January 23, 2018

Give Us Faith To Be Strong

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Give us faith to be strong
Father, we are so weak
Our bodies are fragile and weary
As we stagger and stumble to walk where You lead
Give us faith to be strong

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long, but it’s hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us peace when we’re torn
Mend us up when we break
This flesh can be wounded and shaking
When there’s much too much trouble for one heart to take
Give us peace when we’re torn

Give us hearts to find hope
Father, we cannot see
How the sorrow we feel can bring freedom
And as hard as we try, Lord, it’s hard to believe
So, give us hearts to find hope

Lord, give us faith to be strong
Give us peace when we’re torn
Give us faith, faith to be strong

 Singer / Songwriter: Andrew Peterson

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This song is a prayer—an acknowledgment of our great need for God in all things.  As in every area of our lives, we need the help, the provision, the supply that only God can give.  Even, maybe especially, regarding faith.

It is true that we need to have faith; no doubt.  Jesus spoke often to His apostles and the other disciples about faith.  In the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5 we hear about the woman with a long-term bleeding disease who is healed simply by touching Jesus’ garments.  It is an incredible record!  Listen…

She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,  for she kept saying,  ‘If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.’  And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source,  and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.

verses 27-29

There is a pivotal point here: she believed—she had faith—that if she could just get close enough to simply touch Jesus’ clothing, she would be healed.  Remember she “kept saying, ‘If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.’”  And she took the action necessary.

Having  faith requires action.

As I think about this scenario, it seems to me there were a number of strong deterrents standing in her way.

  • The crowd
    verse 24 tells us, “…a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him”
  • Her own physical frailty
    verses 25 and 26 say she “…had been subject to bleeding for twelve years…had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and…instead of getting better she grew worse”
  • The social stigma of a woman touching a strange man in public
    Verse 33 relates, “But the woman…though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”

In spite of these things she took action because she believed “…the reports she had heard about Jesus…”.   Sisters, put yourself  in her sandals…would you (would I?) have had the courage, the fortitude, the faith to do what she did?  I do believe we could…we would.   I do believe we do.

Throughout our lives, we find ourselves experiencing similar circumstances and hard times. Right now, today, I know some of you are living through difficult, demanding, hard situations. Whether they are health-related (like this woman), or difficulties in relationships, or financial problems, or a myriad of other troubles…we need to have faith that God will take care of whatever might be our need.  Our faith is based on our knowledge of His promises in His Word.

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

So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

And without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists
and that He rewards those who seek Him.
Verse 6

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you
through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
According as His divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness,
through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…”
2 Peter 2:1-4

May we keep all these things in mind as we have faith in the Almighty God Who provides—Jehovah-Jireh.

  • When we feel weak, may we ask for ‘strength to be faithful.’
  • When we are weary, may we ask for ‘grace to go on.’
  • When we are anxious, may we ask for ‘peace when we’re torn.’
  • When we can’t see the way out or through or around or beyond, may we ask for ‘hearts to find hope.’
  • When we feel we have nothing left, may we ask for ‘faith to be strong.’

We must always remember that there is no need we will ever have that He is not already aware of.  He is the Eternal God our Provider—Jehovah-Jireh!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

O Lord, we recognize that we need Your help in everything.  As the beautiful lyrics of this song sing out, we too ask You, Father, please give us faith to be strong…give us strength to be faithful…give us grace to go on…give us peace when we’re torn…give us hearts to find hope.  We thank You, now in advance, for each of these things because we have already been given a measure of faith by Your grace and mercy.  We have faith placing our confidence and trust in You, El Shaddai.  And we pray all these things in Jesus’ precious and powerful Name.  Amen.

Hope (A Profession)

SeekingHimLogo
So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering
the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it,
for He who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His Word.

Hebrew 10:23 AMP

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

In the KJV the same verse says,

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering
(for He is faithful that promised).

What are we seeing here?  Hope is the profession of our faith.  What is  ‘profession’ then?  In biblical terms, this is a calling.  It is ‘an occupation, practice, or vocation requiring mastery of a complex set of knowledge and skills through formal education and/or practical…’.

So if we take the AMP version that we should hold fast…without wavering…the hope, we are saying we should take the profession of our faith without wavering.

In a business world setting, if you know that you are an accountant, anything concerning administration does not concern you because there is nothing you can do about it.  You are not trained for that and you do not have knowledge concerning it. This is also true with the profession of our faith…we are called in this field of hope in which we are being trained to hope in the Lord, we are being equipped to undertake this profession without wavering.

We are called to this profession ourselves because God already knows that we need training.  The training is the faith which needs to be exercised on a daily basis.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God…
Romans 10:17

Once you hear  the Word of God, hope in the Lord moves from one level of glory to the other.   Faith and hope are inseparable professions that we as believers need to know and must have.  We need to combine these professions if we want to live a successful life.  A life of abundance only comes when we take our certificates in the profession which are desire, prayers, and belief.  (“What things soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them” Mark 11: 24).

For God to act on anything we need to have hope and faith in God.  Don’t doubt God.  Brethren I have never seen the righteous forsaken therefore let us hold fast our profession in God for He never fails.  Those marriages we are hoping for will come…finances needed…babies we desire…. All these will only come when we exercise our profession (HOPE).

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Father, I thank You for the wonderful time we had in Your Presence.  Thank You for the Scripture we have read;  we pray and believe that grace shall abound in us that we shall do our profession without wavering.  Grant us that grace, Lord, for we need it to exercise our inheritance in Your Kingdom.  For without faith we cannot please You!   We need it time and time again.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Doer Of Your Word

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I looked in the mirror of Your Word knowing I’d see
A clear reflection of what You saw in me
You gently showed me the state my heart was in
And how the world had deceived me again

Went away determined to take the narrow path
But in a moment my foolish ways were back
It’s elementary there must be something wrong
And I’m starting to realize this can’t go on

(Wanna be a) doer of Your Word
Never, ever forget the truth that I have learned
(Be a) doer of Your Word
I wanna be a doer of Your Word
Keep on obeying everything I’ve heard
(Be a) doer of Your Word

It’s not the first time its happened won’t be the last
I think I’m finally mature but just a little too fast
I close my Bible convinced I’m really changed
But I’m not any different ’til I obey

What does it mean to call You Lord of my life
If I ignore the things You say
Help me remember that my greatest delight
Is following Your commands
And give me strength to stand and be a doer of Your Word

Songwriter: Bob Kauflin ~~ Performed by Glad

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

“If you know…you must do.  Because to NOT do,
when you KNOW, then there is a problem.”
– Mrs. Lisa Bevere

And here’s why she said that…

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do
and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:17

Ouch. So. True!   This struck my heart and caused me to remember the admonition and encouragement from the Book of James on this very topic.

But prove yourselves doers of the Word,
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
for once he has looked at himself and gone away,
he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
But one who looks intently at the perfect law,
the Law of liberty, and abides by it,
not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer,
this man will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:22-25 NASB

I just ♥ the Book of James, don’t you?!?  Here in chapter one, we are being

  • built up to handle the temptations that invariably come our way (verses 2-4)
  • encouraged to ASK God for His wisdom knowing that He gives it generously (verse 5)
  • reminded that rewards await us eternally when we persevere in these trials (verse 12)
  • thankful because our Father only gives what is good and perfect to us (verse 17)
  • warned to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (verse 19)

And then James writes, “But prove yourselves doers of the word…” (verse 22).  Yes, oh, yes; yes, I will!  Does your heart respond like that? (I do think that it does!)  Throughout the Scriptures, ‘…men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:21), and that is how we received the Scriptures.   As we read and consider and contemplate the words in God’s Word we are moved and compelled and motivated and spurred on (and convicted and reproved also!).  They motivate us to be DO-ers and not hearers only.

But if we want to be DO-ers of the Word then we must be HEAR-ers also. Now I don’t think this simply and exclusively means that we are to ONLY be audibly listening to the Scriptures. I think that it means really hearing it…in your mind and in your heart! And trusting and having faith in what is ‘heard.’

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

A good friend once said, “Don’t just listen to it…don’t just study it; you have to DO what it says. Otherwise, you fool yourselves. It is wasted…and the Word will NOT be wasted!”  She went on to share a question that she regularly asks herself,

{ Am I doing the things that I am studying and learning and absorbing? }

(Wanna be a) doer of Your Word
Never, ever forget the truth that I have learned
(Be a) doer of Your Word
I wanna be a doer of Your Word
Keep on obeying everything I’ve heard
(Be a) doer of Your Word

Level of Faith

SeekingHimLogo

Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.
Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof
above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:3-5

The portion of Scripture we have this week describes the level of faith that we ought to have. The men believed that Jesus was the one to heal this paralyzed person…and they did not allow any stumbling block between themselves and the Healer.

Typical of a determined human being who wants to do some investmenting, whenever you know that there is a profit to be received out of a particular business, you strive to get together the capital either by borrowing from friends or through a bank loan, so as it will aid you to the achievement of your profit.

Faith is like a blank check where we need to feel everyday as we live.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 KJV

If you don’t hear the Word of God you will not know what the Word has for you.  These people in Mark 2, had been hearing a lot of things that Jesus did, for Jesus went about doing good.  So, the news that Jesus healed people was all over their cities [Mark 1:29 – 34] and through many testimonies they had been hearing of Him healing many as well as His miraculous deeds.  Their level of faith grew each day by hearing these testimonies and probably many others, too, had followed Him to another place where the miracle took place in their presence.

When you have a high level of faith you can do the extraordinary—this is what we see in our Scripture this week.  Their level of faith did not allow stumblingblocks to the healing of their brother; hence, the opening on the roof.

If we want to succeed in life, we have to do extraordinary things through Christ Jesus.  And so coupled with our faith we shall be given whatsoever we desire (Mark 11:24).  Extraordinary things like:

  • Praying more
  • Meditating on the Word more
  • Giving alms more
  • Loving more
  • More charity, etc.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Our Lord and our Father, hallowed be Thy Name.  We thank You for the measure of faith that was allotted to us when we were being created as Your Word tells us in Romans 12:3.  Thank You that You have also given us an opportunity to grow in this faith by hearing Your Word.  We pray, Lord, for the grace for our faith to grow more and more; so much that we would be able to scale mountains.  We are blessed as we move from one level of glory to the other, in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

Give Us Faith To Be Strong

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Give us faith to be strong
Father, we are so weak
Our bodies are fragile and weary
As we stagger and stumble to walk where You lead
Give us faith to be strong

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
This life is not long, but it’s hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Give us peace when we’re torn
Mend us up when we break
This flesh can be wounded and shaking
When there’s much too much trouble for one heart to take
Give us peace when we’re torn

Give us hearts to find hope
Father, we cannot see
How the sorrow we feel can bring freedom
And as hard as we try, Lord, it’s hard to believe
So, give us hearts to find hope

Lord, give us faith to be strong
Give us peace when we’re torn
Give us faith, faith to be strong

 Singer / Songwriter: Andrew Peterson

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

This song is a prayer—an acknowledgment of our great need for God in all things.  As in every area of our lives, we need the help, the provision, the supply that only God can give.

It is true that we need to have faith; no doubt.  Jesus spoke often to His apostles and the other disciples about faith.  Over on the Seeking Him daily devotional blog, we are in the midst of a series looking at some of  Jesus’ words on FAITH.  This week the bloggers are focusing on the account (click here) from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 5 where we hear about the woman with a long-term bleeding disease who is healed simply by touching Jesus’ garments.  It is an incredible record!  Listen…

She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,  for she kept saying,  ‘If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.’  And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source,  and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.

verses 27-29

There is a pivotal point here: she believed—she had faith—that if she could just get close enough to simply touch Jesus’ clothing, she would be healed.  Remember she “kept saying, ‘If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.’”  And so she took the action necessary.  Having faith requires action.  As I think about this scenario, it seems to me there were a number of strong deterrents standing in her way.

  • The crowd
    Verse 24 tells us, “…a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him”
  • Her own physical frailty
    Verses 25 and 26 say she “…had been subject to bleeding for twelve years…had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and …instead of getting better she grew worse”
  • The social stigma of a woman touching a strange man in public
    Verse 33 relates, “But the woman…though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”

In spite of these things she believed “…the reports she had heard about Jesus…”.  Put yourself, sisters, in her sandals…would you (would I?) have had the courage, the fortitude, the faith to do what she did?  I do believe we could…we would.   I do believe we do.

Throughout our lives, we find ourselves experiencing similar circumstances and hard times. Right now, today, I know some of you are living through difficult, demanding, hard situations. Whether they are health-related (like this woman), or difficulties in relationships, or financial problems, or a myriad of other troubles…we need to have faith that God will take care of whatever might be our need.  Our faith is based on our knowledge of His promises in His Word.

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

So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:5

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.
Verse 6

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.  According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…”
2 Peter 2:1-4

May we keep all these things in mind as we have faith in the Almighty God Who provides—Jehovah-Jireh.

  • When we feel weak, may we ask for ‘strength to be faithful.’
  • When we are weary, may we ask for ‘grace to go on.’
  • When we are anxious, may we ask for ‘peace when we’re torn.’
  • When we can’t see the way out or through or around or beyond, may we ask for ‘hearts to find hope.’
  • When we feel we have nothing left, may we ask for ‘faith to be strong.’

We must always remember that there is no need we will ever have that He is not already aware of.  He is the Eternal God our Provider—Jehovah-Jireh!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

O Lord, we recognize that we need Your help in everything.  As the beautiful lyrics of this song sing out, we also ask You, Father, please give us faith to be strong…give us strength to be faithful…give us grace to go on…give us peace when we’re torn…give us hearts to find hope.  We thank You, now in advance, for each of these things because we have already been given a measure of faith by Your grace and mercy.  We have faith placing our confidence and trust in You, El Shaddai.  And we pray all these things in Jesus’ precious and powerful Name.  Amen.

Faith Jumps

SeekingHimLogo

Then He got into the boat and His disciples followed Him.
Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.
But Jesus was sleeping.
The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this?
Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Matthew 8:23-27 NIV

I have always known that faith take you up high while fear hesitates and drags you down. There have been many times we have failed to exercise faith and we have ended up disappointing God. In Hebrews 11:6 the Bible says “...without faith we cannot please God.” What is this faith we are talking about?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen
Hebrews 11:1

Faith is a raw material for a product we are going to have.  As Hebrews 11:6 explicitly says without this raw material—faith—we cannot please God.  For us to have our hearts’ desires we need to have faith in the Giver and believe His word with no doubt at all.

The disciples forgot that Jesus was everything and started doubting…hence Jesus’ question (Matthew 8:25).  Jesus called Peter to walk on the sea toward Him. At first Peter did…and was not drowning but he started doubting and focused on the waters THEN he started drowning. The Bible records Jesus confronting Peter: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  (Read this record here.)

So little faith can be a raw material for us to have a product that is not attractive and leads to not having a product at all. We need to build our faith always. So, how do we build our faith? By hearing the Word of God.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

Meditate on the Word of God (Joshua 1:8), personalize the Word, receive it with gladness and obey what it says and, in so doing, we shall eat the good of the land.

Our God is good and He has made everything possible for us. It is our own wrong choices that lead us not to reach out to the great benefits that God has planned for us…if we only obey Him.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Dear Heavenly father, I thank You for Your lovingkindness that endures forever. Thank You for who You are in our lives. Thank You for You are our Father who hears our prayers. We give You glory and honor. We pray, Lord, that You help us build our faith everyday as we study and meditate on Your word and as we listen to Your voice. Open our ears to hear what You are talking about and open our eyes to see Your greatness in the Word. May we live a life pleasing unto You always, in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Answering the Caller ID

SeekingHimLogo

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:
Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress;
have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1

Do you have caller ID?  Most everybody does.  It is one of those digital advances that most people cannot live without these days.  It is a way of identifying who is calling you.  You can decide whether or not to answer the phone when it rings. You can decide whether to answer the phone if you don’t know who it is. If you miss a call, you can go back and see who called. Then you can decide whether or not to call that person back. You can ignore tele-marketers and bill collectors. Caller ID has certainly made it easier to ignore those we don’t want to talk to when the phone rings.

As humans we can select who we call and whose call we answer here on earth. However, when it comes down to it, there is one call that we are supposed to answer no matter what. The caller ID is our heart being tugged at by Jesus wanting us to accept Him as our Savior. It is a call that should be answered every time.

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

By answering the call of Christ, our faith is strengthened and fortified. Our spirit is healed. Our heart becomes stronger in the Lord. We begin to strengthen our faith and fortify it through listening to Christ and practicing what He teaches us. We strengthen ourselves through our relationship with Him. When we answer Christ’s call, God hears us. We become blessed even more.

God blessed us when His Son sacrificed Himself on the Cross for our sins. He showed us mercy. Jesus brought us closer to God by shedding His blood. God heard the call to be saved from death. He gave us a way to be reconciled with Him. All we have to do is recognize His call on our internal caller ID—our heart—and accept the gift that Jesus gave on the Cross.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for calling us to You. Thank You for giving us an internal caller ID to recognize Your spirit and love. Thank You for strengthening us and fortifying us. Without our own internal caller ID, we would ignore You and not listen. We would be facing an eternity of fire instead of an eternity filled with love and Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.