Monthly Archives: November 2020

But Without Faith, Part 2

Welcome back! This is part 2 of a blog I published about a month ago entitled, “But without Faith” where we discussed what faith is. Today we will continue with this topic and look at answering the following questions:

Where does faith come from?

How do you and I get faith?

How does our faith grow?

First, let us recap a bit and look at some definitions for faith:

allegiance to a duty or person,

belief and trust in and loyalty to God,

a firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

The Bible tells us that, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

If we cannot see faith…how can we get it? To have the faith that is talked about in the Bible, we must open the Book and read the Words of God. As I delve into this topic, please know that this is not based on my own opinion. I highly encourage you to open God’s Word and read for yourself, that is where we find our answers. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches, not I.  I can pick a topic and write about it, but I must rely on the Holy Spirit (and so must you) to impart the truth. He does this by the revealing truths in the inspired Word of God.

The Holy Spirit calls you, sparks your interest, guides you and teaches you.  Do not be afraid to dig deep. The Holy Spirit is your Helper, He will help you to understand.

As a child of God, He longs for you to know Him. Take out your Bible and let’s get started.

Where does faith come from?  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God.”    Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)

Faith comes from God in the form of a gift. We would not have faith if not for God having His plan and reaching down to offer it to us. We then have the option to choose to accept faith through salvation. Salvation and redemption through Jesus Christ.

God uses faith as the way to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us, His creation, so very much. He desires for us to have a way to know Him.

How do you and I get faith?

“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17

As we hear the Word of God and the Salvation plan, which is what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we are given faith. Faith to believe that there is something more to life than just existing and going through the motions of living day to day…faith to have HOPE in Someone bigger than us, Someone who has a unique plan for each of His beloved children!

It is the Word of God that produces faith. A person could receive faith while reading about Jesus in the  Bible or by hearing a sermon teaching the Good News or by you or I sharing the story of Jesus—any time the true gospel of Jesus is communicated, there is potential for faith! How exciting! That you and I can be part of the chain of events that God has orchestrated!

How does our faith grow?

If we are not in control of even getting faith on our own…how can you and I increase our faith. I wish to be more faithful.

We can pray and ask for more faith just as the apostles asked of Jesus in Luke 17:5,

“And the apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’”

Our faith grows as we build our lives on the truth of Jesus Christ, what we are taught about Him in and directly from God’s Word. We model our lives after Him. It is built on the truth of what God says, not what man says. When we are listening to pastors, preachers, spiritual songs, or fellow Christians, we must hold those words/that teaching up to God’s Word. We must stay away from teaching that is not in line with Biblical truths. We need to be careful about who is teaching us.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow Him. Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7

We need to always remember that faith was given to each believer as a gift. We cannot take credit for it or tout it in the face of others or think of ourselves in a prideful way.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 (NKJV)

By knowing our saving faith comes from God alone, it should encourage us as Christians to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought; but remember that God decides the measure of faith each one receives.

So, as we can see from reading God’s Word…that receiving faith comes from God and our faith increases by spending time in His Word.

I want to end on a note of thanksgiving. We should be thankful always for the faith God has given us, thankful that He chooses to use us in ministering to others. It is a privilege and honor to serve the Lord and His people.

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:12-14

May God bless you with wisdom and increased faith as you dig deep into His Word.

Abounding in Hope

This world is full of disappointments, heartaches and sadness. Wouldn’t it be great to have hope?! How about to be abounding in hope?

Abounding means to have or possess in great quantity, existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity or supply.

I do not know your situation or what you have been dealing with, but God knows. There have been times in my life when I have felt a sense of hopelessness, stemming from helplessness. I think we all go through it at one time or another. The important thing to note, is to NOT stay in the state or feeling of hopelessness. Easy to say, but harder to do.

How can you and I find hope? The world shifts under our feet, people let us down, we let people down, life is hard. Can someone just tell me how?!

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NKJV)

God has the answer. in fact, He IS the answer. He IS a God of hope and He fills His children with hope. Filled, not just a tiny quantity…but abounding in hope! He knows we need it to survive and thrive here. Not that all of our problems magically disappear but it puts them in a brighter perspective, knowing that God IS in control.

We are given a hope that does not disappoint, because this hope comes from Gods love directly poured into our hearts, it is a hope that helps us hold on and endure hardships and pain.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and we walk with God, we receive within us, the power of the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven, a Helper was given to all believers. Look up John 16:5-15 and see the Power believers are given!

The Holy Spirit was given to us by God to help us. If we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and help; we can experience joy and peace during our darkest times. He will walk with us through our troubles, sorrows and heartaches.

We need to hold on to hope. There will come a day when all will be made right and evil will be defeated and forever erased!

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, as the former things have passed away.” Revelations 21:4 (NKJV)

May you abound in the hope of God, and may He fill you with His peace and joy.

#1 You Are Loved

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The “world” that is spoken of here is the world of all of mankind…unbelievers, those who do not know God and are against God. That would be everyone. We are all unbelievers and against God until He seeks us and opens our spiritual eyes to Salvation.

God does not want anyone to perish, but to come to belief in Jesus so they can have eternal life. He loved all of us long before we loved Him. While we were neck deep in our own sin, muck and prideful living.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)

While you were still a sinner God demonstrate His love for you by giving His Son Jesus to die for you. His ONLY SON.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 (NIV) These are words straight from Jesus. He gave His life for you while you were still a sinner. Is there any greater love than for someone to give their life for you?

Who would you give your life for? I would dare to guess you would give your life for your children, grandchildren or another loved one, but how about an enemy?

No? Me either… I am not sure I would give my life for an enemy. BUT Jesus did!

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV

What does it mean to be dead in our transgressions?

Transgressions are sins, the wrong things we do against God and His laws. We were dead” in our sins.  Look at Romans 6:23.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23

The first section of this verse begins by saying believers “were dead” in their sins. These immoral actions were part of their life, following the lead of Satan, instead of God. The wages or pay that we get from sin is death. Why death?

This spiritual death began as the result of sin in the garden of Eden.

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17 (NKJV).

I don’t want to earn death!

Wait! Look at the second part of Romans 6:23, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Because Jesus, God’s only Son, took your place and my place on the cross and died for all the wrong things we have done and will ever do…we have the FREE GIFT of ETERNAL LIFE!

When we choose to believe in Jesus as our Savior, God makes a covenant with us. Because you and I are loved by our Creator.

“Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you”. Isaiah 54:10 NIV

God’s unfailing love will not be shaken. Can you imagine a world where the mountains and the hills are shaken and not just moved but removed from the earth?! Yet all the while, God remains steadfast.

I wondered, what is a covenant? It is not a word we hear too often. Covenants are not just contracts, and a very serious commitment to God. With God it is a binding promise of far-reaching importance in the relations between Him and His children.

In Isaiah 54:10, we see the covenant of God’s peace will not be removed from us. The Hebrew word Shalom means peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, and tranquility. Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” When troubles on earth make us anxious, seem to overwhelm us and make us want to give up, we can ask Jesus to give us His peace… a peace that is far beyond any earthly comfort.

Also, God’s unfailing love will not be shaken.  No matter what is happening in this world around us (and it is pretty shaky right now) or what is happening within our lives, God’s love will not fail or be shaken. He loves us. He has our best interest at heart always.

If that is not enough, God keeps adding! God will continue to have compassion and mercy on us. Mercy is God’s withholding of the judgement we deserve for our sin, but instead He grants us the forgiveness we don’t deserve and we could never earn (We are saved by grace, Ephesians 2:5) because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.

What an Awesome God! What a Wonderful Creator! What a Wonderful Savior! We will talk more about grace and becoming a new creation next time. Until then, may God bless you as you seek Him.

Find me on YouTube.com Tami Bemis Cole