An Authentic Attribute of God

I remember having a conversation with an individual who is not a professing believer, and during the course of that discussion the study of Bible prophecy came up. He proudly asked me, as if to trip me up, “how can you study something that’s not happened yet?” I replied by affirming his question as a good one, and tried to explain how mathematically the odds are impossible-to-none that someone could have detailed the crucifixion of Jesus Christ hundreds of years earlier, but somehow it’s the case.

In the following video clip, Dr. Chuck Missler answers that same question from the scripture in a way I had never heard before. Yet, to me the nugget of truth that he presents is very much a once and for all answer. No longer will I have to try and explain it, because he points out that the Bible makes it clear. The ability to tell the future is a unique attribute of God, and the verse he shares is right on the money.

It’s an amazing thing to consider and makes perfect sense. Prophecy in the Bible is that one attribute authentic to God Himself, and His way of letting us know that the Bible is truly inspired by Him.

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Humility, The Divine Reset Button

“The two persons whom Jesus praised most for their faith in His earthly ministry were two people who thought themselves totally unworthy.”

Derek Prince

In his discussion, that I link below, Derek Prince states that “faith and pride are incompatible.” Watch the 1 minute and 20 second clip before you continue reading.

It’s amazing to me to consider this thought, because it’s profoundly relevant. There are times when our faith is up, and we’re walking on sunshine, and there are times when our faith is stagnant and we feel like we’re just existing. I believe the latter is the cause of a lack of humility.

After things like: starting this website, and doing various projects that are internally fulfilling, I felt the brakes slowly being applied, and my faith coming to a stop.

The light was red, and I waited, and waited, until that gnawing feeling when you begin to wonder if the light is broken, and if it’ll ever turn green again. Then, when I found myself stagnant and not knowing what to do, a thought came to my mind about the one thing that’s like coming up for air; to humble myself. Interestingly, a day later I listened to this discussion, and I knew it was from God.

The truth is, we don’t have to have a blatant pride and arrogance about ourselves to reap the negative effects of pride. Besides, the more subtle our pride, the longer it will take to even realize it’s there. Pride, comes before a fall, and as Derek Prince says ‘faith and pride are incompatible.’

No, wonder when I’m behind the wheel, and living more so on my dime, waking up without reading the Word of God, going throughout my day without a foundation of prayer, that I eventually begin to feel lost. Sadly, the reason why I wouldn’t do those things is because I don’t prioritize them into my life, like one man of God once told me “we have to have a regiment.” Instead I do the opposite, I live according to my own whims and enjoy, and want, and consume, but “not do anything bad…” then I find myself at the stop light, waiting, wondering, frustrated.

I recently read a scripture that indicated the fact that, omitting a sin from our lives is not enough when it comes to repentance and change, we also need to include doing something right into our lives.

Humility is the only active way to state to God that we cannot do it on our own, and that we need Him.

The Bible says:

“God resists the proud, ​but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6

There’s always an initial assumption when we read any scripture, and there’s always a very practical understanding on the flip side.

When I read the above verse from James 4:6 it makes me realize why God gives grace to the humble; how can He direct a person that’s leading themselves? It would be an attempt at helping someone who’d be actively resisting His guidance. Humility is so practical, and putting ourselves in that state of lowliness is the most beneficial.

When we humble ourselves, we soon sense His grace, and when we feel His presence once again in our lives the light turns green and we can move forward with confidence knowing that He is with us.

 

The Definitive Bible Study Guide (Part 1)

Whether you’re new to studying the Bible or a seasoned student of the Holy Writ, this definitive guide will offer fresh perspectives of tools that are hidden in plain sight. Along with explanations of the benefit of cross references, using marginal notes, and considering italicized text; in this part 1 of the guide I offer ‘why it’s crucial to study,’ and what are the best translations to use for study. After going over this information you will be well on your way to becoming one of God’s greatest pupils.

Here are 3 definitive reasons why you should study the Bible:

1. We study the Word of God because “we don’t know what we don’t know.” Therefore the best thing for us to do is to put our head down and study.

In speaking of the prophetic words of God, the Apostle Peter said:

“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”

2 Peter 1:19

Essentially, Peter is saying we must focus on the Word of God solely for a time until something happens. He then gives the metaphor of the day dawning, and the morning star rising in our hearts. He’s speaking of a personal experience each of us should have, but what is it? The truth is, you won’t know until you receive it, but according to the verse, it takes an eye that’s attentively fixed upon the Word of God for an indefinite period.

When you take these words seriously and judge everything by the Holy Scripture, continuously looking through it’s lens, then and only then will it begin to dawn on you that the Word of God is the one answer to everything, and not just in theory, in reality. It is this paradigm shift you can only receive by rolling up your sleeves and digging in, because the mosaic which is God’s perspective we seek to obtain, comes:

“…precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

Isaiah 28: 10

2. In order to live God’s way we must learn how.

This one’s simple and should absolutely compel you to want to study God’s Word. It also dovetails the first one perfectly, because if you don’t understand how to live God’s way, to you, Christianity becomes an impractical belief system. Yet, when you study the Word of God, you realize how amazingly practical it actually is. King David said:

“Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.”

Psalms 119:33, 34

This was the cry of one of the most revered men in the Bible. He received that reputation because of his desire to understand the essence of God’s teachings, and the practical applications of them. He knew if he was to be obedient, then God would have to teach him how, through the scriptures.

3. To gain wisdom that’s undeniable.

When you see yourself in ‘the mirror of the Word,’ (James 1:23, 24) and find answers as to how to change personally, not only do you benefit, but if others are willing, you can help them too. The Bible says:

“…the words of scholars are like well driven nails.”

Ecclesiastes 12:11

The more you sift through the scriptures, the more you gain refined points of view. When it comes time to express those to another person you won’t come off as confusing. Instead, you will present truth that is so on point, that person will simply have to make a choice. Communicating the Word is a skill that takes time to develop, but the payoff can have eternal ramifications.

“Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

James 5:19-20

(Further reading on this subject can be found in Proverbs chapter 2. It’s essentially devoted to the benefits of study, and gives a number of additional reasons as to why it’s so crucial. You should read it and consider it when you have the opportunity.)

What translation should I use when I study?

In order to answer this question we have to take into account the two main methods of translation.

Formal equivalence translates original manuscripts word for word, while dynamic equivalence translates original manuscripts sense to sense. There is a massive amount of beneficial information to be discussed when it comes to the issue of translations, but for this definitive Bible study guide it’s clear which one is the best to choose.

When it comes to authenticity and having the ability to dig deeper into the meaning of the words of scripture, a word for word translation is essential. Dynamic equivalence creates a paraphrase, and the theology, or assumptions of the translator will be ingrained within the text, and therefore when you want to go deeper it’s like searching through fog. With formal equivalence, you’re one layer away from deep study and that’s where you want to be, ready to pull the trigger when God points something out of significance to you.

In the next part of this series I will get deeper into how to do word studies with Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, which has a detailed Hebrew and Greek dictionary of about every word that’s in the original text of the Bible. This particular concordance uses the King James version because of it’s formal equivalence. I find that using a New King James Version adds ease of reading and because of it’s strong relation to the original King James Version, it’s easy to pair with the Strong’s Concordance.

Bottom line, you should definitely have a study Bible that uses formal equivalence as it’s method of translation. By doing so, you’re setting yourself up to seek understanding “as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures.” (Proverbs 2:4)

Utilizing Cross References:

Cross references are the easiest way to engage in a meaningful Bible study session. A cross reference is a scripture related to the text you are reading, by word, topic, or theme, that will further expound, and develop the idea you’re reading.

Cross References Infographic

Considering Italicized Text:

Bible’s will note that “Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Aramaic or Hebrew,” nor the Greek for that matter, throughout the entire Bible. This fact should not unsettle you, because more often then not I find these words are a perfect bridge to help make sense of a phrase difficult to translate into English prose with precision.

Yet, it’s important to take note of as some Bible researchers do; at times they find the words in italicized text will fall short of the deeper meaning of the context in its original language, although rare. Nevertheless, it’s a great fact to take into consideration, because if there are gems of truth to be found, that are not clearly on the surface, then you have the opportunity to find them.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

Proverbs 25:2

margin template 2

Marginal Notes:

Marginal notes will be notated by small numbers next to any particular word in a verse and be expanded in the margin. No marginal note is the same. The publishers point out anything from ‘how a particular Bible manuscript may differ in translation of a phrase or verse,’ to an alternate word that can be used in place of what is in the text. Marginal notes can offer more diversity than what I listed, and serve as great clues for further study.

marginal notes infographic.jpg

These are just three of many Bible tools that often go unnoticed. They’re their to help you when you read and are a great place to start when you want to go deeper with the text.

The truth is, when it come’s to understanding even the plain meaning of the Bible, you have to take into consideration that we, in our present age, are thousands of years removed from the culture’s of ancient times. The endeavor is not hopeless though, we have the opportunity to draw from an equal amount of years of meticulous study of this book from centuries before the time of Christ until now.

In the next part of this series we will get into understanding the Bible in it’s historical context, I will show you how to do a word study in the original languages, give you additional tools for clarity of definitions, and go over an amazing model developed over thousands of years for interpreting the text.

I hope you’ve learned a lot and are excited to open your Bible and:

“…draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Isaiah 12:3

to be continued…

The Poison of Assumptions

Assumption- accepting something as true without proof.

The Word of God is complex, and It’s easy for people who are new to reading the scripture to bring their assumptions to the table. Yet, as we will see, assuming will only limit us from obtaining a solid understanding of God’s perspective on any issue, and keep us from excelling altogether. On the other hand, understanding is crucial and is a matter that’s expressed by King David when he said:

“Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.”

Psalm 119:33, 34

The bottom line is, if you don’t understand God’s ways then how are you supposed to live them out?

When I had realized this fact I set out to understand as much as I possibly could, because the whole world was trying to get my attention, and my own hang ups weren’t helping. Sometimes, we even assume that there’s no answer at all, but that’s one of Satan’s biggest lies. By divine providence I found an amazing key, I recognized that I didn’t have to wait around helplessly for anyone to teach me, and even more so, when you do your part, the Holy Spirit does a stellar job at connecting the dots for you.

“…But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

1 John 2:26, 27

It’s a great lesson to learn when the rubber meets the road and it comes to the big decisions. Sometimes you’ll perceive the correct answer in advance, but that’s the Holy Spirit giving you a heads up. While other times God gives an answer you never would of thought of, and you’re utterly surprised. It’s the latter I find to be the case most often.

There’s a clear reason for this:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:9

When you seek God’s guidance and perspective, you receive things so pristine and so on point, even if you don’t initially understand it, with a little prayer and contemplation you’ll be on your way to seeing things from God’s vantage point. It’s sad that so many Christians leave this type of work to church leaders, and assume God will only share such insight when it comes to ministry matters. Don’t you know He cares about you, and has a very specific plan for your life?

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

The word workmanship in the original Greek is poeima, which is where we get our English word poem. With that in mind, when you read it again, you recognize that God literally want’s to lead you, guide you, teach you, and make your life a masterpiece, all for His glory. Don’t you want to be a part of that?

In all of this, we do well to remember the posture of the prophet Habakkuk when waiting on an answer from God:

“I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.”

Habakkuk 2:1

Habakkuk recognized the importance of not assuming anything when seeking God’s will on a matter, because God will say what God will say, and the prophet was ready to except it, even if it overrode his assumptions.

Also, call to mind the error of the religious leaders in the time of Christ. When Jesus referred to Himself as the Messiah, they wouldn’t except it. They had an earthly vision of who Messiah would be, and looked for a charismatic, political and military leader, who would win wars. But, Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world; a radically different view. They, assumed Jesus was not Him, and they completely missed the mark.

Finally, I leave you with a challenge: Don’t assume you know the right way, when you go through the Bible, and go throughout your life. Take the posture of the prophet and wait to see what God will say, and be ready to be corrected in your views. I promise you, this principle will speed up your growth by leaps and bounds, because you won’t have to flounder around constantly making mistakes and learning only by what the Bible calls “the rebukes of life.” Even worse, you don’t heed wisdom calling out, only to look back one day filled with regret at what you could have done, but didn’t. Lastly, read the following verse and take it in, because God is truly your only lifeline.

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Jeremiah 33:3

The word mighty in Hebrew is batsar which means inaccessible. Don’t settle for your assumptions. Ask God and He will answer, and show you great and inaccessible things you couldn’t know any other way.

Failure Has Options

Written By: AnnMarie Alva

Sometimes, we fail. We miss the mark. We don’t stack up to the odds. In those times, it’s difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes, we can be so steeped in our mistakes that we give up all together; we cry out to God, or tragically, we hide from Him. We even allow who the Bible calls “the accuser,” to whisper condemnation in our ears until we are so burdened by guilt that we remain in a state of shame.

Failure can take many forms, but all can leave us in despair. Sin has that same effect.

There are different modes of sin. When we sin out of ignorance, the Holy Spirit is quick to correct us with conviction, the feeling like you did something wrong. When we sin knowingly, guilt and the Lord’s rebuke often come next. And then, there’s outright rebellion; sinning with the attitude of spite toward anything Godly, which can get us blotted out of the book of life. And, while we don’t desire to take for granted the grace of God, in our weaknesses and failures He is merciful:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

1 John 1:19

Confessing our sins or failures to God is the act of taking responsibility. It is the recognition that we fall short. That we are in need of correction and thus guidance.

Confessing our sins to God is the act of giving up our pride and admitting we were wrong. That leads to repentance, and repentance is the way we turn away from that sin toward God.

Failure, thus becomes an opportunity for you to give God a foothold in your life.

Just recently, the Lord taught me the benefit of failure. Benefit? How can failure be a good thing? Well, the short answer is, the practice of perseverance.

but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3)

In the above scripture, we see that even when we go through tough times or fail, we can be blessed with the chance to persevere. If we never go through the fire, then how can we be refined into gold? How can we learn to endure? God doesn’t take shortcuts when it comes to our personal growth.

Have you ever asked God for patience and then all of a sudden it seems like the whole world slows down just to get on your nerves? That is God answering your prayer, you’re not gonna just magically be more patient. You have to learn and practice your patience. In the same manner, God will allow difficulties into your life so that you can have the opportunity to grow through them.

The great thing about failure is that it teaches us to not give up! If we are quick to call it quits when troubles arise, we will never withstand the mounting pressures of sin and evil that run rampant around us.

There is something deeper lurking, ready to defeat us before we reach our victory. If it wins, we will only ever know failure. But if you push through, stand up and dust your boots off, you get to know growth, and God’s mercy.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)

Evidence for Enoch: A Hidden Treasure?

I was immediately stunned, after long overdue, I began reading the Book of Enoch. Halfway into the text the exhilaration had yet to subside due to it’s resounding resemblance in phrases unique to the Bible and themes only a seasoned Bible student would recognize like a picture painted in real time. Before undertaking it’s study, I would see echoes of the story of the Fallen Angels in details of scripture and get the feeling the ancient Jewish people knew something we didn’t. It was almost as if the content of Enoch was so well known back then, that it’s knowledge serves as the hidden backdrop to understanding things we still have difficulty coming to grips with today. I’m very well convinced of the legitimacy of this text, but want to provide you with information to make your own decision.

The initial reason why the Book of Enoch is even a topic of discussion amongst the christian church is the fact that it’s quoted in the book of Jude:

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Jude 1:14, 15

med enoch book

All references of Enoch and thematic parallels we see in scripture serve as our anchor to taking this subject seriously.The quote from the Bible and the Book of Enoch are by a few words not exact. The differences are easily chalked up to a transliteration issue. This is also seen within scripture, when someone in the New Testament quotes in Greek, a verse from the Old Testament originally written in Aramaic or Hebrew. The essence remains, but it doesn’t differ so much as to negate it’s validity. I bring this up because some people writing on this subject state that the above verse does not validate the idea that it was taken from the Book of Enoch, because “the Bible doesn’t specifically state there is a book called Enoch.” The testimony of the person of Enoch in Genesis, his prophecy in Jude, and all other references we see in scripture weigh the argument out in the opposite direction and serve as our anchor to taking this subject seriously.

A valid question that comes up should be addressed before we continue: “Why is it not in the Bible?” The answer is in what we know of it’s history.

The King James Version of the Bible was produced from 1604 to 1611. When King James commissioned his 40 scholars to translate the manuscripts we now consider to be our Bible, the book of Enoch wasn’t known to be in existence, at least in Europe. It wasn’t until another century had passed, in 1773 the Scottish traveler James Bruce rediscovered the text’s in the official canon of the Ethiopic Christian Church. The list of Church Fathers who reference the Book of Enoch is extensive, Tertullian being just one. They claim their version survived from the 1st century and there are a number of early church father’s referencing the book to back that up. That said, while it’s not in our canon, it is in others, and many of those historical references deem it as inspired.

tertullian copy

In the second century, Tertullian, who some consider the father of western theology, defended the legitimacy of Enoch when he wrote:

“I am aware that the Scripture of Enoch, which has assigned this order (of action) to angels, is not received by some, because it is not admitted into the Jewish canon either. I suppose they did not think that, having been published before the deluge, it could have safely survived that world-wide calamity, the abolisher of all things. If that is the reason (for rejecting it), let them recall to their memory that Noah, the survivor of the deluge, was the great-grandson of Enoch himself; and he, of course, had heard and remembered, from domestic renown and hereditary tradition, concerning his own great-grandfather’s “grace in the sight of God,” and concerning all his preachings; since Enoch had given no other charge to Methuselah than that he should hand on the knowledge of them to his posterity. Noah therefore, no doubt, might have succeeded in the trusteeship of (his) preaching; or, had the case been otherwise, he would not have been silent alike concerning the disposition (of things) made by God, his Preserver, and concerning the particular glory of his own house.

If (Noah) had not had this (conservative power) by so short a route, there would (still) be this (consideration) to warrant our assertion of (the genuineness of) this Scripture: he could equally have renewed it, under the Spirit’s inspiration, after it had been destroyed by the violence of the deluge, as, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian storming of it, every document of the Jewish literature is generally agreed to have been restored through Ezra.”

(On the Apparel of Women, Chapter 3, Lines 23-30)

Found only once in the Old Testament, where does the term “The Son of Man,” obtain it’s depth?Traveling further down the rabbit hole, in the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to Himself as “The Son of Man,” a specific term solely reserved for a description of the Messiah, but where did that term come from? It’s only found once in the Old Testament, in the book of Daniel? In addition, other very specific terms like the tribulation, the elect, and Sheol (unique to the Bible), the Book of Enoch uses the phrase “The Son of Man” extensively in reference to a messianic figure. Furthermore, the context that phrase is used lines up perfectly with the Christ of the New Testament and His physical description described by John in Revelation. Interestingly, the term “The Watchers,” is also only found once in the entire Bible, in the book of Daniel, and also developed rather extensively in Enoch in reference to angels.

The list of striking parallels doesn’t end there, and it’s illustrative power to speak to some of the deepest most misunderstood themes of scripture are setup to view like relics from the halls of a forgotten museum. The great white throne judgement, the millennial reign of Christ, the tree of life the righteous will partake of, bringing the hills low and melting the earth with fervent heat during the recreation of the new heaven and new earth is all there. Not to mention, the garden of Eden, the paradise of God, and the fascination continues. People wonder if the Book of Enoch has stolen these ideas from the New Testament and is simply a forgery, but bearing the fact that fourteen fragments written in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic were found in the caves of Qumran in 1947, and the earlier manuscripts date back as early as 300 B.C., it would be impossible for the Book of Enoch to be a fraud in that regard.

Antique Scrolls

It gnawed at me every time I’d read about the angels in scripture or some theme that echoed a worldview foreign to our basic Christian doctrines. I kept thinking, The Book of Enoch had something to do with it. Then one morning I asked God’s guidance as to what I should read and felt the gentle nudging to begin my study. I took the fresh copy off my shelf and the first paragraph summed up my view of eschatology that took years to understand; I couldn’t believe Enoch shared my sentiments!

When you feel it’s the right time, hopefully sooner than later, don’t fall for the fakes produced hundreds of years A.D. having no relation to what’s now considered Enoch 1. Also, use the ultimate measuring stick, the Word of God as we know it, the Bible, to compare when you consider it’s validity. Finally, realize with all it’s dealings of weightier matters of the faith, the end times are upon us and therein rest’s it’s true relevance.

Motivated By His Goodness

Written By: AnnMarie Alva

When thinking about the character of God, it’s easy to marvel at our Creator. When I think of His mercy and goodness, His wisdom, His loving kindness, His sheer magnitude and much, much more, it’s very humbling to think that we are the apple of His eye. We always rest in the fact that He has our best interest at heart; that His faithfulness to us is unending. Rightly so, can you think of anyone more deserving of our best efforts?

When was the last time you sat down and thought about how much of yourself, of your effort, are you giving to God in return?

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

(2 Corinthians 9:6)

There is a principle in scripture that states what measure you use will be measured unto you, you reap what you sow, and so forth. How can we short change God? In reality, we only short change ourselves. Regardless of our own faithfulness to God, He is more faithful than what we deserve and He always keeps His end of the bargain. Isn’t our God worth all we have to offer?

In Luke 21:1-4, we see that Jesus honors a poor widow who gave only two mites, but yet it was all that she had, instead of the lofty gifts from those with riches. They gave only a portion when God wants you to trust Him with everything. The principle is not about money or tithe, it’s about giving God your best.

The Parable of the Talents was a lesson taught by Jesus about servants who were given responsibility over money according to their ability, while their master was away. One was given five, another two and the last was given one. The good servants doubled their portions, while the last buried what was given to him in fear it might be stolen.

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant…'”

(Matthew 25:26)

The theme I want to shed light on today is that the “wicked and lazy servant”, did not do the best he could have with what he received. He took for granted the master’s gift and trust, because of fear.

Take a minute, to take an inventory, of all the gifts that God has given you? For me, it’s salvation, mercy, patience, love, forgiveness, peace, provision, refuge, wisdom, my children, my husband, my health, and the list goes on…

When commissioned by the Lord for service, do you drag your feet and do the bare minimum? Are you being cheap in the Name of the Lord? Are you being a wicked and lazy servant? He has given us grace and eternity in heaven. Should we squander it and be cast to the outer darkness? I promise, I’m not trying to scare you, but these are important questions to consider.

The flip side is to double what He has given you. Just like in the parable, their master only gave them according to their ability, God will do the same. Do as much as you are able. Pass on His mercies, love, grace. The Gospel! And when you put your hand to a task in God’s name, do your best! He is worth your best. Be faithful and He will match it! He will surprise you beyond your expectations.

In the parable of the talents, the master praised his dutiful servants:

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

(Matthew 25:23)