We do a lot of things to keep ourselves looking good, don't we? We get our tummies tucked, fat sucked, and our eyebrows plucked. We will even go and have our faces lifted so there are no saggy cheeks. Yet, we invest little time in our spiritual health. I put on a sign at a congregation I used to preach at that said, "Stop in for a faith lift." Do we do that? Do we desire to have our faith lifted at Bible studies? If we want our faith to be lifted, or to grow, we must desire to have that happen and seek the Word of God. Last night I taught a lesson that I thought was terrible. It didn't flow like I wanted it to. I didn't communicate as well as I had planned. I do know what Rom 10:17 says, so I know God can take my weak lesson and make it great to someone who needs it. So what is this "faith" we are talking about?
Vine's speaks of faith as having three main elements. They are as follows:
1. A firm conviction, producing a full acknowledgement of God's revelation or truth. We must be careful what we are firmly convicted of. Saul of Tarsus was firmly convicted that persecuting the church was correct. Acts 8:1-3 He later comes to the knowledge of the truth and realizes his mistake. 1Co 15:9
2. A personal surrender to Him. I always say that we do not accept Christ as many teach today. We submit to Christ and He accepts us. We must surrender to God. Surrender is defined as yielding to power; to give oneself up; to relinquish. If we are to have "faith" we must give up the power of control in our lives. We must yield to Christ's authority. We must relinquish all to Christ and live for Him. Gal 2:20
3. A conduct inspired by such surrender. So many people are feeling defeated today and have no energy to face life's difficulties. These difficulties are hard, there's no doubt about that, but our faith can lift us past them. When we feel defeated in life we all need that faith lift. It can be attained in fellowship with God, His people, and meditation on His Word. What does your conduct say about you. Does your conduct communicate to others you have surrendered to Christ?
Take time to look at your faith. Do you have a faith that dictates your conduct (3) because you have surrendered, or relinquished the power of controlling you life to God and gave yourself up to Him (2)? Do you have this surrendered conduct as a result of the firm conviction (1) that Jesus, God's only begotten Son Jn 3:16, died for your sins, was buried, and rose again after three days? 1Co 15:3,4 If your life is not dictated by this paragraph you have a faith problem. Faith today is taught as a thought process. I can believe and receive!!! Then when Satan attacks us our "faith" isn't strong enough to last the battle. Not because God is weak, but because our faith is broken from false teachings.
You see faith is in our conduct, not a mere mental assertion. Does your conduct say you are one of God's children? Are you taking Jesus' yoke and learning from Him? Mt 11:29
Last night's bad lesson was still based on God's Word and will no doubt strengthen someone even though my lesson was not to my satisfaction. The power is in the message not the messenger. In our struggles we must learn from Christ, hear His Word, and apply it to our lives. That is walking by faith and having our faith lifted daily.
Remember God loves you this much!
I'm reminded of the chorus of the old hymn that goes, "Love lifted me, Love lifted me, When nothing else would help, Love lifted me." Today, allow God's love, your active and growing faith lift you past your struggles!
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Hear The Word- Rom 10:17; Acts 4:4
We Must Believe or Have Faith- Heb 11:6; Acts 16:31
We Must Repent- Lk 13:3; Acts 17:30
We Must Confess Christ Before Others- Mt 10:32; Acts 8:37
We Must Be Immersed Into Christ (Baptized)- 1Pe 3:21; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38
We Must Remain Faithful- Rev 2:10; Acts 14:22