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WHAT FAITH IN GOD IS ALL ABOUT- #2

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psa 12:6

 

‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’   (Psalms 12:6)

WHAT FAITH IN GOD IS ALL ABOUT

(This was the theme for a series of lessons I taught in our Adult Bible Class in January 2016.  The lessons have been edited for viewers of my blogsite.)

#1 LEARNING GOD’S WORD AND ENCOURAGING BIBLE STUDY IN 2016

https://heulu.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/what-faith-in-god-is-all-about/ 

 

#2  WHY THE WORD OF GOD IS IMPORTANT

To recap last week’s lesson–  The Bible is the blueprint of God’s plan and purpose for man.  It gives us instructions to our heavenly destination by pointing us in the right direction.  But unlike a map, compass or GPS that can also direct us to a location, the Bible most importantly, does that PLUS it provides clear guidelines to keep us on track with exhortations and warnings, as to who and what will prevent us from reaching the rewards that God has for us.

So, why is the Bible a bestseller and a very important book?  It is because many people look to the Bible to find answers in life such as why am I here, what is life all about, is God real, is there a heaven and hell, and what will happen to me when I die?  I have met people who turned to God out of desperation and despair over the condition in their lives.  Some were in prison when they were handed a Bible and they found peace with God.  In my Philippines Missions posts there are pictures and stories of individuals who found the Lord in jail or prison.  We did marketplace preaching with a once ‘bad dude’ who dealt drugs and carried a gun until he was arrested in his tracks and his life was turned around!  Many folks with bad backgrounds, as well as respectable people, have met God through the pages of the Bible, by hearing the gospel message and from the witness of Christian believers.

About Eternal Life– Eternal life can be found only by faith in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. (John 3:16).  It is only by studying the Bible that one can receive revelation of who God is and about His provision for us to have eternal life.  Titus 1:2 tells us that before the world began God promised us the hope of eternal life and God cannot lie. (Titus 1:1-2 AMP)  The Bible has detailed instructions that are clear and repetitive, with no errors or contradictions: it tells us that we have an enemy or adversary called  the devil or Satan who will use his many strategies and devices to ‘steal, kill, and destroy us’, to rob us of eternal life and to take us to hell with him.

Jesus came to show us the way to our Heavenly Father, to teach us about how we could have life and life more abundantly.  Jesus said, ‘I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me’ (John 14:6).

Jesus came to teach us and warn us about deception, mentioned 4 times in Mt 24:4, 5, 11, 24.  In Mt 24:3 one of the questions asked Jesus was about the sign of His coming and of the end of the world.  His answer was that there would be widespread deception in the end times, and that His coming would be unexpected, and sudden, catching many by surprise.  Also in Mt 24 are the signs of the world situation and extreme disturbances in the earth occurring everywhere.  In addition the condition of the church is described as in great apostasy which it is today, at this present time.  The Bible provides us with the daily news and future events on the horizon, but we must search these out by studying the scriptures for ourselves.

Why should we study God’s Word?  One good reason is because God has commanded us to do so.  Jesus said:

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  (Mt 4:4)

If you continue in my Word, then you are my disciples indeed.  (John 8:31)

To be a blessed person, one must love God’s Word and meditate on it day and night.  (Psalms 1:1-2)

If we want to learn about God, we will find Him revealed in the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  If we want to have faith to believe in God, we must go to His Word to learn of Him since faith comes from hearing/reading His Word (Rom 10:17). By reading our Bible, we can increase our faith, overcome sin, and temptations to sin.  When we submit ourselves to the Word of God and will of God, we are able to be strong and can resist the attacks and fiery darts of Satan.  We can have answered prayers.  (1John 2:14; John 15:7)

An important reason for studying the Bible is that it will help us to know what is going on in the world and why.  We can know where we are in God’s timetable and how close we are to the return of Jesus Christ to earth.   Jesus said in John 16:33:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  

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SURVIVING AS A CHRISTIAN

HAVE FAITH IN GOD
HAVE FAITH IN GOD
FAITH vs FEAR
FAITH is needed to survive as a Christian.  FEAR is the enemy of FAITH.
 
There are two things about fear, actually three to be concerned with.
 
The first thing to fear is FEAR ITSELF.  Fear is the opposite of our faith in God!  Fear defeats any faith we may have.  It is the enemy to ‘our hope and encouragement and success’, even our survival itself as a Christian believer.
 
God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’  (2Ti1:7)
Fear comes from Satan, the father of lies who seeks to put us down with anything and everything that he can conjure up.
The thief cometh but for to steal, and kill, and destroy. . .’ (John 10:10a)  but Jesus came ‘that they (we) may have life, and may have it abundantly.’  (John 10:10b)
The second thing to fear, for the unwary, is the CHURCH they may be attending.   Do you know that the church can serve as an enemy to our souls? Fear the church that does not preach and teach the Gospel of Christ and the whole counsel of God, that does not teach that there is only ONE WAY to be saved which is through the blood of Jesus.  Fear the church that does not explain the way to salvation and eternal life through repentance of sins and believing in God’s Word.  Fear the church that has compromised with the world and adopted its views to ‘go with the flow’ and is leading their members down the broad way that leads to destruction. Jesus said:
‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.’   Mt7:13,14.
RUN from the church that never mentions sin and repentance, hell and coming judgment, the signs of the end times, and soon return of Christ.
The third and most important fear is a godly fear, FEAR GOD, this fear meaning to honor and reverence God and His Word.  This is what the Bible says about the fear of the LORD:
 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Prov 1:7
 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  Prov 9:10
FEAR GOD should be number one on this short list.  If we fear God and live by His Word we can have faith to live above those things that discourage and defeat us.  This is why it is important to be in a church where Bible study is taught by Bible-believing pastors and leaders who teach from the Bible, and not preach ear-tickling, feel good sermons, and the latest false teachings that are going around as new revelation.  
We overcome worldly fears by the Word of God which builds up our faith. These are some of the many promises in the Bible regarding God helping us in time of need:
 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psa 46:1
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  Rom 10:17 
 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.  Jer 33:3 
 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.  Psa 34:4 
 

Faith is the opposite of Fear. Here is more on Faith:

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.  Heb 11:6.
‘… faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’   Rom 10:17
 
the man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live. [Hab. 2:4]  Gal 3:11 AMP Bible
 
To ‘endure to the end’ and survive as Christians, we will need GREATER FAITH, which will only come by serious personal study and taking heed of God’s Word, especially if there is little or no emphasis on Bible study in your church.  
 
Jesus said, 
The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.   John 6:63b  
Related links:

 

Good question: What can we do if law and order breaks down?

He Dwells -- The B'log in My Eye

For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? Psalm 11:2-3

If Our Foundations Are Destroyed

I was searching for a bit of scripture that could best describe America’s moral decay when the 11th Psalm hit me in the face like a hard-thrown, ice-laden snow ball. The passage is prophetic; the enemy has bent the bow, has readied numerous arrows, and is presently engaged in a rapid-fire assault upon those claiming to be innocent, blameless, and pure in heart. We gaze upon the battlefield and wonder, “Why are our children dying?” The answer could not be any clearer — we’re undermining, dissecting, and destroying the foundations, leaving the nominals and the undiscipled unarmed and vulnerable.

Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For…

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What’s It All About?

END TIME TEACHINGS- New Category in Top Bar

The message to the church from these blog posts emphasizes the need to take note of the signs of the last days, the lateness of the hour, and to prepare for the return of Jesus for His church.

“What’s it all about?” 

Here is a link I just added- a blog by two sisters who share their faith in God.

http://wp.me/P2p49X-2  “Would you really like to know how to get to heaven?”

“If you are not assured of your salvation and eternal life, please also read about Richard, The Man Who Was Mad At God’,  then say this simple prayer that he said, to accept Jesus as YOUR Saviour, too:

“Dear Jesus, I am a lost sinner.  I believe that you died for me.  Please forgive me for my sins and come into my heart today.  I accept you as my Lord and Savior and with your help, I will live for you.  Amen.”

“The Bible says when one sinner comes to the Lord, all heaven rejoices:

 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.  Luke 15:10 

(end of quote)

STS eBook-Table of Contents,Chapter 3 GOD’S WORD

This is a repost (8-23-12) to challenge us in diligent Bible study this New Year of 2014!  The focus is on the importance of God’s Word for our lives and why we must study it.

I have posted up to Chapter 2 and will be posting Chapter 3 in two parts.  Chapter 3 is a very important chapter because our faith in God, our relationship with Him, and everything we need to know about God and His plan and purpose for our lives is based on our understanding of His Word.

Below is the TABLE OF CONTENTS for Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times published Jan. 2012.  You can read a description of the book by clicking ‘Sounding the Shofar eBook on the BLOGROLL in the sidebar or preview it on amazon.com.  I plan to share the entire STS eBook with you over the coming weeks.  (SEE TAB BAR ‘SHOFAR EBOOK’ TO READ ENTIRE BOOK)

 TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • INTRODUCTION- Why I wrote the eBook and its purpose.
  • Chapter 1 God Is Faithful- God loves us and desires fellowship with us.
  • Chapter 2 Pleasing God- We please God by loving Him, loving His Word and obeying Him.  And He blesses us.
  • Chapter 3  The Power of God’s Word- God reveals Himself to us through His Word which builds our faith; the importance of the Word of God
  • Chapter 4  David, A Man After God’s Heart
  • Chapter 5 Worship and Praise
  • Chapter 6 Kingdom of God Mysteries
  • Chapter 7  Watchmen on the Wall
  • Chapter 8 The World and Church Today
  • Chapter 9  How God Feels About Us
  • Chapter 10 Choosing to Please God
  • Chapter 11 Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done
  • About the Author (Read my ‘Home’ and ‘About’ in top bar)

CHAPTER 3  

(Note: Bold and CAPS are added for emphasis in some scripture verses.)

THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD

Love God, Love His Word

God’s Word is the expression of Himself, of who He is, what He is to us, who we are and what we mean to Him. It gives us the parameters by which to live and to enjoy His blessings; it tells us what these blessings are and how to appropriate them. The psalmist knew His God and about the importance of maintaining a relationship with Him, so much so that he extolled God’s laws by delighting and rejoicing in them, speaking of them in Psalm 119, the Psalm of the Word of God. This is what God says about someone who loves him with his/her whole heart:

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name (has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness- trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never). He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:14-16 Amplified Bible).

God’s Word Builds Faith

In Matthew 4:4 Jesus said,

…”Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. 

The amount of time we spend meditating on God’s Word and learning of His blessings and promises will determine the degree of good success (Joshua 1:7) we can experience in our lives. Regular Bible reading builds our faith because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). As Wyman teaches, “faith is our currency to receive from God.”  Whatever our needs are today, God is able to meet them. But we need to exercise faith, and faith comes from knowing God’s Word. If we don’t know much Word, we will not have much faith; BUT, and if we know more of God’s Word, we are likely to have greater faith.

Hebrews 11:6 says…

without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must believe that He is God and a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

In the book of Joshua, God says at least 7 x’s,  “don’t be afraid”,  “be strong”,  “I will be with you”;  “I will not fail you”;  “I will never leave you, nor forsake you;”  “be strong and of good courage.”  We can face any obstacles when God is with us!

God’s Word on FAITH

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  (Hebrews 11:1 New American Standard Bible)

The Bible tells us,

FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17)

Our righteousness before God must be a righteousness based on believing God’s Word to us, i.e., a righteousness which is of FAITH. The Amplified Bible says this righteousness is of God, and refers to us being in right standing or a right relationship with God (Romans 10:6).

The apostle Paul also said,

“The  word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt BELIEVE in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:8-10, 13).

Verse 14 states,

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they BELIEVE in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”  

FAITH comes from hearing and learning from Holy Spirit-inspired teachers of the Word of God, and from the Holy Spirit Himself! FAITH IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM GOD, whether it is salvation, answers to prayers, healing, deliverance from oppression, etc.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us,

‘But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE HIM and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must (necessarily) BELIEVE that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him (out)- ( Amplified Bible, caps are mine)

God’s Word must be faith building or it is preached in vain. 

“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being MIXED WITH FAITH in them that heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2)

Knowledge of the Word only is just head knowledge when devoid of of faith and is of no benefit, and “whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  This FAITH is all about believing that God’s Word is True; God is who He says He is; He says what He means and means what He says,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11, the Faith chapter)

STUDY GOD’S WORD!

Why We Need to ‘STUDY’ the Bible

In 2Timothy 2:15 Paul says,

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”.. This is done by “correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of God” (Amplified Bible).

It is by STUDYING, not just by “Do your best” (NIV), which is not specific enough to mean learning and understanding God’s Word. God commanded Joshua to meditate day and night on His Word (Joshua 1:8). STUDY IS REQUIRED in order to have God’s APPROVAL AND NOT BE ASHAMED BEFORE HIM, also before man, by our ignorance or lack of understanding of His Word.

Psalms 1:1-2 (Amplified Bible)

  “BLESSED, (HAPPY, fortunate, PROSPEROUS, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly (following their advice, their plans and purposes), nor stands (submissive and inactive) in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down (to relax and rest) where the scornful ( and the mockers) gather. But his DELIGHT AND DESIRE are in the law of the Lord and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.”

We Should Study the WHOLE Bible

We need to STUDY THE WHOLE BIBLE, both Old and New Testament.

2Tim 3:16-17 state,

EVERY Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, and for training in righteousness ( in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action). So that the man  God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Amplified Bible)

The reason we should learn about the O.T. history of the Hebrew people is explained in 1 Corinthians 10: 11:

Now all these things happened unto them for EXAMPLES and they are written as WARNINGS for us, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” 

As an example and warning, consider what the apostle Peter wrote:

“For if God did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an EXAMPLE unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.”  (2 Peter 2:4-7)

(To be continued- THE WORD OF GOD AS OUR WEAPON)

STS eBook- Chapter 2, Pleasing God

Welcome back to ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times’ eBook.   See Category on side bar, ‘From Journal and Shofar eBook’ for Introduction and Chapter 1.

We all want things to go well with us and the Bible holds the keys for this to be possible.

CHAPTER 2    PLEASING GOD 

Love God, Love His Word and Obey It                    

Read Deuteronomy 6:13-19. The key verse is Deut 6:18:

“…do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers; vs. 19 … To cast out all enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”

We must please God so that things will go well for us (vs 18). The last verse of the previous chapter (vs 5:33) tells us WHY we must obey God:

  1. that we may LIVE, 
  2. that things will go WELL in our life, 
  3. so that we will have a LONG life! 

How many people have had their lives cut short prematurely by their choices, by the way they treat others, and by the way they live their lives.

Deuteronomy 6:2-5 tells us how we can be blessed with long life and “that it may be well with thee”.  It is not by only hearing, but also by doing what God has commanded. This is only possible when we “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”.  This is also “the first and great commandment” in Matthew 22:37.

God said that David, king of Israel, was “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22), whose heart was ‘perfect’ before Him (1Kings 11:4). In Psalms 119, the longest chapter of the longest book in the Bible, we can read about David’s intimate relationship with God, and the importance of God’s Word in his life. Of 176 verses, all except for 3 are about the Word of God, grouped by each of the Hebrew alphabet and mentioned by these names: Law, Commandments, Testimony, Precepts, Statutes, Ordinances, Judgments, Ways, Word, and Truth.

Psalm 119 is called the Psalm of the Word of God.

Here are some verses about God’s Word:

  • “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (verse 89);
  • “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (verse 105);
  • “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (verse 165).

Meditate on these scriptures today and keep them in your heart.

WWJD and Doing Our Best

Paul in Colossians 3:17,23 instructs us how to please God and receive His blessings of Deut 6:18 and 5:33 (to have a good and long life):

“Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus… And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men…” 

WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? He did everything the Father told him to do.  Jesus said in John 5:19,

“…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:  for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

And we know that everything God does, He does well.

When I taught school, the only reports I accepted from my students were their BEST work. I asked them, “Is this your best? Can you do better? What can you do to improve this?” I also expected their best handwriting and many a child got spelling words marked wrong for illegibility. A major mindset in the work force today is to expect maximum pay and benefits for minimum output. Look at what is going on with state and union labor negotiations. Take a good look at every strata of institutions in our society today. Only when there are attitudes of pride in work excellence and productivity, you will likely find successful individuals and companies. Only God can motivate us as individuals to do our BEST in EVERYTHING we do. Not only that, but He will help us and reward us when we strive TO DO OUR BEST in everything we put our minds and hands to do. Christians should be the ones who are recognized as outstanding in everything they do!

Pleasing God and Good Success

“…whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men…”  (Colossians 3:23)

If pleasing God is uppermost in our lives He will bless us and enable us to be successful. He will be with us and not fail us, nor forsake us. He is the road map to our destination; He is the rudder on our ship through troubled waters; He will lead us by His eye. God does this through His Word, and the more we understand His Word, the greater will be our success! We can have GOOD SUCCESS!  God told Joshua,

“trust me, don’t be afraid; do what I tell you, don’t go your own way by turning to the right or to the left.” Joshua 1:7 (paraphrased)

Verse 8 says,

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to DO according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and THEN thou shalt have GOOD SUCCESS.”  (Caps are mine)

Everything we do, we do to PLEASE GOD (Colossians 3:17, 23) which is through FAITH in Him and believing His Word. We get our faith by meditating on His Word (Joshua 1:8).

As Hebrews ll:6 says,

“...without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must BELIEVE that He is (God)  a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

As professed believers in Jesus, Paul tells us,

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

This means that we must know that God is our Father and we are His children, that

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

There you have it, when we are in a relationship with God and we know He is our Father, we can approach Him any time!  His phone number is Jeremiah 33:3,

Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” 

Matthew 19:36 states,

...”With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” 

And another faith builder is Isaiah 59:1,

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear”...

Question is, have you made Jesus your Lord and Savior?  If so, then God is your Father and Jesus is your Savior and your Brother!

(To be continued- Prosperity and Success, Being Blessed)

A GOOD POST TO READ:

Here  is a link to a very nice blog by two sisters who share their faith in God.  Read “Would you really like to know how to get to heaven?”  

http://wp.me/P2p49X-2