Living Our Faith

Posted on September 24, 2015 · Posted in Encouragement, Faith

The Bible is the inspired record of God’s revelation of Himself and of His will.  God has given us His Word so that we can know Him and understand what pleases Him.  There will always be something new to learn about God, but one thing will never change:

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

Believing that God is real is the first step of faith, but it is only the beginning.  Genuine Faith is more than intellectual assent.  Faith believes in God’s character:  He is who He says He is.  Faith believes in God’s promises:  He will do what He says.  The object of faith is God Himself.  Those who trust God come to Him to worship and to find mercy and grace to help in their time of need.  Faith trusts God! 

How Can We Know God?

We can know about God’s power, His majesty and His brilliant creativity through His creation, but He has given us His Word, the Bible, so we can know God personally.  God is both personal and relational.  The Old and New Testaments of the Bible tell us everything God wants us to know about Himself; He tells us what pleases Him and what does not.  Faith in God comes from believing His Word.  Do you know God well enough to trust Him?  Begin by reading and believing His Word.

What It Means to Live Our Faith

Obedience to the Will of God

God is not interested in those who profess faith but have no works of faith to show for it!  Obedience to the will of God comes from faith and faith comes from hearing the Word of God.  Faith is incomplete without our obedience. 

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.  James 2:14, 17, 26

Obedience to God’s Word demonstrates that our faith is genuine.  True faith that relies on the Holy Spirit of God transforms our conduct!

Two words describe faith:  Sure and certain.  This is because the object of faith is God and He is trustworthy.  God always does what He says He will do.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  Hebrews 11:1-2

The lives of real people who lived a very long time ago are recorded for us in the Bible.  In its pages, we read about imperfect people whom God used because they believed His Word and acted on it.  We also read about people who lived their lives for themselves and treated God as if He did not exist.  The Bible was written to teach us to trust in God and not in ourselves.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.  Romans 15:4

Faith in Action

Examples of People Who Walked by Faith and Not by Sight

 The Bible records the lives of  real people who had a sin nature like ours but who accomplished great things by trusting God.  Faith trusts God to accomplish His good and perfect will in the world and in our own lives.

There is much we can learn from those who have gone before us:

Like Moses, I often feel inadequate to what God has called me to do.  I relate to most of his feelings of inadequacy, yet because Moses believed what God said to him, he was used greatly by God and he was called God’s friend.  I am reminded that God calls the weak to rely on His power and when I do, I am strengthened to do His will and God is glorified.

The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

My faith in God is often tested like Abraham.  Whenever I begin to doubt what God has revealed to me, I begin to question God.  I think, “Did God really say this to me?”  As a side note, ‘Did God really say’ is also the devil’s words used to tempt Eve to doubt God’s Word in the Garden of Eden.  God had promised Abraham a son and so when it did not happen for a long time, Abraham and Sarah thought they needed to help God out, so they did.  The consequences of their actions are still felt today as Jews and Muslims continue to fight each other.  God reminds me that choices have consequences so that I will continue to walk by faith and not by sight.  God never needs my help, but He does want me to trust and depend on Him.

Doubts can enter my mind like John the Baptist sitting in prison wondering if Jesus is who he thought He was.  He thought, If Jesus is the Messiah, why did He not use His power to rescue him from prison?  I too wonder what God is doing at times, so He reminds me that His ways are higher than my ways and He asks me to continue to trust Him.  I confess my unbelief and I ask God to strengthen my faith.

I relate to Peter when He denied he even knew Jesus to protect his own self-interest.  He failed the test of faith and he was eaten up with guilt and despair.  He desperately needed forgiveness and it was at this point that the love of Christ overwhelmed him.  Jesus assured him that He still wanted to use his life and He did.  Peter wrote 1 and 2 Peter under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  Who could fail to love a God of such mercy and forgiveness for sinful human beings?

I marvel at Paul’s conversion and how he was instantly a changed man because he came face to face with Jesus on the road to Damascus.  He was transformed by God from a persecutor of Christians to a preacher for Christ throughout the Roman Empire.  In reading his story, I remember the day I believed, and I can relate to his spiritual birth.

I am also amazed how the Holy Spirit enabled Paul to persevere over overwhelming opposition, including beatings and prison.  I am humbled at the love of God Paul had for his enemies and how much he always hoped that they would believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God reminds me that that the same power and love of the Holy Spirit is available to me.

When I read about Elijah and Elisha, I see the power of the Holy Spirit displayed in their passion to bring people back to faith in God.  Both prophets obeyed God’s Word and relied totally on God to provide for their needs.  When I read their story, I ask God to replace worry with faith to believe that God will provide for me.

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Both prophets confronted evil and the resistance to God’s Word in their day.  Through their example, I am reminded that God will always help me to do what He commands me to do even when it is hard.

God appointed Joshua to lead his people into the Promised Land.  He was to succeed Moses of all people!  I can learn by his example because he was afraid to do what God asked him to do but he took courage by believing what God told him:

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Joshua had the Presence of God with him, so he had everything he needed.  Help me, Lord, to connect to you throughout the day.

What more shall I say?  I do not have time to tell you all about the men and women who God commended for their faith except to sum up their lives this way:  Faith Works!

Those men and women of faith recorded in the Bible were not perfect just as we are not, but God commended them for their faith in Hebrews 11.  Because of their faith, they were obedient to God and God used them to accomplish His good purposes by the power of the Holy Spirit.  People of faith will continually be transformed by the Spirit of God day by day until they see Jesus face to face.

The righteous will live by faith.  Romans 1:17

God calls those who live by faith righteous because obedience comes from faith and glorifies God.  Those who believe God obey Him by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit and not in themselves.

What is God Asking You to Do?

Remember, Faith Works!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:8-10

You are God’s masterpiece and God’s intention is that your salvation will result in acts of service because of your faith.

Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  John 14:12-14

Ask God for His help to believe God’s Word and to act on it!

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Bible study for “Living Our Faith” 

Week 1:  Genesis 15-17; Exodus 3-4; Joshua 1:1-9; 1 Kings 18:16-39; 2 Kings 6:1-17; Matthew 11:2-19; Luke 22:31-34; 54-62; John 13:37-38

Week 2:  John 14:12-14; 15:5-8; 18:15-17, 25-27; 20:30-31; 21:15-19; Acts 9:1-31; Romans 1:16-17; 4:3-8, 18-25; 13:8-14; 14:19-23; 15:1-7, 13

Week 3:   2 Corinthians 11:24-30; 12:8-10; 13:5; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:3-4, 14-16; 4:12-13, 19-20; 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Week 4:  Hebrews 4:12-16; 11:1-39; 13:4-6; James 1:22-25; 2:14-26; 5:17-18; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 John 1: 5-10; 2:1-6