Believing in Jesus
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. " James 1:22-24 NLT
Do you believe the Word of God? Does the way you live your life reflect what you say you believe?
We often times find ourselves saying this is what we believe, but if we are honest with ourselves our actions may reflect something entirely different.
The truth is our actions demonstrate to others what we really believe. In other words, what we really believe is reflected in what we do.
“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?” James 2:14 NLT
Questions for Reflection:
This Weeks Suggested Readings:
Sunday - James 1:19-27
Monday - Romans 10:1-21
Tuesday - James 2:14-26
Wednesday - Genesis 21:22-34
Thursday - John 6:22-59
Friday - 1 John 5:1-12
Saturday - 1 John 2:28-3:10
Lord, I don’t want my actions to define my beliefs, but my beliefs to define my actions. Help me to better understand, embrace and declare my beliefs through my actions that others may see Jesus in me. Lord, I too declare that I believe; help my unbelief. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen
“Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us! What joy!” Psalms 126:3 NLT
There's no truer statement than this: the Lord has done amazing things in my life. When I take the time to focus on His faithfulness...His goodness...His mercy...His grace...joy floods my soul.
The Lord is my protector...my sustainer...my provider...my redeemer...my salvation...my all in all.
He is always right on time.
He knows me better than I know myself.
He is faithful and true.
He loves me with an unfailing love.
He is my hiding place...my refuge...my strength.
My life belongs to Him...I am forever His...He has a plan for my life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord...” Jeremiah 29:11-14 NLT
Take time today to think about the amazing things God has done for you and experience the joy that it brings.
“He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT
Who are you living for? Are you living for Christ or are you living for yourself?
The truth is found in knowing that you have received His new life, which means that your old life is dead and gone. You should no longer live as you once did...for yourself. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
As a child of God you are called to die to self and choose daily to live like Jesus...love like Jesus...and lead others to do the same.
“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT
What choice will you make today?
How do we rely on the power of God? When do we experience His power in our lives?
“...your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:5 NKJV
Trusting in the power of God is actually trusting in Jesus Christ...a demonstration of faith.
“...to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:24 NLT
Remember...“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 NLT
As a believer we should walk through every day mindful that we walk in the shadow of the cross...the very power of God. No matter what we encounter, we have access to His power to help see us through and overcome any obstacle the enemy tries to use against us.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NLT
Trust in His power.
“Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” John 20:29 NLT
I may have never actually seen the physical Jesus, but I have experienced His love...known His peace...been offered His grace...walked in His mercy...been overwhelmed by His presence...and have His Spirit living in me.
No, I've never seen Him physically, yet I believe in Him with all my heart.
What I have seen are hearts mended...marriages restored...broken bodies healed...lives made whole again...and the miracle of salvation.
No, I may have never seen Him physically, but I've seen His hands at work...His heart open wide...His body in service to others...His touch impact the lives of many.
I believe...How about you?
“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NLT
Do you have a teachable heart?
Do you want to go deeper in your relationship and knowledge of God?
“Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond] --and more will be given to you besides. For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.” MARK 4:24-25 AMP
Are you listening to what God says to you through His word? Perhaps the greater question is are you acting on what you know...applying the God's truths to your life?
When you do, God takes you deeper in your knowledge and understanding of Him. Open your heart to Him...listen to what He is saying to you and put it into practice.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” James 1:22-25 NLT
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” Luke 12:31 NLT
Am I truly seeking the reign and rule of God in my life? More often than not I prefer His counsel and guidance while I maintain control. Seeking His kingdom means that I am giving Him control...submitting myself to His authority as King of my life. I have to step down from the throne I've created for myself and serve the desires of the King.
“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power. Which do you choose?..." 1 Corinthians 4:20-21 NLT
Lord Jesus, I choose to live by your power not my own. I step down from my throne and submit myself to your reign and rule in my life.
You are my King!
Will you declare Him your King?
Aren't you glad God's power never gets cut off? Even when the storms of life come, they cannot disrupt access to His power. As children of God, His power is always available to us. We need to remember in the difficult days...the low times of life...God's power can make a difference.
As a matter of fact, His power works best in our weakness. ...“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness...” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT. When we are weak, He is strong.
God's power comes in the form of grace...grace that can see us through whatever we are facing.
“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 NLT
Walk in the power of Christ today.
Experience His grace.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT
We have been given the privilege to enter into the very presence of God because of the sacrifice of Christ. Think about what you find in God’s presence…a love that is not found anywhere else…a peace that Paul describes as passing all understanding…a joy that is truly inexpressible…an acceptance that is unparalleled anywhere else…a purity and holiness that can only be found in God Himself.
It sounds inviting, doesn’t it? Why not step into His presence and experience it all…step into His presence and worship Him.
“Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds. His name is the Lord — rejoice in his presence!” Psalms 68:4 NLT
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Romans 1:12 NLT
I love this simple statement by Paul to the church in Rome. It literally describes the heartbeat of the body of Christ...the pulse of relational discipleship...the essence of our need for one another.
I need you and you need me. We each have a need to be encouraged that is matched by our need to experience the value of being an encourager.
What better place to experience this than in God's house with God's people.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
Plan now to be in church this week to encourage someone and to be encouraged.