Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Faith

Faith has always been the mark of a disciple of Jesus. The early disciples were known as Believers. Faith is the total dependence on God. When Adam sinned he steppd out of God-dependence to in-dependence (unbelief). Therefore God puts high priority on faith. Faith is how we are able to get back into a relationship with God (God-dependence – faith ).

Faith advances you beyond your five senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, releases us from our limited capabilities. In faith we move from inability to His – ability. This is the walk of faith we are all called to. Mat 17:20 - He said to them,“Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

What is Faith ?

Faith is an obedient action in response to what God has said. True faith is expressed in
  1. Obedience
  2. Action
  3. Hearing God's Word
Heb 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Faith is having trust, assurance or confidence in another person or that person's words. Having faith on God involves exchanging self-trust for God-trust. We abandon reliance on our limited source of knowledge and start receiving from his unlimited resource.

Two kinds of knowledge

  1. Sense Knowledge – all knowlege to natural man comes through 5 senses – seeing, hearing tasting smelling and touching. This is lilited knowlege described as Man's Knowledge or wisdom.
  2. Revelation Knowledge – not based on 5 senses, nor natural reasoning but on alternative source – the TRUTH of the Word of God. It is recieved through man's spirit, and descibed as 'God's Wisdom'
2Cor5:7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.(NLT) for we walk by faith, not by sight.

The Basis of Faith

The basis of faith in God is in 3 important relaities:
  1. The Nature of God: Heb 6:13 For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name.
    1. He cannot change: Mal 3:6 I am the Lord, and I do not change (NLT)
    2. He cannot fail: Job 42:2 I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 1Chro28:20 Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.
    3. He cannot lie: Num 23:19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
  2. The Redemptive Work of the Son of God : Heb 12:2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 1Cor1:30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.
  3. The Word of God : Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. Jer 1:12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” His Word stands true forever.

How Faith Works

Rom 3:27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. Is to operate in our lives continuously no matter what the circumstances. Jam1:5,6 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
  1. God gives us faith: Rom 1:17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life. The righteous live by HIS faith, i. e. He gives us faith as a gift. Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
  2. Faith Comes by A word From God: GOd encourages us by speraking a “word” relevant to our circumstances. This may come as you read the Bible or hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit inside your spirit. Rom 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
  3. Obedience to The Word: For faith to operate in our situation, we must obey that word. Faith is active not passive. Most of God's Promises are conditional – He will do his part if we do ours – Jams 2:17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
  4. The Crisis, Or “Trial of Our Faith”: This is a period of testing. Everything happening around us appears contrary to what God has said, and there seemsto be no natural evidence for our believing. At this point, our faith rests completely on God' s word (what he has spoken to us) 1Pet 1:6,7 So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
    1. 2Tim2:13 If we are unfaithful,he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. Heb 13:5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.

The Result

The end result is always victory on the part of the believer, bringing Glory to God. 1Jn 5:4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Naaman's Servant Girl

We have many identities. People at workplace, friends, family all of them. But what is our true identity ? We hear many lifestyle gurus tell us that we need to be ourselves. So what is this identity we need to know?

2 Kings 5 mentions a time in Israel where they were invaded by the Aram. They probably killed all the males fit for fighting and all the married women, it is mentioned that they took prisoners young girls and boys to work in the houses of the Aram elite.

So this is a girl who ends up at the house of the very house of the commander of the forces who turned her world upside down. A twist of destiny, she discovers that Naaman suffers from Leprosy – how will we react to such a situation – maybe do a small dance rejoicing in the fact that our enemy has some divine wrath and say that finally someone received that he/she deserves.

What about this girl ?

Naaman's wife gave her a new identity – 'a servant girl' from being 'papa's loved pet' – it would have been a slap in the face. But that never made her lose her SENSE OF IDENTITY of being the daughter of the living God. How many times have we forgotten the inheritance we have received from God – being made his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ. No matter what people around us say we are to remember what our Heavenly Father has called us to be.

But what made her mistress to heed her advice ? The Mistress would have treated her miserably given her lot of work maybe be abused her. But she remained faithful in doing her job and gained favour. Even if the situation was adverse, she never lost her SENSE OF BELONGING. In spite of being a servant and from an enemy country she wishes the best for the Family she was is in and probably did pray for them before the God of her fathers.

She also had a SENSE OF PURPOSE. Naaman's wife might not have shared her husband's condition with anyone else. But in the confines of the Aramian kitchen this alien girl shares her HOPE with her mistress about the prophet of God in Israel . She reali

sed that God had raised her up for proclaiming her faith before people and does not hesitates to inspire the mistress to have confidence on the mighty hand of the God of Israel even though Elisha the prophet had not healed any leper at that time.

If we see further in the passage we see that the mistress TRUSTS the girl and tells her husband who speaks to the King and goes to meet the prophet and is healed with his skin restored to that of a youth. We can only imagine what would have happened to that little girl who in spite of the harsh circumstances decided to depend on the Lord not forgetting her true identity. It is possible she would have even been adopted as the daughter of the family.

Today, like this little girl are we willing to stand witness to God's faithfulness and mercy without forgetting our true identity in spite of the difficult situations we might be in ?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Day with many issues

On the 18th, Sunday I heard a set of 3 sermons delivered by Dr. J. N. Manokaran.

The Older son in The Parable of the Lost Son

Many times we have heard sermons on how the lost son comes back home after
quiting his home after he demands the division of his fathers property. But what was going on with the Oldest Son...???

It seems that he was lost in his own home. If we see the previous parables we see that the Lost coin did not know he was lost and the Lost Sheep knew it was lost but did not know the way. so every time there was some body to search them out - a women and then the shepherd.

Why didn't the older son then ask his father if he could go and look around for his brother. He had lost the sense of UNDERSTANDING his father. He never understood how his father would have felt when his son goes out after fighting with him.Like him we also sometime fail to see what our Heavenly Father actually wants from us we are busy in our righteous activities focused on ourselves that we forget our purpose in Life.

When he comes back from the fields, we see he asks a servant about why there was so much of celebration in the house. He had lost the RELATION with this father, instead of asking his father directly we see him asking a servant, who most probably was trying to divide the family, may be for his own benefit.Instead of asking or putting our requests before God directly we expect someone else to pray for us without doing it ourself.

He couldn't RECONCILE with his brother, instead of hugging him and accepting his brother he is angry. We also see him accuse his brother of spending his money on prostitutes - isn't it a wonder where did he receive this information from...??

He couldn't REJOICE with his father or others. Are we able to rejoice when a brother of ours is blessed ? Or are we envious and start grumbling against God...Why don't i have this ??? We are asked to WEEP with those who WEEP and LAUGH with those who LAUGH. Even though in the later case the person doesn't need you.


Finally we see the father going out to meet him and trying to convince him to join him in celebration. But he also lost the capacity to REPENT of his anger. But unfortunately, it is not written but there is an indication that the older son ever came in. We don't know about what happened to him, we can only speculate.

But what can we learn, many a times we are right there - going to the church, being obedient to parents and all but are we missing the point when it comes to Fellowship with others. Do we look down upon them or we are not able to reconcile with them or accept them as they are.

Let us examine our lives and see that we don't behave like the older son.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spiritual Growth



I thank God for Rick Warren's Book- the purpose Driven Life - is a real eye opener
Everyone looking for questions like - what is the purpose behind my life ?
should have a go at this book for sure.

I am also reading another of his books. Do read if you have an opportunity.