Faith Community Online

Day One: Faith in God

Filed under: Pray & Fast — Pastor David Jan 8, 2017 @ 7:57 am

Heb 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God…”

Faith is all important in our lives, for the righteous person shall LIVE by FAITH (Rom. 1:17). Every move we make and every thought we have must be done in faith. But what is faith? What does faith mean?

Simply put,  it is “trust and confidence in someone and some thing”. Trust in their character and words, confidence in the promises they make and confidence in the follow- through to fulfill those promises both in their ability to do…and their willingness to do…what they have said.

Faith has three parts;

1. Faith in God, 2. Faith in yourself, and 3. Faith in others. Tie the three together, and you have a faith that can move mountains and accomplish the impossible!  All three are vital and all three accompany real faith. Leave one part out and it falls apart!  This could be the reason if you find that your faith has not grown or has disappointed you. Your faith is incomplete. Want to learn more?

Faith in God is where all faith truly starts. Is He reliable, trustworthy, and faithful? Titus 1:2 tells us that God cannot lie. This is His character. It states it even more emphatically, “it is impossible for God to lie.” Wow! Is this true? The Bible holds over 7000 promises for us. These promises are spoken by God who cannot lie, more, it is impossible for Him to lie. 2 Cor 1:20 boldly states “for as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are YES…” another wow!

Faith expands as we learn who God is and what God has promised to do. He is the Great I AM!  i.e. He is who He says He is, He can do what He says He can do. His character is trustworthy in every way!  All that is revealed about God is based on His reliable nature. This is repeated thousands of times throughout the Bible. Do you trust the Bible?

If you have doubts about the Bible, start your journey there and settle those questions first.

Once you have faith in the Bible as God’s gift and revelation of Himself, then take the next step in getting to know who He is. He is love and truth, He is faithful and compassionate, He is pure and holy, He is sinless and without imperfection, He is unchangeable and sovereign, He is all knowing, all powerful, and everywhere present. He is the MOST HIGH in every quality. He is the Highest, greatest, strongest, wisest, and in every way the Superior One.  This is just the beginning of what the Bible tells us about God. So reflect on these qualities today as you express your love and adoration of Who He is.

What has He promised us? Matt 7:7 asserts, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.” Who said this? Jesus, our King and Friend. Is this promise true?

It comes down to this…

Is God willing and able to fulfill His promises? One man asked Jesus to heal him of leprosy. ‘Lord if you are willing you can make me clean.” Jesus responded, “I am willing.” (Matt. 8:1-3). What happened? He was cured, his prayer was answered. Here is the issue, we must know God’s will. There is much in the Bible about His will and what He wants for us. As we grow and mature in our faith, we learn His already stated will in the Bible and His specifically stated will in prayer. If God declares, “I am not willing” (and on occasion He is not willing) I have learned it means that we are part of something greater and better that He wants to do in and through us. God wants the best for us in every case, for God is good! It is important and vital that we learn to trust His bigger purpose for a greater story.

Faith starts here… will you trust God? Our faith must grow and grow and grow (1 Thess 1:3 and 2 Thess 1:3). Today ask for greater faith in God (Luke 17:5)!

Our Father,

I want my faith to grow. Please increase my confidence in You, Your Word, and Your heart. You have promised to guide me, teach me, and transform me. Do it in me today. May You become greater in every way starting today and each day of this new year. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Day Five

Filed under: Blog,Pray & Fast — Pastor David Jan 9, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

Day Five:  Read Nehemiah 1 and John 17

“Dear Friends, I hope to see you tonight at 6:30pm, in Thoman Hall, for a final time of prayer. Together we will break our fast and eat some nourishing home-made soup. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”

Today is your last day of planning ahead for this year through prayer and fasting (as much as you able to do). The importance of this week is what God has said or is showing you about Himself or about yourself!   May His insights grow your faith, hope, and love to richer degrees (2 Thess 1:3).

Prayer is our connecting point at which we enter eternity and kneel before His throne of grace. We speak and engage the very One who spoke the universe into being. As Dr. Rick Warren has pointed out, “Prayer can do what God can do.” Incredible possibility lurks on the other side of God answering our prayers. Wouldn’t you say that everything changes at that point?

The next question then to ask, is, what are you praying for? Or, if God answered your prayers this week what would change? What answers will He give to you this year? Or what are the questions that you are asking Him to answer this year? Who will become a follower of Christ? What lives will change? That is, if God were to answer your prayers right now… or even within this next year?  We cannot control God’s timing or hurry up the Divine process, however, we can get ready for what God wants to do in our lives and through our lives.

I guess what I am aiming at, is this; do you pray small or big? This question follows with another question, do you expect God to answer you?  God is already in motion, answering the prayers you have cried out to Him this week. He is a busy God moving and stirring people, stirring you, and stirring this world in ways we cannot yet see. Look for His hand. Watch for His Presence. See the unfolding of His plan in what is going on around you. It is impossible for God to lie! His promises are, “yes and amen”, in Jesus Christ!  So He is inviting you to become a part of what He is already doing. Exciting? I agree! This is the opportunity that prayer to God opens for all who step through that door. The labor of prayer has a reward.

So my friend, pray and become a part of God’s movement which has been in motion since He sent His Son. Someone has summarized, “Whenever God wants to do something in this world He starts with moving His people to prayer.” Brothers and sisters, let’s pray! And prepare for Him to do something wonderful in our community and through our church. To God be the glory!

Day Four: Letting the Garden Grow

Filed under: Blog,Pray & Fast — Pastor David Jan 8, 2014 @ 10:05 pm

Read Eph. 1:15-23, 3:14-21 

It is very likely that most of us begin our journey of listening to God with the idea that we think we know what changes and directions He is going to give us. The surprises come after we obey Him and then we see that what He had intended for us, was very different from what we thought.  C. S. Lewis was convinced that this dynamic was proof that it was God making the changes in our lives and not ourselves manipulating the process. “Eye has not seen nor ear heard what the LORD has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9-16). This verse is not just talking about heaven but is also referring to our spiritual maturity as well. We cannot predict where He is guiding us. It is one of the great joys of obedience. Surprises abound, I mean good surprises!  It can be summed up in that word we read, “Behold…” We realize later, “I was not expecting that!”

Learning is always a process that takes time. During this process we usually find ourselves going through four phases in our “state in our mind”.  State #1:  We do not know what we do not know. We may be full of opinions, assumptions, and ideas, and the knowledge we possess will puff us up with arrogant feelings, however they are for the most part, ignorant of God’s wisdom. In reality, we know nothing. State #2:  We know that there is much we do not know. This is the birth of humility in our lives. Through pain and jarring circumstances we come to realize that there is  more to learn than we previously thought. Selfishness and laziness become clear enemies to our progress. We become passionate to learn. Scientifically we actually feel dopamine surging through our frames and it feels good! We want to learn more and more!  State #3: We know and begin to grow from that knowledge. How exciting it is to see that the new wisdom we are gaining is now becoming part of our daily living!  Ideas have turned into choices. Choices have turned into habits. Habits are beginning to form into character qualities. State #4:  We know and flow this knowledge to others. While we are just naturally doing what we have now habitually practiced for weeks on weeks, months on months, and then years on years, things then take a turn and we are now able to help others! This sharing comes from a life that has been living daily in the flow of God’s rich wisdom. This is where we want to live the bulk our time on earth!  Here is the richness and significance of why we learned what God had for us to learn. Others helped us and now we help others!

Another way to see our lives is through the seasons of nature: winter, spring, summer, and fall. You can see winter as the time to “sleep and hibernate”, or you can be like the effective gardener, knowing that  it is a very important time to dream and plan for the next year’s harvest! These wise gardeners will think and ponder, plan and prepare for what is ahead for their garden. Spring can be the time for spring fever, for daydreaming and playfully frittering away the hours with silly games and meaningless activity, however, the effective gardener knows that it is time to plant the seeds according to what they have planned and prepared to do, during the winter season. This is a busy time, planting and sowing all kinds of plants, looking to the future harvest of what they will eventually reap. Then comes summer, some will see this season as a time to take a vacation and forget about work and responsibilities, But, again,  the effective gardener sees summer as the time to water and cultivate his garden, allowing it to expand and flourish in growth! Sweating, toil, fertilizing and weeding, watering and grooming the plants, this is what this season of summer is all about to the wise gardener.  Finally, comes the season of fall.  This  season can sometimes be the time when some will suddenly realize that they have actually missed the opportunity to reap a harvest.  These are the gardeners who are now full of regrets and they suffer from missed opportunities and poor planning. But the effective gardener, during the fall season, will now be  harvesting the seeds and plants he sowed in the past. Abundance and blessing, much fruit and a future that is bright with hope, is this gardener’s portion.

Are you planning ahead in this week of prayer and fasting? Are you taking the steps you must take in order to have an abundant and “beyond all that you will ask or think” spiritual harvest? What are you seeing that God will do through you? What are you sensing He wants you to obey right now? Plant the seeds. Plant the dreams for becoming like Jesus. One day it is a prayer the next it is a reality! Watch your garden grow this year in the dimensions of breadth, length, height, and depth. Let us step into the rich dimensions of God’s love revealed in Christ this year.

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