord why you aren’t. Are you too comfortable, too fearful, too set in your religious ways? Don’t forget – change is a principle in growth and maturity.
  • All true growth and maturity have to do with unity of the faith, knowledge of the Son of God, maturing to the stature of the fullness of Christ Jesus. (Eph 4:13) Now why wouldn’t we want to change and grow?! Revelation brings change that brings us into the ‘so much more’! Welcome revelation, welcome God dreams, welcome change! It’s part of fullness.

Abide In Him, His Words Abide In You, Ask Anything, It Will Be Done! Is That A Formula? You Can Really Ask Anything?!

Have you ever asked God for something and expected Him to answer the way you asked?

Have you ever asked God for something and He didn’t grant your request?

Have you ever asked God for something and He gave you an answer you didn’t want? At least you thought that was HIS answer?

Have you ever thought you were doing all the things you thought you were supposed to do in order to get your prayers answered? Ever been disappointed with that kind of thinking? Do you know that is religious thinking?

It sure looks like Jesus gave us a formula to get our prayers answered. But is that what He was really trying to tell us in John 15:7,8?

Check out the video to learn more –

and/or download the free PDF supplement Abide in Him, His Words Abide In You, Ask Anything, It Will Be Done? Is That A Formula? You Can Really Ask Anything?

Dig In

  • If you are caught up in formulas, steps, check lists – in order to do it right or please God, please grasp these are not life giving and are not ‘have to’s’.
  • God is really into abiding. He does not want to be #1 in our lives. He wants to be ONE with us. Let Him show you what abiding really is and that you are already ONE with Him without doing anything!
  • As you rest in His kind of abiding you will find your desires/requests/prayers moving to a whole new place full of life, freedom, certainty, and trust.

What Does It Mean to Abide In The Vine? Part One -The Wrong Way!

Do you abide in the Vine? How? When? Why? Where?

Shoot, all I knew was, I sure didn’t want to be one of those branches that gets cut off and thrown into the fire! That thought alone is enough to make me want to abide or at least die trying to!

Come on now. Is that what Jesus was trying to get across in His message about the Vine and the branches? You had better abide, or else.

Have you ever noticed how we Christians are notorious for wanting a step by step plan to:

  • Do it right
  • Be right
  • Please God
  • Impress God/others
  • Mature in things of God
  • Advance the kingdom
  • Do our duty
  • Show how thankful we are for His ultimate sacrifice by doing and obeying

Hey, maybe just give me 3 points, and I will do it. How about a list, then I can check it off. I know, let’s make a chart and the visual impact will be a big motivator!How NOT To Abide

Sound familiar?

Truly I did not understand Paul’s words – “…they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom 10:2-4)

Confession time – I was one zealous believer back in the day. I had no clue of “knowledge”, even though I thought I did! Hey, I even remember using that phrase, “they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge”, as a way to judge others! Sick, huh?

Paul nailed it with this wonderful description of those of us who, in misguided sincerity, are trying so hard. Our fervor and zeal only wear us out, they don’t do a lick to develop any righteousness or please God, let alone abide. But we can’t see that, because we busy doing the stuff, or feeling guilty for not doing the stuff.

By the way, do you see how our “step by step” formulaic mindset is another way of establishing our own righteousness?

Geesh, I’m so thankful in my ‘old’ age He finally broke through all the religious mindsets to show me what He really wants. Has to do with fullness and freedom!

Okay, back to the Abiding topic.

Traditional Christian responses on how to abide:

  • “Quiet time” is necessary – BE STILL, focus on Him, renounce any wandering thoughts, write down wandering thoughts so they stop wandering.
  • Make sure you sincerely worship God, which best happens with worshipful music. In fact, some believe you can only truly worship with music.
  • “Carpet time” might help. (For those who aren’t familiar with that phrase, this means laying prostrate on the ground as you worship Him or are ‘still’. Not to say this is a bad thing to do, but it gets twisted as a work, a should, a must, a need to – particularly to show Him you are humbling yourself.
  • Read the Bible and meditate on scripture. Even memorizing scripture will show Him you really want to abide.
  • Pray in tongues, but do it quietly for true abiding. 🙂

Is that what God had in mind when Jesus said “Abide in Me, and I in you.”? (Jn 15:4)

Dig In

  • Are you good at abiding by doing stuff? Have you been caught in the religious works traps of abiding? Please realize you don’t have to stay trapped.
  • Do you like three step formulas, check lists, charts? Have you ever tracked your abiding success rate from these things? Having done the stuff do you feel restful, full, and certain?
  • What kind of fruit do you bear with the traditional Christian ways of abiding? What kind of fruit do you think God is looking for when we truly abide?

Next post we will find out what God had in mind about abiding! You just might be surprised!