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Do you have faith?

I Want Faith Like That - by Travis Renfrow

Sunday, April 26, 2015

 

Everyone knows that one person who seems to epitomize faith. That person who rises to every challenge, stems every tide, and never falters.  Although life is no easier on them than it is on anyone else, they simply seem better equipped to deal with it. Did you ever look at that person and think, “I want a faith like that!”

I grew up as a fake. My mother took my brother and me to church. He and I were active in the church youth group. We even attended the youth getaways to Christian festivals and concerts. Everyone else seemed to be so spiritual and faithful. I wanted to be like that too, so I faked it.

It’s not that I didn’t believe in God or His Son. It’s just that I wasn’t sure about the foundation of my belief. I believed because of the consistency of the belief around me. It was like group-think. Although I thought I was becoming spiritually minded like my peers and leaders, I was really just becoming a spiritual lemming.

Then came the girl. Isn’t it always a girl? Not long after she and I started dating she asked me to go with her to her church. Being at that point much more teenage boy than spiritual lemming, I agreed. The message wasn’t radically different than the one I grew up hearing at my church. There were differences, but the core remained intact. The difference was the proof. It was at that church I learned four words that would change my faith for the rest of my life, “Book, chapter and verse.”

When the preacher gave his message, every point was supported by a reference to scripture. The book, the chapter and the verse(s) were given so routinely that it seemed like second nature to him. The men and women around me, all with bibles in hand, turned and read along with each reference. When the sermon was over and the invitation had been given, there was more.

They took up the collection. Every church takes up a collection. But they referenced 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 to prove that this was the right thing to do. They observed the Lord’s Supper. Lots of churches do that. But they referenced 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 to prove that this was the right thing to do. So it wasn’t just the preacher. The whole church seemed devoted to this “Book, chapter and verse” thing.

Fast forward nearly twenty years later. I have now come to realize that the foundation of my belief, of my faith, is not about feeling like my peers. My faith is built on reading, studying and knowing what God’s word says. It is built on truth. I serve God as a faithful Christian, husband, father, and deacon. I’m not a spiritual lemming. My faith is my own. I know its strengths and I know its weaknesses because I have built it with the tools God gave us all.

 I will not criticize the faith of those I grew up with. How can I question what their hearts and minds contain? But I know what worked for me. I also know it will work for you. I know because I have the book, chapter and verse to support me. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17.) If you want a faith like that, we can show you how to build it.

Want to Know More?
I Want Faith Like That - Study Guide (Microsoft Word Document)
Untitled - Sermon by Curtis Pope
It Is Well With My Soul - from congregational singing with Tim Stevens

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

Saving Faith - By David Hehner

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is there a difference in having faith and having “saving faith”?  As a New Testament Christian, my answer would be yes.  So, what is the difference?  Let’s look at a few scriptures talking about faith.  “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).  In any instance, if I want something bad enough, I will go to great lengths to obtain it.  An example could be that I want to get an A on a big test.  If I truly want the grade, I will study hard and long enough that I know the material inside and out.  The same can be said about saving faith.  If my faith is strong enough to be considered saving faith, I will have purposed in my heart to submit to God’s will with all aspects of my life.  We know we can’t physically see God on earth like I see the moon, or the stars, or anything else that I can physically see. But, in believing what the bible says, I have faith that God exists and is waiting for me in Heaven.  He is also waiting for you.

       “And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you”” (Matt: 17:20).  Have you ever held a mustard seed?  I haven’t but I have seen a picture.  It compares in size to a small piece of rice.  Could you imagine, based on this passage, that if we have even this amount of faith, it would be enough to move a mountain?  And, can you imagine, that it just grows from there?  Imagine what this kind of faith is capable of when has grown to the size of a large tree.  That is the kind of faith that is capable of giving us eternal life!!  That kind of faith that is capable of letting us live with God forever!!  To me, that is hard to fathom.

       Think about the power of a big rig.  If you had hundreds of big rigs together, it still would not be enough power to move a mountain, yet if your faith was as big as this small mustard seed, it would be enough to move a mountain.  The almighty God in Heaven gives us this power.  He is capable of it because He created the mountain anyway.  He wants us all to be with Him in Heaven.  How do we obtain a saving faith?  We just need to dig in to His word and let it change us.   Let it change the way we talk, where we go, who we’re with, and what we want.  It will change our lives.  “The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). The Lord is patiently waiting for all of us to dig in and develop that saving faith. Let us help you get started.

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Want To Know More? 
Saving Faith - Study Guide (Microsoft Word Document) 
Increase Our Faith - sermon by Curtis Pope 
Lead Me Gently Home Father - from congregational singing with Tim Stevens

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing 

exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

 

The Leafless Twig - by Daniel Broyles

Sunday, April 12, 2015

       As living beings, we understand that growth is essential for everyday life.  We see growth all around us.  My wife and I picked up a tree on Arbor Day, two years ago, that looked like a twig.  We planted it in our backyard, and within months, it had several branches and even some leaf buds.  Since it was such a young tree, it required constant attention with sunlight, water, good soil, and protection from the elements.  Well, life happened.  We got busy, and the tree did not get enough water during the summer drought, the dog took a liking to chewing on the tree, and the neighborhood mole destroyed the roots.  The tree stopped growing, and now, we have a leafless twig standing in our yard, once again.

       Just like that tree required attention and nurturing to maintain growth, our faith can shrivel up to be a leafless twig, leaving us to feel lost and alone.   What keeps our faith from growing?  Well, just like with the tree, life happens.  We face terrible hardships, busy schedules, and relationship challenges.  One by one, those events weigh us down until we have difficulty even holding our heads up, much more growing our faith.

       The Bible tells us about a man named Job who faced challenges in his faith as everything seemed to take a turn for the worse.  He lost his family, his wealth, possessions, his health and livelihood in a matter of minutes (Job 1:13-18; 2:7).  He was devastated with tragedy after tragedy, but we are told that he remained faithful even through all of those circumstances.  One of these instances would be hard for anyone of us to endure, but Job had to endure them all at once.   He was able to endure, because he had grown a strong faith in God (Job 42:8). 

       This can be hard for us to understand.  We may tell ourselves that life is too much for me to handle.  The great thing is that God will never give us too much to handle with His help (I Corinthians 10:12-13).  He allowed those things to happen to Job because God was confident in his faith, and in the end, Job was stronger and more blessed as a result of his trials.  You can have this conquering faith, too!

       Our faith requires attention, just like that little tree.  We must first have hearts that are willing to learn as the good soil of Matthew 13:23.  To grow, we must fill our lives with the knowledge of His Word, our light (Psalm 119:105).  We continually feed that faith with study and prayer (Colossians 4:2).   The end result will be that we have a faith to which we can firmly hold without fear or doubt (Hebrews 4:14) no matter what may come our way.  If you are interested in developing a faith that can withstand the elements of life, we would love to share more of God’s mighty word.

Please share this article using our social media links on the left side of the page. Or use this PDF version of the article to share it with someone you care about.

Want to Know More?
The Leafless Twig - Study Guide (Microsoft Word Document)
Habakkuk - Sermon by Curtis Pope
Till the Storm Passes By - worship song from annual singing with Tim Stevens

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.

 

What is Faith? - by Ryan Downey

Sunday, April 05, 2015

 

What does faith mean to you? Who or what do you have faith in? To truly understand faith, we need to first know what faith means. The noun, faith, means to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I want to discuss the “someone and the something” in the definition.

 

To most of us, faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it. It is by faith that Christians understand the whole world was made by God’s command in the 7 days (Genesis 1 and 2.) We didn’t see God create the heavens and the earth or hang the moon and the sun, but we believe that He is the Creator. The world encourages us to put our faith in our material possessions like cars, houses, and money. But material things are temporary things. They can leave just as quickly as they arrive.

 

Have you seen the Coexist bumper stickers? They spell out the word “coexist” in different world religious symbols. Peace and coexistence are both biblical principles and should be practiced by Christians. However, we must be careful that our tolerance doesn’t lead to the false understanding that the religions of the world are interchangeable. We can’t accept that one is just as good as another. Ephesians 4:5 says “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” He is the one “someone” we need to turn to when we wonder how will I make it through the day, or who can I turn to talk about my problems when you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone else.

 

             Some people want to put faith into something physical because they can see it and touch it. That is not what true faith is. In Hebrews 11:1, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. God has given us plenty of evidence that He is the Creator. It is up to us to have enough faith to believe in Him and follow Him.

 

The bible tells about a man named Noah who believed in both the “someone and the something” Hebrews 11 talks about. Noah is a well known bible character, but what I want to point out is his amazing faith. In Hebrews 11:7, the bible says “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Never once do we read about Noah complaining to God or saying “Do I really have to build this thing to these exact specs and plans?” Noah’s work was motivated by his faith.

 

So I ask you, what is the “someone and the something” you put your faith in? If it is not God, then why? He is our Redeemer and our Savior who is longing for you to come to Him and walk by His side. Paul, in Romans 12:1-2 pleads with us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, this is your true and proper worship.(2) Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may be able to prove what is good, acceptable, and the perfect will of God.” Look at your own self and consider where your faith is placed to see if you can say “I believe in that ‘someone and that something’”!

 

Please share this article using our social media links on the left side of the page. Or use this PDF version of the article to share it with someone you

care about.

 

Want to know more?

What is Faith - Study Guide

I Know That My Redeemer Lives - sermon by Curtis Pope

I Know That My Redeemer Lives - worship song from annual singing with Tim Stevens

 

If you want to know more, contact us and let us help. Better yet, visit us. You will find a group of Christians intent on doing exactly what the bible says. No less and no more. You will find truth uncompromised.