What does the Bible say about faith and obedience

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“But 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 diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sin” (John 8:24).

“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (I Samuel 15:22).

The Lord will take “vengeance on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8). Continue reading

#bible-study, #faith, #obedience

Powerful faith in action

Today, Ed Mathew’s devotional is based in Philemon.

Faith in action is powerful. It reveals the riches of living in Jesus. It leads others to see the beauty of Christianity. It draws people to the Lord. The most convincing faith is a demonstrated faith, II Thessalonians 1:11,12. Actions are more persuasive than words.

Focus question: How does your faith show itself at home, at school, in the workplace, in the congregation?

Update: This was supposed to have been sent to my microblog, but it’s still OK for here.

#faith #practice #devotional

Have faith

I posted this earlier today over on my microblog, but nobody reads it (which is fine with me), and I thought this deserving of a good read. May it encourage someone today.

Have faith. Trust in God. Believe that he will provide. Has he not done so in the past? Has he not cared for your every need? Have you not seen his hand move when you were helpless? Are you not his child, in Christ? Did you not obey the gospel and receive his grace? God cares for his own. He has promised to care for those who seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Rest in him. Be at peace. Know that he is God and he sees your need. Give thanks for his goodness toward you.

#faith, #god, #providence, #trust

We do not need a miracle to help someone facing hard times

In 1 Kings 17 Elijah is fed in two different miraculous ways – 1) wild ravens on an orderly mission, and 2) a hungry widow with bottomless jars. But that does not mean we need either of these to help someone in hard times.

In 1 Kings 18:3-4 we are introduced to a man named Obadiah who did something rather wonderful, dangerous and costly, but not miraculous. He fed one-hundred persecuted people, hidden in two caves, with bread and water.

While bread and water may not seem very impressive to some observers, bread and water just happened to be two items difficult to come by during the three-year climate change Samaria faced. And yet Obadiah came through so the prophets of the Lord could persevere.

The miraculous times of God-given food and drink recorded in the Bible are interesting moments to think about and they bring with them valuable lessons (Matthew 16:5-12), but as James (who was familiar with the lessons of Elijah’s story – James 5:17-18) told the church in the first century, doing what we can to help someone facing hard times does not take a miracle, but (like Obadiah) it still takes a living faith to use our God-given blessings.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17 NKJV)

#benevolence, #faith, #helping, #miracles

Believe it and persuade others

This quote from Napolean Hill has direct spiritual application.

If you don’t believe it yourself, don’t ask anyone else to do so.

It is virtually impossible not to transmit your doubts and insecurities to others through body language, tone of voice, inflection, word choice, and other subtle characteristics. When you show by your actions that you lack self-confidence, other people also begin to doubt your ability to perform. You can gain the respect and confidence of others. Begin by making a list of all the things you like about yourself and the things you would like to change. Make a conscious effort to build upon your positive strengths and correct your weaknesses. It may not be easy, but if you assess yourself objectively and persevere in your efforts, you will eventually prevail.

Hill applies this to one’s self-concept. We may apply it to the gospel. If we are not convinced of the truth of the message, it will come through to others. Confidence and certainty beget more of the same.

#faith #certainty #quotes

You may go: Mark 7.29-30 VOTD

“Then he said to her, ‘Because you said this, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.’ She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”

Mark 7.29-30

The same faith that caused the Syrophoenician woman to go to Jesus caused her to leave him when he said her daughter was well. She believed Jesus had healed her child.

What Jesus says, he will do. If he says it, we may and must trust him. When he says he will provide for our needs, we ought to be believe him. When he send us and promises us his empowering presence, we should go.

#Jesus #faith #VOTD

Man in his 30s lives 1940s lifestyle. I know some saints like that.

Ben Sansum is 35 years old, but he lives in 1946. Ben’s clothing, his home, the music he listens to – all come from an era before he was even born. BBC News recently paid Ben a visit at his home in Cambridgeshire, England to learn more about his decision to live in the past.

via Meet The 35-Year-Old Man Who Lives In 1946

I’ve not been able to watch this video yet. But the text reminds me that I know of a few saints who are living in the 40s or 50s, as far as their faith goes. It seems like they’ve not learned to apply the primitive truth of the gospel to a 21st-century world.

It’s not a sign of faithfulness to live and speak like people of 70 or 80 years ago. Or even to live like first-century folk, in tunics and sandals and riding donkeys. (We once met some people like that, too.)

Is it a challenge? Sure. But it’s worse to remain stuck in the past that doesn’t represent, necessarily, the original pattern of the Way.

You take it from here.

#faith #pattern #past