DO I TRULY BELIEVE!
What am I here for? What am I wanting to get out of this? What am I willing to put into it, to get what I want? Have you ever asked yourself these questions or asked at least one of them to yourself? If so, are your motives in the right place or are you hear to just go through the motions, just to get through the studies?
Well to answer these questions we must first start with looking within ourselves. Why, you may ask, to answer the last question. Are you doing it just to go through the motions or do you have an ulterior motive? What are your reasons for coming here to the 4 Gospels, is it to learn about the Word and apply it to your own life or is it something else? I ask these questions because I had to ask them of myself, because I felt that something was missing. I had just read the following devotion:
"Will You Truly Believe?" — A Year with Jesus for 01/10/2018
Note from Jesus
I know the struggle that goes on inside your heart to truly believe. You want to believe, but really placing your full trust in Me is hard to do... especially when you are desperate for a solution to whatever difficulty you are facing. You may want to see the solution before you will really trust Me. However, true discipleship doesn't work that way.
You have to trust Me. Even before you receive the results of your faith, you have to act on your faith that what I say is true. Real faith is something more than thinking I can do something for you: It is acting on that belief. My half-brother, James, said it well:
Without actions, faith is useless. By itself, it's as good as dead.
I love the government official you meet today in My story. He was desperate. He wanted to believe that I could heal his son, but he wasn't sure. He had hoping faith, but not full faith. So I nudged him to truly believe. I challenged him to really trust Me and to act before his faith in Me was proven true — to go home because he believed I had already healed his son before he could validate it. This situation is where his hoping faith became acting trust.
He took Me at My word and headed home. On the way home, he discovered that I had done what I said at the time he trusted Me. Then his trust became experienced faith. He believed — not just with hoping faith and acting faith, but with validated faith. He then shared that faith with others and they believed, too.
I want you to see the progression of faith in this story and know that this is the way faith often works in real life:
• Hoping faith — Desperate for answers, the father whose son was near death came to Me.
• Acting faith — The father started back home, taking Me at My word.
• Validating faith — The father discovered I did what I said.
• Sharing faith — The father told this story so others could believe.
Verses to Live
Are you willing to act in trust before your faith is validated? When you do, it is real faith — believing without immediate validation, trusting while you are waiting, and acting before you have proof! For many of you, the wait between acting faith and validating faith can be much longer than it was for this father. But, no matter how short or how long the wait might be, this is the kind of faith that I'm calling you to have as you follow Me!
After two days of teaching and conversation, Jesus proceeded to Galilee where His countrymen received Him with familiar smiles. After all, they witnessed His miracle at the feast in Jerusalem; but Jesus understood and often quoted the maxim: "No one honors a hometown prophet."
As Jesus traveled to Cana (the village in Galilee where He transformed the water into fine wine), He was met by a government official. This man had heard a rumor that Jesus had left Judea and was heading to Galilee, and he came in desperation begging for Jesus' help because his young son was near death. He was fearful that unless Jesus would go with him to Capernaum, his son would have no hope.
Jesus (to the official):
My word is not enough; you only believe when you see miraculous signs.
Sir, this is my son; please come with me before he dies.
Jesus (interrupting him):
Go home. Your son will live.
When he heard the voice of Jesus, faith took hold of him and he turned to go home. Before he reached his village, his servants met him on the road celebrating his son's miraculous recovery.
What time did this happen?
Yesterday about one o'clock in the afternoon.
At that moment, it dawned on the father the exact time that Jesus spoke the words, "He will live." After that, he believed; and when he told his family about his amazing encounter with this Jesus, they believed too. This was the second sign Jesus performed when He came back to Galilee from Judea.
While I was reading this devotion it occurred to me, was I doing what this government official was doing?
Did I have or was I displaying this same kind of faith as this official had:
• Hoping faith — Desperate for answers.
• Acting faith — Taking Christ at His word.
• Validating faith — Discovering that Jesus did what He said He would do.
• Sharing faith — Then sharing that with others, so that they may believe.
I cannot say if I am or not, but these questions and thoughts are ones that we should be asking ourselves daily. Are we doing this or that for the right reasons? We must access our lives to see if we are doing God’s will for our lives. It’s not going to be an easy task, but it is one that we must do if we are to be Walking in the Spirit of our Lord and Savior. Have you ever stopped to think about these questions? Pondered on them to see if you are in the will of God? I know that I have not been. I have done a self-check on my own life to see where I had gone wrong and to make changes to correct that so that I can be walking in the will of God.
My pastor has often said “When I take care of what’s on God’s heart, He will take care of what’s on my heart.” This has given me something to not only think about, but to make sure that I am doing the will of God each day. We must keep our focus on Him always. No matter what the circumstances may bring me. You see I have learned to review my daily life, access it, and make sure that I am applying the teachings that I have learned daily.
What are you doing to Review, Access, and Apply any teachings that you come across your life daily? Are you doing them?
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