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Enduring Faith

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Enduring faith requires a long-term view driven by divine purpose that is specifically designed to shape your heart for the work and impact God has placed you on this earth to fulfill. And the secret to enduring is obedience.

Jesus modeled obedience in a very practical way. His example did not require years of maturing and experience nor perfect life circumstances or achievements. He simply chose to submit Himself to God and His plan for His life. He believed that the only way to please the Father was through living in obedience to Him.

“But have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God…emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant…He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Enduring faith is also rooted in our love for God. If we truly love God we will choose and commit to the process of enduring trials or tests that come into our lives. John the Apostle said that our love for God is proved by our obedience to Him.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

Lastly, enduring faith requires waiting. Those who endure are promised supernatural provision to persevere to the end. Jesus goes before us and brings light to our path, we must choose to follow Him. He is the way, the truth and the life according to John 14:6. And when our enduring has accomplished God’s desired end, when we have been transformed by taking on more of the likeness of Jesus, we will know that God’s work in this area is completed.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

God cares for you.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time, He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

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Blessed Living

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Searching for peace in life is a common goal shared by the human race. It can become a life long journey that leads us astray on many misguided paths that seem attractive to our pursuit.

The bible tells us that there is one way to finding peace, happiness and rest for our weary souls and it begins with seeking the will of God. One great man of God said it this way:  “Follow the will of God, and happiness and peace and rest will come. The way of obedience is always the way of blessing.” (D. L. Moody, The Overcoming Life, 1896)

Making peace with God brings peace to our souls. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ, His Son. If you have become weary in your search for peace Jesus invites you to come to Him to receive rest.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

This is the will of God and those who obey His will enter into blessed living. This blessed living is not without trials and suffering but we are promised to never go it alone. Jesus promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. (Matthew 28:20)

Those who follow the will of God are promised triumphant living throughout their lives no matter the circumstances that try their faith. With every triumph of faith we take on more of the fragrance of Christ. This is blessed living.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” (2 Corinthians 2:14)

When we humble ourselves and submit to the teachings of Christ we enter into blessed living. Jesus beckons us to come under the obedience of His teachings and promises to be gentle in His approach. He knows how fragile and needy we really are.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

Jesus is Peace.

True Followers

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Fork in the Road, gettyimages,googleA spiritual giant of a man that we’ve all heard of at one time or another once said “When the heart sees what God wants, the body must be willing to spend and be spent for that cause alone.” Oswald Chambers was a man completely abandoned to God, he understood what it meant to be a true follower.

A true follower accepts the authority of another and obeys by placing himself in submission to the instruction or orders given. As a Christian we have been asked by God to:

“…present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1)

In other words, I must offer up my life, give it away as a living sacrifice in order to truly fulfill God’s purpose for my life. I have been made holy and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. This is my spiritual worship, a reasonable response to God’s amazing grace deposited into my life.

How does this look in my daily walk and growing relationship with my Heavenly Father? And how will I know that I am fulfilling His purpose and will in my life? We are to follow by setting ourselves apart from this world by renewing our mind with His Word, accepting the tests that come our way that God will use to give us wisdom and discernment to know His will. All this by living in the world and yet apart from it.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Only then can the heart begin to see what it was created to be spent for.

Faith Heals

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Faith is real and we all have faith in something or someone. Faith convinces us to trust with unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence.

The word faith is easily associated with religious beliefs or traditions but what about faith and healing? Do you find it easier to have faith in God yet struggle with the idea of a God who heals situations in your life or body?

There was a woman in the bible who suffered with a physical issue for 12 years, an issue of a discharge of blood. And because any prolonged bleeding by Jewish law made her ceremonially unclean it forced her to become an outcast, not even allowed to enter the Temple. A seemingly hopeless situation in her day.

One day, however, when she heard that Jesus was passing through she said to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will be made well.” (Matthew 9:21) It was in this moment that she placed her faith in Jesus from whom all healing comes.

When she touched His garment the scripture tells us that Jesus turned in the crowd of people, knowing that healing power had gone out from Him. He saw this frightened woman who had stepped out boldly and reassured and affirmed her healing.

“Jesus turned, and seeing her He said, ‘Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.” (Matthew 9:22)

Faith heals. Faith places its trust in a trustworthy God who loved us before we loved Him. Faith believes that nothing is impossible with God.

“…if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Take heart, your faith will make you well.

Faith & Wisdom

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Do you ever feel like your faith walk is easily affected by life’s circumstances? Do you seem to waver between trusting in God and trusting in yourself to work through the trials of life? When you don’t know what to do, what do you do?

The bible tells us that faith and wisdom work together to bring stability into our daily lives.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting…” (James 1:5,6)

Did you notice the warning to ‘not doubt’?  Doubt embraces uncertainty and distrust, it makes us hesitant to believe, fearful or apprehensive about the truth. God encourages us to receive wisdom from Him and then warns us not to doubt the instruction in truth that He gives. If we doubt we are described as unstable and tossed about as the wind.

“…for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)

Faith in God and the application of His wisdom in our daily lives will give us the stability we desire that will position us to weather any trial or test that comes our way. This is God’s promise to those who love Him.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)

Perseverance Leads to Fulfillment

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Perseverance is the key to fulfillment. Many are inspired to fulfill their designed purpose and yet so few enter into their promise land. Perseverance implies a continued, patient effort towards a desired end that leads to fulfillment.

The decision to perseverance is just the first step, finishing well requires a strength beyond our ability. The prophet Jeremiah was called by God to persevere. He was also given assurance that he would have divine protection in his difficult pursuit of fulfilling God’s plan for his life.

“And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land…They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.” (Jeremiah 1:18, 19)

Even with this powerful promise of protection from God, Jeremiah struggled with all the threats and opposition he received early on, just as we struggle. God used it all to show Jeremiah his need beyond his own abilities. The Lord answered his complaints by addressing his inadequacies to go the distance without God’s help.

“So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses? And if you can’t keep your wits during times of calm, what’s going to happen when troubles break loose like the Jordan in flood?” (Jeremiah 12:8, The Message)

Like us, Jeremiah had to learn how to depend on God’s strength to persevere. With every deliverance Jeremiah’s trust in God’s power and presence grew. He achieved the fulfillment of God’s purpose for his life and received all that God promised him.

Whatever God has asked of you, His power and strength will get you there, not your’s. Choose to persevere, trusting in His daily provision. May the ‘few’ turn into the ‘many’ who persevere to the end, fulfilling their purpose on this earth!

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)