How can we preserve our faith in Jesus during the year of 2008, part 3?
15th of February
Last time I emphasized how important it was to live by the promises and to have faith in the blessings. We must remind ourselves of what we do have and not all the things we think we lack. I also emphasized the importance of a daily LOVE-RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. He wants us to be close to Him and if we keep ourselves close to Him, He will keep close to us. (Jam.4:8) I also want us to read from John 15:9. It goes like this: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” I also want to quote the 12th verse: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” When you were born again, you were born into a family there everybode had the same Father. You were placed as a member of the Body of Christ and you got connected with millions and millions of others with the same blood-type as yours, the blood of Jesus. You are not alone, but you have millions of sisters and brothers all over the world. I get quite exited when I sense this unity. It doesn’t make any difference where I am, colour and culture does not divide us. We have all been given the nature of God and that is the victorious part of us. We are One in the Spirit.
I want you to think of your own body. Think of the different part. What would happen if you cut off one finger? How long would that finger continue to live? Can you use it? I can hear Christians who say: “For me it is only Jesus, me and Jesus. ” I have already written how vital that relationship is, but not ONLY you and Jesus. You are totally dependant on the fact that the blood has to go to the other parts and from the others. It is not a coincidence that God is using the body as an example of the church. We are not only thinking of the local church, but of all of God’s children all over the world. Why do I write about this under the headline above? Because I do believe that the pressure from the world will get so strong that we no longer can think I, Me and Mine. We will need each other in a much greater way than before. God has given me a portion of faith, but I might need much more in order to stand in the middle of a battle. The Bible says that one takes thousand and two take ten thousand. ONE SOLDIER IS SELDOM ENOUGH IN A WAR.
It is not only in a war that I need the others. I need to get together with other to hear the Word of God preached. Rom.10:17 says that faith comes by hearing , and hearing by the Word of God. When we are together with other believers, we share the Word of God and we share our experiences with Him. That builds up my own faith. When I hear about the healing of my neighbour, I get faith for my own healing. When I hear how God has helped my neighbour with his or her economical problems, I believe that God can help me too. He does not have any favourites.
When you have a problem, you do not need to stand alone with them. Many are sinning in this area. Maybe they come to God alone and pray with lack of faith or with very little faith. When the solution does not come right away, they might get angry with God. God has placed you in a BODY. Did you call on the elders of the church when you got sick? They can anoint you with oil. Did you confess your sins to a trustworthy sister or broder in order to be healed? Read about these things in James 5. If you isolate yourself you might be proud, suffer from fear or lack confidence in others. Get help with these problems this year. You cannot afford to keep them. ATTEND A LOCAL CHURCH WHERE YOU FEEL AT HOME. You need fresh input, but you need to use your godgiven spirit and nature. If you isolate yourself, nothing comes to you and nothing goes out of you. It is unhealthy.
We need a close fellowship where we live, but we also need to think in a global way. I know that I and millions with me pray when something bad happens to my brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. I once was in a team in another country. We got into a very dangerous situation and our lives were in danger. The leader got a chance to call our pastor and he was at that very moment together with two hundred other believers. They started to pray and asked others to pray. I do not want to think about what could have happened if we had’nt had this protection of prayers. When I travel by myself, I sometimes ask God to remind somebody to pray for me. That strenghtens my faith when I am in dangerous situations. YOU AND I BELONG TOGETHER IN THE SAME BODY. WE CANNOT BE SEPARATED.
I mentioned prayer. I BELIEVE THAT PRAYERS AND FAITH GO TOGETHER.
Without faith you cannot please God.(Heb.11:6). There is no sense to come to God if you do not believe that He exists and if you do not believe that He will answer you. I shall soon write about prayer, but want to say now that if you want an intimate relationship with God, you must pray. I never pray because I have to, but I pray because I love to pray. LOTS OF PRAYING WILL HELP YOU TO KEEP YOUR FAITH IN 2008.
The last point that I will mention is THE WORD OF GOD.
We can start with psalm 119. In my Norwegian Bible it says: The glory of the Word and its power. I am sure you know verse 105. “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” If we do not have the words of the Lord, we walk in darkness. I hate to walk in the dark. I get scared to fall or to walk on something unpleasant. I either use a torch or somebody has to hold my hand. I think that this comparison is good. A torch does light up big areas, but just enough for me to see the next step. When you read the Word, ask the Holy Spirit to be with you. He can explain and reveal the Word and you can look upon it as your daily food.
How does the faith increase? By the hearing of the Word. I do believe that your faith can increase by reading, but it is even better when you can read it loud. You then use more senses and the result is even better.
When you read this long psalm, you will many times read that Word is alive and it gives life.
When you eat of it, you will actually get life into you. LIFE PRODUCES LIFE. We live in a world with so much death and sickness and we need more life than ever. I pray that the Word of God shall come alive in your life this year. Without the Word, you will become a weak Christian and the end result might be that you loose your faith. EAT THE WORD DAILY!
The Word is also TRUTH. We are living in a word full of lies. We know that lies bind people, but the truth sets us FREE. Some people experience a heaviness when they read the Bible. They feel they have to, but have no joy. Maybe you are bound by religious spirits. We must not forget that we also have an enemy and he knows that the Truht makes us Free. He can do anything to keep us away from the Word. RESIST THE DEVIL AND STAND FIRM IN YOUR FAITH.
The Word is also compared with a seed. You can feed yourself and give it to others. Since it is a seed of life, it produces only ETERNAL FRUITS.
LET US PRODUCE LOTS OF FRUIT IN THE YEAR OF 2008 AND LET US STAND FIRM IN OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!