WHAT FAITH IN GOD IS ALL ABOUT
(This was the theme for a series of lessons I taught in Adult Bible Class in January 2016, ending with a sermon on the topic of Faith, Hope and Love this past Sunday, 1-31-16. This and forthcoming posts are excerpts and editions of my teachings.)
#1 LEARNING GOD’S WORD AND ENCOURAGING BIBLE STUDY IN 2016
Our focus for this New Year is about drawing closer to God and His Word, and increasing our Faith. God reveals Himself and His plan for our lives in the Bible, the Word of God. The BIBLE can be summed up as a study manual for those who believe in Jesus Christ as:
Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
Believer’s Instruction Book for Life Eternal
We’ll be learning about FAITH:
Forsaking All I Trust Him
Forsaking All I Take Him.
Many pastors live by FAITH IN GOD in the Philippines. They have no contract for a salary and/or housing and car allowance and comfortable life as most of their American counterparts. In many churches we’ve been to in Northern Luzon, there were meager offerings. God provides for the pastor with gifts of fish, chicken, rice, eggs and prepared meals from church members. On the mission field one can expect good Christian hospitality and native meals, but in only one church I preached at did I ever have an offering given to me, which I tried return unsuccessfully. It was a 500 pesos note or about 10 U.S. dollars. We know of folks who pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread. . .’ We were more blessed than the people we went to bless because we saw them LIVING their faith, one day at a time. One Filipino pastor said:
FAITH is Food Always In The House! AMEN!
THE BIBLE IS MORE THAN JUST A BEST SELLER BOOK!
A BLUE PRINT– The BIBLE is the BLUE PRINT of God’s Plan and Purpose for Man. It is revealed within the pages of Genesis to Revelation. It is the history of man’s beginning and his ending. God is the Master architect and builder in whose hands are the details of His Eternal Kingdom that He is preparing for all those who choose to be a part of it.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1Cor 2:9-10
A MAP- As a MAP, A MASTER MAP, the BIBLE connects where man originated and migrated with races and nations of people, tracking them to the present day on current geo-political maps. The Bible is as current as today’s world news, so that careful study of the prophetic books and warnings of Jesus Himself tell us exactly what is happening in the world. Briefly, the Bible describes the breakdown of society and man’s leadership; what is yet to come; the location of the final world war and line up of nations that will side against Israel, and where the largest world assembly will be held at the end of man’s rule (Zech 8:3; Micah ch. 4:1-2).
A COMPASS AND GPS (Global Positioning System)- The BIBLE serves as our COMPASS to point us in the right direction. It is important to know how to read a compass correctly or you will get lost! When I was a teen, our family went on a cross-country trip in the U.S. Shortly after we started out we went 100 miles off course because of not holding the map right and having the compass needle pointing to True North. A compass is needed to show the way to our destination. Making wrong choices will result in wrong turns, dead ends, obstacles and getting into strange and/or dangerous situations. So the compass works together with the map to get our bearing 1)to see where we are, and to know which direction we’re headed to get where we want to go.
The GPS of the modern age of technology allows us to use our car or iPhone to follow a route to a desired location. The GPS game, ‘Geo Caching’ that is played all over our island and world-wide is a fun, hide-and-seek game of treasure hunting. Our family has had a lot of fun going to unusual places all over the island of Oahu to find some of the treasures by following clues from the Internet. God’s COMPASS/GPS are very exacting, essential for going on a treasure hunt, looking for the blessings and rewards He has for those who love and obey Him. Our clues are found in the Word of God, the Bible. It is God who sets the standards and we have to go by His game rules. The wonderful thing about the Bible is that as a map and compass and GPS, it helps us to find our way to God and eternal life. Without the Bible, we would all be lost!
We need to not only READ, but also STUDY the Bible to meet God’s approval, and not be ashamed of lacking understanding of God’s expectations of us.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim 2:15
Do you want to be BLESSED? Then read your Bible and meditate on the scriptures!
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psa 1:1-2
GOD BLESS YOU! Next Lesson- ‘WHY GOD’S WORD IS IMPORTANT’
God’s Word is pure and holy. It is Yea and Amen. It doesn’t need man’s interpretation; let God speak for Himself. Don’t add or take away from it; don’t compromise; teach the WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD!
Source: The one and only true Gospel
ABOUND IN FAITH! AND ABOUND IN WORKS!
2 Cor 8:7:
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
Col 3:17, 23:
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
FAITH IS EVERYTHING! To abound in faith means that faith should exist in a great amount, then we can continue to expect great blessings from God. ‘This grace’ that Paul is speaking of is about not holding back in helping people, showing love toward them, even with our gifts and finances. When we give in faith out of a heart of compassion, God will bless us as He does in everything that we do unto Him.
This is a sequel to ‘Why Do People Resist God’ which is an often read post on this blog site. When I read it again recently, it had a much softer and somber tone to it than my first post. But it is a serious topic, nonetheless! God bless you all!
A Sequel to ‘Why Do People Resist God?’
Two years ago, I wrote ‘Why Do People Resist God?’. I am overjoyed for the number of viewers who find this post and are reading it every day. Perhaps it strikes close to their hearts because they, too, have unbelieving family members and friends whose spiritual lives are hanging in the balance. I would like to also think that some readers are searching for answers in their hearts, if there really is a God in heaven and does He really love them.
We who believe that ‘there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun’ cannot help but feel anguish and helplessness in reaching out to our unbelieving loved ones, friends and others who resist God’s love and who reject Him and do not want anything to do with Him. It is only through our continued intercession for them that God…
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Trusting God as we enter into 2016. . .
INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Folks, as the New Year comes upon us, we are reminded that we are embarking on a new part of our life’s journey that is filled with many unknowns. These unknown events can challenge a Christian’s faith to its very core. This is the reason that I felt it was important to take a few devotional lessons and address keys to “Entering The Unknown By Faith”.
In this six part devotional series, we will be looking at Isaiah 42:16. This is a wonderful text to use in this devotional series. In this series, we will learn about how to handle unforeseen, challenging life events based upon our trust in the Lord and His enabling graces.
Lord willing, by His grace alone, we will be uncovering the wisdom found in God’s Word that will help…
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9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
I love this song and I’ve visited the Holy City, Jerusalem! COME, LORD JESUS!
The Holy City Jerusalem, the City of God, is where Jesus was born King of the Jews, and where He will return to save His people and to rule the nations of the world. Jesus will establish His eternal kingdom, the New Jerusalem, from Mt. Zion, in Jerusalem.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied over 700 years ago:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:and the government shall be upon his shoulder:and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isa 9:6-7)
RECEIVE IT; IT’S YOURS!
- The greatest gift from God is LIFE- ETERNAL LIFE. But it’s yours only if you will ACCEPT IT!
‘For God so loved the world, (you and me) that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life.’
To accept your gift, all you need is FAITH in God and BELIEF in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. You can pray your own words or words like the following:
I am a lost sinner and I’m sorry for my sins. Please forgive me of my sins and come into my heart. I accept you now as my Lord and Savior and claim my gift of eternal life. Thank you for dying on the cross for me, for saving my soul and with your help I will live for you. AMEN.’
If you have said this simple prayer I will now have another brother or sister in Christ! YAY!!! And there is REJOICING in heaven over your accepting God’s gift to you!!!
‘. . .likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.’
‘. . .there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.’ (Luke 15:7, 10)