“Which disciple do you think you are most like?” This was the question I recall that started a conversation not long ago from my pastor. Honestly, I returned the question to him knowing he’d say Peter. I am a bit impulsive and can be more than just a little direct.
Being the first-born, most first-born children will agree, you find yourself in a leadership role at a very early age. In this position you necessarily feel those burdens of setting the example and the need at times to choose a course and stay with it, believing it will work out and that you have the unction to get it done and see it through.
Then, by God’s amazing grace you discover that you need redemption, salvation, a savior who you can trust and lean on. In accepting Christ there is relief and hope. Now, all of that energy you had as the first-born becomes focused on intentionally living out this new life. So you are still the example for younger siblings except, now you are not focused on setting an example for them. Now you are focused on Jesus and in that focus, brazen statements are made. Commitments are made that without the Holy Spirit’s power can never be kept.
Over the course of my life, I have found myself joining Paul in being content in all situations. “I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter that the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13 (God’s Word) We have had plenty in our life and we have had very little and eaten what we could. Sometimes, having less has been the greater blessing.
The greater struggle is in learning to be content in my spiritual walk. Knowing that regardless of what I feel, faith is not about what we feel, Christ is with me in the trenches through His Holy Spirit. When I am seeking Him with all I have and He “seems” very far away, He is closer still than my own breath. Lord help me to know Your presence at all times and in all things—to be content in Your blessed presence when known and when unknown without any doubts!
I recently read a devotional and agree with the author that, God sets a grand tapestry before us for our pleasure to view. He also sets before us a field of harvest that needs workers. I pray in both that He will fit me for His use and that I will always be found faithful to be available and submissive to His call and will.
Blessings and Peace Always,
Faith is declared to be a noun according to Webster’s Dictionary and yet it acts like a verb. Faith is used as a name and, as such, it makes perfect sense to be a noun. However, when we say he or she has faith or is exercising faith, this is an active statement for faith. Faith involves unquestioning belief, complete trust, and loyalty.
Unquestioning belief is the state of believing or having no doubt. This unquestioning belief is the driver of faith. The active part of faith is the state of being. We say, you exercised your faith today when you approached that individual and witnessed to them about the good news of Jesus. Your faith enabled you to share the Gospel through the action of faith. “What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” Romans 4:3 “Then Abram believed the LORD, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the LORD.” Genesis 15:6 (God’s Word) In both cases his belief and faith are the same; the action of his unquestioning belief, his state of being, and having no doubt was faith.
Complete trust is a matter of being confident and having assurance in someone or something. How often do we display complete trust? The answer is daily: in things like the brakes on our car or truck; when we want to stop we simply put our foot on the brake pedal and press the brakes into action. We display our faith in each other in varying degrees, our spouse to be faithful or our doctor to know how to help us get well. “Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (God’s Word) Faith is the action that builds our confidence and assurance into complete trust.
Loyalty is dressed in the faithful adherence to the word of God. We learn as we grow in our journey with Jesus; faith is a companion who works along side us in our endeavors to fulfill the great commission. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time” Matthew 28:20b (God’s Word) Our best friend is Jesus and he has promised to be with us always! God faithfully adheres to His word. This faithful adherence of God is shown through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us always…this is loyalty.
Because faith is unceasing belief, absolute trust, and devotion, we know that faith is a verb. Sure we are able to say, “Hello Faith, how are you today?” and calling her by name is placing faith in the context of a noun. When we then say that Faith displayed her faith in the word of God, faith was a verb.
Blessings and Peace Always
The majority of US citizens call themselves Christians and yet the importance of church outreach within the local community cannot be overstated. The disciples were not labeled Christian until they had been scattered due to Stephen’s death and the Good News was being shared in Antioch. (Acts 11:19-26) Whether they were called disciples or Christians it was the same to them because of their relationship with Jesus. Even though Jesus had ascended, He was still an active part of their lives. This has been lost somehow in our culture today and we need to refocus on the local community because outreach will enable us to give, guide, and grow.
By giving ourselves in service to our communities through different charitable needs, we will live out Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves. We will be able to learn about material needs and then be able to assist in meeting those needs. Many organizations working to meet local needs do not have the resources to have a permanent meeting place and making our church facilities available will aid in meeting the need for a safe and secure location for their meetings. We are able to give to our communities by reaching out in service, helping with needed material items, and through the use of our facilities.
Through active outreach we are able to help guide our communities. By living out our relationship with Christ, we will point the lost to Jesus. Sacrifice our time to stop and help regardless of our busy schedules will show that people are more important than things. Mentoring programs for children and youth are in great need and as Christians we should be involved to allow Jesus to work through us as a positive influence in their lives. Through living out our relationship with Christ, we will be able to guide our communities back to Jesus through sacrifice and mentoring.
Growth of God’s kingdom will become a result of our newly formed relationships. The knowledge we gain will help us to better understand the needs and challenges of our communities at large. Christ’s church, His body of believers, will grow stronger and shine brighter to become the beacon on a hill. Stronger relationships in the community and increased knowledge of needs and the positive impact on Christ’s church will all grow as a result.
Allowing Jesus to live actively in our lives in an ongoing relationship is crucial. Because church outreach will give, guide, and grow in the local community; the level of importance will be realized.
*This work was originally submitted for an assignment in English Composition. It is posted here for your consideration and response.*
Blessings and Peace Always,
Trusting…. we say, “I do trust HIM” and yet our actions do so often otherwise. May we right now, choose to trust and believe HIS word to us and live in HIS peace and presence always.
Julie Harris, thank you for being obedient to HIS call on your life and in sharing as HE leads.