Do Not Be Discouraged

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. 
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, 
so great is his love for those who fear him; 
as far as the east is from the west, 
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 
(Psalm 103:10-12) 

When you hear the names Gideon or Samson what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is your first thought about Gideon’s fleece, or Samson and Delilah? Or do their stories remind you of God? It is interesting that when we think of people, we often think of their colorful faults or weaknesses.

The author of Hebrews reminds us that when God sees Gideon, or Samson he doesn’t see someone who is frightened, or someone who was just as interested in women as serving God. God remembers their faith! Their stories are examples of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power.

Do not let your faults and mistakes discourage you! Do not believe Satan when he tells you that you are unworthy when your faith fails at times. For in each one us something sinful can be found. My faith is halting and imperfect many times. However, none of that changes how God sees us. God sees us as men and women of faith.

When our faith falters at times, when our faith is imperfect and incomplete Jesus intercedes on our behalf to God, his Father and our Father. Jesus says “I died for their imperfections, and faltering faith.” And with great joy God replies, “Yes my son, because you willingly shed your blood for them, I have taken away their sins! I find no fault in these my precious children”

Hear the words that God has to say to you today … “I find no fault in you!”

Do not be discouraged! Press on in faith!

Your life is a story of God’s grace, forgiveness, mercy and power. Your story brings renewed hope to the people around you, and to future generations!

Since God sees no fault in you, in faith fulfill the calling God has placed in your heart! Continue to be a faithful husband or wife! Continue to be a faithful worker, manager, student, entrepreneur, or author!

May many people be inspired as your life story demonstrates God’s ability to turn weakness into strength and to deliver in times of need!

Read Hebrews 11:32-40 on BibleGateway

What is the Essential Ingredient for Life?

This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4b NIV)


Faith is the potent, energetic, active ingredient essential to life.

Faith refuses to accept any situation as it is, or as unchangeable. Faith believes that God is active in every situation. Faith moves forward in grace and love with God’s wisdom. Faith sees God’s creative alternatives when surrounded by sin, death and destruction. Faith wins moral and spiritual victories, alongside temporal victories. Faith knows that God’s promises are a present reality even when they are not visible. Faith manifests God’s power, the power which raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Faith exchanges weakness for strength, sorrow for joy. Faith realistically evaluates the present and anticipates the future that God has promised. Faith is the anchor of hope!

But faith isn’t an assurance that you will always see the victory this side of glory …

Faith isn’t a guarantee of worldly possessions, or a promise of a rose garden. In fact faith was never intended to change your social status or economic status in this life. What faith does change is your spiritual status. Faith transfers your citizenship from this earth to heaven. Faith brings the sweet fragrance of God into your life on earth as you live as a citizen of God’s Kingdom.

Faith enables you to endure suffering and adversity with serenity.

Faith is all that remains when you live in the middle of man’s inhumanity to other men. Faith is the strength to continue to love God when the world tries to compress you into a common mold. Only faith can resist Satan. Only faith can endure the evil you currently face in your life.

You are not a fool to be pitied because of your faith. No! You possesses the greatest and only hope – God the Holy Spirit! By faith you possess God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self-control! The world can never, ever, ever tear or squeeze these out of your soul!

Read Psalm 119:30-36 on BibleGateway

Abraham’s Story

When one rules over people in righteousness,
when he rules in the fear of God,
he is like the light of morning at sunrise
on a cloudless morning,
like the brightness after rain
that brings grass from the earth.
(2 Sam 23:3-4 NIV)


 A life anchored in faith, living as a citizen of heaven, sets you free to enjoy everything this world, God’s creation, has to offer. As a person of faith you can live here and now your life to the max. With your faith grounded in God’s Kingdom, as an employee, manager, or executive, as a parent, a friend, a spouse, or a student you have the privilege of enriching the lives of those around you.

 

In Genesis 12 God appears to Abraham with a call and a promise. A call to follow God to a land that God would show him, and a promise to bless Abraham and to make Abraham a blessing.

 

Abraham chose to obey God leaving behind the ‘seen’ world of his former days and launched into a project of ‘daring faith’ believing that the riches of the God’s Kingdom immeasurably surpassed anything this world had to offer. Abraham kept his focus on heaven – a city with foundations whose architect and builder is God.

 

When Abraham got to the Promised Land, by faith he made a reality of what wasn’t obvious to an onlooker. He started farming, he raised sheep, he dug wells. He worked hard, and was financially rewarded for the fruit of his hard labor. At the same time, he became respected by the people he lived among as a ‘Prince of God’ (Gen 23:6). He was viewed as a ruler among the people living in that area, and went so far as to go to battle to free the Kings of that area. Abraham’s servants (or employees as we would call them today) acknowledged that God was source of Abraham’s blessings (Gen 24:27).

 

While he enjoyed the wealth and prestige he earned by his labor, people knew that Abraham’s life rested on the stability of the promises of God, not on material things.

 

By going in faith where God sent him to go, Abraham brought glory to God. Abraham’s hard work and leadership amongst the people where he lived honored God. Abraham worshipped God by his quite faithful obedience throughout his life. And so God was not ashamed to be called the God of Abraham, and Abraham was counted as a righteous man.

 

When people observe your life, what do they see? Do they see your abilities, do they see what you have, or do they see your faith in God?

Rahab’s Story

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.(Prov 3:5-6 NIV)


Men from all over the known world came through her door to stay at her place. Over the years they told many stories. Stories of the Nile River teeming with frogs, and grasshoppers. Tales of flies swarming across Egypt and unprecedented thunderstorms and hail storms. People described to her how the Red Sea dried up, and a hundreds of thousands of people walked across safely to the other side like they were on dry ground. Then over a few drinks they laughed as they recalled the sight of the Egyptian chariots tossing and turning in the swirling waves of the Red Sea. Others guests told her of the amazing sight of seeing a flock of quail fly overhead and land amongst these people. Over breakfast a few people tried to compare the taste of Manna to the food she served them. She heard stories of water coming from a rock, and a mountain roaring with thunder and lightning. She heard stories of the magnificent tent that the people carried before them, and wondered what its purpose was if the people never used it for shelter.

There were rumors of strange rules that these people were to obey. Rules carved into two stone tablets that were carried inside a wooden box ornately decorated with gold. A box carried on two long poles, never touched by human hands. Rules that condemned what her guests would do with her at night.

More recently came stories of the towns that had been conquered by these nomad’s.

Strangers at her door …

One day two strangers showed up at her door. These men were different, they weren’t interested in her body.It didn’t take Rahab long to realize that these two men were from that nomadic group she had heard all the stories about. They told her they were Israelites, and confirmed the stories she heard. They explained to Rahab that it was the Lord God, creator of heaven and earth who had brought them out of Egypt, and to the other side of the Jordan River.

Rahab was faced with a choice that would define her destiny on earth, and for eternity. For her the choice was easy. Hearing all these stories, Rahab was convinced in her heart that the Lord God, is the supreme God of heaven above and earth below.

Rahab protected the two strangers. Rahab placed her faith in God, trusting that God who had brought the Israelites out of Egypt to the gates of her city, would faithfully protect her.

In the coming weeks after the spies returned to Joshua, Rahab’s faith in God would be thoroughly tested. Would they come back and rescue her?

Waiting … in faith (mixed with a little doubt?)

With her house built into the town wall, with a crimson cord lowered from her window she waited in faith. She waited in faith until the Israelites were camped outside Jericho. She waited for another seven days as day by day the Israelites walked around the walls of Jericho and passed under her window.

Did doubts swirl in her mind? Did she wonder if God would forgive her and redeem her on that seventh day as she watched the crimson cord in her window flutter seven times as the Israelites walked around the walls and passed under her window? She waited as the Israelites blew their trumpets, as her house shook when the walls around her came crashing down. She waited as she heard the Israelite army charge into town, as she heard the screams and noise as the Israelites killed, destroyed and burnt everything in sight. Would God remember her? Would God save her?

And then somebody was breaking down the door to her home …

God is faithful!!!

God was faithful. God was powerful. God rescued Rahab and her family. By faith she and her family moved out of her home and lived among the people of Israel. Her sins were forgiven! Her life was redeemed! Because of her faith, Jesus was not ashamed to call Rahab his ancestor.

God continues to be faithful. God is powerful. By faith you live in God’s Kingdom, among God’s people. Your sins are forgiven! Your life is redeemed! Because of your faith, God is not ashamed to call you his child!

Read Joshua 2 on BibleGateway