Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

                   Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps. 20:7

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

     The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

A prayer by Scotty Smith     

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not a fun thing, it’s a good thing—it’s an essential thing, even afreeing thing to realize how little control we have over people, places and things.

For only by acknowledging the limits of our humanity will we rest in the beauty of your sovereignty; only by giving up trying to control our circumstances will we come to rejoice in your providences; only by accepting messes as a part of life will we turn to your mercies in the midst of strife; only by crying “Uncle!” will we learn to cry “Abba!”

Father, as this day begins, (and continues), settle our restless hearts and relax our desperate grip on stories, hearts and situations for which your grace alone is sufficient. We turn from our version of “horses and chariots,” and acknowledge that our trust is in you.

By the truth of the gospel, the pledge of your faithfulness and the power of your Spirit, we trust you with people, for whom we have great concerns—even fear and anger. May “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6) trump our penchant for “worry expressing itself through meddling.”

We trust you with our unresolved conflicts and broken relational stories. In Jesus, you have commissioned us as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20) and called us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Father, we need special grace, for sometimes the emotional toll and toil of messy relationships makes us want to join Jonah on a ship to Tarshish.

Lastly, Father, we trust you with our health (it often feels so fragile); our wealth (because it’s so fleeting and deceptive), our plans (for you alone know the future); and our heart (for it is yours, though we often pawn it off).

It’s because of your great and grace-full love for us in Jesus that we make our prayer, acknowledge our fears, and surrender our trust. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ safe and strong name.

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Faith is not a weed to grow upon every dunghill, without care or culture: it is a plant of heavenly growth, and requires divine watching and watering. He who is the author of faith and the finisher of it, is the only one who can increase it. As no man ever obtains his first faith apart from the Spirit of God, so no man ever getteth more faith except through the working of that selfsame divine power. The Spirit which rests upon Jesus must anoint us also, or the measure of faith will not be enlarged.

Breathe then the prayer to God, my brother, “Increase my faith:” this will be a far wiser course than to resolve in your own strength, “I will believe more,” for, perhaps, in rebuke of your pride you will fall into a decaying state, and even believe less. After having made so vainglorious a resolution, you may fall into grievous despondency: do not therefore say, “I will accumulate more faith,” but pray “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” Herein is your wisdom.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled “Increased Faith The Strength Of Peace Principles,” delivered October 15, 1876.

HT: Daily Spurgeon

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A daily prayer request

Make it your daily prayer that you may have an increase of faith. According to your faith will be your peace. Cultivate that blessed root more, and sooner or later, by God’s blessing, you may hope to have the flower. You may not perhaps attain to full assurance at once: it is good sometimes to be kept waiting; we do not value things that we get without trouble. But though it tarry, wait for it. Seek on, and expect to find.

~ J.C. Ryle

Tract: Faith and Assurance

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Do you really believe the truths of Ephesians 1:19-20 and 3:20?  Do you really believe that God is the God of the impossible?  How do the lives of men like Noah and David challenge us to trust the God of the impossible?

Kim Cunningham @ The Biblical Counseling Blog has a short yet edifying post on this theme and ends by asking,

“In what situations in life do you need to remember that strength is made perfect in weakness?”

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Many of you have heard perhaps of the 4 G’s that Ken Sande has developed in teaching Christian how to handle conflict in their lives.

Well, Tim Chester has developed another set of 4 G’s to help us as we struggle with the normal trials and challenges of life.  Very practical.

“The key to gospel change is the recognition that change takes place through faith. We become Christians by faith and we grow as Christians by faith. Faith recognizes that God is bigger and better than anything sin might offer. So what’s the connection between faith in God and your Monday-morning struggles? Identifying and remembering these four liberating truths about God will help:

  1. God is great – so we don’t have to be in control
  2. God is glorious – so we don’t have to fear others
  3. God is good – so we don’t have to look elsewhere
  4. God is gracious – so we don’t have to prove ourselves

A failure to embrace one of these four truths lies behind most of our sinful behavior and negative emotions. So ‘the four Gs’ are like a diagnostic kit to help us identify the gospel truth that we need focus on.”

Memorize and apply these four truths directly to your mind and heart today!

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Imperfect but sustaining faith

I am preparing to preach this week on Mark’s account of the father who cried out “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.”  Learning a lot about faith and I thought this post from Eddie was so appropriately timed in my life. (Click to enlarge the image)

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I mentioned this quote in my message on Sunday from Mark 7:24-30 where Jesus commends a woman for her great faith (see Matthew 15:21-28 also).  What is a life of increasing faith look like?

The life of increasing faith is like a circle that grows and grows until everything is brought into it, and nothing is left out of it. Every area of your existence, every plan you make, every word you utter, every argument you reason, every mood you allow to dominate you, every social situation you take part in, every impression you receive, every problem you work on, every delight you choose, every affection you embrace, every thought you entertain—is taken captive to God and His Word. It means rigorously and consciously, at every point, putting the Word of God above the word of any man, the report of any witness, or the insistence of any emotion in your heart.

–Andre Seu, “Increasing Faith”, WORLD blog

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I preached yesterday on the story of the unnamed Gentile woman who approached Jesus regarding her demon-posssessed daughter.  Jesus commended her eventually for her great faith!  She kept on begging Jesus despite her “disqualifications”, Jesus’ initial silence, the disciples desire to show her the door, and when Jesus emphasized the primacy of his ministry to Israel. She would not have fit very well in our American culture that is obsessed with what we think we deserve.

I made this observation regarding her request:

“I love this, don’t you? Simple faith, persistent faith! Probably somewhat noisy faith! “Lord, have mercy on me!” She doesn’t demand her rights—like we in our culture are so used to demanding. She doesn’t ask for an entitlement! She asks for divine mercy. As Tim Keller in his new book on Mark writes, ““She’s not saying, “Lord, give me what I deserve on the basis of my goodness.” She’s saying, “Give me what I don’t deserve on the basis of your goodness.–and I need it now.”


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