Simple Faith

 

faith messageI have grown in my faith over the years. I remember trusting the Lord when I was a kid. I was baptized when I was in third grade. I grew up in a family full of faith. My parents and grandparents followed the Lord. Going to church was not optional for our family. We were very involved. I remember “pushing the envelope” and trying some things that were against our family rules. I learned later that my parents knew more about this than they acknowledged. When I went away to college and had freedom from my parent’s rules and regulations, I had some decisions to make. I can still remember where I was sitting on the evening when my faith became my own. I was watching a passion play at Johnson Bible College and I saw Jesus being punished for the sins of the world. I remember renewing my faith in God at that moment. I believed in God on my own. I had lived off my parent’s & grandparent’s faith up to that point.

Hebrews 11 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible as the writer pulls the old testament characters into the context of the new covenant. These men and women brought much inspiration to millions over the years and their faith was simple and thorough. The writer speaks about this simple faith and its significance to my journey with the Lord. Check this out…

1 Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.For by it our ancestors won God’s approval.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:1-3,6 CSB)

I believe faith is simple, but not necessarily easy. Faith is easy to talk about and even write about, but harder to live out. I believe that my faith is much like a muscle, the more I use it, the stronger it gets. Over the years of my life, I’ve leaned into my faith because I didn’t see any other options. I’m not in charge of the weather, the economy or even others. I do know the One Who is charge of EVERYTHING and I trust Him. He has walked with me through some dark valleys. He has protected me in some major storms of life. My faith grew profoundly during some of the darkest days of my life.

My simple faith reminded me of “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

I want my simple faith to impress the Lord. I want to grow in my faith today as I live out what I say I believe. James reminded me that my faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) I want to work and live because I’m saved, not so that I can be saved by my works. I trust that the Lord created the earth and is preparing a place for those who trust in Him. I want to spend the rest of my days discovering more of Who God is and walking in simple faith before Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Changed

Word on yellow wallI realized that change is inevitable. Nothing really stays the same. When I stop to reflect on where I’ve been, I realize how different I am than I was back then.  I also realize that because of the things I learn today, my tomorrow will be different.  I hope I never forget the day that I changed for good. I still remember the day I realized that the Lord was real. I was at Johnson University formerly Johnson Bible College and near the end of my freshman year I watched a passion play put on by upper class men where I saw Jesus crucified. Something changed in me at that moment. I believed in Him with all my heart. I had accepted Him as my Savior and had been baptized years before.  I realized that my faith was now my own. I had been living off the faith of my parents and others.  My life and my faith were forever changed at that moment.   I think for Peter, Andrew & John the trip of the mountain was a tipping point for their faith. Check this out….

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. (Matthew 17:1-6 NIV)

I imagine that the faith of Peter, James and John was forever changed at this moment. They saw something that they had never seen before. They saw Jesus in a different light. (No pun intended.)  I think He was validated by the presence of the prophets as well as the voice and presence of God. They could never look at Him the same again. Their perspective was forever changed.

As I journey with the Lord through His Word, I realize that I see things that I had not seen before. I also realize that I have change work to do every day. When I hold my life up against the life of Jesus, there is ALWAYS change that needs to happen in me. I want to be different today because I’ve been with Him this morning.

Pressing On!
Dwayne