You are a person of faith!

Did you know that you’re a person of great faith? (Hebrews 11:1–2)

It’s true—you are, and so is everyone else. Not a day passes without each of us exercising considerable faith. For example, you did it when you showered this morning. You trusted that the soap manufacturer didn’t put some caustic substance in the soap that would burn your skin. When you drove to work, you trusted that the drivers of the oncoming cars wouldn’t suddenly pull in front of you. When you got to work and flipped on the light switch, you believed that the light would come on.

The author of Hebrews tells us that faith is like that. It’s being sure of things you hope for without having them yet; it’s being certain that unseen things are real.

Notice that faith is not just positive thinking. And it’s more than mere intuition. Faith is only as good as its object; it must have a worthy focus or it’s just a blind hunch. When God asks you to trust him, he isn’t asking you to take a blind leap. Faith in God is built on the evidence he has supplied, which includes fulfilled prophecy, eyewitness reports, historical and archaeological confirmations of the Bible’s trustworthiness, God’s divine insight into human nature as seen in the pages of Scripture, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (which confirmed his supernatural credentials) and the changed lives of believers down through history—to name just a few examples.

Since you already live by faith in many areas of your life, depending daily on less reliable things, why not put your full confidence in God, who is reliable and is offering you forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

Taken from NIV The NIV Journey Bible

Well how about it? How long are you going to resist God? How long will you live? Seek God whilst you still have the chance. You have faith in other things which will ultimately pass away now have the faith that God exists for as sure as you might be that He doesn’t……..He does.

Shirley Anne

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Faith to believe

The post is mainly aimed at those who doubt, who do not believe in God or Jesus Christ but it equally applies to believers too. Since becoming a Christian believer myself almost thirty years ago after a lifetime of staunchly adhering to atheism it has always been my passion to introduce others to Christ. Some say that to believe one has to have an inclination that way in the first place and for many I guess that could be true but I also think that many would turn to Christ if they really knew more about him. It is true that a desire to know more and to have an inquiring heart really does help and even Scripture tells us this. God says that those who earnestly seek Him WILL find Him. I always say too that the alternative does not bear thinking about! All I can add is to reach out to God and He will respond……..and He already knows what you will do………..

Shirley Anne

Now That's What I Call Faith
Now That’s What I Call Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAITH AND UNBELIEF (Mark 5:24–34)

Faith is different from feelings. Feelings are based on circumstances, and they change like the weather. Faith involves acting, trusting and believing that God is real, at work and working for believers’ good—regardless of what one may happen to feel at the moment. In fact, sometimes faith leads believers in the opposite direction of feelings.

The woman in this passage had been suffering for a long time. As her disorder involved blood, she was perpetually “unclean” (according to Jewish law), and as a result had likely been ostracized by her community. When she heard about the healing power of Jesus, she boldly braved the large crowd and reached out to him in faith. His response: “Daughter, your faith has healed you” (Mk 5:34).

God invites people to faithfully trust him for all of life (Pr 3:5–6). The way of Jesus is the way of trust. All throughout his life on earth, Jesus demonstrated absolute faith in his Father and challenged his followers to exercise the same kind of faith.

For many reasons, people are prone to doubt. Modern western culture is fraught with skepticism. The contemporary search for truth says, “Understand in order to believe.” And against this thinking, Jesus has always maintained, “Believe in order to understand.” In the struggle with doubt and unbelief, Jesus encourages people, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mk 5:36). The way of Jesus is the way of trusting God every day, for this life and the next.

Prayer
Jesus, please don’t let me get distracted by feelings, which can be so fickle. I want to believe in you, trust in you and surrender to you, even when I don’t feel like it. Amen.

Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Shirley Anne

Hanging on

Throughout our lives we may find ourselves caught up in situations outside our control. Though we may struggle to see a way out or a solution to problems we are facing we often cling on to a hope that things will change for the better. We hang on for as long as we are able or until the situation is resolved. We may not be happy with the result but we’ve done our best. How often have we heard others lending their support in encouragement by saying hang on in there? The length of time we are able to resist giving in and throwing in the towel depends on our inner strength, our faith and our determination. Sometimes we are thrown off-course by things out of our control and simply have to accept it. Earlier in the year I noticed our apple trees did not produce the fruit we had expected, in fact one tree had no fruit whilst the other had produced only four apples…

A later photograph of the same tree…..

And later still this picture taken on 25 November…….

Still hanging on through thick and thin. At the time I wrote this post and took the picture I wanted to pluck them from the tree before they fell of their own accord or were blown off in a high wind but E insisted I leave them until December just to see if they would remain hanging on. Life is like that. Sometimes we just don’t know if we should remain hanging on or give in to the pressure to let go. As a Christian I am encouraged to hang on in faith in order to overcome those things which can threaten to bring me down or to simply wait for answered prayer. We should all be encouraged to hang on in there just like the four little apples on my tree.

Shirley Anne

 

Who do you say he is?

Maybe you have heard about Jesus, maybe you learned about him at school but did you understand? Did you reject the possibility that Jesus was God in the flesh once you grew out of childhood and reasoned things out for yourself? Many do exactly that but they are rejecting their Creator. Evidence for God surrounds us all and we have no excuse in denying that. Many will say that creation (of life) came about through natural processes that were the result of a developing universe but fail to see that even the universe had a beginning. Who then created the Universe? You see God has always been, He exists outside of time, He was not created as many try to assume. ‘Who created God?’, they say. God is Spirit and we too are spirit though for now we live in the flesh too. Once we die our spirit still lives on, not in the thoughts of those we leave behind but for all eternity with the Spirit who created us, that is if we believe. Jesus came from God for he is God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus points the way to God and there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. If you don’t believe in Jesus how can you believe in God?


Embed from Getty Images

Matthew 16:13-17

Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.

…………………….

Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to come into your life by His Spirit and lead you to Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

Faith

228Have you faith? Do you have faith in anything or anyone? Maybe you have trusted in that faith and have been let down? Now you have become wary of trusting in anything as a result perhaps? How can you trust in anything anymore? You can live in the hope that things will work out but you can never be sure, or can you? Is there anything in which you can place your faith and have your hopes fulfilled?

Hebrews 11  (New International Version – UK)
Faith in action

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (read more…) 

If you have continued to read you will see that faith in action and the results that followed. In God we are promised eternal life through His Son Jesus Christ but only if we have the faith to believe it. The first requirement is to be open to the possibility that God actually exists and then reach out to Him. If we are sincere and have that faith He will respond. Of course we must also repent of our sins and place our trust in Jesus having that faith……….

Ephesians 2:7-9

in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.

Put your faith in something that will reap the best reward you could ever receive……….eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.

Shirley Anne

Brothers and sisters

Brothers & Sisters (song)
Brothers & Sisters (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For so many years I was an avid unbeliever, an atheist, stubbornly refusing to have anything to do with ‘religion’ and totally against the idea of a creator God. That all changed about twenty-six years ago when I began to study The Bible and finding myself reaching out to this god whom I had rejected. At that time I was writing poems and verses and most of them concerned God and my reaching out to Him. I became a Christian, born again of The Spirit of God or as many say a ‘born again Christian‘. Whatever terminology is used I became a believer and began to understand what it meant to be a Christian. The message was quite simple, is quite simple…..We are all sinners, helpless to pay the price for those sins and we need a Saviour, someone who would pay the price for us and thereby set us free. That Saviour is Jesus. We need to repent of our sins and accept Jesus as Saviour so that we can be saved from eternal punishment.
John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’

God did it for us. How amazing is that? We have to reach out and take that gift though. I did that early in 1989 when I became a Christian believer. I learned that I had to tell others for it was and is incumbent on me to do so. A Christian believer who fails to witness to others is being disobedient to the One who saves them.

The great commission

Matthew 28:

 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’

We are to tell others about The Gospel…..the Good News………..the truth that is in Christ Jesus and the salvation offered in his name. So brothers and sisters in Christ remember your obligation and witness wherever you are and as the opportunity arises.

Shirley Anne

On whom do you call?

English: David praying the Lord. A Georgian mi...
David praying to the Lord. A Georgian miniature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On whom do you call in times of trouble? When faced with danger do you cry out for help? From where does that help come? People will often call out to God when things are going wrong or they find themselves in sticky situations but fail to believe in the One they are calling out to! Calling on God’s name is done without thought, it has become automatic and totally without meaning or faith. I am not sure what they expect will happen but they will probably say it makes them feel better but that is a false security for without God we have nothing. Next time you call upon the name of The Lord make sure He knows who is calling out to Him. If you don’t have a relationship with Him He may not respond. Call out to Him for mercy with a repentant heart, not as one who is a stranger but one who loves Him as you ought….

Psalm 20
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
5 May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
6 Now this I know:
the Lord gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
9 Lord, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!
Shirley Anne

How to come to God

Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptis...
Triumph of Faith over Idolatry, by Jean-Baptiste Théodon (French, 1646–1713). Church of the Gesù, Rome, Italy

Hebrews 11:6

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Many people I speak with say they do not believe in God or that He exists. They ask me why I do and what it was that caused me to believe.
I would like to think that this is true of my own experience: ‘A seed was sown in my heart which sprouted and grew. It was watered and fed and tenderly looked after. That seed grew into a large tree which produced fruit. That fruit produced even more seeds to continue the cycle’ but whether I have lived up to that will be judged by God. Although a seed was planted in my heart I had to believe in God for anything to happen. Seeds can be planted on stony ground and not be able to take root. My heart was open to God, my heart was seeking Him but I still needed that faith to believe. My reward was the knowledge that I was a sinner who needed salvation, who needed a saviour, who was condemned, who could not change my predicament but because of Jesus, because of my repentant heart, because I had faith to believe and accept his sacrifice by Gods mercy and grace I was saved. God doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. If you haven’t the faith to believe then ask God. Earnestly seek Him and ask for a faith to believe.

Shirley Anne

You might think

Rotating Black Hole
Rotating Black Hole

Many of my readers will have gathered by now that I like my work and I like working at home because of the many posts I have dedicated to it, especially more recently. Many will be wondering if I have any sort of life beyond what I do at work. They may think that all I do is work, work, work. Well that isn’t true of course. I might not write much about the many things I get up to but you can be sure I am active in other areas apart from my work. I play my guitar quite often but there is little to remark about that. I read quite a lot too but the things I read about are not fiction. they are all based on fact, I don’t read much fiction, hardly any at all. Most everything I read is factual. I read The Bible often and you might be thinking well, isn’t that fiction? I can assure you that it isn’t, it is filled with actual historic events all of which have been corroborated through other historical texts. The parts many people do not understand are those which make reference to a deity, a creator God and a redeemer called Jesus, thinking they are just fiction. Of course I disagree with such people because I have first-hand experience of God and Jesus, something which I cannot deny and that is why I believe in them both. I watched a television program a while back in which they were discussing observations of ‘Black Holes’. There are such phenomenal gravitational forces associated with Black Holes that once material is sucked into them it is lost forever, even light itself cannot escape such a strong gravity which is why we cannot see Black Holes and why they are so described. Yet something created all of what we do see and even what we don’t. Some people will say that we will one day be able to understand how the Universe was made for no-one so far has been able to. Many have put forward theories regarding Creation but the real answer lies in Creation having been created, suddenly popping into existence where nothing existed before. Many would argue that the Universe was created by a Black Hole expelling all of the material it had previously accumulated, which could actually be true but where did that material originally come from? God made it all. Simple. The Bible tells us that God created material from nothing, it wasn’t there before God made it. People might say that cannot be proven but I am already convinced and do not need tangible ‘proof’, my faith tells me it is true. Faith is like a receipt for something that has yet to be delivered, a sort of guarantee that it will arrive, a promise. You might think all of this is nonsense but you will always think that way unless your heart changes.

Shirley Anne

Blind faith in something

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith
Have Faith

I find it difficult to understand why people believe in what they do sometimes. Mostly I cannot understand the philosophy of those who think that love is the all important answer to our problems and they will quote many leaders and religious people to stress the point. Often they will include Jesus among them as a sort of concession standing Him alongside people like Gandhi and Buddha as being just another good person. Their whole philosophy has love as its central theme. Well of course there is nothing wrong in promoting love and ideally we should all be living a life of love, love toward our fellow man, our neighbour as Jesus Christ said. However their philosophy leaves out one important factor. We are also taught and told to love God first and foremost and then our neighbours as ourselves. You see their kind of love places human beings above anything else and shuns the idea that there is a supreme being we call God. Many ‘religious’ philosophies don’t have a god but some recognise a ‘superior being’, a ‘great spirit’, an entity more powerful than ourselves. They fail to understand that this ‘being’ is in fact real and can be known on a personal level rather than being simply remote and intangible or something simply ‘spiritual’. That God is the Creator God and He is the only God. He is Yahweh, the God of The Bible, The I Am, He who was and is and shall be forevermore. Jesus Christ isn’t just another ‘good person’ to be compared to any man no matter how good other men are considered to be or were for Jesus Christ is more than that, He is God incarnate, God made flesh, the exact representation of God The Father and He can be known. In fact it is necessary. Without Jesus Christ we remain in our sins. It doesn’t matter if we love everyone else in this world and have that kind of philosophy as a way of living. Without Jesus Christ in our lives it is totally meaningless, without putting God first we waste our time. Be the philosopher, the theosophist, the wise man, the prophet, or whatever else you feel is right but without God, without Jesus Christ you are wasting your time and your salvation hangs in the balance. Many will say that Christians have a blind faith but that is far from the truth. The Christians faith is based on love, the love of God, the love of Jesus Christ and the promise of everlasting life for those who believe these things in their hearts and speak them openly with their mouths. Faith alone though isn’t enough, there has to be faith with works. Forget false religions and philosophies and come to the living God in Christ Jesus. Put all your faith in Him.
Shirley Anne