What is Faith?
This is the season Christians call Lent. We remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save us from eternal death. But we need to believe these facts through FAITH. Some days FAITH isn’t easy. Sometimes FAITH in something is the hardest thing to do.
As gardeners, we plant tulip bulbs in the fall hoping they will germinate and in the spring give us beautiful tulips. We have FAITH in the bulbs, water, sunshine and God’s working in creation.
As a Christian, having FAITH in the saving grace of Jesus Christ fills us with HOPE!
Blow Wind, Blow
I like the saying – “If you can explain God, He wouldn’t be God.” People try to explain the Holy Spirit and His work. Believers in Christ Jesus are given the gift of the Holy Spirit in their lives to help them in their growing relationship with God so they may encourage others in their walk with God. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 12-14, that the Holy Spirit gives believers spiritual gifts of encouragement, hospitality, faith, healing, and many more gifts. And in Galatians 5:22-23,
“… the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
In John 3, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a Jewish Religious Leader. Jesus explained to Nicodemus how a person can enter the Kingdom of God. He said, . . .
“without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” John 3:5b-8 [New Living Translation]
The Holy Spirit isn’t easy to explain, and neither is how He works to change people’s hearts to believe. That’s where FAITH comes in. We need to surrender our hearts and believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God. He died to forgive us of ALL of our sins. All we need to do is BELIEVE. When we do that the Holy Spirit lives in us and begins to change us to be more and more like Jesus every day.
Filtered Through the Blood of Christ
I last wrote about us being masterpieces made by God. Then I got to thinking about the old analogy:
When we look at the back of the work of art, we see all the knots and paths to get to the next color area. However, God sees the entire piece from the front and sees the beauty and value. We can easily compare that to our lives. The back shows the imperfections and sins in us. Yet God, knowing we are sinners, still sees us as beautiful, priceless masterpieces. He looks at us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ dying on the cross. He sees the individual He created. He sees our inner beauty. He sees our value. He sees very clearly the plans He has for us.
I think we wonder how God can look at us as perfect masterpieces. How can He see selfish, sinful, imperfect people as precious, valued and prize? God uses the filter of the blood of Jesus Christ to look at us.
Here’s an example of what a filter can do. In photography, and particularly in Photoshop, one can use different filters to change a perspective. This is a photo of something I took that is common, but I applied a chrome filter to it:
When looked at, most people say they see water or ice, but they don’t come anywhere close to what the actual object is.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, it means Jesus died in our place on the cross. When God looks at us, He no longer sees the imperfections and sins. God sees us through the filter of Jesus’ blood. Our sins and imperfections can’t show up through the “blood filter”, and God sees us as perfect as He is.
Ephesians 3:12 says that through Jesus we have confident, bold access to God. We are encouraged to approach the Father confidently and boldly because in His eyes we are perfect. We no longer bear the evidence of sin or imperfections before His eyes. Why? Because we act perfectly and do what is right all the time? No way! Because God sees us through Jesus’ “blood-filter” which has made us perfect us forever.
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. – 1 John 1:9
We used Heidelberg Catechism Lord’s Day 23, Q&A 60 this Sunday –
How are you right with God?
Only by true faith in Jesus Christ. Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments and of never having kept any of them, and even though I am still inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without my deserving it at all, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is to accept this gift of God with a believing heart.
Praying you will be blessed with the knowledge that through the blood of Jesus Christ, you are made perfect ~ Faye
Here is the original photo I took:
Linked to Good Morning Girls and Beholding Glory
Delight in God
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. ~ Hebrews 11:1 [NLT]
This morning during my devotional time, I found myself praying something like this – Father, forgive me when I let the frustrations with what my body cannot do take over my attitudes and actions. It wasn’t moment’s later He led me to the following “It takes a radical reliance on God’s Word – specifically God’s promises about the day when the healing and wholeness He’s secured for us/me will become the reality we will see and know and enjoy.” [Nancy Guthrie-Abundant Life]
I can’t describe how I felt – awed, humbled, embarrassed, thankful, grateful. God heard my prayer and answered almost immediately – not with physical healing, but with words of encouragement. He may not heal our diseases or solve issues here on earth, but He always hears our prayers. And better yet, He promises that He will abundantly bless us in the life to come. God blesses us with glimpses of His glory and goodness.
While walking today, I was blessed by the sunshine, white wispy clouds, and the eagle soaring above me. Later I watched a Downy Woodpecker working at the trunk of a tree. How can a bird get food from frozen trees is beyond me, but God provides for all. God’s goodness for all His creatures is a glimpse of how much more He cares for us.
Guthrie states, “To live by faith is not to have confidence that God will make everything okay for us in this life, but that He will more than make up for the pain and difficulty of this life in the next.” What incredible assurance we have! What a precious gift from God – FAITH!
So many people today seem to be burdened with trials. When we become so focused on the things of this world – good or bad –we miss the promise from God for our future.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart ~ Psalm 37:4
Praying that you will enjoy seeing the blessing of God’s goodness to you today ~ Faye
This blog is linked with Good Morning Girls Link-Up Wednesday.