FAITH IN PRACTICE

And the righteous will live by his faith – Habakkuk 2:4b


INTRODUCTION


Our whole lives depend on faith – from our rising from bed to the going back to it. We wake up, do the normal things because we believe that the earth will still rotate on its axis, that the sun will shine even through storms and rain.


• That plants, crops, trees will grow even when there is drought;
• That our vehicles and even aircraft will be able to take us to and fro. The streets will be able to hold our cars, never mind how many potholes;
• That we will be able to eat and digest our food;
• That doctors will be able to heal us;
• Teachers, lecturers will be able to teach us;
• That security agencies will be able to protect us from those who wish us harm;
We can go on and on. In fact, even right now most of us are comfortable sitting on our chairs because we have faith that they will hold our weight and keep us secure.
In fact, our whole lives revolve around things we believe in, both seen and unseen.

  1. SO, WHAT IS FAITH?

  2. a. The All Nations English Dictionary defines Faith as:
    • Strong belief, trust, confidence
    • Loyalty to one’s promises or word of honour.

b. Webster’s New World Dictionary also defines Faith as:
• Trust
• Unquestioning Belief in God
• Anything believed
• Complete trust or confidence
• Loyalty

  1. BIBLICAL DEFINATION
    We are talking about God and His Word so it’s important that we find out what God means by faith. In Hebrews 11:1, we read that Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This means that the nature of faith that is acceptable before God is a faith that is triumphant in the worst situations. In the New Testament faith conveys the idea of trust, a firm internal conviction regarding the truthfulness of someone or some claim.
    It is faith that believes in spiritual realities and leads to:
    a) Righteousness
    b) Seeking God
    c) Believing in God’s goodness
    d) Having complete confidence in God’s Word
    e) Obeying God’s command
    f) Regulating life on God’s promises
    g) Rejecting the spirit of this present evil age
    h) Seeking a Heavenly home
    i) Persevering in trials and testing
    j) Blessing the next generation
    k) Refusing sin’s pleasures
    l) Enduring persecution
    m) Performing mighty acts of righteousness
    n) Suffering for God
    A tall list but as we read in Philippians 2:13 (NLT) – “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”; God who lives in us by His Spirit continues to work in us to give us the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. He is the originator of faith and He is our Helper.
  2. In 1 Kings 18:36-39, Elijah practises his faith by courageously challenging King Ahab for his disobedience (rebuking all of Israel, confronting the 450 prophets of Baal). His faith led him to use only the weapons of prayer and faith in God. His confidence in God is indicated by the brevity and simplicity of his prayer. He didn’t need a Genesis to Revelation kind of prayer nor did he stomp and wag his fingers at God. He prayed in agreement with God’s will. Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal and then his prayer was to reveal God’s grace to His people and thus turn their hearts back to God.
  3. We too must put our faith in practice as we see so much evil and wrongdoing in our society. Instead of the daily complaining we must put our faith to work by praying in agreement with God’s will. Titus 2:14, reveals to us that Christ has redeemed for Himself, a people who are His very own and eager to do good. We must therefore use Hebrews 4:14-16 as well as 1 John 5:14-15 to pray for one another so that we will live in the power of righteousness that we have been saved to practice. We must trust God to empower us to change our generation.
  4. In Galatians 1:1-10, Paul was horrified that the Christians in Galatia were allowing the Judaizers to persuade them to abandon their faith in the gospel of salvation by faith only in the Lord Jesus Christ and to accept the false notions that they had to become Jews through circumcision and adherence to rules and regulations before they could become true Christians. It was so false that Paul virtually reined curses on those who brought this false gospel. And are we not facing the same things? Prayer camps, strange prophecies and regulated practices, rituals and dogmas.
  5. Let’s put our faith into practice and accept that Christ’s saving purpose is the deliverance of us believers from the evil that dominates this world’s societies. We must live for God and refuse to be governed by the prevailing values, wisdom, opinions, corrupt desires and selfish pleasures of the people of this world. We must despise evil and love what is righteous – this is our faith – we are a people delivered from evil and brought into God’s marvelous light as we read in 1 Peter 2:9.
    We must have our mind conformed to God’s way of thinking by reading and meditating on His Word as the Bible tells us in Psalm 119:11 & 148; John 8:31 – 32 & 15:7.
    We must have our plans and ambitions determined by heavenly and eternal fruits and not by this evil, temporal and transient age, no matter how attractive. We must avoid being so gullible and faint-hearted. We say that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent. Acting out our faith is what makes us witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. In Luke 7:1-10, the Roman Centurion heard of the God of Jews and His mighty power being displayed in Jesus and he believed in Him and actually sought His help. His faith was commended by Jesus because it surpassed anything found among the Jews. The centurion’s faith combined a long concern for another person – his servant- with great trust in Jesus. He was deemed an unbeliever by the Jews but he had all the elements of a believer in Jesus’ eyes.
    We are believers but is our faith in the Author and Perfecter of our faith in Jesus Christ evident in the things we do?
    • Do people see the power of Jesus in the way we practise our Christian faith.
    • Do we love one another us Christ has loved us?

Conclusion
Christ Jesus says He has overcome the world and indeed He has by His death and resurrection. His love is abundant – we know it and experience it daily. His grace is divine – we experience that too daily. By our actions let’s bring glory to God and enjoy the freedom and power that our faith brings us.
Let’s dedicate our lives to God and ask Him to increase our faith.

Stay Blessed!

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EXCELLING IN THE GRACE OF GIVING

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness
and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2
Corinthians 8:7.


INTRODUCTION
We are children of God the Father through rebirth. It is by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ who died that we may have life and have it more abundantly – Ephesians 2:8&9 & John
10:10b .

We get this faith through the promptings of the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and
makes us know about the righteousness which is ours in Christ in God. So our spiritual rebirth is
by the activity of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We live because of our Triune God and He gives us all of Himself– it is a giving of the whole of


the Godhead and it is total. The urge to give in the service of God is therefore God-given
because we have the DNA of God who is the ultimate giver. Praise God for the word of God
which gives us not only examples but also an insight into Biblical giving. Our motives are
important. Our actual gift is also important. God will accept every offering which is given in true


faith and dedication to righteousness as Abel did in Genesis 4.
If our offering lacks sincere obedient faith and our motives are evil, God will reject our offering
as He did that of Cain. God takes pleasure in our offerings and thanksgivings only when we are
striving to live a righteous life according to His will.
Jesus Christ’s willingness to give is an example that all believers are to follow. Our priority in life
is not our own comfort – it is service, and we are to serve Christ by serving others. His grace
toward us should be reflected in our grace towards others – grace not only in forgiveness but in
the material blessings we have been given and should share.
Our attitude about giving has spiritual significance. Paul says it is evidence of our love – our
concern for others. We all need to excel in the grace of giving. How do we do this?
Let us look at some 11 principles:
Principle 1: Outward circumstances and difficulties should not hinder generosity in giving. The
Macedonians gave from poverty, not abundance. They willingly gave because they wanted to,


not because they had to. Their giving far exceeded their financial ability.


Principle 2: All financial giving should be proceeded by self-giving. We give ourselves first!!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a
living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1


Principle 3: As Christians, we need to be taught the principle of grace-giving and to abound in
grace giving. Luke 6:38, clearly says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed


down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure
you use, it will be measured to you.”


Principle 4: Our goal in giving should be fulfilled and brought to completion. What we start out
to do must be completed.

Principle 5: Generous giving is a tangible way to give evidence of the sincerity of our love. We
put our money where our mouth is! If we love Jesus let’s give towards His work.


Principle 6: There is a connection between “the grace of God” and “the grace of giving” as we
read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our giving should be therefore
rooted in His giving, He gave it all.


Principle 7: Grace giving moves God to supply and meet all needs. The needs are resupplied
that work may continue. If we pledge to God to increase our giving each year, He will always
supply for our every need so that we lack nothing. We will be left with more to give next time.

Principle 8: The willingness to give is more important than the amount given. The widow gave
her mite and we can be sure that the Lord honoured her giving and supplied her needs
immediately.


Principle 9: Generous spirit led giving will have a godly influence on others’ giving.


Principle 10: The attitude in which your money is given is of utmost importance to God. Think


of Cain and Abel. God did not disapprove of Cain’s offering because it was from crops. His
hearts attitude was wrong!! Abel gave with the right heart, the right motives and with righteous
living.

Principle 11: Generous giving is the appropriate response to God’s unspeakable gift! God has
given His all and so much. God is looking for generous givers. Are you one of them?
To Ponder: Let us pray MHB 923


WE GIVE THEE BUT THINE OWN
1 We give thee but thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.
2 May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our first-fruits give.

Stay Blessed!

Chronicle – Friday 6 th November, 2020
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