“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 NLT
How do you express your faith?
Acting on what you believe...responding in confident hope is a part of expressing your faith.
“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
Is there something in your life in which you are standing in faith...believing God to act?
Are you acting on your faith?
Actions sometimes are simply the continued expressions of prayer to God in confident hope. Wait.
Actions may also be responding to instructions given to you by God in response to your faith. Think about it, what if the paralytic had not attempted to move when Jesus said get up, pick up your mat and walk. Faith sometimes requires a response in order to experience results.
Is there something God is asking you to do in expression of your faith?
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 NLT
When I read this passage, I picture someone who is completely and utterly sold out to Jesus Christ. Paul is saying that his old self no longer exists...His old self is dead. It is Christ who exists and lives in him.
What about you?
Are you sold out to Jesus?
Can you say what Paul is saying?
Are you living in this earthly body trusting all things in your life to the Son of God?
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:3-6 NLT
Trust and obey for there is no other way...
“The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
"The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you. They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power. They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.
"The LORD always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
"The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
"The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
"The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
"The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.
"I will praise the LORD, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever.”
Psalms 145:8-21 NLT
How well do you know Him?
Along with David, declare Him as your LORD who is merciful...compassionate...good... loving...promise keeper...helper...load lifter...righteous...kind...close...listening...protector.
Who is the LORD to you?
The heart of God's word is a collection of encounters between God and His people.
God encounters continue today...encountering God is necessary to your story.
“If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the LORD.” Jeremiah 29:13-14 NLT
What's the story your life is writing?
It may be the only witness to an encounter with God that others may see.
“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalms 25:4 NLT
“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8 NLT
Sometimes we can find ourselves directionally challenged, trying to figure out which way to go . . . depending on our own judgement. We may see a way that seems right, but it turns out to be a poor choice. “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.” Proverbs 14:12 NLT
How can we be certain of which way to go? Why not ask the Lord for directions. Let Him be your guide through life. He will not only give you advise, but He will watch over you as you go.
God’s got a plan for your 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.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
Follow His lead...you'll find God's way is the best way.
“Be still, and know that I am God!" Psalms 46:10 NLT
I remember as a child having difficulty being still. I seemed to be constantly in motion, doing something all the time. Now, I find it much easier to be still physically due to the limitations that come with age, but my mind often struggles to be still. I find myself going from one thought to another at a rapid pace.
The kind of stillness spoken of in Psalm 46:10 is a stillness of the spirit. A focused attention on God. An intentional time of contemplation and reflection on who God is in our lives.
In order for these moments to occur, we have to take time and be deliberate in our thoughts and actions. We must set aside time to be still that we might know God better.
“Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act." Psalms 37:7 NLT
In waiting patiently we discover that God acts by revealing more of Himself to us.
Find some time today to just be still in God's presence.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” Psalms 16:11 NLT
What do you find in the presence of God? You may be thinking, aren't we always in His presence? Well, yes, but when you recognize His presence your world changes.
When in His presence the psalmist was reminded that God will show him the way of life. We can often become so consumed with life that we lose sight of God's way to live. Why? Because we have lost sight of God's presence.
Something else that should be evident when we recognize God's presence in our life is joy. “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NLT
True joy comes in knowing that this way of life and the joy of God's presence is eternal.
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.” 1 John 5:20 NLT
Look around and recognize God's presence in your life today.
You will discover the way of life, joy in life and the pleasure of knowing you have eternal life with the Lord.
“Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:2 NLT
Isn't it amazing how much can be accomplished when we are connected with others. Coming together in agreement...loving one another...working together united in purpose and spirit.
When we stop and really think about it, we are reminded that we are not alone. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NLT
As a believer we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ...But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:12, 18-20 NLT
We need each other.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45 NLT
Scripture reminds us on several occasions that we reflect our heritage as children of God by the manner in which we love others. The importance of loving others is equal to the importance of loving God.
“Jesus replied, 'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 NLT
The Bible doesn't say that we only have to love those who are lovable, or only those who love us. We are to remember that as children of our Heavenly Father, our love for Him is shown by our love for others - the lovable and the unlovable.
Loving God - Loving each other - True children of the father.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him...If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.” Psalms 91:1-2, 9-11 NLT
Will you declare along with the psalmist that God is your shelter...a place of rest...a place of safety...your refuge?
This happens when you personally allow God to be your God. This is not just a one time decision. It is a choice you make moment by moment everyday. When you choose to place your trust in Him, you find rest in His shadow.
There is no other place where you can experience this kind of rest. You will experience a peace that can't be found anywhere else. Recognize that He is God...He is in control...He is responsible...He is in charge.
There is no better place to find rest.
Bro. Joe Metts