Faith Is Big

 

faith messageI remember digging into this word faith many years ago. I have faith in many areas of my life. It takes faith to ride an elevator. It takes faith to ride an airplane. It takes faith to drive across a bridge that was built in half the time originally projected – or any bridge for that matter. Faith is a part of the fabric of my life. I choose to cultivate my faith in God. I see Him in my everyday life. I’m looking for His activity in my every day, regular life. My faith in the Lord has grown over the years because I seek Him daily in His Word. I don’t dig in His Word to earn my way to Him, I get to see Him more clearly through His Word. I don’t believe that I earn “points” because I study His Word – I’m just hungry and thirsty to know Him deeper. My faith in Him grows as I seek Him. I could NEVER earn my way to Him. Check this out…

13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise nullified, 15 because the law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.

16 This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all. (Romans 4:13-16 CSB)

I am stunned by His Grace.

He made a way to save me without me.

He made a way to the Lord that only requires my faith in Him.

I believe in God the Father. I believe in His Son Jesus. I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in eternal life. I believe I am saved NOT because of what I’ve done, but because of what He has done. Jesus made a way for me. My faith in Him grows deeper the more I investigate His heart. My faith seems small at times, but it’s getting bigger the more I know Him.

I recently heard this song by Elevation Worship out of Charlotte, NC.

O Come To The Altar

Are you hurting and broken within,
Overwhelmed by the weight of the sin,
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself,
do you thirst for a drink from the well,
Jesus is calling.

O come to,
the altar,
the fathers arms are open wide,
forgiveness,
was bought with,
the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Leave behind your regrets and mistakes,
come today there’s no reason to wait,
Jesus is calling.
Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy,
from the ashes a new life is born,
Jesus is calling.

Oh what a savior,
isn’t he wonderful,
sing hallelujah Christ is risen,
bow down before him,
for he is lord of all,
sing hallelujah Christ is risen.
__________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Warped Theology & Thinking

businessman making decisionI’ve met people who had a really strange view of God. I mean there are those who see characteristics of God that I can’t find in Scripture. I think some of these people have made God to be what they want Him to be to justify what they want to believe about Him. I believe He is beyond my ability to compartmentalize. I also don’t believe He appreciates being morphed into someone or something He’s not.

There was a guy named Micah mentioned in the Old Testament who took 1100 shekels of silver that belonged to his mom. When he returns it to her, the story takes a strange turn. Check this out…

3 When he returned the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, she said, ‘I solemnly consecrate my silver to the Lord for my son to make an image overlaid with silver. I will give it back to you.’

4 So after he returned the silver to his mother, she took two hundred shekels[b] of silver and gave them to a silversmith, who used them to make the idol. And it was put in Micah’s house.

5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some household gods and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit. (Judges 17:3-6 NIV)

It seems like this mom had a pretty warped view of everything. She not only enabled her son to steal, there were no consequences for his actions. She then takes the silver and creates idols consecrated to the Lord. That alone stuns me. But then along comes verse six disclaimer – everyone did as they saw fit. That would be a weird place to live…a place where everyone does whatever they see fit.

I believe the Word of God is a moral compass. I can follow the Word of God and I get to know Him – the Author and Perfecter of my faith. I really want to make sure I live my life according to the Word of God. I can’t just take one verse and pattern my life by that. I have to study the scriptures in the context in which they were written and then make application to my life today. For example, the scripture doesn’t speak directly to the technology that we have today, but it speaks in principle about anything that distracts from the Lord.

It breaks my heart to see people with their belief system about God so warped and messed up. If I build by “belief house” upon someone’s teaching rather than the Word of God, it’s like building on sand. It looks good and makes sense until it rains and then it all comes crashing down.

I want to deepen my faith in God as I study His Word. I want to discover deep truth about Him and His will and wishes for my life. I believe that I dig into His Word daily, He will keep my theology and thinking on track. The Wisdom and Discernment that He has given me is really hard to properly describe.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Be Prepared

Project preparationThe Cub Scout motto has been around for many years. I remember learning it as a child being introduced to the scouting program at my home church in Kentucky. Those two words were very easy to remember. I do not always fulfill them, however, if I am prepared for whatever it is I’m planning to do, it almost always goes much smoother.  Peter speaks about being prepared as well. Check this out…

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:15-17 NIV)

 

I’ve grown over the years in my depth of understanding of the heart of God. I have deep respect and honor for God and I’ve noticed how He’s constantly working behind the scenes to protect and provide for me. His Presence is constant. His Patience is long. His Love is beyond describing. I love God and I want to honor Him with my little life lived out big and loud! I want to always be prepared to speak a good word on His behalf.  I want to be prepared for anything that comes my way. With His Presence in me, I can do just that!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Rock Solid Faith

stone isolated white background natural rock granite solid bouldFaith is everywhere. It is defined as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”  I believe it takes faith to ride an elevator. It takes faith to ride an airplane. It definitely takes faith to ride in a car with some people! Faith is pretty much a part of my DNA. I believe God wired us to have faith and to nurture it in our hearts. I loved reading the “Faith Chapter” in Hebrews this am. Check this out….

1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:1-3; 6 NIV)

 

I believe in God.

I believe in Jesus, His One and ONLY Son.

I believe He came into this world to set things right.

I believe He died as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.

I believe He rose from the dead and seated with God in heaven.

I believe He’s preparing a place for me in eternity.

I believe He’s coming back again to save us from the destruction of this world.

I believe His Holy Spirit lives in me and speaks to me.

I believe His Presence is a game-changer for this life.
He gives me perspective. I know Who I believe in and I know what I believe. I have seen and experienced His Presence and His Power and my faith is solid. I’m going to trust in Him.  I’m not going to let my feelings destroy or shake my faith. I’m going with what I know until my feelings catch up.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Reveal

faith messageI used to love the Price is Right and when they hid big prizes behind door #1 and door #2. The anticipation of the big reveal was pretty cool. I also love it when BIG things are revealed in small packages. The response is surprise and wow for sure.

Paul starts out his letter to the church of believers in Rome with some reveal type moments. He chooses his words carefully to make sure both the Jew and the non-Jew understand what happened through Jesus. Check this out….

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 12:16-17 NIV)

God is revealed through the Gospel message. We can see the characteristics and the heart of God revealed through His Son, Jesus. He brought hope. He made a way to connect with God.

I believe that belief begins with faith. I also believe that belief leads to behavior that honors GodMy behavior is the evidence of my belief.  The Power of the Gospel is that it brings salvation by faith and salvation is displayed through my choices/behavior.  This is not rocket science – if I believe in God, my life should showcase my faith. This not to be confused with working my way to salvation – because there is NOTHING that I could do to earn that – it’s a FREE gift to me, but it was expensive to God. I think it breaks His heart when I make stupid decisions that hurt His salvation displayed in me.  I want my life to reveal the Lord day in and day out!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Open Mind

Open vs Closed Mind - Toggle SwitchI’ve heard people talk about being “open minded” and “close minded”. I feel like there are times when I’ve been on each side. I have convictions that are my beliefs that are set in concrete. My convictions are not open for debate. So there are probably things that I’m pretty close-minded about because of what I believe. There are things that I’m open-minded to that others might be close-minded too. I try really hard to live out my convictions because they come from the Word of God. Jesus opens the minds of His followers after His resurrection. Check this out…

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God. (Luke 24:45-53 NIV)

I want the Lord to keep opening my mind to know more of Who He is and what He’s doing in my life. He is always working behind the scenes multi-tasking to show me Who He is. I must open the eyes of my heart as well as the eyes in my head if I’m going to see Him for Who He is and notice what He’s doing in my world. He sent the Holy Spirit to live in and through me. This is really big when it comes to seeing things and feeling things that He’s doing. The Holy Spirit opens my mind to more of Him and less of me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne