Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fruit - Faithfulness Pt 4…It’s simple...not easy, just follow the model!

During war games Private Glenn Sollie and Private Andrew Bearshield of the Fifteenth Infantry had been ordered to make their way to a bridge, and guard it. They were told to stand on duty at the bridge until relieved. The two were faithful soldiers. They went and they guarded—and guarded. They stuck to it for three days and three nights without food and without blankets. Then they were—no, not relieved, they were found! They were guarding the wrong bridge!

A funny storybut with a seriously important point; they were found! That really says it all, neither of them were going to allow circumstances to deter the commitment they had made to be faithful to their orders. Should we allow any less dedication to the commitments we have made to the King of the Universe?

To succeed we need to have engrained into our very being the fruit of faithfulness, which the Holy Spirit would delight to produce.

Having laid the proper foundation, a clear understanding of what faith is, we are now ready to examine this fruit. To do that we will define it and then look at the Producer of this fruit as our model of how it functions in real life.

Defined: Steadfast in affection or allegiance. 

This describes exactly how committed God is to us.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

2 Tim. 1:12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

How does God show this attribute of His?

·      He is Faithful in His work

1 Cor. 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

This should give us great confidence, remember the context here, the Church at Corinth was a Church with a lot of sin problem! Does this mean we can relax toward sin? No! The point is God is faithful to us no matter what we do!

1 Thess. 5:24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

2 Thess. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.

Challenge: Even when we do not understand what God is doing, are we faithful to Him? No matter what we think about what someone has done, are we faithful to continue to represent Christ to them?

·      He is Faithful in His teaching!

         All four aspects:

                  (a) Conviction

John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

                  (b) Chastisements

Psalm 119:75 I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

(c) Testings

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can                                                           stand up under it.

                  (d) Persecutions

1 Peter 4:14-19 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

Challenge: When God convicts, do you receive that truth? When He chastises, do you humble yourself and accept it? When He tests, do you look for where He desires growth? When you are persecuted for Him, do you thank Him for that honor? When someone in your life is convicted or chastised, do you patiently help them through that time? When someone in your life is going through a test, do you proactively try to encourage? When someone in your life is suffering for the cause of Christ, do you offer comfort and pray for them?

·      He is Faithful concerning sin!

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

2 Tim. 2:13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Challenge: When you sin, do you go to Him for cleansing and believe His promise that He will restore you? When you see someone in sin, do you think..."I am glad I am not like that!" or "Except for the grace of God I could do that!" When someone sins against you do you forgive them and offer restoration?

Faithfulness is that quality that allows the greatest maturity to take place in our life! In our next and last Devo on Faithfulness we will look at what things the enemy uses to keep us from being faithful.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fruit - Faithfulness Pt 3…Understanding the purpose of something brings ownership.

A very famous “New Age” writer wrote this: "The only God who seems to me to be worth believing in is impossible for mortal man to understand, and therefore he teaches us through the impossible." She goes on to state that many Christians want …"to make God possible, to make him comprehensible to the naked intellect, domesticate him so that he's easy to believe in. Every century the church makes a fresh attempt to make Christianity acceptable. But an acceptable Christianity is not Christian; a comprehensible God is no more than an idol."

A person that admired Christ but had no personal relationship with Him; yet understood that the True God must be approached by faith, wrote this.

It is essential that before we look at the fruit of faithfulness we make sure we understand clearly our need for faith.

Why is Faith so important?

·      It is the only way to Please God!

Hebrews 11:6   And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 

·      It is the only way to be Justified.

Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

·      It is counted as Righteousness.

Romans 4:5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,

Philippians 3:8–9 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

·      It is the Channel for salvation.

Romans 5:2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

·      It is Key to our ability to understand spiritual things.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

·      It is the Scripture's prescribed way for us to live!

2 Cor. 5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight--

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

Ephes. 6:16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.

1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

1 Cor. 9:24-27 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.  And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.

·      Lastly, we need to ask ourselves how do we gain Faith?

Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

John 20:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

2 Tim 3:15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

As we meditate on our own faith let’s ask ourselves these questions:

How does faith help us understand God?
What does it mean to walk by faith?
What makes faith different from believing?
Does Faith come easy?
Besides the Word of God how do we gain Faith?