Sunday, May 22, 2011

Faith

Faith, do you have it? Last week we mentioned that faith involves God, that He has a big part in us having more/stronger faith. You see we trust Him to do the things He said He will do. Blessings we receive in this present time and we look forward for blessings to come. We also come to the recognition that without Him we are hopeless (that's a good thought); we can't do things... to make ourselves to be better, perfect...that no matter how hard we try, well that bad side keeps popping up. Did you listen to Pastor Paul's message last week? Totally depraved. We also need God's help to make that decision of accepting His son Jesus. He calls! Then He gives us a helper, the Holy Spirit.
Now when we see the Holy Spirit working in our life; that is when our faith can get stronger. Our part is to recognize when God is working. To give Him the credit, praise...God does something for you, you praise Him...When He answers a prayer, you praise Him. When He is silent you praise Him. When He is working in others you praise Him. Now here is the hard part, when things get rough...and we have needs or we are in difficult places, we expect, sometime, God to work...right away. We forget that sometimes we are where we are because of our choices or because of sin. Or even God letting you be tested so your strength can be seen, like Job was tested. How easy it is for us to forget all that God has done for us. Don't we tend to do that, times get hard and we forget how God has worked in our life. Or we blame Him for whatever it is, or we just forget we live in a fallen world and believe the lie that God isn't here...We must remember all that God has done for us and all that He is going to do for us. We must never forget the simple gospel, that God so loved "you" that He gave His son. That He gave you eternal life...Like the song says," I'm forgiven because you were forsaken, I'm accepted you were condemned, ....Amazing love, How can it be that you my King should die for me?...Amazing love I know it's true, it's my joy to honor you..." Our part of faith is to cling to that true fact(s) of God. To remember the things...He is doing in our(your) life. We must give Him honor.... So remember to, praise, give honor, thanks, pray...

Faith

So we are still talking about faith. We ended by saying which leads to more faith. Let's change that more faith into stronger faith! Now how does one's faith increase or get's stronger? When we start talking about strength, strong.... we think about exercise. We need to do things to strengthen our faith...Yes, but also no. Yes we have a part but also God has a bigger part.
In life all types of things, situations, problems, decisions...come our way. Even when you become a Christian these things...still come your way; and not all of them are what we will call pleasant. Some may involve extra toil, some maybe pain, some financial cost, personal relationships hardship....now before we were Christians we had to work these out on our own...and sometimes the results were not to good...
Now as Christians we have God to help us in our struggles of life. We have God on our side. He is a present help in time of need. He even refers to us believers as His children. We can call on Him to help us. I want to stop there for a minute and give a thought that relates and then pick up with some example type...for an ending.
Have you ever thought how in life God uses situations...to grow you? Think about, have you ever wondered why the same type of thing keeps coming up? Then you get it, you do it God's way or with His strength and/or wisdom(not yours); and somehow the easy button was there. Now this doesn't mean that everything will be let's say easy, perfect...But you changed to God's way...that's how God perfects us; that's how our faith get's stronger.
Do you remember these 3 guy's? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Well they were the 3 guys who were going to be throw into the furnace for not bowing down to the golden image. In response to the king they said this Duet. 3:17-18 "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. Even if He does not, let it be known to you O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image you set up." God did rescue them.
How about Stephen, in the book of acts 6- 7. A believer doing great things for God, then just like that He was being stoned to death. The reason I used these 2 examples is to show that God can work...but sometimes He chooses to work in ways we don't understand. You see the strong faith of the 3 above, no matter what they would not turn from God and God rescues them. Stephen full of wisdom from above, the Holy Spirit. Did not back down when brought to trial. But unlike the 3, he was put to death. Now is your faith strong enough to endure to the end? Can it a mist of hardship...can you say, no matter what I will follow Jesus Christ, till He brings me home. Even when God seems not to be working?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

As we continue our look at faith we need to move on to the next essential word of our study. That is trust. We can believe in someone or something, that they or it was/is real. For example I believe that George Washington was a real person. That the pyramids in Egypt are real. Even though I have never seen either personally. That part is the first step, of faith. For us as we mentioned is to believe that God is real. But faith also involves the word trust. Without trust we only believe, and that belief will probably weaken...because we don't trust. For us that would be to trust, or to put our trust in God the father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit; God in three persons but one.
What does trust involve? Have you ever thought of that? To trust is to rely on the character, strength, ability and truth of someone. For us that is, that our God is Who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Before we go too far lets introduce one more word that is; hope. For hope is also part of trust; you see when we trust someone we look forward to the accomplishment of what they said they could do; that is hope. For us we see who God is and what He can do and what He is going to do in His word, the bible. going to do things in His word, future things, and sometimes we get discouraged we want things now...You know what I mean? Life here gets hard, we want God to fix it, the now thing...fix my dilemma, problem or other problems...we lose focus that God did/ will fix everything but that it is in the future; that's our hope (heaven). We fall into the trap or lie that once you put your trust in God your life will become easy, no more problems...We place things on God or try to demand God to do...when He tells us it will be done in the future. Even when He tells us that life here will still be hard. So let me end with one thing that I know God does here for us believers for those who have faith in Him and His son Jesus Christ. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. Have you confessed to God your sin or sins and felt the forgiveness? It's wonderful, isn't it. So don't forget that, keep on trusting and putting your trust in our God and His son the Lord Jesus Christ. When we see God working in our lives doing what He said, not what we think, that is how our faith grows stronger. So our faith is in Jesus Christ the son of the one true God.
So we believe that God is and we put our trust in Him that He will do what He says He can do. Which comes to more belief. God tells us that He is
So, sometimes do you wonder? Wonder if I had done that, would I be better off? Do you sometimes wonder about God? Who He is? What is He doing? Or even sometimes, maybe, is He real? Is this going to church...following Jesus...is it real, does it have meaning.... Now these later questions are some hard questions. It is not easy to share with someone that you are struggling with your faith in God. But we all must realize that these times come. Now they come in all different ways and times...Sometimes one will question the reality of God and His son, Jesus and walk away...for a short period of time. Others for a longer period of time and still others walk away for good.
So the next few devotionals we are going to talk about faith. So when those times come we will be better prepared to stand strong and not falter in our faith...about God and His son Jesus Christ. First let's get a definition of faith: 1. Allegiance to duty or a person. 2.belief and trust in and loyalty to God. 3.something that is believed. If we look at this definition there are two words that are critical to having faith, belief (believe) and trust.
The first thing one has to do is believe. Believe that God is. That is, that there is one God who's son is Jesus Christ. In our modern world it is hard for one to get to that point of believing in God. There are so many theories...and things that get in the way. They too are pulling you to belief. Never mind being too busy to hear the call of God. Now some might say they don't believe in God or anything...but they do have belief. They believe that there is no God, they might even recognize there might be a God....but they are unsure; not willing to believe totally. Do you believe that God is real? That the God of the Holy bible is real? That Jesus Christ, God's son is real? That what is written about Him is real? That this God is living...and still working in the world? That He loves you? That He wants to have a relationship with you? That, this relationship is available through Jesus Christ?
You see when you start to believe in God; you will start to realize that there is a lot more about God. Good things about God and His son Jesus Christ, to believe. Now believe means: to consider to be true; or to accept as true. So when times come that have you questioning your faith, you need to go back to the basic principle that God is real; and that I (we) believe this to be a true fact, for it is a fact. No matter what comes our way we need not lose sight of this basic truth. There is one true God, who's son is Jesus Christ.
So, sometimes do you wonder? Wonder if I had done that, would I be better off? Do you sometimes wonder about God? Who He is? What is He doing? Or even sometimes, maybe, is He real? Is this going to church...following Jesus...is it real, does it have meaning.... Now these later questions are some hard questions. It is not easy to share with someone that you are struggling with your faith in God. But we all must realize that these times come. Now they come in all different ways and times...Sometimes one will question the reality of God and His son, Jesus and walk away...for a short period of time. Others for a longer period of time and still others walk away for good.
So the next few devotionals we are going to talk about faith. So when those times come we will be better prepared to stand strong and not falter in our faith...about God and His son Jesus Christ. First let's get a definition of faith: 1. Allegiance to duty or a person. 2.belief and trust in and loyalty to God. 3.something that is believed. If we look at this definition there are two words that are critical to having faith, belief (believe) and trust.
The first thing one has to do is believe. Believe that God is. That is, that there is one God who's son is Jesus Christ. In our modern world it is hard for one to get to that point of believing in God. There are so many theories...and things that get in the way. They too are pulling you to belief. Never mind being too busy to hear the call of God. Now some might say they don't believe in God or anything...but they do have belief. They believe that there is no God, they might even recognize there might be a God....but they are unsure; not willing to believe totally. Do you believe that God is real? That the God of the Holy bible is real? That Jesus Christ, God's son is real? That what is written about Him is real? That this God is living...and still working in the world? That He loves you? That He wants to have a relationship with you? That, this relationship is available through Jesus Christ?
You see when you start to believe in God; you will start to realize that there is a lot more about God. Good things about God and His son Jesus Christ, to believe. Now believe means: to consider to be true; or to accept as true. So when times come that have you questioning your faith, you need to go back to the basic principle that God is real; and that I (we) believe this to be a true fact, for it is a fact. No matter what comes our way we need not lose sight of this basic truth. There is one true God, who's son is Jesus Christ.