Faith Community Online

Day Three: Faith in Others

Filed under: Blog — Pastor David Jan 8, 2017 @ 7:58 am

“Having confidence in your obedience I write to you knowing that you will do more than I say.” Philemon 21

Faith in God leads to faith in myself, which leads to faith in others. Of the three, I believe this is the hardest form of faith. Why? Simply because People tend to disappoint us…all the time. They promise and then they turn and break their promise. They may be willing right now, but wait a minute, and they change their mind. Or they take forever to make up their mind as whether to help you or respond to your situation. Waiting on others can be frustrating, right? 

Consider Paul and his situation with the man, Philemon. Paul reached out to Philemon with unwavering faith. He spoke so trustingly, believing that Philemon would respond to God’s will and would do what Paul asked him to do.  How could he be so confident?  How could he have so much faith in Philemon?  I believe it was  a result of the first two parts of faith in Paul’s life. Paul believed God wanted Philemon to forgive Onesimus, and also believed that God was working through his words to speak to Philemon about forgiving his slave. Paul believed in himself- that he was God’s leader and spokesman in behalf of Onesimus, and He believed in Philemon as one who would want to do God’s will. He also believed in Onesimus-that he was truly a changed man and would live out God’s plan for his life. All three of these parts of the situation came together and resulted as faith in the two men. What never happened in Roman culture between a slave and his master (Onesimus was under the death penalty) took place as part of God’s will. Onesimus later became a free man and a pastor of one of the churches in Ephesus during the first century. This letter, and example, later became a revolutionary movement to rid the empire of slavery without shedding any blood. When Paul wrote this letter, one third of Roman world was slaves. Later readers could announce, “Impossible…to possible…to done!”

How does faith work? We believe God has called us and sent us to help others. We believe that’s others will respond to that God-given call, and that they will make changes in their lives as a response. We will see changes in others due to our faith and obedience to follow God’s call. Faith in God, faith in ourselves, and faith in others complete the cycle that God began. He has faith in us that we will obey Him and do His will. Is it true? Are we following Him? Century after century has proven that God’s ways always work!  His church is still a force to be reckoned with and is still serving this broken world of ours.

Do not focus on those who do not believe, but rather, focus on those who are willing to trust and obey. God always moves forward with those who are willing to trust God and, then, to trust you.  When it seems that few people seem to be following… focus on the ones who ARE responding to God and believe in God’s Holy Spirit to work within them. God sent you, and God will give you success! There will always be someone for you to reach and to have the great joy of seeing them become a follower of Christ! Remember His promise. (Matthew 4:19)

 Father,

Thank You for being such a place of stability when people disappoint us. Thank you for providing us with a calling and using us in others’ lives. It blows us away that we are used by You in changing other lives. May You increase our effectiveness and circle of influence. We want to be used in greater ways this year as never before. Hear us Father, for the glory of Your Son. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Day Two: Faith in God, and in Ourselves

Filed under: Blog — Pastor David @ 7:58 am

“Whatever is not of faith is sin.” Rom. 14:23

None of us want to live a life of sin, I am sure. A life of faith leads to pleasing God. In short, God loves to see faith grow in our hearts.  May our faith in God grow. In order to allow our faith to grow in the second arena of your life, you need to have confidence in yourself. What? Trust myself? Doesn’t the Bible teach, “Do not lean on your own understanding…” (Prov. 3:6) and “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)? Yes! It does! However, this is referring to the sin that is in us. We  each have a treacherous enemy within, and we must guard ourselves from listening to the ever present voice of sin that will misguide and trick us and call us to wander away from the God we love.  

But having faith in ourselves is really another matter. God has called us to Himself. He is doing a work in us that He has promised will be accomplished (1 Thess.5:24Phil. 1:6). If God is for US who can be against US? (Rom 8:31)! God will never abandon you, fail you, or forsake you. He will give you the strength you need for whatever you face (Phil 4:13Isa 43:1-5). You must have confidence that God is with you and will help you accomplish His calling in your life.

Stop there! Do you truly know and believe that He has called you for a purpose and has something for you to do that no one else can do? You will reach, teach and help others that no one else can or will. How does that happen? Self awareness. Do you really know who you are, and that you have been formed by God to be that person?  How can you learn what God has made you to be and do?

Rick Warren has masterfully crafted a simple system for self discovery. He refers to it as, “discovering your shape”. Read about it in his best-seller book “The Purpose Driven Life.” (Pp 227-272). Discover your God given shape… S for spiritual gift. H for heart passion (what moves you to tears or makes you angry, or something you dream and wish you could do with your life?). A for abilities ( you have 200-700 abilities). P for personality (introvert, extrovert, thinker, feeling, teller, asker, etc.). E for experiences (painful, educational, social, spiritual, important moments, etc.) these 5 areas of your life make you into a unique person who God will use in incredible and simple ways. You may already be experiencing some of these and not even know it. Self awareness is huge.

Do you know that You are not an accident or a mistake! You are a gift from God to this world. You are His workmanship or masterpiece created for good works (Eph. 2:10). Believe that God has a plan and place for you. He wants to use you and your life to bring others hope and encouragement.

You are part of the Body of Christ. Step under His headship, join His body (our local church) and develop your skills, and dedicate them to God’s Kingdom. Become the best you you can be! Only you can be yourself!  Believe that about your life. Make a difference by having Faith in yourself!

Our Father

I know You have a plan for my life. I want to discover it and live according to Your plan not my plan. Open my eyes to see my shape and allow me to develop into a masterpiece used by You in the lives of others for Your glory. In Jesus name. Amen

Day Five- Highlighting Jesus

Filed under: Blog — Pastor David Jan 9, 2015 @ 10:20 am

Read Colossians 1

This chapter focuses on Jesus from start to finish. What does it reveal that you can share with someone today or in the next 48 hours? Highlighting Jesus starts with a focus to see Jesus in everything we experience in life. See v 28-29 what is Paul’s passion? “Every man” is mentioned several times. What must we do if we highlight Jesus to every man we know? Can you do these words if you do not have a relationship with the person you seek to reach?

Can you name 5 people with whom you will highlight Jesus, His personal character and work?

Do not forget tonight is the Prayer and Fasting meeting at 6:30pm to share you insights and then share a meal together. May God use this week to grow something new in you and then in us!

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