Faith is doing!


That is why it says in James chapter 2, “18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works”. The Hebrew word for faith is Emunah, which is less about knowing and more about doing. The literal meaning of Emunah is “to take firm action”. To look at faith in the light of the Hebrew word is like a staircase, in your mind you know the stairs lead to another level but until you climb the stairs you won’t get there.

That is the type of faith which the church NEEDS today! Faith in Jesus which moves us toward doing His Work in our daily lives! Not the intellectual knowing of or about Jesus but the kind of faith which carries us from the sermon out into the real world so that others might see Jesus working in us and through us in our lives!

What kind of change needs to happen in your life today so that your faith is defined by what you do instead of what you know?Faith

Consider the mustard seed


Consider the mustard seed. It is the smallest seed of the garden vegetables and yet it will grow into a small tree if left to grow.

Jesus (Yeshua) said this to his listeners: 30 And he said, “What shall resemble the Kingdom of God and with what shall a parable compare it?” 31″It is like a grain of mustard seed, which when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the herb seeds on the earth.” 32″And when it is sown it comes up and becomes greater than all the small herbs and produces great branches so that the birds will be able to perch in its shade.” Mark 4: 30-32

Small towns and communities and even small churches are not considered failures but to some people they are. Especially in small churches. In truth, it doesn’t matter about the size of the church or the number in the congregation as long as they are attending and worshiping God. Yes, it would be nice if the church would grow in size but sometimes growth doesn’t continue on a monthly or weekly basis. Sometimes it is just a fluke for a little while and then the numbers go back to where they were.

In the world that we live in this is a sad thing because people need to learn more about God and their place in His Kingdom. Today, many people don’t even recognize His Kingdom or the people who attend church services as being any different from the rest of the world. This is a very sad thing indeed considering that we are living at the end of the church age, the age of God’s grace toward mankind.

That doesn’t mean that Jesus is coming back tomorrow, although He could, it does mean that we should be watching for Him and studying His Word prayerfully. Seeking His wisdom from the Bible so that we are prepared for His return and ready to meet Him in the air. God will not abandon His church nor will He abandon His people, the Hebrews of Israel. Even though the world doesn’t recognize Him as sovereign over the universe and all of its processes, that doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

The Earth is His creation along with all of its creatures including us. The universe is also His creation and the entirety of creation is waiting for Him to restore everything to the state that existed before mankind fell in the garden. We should be telling as many people about Jesus as possible, if they will listen, because it is our calling and our duty as Christians and disciples.

God is not slack in His judgment of sin and the world around us is full of sin and its consequences. The people who have not learned to follow Jesus will be judged one day and it will happen during the Tribulation which is coming to the Earth. I plead with you to seek Him while there is yet time to do so safely because during the Tribulation it will be very dangerous to be a follower of Jesus. You will be hunted and killed because of your faith in Him, but take heart even if you are killed, you will live with Him in Heaven.

 

Faith in God’s Word


I have written a post about the word “believe” in the Bible before and it seems to be the post which gets the most attention, at least on some days. The different ways to express it or use your belief in God amounted to quite a few. Not as many as I had originally thought, but a good number.

Lately, I have wondered about the word faith in the Bible and I found out something which I didn’t expect at all. Do you know or realize that the Bible itself doesn’t make much sense at all unless you have faith in Him? Trust and faith are synonyms and unless you trust what God says…unless you have learned to have faith in God through His Spirit’s actions in your life…His Word will not make much sense to you at all! I remember when I wasn’t saved. Back then I tried to read the Bible and it didn’t mean much to me. I couldn’t understand it at all.

Can’t you have faith without God being a part of it? Not saving faith. You can’t understand Him or His Word until His Spirit touches your life and your heart and changes it and brings you to a point of knowing that you need Him as your Savior! Can you live your life here on Earth without Him? Yes, you can, but when this life is over you will stand before Him and give an account of your life and the reason why you never sought Jesus as your Savior!

There is a part of your life which is under conviction by God’s Spirit. This happens to you and to me and everyone else at some point in your life. It may happen when you are young or maybe when you get to college or it may not happen until you are in middle age, but at some point, your heart will feel it and you will notice it. What you do when you feel this conviction in your heart is the deciding factor for your eternity! Did you get that? This one decision will have an eternal effect on your Life after this one and if you don’t follow His Spirit’s call then you will regret it for eternity.

The word “faith” doesn’t appear too many times in the Old Testament but in the New Testament, it appears approximately 250 times. Depending on which version of the Bible you have, it may appear more times or a little less. Sometimes it is written as “trust” rather than “faith” but it means the same thing. Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.

Have faith in God. Seek out Jesus as your Savior because there is no other way to Heaven except through faith in Him. Learn from God’s Word what is required of you for this life so that you can be useful in the Kingdom of God after this life is over! Don’t try to get to Heaven on your own merits or by your accomplishments because it cannot be done. The only way to get there is through faith in Jesus Christ and by no other name or Person will you get there.

Trust…what does that mean?


Between people, it means that you have confidence in them to be genuine and honest with you in everything. In religion, trust is synonymous with faith. We trust in God because He is our Creator. We trust Him because He is trustworthy, I mean if God isn’t then we are truly messed up! Trust is the way that we look to our spouses and children because they are there for us, no matter what is happening.

Trust, a five letter word which means: “firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.”

This is the dictionary meaning of the word, but how do you define it? Is trust something which is given or is it earned by someone? That depends on who you are trusting in the first place. If it is a person such as a friend or spouse, trust can be easily given to them. If your friend or your spouse does anything in the future to break that trust, then it must be EARNED back, if possible.

Trust between people who are in teams is built as the team works together to accomplish something. Military teams such as the SEAL teams or sports teams like football, baseball, etc. all of these have different levels of trust between the members. Firefighters and policemen and women also have levels of trust, because like in military teams, their lives depend on trusting those who work with them every day.

Spiritual trust and faith are identical because it takes belief in the One Who created us and our lives and the situations that we live in. We have to have a reliable trust in His truth, His ability, and His strength in every possible problem of life, and He is able to do all the things that are necessary for our good and for His Kingdom. We don’t have to worry about His ability to heal, to help, to give comfort and to be your Savior because He is able to do all of these things.

If God, and that is a statement which I don’t come through easily, created all of the universe and all of the angels and Heaven and has provided for all of our lives from Adam until now, then the problems that we have are not hard for Him to help us with. All that we need to have is trust in His love and ability to take care of you with any problem you may have. Trust and faith in Him are the same, but we tend to disagree on this.

I have faith that God can and will do all that is necessary for me to make it through this week and next week as long as I subject my will to His. Do I trust Him to do these things? Yes! Because God can do all things and He always does the right things for us and for His Kingdom.

Times are changing


What can we do? Not much really, except pray and turn our hearts back to God. Our world, this nation, and every nation on Earth needs to turn toward the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why should we do this? Because we have pushed Him out of our lives! We have taken prayer and Bible reading out of our schools and we are reaping the consequences of that decision.

Some people may not notice that this is happening, but if you ask anyone who grew up in the sixties and seventies they can tell you that our world is definitely NOT the same anymore. So many problems, so much anger and violence, so many wars and things which are happening all over the world. These we see and hear about on the news programs or on the Internet on a daily basis and they change our perception of people in our world.

We look at people in a different light. We think about them in ways which are wrong, because we are allowing outside influences, like the news, change our perception. God knows each of them and you. He doesn’t change His ways and we should try to be more like Him. No, we will never be perfect in this life but we should strive toward that goal through Him and by knowing Him.

Why am I saying this? Because…the world is the way it is today simply because we are coming to the end of the church age or the age of God’s grace. He hasn’t given up on us, but His plans are in motion to bring about His purposes in the world. Many people can’t seem to believe that this is where we are today, but if you have read the Bible and the prophecies concerning the end of the age, then most of it makes at least some sense.

No, we can’t understand His ways or why things are happening the way that they are, because they seem so wrong to our way of thinking. But, God sees the picture outside of our time and space and He knows what is going on and how it will work out. This is the message to all who read this post: God has it all in His hands and His ways are better and more perfect than ours because He can see the outcome before the beginning.

Seek Him and trust in Him in all of your life’s journeys, no matter how small or big they might seem to you…because God is bigger than your problems! It might not seem so right now, but He is!

Too much information….


Everywhere that we go today, whether it is to work or school or to a favorite store or even a restaurant, we are assaulted with advertising of some kind. In our email and text messages, sometimes we get sales calls from people and companies which we might never have had a relationship at all! We watch videos and read posts on twitter and Facebook and many other social media sites…for what? The information? The news, if there is such a thing anymore, is old five minutes after we see it or hear it and we move on to something else. Have you ever wanted to get away from all of this connectedness? I certainly would like to, although I wouldn’t be able to keep this site up if I did. But, it would be like a vacation just to have a few days without cell service and Internet. I would likely go through some withdrawal for the first day or so, but I think I could adjust and cope with it.

Life today is so covered in information until it is causing stress when and where there was no stress before. Even children feel stressed by it today, because of too much information and the fact that it is so pervasive in our society today. There have been plenty of theories about doomsday scenarios with electromagnetic pulses and such. If such a thing did happen over a country like the USA, there would be many people who would likely have a heart attack because they couldn’t check in with their friends and family every few minutes! I have heard some people say that something needs to happen to push us back into life as it was in the nineteenth century with no phones, no electricity, no food unless you grew it yourself, no milk unless you had a cow or a goat that gave milk. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Not really. More than half of the people of America would die if this happened. Some because of violence, some because of starvation, mostly because of boredom on top of the other two!

There was a speech given once by a great President where he was consecrating a battlefield. One that had come on our soil because of stubbornness and laziness and the ideas of a privileged few that wouldn’t give up their way of life to set men free. Here is that speech, not because it is a light in a dark world but because the man who wrote it and gave it was:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that our nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The ideas that Abraham Lincoln espoused in this speech which we do still remember, if you have taken American history that has not been altered, come from a faith in God because even though slavery was OK in the Bible it wasn’t supposed to be life-long. Unless the slave loved you and didn’t want to be set free, they were supposed to go free in seven years. All debt was cancelled and land was returned to the original owner every fifty years. Life, given to us by God and His grace, is a precious commodity not to be used or squandered. We should honor it and celebrate it, even if someone doesn’t believe the same doctrine that you do or live according to the “book” that you do. We are created in His image and created equal in His sight, regardless of our skin color or religion and that is the code…the doctrine that we should live by!

 

Where does your strength come from?


To many people in this world today their strength comes from themselves and their own actions. It comes from their ability and their job or from their family and the strength that they gain from them. But, what happens when one of those is not able to strengthen you or keep you going? What do you turn to then?

Where do you look for strength and compassion when just one of those pillars cracks, when something goes wrong in your life? The people that we depend upon and the strength that we depend upon in life usually are just as weak as you are, spiritually and physically! We are weak, some of us are physically strong but without spiritual strength and our dependence upon Jesus for our strength in Him you will not be able to stand.

Not only to be able to stand up in the morning, which is not the strength that I am referring to, but the spiritual strength to stand against the sins which can drag us down. Standing against Satan and his demons and the temptations which are placed in our way every day, that is what spiritual strength is for! You can’t get it from a job, your family, your bank account, your friends, none of these worldly things can provide for you spiritually!

Yes, they can give you advice, but is it Biblical advice? Did they get it from God or their own mind or their own experience? What good will that do you? Your own advice and experience has not really helped, so why would you listen to them? God knows you and He knows what today had in it and what tomorrow has coming. He will be with you through all of these problems and pain and He will give you the strength to get through today and tomorrow and the next day.

Life is always one day at a time, one minute or hour at a time. Days don’t go by any faster for you than they do for me. The problems that we see each day, the pain that we feel each day are ours, but we don’t have to handle it alone because God is always available and He is with us no matter what or where we may be.

Seek God through His Scriptures, especially in the Psalms, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs. These three books have more wisdom in them than all of the “self-help” books combined. Learn of God’s ways, not just the way that He guided the Israelites but also the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels. He loves us, all of us, so much that He sent His Only Son to die on a Roman cross for the atonement of ALL of humanity’s sins, not just a few but all of them.

He will strengthen you in all of your problems and give you the wisdom to get through them. He will do this, not because He has to but because He wants to help you with your life. The lost keys, the misplaced bills, the bad grades or the forgotten birthday. He will get you through them all and give you wisdom in all that you do, IF you will trust in Him and follow His teachings for your life every day.