A Christian woman…
She loves those who the Lord loves and she helps in any way she can.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Each of us has a “measure of faith”, how big that measure is has been determined by God. He gives our faith to us, whether we use it for His purposes or call it “hope” and use it for our own purpose, it is part of our salvation process. Because without faith we can’t please God and without faith, we won’t recognize our need for salvation, so we have to have it in order to be saved in the first place.
Abram believed in God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Faith and belief go together because if you don’t have one you won’t have the other. It takes faith to believe the promises of the Bible and to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. Some say that the Bible can’t be true but it is. It is the most truthful book in our world because all of the prophecies about Jesus were fulfilled in Jesus the Christ. All of the prophecies about the Jewish people have come true except their having peace in their land and that will come true after the Tribulation.
Crucify your old way of life
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. Luke 9:23-24 KJV https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/luk.9.23-24/42343
Don’t stay too long
Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; Lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee. Proverbs 25:17 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/pro.25.17.KJV
Give thanks to the Lord for His mercy endures forever…
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalms 100:4-5 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.100.4-5.KJV
Why did God ask for Isaac?
In Genesis 22 God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, his firstborn son of his old age. Why? Many people, pastors included, preach that it was a test of Abraham’s faith and it was but there is another reason. The firstborn belongs to God, of animals and men, if the firstborn is not redeemed by another sacrifice then they must die. Now, today the sacrifice could be service to others or service to God. My mother prayed to God that my life would be used by Him when I was a baby. She told me that she dedicated me to God when I was born. When she told me this many years ago, I didn’t want to know what it meant and I didn’t really care because I was angry about the way that my parents were in court fighting over child support.
It took many years for me to realize what she was saying, but since I became a pastor I have learned what the phrase “first fruits” really means. In Abraham’s case, Isaac had not been redeemed by the sacrifice of an animal so when Isaac got old enough, he was around twenty years old at the time, God asked Abraham to sacrifice him on the mountain. I’m sure that didn’t make Abraham very happy. In fact, he likely did not sleep much during the night prior to the trip.
But his faith shows up even before they make it to the mountain. When he and Isaac leave the servants with the donkeys or camels that they were riding, he told them that “I and the boy will go to the mountain yonder and worship and we will come again unto you”. Abraham had the faith to believe that if God allowed him to sacrifice his son of promise, then God would raise him to fulfill the promise that He had made about Isaac and his descendants. Because God had made that promise and He would have to raise Isaac from the dead if that promise was real!
The promise was real but God didn’t have to raise Isaac from the ashes of sacrifice, He provided a substitute for Isaac just as God provided a substitute for our sins in His firstborn Son, Jesus. Many of the Old Testament saints and prophets looked forward to His coming and they saw Him and rejoiced. Have you come to know Jesus as your Savior and Sacrifice for all of your sins? All that we have to do is have enough faith in God and in Jesus as our Savior believing that He gave His life as a ransom for each of you. He redeemed you just as the ram in the thicket redeemed Isaac many years ago.
Give your life and your heart to Jesus because your life needs to be redeemed. If you don’t then your life, your eternity will be in hell with Satan and the rest of the people who rejected Jesus as their Savior. That is the only sin that leads to an eternity outside the presence of God.
Is anything too hard for God?
In Genesis chapter 18 and verse 14, God asks “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Why do we test Him with our “burdens” when He can take care of them with no effort? It seems that we don’t think God, in this Internet age and in the 21st century, is the same God Who split the Red Sea and brought the people through on dry land. We know from Sunday school and Bible school that God is the same yesterday, today and forever but most of us only know this intellectually. We know it in our head but we may not believe it fully in our heart.
God created the whole universe with a word! Genesis even says it this way, “and He created the stars also”. It sounds like an afterthought doesn’t it? But when you look at the pictures of the universe and everything that is out there…you know that God doesn’t do afterthoughts. He knows the name of every star out there, not just the ones that we can see in the constellations. Every star in every galaxy in the entire universe, trillions in number, God knows them all and it is His power which holds all of them together in their orbits and their courses.
The problem with humanity is that we read this in His Word but we can’t prove it. We can’t see it happening. Like the servant who thought that he and his master were about to be killed and his master prayed for God to open his eyes so he could see that “those who are on our side are greater than those against us”!
Nothing is too hard for God of course. But why do we question whether He will do what His Word says? Do we truly doubt God’s promises or His ability to do what is promised? In today’s world, Satan has caused humanity to doubt God’s existence and His abilities. Even though many don’t even believe that Satan exists either. Of course, that is his plan as well. That of course, brings into question the whole Bible itself and that is also his plan. If he can get us to question God’s existence or the veracity of His Word then belief in Him and His plan of salvation will also be questioned.
There is nothing too hard for God and everything that is happening in our world is allowed by Him because it is part of His plan to bring as many as possible to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Many people outside the United States are coming to know Jesus as their savior while there are many in the United States who are walking away from the church and their belief in God. Because our country has been pushing God out of many areas of education and family life for years. I pray that there will be an awakening and a revival of faith in our country but that is completely in God’s hands now.
Do you feel broken?
I do, sometimes. There are days when I feel broken to the point of being depressed. Then there are days when I feel as if I can’t reach out to God. He feels distant, and it makes the day feel empty and cold. The only redeeming knowledge that I can bring to the day is that God is always near me. But, even in knowing this sometimes I can’t shake the feeling of being alone, even when I know I am not.
Many of us feel this way but we don’t know what to do about it. Brokenness is the feeling of being…well not whole. It doesn’t have to be caused by any specific thing or person, it just happens. It happens to people who aren’t Christians as well but their lives are already in a state of being broken anyway. Because there is Someone missing in their lives. It is the absence of the Holy Spirit and Jesus in your life which causes us to feel broken before we become Christians.
We search and seek all kinds of stimulants and sometimes people to take the place in our life which feels empty. The problem is that nobody on Earth can fill that space and no amount of money or drugs or alcohol or sex can fill it either. The drugs and alcohol may give you a whole feeling for a while, but it eventually wears off and the hole feels bigger somehow. It is a vicious cycle which Satan lures us into before we accept Jesus as our Savior.
After we accept Him it is still Satan who makes us feel worthless or alone and even depressed and that is when we feel broken and without God. We need to remember that He is always with us regardless of the situation we are in or even how far we feel from Him. God never loses sight of you nor does He let you out of His hand. When you have given your heart to Jesus for real, not some emotional experience, you can never be taken away from Him. You may walk away from the church and you may stop reading your Bible for a time but He is still near you and only a prayer away from your side.
God mends us when we are broken and when He does this we are made more whole than we were before. God has never made a mistake and nothing ever catches Him by surprise. Don’t think that just because you may have made a mistake or thought something or even did something wrong, that God won’t take you and make you better than you were.
Even when your idea of being broken seems to be too bad for anyone to fix, God can. He can take a murderer like Moses or a Pharisee like Saul, who hunted down Christians to be put in jail or stoned, and He can make them into men who were changed into His most useful servants. God can make a universe out of nothing, what can He do with you?
Faith, what is it?
Have you ever wondered what faith really is? Faith according to the Bible is defined by this: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
In Ephesians our faith is part of the equation which brings us to salvation through our Savior: Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
Also, without faith it is impossible to please God in anything that we do: Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith, it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
When God calls you or me to Himself through the conviction that we need Him, He gives us the faith which we need to believe in Jesus for our salvation. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the faith which is necessary to bring us to that knowledge. It is a gift of God to us so that we can effectively believe in the promises which He has made to us in Scripture. That is what Biblical faith is.
We have faith in gravity or in our heart to keep beating and to keep us alive, yet we don’t usually acknowledge it. We have faith that the sun will rise in the morning, not gifted to us by God but because it has always come up each morning. That is faith in things which are seen. Faith in things which are not seen but are hoped for with a conviction that we will have them one day is the faith which is spoken of in the Bible.
This kind of faith cannot be proven or shown to anyone who doesn’t believe in God or Jesus or the Bible because it takes faith to believe in those things. If you don’t have it, you can’t get it except by belief in Jesus and His atonement for your sins and you won’t believe that unless God gives you the faith to do so!
I know, it is a spiral which goes from faith to faith to faith but if you have it, you’ve got it and if you don’t then unless you are seeking Him, you won’t get it then either.
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.” Reading God’s Word and seeking Him in it will bring you into a closer walk with Him so enjoy His Presence in your life by cultivating a friendship with God. He is always present with you so treat Him as a treasured friend and talk to Him, walk with Him, seek His advice and act on His advice that is given to you.
By faith in Him and through Him we can conquer any problem in our lives, so make sure that you seek Him and His Son’s friendship while you can. Life only lasts for a little while, so make sure that you are friends with the Author of Life!