Tag Archive | our faith and trust in Jesus

Luke 14:26 ” If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be My disciple.”

The Greek word here for “hate” doesn’t mean we must despise our family in order to follow Jesus.  What it just means is that we love them less than we love God. It’s called being set apart.  So to this, we are to separate ourselves “morally” from the world view and others that don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus.  In Isaiah 52:11, God tells us to, “Come out from them (the world) and be separate.”  To be set apart for Christ means that we have our priorities correct…God is first, our family is second, the world is third.   For when you make God the most significant person in you life, you are less likely to allow compromise to creep in.  And when God is your everything, you are much better equipped to love those around you more effectively.

Psalm 115:1 ” Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.”

This verse implies… it’s not about us…and it’s not at all about our “righteous acts”.  That’s because God’s infinite mercy and kindness towards us isn’t based on our works.  It’s actually quite the opposite…for in Isaiah 64:6 it says, “…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags to God.”  And if you think about it,  we can’t even take any credit for the relationship we have with God…for without the Cross spanning that chasm between God and man, we’d be lost.  No, all honor needs to go to God, the Creator and source of everything. All glory needs to be ascribed to Him… for He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  (Exodus 34:6)

Psalm 60:11 ” Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.”

Psalm 146:3 puts it another way, “Don’t put your trust in mortal men who cannot save.”  Anytime we put more confidence in another human being rather than God…we’re headed for trouble.  For no matter how powerful, charismatic, or appealing someone is…they’re still a mortal being…full of a fallen nature just like us.   So we need to be very careful not to get sucked into worshiping man… and not God.  For no man can offer us deliverance from sin and eternal salvation.  Only God can do that through His Son Jesus Christ.

Judges 17:6 ” In those days Israel had no King; everyone did as he saw fit.”

This verse is repeated several times in Judges…the Jews had no ruler, instead everyone did what they thought was right, just, and pleasing to them.  But we know the definition of “doing as one sees fit” can mean a hundred things to a hundred people.  So what we see here was a form of anarchy…a absence of governmental rule and authority in the country.  And what we also see was growing confusion and disorder among God’s people.

Romans 6: 23 “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I know your day is busy with lots of last-minute things to do before Christmas.  But I have a present for you…so will you take a moment from your hectic schedule?  Now I know this present isn’t very pretty, in fact it’s very battered looking with red stains on the outside.  And to the world it would seem very old fashion and out of date.  But this present could literally change your life for the better…with joy, peace, and wholeness.  This gift is actually from God, and He, Himself, is offering it to you..  For this wonderful gift is His Son, Jesus Christ…and the whole reason why we celebrate Christmas tomorrow.  So please receive this gift of hope, called the Good News…for Jesus came and died for your sins that you may have eternal life.

II Kings 4:42-44 ” A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. ‘Give it to the people to eat,’ Elisha said. ‘How can I set this before a hundred men?’ his servant asked. But Elisha answered, ‘Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says; They will eat and have some leftover.’ Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the Word of the Lord.”

This story of Elisha is a foreshadowing of Jesus feeding the 5,000 – ( the only story, other than the Resurrection, that is found in all 4 Gospels).  So it must have made quite an impact on the Disciples to witness a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish being multiplied into a huge meal for thousands.  Comparing both stories, we see doubt and skepticism on the part of the faithful…people who had observed many miracles, but couldn’t fathom this one.  We also see confidence and full trust in God that He would bless over and above.  In both cases, there wasn’t just enough, there was plenty to go around…there wasn’t the bare minimum, there was excess to spare.  For God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask, (Ephesians 3:20) and He desires to lavish His blessings on us…to the point of overflowing.

Isaiah 32:8 ” But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”

When we allow the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit to direct and guide our decisions…our decisions will be excellent ones.  When we listen to that still small voice rather than  blurting out the first thing that comes to mind…our words will be timely and principled.  When our plans align with God’s plans for us…we can stand firm with integrity and strength, knowing we are right where God wants us…in the center of His Will.