It is a fairly reasonable question. We come to Jesus. From our religious culture and upbringing we ask “What must we do?”
We have been told our whole life, go to church, pray, fast, be religious. The focus is on doing. It is more than just a religious culture. It is the way of life in America. So, what does God require? Good question.
Jesus wants us to work at believing in Him. It is all about the relationship with him and not what we do. We must believe. That leads to His new plan. His mission will fill us when we know He cares for us.
Then they asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God
requires?’Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the
one he has sent.’ (John 6:26-29 NIV)
We have ministers that are very faithful. Everyday they do their thing. Same message; same station. If you do something you will be “saved”. Same message, year in, year out. But that same old plan never makes a dent in the problem of missing the mark with God. But Jesus had a new plan in mind. With one act, we never would have to “do” anything again.
And so, one act and it was over. He then went back and sat down next to God just waiting for us to “get it”. He is just waiting for His and our enemy to cave in. He has done everything for us. I don’t need “to do” anything other than believe and love. I can take part in being complete in Him with nothing else to do. The Holy Spirit confirms that there is a new plan in effect. And it is not one put on paper and notarized. The Spirit is writing it on my heart. It is there on the lining to my emotional core.
The slate is clean. I don’t need “to do” anything to take part in the new plan. I just continue to believe, change my mind about God’s purpose in my life and don’t throw it all away. It is mine forever in Him!!
“I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun: not only because I see it, but by it I see everything else” ~~C.S.Lewis
God lights my path. God saves me. Simple but straightforward truths about our amazing heavenly Father. I am participating in His new plan for my life. I am hearing great news today. God is smiling. He shows me his grin.
Why should I be worried? Why should I be afraid? If nothing is impossible with God, why would anything seem like a big deal?
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
May I rely on the stronghold of my life. May I have no fear.
There is a strange thing about wanting to control what is going on with others. We become very critical. Suspiciously so. That is not the way in God’s new plan for our life. We are not in charge of how others live out their faith in our Master Jesus.
We are to be partners with our brothers and sisters. We are to work along side them. We should be joyful, expecting the next good thing in their life. They stand on their own faith in Jesus. Certainly not by mine or yours. And we can’t control them.
We all need more courage. We should pray to be bolder.
What does it take for more courage in our lives? Faith!
We must believe our Father has great things in mind for us.
“A man of courage is also full of faith.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero.
We have “to do” lists but when God talks, we need “to stop” lists.
What does God causing a doubt mean? How does He do that? It is the difference between my doing something absent hearing from God versus have heard from God, I am doing something. We must admit that many times we just move ahead without having heard from God. God can and will cause doubt about that at some point. When that happens, the best thing is to stop immediately.
“Whenever God causes a doubt about something, stop it immediately, no matter what it may be. Nothing in our lives is a mere insignificant detail to God.” ~~Oswald Chambers
Worry is not faith. Is what is in my heart fear or believe?
Is what I am thinking worry or faith?
Is what I am saying cynicism or hope?
Is what I doing cowardly or courageous?
So ….. Worry is not faith. God is God.
What Jesus would say to me if he just walked into my room right now?
I think he would look right at me and smile. He would sit down right beside me and he would put his arm around my shoulder to talk. I think on most days he would say “Why do you worry so much, child? You belong to me. Your family belongs to me. I want you to count on Me. Know that I love you. Your worry smothers your awareness of how my Love for you constantly fills your life.”
And then, I would look right back at Him and say “You’re right!” And then I would smile too.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
It is important that we always represent Jesus. He is specific in demanding this of us.
May we do our Father’s will in representing His son. Especially now. Especially today.
God is asking me to move on. I don’t know where but He does.
Faith is an act. I will say yes to God. I will go even though I don’t know the destination.
Our enemy. fear, whispers in our ear to look around and see what bad things could happen to us. We become afraid, loose faith and don’t achieve God’s goal.
Fear looks. Faith jumps – and never fails to obtain God’s goal!
We have a faithful God. He is all we need.
Trust in, Lean on, rely on… God.
Is God serious? God is very serious about His business. We should take Him seriously. He doesn’t mess around. He put the earth in place. He created it all. From nothing His word was obeyed. Everything that exists is here because He wants it that way. He has a new plan. It is bought and paid for. No need to hold back.
It is still that way. In faith, His gifts abound. His Word is still obeyed. His word doesn’t come back to Him with no results. When He says something, it happens. You can count on it.
God is very serious about His business. We should be too.
The mission is to keep myself in a faith that is set apart for Him. That is the real deal. That is what the end game is for me. It is a building process. I am not there for sure. But I am making progress. He has a goal where I need to be. He has a strategy for how I will get there. He “whacks” away at it every second of every day. So, bring it on my Master.
There is a coming together of the physical, the soul (heart) and spiritual. So I start with a physical act. Let’s say I raise my hands being open and outstretched to Him. I begin to experience His love being poured out on me. Then the presence of His Spirit invades the scene. Watch out then!! This all leads to love. It leads to experiencing His gift of mercy. Not justice. Just mercy.
What is the real outcome? What is this all about? A life that is unending. A life that is real.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21
- 10/11/2012 Scripture (hiking2christ.org)
- Gebets-Schatz: Prayer on the Festival of the Reformation (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ October 17, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Pentecost 20 – “Eternal Life” (Mark 10:17-22) (revtucher.com)
There are some things to be embarrassed by. There are some things to be proud of. We have an extraordinary message. It is a powerful message. It is a message to be proud of.
God has plans to rescue everyone (not just religious people). All we have to do is trust Him. Anyone can do it. The religious don’t have a lock on this deal. It may seem like it but we have good news. It isn’t limited to the religious. It isn’t going to church or leading bible studies that get’s us right with God. It is faith pure and simple. When we believe that Jesus is the Messiah that came to rescue us from a life of missing God’s goal for our life, we have right standing before God.
AND that is a very good deal for sure.
It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with the religious and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:16-17)
I believe that Jesus is the Messiah. He is God’s very own Son. That makes me God-begoten. I am His child.
Every person who believes that Jesus is, in fact, the Messiah, is God-begotten. 1 John 5:1
- All that matters is Jesus, in this life Phil 1:7-20 (radiqx.com)
- Jesus’ First Disciples – Five Men Meet Jesus (brakeman1.com)
- HOMILY ON THE SOLEMNITY OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. REV. FR. BONIFACE NKEM ANUSIEM Ph.D (frbonnie.wordpress.com)
- “I am the Messiah. You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.” ~~Jesus (mww1954.wordpress.com)
Did you hear Him?
Seriously. Did you?
So faith comes from hearing,
and hearing by the word of the Messiah.
God has done some amazing things in my life. But, He says to me, “Are you good enough to be better?” There is more, He whispers. He wants to do more.
There are times I feel like saying “Enough already”. He appreciates me saying that. He smiles. Really, He does. He likes me. He thinks what He has done in me is pretty cool stuff. We have fun with each other some days. Him more with me though!! hahaha
So He hugs me. He puts His arm around my shoulder and says, “Here is the next good thing I am willing to do in you. Ready?” Oh my Father. OK, bring it on!!
May I excel in that “next thing” as well. There is more.
But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 2 Corinthians 8:7
The worry of the world can completely drown out the word of my heavenly Father. He speaks to me. He gives me His love. But worry has a way of overcoming what I know He is saying. How often do illusions about getting more choke out the word? The way of the LORD is to hear the word and understand it. True repentance is to change my mind. That brings fruit!!
Jesus challenges us about how deceitful the pursuit of wealth can be. That leads to worry and not hearing GOD.
May I hear GOD and believe He is good. He has my best interest at heart. He will not fail me.
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns , this is the man who hears the word , and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word , and it becomes unfruitful . Matthew 13:22
Jesus didn’t cause the storm to arise. The storm wasn’t His doing at all. He didn’t “weather” the storm although he was sleeping and not concerned or afraid one bit. He did tell it to stop and it did. Completely. It became perfectly calm. No wind. No waves. Just calm.
They were amazed because He is amazing. He did what He saw His Father doing. That is all.
May I see things as He does. May I do what I see Him doing.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-27
There is a certain kind of honor that is worth having. False pride, in doing it “my way” is useless. Getting though difficult times because of our faith allows us to look in the mirror, face others, and be confident that “God’s way” has been done.
That is the way to do it. That is the real deal. Doing it “His way” allows us to hold our heads high. Lesson learned.
Paul indicates things had gotten bad. Life isn’t always “what we want it to be”. There are trials. When the worst is over, I want to be able “to be pleased to report”.
Now that the worst is over, we’re pleased we can report that we’ve come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. 2 Corinthians 1:12
- Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Corinthians 12:2 (panoramicviews.wordpress.com)
- 2 Corinthians 9:10-12 (faithpassage.wordpress.com)
- Never Be Afraid to Be, or Appear Weak! (comfortfoodtofeedyoursoul.wordpress.com)
“What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God….” ~~Apostle Paul
We all know GOD exists. Sure, there are some atheist but they are really kidding themselves. So lets not think about that. We know there is a GOD. Here is the big question. Do we treat Him like GOD? Think about it. GOD is GOD. GOD is great. GOD is good. We “know it”. Do we believe Him?
If we don’t treat him like GOD, GOD says, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” This is a case of be careful what you ask for.
“What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God….” ~~Apostle Paul (Romans 1:18 The Message)
- Paul and the Twelve Apostles (counterthought.org)
- “An Overflowing Wealth Of Generosity!” ~ Sermon for Sunday, July 1, 2012 (nearwestclevepastor.wordpress.com)
- Lift up your hands and praise Him! (estherscott1257.wordpress.com)
- it’s all in your mouth (toyinonipe.wordpress.com)
- Be careful in your evaluation of the Grace of God! (keyword-power.com)
- Holy Paul, Apostle to the Nations (frted.wordpress.com)
This is a very relevant question for us, “the religious”. Jesus is challenging us. Do we hear Him? Are we sure? How are we sure we are sure?
What did He say?
Jesus is challenging us. May I hear Him now.
How often do I go about fussing? Getting worked up over nothing. Worrying about how everything is going to get done. Putting my best “servant” attitude on and letting Jesus know it. I need to get to the essential and choose it. My relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. It is the main course.
May I choose the good part. Why worry?
But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Here is a lesson in worry from our Master Jesus. He wasn’t worried. He wasn’t anxious. He was just doing what He knew to do which was be in His Father’s house. So, his parents were worried. He was not. I should be concerned about doing my Father’s business and not worry about anything else. And, he continued to grow this way. Stuff just didn’t faze Him because He was listening to His Heavenly Father and just doing what He heard Him saying.
May I be about my Father’s business and grow in His favor. May I worry about whether I am pleasing him.
When they saw Him, they were astonished ; and His mother said to Him, “Son , why have You treated us this way ? Behold , Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:48-52
A friend sent me this quote. I have reading it over and over. Not sure who to attribute it to but thought it was worth sharing.
“You will not find My Peace by engaging in excessive planning: attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. This is a commonly practiced form of unbelief. When your mind spins with multiple plans, Peace may sometimes seem to be within your grasp; yet it always eludes you. Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.
I did not design the human mind to figure out the future. That is beyond your capability. I crafted your mind for continual communication with Me. Bring Me all your needs your hopes and fears. Commit everything into My care. Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace. “
In our Father’s house there are many, many rooms. But the one thing there is no room for is fear. Every room is filled with His love. In fact, the more His love forms in me and matures, this love just pushes out all fear. It is banished!!
Fear can cripple me and my faith. So I pursue my Father’s love. I seek to have it mature in me. Be well formed. That pushes out the fear.
There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
He isn’t fickle. No way at all. There is nothing in Him that is two-faced. He couldn’t be deceitful if He wanted to. It just isn’t in His nature. He isn’t wishy washy. He doesn’t say one thing and do another.
What He says is true. He has brought me to life using the true nature of His word. When He says it, I can count on it. That’s good stuff to be sure.
After Jesus was crucified, he was hastily buried as the clock was ticking moving toward the Sabbath. No work could be done. So they had to wait. And wait. And wait. It must have seemed like an eternity that long Saturday. On Sunday they were up and at it at the crack of dawn. When they got to the tomb, they couldn’t find Jesus body. And they were puzzled. I know I would have been as well. Probably more than puzzled.
But they moved on from being puzzled into belief. The angels explained it all to them. Jesus wasn’t there but raised up from the dead. And they remembered Jesus’ words.
Belief. Faith. Joy.
At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.
They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words. via Luke 24 MSG | YouVersion.
Relax, God is in control. I keep hearing that from our Father. He promised a rest. That is His goal for us. This rest requires that we have faith in Him.
If we believe that nothing is impossible for God, that he loves us and has a great plan for us, we can be “at rest”. His peace isn’t easily understood but it is real. His rest is like no other.
There is only one requirement. We must believe.
For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never be able to sit down and rest.” Hebrews 4:1-3
It is as if I have been traveling across a desert. A very dry and weary desert. I am so hungry. I am very thirsty for my God. I have worked myself up to it. I just thirst after God. I can’t get enough of Him.
Leveling a road takes a while. It is not something that happens over night. Because I am in right standing with our Father, he levels the road for me. But I have to be content when I see the sign with your decision to stop, to not be in a hurry. You are in front of me leveling the way. When you decide it is clear, I can go.
May I be content to linger in the path with the signs of your decision.
The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. Isaiah 26:9
“If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith.” ~~Oswald Chambers
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~~Apostle Paul
I should be thankful and talk with God about everything. He is in charge. He loves me and has wonderful plans for me. Wow, that takes the pressure off and allows me to not be anxious. He ROCKS!!!
This is His path to peace for me. I don’t understand it for sure but it is true. He is guarding me. Leting Him be in charge guards my mind from my own plans which clearly leads to worry and fear.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-9
God is speaking. He is moving. Will I keep quiet about what I have seen and heard?
God had used Peter and John to heal a lame man. The story is stunning. They were arrested for it. After spending the night in jail, they were bold beyond belief. They drew the line in the sand with the religious leaders. Do we listen to you or to God? They chose God.
May I not keep quiet about what I see God doing.
They (the religious leaders) called them back and warned them that they (Peter and John) were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question—we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.” Acts 4:18-20
I was a dupe of sin. I was stubborn, refusing to believe Jesus. I went around with a chip on my shoulder. But this is the season of reminder. God, my kind and loving Savior God, stepped in. He saved me from a life of hatred. He saved me from a life of selfishness. He stepped right in!!
It was completely His doing. I had absolutely nothing to do with it. He gave me a good bath and I came out a totally clean man. I was washed on the inside. I was washed on the outside. Clean inside and out!! My Savior Jesus poured out a whole new life for me. It is a generous life. It is a gift of right relationship with my Father. He has given me back my life. AND, woo hoo, there is more to come. An eternity of the glorious life. I can count on it. If is a fact Jack!!
So … I am putting my foot down. I really am. I am taking a firm stand on all of this. I am putting my trust in God and concentrating on the essentials that are good for me. I am staying completely away mindless issues and the fine print. It gets me nowhere. I am radically trusting in Jesus. The HOLY Spirit that raised Him from the dead is in me. And with me.
I am putting my foot down.
My heavenly Father is VERY rich. His riches exceed anything I can imagine. They are glorious. Through the power of His Spirit, He can strengthen my inner being. Jesus, the Master, can dwell in my heart. I must have faith to make it happen.
May I have faith and be strengthened in my inner being. May His Spirit stengthen me.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17
There is love and then there is extravagant love. My Father loves me extravagantly. I should love the same way. He isn’t reserved and holding back. Not at all. He sees me from afar and comes running. When I ran from Him he watched everyday waiting for me to return.
On seeing me a long way off, He came running for me. His heart was pounding. He embraced me. He kissed me. He brought me clean clothes, the best He has. He put His ring on my finger; the family ring He has been saving for a special time. He prepared an amazing feast for me. We celebrated. I was lost but He never stopped loving.
May I love like that!!! May I love extravagantly!!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Jesus summons us to a new level of belief. There are no “ifs” in His world. The new plan he inaugerated makes it so. Can anything happen?
Simple answer. Yes.
Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”
Here is what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy on himself by avoiding anything. Particularly when it came to people and relationships. He waded right in and He helped out. So am I strong in the faith? Do I lend a hand to those who are struggling? Or do I just look for the “easy way”?
My approach and attitude should always be, “How can I help?”
May I find how our Father wants me to help!!!
Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” Romans 15:1-4
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it. Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us. God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!