Morning folks and may I wish you all every happiness for 2020.
We know from the book of Hebrews in the Bible that faith is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
So it is the connecting power which links us to God and what I have fund is that this connection makes God real and tangible to my senses. In other words faith is the basic ingredient to a relationship with God.
It is impossible to be saved from sin and to have a relationship and future in eternity with God without faith because as we have seen, without it no one can please God according to Scripture, again we are told this in the book of Hebrews.
So many millions of people chase after personal or business success as their first goal. God says not to do this but to chase after Him first and then other things follow since he will provide all of our needs all of the time.
Abraham of old demonstrated faith spectacularly. It is worth reading his story. When talking about Abraham, Paul writing to the Christians in Rome recorded for us by God in Scripture in the book of Romans says this:
- Chapter 4 v 13 – Abraham turned ( ie he repented, which means he made a consciousness decision to turn his life in another direction away from his will to Gods will. He was following one “law” and turned to another)
- Chapter 4 v 18,19 – Abraham embraced hope
- Chapter 4 v18 – Abraham did not waiver in his commitment
- Chapter 4 v 20 – Abraham rejoiced in it as an accomplished fact
So the big question. Where do we get faith from? Faith comes to us in one way. The Bible confirms this method in the book of Romans and chapter 10 verse 17 where we are told that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. Some of you are reading the book of Acts and in this book we are given an example of this in action and are told in chapter 4 verse 4 that “Many people which heard the Word believed”.
So to summarise these early morning thoughts on faith we can say that in order for us to have the faith that gives us the abundant life God promised those who ask for it a person needs to:
- NOT chase after life or business success. The Bible says quite the opposite: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” ( Matthew chapter 6)
- Find a way of hearing the word of God – (the best way to start this if you are brand new to this search is to ask someone who knows God what parts of the Bible to read because the Bible is God’s word. Reading it will allow the seed of faith to begin to grow. A good place to start is to read the book of John followed by the book of Acts. Second, but by no means a way of avoiding reading the Bible for yourself, start asking questions of a Christian person who you can trust because a Christian who reads the Bible will discuss your questions by referring back to the Bible – Gods Word and so here again is another way of you hearing the Word). Of course a Christian just like me won’t be an “answer machine” and may often have to ask you to give them a bit of time to think about your question and come back to you – please do allow them to do this…. After all we are only human ha ha.
- Start communicating with God – and a good way is to find a few minutes each day to talk to Him as if he is sat beside you ( I call this prayer) about someone else who may need help. Any kind of help, it really does not matter, but someone you know. As you read the Bible each day and talk to God in this way you can expect this seed of faith to accelerate in its growth within you. You may not see anything happening in the life of the person you are praying for but God will have His own perfect will.
- Follow the example of Abraham by telling God that you accept you are not perfect and are what the Bible calls a sinner. (By the way, the Bible tells us “All have sinned “ and “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus”) and that you repent of doing things your way. If you really mean this then as you pray, do tell God that you believe that Jesus came to die taking the death punishment for you and for your personal sin and finally, if you also said this with meaning ask God to help you commit your life to Him from here on in.
- This prayer above can be said after spending time thinking of and praying for that other person because in all of this activity, reading the Bible, searching for God and faith, talking with another Christian, God will be focusing His attention on that other person and on you. The Bible promises that He won’t ignore whoever comes to Him seeking Him. But, please do know that you are entering a battle field so don’t expect some flash of light or some fizzy emotion and don’t expect to fall over in a faint etc. All of these things can happen but are in my experience and in Scripture very rare. What is more likely is that just like for me, your journey of faith will start quietly and then as you persist following the likes of Abraham, and determine in your heart that you won’t waiver, your faith will then grow and grow and grow into being rock solid.
Thanks for reading this.
Enjoy this evening everyone and no doubt we will speak or communicate in 2020.