By Faith…

The word “FAITH” is used 247 times in the Bible not including its variations such as “faithful” and “faithfully” etc which would bring the total up to 360 times
Jesus uses the word Faith in one form or another more than 34 times.

Webster’s dictionary defines FAITH as a “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” but Hebrews 11:1 has a much better definition. It defines faith as “The substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” We will come back to this later.

Faith can heal your body:

“And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.”

Matthew 9:20-22 NKJV

“And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. 9 This man heard Paul speaking. [a]Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.”

Acts 14:8-10 NKJV

Faith can heal your spirit:

“I will [a]deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I [b]now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified[c] by faith in Me.’”

Acts 26:17-18 NKJV

Faith will protect you from the Devil himself! In Ephesians 6 we learn about the Armor of God. What does it say about Faith as armor?

“above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

Ephesians 6:16 NKJV

Faith is your SHIELD! Not your helmet, not your spear…your shield. Faith is something you are to carry with you always. It can’t slip out of your hand in battle because it is strapped to you. It moves with you. When the devil is throwing all these things at you you throw up your shield of faith and say “Not today Satan”. That shield of faith is sanctified by the blood of Christ. Satan can’t get through that. Nothing can.

Now I’m not telling you that when you thow up that shield of faith that the devil is going to tuck tail and run. No. The devil may have been God’s most beautiful angel but apparently he wasn’t His smartest because the devil thinks that he can break through that shield so he will try and try but you have to stand strong. Polish that shield in the Word every day. Repair any dents with prayer and keep it strong and always with you.

Now I know some of you are saying “I have a strong faith so I know he must be preaching to those other people…you tell them preacher!” Well let’s test that…

If you are sitting down I want you to stand up………..ok now sit back down. Now I am willing to say that not a single one of you questioned whether the chair would collapse when you sat in it did you? That thought never even entered your mind did it? You had faith in that chair without even thinking about it. Now I want you to stand up again but this time I want you to move a few steps to the left or right so that the chair is not behind you anymore. Now I want you to sit down and use your faith and know that God is going to move that chair back under you so you don’t hurt yourself. I’ll wait. Now you all second guessed that one didn’t you? You who said you had strong faith just showed that you have more faith in a chair than in God. It’s ok because that just means you are like the rest of us after all. We have faith in God for somethings but not everything and that’s where we fail. Myself included. God can do anything and we can do anything if only our faith was pure and strong.

We are to LIVE in faith!

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Does this mean that we are to leave the big things to God while we deal with all the little things or does it mean that we let God take care of all the little things that life brings us while we worry and stress about all the big things? NO! It says we are to “LIVE BY FAITH” ! What does that mean? That means we trust God with ALL things! We are to put our LIVES in God’s hands! Trust me. He’s got this. Now as I’m preaching to you I’m preaching to myself too. God already told me that this message is for me as well.

When you worry about things that is a lack of faith. Don’t worry we all do it. Sometimes I tend to worry about the little things and not worry about the big things. I don’t know why I just do and God is working on me to have faith in ALL things.

Some years ago I had lost my job and neither my wife or myself were working. We honestly didn’t know where our next meal was coming from. It was that bad and my wife was freaking out not just for us but our young daughter. I told her “don’t worry God will provide.” Now keep in mind this was several years before I was first called to the Ministry and I was by no means a model Christian but I believed and trusted in God. My wife was like “how can you be so calm? We have no food and a baby!” (a few choice words were deleted here of course ) I said “Because I know”. Now first I should clarify that no one and I mean NOT A SINGLE PERSON knew we were in that situation. We were too private and too embarrassed. Well not 5 minutes passed by since my wife said that then there was a knock on the door. She opened the door and there stood her Aunt with two bags of groceries in her arms saying “Something told me ya’ll might need this so I went shopping for ya’ll.” I’m pretty sure I heard my wife’s jaw hit the porch. Well needless to say she never doubted my faith again lol. BUT…by the same token I can misplace my favorite pen and be almost positive somebody broke into our house and all they took was just that pen. Lol I’m telling ya’ll God is working on me!

Matthew 6:28-34 tells us a similar story :

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
‘Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Matthew 6:28-34 NKJV

I can vouch for these verses! God DID know that we needed food and had it show up at our door. When? Did it show up when we thought the time was right? Did it show up before we started to worry about it? NO! It showed up when it glorified God. It showed up when we would be able to discern that it came from God and my wife’s aunt was only the delivery person! That’s when it comes! But rest assured I knew it was coming! Kinda like that pen burglar lol but I digress.

Lose faith and you will fail – Even the disciples who were right there witnessing Jesus’s miracles had trouble with their faith.

“Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.’ And Peter answered Him and said, ‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’ So He said, ‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’ And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’”

Matthew 14:22-31 NKJV

Keep your faith through the hard times when the devil or the people are attacking you and God will bring you through it

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith,
longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.”

2 Timothy 3:10-11 NKJV

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV

Now remember when I said we would come back to the Hebrews definition of faith? “…The evidence of things not seen”. Well lets take that a bit further reading in the next verse:

“For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.”

Hebrews 11:2 NKJV

Your faith can bring salvation to other people. By seeing your faith in God others begin to get drawn to the Word and to God through you and your faith. Just by living in faith you are a walking testimony.

In I Corinthians 7:14 we get this example:

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified (made holy)by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.”

I Corinthians 7:14 NKJV

Hebrews 11 is full of examples of people living by faith…by faith Abel, by faith Enoch, by faith Noah, by faith Abraham and Sara, by faith Isaac, by faith Jacob, by faith Moses…all of these people accomplished great things through faith.

Not only be a person who lives by faith but be a faithful person. Meaning be a person worthy of trust. In your daily life let your yeses be yeses. Never say you are going to do something and not do it. Let your word be your bond. In your relationship be faithful. Never give your spouse a reason to doubt you or not trust you. Trust is the basis of a good and healthy relationship and when it is gone so is the relationship. Be someone everyone else can have faith in.

But always remember what James 2:14-17 tells us:

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

James 2:14-17 NKJV

If you have faith (air quotes) but do not show it by the things you do…you don’t have true faith at all. Verse 22, talking about Abraham says:

“Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”

James 2:22 NKJV

And verse 24 tells us:

“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”

James 2:24 NKJV

And finally verse 26:

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

James 2:26 NKJV

So think of faith as the spirit and works as the body. The spirit makes the body move as faith should make the works manifest.

Faith must work! It must produce! Faith MUST be visible! Faith makes you stand strong. Faith makes you stand up for what you believe. Faith makes you speak the truth even if it isn’t politically correct. Your faith shows the world that you are a child of God…unashamed and and unapologetic.

Who does your faith show you are?

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