1. FAITH is the currency of our relationship with God, and God, not any man is the REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him, “… behold, I COME QUICKLY; says the Lord, and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, to give every man according as his WORK shall be” [Revelation 22:12] As long as we are in this BODY, there is no REWARD of FAITH; but GIFTS to WORK in the Lord’s Vineyard in HOPE of His COMING when we shall be duly REWARDED, as it is written: “Now FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED FOR, the EVIDENCE of THINGS NOT SEEN” [Hebrews 11:1] SUBSTANCE of our HOPE is the Holy Ghost, “the EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE”, the EVIDENCE is the PAIN of the Cross [Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 15:30-31] FAITH is not a doctrine but a decision to daily CRUCIFY the FLESH and live in the POWER of Christ’s RESURRECTION. The EVIDENCE of Christ’s LIFE in us is the PAIN of FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING, as it is written: “That I MAY KNOW HIM, and the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION, and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable unto his death” [Philippians 3:10]

2. By FAITH we are born anew in the likeness of Christ, “Being BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD OF GOD, which LIVETH and ABIDETH FOR EVER” [1 Peter 1:23] The SPIRIT of Christ is in us both to will and do His WILL, but the FLESH is contrary, “For the FLESH LUSTETH AGAINST THE SPIRIT, and the Spirit against the flesh: and THESE ARE CONTRARY the one to the other: so that YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD” [Galatians 5:17] As long as we are in this BODY, the SPIRIT in us is at war against the FLESH; every time we submit to the HOLY SPIRIT, the FLESH is battered with PAIN. When we pander to the FLESH, the HOLY SPIRIT is GRIEVED, and we are at grave risk of perdition, “And GRIEVE NOT the HOLY SPIRIT of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption” [Ephesians 4:30] The PAIN of walking in the SPIRIT, daily CRUCIFYING the appetite of SELF is the EVIDENCE we are ALIVE in Christ [Romans 7:6] Let no man deceive you, proof of FAITH is not material GAIN as some preach, “… destitute of the truth, SUPPOSING that GAIN IS GODLINESS: from such withdraw thyself” [1 Timothy 6:5] The EVIDENCE of our FAITH is the fortitude with which we bear the PAIN of denying PASSION and AMBITIONS which though LAWFUL are not EXPEDIENT and do not EDIFY, as it is written: “All things are lawful for me, but ALL THINGS ARE NOT EXPEDIENT: all things are lawful for me, but all things EDIFY NOT” [1 Corinthians 10:23]

3. The PAIN of FAITH in a world addicted to wickedness and corruption is sheer AGONY, “We are TROUBLED on every side, yet not DISTRESSED; we are PERPLEXED, BUT NOT IN DESPAIR; PERSECUTED, but NOT FORSAKEN; CAST DOWN, but NOT DESTROYED, … that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” [2 Corinthians 4:8-9] Though HEIRS of everlasting glory, we are not immune to AFFLICTIONS occasioned sometimes by erstwhile friends and family, whose mouths and hands Satan employ to mock and provoke to no end. The PAIN runs deep, considering the years spent together and memories shared, but we do not DESPAIR; we pray and have HOPE of their SALVATION, “And HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED; because the LOVE OF GOD is shed abroad IN OUR HEARTS by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” [Romans 5:5] We are the righteousness of God in a generation caught in the tailspin of a dying world; our natural senses are daily assaulted with worldly pleasures and our souls VEXED to breaking point, even as Lot “… (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, VEXED HIS RIGHTEOUS SOUL from day to day with their UNLAWFUL DEEDS;)” [2 Peter 2:7-8] At a time like this, how do we reconcile our FAITH with the righteousness of Lot, without EVIDENCE that our “RIGHTEOUS SOULS” are VEXED by what we SEE and HEAR in this wicked and adulterous generation, “And why stand we in JEOPARDY EVERY HOUR? I PROTEST BY YOUR REJOICING which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I DIE DAILY” [1 Corinthians 15:30-31]

4. PAIN is not defeat, but a reminder this BODY is temporary, “For which cause WE FAINT NOT; but though our OUTWARD MAN PERISH, yet the INWARD MAN IS RENEWED day by day. For our light AFFLICTION, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and ETERNAL WEIGHT OF GLORY;” [2 Corinthians 4:16-17] Those who allure and entice you with mantras of false PROSPERITY sell you LIES from pits of hell, “For when they speak great swelling WORDS OF VANITY, they allure through the LUSTS OF THE FLESH, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error” [2 Peter 2:18] Listen carefully, profession of FAITH without EVIDENCE of PAIN of rejection, persecution and mockery is DELUSION occasioned by LIES, “And for this cause God SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, that they should BELIEVE A LIE: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had PLEASURE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS” [2 Thessalonians 2:11-12] As the day draws near when we shall be free of this BODY of SIN, our in ward man GROANS more than ever to be clothed with our heavenly BODY, “… a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be CLOTHED UPON WITH OUR HOUSE WHICH IS FROM HEAVEN” [2 Corinthians 5:1-2] Friend, accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour today and you will not be naked at His appearance, amen

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