In order to strengthen your faith [pistis - believing] in God, you must first decide, by your own free will, to keep God first in your life.

Matthew 6: 33 -- But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

You must, BY YOUR OWN FREE WILL, decide that you want to get to know Him. God is His Word so you first must study God's Word.

II Timothy 2: 15 -- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Now you know you must do two things: 1) You must decide to keep God first and 2) You, by your own free will, must decide that you will STUDY and APPLY His Word in your life. It should be obvious that I have stressed the term 'free will'. The true God never oversteps a person's free will. The true God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ never possesses or controls a person. You, by your own will, can allow God to work WITHIN YOU by carrying out His Will which is His Word.

Philippians 2: 13 -- For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his  good pleasure.

You must study God's Word. God will not force you to study -- you do it by an act of your own free will. God wants your love because you want  to love Him, not because He controls someone to do so. The true God does not make a person quit stealing and He doesn't make a person quit smoking. God can work within a believer to show that person what changes a person must make in their life. God can put a desire in a person's life to do something, BUT IT IS UP TO THAT PERSON TO CARRY OUT GOD'S WILL -- TO TAKE ACTION AND MAKE THE CHANGE.

Hebrews 4: 12 -- For the word of God is  quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is  a discerner [critic] of the thoughts [emotions] and intents [ideas] of the heart.

It is the god of this world mentioned in II Corinthians 4: 4 that possesses, controls and influences people against their will.

II Corinthians 4: 4 -- In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Remember, we need to be reminded that we all have a choice as to who we worship -- the true God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ or the god of this world.

John 8: 31, 32 -- Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If [a condition] ye continue in my word, then  are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

God gave man and even angels free will. Note what Jesus Christ said: ...."if ye continue in my word". Apparently, they had a choice. We have a choice to continue studying and applying God's Word or to quit. God is a respecter of CONDITIONS, not persons. The Bible is God's blueprint for living for us and as we do our best to study and apply it, then  God blesses us. We must ACT FIRST, then  we see.

Now, what happens when we study? We are applying God's Word and we are doing what God refers to as The Renewed Mind and this is the believer's KEY TO POWER.

Romans 12: 1, 2 -- I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is  your reasonable [logical] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is  that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

You renew your mind by studying God's Word and doing your best to apply it in your life.

James 2: 17 -- Even so faith [pistis-believing], if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

God is saying that you can BELIEVE everything in the Bible and study 10 hours a day, but if you don't ACT AND ACTUALLY DO what the Word says, your efforts are worthless. There will be no profit in your life and no positive results until you act on what you've learned. When you sit in your car with the keys in the ignition, you believe the car will start and get you to your destination, but you MUST TURN THE KEY AND START THE CAR. You must act on what you believe to be true. Light makes manifest darkness. God's Word has a way of showing us where we need work or improvement in our lives. God loves each person equally. He simply can do more for the person who studies and applies His Word. Why? Because we are supposed to be living by His Word and His principles. God created life, surely He knows how to live it.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 -- Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [respect] God, and keep his commandments: for this is  the whole duty  of man.

We were designed and created to live by God's Word. It is the only way we will ever realize the true desires of our heart.

Psalm 37: 4 -- Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

In my own life, I have tried almost everything the world has to offer and nothing even comes close to the exciting and rewarding life I've experienced when God is first and foremost. True Christianity has nothing to do with religion. Religion is man's interpretation of what Christianity should be and this is the result of PRIVATE INTERPRETATION of God's Word (i.e. "I think this is what it means"). In conclusion, we need to know the following and we must apply our best study habits to God’s matchless Word. That is, IF, we want to live the more than abundant life promised in John 10: 10b.

THE BIBLE INTERPRETS ITSELF in one of three (3) ways. There is no room for ‘guesswork’ from the people who misquote God’s Word -- the idiots.

II Peter 1: 20 -- Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios - one's own] interpretation.

So in conclusion, to strengthen your faith (believing and action) in God and His Word, you must:

1) Decide, by your own free will, to KEEP GOD FIRST (Matthew 6: 33).

2) STUDY God's Word (II Timothy 2: 15) which allows you to....

3) RENEW YOUR MIND (Romans 12: 1, 2) which is your KEY TO POWER.

Just do your best and God will do the rest.

The following are some Scriptures that you will find helpful and will strengthen your faith/belief in God. Remember, not only to learn them, but to APPLY them.

II Timothy 1: 7 -- fear

Matthew 6: 33 -- God FIRST

Phil. 4: 13 -- belief in ability

Phil. 3: 13 -- dwell on past

Eph. 6: 12 -- spiritual contest

Phil. 4: 8 -- what to think on

Gal. 6: 9 - don't quit-rewards

Phil. 4: 6 - 'careful' is anxiety

Romans 1: 17b -- believing

II Timothy 2: 15 -- study

Romans 8: 1a - condemnation

I Cor. 14: 40 -- decent/order

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

Note: For a more exhaustive list of Scriptures you should learn by heart, see the teaching entitled "STUDY GUIDE".