Tag Archives: Faith

The Exchanged Life

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

We have the chance to emulate the character of Christ in us. Christ is an example to follow in life; when trials and tribulations come, when we feel discouraged when life is unjust, we should consider the sacrifice that Jesus has underwent.

ThreeCrosses

Devotion to God Breeds Spiritual Courage

1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”

Spiritual CourageOur devotion to God breeds spiritual courage. He wants us to be as bold in our spiritual life as we are in our military life.  Remember that courage follows when faith takes the lead.

The Coming Messenger

candles-3Luke 1:46b-55 “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;  he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

As God’s very own, we are called to be messengers of the salvation brought through Christ’s first coming and the hope, for those who believe, of His Second Coming. We can see our selves as God’s representatives in the world – to be living examples of God’s forgiving, transforming power in the life of a believer.

Drink Water. Drink More Water

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you …

What first lays hold of the heart in the morning is likely to occupy the place all the day.

As we thirst for God, we open our eyes, first thing, to His understanding and long for His righteousness. We are convinced that nothing in this world can satisfy our wants and desires except a potion of God. When faith and hope starts our day we consider God’s mercy and loving kindness, devoting ourselves fully to being the kind of person in whom God can entrust His power.

We can accomplish a great deal through our own efforts and hard work. The implementation of programs and mission strategies can produce results, but there is no greater satisfaction than to see the hand of God move as we take our initial start of the day drink of His goodness and allow Him to move us in such a way that only He can get the credit for what is done.

As we lie in bed at night. We can reflect in victory knowing we consciously clung to Him, confident He is the One that upheld us.

Jesus said, On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of His heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37–38.

“Drink water. Drink more (spiritual) water” !!!

drinkwater

Do All Things Without Grumbling

fire-barrell“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,”. Philippians 2:14-15

Life can be hard. Not everything works out the way we plan. That is why God created us with the capacity for resilience. By faith, we can return to joy from negative emotions. But returning to joy is a choice. Sadly, instead of joy, many times we choose to grumble. Grumbling is different than simple negative emotions. Sadness, disappointment, even anger can be natural reactions to difficult situations, and with time spent in reflection, we can find our way back to joy. But grumbling is different.

Grumbling, unchecked, becomes a bitter root that destroys faith, hope and joy. It grows and festers, blaming, attacking and rebelling against any and everything that would be cause for its pain.

So today, let us check ourselves. Are we letting anger and frustration get the best of us? Are we blaming and complaining? Is it possible that we are spending more and more time grumbling? If so, let us heed the warning of Paul and stop. Let’s not let grumbling get the best of us.

Faith

“Wait for the LORD; be strong and courageous. Wait for the LORD” Psalm 27:14. “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him” Hebrews 11:6.

candle 1What’s the longest you’ve had to wait for something? I imagine almost everyone has a memory of Christmas Eve as a child; squeezing your eyes shut, trying with all your might to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. For those of you with orthodox parents, you knew that even opening one present before Christmas morning was akin to high heresy. And so you counted sheep and waited.

Waiting is still difficult. We expect everything to be at our fingertips the moment we have the desire for it. It’s a world we’re growing into and it’s addicting. We live in a world of downloads, high-speed email, on demand, and Hot Pockets. Yet God finds ways of making us wait. Waiting and faith go hand-in-hand.

  • We wait for the baby we’ve dreamed we’d hold in our arms.
  • Some wait for a prodigal to come to the end of himself and return home.
  • Many of us are waiting for the phone to ring so we can return to a job with a normal salary and benefits.
  • Others are waiting for a spiritual breakthrough that will open our eyes. Waiting is the embodiment of faith.

In Hebrews 11:13 we are reminded that faith involves trust in God’s promise even if the promises of God are fulfilled long after we’re gone. The writer says, “These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance …”

Advent is about faith and waiting. What are you waiting on God for this year? Remember the years of silence as God’s people waited for the Messiah. Take time today, right now, to reflect on the fact that God’s timing is quite different from ours. The story of Jesus birth gives us assurance and joy because even though the waiting lingered for decades, God broke through at just the right time.

Are you struggling with a lack of faith? That’s OK. It doesn’t take much faith to get God’s attention. Jesus encouraged his frustrated followers this way: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20.

Most of us try to grow a forest in one day. Jesus, however, invites you to begin with a tiny seed. Watch it grow and wait for it to become all that you dreamed it would be.

  • An entire nation waited centuries before their eternal king appeared.
  • Mary wasn’t given a full-grown son.
  • The Wise Men from the east didn’t see the Messiah to appear at their front door.

Are you willing to plant faith and wait upon God? Nothing seems to be appearing on the horizon today, but just wait! God always keeps his promises, even to those who have little faith. Just wait.

 

*** Matt Tullos is pastor of Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Person of Excellence

Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” and later Paul writes, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24.

We are called to strive for excellence in order to be the best testimony for the Lord that we can be.

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Excellence does not necessarily mean the absence of mistakes, but it does mean the presence of faith and determination. To be excellent at whatever God has called you to do, you must first ask for His strength to accomplish the task and then, secondly, His endurance to complete it.

You must also recognize that there is a difference between striving to be perfect versus endeavoring to be excellent. Achieving perfection is an impossible task because it never makes allowances for errors or missteps. Consequently, condemnation and discouragement often follow one’s pursuit of perfection because these unrealistic expectations lead to feelings of worthlessness and a sense of inadequacy.

A person who strives for excellence doesn’t give up when he makes mistakes, and he doesn’t avoid tasks for fear of failure. The true goal of excellence is to do the best you can with what you have at every moment.
Ask the God today to help you walk excellently before Him in speech and in service so that you may be more effective in your ministry to others.

Spiritual Night Vision

In today’s culture, many people have the opinion that we should live by our own standards, oblivious to the Word of God. Some want the blessings of the promises of God, without having a faith of Him or faith in Him. However, to truly be happy and fulfilled, we should examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word and live by it.

Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Faith is your spiritual night vision. It cuts through the darkness and shows you the way. It sheds light when darkness is overwhelming.

The stress and tensions of life become unbearable when we don’t have faith in God and His Word. Faith in God and His Word relieves the stress today’s culture imposes.

Faith is empowering; Faith in action brings victory!

Night-Vision

His Indescribable Gift

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

God’s gift to us is too wonderful for words with no strings attached. A gift is not a gift unless it is accepted. God has given you His Son, but ownership is conditional on acceptance. God does not force His gift on us, but He asks us to receive by faith the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. A person who deliberately refuses God’s offer of love, mercy, and forgiveness is lost. Most people gratefully receive a gift when given in love. The greatest sin that a person can commit is to refuse God’s love.

2 Corinthians 9.15