Of What Value Is Your Faith

And without faith it is impossible to please Him
I. The Introduction of Practical Faith

Living faith vs. Saving faith

Illustration of living faith was crawling under the house to find a snake skin laying in my path. I had the faith there was a real snake under there. 

Because I wanted to live I exercised the faith to get my body out of there! 

That’s an exercise of living faith.  

II. The Initial Possession of Faith
Pleasing God

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” Hebrews 11:3-7 NASB

III. The Impact of Practicing Faith

Sampling of Scripture

  • Naaman & leprosy – 2 Kings 5:1-14
  • Four men placed a paralyzed man on a gurney Luke 5:17-25 

and carried up to a house and climbed the roof, tore it apart and lowered the lame man now through the roof to where Jesus stood. 

  1. A sum of each one’s faith?
  2. whose faith was honored? 
  3. One of the four men, all four men, or all four men plus the one paralyzed? 
  4. Did the one paralyzed have to have faith? 

Have you not prayed for someone to be healed who doesn’t professed to be saved and yet that person experiences healing?

You know that lame man carried his gurney out the door!

  • Andrew and lad with five loaves and two fishes. Matt. 14:17
  • Jarius’ only daughter (12) Mark 5:21; Luke 8:40

came to Jesus who wanted Him to heal his daughter. Seems his little girl was dying. Jesus told him not to worry because she was just sick.

  • the man who was blind. John 9

Well brothers/sisters, Here’s spit in your eye! 

He met Jesus one day. Jesus took His spit and some dirt to make a mud pack to go on the mans eyes. Now the blind man can see. 

  • Sick Maw-in-Law Mark 1:30

Did you hear about the man whose mother-in-law laid sick with a fever? Jesus went to see her and her fever vanished. Simon’s mother-in-law

This ain’t no ‘Walking Dead”! John 11

Oh but my brothers, what about the women who sent for Jesus because their brother had died. Jesus appears to be in big hurry. It’s as though he meanders around until suddenly he arrives on the scene four days after the man Lazarus has died. Jesus calls out Lazarus by name. 
So I ask you, what was the common denominator? 

The answer is faith. So then what was the value of 

Naaman’s faith? Healed of leprosy 

“Their” faith = paralytic walks!

Jairus’ faith? Daughter’s sickness leaves. 

the blind man’s faith? Restored eyesight. 

Simon’s mother in law? Fever gone. 

the leper in Mark 1 faith? Healed of leprosy..

Mary and Martha’s faith in the healing of their brother Lazarus? Resurrection of Lazarus
What is the value of YOUR Faith? Salvation? 

What is the value of your faith? 

Will your faith heal?

Will your faith prevail over trial and troubles?

Will your faith sustain you in your marriage?

Will your faith support you in financial matters?

Will your faith strengthen you dealing with your children, extended family? 

Just how valuable is your faith? Really? 

Of what daily value is to you? 

Faith does not earn God’s blessings.  Faith precedes God’s Grace Gift of blessings.

Advertisements
Posted in Christian, Faith, God's Favor, Life's Lessons | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Change

The mere title will spark curiosity in some, disgust in others, and nodding of the head from a few. Those kinds of responses are to be expected when people assume what is about to be shared.

To the relief of some, the regret of others and the could-care-less of many, this blog is not about a medical phenomenon. The “change” I’m reflecting on is the tendency of mankind to make something good and for the most part decent into that which is ugly. 

Okay, you want examples. How about social media posts like those you find on Facebook where readers are challenged to ‘share’, ‘like’ posts in order to receive God’s blessings? These things are not scriptural and show the ignorance of people who identify themselves as believers. I wonder if we have those who believe in the Holy Bible who don’t read it? Sarcasm.

Blessings from God are not earned by such feeble immature acts like sharing a posts. Is it any wonder society laughs at Christianity? Don’t you think it is a shame to behave that way?

I like Facebook for keeping up with family and real friends. You can build your “friend” list only to realize many on there are barely acquaintances. Sad to see people using Facebook and other social medias to pat themselves on the back, promote their lives as something to covet, present themselves so much and so often that the fallacies of their lives shine through. 

The ‘change’ encompasses numerous areas of life. Sex is an act God endorses but we have changed the beauty of intimacy into a recreational sport. 

The holiness of matrimony has been changed into the perils of uncontrolled passions yielding unwanted pregnancies. Where discretion was exemplified, now it is becoming extinct! Sin used to be something which brought shame. Now it brings showmanship, for all to see and boast about. 

I would think the One who created the creature would know more about what’s best for it. We, the creation, tell God, the Creator, how it’s going to be, what’s going to be done and as it were; shake our fist in His Holy face! Praise Him for being long suffering. I’m grateful for it because I’ve needed it. 

Maybe you get the idea. Nuff said?

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Discipleship, God's Favor, Jesus, Leadership, Life's Lessons, Religious, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This blog is about the “I” in who conducts baptisms

There is a growing practice that I’ve noticed taking place in the last couple of years which I sense may become a trend. At first I was a bit uncomfortable with it. It challenged me. It revolves around the “I”. 

In accordance to the command of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and upon your profession of faith in Him, “I” baptize you my brother/sister in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Buried with Him in the likeness of His death, raised to walk in newness of life.

Who is the ‘I’? Baptism is an ordinance of the church. So who should do the baptisms? 

The church pastor is not confined to a baptismal pool to conduct baptisms. Pastors have gone out to ponds, lakes, backyard swimming pools to conduct baptisms. It’s like the eunuch who asked Phillip, here’s water what keeps me from being baptized? Luke 8:36

Phillip was called of God, an apostle of Jesus the Christ. Qualified to perform baptisms. Qualified? What makes you qualified? 

The practice I have noticed is people who are not licensed, ordained, or otherwise endowed with church authority are baptizing people at their own will. A friend of mine a few years ago was a young man and a newly born again Christians. He was performing baptisms in swimming pools without a local church’s endorsement. 

Who should be the ‘I’ who performs the baptism? Scripturally speaking the specific answer is not given. The Scripture focus more on need to be baptized and the mandate for the born again to go out under the authority of Jesus Christ to make disciples, teaching and baptizing…(Matthew 28:18-20). 

Is the deacon who baptized his son acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Is the mom who professes Jesus as Savior who baptized her daughter acting under the authority of Jesus Christ? Are they performing these ‘ordinances’ under the authority of the church? Are they required to be under the authority of another or can they do it under their own desire?

She’s a brand new Christian, excited in her faith and goes to work telling her co-workers. One of them wants to be baptized? She takes her home, dips her in the pool and baptized her. You okay with that? Should the church accept these baptisms? There was a time when S’baptism, meaning self-baptism, was practiced. John the Baptist had a part in changing the practice. 

Who should be the “I” and how should the church receive it? 

Issues?

  1. Baptisms explained sufficiently
  2. The mode of baptism
  3. Record keeping?
  4. A slippery slope towards the Lord’s Supper becoming a practice like this.
  5. The relationship of the person doing the baptizing. Saved, believer or acting professional?
  6. Ordinance of the church, not the person.
  7. Authority to act
  8. Other issues 

Something to think on,

Until Next Time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Church, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Leadership, Missions, Religious, Scripture, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quotes

Two essential foundational truths which should come from the true church. 

  1. The Bible is True
  2. Jesus Saves

Love demands that Christians do not turn a blind eye to sin.

Rebellion is seen when behavior doesn’t match belief. 

You are not the only who pays the price for your sin. 

Until next time

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Quotes, Religious | Leave a comment

Crouching at the door

To ‘crouch’ means “to lower your body to the ground by bending your legs. Of an animal, it is to lie on the stomach close to the ground with the legs bent.” The whole idea is sneak up on a prey as though you’re going to attack. 

I visualize the cat sneaking up on its prey getting ready to pounce. You watch and you wait until just the right moment and the cat leaps, catches its prey by surprise and dominates its life. 

The Pounce

The same picture is painted in Genesis 4:7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”” 

There are two brief remarks I want to make. The first is this. Without question there are times when sin sneaks up on you ready to pounce on your life and dominate you. As the scripture tells us, ‘we must master it.’  Therefore walk as you are the prey and sin is indeed crouching at the door. Be ready. Be prepared. Be strong in the faith. 

A second observation I have is sin is not always ‘crouching at the door.’ Sometimes it “stands up” and announces itself as speaking through a bullhorn! We see it coming a long distance away. We know what it is and what could come of it if we fall prey to its domination. Instead of resisting the sin, more and more people are embracing sin, announcing their sinfulness and expect others to embrace it! It’s almost like sin is a praise report? Look at me and what I’ve done. Should Christina’s clap with celebration? Christians,  remember to love the people who has sinned without embracing their sin. 

Friends, to object to the sin and to stand against sin is not to reject a person nor to stand against a person. It is the sin that destroys. Anger can be a loving response when under the control of the Holy Spirit.  I don’t appreciate when people take offense to someone standing against sin as though that someone is standing against them. It is not true for the genuine mature Christian who understands the devastation sin has on a life. 

I also don’t appreciate people thinking others should embrace their sin as though it is a good thing. People announcing sin like it’s a reason for celebration in a slap to the holy face of God. While I’m not trying to make enemies, I no doubt will at the very least offend. Though not my intent, I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and will consider Him first and foremost. 

It breaks my heart and discourages me when I see people willingly take the road of life that opposes the God who loves them and created them. Praise Him for His long suffering and merciful love and forgiveness. 

Dear one, don’t let sin reign in you. Confess, repent and seek forgiveness. Live for God who gave His Son Jesus Christ to die for you. 

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Life's Lessons, love, Religious, Scripture | Leave a comment

God’s Jewelry Box 

They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. From inexpensive to the outrageous. Jewelry boxes! Mostly owned by women these boxes are used to store and house jewelry. Some come equip with latches to try to keep priceless treasures safe. 

Have you ever given thought to God’s jewelry box. Maybe I’m a little out there on this one. Maybe I’m thinking outside the box. Jewelry box? 

Consider this passage… 

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” Malachi‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Other translation use words like treasure, greatest possessions, and my own special treasure in place of jewels. 

Which I think of God’s chosen possessions, He treasures as jewels which belong to Him I cannot help but think how we view the death of God’s child as lying in a ‘casket’ when God must see it as one of His “Jewelry” boxes. While I know the souls is with the Lord, the flesh that remains once housed God’s jewel. 

Are you one of God’s jewels? 

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Death, Heaven, love, Scripture | Leave a comment

Ingredients of total surrender 

  • 12: “”This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 
  • 13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 
  • 14: You are My friends if you do what I command you. 
  • 15: No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15 NASB

I feel ill-equipped to speak on this subject today. To talk of giving ones life for another is a position I’ve not put myself in like those who gave their life serving in our armed forces. 

When I listen to those who speak of their friends who died by their side as they both hunkered down in a foxhole somewhere or was shot down trying to take a hill or mountain or some parcel of land. 

These are lives we cannot put a $ value on. They were lives surrendered for a specific purpose. This is Memorial Day weekend. It is a time we reflect on those who lost their lives serving our country. It is not the time to honor those who served for that is done at Veterans Day. 

Each man or woman who laid down their lives have certain qualities that you and I as God-fearing, born again children of God ought to exhibit. These qualities were also seen in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of these qualities are ingredients found within the act of total surrender. 

I. Courage 

You think of the courage our military men and women had to had to put their lives on the line and then to give it up for us in their service for our country. 

They stood firm in the face of danger, challenges and opposition.

Wars are full of heroic acts on the land, sea, and the air. 

I submit to you our Lord Jesus Christ showed the quality of courage. Jesus Christ had the courage to speak when He needed to and the courage to be silent as well. In the face of His enemies, the tremendous beating, flogging and the carrying of His Cross to Calvary we see great Courage. 

We also see great love! 

II. Comradeship 

I’m told and no doubt believe in the special connection between those who serve in the military. Especially those who serve for many years. 

It is a comradeship worth remembering. People from all walks of life coming together for a common cause. 

Jesus gave His life that we might live. That we might have life and it more abundantly. (John10:10b) 

Jesus lives again that we might live with Him in eternity. There have been no doubt great Comrades formed among those in the armed forces but none can compare to the one we can have when Jesus is our comrade in the battle against sin. We partner with Jesus to defeat death, hell, and the grave. 

III. Dedication 

Our country has faced terrifying responsibilities. Our country has faced enormous odds. 

Yet because of the dedication of men and women across our nation we are free today to experience liberty. Their wholehearted dedication trumpets the call for us to honor their lives given for us by using our freedom in honorable ways. 

Our Lord dedicated Himself to His Father. (Mt. 26:39) We need the same dedication. 

IV. Sacrifice 

The men and women who served our country and paid the ultimate cost losing their lives did not want to die. Yet the supreme sacrifice was paid. Multitudes have given their lives. 

Our Lord gave His life. Voluntarily John 10:17,18 

Far too often you and I chose not to sacrifice. 

Surely we must realize that we are called to Courage – Comradeship – Dedication – and Sacrifice 

We need to see the enemy, the danger before us. We need repentance, confession, and reconciliation. 

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Death, Leadership, Life's Lessons, Scripture | Leave a comment