Without Faith it is Impossible to Please God

Understanding biblical faith is a pretty important topic for a follower of Christ. According to Hebrews 11:1, 6; without faith, defined as being sure of what we hoped for, and certain of what we cannot see, it is impossible to please God.

What we believe is proven not only by what we say, but more importantly, by what we do. Our choices, behaviors, and attitudes verbalize our faith. I do not mean “verbalize” as in speaking, but rather turning our faith from a noun-type faith into a verb-type faith.

Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith sends a message of surrender to God. Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith sends a message encouragement to other people. Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith even sends a message of hope to our own hearts. Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith even sends a message of defeat to our giant. The bottom line is that we will never rise to stay above our verbalized faith.

Life’s challenges come in all shapes and sizes, and God is always faithful to provide the faith to meet every challenge we face. At the same time, Satan will provide the excuse to forfeit every challenge. We get to choose our response to the challenge before us; do we respond with the faith God has provided or with the excuse Satan has provided.

Embracing the challenge before us means we choose to overcome our fear and excuses through faith and action. The challenge exists whether we embrace it or not. Not embracing the challenge through faith and action is like being in denial, hoping it “just goes away”.

Many time challenges stretch us, and force us to change or adapt ourselves to meet that challenge. There are negative-type challenges; relationship challenges, personal financial issues challenges, economic or employment challenges, health challenges, schedule challenges, spiritual challenges, and so on.

Those negative challenges intimated us and make us feel insecure or unsure of our future. Sometimes we just want to “stick our head in the sand” and “let it all blow over”. But the avoidance of life’s challenges is not a helpful strategy. Avoiding challenges tends to lead to negative outcomes too.

A better strategy is; take personal responsibility for the challenge before you, and your role in addressing that challenge head on. Then trust God, and choose obedience every time. The things that overwhelm us never intimidate God. He always has a plan; a plan to give us hope and a future, a plan to redeem us, to restore us, to heal us, and to reconcile us.

God always has a plan because He loves and values you. Many people feel unloved, unappreciated, and unvalued. Many of those who read this article, are feeling that way right now. Yes, you have been hurt, neglected, un-affirmed, etc, but God really does love you and value you; He never leaves you, or forsakes you, or fails you. Never. He is an amazing Dad filled with unconditional love for you.

Easter Changed EVERYTHING!

Easter changed everything. This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday! The resurrection was Jesus’ most significant defining moment. Satan put all of his cards on the table at the cross. And through the resurrection Jesus made a “public spectacle” of Satan’s very best effort (Col. 2:15). Through the resurrection Jesus over came sin, the cross, and even death so that he could give all Christ-followers a heritage of victory (Isa 54:16-17). Christ death on the cross was required for the forgiveness of our sin, but His resurrection from the dead for our freedom and victory.

What a story! A real God sent His real and only Son to died on a real cross for my and your real sin. A blameless man took our well-deserved punishment. He carried our guilt, shame, and pain to the cross so that we could know the love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy of God.

Easter changed everything. All we believe as Christ-followers is based on the actual resurrection of Christ. Jesus made some outrageous claims, including that He would die, and resurrect on the third day. Those outrageous claims make it impossible for Jesus to be just a good teacher or just another prophet.

Jesus could be a liar…if He made those claims knowing they were not true. Jesus could be a crazy lunatic…if He made those outrageous claims really thinking they were true, but they ended up not being true. If Jesus is a liar or crazy either how can He also be a good teacher or great prophet as some have tried to picture Him? On the other hand, if Jesus made those outrageous claims, then backed them up He can be nothing less than Lord. Let me cut to the chase, Jesus is Lord. Not just our Savior….not just our Forgiver….but our Lord and Leader.

With Jesus, our job as Christ-followers is to surrender to His Lordship….truly allowing Him to be our leader. God has delegated everything to Jesus due to “His obedience even unto death”. Jesus came as the “author and finisher of our faith”. He is our example of how we are to live. Jesus demonstrated surrender, obedience, and sacrifice to God. Like Paul wrote in Philippians 2:5-6 the Bible says that “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped…but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross.”

I am reminded if what Pilate said to the crowd when Jesus was on trial before him. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but he also knew the religious leaders had the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. Pilate’s question in Matthew 27:22 was “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” The crowd shouted louder and louder, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Crucify him!”

This week, as you are mindful of all the events surrounding the week of Easter, instead of “crucify him”, may Jesus hear our voices shouting “Praise Him! Praise Him!” and even a simple “Thank you, I am so grateful for your sacrifice.” So, what are you going to do with Jesus, who is called Christ?

Jesus is Lord because He fulfilled all of those outrageous claims. Jesus is much more than just a Savior. Surrender your heart and will to Him so that He can be immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine.

What Message Does Your Faith Send?

There is an inseparable link between Christ-following and faith. According to Hebrews 11:1, 6; without faith, defined as being sure of what we hoped for, and certain of what we cannot see, it is impossible to please God. Therefore, understanding biblical faith is a pretty important topic for a follower of Christ.

What we believe is proven not only by what we say, but more importantly, by what we do. Our choices, behaviors, and attitudes verbalize our faith. I do not mean “verbalize” as in speaking, but rather turning our faith from a noun-type faith into a verb-type faith.

Here is a reality; verbalized faith can be either positive or negative. For many people who claim to know Christ as their personal Savior, the faith they choose to put into action is actually the lack of faith. They choose fear and comfort over trust and surrender. For the purpose of this article, I am only talking about verbalizing a positive faith that demonstrates obedience, love, and surrender.

Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith sends a message to God. To God, it says we are sincere. It says we are willing to demonstrate our love for him by our obedience to him. It sends a message to God that says, “you can depend on me” to follow-through with the task you have assigned me. It says I want to partner with you to accomplish the plans you have for my life.

Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith sends a message encouragement to other people. People are watching you. When you rise above conforming to the culture around you and chase after the heart of God, it will always encourage true followers of Christ. As an aside, it will also irritate religious people… I’m just saying.

Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith even sends a message of hope to our own hearts. Making a choice to chase after the heart of God, even when you don’t feel like it, will transform your heart, and therefore, transform you. Don’t wait to you “feel like it”. Even when you don’t feel like it, making a choice to turn your noun-faith into a verbalize faith will result in renewing your hope and spiritual energy.

Turning our noun-faith into a verb-faith even sends a message of defeat to our giant. Choosing to override your fears and insecurity by demonstrating active obedience sends a message to the giant of your life that says, “I’m not stopping. I’m not giving up. I’m not going to be intimidated. I may fail, but I will get back up and keep coming.” Its just like the story of David and Goliath, David comes across the valley speaking to his giant. Our verbalized faith does the same thing.

The bottom line is that we will never rise to stay above our verbalized faith. As the saying goes, “whether you think you can or you can’t, either way, you are right”. You can experience warm fuzzy moments with God, but you will never be able to maintain a level of faith higher than the faith you are willing to prove through follow-through obedience. Turning your noun-faith into a verb-faith will release the power of God