Thursday, June 24, 2010

Contending for the Faith

lifewords 6.25.10
Dear Family,

Its a beautiful Thursday and I just finished praying for you. Prayer is so powerful.
Pray about everything.  I want you to know we really do pray for you daily.  If you are receiving this email, your name is on the list I have right here in front of me. We bring your name and your family before our Father each day and pray for His will to be accomplished in your life.  We pray for His love and presence and grace for you, for His wisdom, provision, health, strength,  and direction in your life. We pray that you would be refreshed in Him and be His vessel to the world today. You are so loved. He delights in you.
His purposes for you are sure. His forgiveness and grace for you abundant. He wants you to live and move and have your being in Him. Don't be anxious for anything, but pray about everything today.  Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might know what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Today's lifewords are about FAITH.  The Lord encouraged me greatly this morning in His Word concerning FAITH and I pray these words will encourage and inspire you and that the Holy Spirit would minister to you as you read. The Word of God is amazing. Faith in His Word in paramount. Holy Spirit, please illuminate your Word to us and give us understanding about FAITH. We expect to receive from You now, in Jesus name.
What  a profound parable Jesus told in Luke 18:8
about the persisent woman knocking on the door of the judge.
Because of her continual coming, and crying to him, he gave her her request.
And regarding this Jesus said, "When the Son of man comes,  
will He find FAITH on the earth?" 
 I love that! 
   What is He looking for in His children?   
Persistent Faith.
 He is wanting us to learn to live by faith, trusting in His Word, rejoicing in His faithfulness. Just like this persistent woman. 
She believed if she kept on knocking, she would receive what she needed. 
 I believe He is asking us personally today, "When I come, will I find faith in you?" 
Does He find faith in us today?
Or are we just going through the motions.
Does He find faith in us today?
Or are we relying more on our natural understanding. 
Does He find faith in us today?
Or are we being overwhelmed by circumstances. 
One thing about circumstances, they are subject to change in a moment. 
We need our faith to stay steady!
Jesus said that  even if we have mustard seed type faith it could move mountains.
The walk of faith is learned day by day.
We must grow up in our faith and learn to live by faith.
Hebrews 11:6 says that "without faith it is impossible to please God."
 So our faith in Him pleases Him.  Conversely, our lack of faith does not please Him. 
We are living in a time of great pressures, great darkness, innumerable distractions.
We must purpose in our hearts that we will not be overwhelmed by circumstances
 but be strong in faith. 
At this moment Matt and I and our family have some situations that are requiring
great faith
in our Lord and His faithfulness.
Sometimes we can get nervous, anxious.
The other day my darling husband  gently put his hand on mine and said this to me
while we were driving in the car. 
"Honey, would you please stop sighing?"
 He is to sweet to me whenever I start having the come aparts!
I began to think about that sighing.
 I did not even realize my anxiousness was showing up in my sighing. 
My sighing is evidence of my lack of faith.
 I want to please God!  I have to stop sighing! 
More than that, I have to  really begin to live what I believe in
 2 Corinthians 5:7. "For we walk by faith and not by sight".
Hebrews 2:4 and Romans 1:17 BOTH declare that
 the righteous, the  just, those belonging to God, shall live BY FAITH. 
 It's one thing to agree with this.  Its another to do it day by day.
Everything about our Christian journey is by faith. 
What is faith? 
 Hebrews 1 defines faith as  the
"substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen". 
We can find hundreds of examples of faith in God's Word. 
Today I am thinking of Abraham, who by faith went out to a land and a destiny
he knew nothing about. 
By faith we must pursue God's purposes, not knowing everything we would like to know!
 I'm thinking of his wife Sarah, who by faith received power to conceive.
By faith we also receive power to conceive those things the Lord wants
to birth in us and through us.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:16 that we are to daily take up the shield of FAITH.
to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the enemy. 
We do have a real enemy today who came to steal kill and destroy. 
 But our shield of faith in God's Word is our protection against his assaults.
1 Timothy 6:12 exhorts us to "Fight the Good Fight of FAITH!"  
1 Cor. 16:13 says we are to "Stand firm in our Faith."
Jesus is the Author of our Faith.  
Hebrews 12 says we are to run our race with endurance while
"looking unto Jesus the Author and Perfector of our faith."
Yay!  Jesus is the Author....He plants it in our hearts.  And He is the Finisher. 
He will complete all. 
How does it come? 
Clearly, "Faith comes by hearing
and hearing by the Word of God." Romans 10:17.
 Our  dedication to spending time in God's Word is so important. 
His Word becomes our daily passion, our faith will grow. 
If faith  is authored by God, and continues to come by hearing,  then how does it work? 
 It works by Love.  Faith Works by Love.  Love is the engine of our faith.
 For our faith to work, we must submit to the love of God.
 Remember Gal. 2:20?
 I've been crucified with Christ.  Nevertheless I live. 
Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. 
 And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH in the Son of God who loves me and gave Himself for me. 
Oh that we would live a life of loving and serving our King,
dead to our flesh  and allowing Him to be our very life! 
I pray that we would learn the lesson of Faith in the Son of God.
Let's go deeper in living by Faith. 
The Holy Spirit will help us!
 Let's dare to believe God's Word,
Dare to walk on water as we keep our eyes fixed on Him. 
And by the way, we need each other to help keep our faith charged! 
 Encourage someone today in faith. If you know someone struggling, allow the compassion of Christ to rise up in you and love them into greater faith. Point them to God's Word.
Pray with them.
Bring faith to your children by  modeling a life of faith and by speaking great words to them. Remind everyone you encounter today of God's promises and His faithfulness.
 Finally I want to remind you of the God inspired words of Jude, the brother of James, in Jude 3. He is writing to "those who are called, the beloved in God the Father and kept in Jesus Christ. He writes with this appeal: "To contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints."
 We must contend for this walk of faith.  It will not happen by accident.
Read Hebrews 11.  It will build your faith.
You are His faithful one.

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