Thursday, February 24, 2011

Introduction to Faith

Check it out, we’re almost there!  Almost where, you say?  We’re almost to that grand section in the bible that heralds the great hero’s of the faith!  Great men and women such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Rahab, David, Samuel.  Men and women who…

“…through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. 
(Heb 11:33-35)

But before we tackle these accounts, there is a matter that must be settled:  “If it was by faith in Christ through which I was saved, why do I need to keep having faith? Is it really important in my daily Christian walk?”

It is important, because without holding fast in faith we could never subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, escape the edge of the sword, out of weakness be made strong, become valiant in battle, and turn to flight the armies of the aliens!

See guys, getting saved was the beginning of our journey, not the end!  We entered into a new identity, a new relationship, a new standing, and a new reality – but that does not mean that our road will be easy.  As a matter of fact, our journey will likely be harder.  Jesus told us in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation.”

We live in a world that is in direct opposition to God, and the ruler of this world (the devil) will use everything at his disposal in an effort to shut us down, to try and cause us to turn around and run back to our old lives. That is exactly where faith comes in!  When the trials and tribulation of life come, and they will come, that is when we will need to draw on the resource of faith to keep on living for Christ. That is exactly why the writer of Hebrews encourages us over and over to press forward, to not turn back!

One glance at the news and we can see that turmoil is increasing everywhere.  Our country is experiencing a financial crisis, which is leading us into a political crisis.  Protests are mounting in many states as governments start cutting budgets.  The Mid-east is in flames – upheaval is happening in country after country. No one knows what group will emerge as the new power in those countries, which incidentally provide a significant amount of the energy our economy depends on. 

But it is in these times when the words of the writer of Hebrews jump forth from the page…

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 
(Heb 10:23-25)

The bible tells us - the world will not get better, but will get worse. Jesus said in Matthew 24:

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  (Matt 24:6-7)

Jesus is coming!  But until then we have a purpose and a calling, to reach the world for Christ.  It won't be easy, but Jesus promised He would be with us to the end, and that He would empower us through the Holy Spirit, and we will live by faith.  

Join us Sunday as we delve into the introduction of faith.

Pastor Clay

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