Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Looking for Hope this Christmas?

December 16th, 2014 No comments

christmas ornaments

Christmas, like a priceless diamond, reveals God’s glory through many life-changing messages. As  pastors, we can preach on the birth of Jesus all our lives and never get to the bottom of both the mystery and magnificence of the Messiah.

But I do believe Christmas screams something to us that is very important – something right at the core of what it means to be “God.”

In Luke’s gospel we read of the stunning announcement from a heavenly messenger to an awestruck teenage girl – “You will become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS!” (1:31)

The angel proceeds to share the unparalleled destiny of this anticipated offspring. Mary is speechless. She wonders, “How can this be?” After all, she is a virgin and virgins do not have babies, let alone Messiah babies named Jesus!

What God was declaring had never been done before among human beings. In was not only highly improbable; it was outright impossible!
But the angel was not finished preaching. He was just getting warmed up! What he shares next is the most radical revelation of the entire meaning of Christmas!

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.” (1:37, Amplified)

Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE with GOD!

Virgins having babies…

Sinners being restored into intimacy with God…

Broken hearts being healed…

The sky is the limit…because nothing is impossible with God.

Have you grown cynical?

Do you feel like some things are beyond God’s ability to transform?

Are there areas where you’ve given up or simply lost hope?

Well here’s the best news of all – Merry Christmas! With God nothing is impossible!

Take your self-imposed limitations off of what you believe He can do.

Remember – God can do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think! Let’s receive this amazing gift and trust Him with fresh faith!

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Faith-filled Prayer

December 13th, 2013 No comments

Faith is the Launch Pad of Prayer

“It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. Why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.”

Hebrews 11:6 (Message)

We see from this passage that faith actually precedes prayer. Why? Because you will not earnestly and diligently seek Him in prayer unless you believe that God really exists and you believe He cares enough to respond to your needs.

Now the reverse is also true. If your prayer life is non-existent, what does it reveal about your faith in God? We may profess our deep and abiding faith in Christ but our prayer life will always reveal whether our profession is true.

Understanding the Nature of Faith

Sometimes when we talk of men and women of great faith, the average person simply “checks out.” What comes to their mind is a spiritual superhero with a big “S” on their chest and a long cape! We often feel like spiritual wimps who simply are overmatched by the call to have faith in God. We mistakenly think faith necessarily signifies strength, OUR strength. Faith is something I must muster.

Let me share a story that highlights, what I believe to be, a more biblical understanding of faith:

“A dear friend of mine who was quite a lover of the chase, told me the following story: ‘Rising early one morning I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad, open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and, swinging round and round, fought off the dogs. I felt, just then, that all the dogs in the West could not, and should not capture that fawn after its weakness had appealed to my strength. So it is when human helplessness appeals to Almighty God. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until, at last, I ran into the arms of Almighty God.” (Bounds, The Necessity of Prayer, p.9)

What a powerful picture of biblical faith. Faith is not about YOUR strong ability to trust God. Rather it is the recognition of MY weakness and my desperate need for God’s strength. The paradox is that those strongest in faith are those who are painfully aware of their on weakness. The proud and self-sufficient do not pray. The humble and weak are regulars at the bar of prayer.

Our eyes should be taken off self, removed from focusing upon own weakness and allowed to rest securely upon God’s strength.

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Cultivating Innocence with Faith

March 18th, 2011 No comments

Innocence is cultivated in an atmosphere of faith-filled wonder.

The Bible tells us that the earth is filled with God’s glory! Unfortunately, we live in a nation ravaged by rabid secularism which attempts to strip the world of God and His glory as the Creator. As a result, our high definition techno-color planet becomes a black and white re-run.

To restore our innocence, we need to see God and the world as He created it. I love this quote from the poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes – The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Are you worshipping or simply plucking blueberries?

You see, “Wonder,’ writes Ravi Zacharias, ‘is retained by wise pondering.” We need to put the brakes on our busy, berry-plucking lives to take the time to ponder upon God’s greatness. Only God has the ability to inspire wonder. He goes on to observe, “Ideas have an expiration date for thrills; only the glory of a person is inexhaustible.” You can’t have dynamic faith apart from the greatness of the Person, God.

We grow up as children with the belief that our Dad can do anything. Over time, as we experience the pain and disappointments of life in a fallen world, we are tempted to lose our sense of childlike faith. We become cynical and unbelieving. Take Sarah as an example (Genesis 18:9-14)

God promised her a child in her old age. She laughed. It was not the laugh of childlike joy and excitement. It was the laugh from a heart filled with pain and hopelessness. God reminded her that with Him, nothing was impossible! Nine months later she’s breast-feeding her new son at the nursing home! God got the last laugh!

Do you still believe your heavenly Father can do anything? Have you lost your sense of holy wonder?

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