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Faith – Where It Comes From

19 Apr

Faith – Where It Comes From…

We are all familiar with the definition of Faith for Hebrews 11:1 does a pretty good job of defining it. Actually Hebrews 11 is called the Faith chapter and you should all take the time to read it.

But, where does Faith come from? We all assume it is something we learned while growing up. Something our parents taught us or we learned while going to Sunday school. It isn’t!

Now let us go to the Bible and see if it tells us where faith comes from. Heb 12:2 says “…Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith”. And Rom 12:3 says ” … God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” These two verses clearly tell us that faith is not something that we do or a presence of mind that we develop, but that faith is a gift from God. Rom 10:17 says ” … faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ, which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. So in His time He will allot faith to us as needed from the word of the Bible. In 2 Cor 10:15 we see that faith can grow, so as we study the Bible God can add to our faith.

Rom 5:1 says, ” … justified by faith” and Rom 4:5 says, ” … his faith is counted as righteousness”. We clearly see from these verses that faith is not of our doing for that would be a works-based salvation and we know from Eph 2:8, 9 that salvation is surely not from works.

However Eph 2:8 says something else that I never hear proclaimed in church and that is “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.” In Eph 2:8 the “it” refers back to faith, which is consistent with Rom 12:3 and the other scriptures above and speakers very seldom talk about that. Faith is a gift from God. Rom 3:28 also says, ” … a man is justified by faith.” We read in Rom 9:32 that Israel did not arrive at righteousness because they did not pursue righteous by faith but as though it were by works. If we must muster up our own faith then justification is by works and again we know that is not correct.

We also see in Heb 12:2 that ” …Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith.” which fits in nicely with what we have already seen. Jesus is not only the author — the originator of faith –; He is also the one who perfects it in us.

So now we know that Faith is a gift from Jeaus and we should use it wisely. He also told us to love our neighbors as I have loved you in Matthew 6. That being said I presented a question to a few biblical people asking if our Faith in man should be the same as our Faith in God.

It was presented to get them to think more with an open mind and to think more about how they answer. The answers I received were pretty much what I expected and very one sided. Faith in God is one thing but Faith in man is another. God keeps His promises, but man can deceive you and let you down.

That got me to thinking, God knows our every move before we make them. He also, as I wrote in “Crossed Paths”, brings people to us for a reason either because they have a gift for us or we have one for them. Yes, some people are unreliable, but for the most part people are honest and ready to lend a hand where needed. I would guess people base their value on Faith in others as it reflects in their Faith in themselves. If you can’t be counted on to follow through on your committments, you won’t count on others to follow through on theirs.

I believe, maybe because of experience, that most people will follow through with their promises to the best of their ability. So I wonder should there be a difference on how we define Faith in man? After all Faith is a gift from God and He gives a measure to each of us as Christians. Is it not our job to share this Faith, by example, with our fellow man?

I’ve seen many times where God has brought people together from all walks of life to pull together and bring a solution to a problem. Somewhere in there Faith in man to complete his or her portion has to be considered. God may be at the helm, but we make our own choices.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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The Lord’s Supper

19 Apr
The Lord’s Supper…

The “Lord’s Supper” was a “Passover Seder”, the same meal the Jewish people partake of every year at Passover. However, the Passover is not just a meal, it’s a service. The one who leads it is the one who serves the matzah and all the other required foods. It’s not a buffet— you let the leader serve you.

Thus, the Lord’s Supper is not about serving yourself, it’s about being served. When you sit at the Lord’s Table, He’s the one who serves you the bread of life. Jesus is love, and He wants you to learn of love as well. Too often, even as believers, we live to serve ourselves.

But in the Lord’s Supper, God is saying in effect, “I’ll take care of your needs. I’ll give you the bread of life and the new wine of joy. Sit at My table and let Me minister to you.” So, first receive and then you can live your life serving— not yourself, but others.

Sit at the Lord’s Table and let Him minister to you. Then in His love, serve another, because this life is not a buffet— it’s the Lord’s Supper.

Scripture: Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28

Spend time today at the Lord’s Table. Let Him serve you so that you can serve others.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What You Are

17 Apr
What You Are…

One of Grandfather’s favorite expressions was, “You are what you eat.” Of course, it’s true. Whatever you eat, that’s what you are. That’s true in the physical realm and also in the spiritual. If you partake of spiritually bad food, if you receive into your heart what is impure, carnal and ungodly, your life will become the same.

You might say, “I stay far away from those things.” That’s good, but it’s not enough because the inverse is also true— you are not what you don’t eat.

All believers are called to be as Jesus, in every part of their lives. So here’s the question— are you like Jesus in every part of your life? If not, the problem can be solved with a change of diet. You are what you eat— so the more you partake of Jesus, the more you’ll become like Him. Just as you can’t partake of a food without becoming like it, it can’t fail.

Commit yourself to partaking more of His word, His presence, His love, and His beauty, and your life will become more and more Jesus-like. It’s a basic law— you are what you eat.

Scripture: Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. John 6:27

Today, spend time in His presence and partake of the bread of Life.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Hedges

16 Apr
Hedges…

Hollywood used to have something called the “Production Code”. It stated, among other things, “No film or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith. Ministers of religion in their character as ministers of religion should not be used as comic characters or as villains…”. This code was followed up until the 1960s. Then, they threw the code out and broke their own hedge. It’s no accident that movies are now filled with every kind of immorality, impurity, and perversity.

That same media now ridicules Christian faith and depicts ministers with contempt as comic characters. The explosion of immorality is joined to the ridicule of faith, as both represent society’s progressive movement away from faith, the Bible, God and the Gospel.

All the more, in a day when society is breaking age-old hedges of right and wrong, you as God’s servant must be stronger to establish even higher standards, codes and hedges for your own life. As it’s written: Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Ecclesiastes 10:8

Scripture: Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. Isaiah 62:10

Today, seek the Lord about areas in your life where your standards may need to be raised to His. Then raise up your Hedges.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Jesus, Potiphar’s Wife And The Church

15 Apr
Jesus, Potiphar’s Wife And The Church…

Joseph was taken to Egypt and into Potiphar’s house. Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph, but she had no real idea who Joseph was or had any notion of his heart. She only wanted to use him. Joseph fled her advances, and she was left holding nothing but his clothes.

The Church is called to be the Bride of Jesus, but much of the Church has become more like Potiphar’s wife. It wants the blessings of God— His comfort, His prosperity— but without really knowing Him or seeking to share His heart. So it ends up like Potiphar’s wife, left with just the clothing of Jesus, the empty outward trappings of religion while Jesus Himself has long fled away.

Your walk with God is not primarily about the feelings, benefits, or success it gives you— it’s about Him. Set your heart to truly seek Him, to truly know Him, more than you ever have before to know His heart and to love Him. For the Lord called you to be the Bride of Jesus… and not Potiphar’s wife.

Scripture: But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him Hebrews 11:6

Set your heart to know His heart today. Seek Him over everything else. Get heart to heart with your Beloved.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Root

12 Apr

The root…

In Isaiah 11, it’s prophesied that a shoot will spring forth from the root of Jesse. But the Hebrew is more explicit. It literally says, “a shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse.” The word is specifically about a tree which has been cut down.

That’s a perfect description of Messiah. He came forth out of the fallen, cut off, and cast down Kingdom of David. When it looked most hopeless, that’s when He was born out of it. That’s the way of Messiah and His blessings. He is born from the broken, the cut-down, the fallen, the unlikely, and the hopeless. And that’s the way He’s born into our lives. It is when we are at our lowest points, when we have nothing to offer of our own, and everything seems seems impossible— that’s the root of Jesse, or rather, that’s the Stump of Jesse.

So don’t despair over the stumps in your life, or those things which have fallen, been cut down, or become hopeless. For out of such stumps are born the blessings, the presence, and the miracle, of the Messiah!

Scripture: You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for theungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Don’t despair over the stumps in your life, or that which has been cut off. Give thanks today to God in these as well and seek the life and miracle that God will bring forth.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Garden Tomb

12 Apr

The Garden Tomb… did you ever stop to realize how strange, unique, significant, contradictory, and radical it is? What’s a Garden? A place where life begins. What’s a Tomb? A place where life ends.

So what’s a Garden Tomb? It’s a place where life ends— and begins. Jesus wasn’t just put into a tomb, but into a Garden Tomb. Why? Because after the end of His life would come new life — the Resurrection.

As everything began in a Garden, so now everything begins anew in a Garden Tomb. In the Garden Tomb is a cosmic mystery. The only way we can get to the Garden is by first going to the tomb – only by dying to the old can we live. So don’t be afraid to let the old die, to crucify the flesh, or to count your old life as gone. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It will only lead to blessing in the end, and it’s the only thing that does.

Do it as soon as you can, for the way of the Cross always leads to the Garden Tomb, and the Garden Tomb always leads to life.

Scripture: He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee.
Luke 24:6

Today, come to the Garden Tomb. Let go of anything that is old. Let God begin a new thing in your life.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed