A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 15, 2018)

That ye be not slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:12)

The word patience appears 33 times in the New Testament. The Greek word used for patience in Hebrews 6:12 is makrothumia which means forebearance, fortitude, or longsuffering. Another Greek word that is used extensively in the New Testament for patience is hupomone which means hopeful endurance or patiently waiting.

Please note that faith and patience are partners in Hebrews 6:12. In other words, true faith is accompanied by patience. Correspondingly, a lack of faith is accompanied by impatience.

If you haven’t noticed lately, we live in a very impatient world. We want things done quickly. However, God does not work on our timetable. He is not a computer or cell phone that you can push a button and get immediate results. And just to be fair, and not blame all our impatience on modern technology, Old Testament men and women had challenges of their own in this area.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is a prime and very sad example of what happens when we are impatient and take things into our own hands. Sarah was barren and wanted a child so rather than waiting on the Lord she convinced her husband Abraham to have sexual relations with her Egyptian handmaid Hagar. The handmaid became pregnan. Listen to what an angel of the Lord declared about this child:

Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man (wild donkey); his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. (Genesis 16:11-12)

Ishmael and his mother Hagar were eventually cast out of Abraham’s home per Sarah’s request after Sarah gave birth to Isaac. This was very grievous to Abraham. What a sad mess, and it doesn’t stop there!!! We are still feeling the effects of this one. Ishmael is considered an important prophet and patriarch of Islam. Also remember what the angel had declared about Ishmael. His hand would be against every man, and every man’s hand would be against him. Does that sound familiar with what’s going on in the Middle East today?

Here’s the point. Faith in God and His Word requires patience. When we take things out of the hands of God, and start trying to solve the problem ourselves due to our impatience, we reap the whirlwind which can affect not only us but entire future generations. We don’t want to do that! Let’s be patient and wait on the Lord and while we are waiting on the Lord we can be a waiter (be a servant for the Lord).

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

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)

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 14, 2018)

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

The Way of Love (1 Corinthians 13, The Message Bible)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.

3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

8-10 Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

11 When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

12 We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 13, 2018)

Is any thing too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:14)

We all walk through situations in life that look like they are impossible. As I read our “Scripture for the Day” I was reminded of one such time in our family and thought there is probably some of you that might be going through a similar situation.

We raised three boys in our home and they are now all grown and have their own families. If you have ever raised boys through their teenage years you know that there has to be a lot of praying. Two of our boys were fairly level-headed and we never experienced any major problems with them. However, that third son was a severe challenge. If you said right he would go left. If you said stop he would go. It was a rough road for years with this particular son.

This son eventually got heavily into drugs and spent time in jail for breaking and entering. We prayed everything we knew how to pray. We paid for him to go through three different drug treatment programs. Nothing seemed to work. It appeared to be impossible, but we kept on praying. You may have a situation in your life where things appear to be impossible. You may even have a prodigal out there like we had. I encourage you not to give up because nothing is too hard for God.

One day in prayer, when I had come to the end of knowing how to deal with this situation, I heard God say something that changed everything. He said to me, “Why don’t you pray for a woman”. Now, I had never thought of a woman being an answer to my son’s addiction and rebellion problems but I had prayed everything else and none of it worked so why not. Just maybe God knew what He is talking about.

A couple of weeks after praying for a woman my son met this woman that later became his wife (we married them) and they now have two precious daughters. My son has been free from drugs for over ten years and he dearly loves his family. Thank you Jesus!!

Is anything too hard for the Lord??? The answer is no!!! He has our answer but sometimes we get in the way by thinking we know what someone needs and we actually don’t have a clue. Prayer should be a two-way conversation. Too often our prayers are just one-sided. We tell God what we want and how He should do it and we don’t spend enough time listening. If we lack wisdom (and we all do) we should ask for wisdom and He promises to furnish us that needed wisdom liberally.

I heard a minister say one time that when we work, God rests, but when we rest, God works. God wants us to rest and rely on Him but our natural inclination is to try to fix the situation. There are some things we cannot fix. As hard as I tried, I could not fix my son, but God could. I had to learn to listen to God and rely on Him. I encourage you to go boldly to His throne with your needs but spend as much time listening as you do talking. He has the answer. We just need to be quiet and listen.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (February 12, 2018)

Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” 

A few weeks ago I was talking with a man about the Bible. In the conversation he brought up a certain well known minister and started making fun of him. He thought it was funny because this particular minister taught healing. Then he started going through the usual worn out jokes about faith healers. Then it hit me. That’s just the way it was when Jesus was here on earth. He went from village to village teaching the gospel and healing the sick. Jesus was a faith healer. Let me explain.

Mark 5 tells about a woman who had been sick for twelve years. She had gone to the doctors of the day and suffered many things. They had taken all her money and to top it off, she was in worse condition after her treatments than before. Then she heard about Jesus. She pushed her way through the crowd until she was behind him. Then she reached out and touched the hem of His garment. She knew that if she could just touch His clothes, she would be made well. As soon as she touched His robe, she was healed. She knew and felt the healing in her body at that very moment.

The Bible says that immediately Jesus knew that power had gone out of Him and He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” When He saw the woman, she was trembling and she fell before Him at His feet. At that point Jesus turned to her and said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

Jesus didn’t say that her church attendance healed her. Her donations didn’t heal her. Even her righteousness didn’t heal her. What healed her? According to Jesus, her faith made her well.

In Acts 14, Paul was preaching in Lystra. A man was there who had no strength in his feet, crippled from birth. The Bible says that this man had never walked, but he was there listening to Paul preach. Paul watched this man closely and in verses 9 and 10, the Bible says, “Paul observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, ‘Stand up straight on your feet!'” Immediately he was healed and he began walking and leaping. This was a great miracle, but did you catch what happened? Paul observed this man intently and, according to the Bible, Paul saw that he had enough faith to be healed.

Is faith required for healing? Well, it sure looks that way. Any time God moves, faith is involved. During another conversation with me, a man said, “You aren’t one of those faith people, are you?” That question put a smile on my face. It felt good to see that someone noticed I had a desire to walk in faith. My response was this, “Yes, guilty as charged! I am one of those faith people!”

Faith is required by God to please God. What is faith? Faith is simply believing that God has done what He said He would do and everything you say and do is based on that belief so that you instinctively place all your trust in His Word. So today, I encourage you. Believe the Word of God and act on it. That’s faith. And faith is the catalyst to the Word of God. God has promised us many things in His Word. As we reach out and touch His Word, it is our faith that activates it.

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(excerpts from Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (February 9, 2018)

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

As a minister, I must remember a very important truth. The message I present must never be to please men or get good reviews. It must be the message that God wants me to give and whether you are in the ministry or not, you must make the same decision. Are you going to live your life trying to please God or please people?

Shortly after the Holy Spirit moved upon the people on the Day of Pentecost, the religious leaders stepped in and began to tell the apostles what they could say and what they couldn’t say. Peter stood up and asked the question, “Are we going to be pleasers of God, or pleasers of men?” (Acts 5:26-29).

Today we must ask ourselves the same question and this question is not just for preachers. Everyone must decide how they are going to live their life. Do we stand for the things of God or do we go with the flow and become politically correct so that we do not offend men? Of course, a Christian is not to blatantly offend people. And of course, we must be kind and considerate and choose our words well. We should not be offensive, nor arrogant and prideful in what we say. However, we cannot take a stand against the laws of God just to be accepted by others.

In some ways it may be easier for a preacher because he stands in the pulpit and everyone expects him to side with God. But for the average church member working on the job, attending school or social functions with friends, it may actually be more difficult to take a stand for truth. Homosexuality, abortion, adultery, and fornication are always wrong in the eyes of God. His Word proclaims it from the beginning of the book to the end. God doesn’t change. And although society would make us think that we are discriminating, that is not true. To stand firm on the laws of God is not discrimination, it’s wisdom.

In centuries past, groups of people were enslaved and abused because of the color of their skin, the color of their eyes, or the color of their hair. I have always been disgusted by this type of behavior. I think the way God thinks. The Bible says man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. When you are born on this earth, you are not able to choose the color of your skin, the color of your hair, or the color of your eyes. And it is sad that entire cultures have been eliminated because of color. That is true discrimination. However, to stand for the truth concerning things that are sin is not wrong. While a man is not able to choose the color of his skin, it is his choice whether he has sex with a man or a woman. Color is not a choice, but sin is and to say that sin is discrimination is pure deception.

Satan is a deceiver. From the very beginning, man was driven out of the Garden of Eden because he fell for the deception of the serpent. Deception will cause you to perceive right as wrong and wrong as right. The Bible says that a sign of the end times is that men will deceive others and be deceived themselves (2 Timothy 3:13).

Over the years I have had people sit in my office and try to convince me they were not deceived. But the truth is, people who are deceived don’t know it. That’s why it’s called “deception.”

So the conclusion is this. We cannot rely on the laws of man to determine what is right or moral. There are many things in our culture that are not illegal, but they are immoral. When we live our lives seeking His truth and applying it to our lives, then there will be no doubt that we are living the proper lifestyle. The only true standard for truth and righteousness is the Word of God.

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 8, 2018)

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:4-5)

We recently had a prayer workshop at our church with several speakers from our congregation. The lead speaker shared a story about some of his experiences while growing up on a farm. I will never forget one of those stories because it is such a great illustration of how the voice of our Shepherd should be easily recognized by His sheep.

The family of our speaker lived on a farm out in the country and they owned a bunch of hogs. There were two neighboring family farms that also owned a lot of hogs. When our speaker was very young he witnessed something that really puzzled and concerned him. The large corn field in back of their farm was harvested and the corn was taken to market. After that, his father and the two neighbors let all their hogs loose into the field to eat the corn that was left scattered on the ground.

Our speaker said as a little boy he could not understand how in the world his father and the neighbors were ever going to separate all those hogs and get them back to their rightful owner.

Well, after the hogs had finished their gleaning the field of scattered corn his father went out and called his hogs. His hogs came right to him because they knew his voice and his hogs were the only ones that responded to his voice. That lesson of the hogs remained with this young boy to this day and is a good lesson for all of us. Even hogs know their master’s voice. How much more should we know our master’s voice.

Let’s look at our John 10 example as depicted in The Message Bible:

“Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.” (John 10:1-5)

There are a lot of voices out there in the world today that are strangers. They are rustlers. That is why it is so incumbent on us to be able to hear the voice of the Lord and recognize when He is talking to us. God has not quit talking, but we have to tune into the right frequency.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 7, 2018)

Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character. (1 Corinthians 15:33, AMPC Bible)

A close friend and I just went to dinner with a young man that has recently turned his life back over to the Lord. He recommitted his life to the Lord last Sunday at our church and my friend invited him to dinner with us just to talk with him about how he was doing.

One of the things he brought up was his challenge on how to deal with old friends that are bar scene people that love to drink and do drugs. This is a common challenge for young adults that give their life to the Lord and want to come out of that lifestyle.

I shared with him the following personal testimony. I did not give my life to the Lord until I was 35 years old. I was big into alcohol and I had several long-time friends that were big into it with me. We had been buddies for years. We had hunted and fished together. We went to college together. We were very close. However, after I gave my heart to the Lord things began to change. I did not desire that lifestyle anymore. My heart was for the Lord, but I valued my friends also.

My friends wanted me to keep drinking with them and they accused me of having an attitude of being “holier than thou” because I did not want to drink and party with them anymore. It quickly became abundantly clear that I needed to make a decision about who I was going to serve, my friends or the Lord. Thank God I had enough Word in me to make the right decision. I made a clean break and never saw them again.

Now, some people may think that is hard and unloving but that was what I needed to do to not get sucked back into the world. This young man will have to make that same type of decision. Will his friends ridicule him for it? Yes they will. Will they call him names? Yes they will. The truth is that bad company corrupts good morals, especially when you are a new believer and are not strong enough to fight off the ridicule and criticism that will come from your best friends.

Here is a promise from Jesus about walking away from people that would hamper your walk with Him:

And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)

Jesus will replace your friends with more and better friends. Just walk away!

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

Scripture for the Day (February 6, 2018)

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:12-13)

I don’t know what your individual experience has been but my experience in the Christian Church has been that I have heard for my whole lifetime about the mark of the beast. Every Christian knows that “666” is the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:8). It is drilled into our heads. But, let me ask you this. Have you ever heard a teaching on the seal of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever heard one teaching on how God seals and marks His people? Probably not!!!

If you know anything about Satan you know that he is not a creator. He is a liar and a thief. He wants to be like God so he continually copies the ways of God to appear like God. He has no original ideas. That should tell you that this “666” tactic was actually copied from God.

Our scripture for today is Ephesians 1:12-13 and is one we need to look at closely. I am always amazed that Christians that believe in being baptized in the Holy Spirit have not used this scripture more often. If you read in Acts 19 about the birth of the Church at Ephesus you can clearly see an exact parallel with what actually happened at Ephesus and what was recorded by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:13:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:1-6)

Now, go back to Ephesians 1:13 and see what the Apostle Paul recorded in that book. They trusted Christ “after” that they heard the word of truth. After they believed (after they were saved) they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise. These were two distinct and separate events as depicted in Acts 19.

God clearly has His own seal for His people! This word seal in the Greek depicts a signet ring from a King that is used to stamp and authorize certain things. It is the King’s private mark that is used for the purpose of security and preservation. It is his mark to show things to be genuine and authentic. It attests to the validity of something. That is what the Baptism of the Holy Ghost does! It marks a believer!

My wife and I have ministered all over the United States and in several foreign countries. This we can tell you for sure. When you are in the presence of a God marked person you will know it. You may not even speak the same language, but you will know it. Also, when you (as a God marked person) are in the presence of a demonic spirit they will know it and they will know they have to obey.

For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19)

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (February 5, 2018)

Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32, Amplified Bible)

Recently, I was talking with a man about forgiveness. He said that he had forgiven everyone in his life except one person. When I asked him who it was, he related a story about a family incident involving his brother that had taken place years ago. When I asked why he couldn’t forgive his brother, I got a strange answer. He said it was impossible for him to forgive his brother because his brother wouldn’t forgive him.

Jesus said in Mark 11:25 that we were to forgive those who have wronged us. He didn’t say that we were to forgive them if they forgive us. He said we were to forgive – whether they love us or whether they hate us, if they forgive us or don’t forgive us. Even if they are holding a grudge and are doing everything in their power to destroy us, it doesn’t matter. Whether or not they forgive us is irrelevant. Our responsibility is to forgive, unconditionally.

One woman told me she couldn’t forgive a certain person because she had forgiven that person several times for the same offense. And even after all that forgiveness, the other person continued to be offensive. She asked me how many times she should forgive this person. I told her, “One more time.” Any time you wonder how many times to forgive someone, that is the answer. Forgive them one more time.

In Matthew 18:21 Peter went to Jesus and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered and said, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” In today’s words, that would be like saying “up to a million times.” Forgiveness has no limits. Forgiveness has no end.

The reason for forgiveness is not for the one being forgiven, but for the one who forgives. The one who forgives reaps all the benefits. What are the benefits of forgiveness? There are many, but one that we all need is peace. Forgiveness will give you peace.

Over the years I have met many people who would not forgive. They all have one thing in common. They are never at peace. When we are obedient to the Word of God, we will be at peace. The peace of God is beyond anything the world can give. Philippians 4:7 says, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If we are not obedient to the Word of God and refuse to forgive, the only peace we will have is what we can glean from the world, and that’s a poor substitute for the real thing.

Forgiveness will allow you to forget the pain of the past. In Jeremiah 31:34, the Bible says that God not only has the ability to forgive but also has the ability to forget. We, however, cannot forget the past, but through forgiveness we can forget the pain of the past. That’s true peace – when you can remember, but there is no hurt or resentment. Try as you might, without forgiveness, it can’t be done.

Daniel 9:9 says mercy and forgiveness belong to the Lord. God is a God of mercy and forgiveness. As Christians, we are to mirror the character of God. We are to show mercy and we are to forgive.

So, when you become offended because someone has wronged you and wonder if you should forgive again, do this. Forgive, one more time.

 

 


A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (February 2, 2018)

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:28)

If I were to ask you if you believed in miracles, what would you say? Well, if you are a Christian, the answer should be yes, because miracles are a major part of the church. Let me explain.

When we read about the offices in the church, we usually read Ephesians 4:11-12 where it says, “He Himself [referring to Jesus] gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Here we find that Jesus placed apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers in the church to build up the church. But when we study the Scriptures, we cannot take one verse and build everything on it. In other words, we must take the sum of the Scriptures and see what it says.

With that in mind let’s look at 1 Corinthians 12:28. Here it says, “God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” Did you catch that? God placed the miracles in the church, just like He placed healing, teaching, and apostles. If this is true, and it is, then why do we not see more miracles in the church?

The answer to that is actually explained by the Bible. In Mark 6, Jesus went to his hometown of Nazareth along with His disciples. When the Sabbath day came, Jesus began teaching in the synagogue. There were many people there who had traveled to hear Him, and they were astonished at what He said. In verse 2 the people said, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands!

Then some of the people began to doubt Jesus’ authority. They said, “Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?” (v.3). In other words, they were saying, “Who does this guy think he is? He’s just the local neighbor boy who grew up down the street.” Then verse 3 tells us that the people became offended at Him. But Jesus told them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house” (v.4). In other words, Jesus said that when you are among strangers, the people will listen and believe, but at home, the people are too familiar and it’s harder to believe.

But listen to this. The Bible says in Mark 6:5 that in Nazareth, Jesus could not do many mighty works. Notice it doesn’t say he would not, it says He could not. The reason is that the people there did not believe. In fact, verse 6 says that Jesus marveled at their unbelief.

Remember, Jesus said all things are possible for those who believe. That must, in turn, mean that all things are not possible for those who do not believe. The choice is ours.