Tag Archives: Faith

7 Things You Need to Work On

September 30, 2015

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Virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love are popularly known as the Christian graces. (2 Peter 1:5-7) But that makes it sound like they come free with our faith.

Looking closer, Peter said to be diligent to supplement our faith with these things! (v. 5)

That means in order to bear the fruit of the Spirit, we have to keep training ourselves to practice these qualities (v. 8)

Maybe we should be calling them the Christian objectives!

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That is Not an Excuse – It is a Warning

July 16, 2014

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There is a verse in Romans 3 we all know:

… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… – Romans 3:23

But that is not even a complete sentence. We know it is telling us that all people have sinned, regardless of who we are. We can see that the Jews had it in their head that they were righteous enough just by being Jews. Paul shows us in Romans 3 that there is much more to it.

If we are not careful we are going to drift away from God, just like the Jews did.

It was predicted in the Psalms this would happen (as quoted by Paul in Romans 3:10-18.) In fact, they were so far gone they completely missed that the Messiah came and went.

Since we are all the same in God’s eyes, we all share the same potential to drift away if we do not practice the righteousness of God. The danger is thinking we are okay, when in fact we have drifted away because our faith is not the obedient kind like Paul describes in Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26.

When Paul said we are all sinners, he was not giving us an excuse – he was giving us a warning. This was not permission to shrug and and say, “Oh well.”  Many are calling themselves Christians because they completed some steps, but they continued on in their worldly ways.

It is time to stop making excuses.

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Faith is a Work

May 9, 2014

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Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890) - The Sermon On the Mount

Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890) – The Sermon On the Mount

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent. – John 6:29

This is a key verse to debate those who teach the “faith only” doctrine. Those who have allowed themselves to believe that there is nothing one can do to be saved have overlooked this verse.

There is also a difference in believing “in him” and “believing him.” If we are to believe in Christ, we have to trust that what he said is the way of salvation. Finding ways around his teaching is contrary to the spirit of what Jesus was about. A number of the followers turned away in John 6 when they started figuring this out.

Jesus marveled at man’s disbelief. (Mark 6:6) His villagers even used the fact that he was born among them and therefore could not possibly be worthy of his claims.

  • Not believing in God makes us equal to the animals
  • Not believing is contrary to human nature
  • Not believing leaves man without hope
  • Not believing closes the mind to the evidence of God

Faith takes a lot of work. It is how we separate ourselves from the world. It is how we decide to set priorities for “spiritual bread” over the physical bread.

As we make our daily choices – let’s pay more attention to which bread we are working for by choosing to enrich our faith.

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How to Let God Do His Work

May 6, 2014

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Healing the son of a royal official - 1752 -  Joseph-Marie Vien (1716 - 1809 )

Healing the son of a royal official – 1752 – Joseph-Marie Vien (1716 – 1809 )

The healing of the nobleman’s son is more than a lesson on having faith. (John 4:46-54) It is a lesson on how to act if you really have that faith.

When Jesus said “Go,” the nobleman went – after dragging his feet a little. He eventually had to accept that Jesus could heal his son from a distance. He braced himself and went on his way home like Jesus told him.

What if Jesus had gone with him instead? Would the nobleman’s faith have grown at all?

Sometimes our prayers are answered far differently than we expect…

That’s because God works in his way and his time – not ours.

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Our Cycle of Foolishness

April 29, 2014

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On the Road to Emmaus - ~1310 - Duccio (1260–1318)

On the Road to Emmaus – ~1310 – Duccio (1260–1318)

They were a little reluctant to believe.

And why not? The prophesy of the Messiah rising from the dead was something they knew would happen, but were they supposed to believe it was happening right before them?

Jesus called the two on the road to Emmaus foolish for doubting. (Luke 24:25) They had been taught this stuff all their life. They knew he was out there teaching and doing miracles. They knew this was all supposed to happen just like it did.

Even for his disciples, it was a lot to take in.

Sometimes we are reluctant like that. We read and study the Bible, learn what God can do for us, receive his blessings – and then doubt.

  • We are reluctant to pray for what we really need.
  • We are amazed when the prayers are answered.
  • We are reluctant to pray the next time we are in need.

And so the cycle goes.

A little faith goes a long way. (Luke 17:6) Take what you have by nurturing it through study (Romans 10:17) and use it to do great things for the Lord. (Hebrews 11:6)


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