Belief or Unbelief

Unbelief is the only sin, which prevents us from enjoying eternity in Heaven (Romans 11:20; Ephesians 3:18; Galatians 2:16). Therefore, God gives every person ever born a measure of faith to help us to believe in His redemptive work, and to claim our salvation through Christ (Romans 12:3). Then He gives us a portion of faith in order to function in the gifts He gives us through His Spirit (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:9; Galatians 5:22-23).

If we depend on our human effort for our salvation, we fall short of God’s glory; however, if we believe in and trust in Him who justifies the ungodly, God credits our faith toward our right standing with Him (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 4:5, 9:32). Our God justifies Jews and non-Jews alike (Romans 9:30). There is no one on this earth that He does not desire to reconcile to Himself (Romans 3:30).

Since this is true, why do so many good people refuse to believe? Some have never heard that Jesus loves them. Others fail to realize the manuscript evidence, which proves the Bible is true. People need to know that we find peace with God through our faith in the justification provided for us by the Lord Jesus Christ through His crucifixion, death and resurrection (Romans 5:1).

He also gives us access to God’s grace, so that we can rejoice in the hope of sharing in His glory (Romans 5:2). His Word is in our heart and in our mouth, in order to share it with those who also need salvation (Romans 10:8, 17, 1:18-32). We can present to them the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is based upon the foundation of Biblical truth established by practical evidence and human history.

Prayer:
Father God, allow us to walk in the truth that we are crucified with Christ. Teach us what it means to live in this flesh by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us, when at the same time Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Help us to stand firm in our faith and to walk by faith rather than to rely on our earthly senses (1 Corinthians 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24, 5:7). Remind us to examine ourselves to prove our faith and that Christ abides within us (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Thought for the Day:
Our faith does not rest on human wisdom, but on the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:5

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Drawing Near to God

The world in which we live, and everyone in it, is held captive by sin. However, through faith in Jesus Christ we are given God’s promised salvation (Galatians 3:22-23). Now, with a sincere heart, we can draw near to God. Our mind, sprinkled by the blood of Christ, is cleansed from a guilty conscience and the pure water of God’s Word washes us clean (Hebrews 10:22).

We can only abide in God after we first seek Him and His Kingdom, and live in the truth that He lives in and through us. He will never, ever, for any reason leave us (Hebrews 13:5). As we wait on Him day by day, He grants us the grace to abide in Him. We rejoice in His fellowship and we work in His power. We completely give up our self to Him and live by faith in His faithfulness.

God allows trials to test our faith, which increases our perseverance through them (James 1:3). Thankfully, Jesus is both the developer and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Even the prophets of old knew that the righteous live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4: Romans 1:17). Since Jesus’ faith and Spirit abide within us, we multiply the works of Christ on this earth (John 14:12).

The core truths of God’s Word energize the authentic Christian and thrill our soul. First and foremost, we wait on the Lord, we live in His presence continually and we enter into His eternal rest on a daily basis. Once we completely surrender to Christ, God takes us up spiritually into His Holy Temple (2 Corinthians 5:1). We abide in His rest, and all of our work on earth is done only through Him.

Prayer:
Father God, even if other people refuse to believe in You, their unbelief does not make our faith in You worthless (Romans 3:3). Through the blood of Jesus, we become Your righteousness, and You wipe away our sins through Your love and forbearance (Romans 3:25). Help us not to grow weary or to lose faith in Your promises, but to remain strong in Christ’s faith in us, as we give You all of the glory (Romans 4:20).

Thought for the Day:
We are justified and reconciled to God by faith, not by our own good deeds. – Romans 3:28, 4:14; Ephesians 2:8-9

God’s Abiding Presence

Good and evil do not determine whether we go to Heaven or hell. Belief and unbelief are the key issues in our eternal destination. Those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, as God who came in the flesh to secure our salvation, condemn themselves (John 3:18). God prefers that everyone come to faith in Christ; however, He knows that many will refuse His love.

Unbelievers suffer the wrath of God as a result of their choice not to believe (Acts 17:30-31). Pride and rebellion keep them from totally surrendering their life to Christ. They prefer to serve the devil or their self rather than God (Ephesians 2:1-3; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Some even live a religious life, attempting to be good and to do good by their own human efforts, looking to their own self-efforts to save them.

There is obviously a Satanic lie fueling their behavior, because he makes them feel safe in rejecting God. It is a Believer’s responsibility and privilege to reveal the Kingdom of God to anyone who will listen, to help to draw them out of the kingdom of darkness and to share with them the truth of the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:14-15).

We desire, as God does, that no one shall perish in eternal damnation and to see all people everywhere saved (2 Peter 3:9). Jesus steals us back from the kingdom of darkness, which once captivated our mind (2 Timothy 2:24-26). He reveals His truth to us that He is all and in all, and that all things belong to Him (Ephesians 4:6; Psalm 24:1). Then, in the sanctification process, Christ is fully formed in us (Galatians 4:19).

Christ’s elect bride is all around us, some know of His place in their life and some are still resisting His invitation to come to Him. It is only when we live, move and have our being in Christ that we live a fulfilled and productive life (Acts 17:28). As Believers, the divine life of Christ is ensconced in our mortal bodies, giving life to us in spirit, soul and body.

This keeps us from taking any credit for what God’s power does in and through us. This world often beats us up, confuses and terrorizes us, but we are not disheartened, because God lives in us by faith in Christ through His Spirit. Because of God’s abiding presence within us, we cannot help but to broadcast the news of God’s love to everyone who will listen (2 Corinthians 4:7-15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your gospel turns family members into enemies (Matthew 10:34-36). This should not be so. Yet, due to rebellion and pride, many of our family will reject the gospel message and us as well. However, we never know what is going on the heart of that loved one to cause them to react to You and to us as they do (Psalm 19:9). You are the only one capable of judging a heart. Draw our loved ones ever closer to Your heart.

Thought for the Day:
Our faith in Christ gives us the victory to overcome the world. – 1 John 5:4

Abiding Faith

Faith is an ethereal concept, wispy, something that we cannot get a grip on. The meaning of faith seems to elude us at times. The hard part about faith is that in order to have it, we cannot doubt (Matthew 21:21). Jesus said that faith is the substance of the things, which we hope for (Hebrews 11:1). Faith helps us to believe that our hopes are real. How does faith do that? It causes us to put our trust in God alone.

Jesus chided people for their unbelief (Matthew 17:20). He actually marveled when He found great faith in people (Matthew 8:10; 15:28). He spoke a great deal about faith. Jesus told His disciples that faith is actually a cure for fear (Matthew 8:26). He builds our faith with statements such as the fact that God clothes us like the grass in the field, because we are of far more importance to Him (Matthew 6:30).

When Jesus saw the faith of the sick people who came to Him, He immediately healed them (Matthew 9:22, 29; Luke 7:50). He even healed people when their friends or family had faith for them (Matthew 9:2; 15:28). When we are full of the faith of Jesus, we can do the great deeds, which He directs us to accomplish (Acts 6:8; Ephesians 2:10). Many people come to Christ when they see us living out our authentic faith (Acts 11:24).

Actually, we do not have to manufacture great faith devoid of all doubt; we simply need to live by His faith (Galatians 2:20; Acts 3:16). Satan’s demons attempt to distract us or discourage us, but God is the author and finisher of our faith (Acts 13:8). His faith heals us in body and soul (Acts 14:9). We comfort each other by sharing our mutual faith in God with one another (Romans 1:12). Our faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6)

Prayer:
Father God, You multiplied the number of Believers in the early church, and You continue to do that same thing all over the earth and throughout the ages of time (Acts 16:5). We thank You for opening the door of faith to the Gentiles, as well as to the Jews. You make no difference between them and us, because You purify our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9). In this life, we enter Your Kingdom through much tribulation, which helps our faith in You to grow (Acts 14:22).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us faith as He turns us from the darkness of this world to His light, and from the power of Satan’s stranglehold on us to His glorious freedom. – Acts 26:18

Complete Trust

A man came to Jesus for healing; but knowing his human soul, he honestly admitted, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25). Trusting in a Being, which we cannot see, is a bit overwhelming, especially as a new Christian. The secret lies in realizing that Christ lives IN us, and we function through His faith, His desire and His ability (Galatians 2:20). God has a special calling for each of us (Ephesians 2:10).

Therefore, we imitate Christ and do the works, which He did (1 Corinthians 11:1). Surrendered to God’s Spirit, we live in serenity even through life’s negative circumstances. Depending on Jesus for everything in our life, we trust Him to know what is best for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Our union with Christ eliminates the stress of life. Born Again Saints, who live in stress, are not living a surrendered life.

Like Christ, we receive our life from God. God reconciles us to Himself. Then, we surrender our life back to Him and walk in His resurrection power. God does not renew our life so that we can pursue our carnal dreams, but in order for us to live in His will (Ephesians 2:10). We are freed from the death of sin to surrender our life to God (2 Timothy 2:15). We have the life of Christ filling our entire being.

God perfects everything, which pertains to us (Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6). We can trust in His unchangable nature (Malichi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). Like Jesus, we commune with our Father and we live in obedience to His Spirit’s guidance each moment of the day. We do this through the anointing of Christ IN us. As we enter into His rest, we abide in the perfect faith of Christ, completely trusing in God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 10:4: Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, we have confidence in Your will for our life. We are not sufficient in ourselves to accomplish anything on our own. Our adequacy comes only from You. You make us competent ministers of Your gospel message, mercy, grace and truth. We do not minister by the letter of the law, because legalistic adherence kills; but Your Spirit gives us life (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

Thought for the Day:
Trust in the Lord with every fiber of your being, and do not rely on your own plans. – Proverbs 3:5-6