Breathe in the Oxygen of FAITH
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Hebrews 11:2-3)
Faith means listening to God’s words with an accepting heart, and depending on him to empower us personally to obey his words. Faith always starts with information from God. In response to that information we accept what God says and trust him to give is all the power we need to obey.
Faith to the believer is oxygen to the heart, mind and soul. Faith forms the foundation for our deepest relationship with God and our continuing walk with Him. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith; as it is written, “ The righteous man shall live by faith,” (Romans 1:17).
- The righteousness of God is revealed in the faith of the sinner who believes on the Lord Jesus as his Savior.
- The righteousness of God is also revealed in that believer’s dependence on Christ each day.
- The righteousness of God is revealed from saving faith to living faith.
We are justified by faith and made perfect in God’s sight. (Romans 3:28)
We are saved from our sins by faith. ( Ephesians 2:8-9)
We are sanctified and cleansed by faith. (Acts 26:18)
We have access by faith into God’s grace. (Romans 5:2)
We can “move mountains” by faith. (Mathew 17:20)
Faith, that tiny little seed, so very small yet with the gift of God’s empowerment to move the mountains of impossibility.
“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to here, and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mathew 17:20)
Contrasts of Faith
God provides us with many illustrations of faith in His Word but one of the first contrasting illustrations of faith begins with the story of Cain and Able in Genesis.
“Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:3-7)
Read this story of Cain and Abel slowly and soak in God’s words. Through Cain’s example we can recall the many times we have allowed our “face to fall” in jealousy, resentment, pride, anger, willfulness, and bitter attitude. The desirous crouching of sin at the door of our hearts waiting to devour our relationship and righteousness in God. And God encouraged Cain, even in the midst of his “fallen face”. He only had to do well, not be perfect, not be exceptional, just do well ~ to be accepted. And God warned Cain of the crouching sin at the door and its desire. And he provided Cain with advice. “You must rule over it”. Cain did not listen to the wisdom in God’s Words. He allowed his faith and his face to fall.
“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, 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 1:5-8)
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. (Hebrews 11:4)
How strong is your Faith?
Do you read Scriptures accepting and relying on the words of God, to empower you for obedience?
Do you memorize and mediate upon the word God gives you ?
Do you believe that God is living and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him ?
Do you pray in generalities or make specific requests to the Lord ?
Do you wait for God’s provision?
Do you have examples in your life of God working supernaturally through your faith ?
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Types of Faith
- We can have strong faith.
“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20)
- We can have faith that is tested
“so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)
- We can have great faith – the Centurion Faith.
“but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Mathew 8: 8)
- We can abound in faith – Increase in Love
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
Faith is Action
“You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works.
“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness – and he was called a friend of God.” (James 2:22-23)
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:6-7)
Guard your Faith
“holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.” (1Timothy 1:19)
Faith Benefits Others
When a man who was suffering from palsy was brought to Jesus by four of his friends, we are not told about the faith of the man. Rather, we are informed that the faith of his four friends actually caused him to be restored. “And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee”. (Mathew 9:2)
The Outcome of our Faith
“Through you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1Peter 1:8-9)
Breathe in the oxygen of your faith – Amen : Y