Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Faith to Live By

Chuckle:  “If con is the opposite of pro, then isn’t congress the opposite of progress?” –Jon Stewart
Quote: “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.” --Francois Voltaire
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God) . . ." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). ". . . in the gospel (good news) a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith'" (Romans 1:17 NIV).
If you are living by faith, you must believe that God will respond to you when you earnestly seek Him. Without this kind of faith, you cannot please God. Regardless of the good deeds you perform, the impressive words you speak, or the sacrifices you make for his sake, if you do not have faith, you will not please Him. You may say, "I love God, but I just have difficulty trusting Him to meet my daily needs." Then you are not pleasing Him. Faith keeps you in a trusting relationship with God even in the midst of severe problems. Faith has to do with your relationship with God, not your circumstances. Nothing is more secure than that which you entrust to God. When the Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God," God is teaching us that to have faith is to:
1. Trust God's Word and live our lives accordingly. "All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness. . . ." (2 Timothy 3:16 ). We must never doubt that God's Word is true, He will keep his promises, and He is trustworthy in every aspect of our lives.
2. Obey God's commands and teach them to others. "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands" (I John 1:3 NIV). " . . . . and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20 NIV). These last words are a part of Jesus' "Great Commission." As disciples, we are to make disciples of others.
3. Trust him to meet all our needs. "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19 NIV). Jesus had no place to sleep; yet, he shared the heavenly Father's unlimited resources with us. We can count on God because of what He has done for us in Christ.
4. Be assured that God will bring good from each crisis in your life. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28 NIV). This verse does not say that only good things will happen to us. But it does say that God will use every situation to achieve his purposes for you life -- for your ultimate good.
5. Claim God's promise to never leave us alone. "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b NIV). ". . . because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). God's Holy Spirit remains with us and lives within us as Christians. Therefore, God never leaves us.
6. Never doubt God's love because his love is eternal. "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV). "This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him" (I John 4:9 NIV). It’s comforting to know God’s love for you is everlasting, forgiving, and sustaining.
7. Understand that faith without actions is dead. "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17 NIV). Genuine faith will please God and be evidenced by our actions in service to others in Jesus' name.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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