Faith Community Online

Day Three: Faith in Others

Filed under: Blog — Pastor David Jan 8, 2017 @ 7:58 am

“Having confidence in your obedience I write to you knowing that you will do more than I say.” Philemon 21

Faith in God leads to faith in myself, which leads to faith in others. Of the three, I believe this is the hardest form of faith. Why? Simply because People tend to disappoint us…all the time. They promise and then they turn and break their promise. They may be willing right now, but wait a minute, and they change their mind. Or they take forever to make up their mind as whether to help you or respond to your situation. Waiting on others can be frustrating, right? 

Consider Paul and his situation with the man, Philemon. Paul reached out to Philemon with unwavering faith. He spoke so trustingly, believing that Philemon would respond to God’s will and would do what Paul asked him to do.  How could he be so confident?  How could he have so much faith in Philemon?  I believe it was  a result of the first two parts of faith in Paul’s life. Paul believed God wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus, and also believed that God was working through his words to speak to Philemon about forgiving his slave. Paul believed in himself- that he was God’s leader and spokesman in behalf of Onesimus, and He believed in Philemon as one who would want to do God’s will. He also believed in Onesimus-that he was truly a changed man and would live out God’s plan for his life. All three of these parts of the situation came together and resulted as faith in the two men. What never happened in Roman culture between a slave and his master (Onesimus was under the death penalty) took place as part of God’s will. Onesimus later became a free man and a pastor of one of the churches in Ephesus during the first century. This letter, and example, later became a revolutionary movement to rid the empire of slavery without shedding any blood. When Paul wrote this letter, one third of Roman world was slaves. Later readers could announce, “Impossible…to possible…to done!”

How does faith work? We believe God has called us and sent us to help others. We believe that’s others will respond to that God-given call, and that they will make changes in their lives as a response. We will see changes in others due to our faith and obedience to follow God’s call. Faith in God, faith in ourselves, and faith in others complete the cycle that God began. He has faith in us that we will obey Him and do His will. Is it true? Are we following Him? Century after century has proven that God’s ways always work!  His church is still a force to be reckoned with and is still serving this broken world of ours.

Do not focus on those who do not believe, but rather, focus on those who are willing to trust and obey. God always moves forward with those who are willing to trust God and, then, to trust you.  When it seems that few people seem to be following… focus on the ones who ARE responding to God and believe in God’s Holy Spirit to work within them. God sent you, and God will give you success! There will always be someone for you to reach and to have the great joy of seeing them become a follower of Christ! Remember His promise. (Matthew 4:19)

 Father,

Thank You for being such a place of stability when people disappoint us. Thank you for providing us with a calling and using us in others’ lives. It blows us away that we are used by You in changing other lives. May You increase our effectiveness and circle of influence. We want to be used in greater ways this year as never before. Hear us Father, for the glory of Your Son. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Day Two: Faith in God, and in Ourselves

Filed under: Blog — Pastor David @ 7:58 am

“Whatever is not of faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23

None of us want to live a life of sin, I am sure. A life of faith leads to pleasing God. In short, God loves to see faith grow in our hearts.  May our faith in God grow. In order to allow our faith to grow in the second arena of your life, you need to have confidence in yourself. What? Trust myself? Doesn’t the Bible teach, “Do not lean on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:6) and “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)? Yes! It does! However, this is referring to the sin that is in us. We  each have a treacherous enemy within, and we must guard ourselves from listening to the ever present voice of sin that will misguide and trick us and call us to wander away from the God we love.  

But having faith in ourselves is really another matter. God has called us to Himself. He is doing a work in us that He has promised will be accomplished (1 Thess.5:24Phil. 1:6). If God is for US who can be against US? (Rom 8:31)! God will never abandon you, fail you, or forsake you. He will give you the strength you need for whatever you face (Phil 4:13Isa 43:1-5). You must have confidence that God is with you and will help you accomplish His calling in your life.

Stop there! Do you truly know and believe that He has called you for a purpose and has something for you to do that no one else can do? You will reach, teach and help others that no one else can or will. How does that happen? Self awareness. Do you really know who you are, and that you have been formed by God to be that person?  How can you learn what God has made you to be and do?

Rick Warren has masterfully crafted a simple system for self discovery. He refers to it as, “discovering your shape”. Read about it in his best-seller book “The Purpose Driven Life.” (Pp 227-272). Discover your God given shape… S for spiritual gift. H for heart passion (what moves you to tears or makes you angry, or something you dream and wish you could do with your life?). A for abilities ( you have 200-700 abilities). P for personality (introvert, extrovert, thinker, feeling, teller, asker, etc.). E for experiences (painful, educational, social, spiritual, important moments, etc.) these 5 areas of your life make you into a unique person who God will use in incredible and simple ways. You may already be experiencing some of these and not even know it. Self awareness is huge.

Do you know that You are not an accident or a mistake! You are a gift from God to this world. You are His workmanship or masterpiece created for good works (Eph. 2:10). Believe that God has a plan and place for you. He wants to use you and your life to bring others hope and encouragement.

You are part of the Body of Christ. Step under His headship, join His body (our local church) and develop your skills, and dedicate them to God’s Kingdom. Become the best you you can be! Only you can be yourself!  Believe that about your life. Make a difference by having Faith in yourself!

Our Father

I know You have a plan for my life. I want to discover it and live according to Your plan not my plan. Open my eyes to see my shape and allow me to develop into a masterpiece used by You in the lives of others for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen

Day One: Faith in God

Filed under: Pray & Fast — Pastor David @ 7:57 am

Heb 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God…”

Faith is all important in our lives, for the righteous person shall LIVE by FAITH (Rom. 1:17). Every move we make and every thought we have must be done in faith. But what is faith? What does faith mean?

Simply put,  it is “trust and confidence in someone and some thing”. Trust in their character and words, confidence in the promises they make and confidence in the follow- through to fulfill those promises both in their ability to do…and their willingness to do…what they have said.

Faith has three parts;

1. Faith in God, 2. Faith in yourself, and 3. Faith in others. Tie the three together, and you have a faith that can move mountains and accomplish the impossible!  All three are vital and all three accompany real faith. Leave one part out and it falls apart!  This could be the reason if you find that your faith has not grown or has disappointed you. Your faith is incomplete. Want to learn more?

Faith in God is where all faith truly starts. Is He reliable, trustworthy, and faithful? Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie. This is His character. It states it even more emphatically, “it is impossible for God to lie.” Wow! Is this true? The Bible holds over 7000 promises for us. These promises are spoken by God who cannot lie, more, it is impossible for Him to lie. 2 Cor 1:20 boldly states “for as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are YES…” another wow!

Faith expands as we learn who God is and what God has promised to do. He is the Great I AM!  i.e. He is who He says He is, He can do what He says He can do. His character is trustworthy in every way!  All that is revealed about God is based on His reliable nature. This is repeated thousands of times throughout the Bible. Do you trust the Bible?

If you have doubts about the Bible, start your journey there and settle those questions first.

Once you have faith in the Bible as God’s gift and revelation of Himself, then take the next step in getting to know who He is. He is love and truth, He is faithful and compassionate, He is pure and holy, He is sinless and without imperfection, He is unchangeable and sovereign, He is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present. He is the MOST HIGH in every quality. He is the Highest, greatest, strongest, wisest, and in every way the Superior One.  This is just the beginning of what the Bible tells us about God. So reflect on these qualities today as you express your love and adoration of Who He is.

What has He promised us? Matt 7:7 asserts, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Who said this? Jesus, our King and Friend. Is this promise true?

It comes down to this…

Is God willing and able to fulfill His promises? One man asked Jesus to heal him of leprosy. ‘Lord if you are willing you can make me clean.” Jesus responded, “I am willing.” (Matt. 8:1-3). What happened? He was cured, his prayer was answered. Here is the issue, we must know God’s will. There is much in the Bible about His will and what He wants for us. As we grow and mature in our faith, we learn His already stated will in the Bible and His specifically stated will in prayer. If God declares, “I am not willing” (and on occasion He is not willing) I have learned it means that we are part of something greater and better that He wants to do in and through us. God wants the best for us in every case, for God is good! It is important and vital that we learn to trust His bigger purpose for a greater story.

Faith starts here… will you trust God? Our faith must grow and grow and grow (1 Thess 1:3 and 2 Thess 1:3). Today ask for greater faith in God (Luke 17:5)!

Our Father,

I want my faith to grow. Please increase my confidence in You, Your Word, and Your heart. You have promised to guide me, teach me, and transform me. Do it in me today. May You become greater in every way starting today and each day of this new year. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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