He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. Luke 17:6
For the people of this world the name of the church denomination where you attend is what your faith is. Rather faith is a way of life for men and women that have the confidence to believe in God to supply their needs with the expectancy of receiving their requests. This faith is a firm confidence built up over time by spending time with Jesus Christ getting to know him as a friend. Christians believe so strongly in Jesus Christ that they have a personal relationship with God. Still it is one thing to know that God exists and another to seek a relationship with a person no one has ever seen. In addition, the way of life God wants his believers to adopt is completely foreign to the common life that men live in day to day life. Ultimately the truth about faith is found your confidence in God to rescue you in times of need.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16
What is the cause for Christians around the world to seek and have a fulfilling relationship with a being that man cannot see or touch, but can speak and hear from? Why should Christians believe God incarnate came in the person of Jesus Christ born of a virgin and dwelt among men? Why believe the testimony of the disciples who had a face to face encounter with this Jesus and developed a close relationship with God? Why would this relationship with Jesus Christ compel the disciples to leave their comfort zone to go into the world, be persecuted for the name of Jesus Christ and eventually die for their faith. One of his disciples named John had this to say of his Lord and Savior.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched ó this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 1 John 1:1
John went on to write five books of the new testament testifying to what he had seen and heard of Jesus Christ and confirmed the good news Christ brought to mankind. Convinced in what he believed John wrote, I write to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. This sentence testifies to those read it of his faith in a compassionate and caring person of Jesus Christ. This good news was not from Jesus Christ alone because God the father sent Jesus with the message of salvation. John and the disciples taught that salvation is for everyone that is willing to place their trust in the name of the Lord.
And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 2:32 and Acts 2:21
Why should you believe in God? What is so compelling that men and women in every culture of the earth would consider that God exists? For the average person the first ten words of the bible give a satisfactory explanation of his or her origin.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth Genesis 1:1.
However, the first ten words of the bible require the faith to believe God is capable of creating the world and everything understood by our human senses. On the other hand the origin of the earth is major mystery to scientists who are trying to discover the origin of the physical world, how it came about and why men exist. Scientist has looked at the physical evidence and has drawn their conclusions on scientific fact for over a hundred years. The outcome is theories of how the earth originated. The Christian and scientist use similar methods to derive the truth, but the conclusion is often different. Scientists live by factual evidence and derive explanations that can be proven, but at the same time, their conclusions will vary from one scientist to the next. Every Christian lives by faith in Godís word and a deep conviction that the word of God is the absolute truth.
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. Hebrews 11:6
The bible tells us that man is without excuse and what may be known about God has been made it plain to everyone on the face of the earth. (Romans 1: 19) Although it may be plain to men and women of every culture, it is still a choice to believe in God by faith when you never seen him face to face. However, from a Christian perspective, only those lacking prudence could choose to say there is no God. Within the world there are men that understand God exists, but see little need for a relationship with God since they donít see or understand the benefits of trusting God. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God has rewards for those who earnestly seek him, but for the most part, God is sought when men and women become desperate and have no other place to go. Those who seek God for selfish reasons will not gain the attention of God and those who seek God for the right motives receive the salvation of their souls.
Seeking God for salvation and the hope of eternal life changes your relationship with God. Why would God give us eternal life unless he received some sort of benefit himself? The relationship God wants from you is a commitment that involves Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and the promise of serving him the rest of your life. This commitment is more than becoming a child of God, you become a member of the royal family in Godís kingdom. Once the child of God learns about the generosity and goodness of God he or she develops the desire to serve God of their free will.
Most of us have heard of the golden rule, but didnít know that faith in God is a two way street or that God has faith in you? In your prayer when you asked Jesus to come into your heart, you made a committed effort through faith to serve God. God chooses to believe your commitment to him by faith. The prayer of faith is an open demonstration that you expect God to respond with an answer corresponding to what youíve asked for. God has a expectation of you to keep your commitment to serve him the rest of your life even when that includes eternity.
Immediately on accepting Jesus as Lord, we have the absolute knowledge that we will go to heaven should we die. God adopts us into his family as his children and he opens our eyes to his love and begins to share things found in the realm of truth. God opens the floodgates of heaven and sends his Son to dwell in our hearts filling us with his Holy Spirit. Our citizenship within the Kingdom of God has been established and we become sojourners in the earth looking for a home not made by human hands. We gain unlimited access to the throne of God and the wisdom, mercy and grace that he generous provides when you need it.
GodĎs mind is not subject to change and has made his promises irrevocable. His promises are so deeply fixed that they give you the ability to remain upright and additional stability in a corrupt world. In addition, everything God does reveals a concern for your well being, you have the confidence to believe that the promise of things to come Ė will come in Godís time.
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Men and women want the assurance that Godís plan gives them, but they also design a feasible strategy to acquire the things of this life through an intelligent effort. For Christians, faith is the way to obtain the hope we have in Jesus, the hope of glory. Our hope is in Godís promise of eternal life and while that life is off in the future eternal life started on the day we committed our life to Jesus Christ. On the other hand, the faith of some becomes a desire to reach a hundred million people with the truth of God, which is virtually impossible for the average person. Christians go to God for help because God says there is nothing too hard or impossible for him to do. God opens doors and makes things happen to where it becomes possible to reach billions of people for Christ.
While nothing is impossible to God, placing your trust in God for divine help is still a way to make the impossible feasible. Faith is the confidence that if you ask God to do the impossible the outcome will simply overwhelm your mind. The certainty we have in God to obtain goals is mutually advantageous to a relationship with you, which is Godís priority. So how does this all work out when everything is said and done. Our relationship with God has one major objective. God wants us to form a solid dependence on him to help you to achieve your goals while he depends on you to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Where is the truth or the likelihood of achieving your goal if you donít apply an effort on your part to accomplish them? James tells us faith without works is dead. You may have a stack of lumber, the blueprints in your hand and the knowledge to assemble a house, but unless you apply an effort to fasten and assemble the lumber in its proper place you will fail every time.
Where is the truth when we ask God to help with our plans if we are not willing to lift a finger to carry out Godís plan? Children want things such as toys to play with, but after they played with the toy for a short time they loose interest in it. Then they turn their attention to a more expensive toy and demand it. You begin to realize that all they want from you as a parent is the toy when you are demanding responsibility and respect in return. The things your children ask of you show that they know where things come from, but what they do in return shows the extent of their love for you. In the same way the willingness of his children to do what God asks of them shows the respect for their heavenly father.
Most Christians have aspirations or the initiative for great and noble tasks. Its not that they lack the gumption to work for them, but they are afraid of failure. For some their mind is filled with doubt and the job suddenly becomes more than what they are capable of doing. To others the job becomes impossible while others have not developed the perseverance needed to be successful. Weíve often heard that ďwhere there is a will there is a way.Ē Those who exercise their faith for the first time learn what Jesus meant when he said ďthe spirit is willing but the flesh is weakĒ(Matthew 26:41). Although you want to walk in faith at the last second change your mind to do things the in way of the world. Doesnít your faith in God give you the desire to attempt the impossible? Doesnít God teach us that faith must be allowed to mature to overcome the weakness of the flesh?
Because God is able to do more you can imagine or conceive in your mind, faith demands a determined and dedicated effort on your part to implement. You must train yourself to exercise your faith in God. Learn to rely on God for things other than toys, expect Godís help and understand that matured faith may take the rest of your life to acquire. Faith is the capability of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when it is so far off that it only seems to be nothing more than a speck of light barely visible to the eye. Yet as we travel through the tunnel toward that light and as the end of the tunnel becomes closer the brighter the light becomes.
Matured faith does not come over night or in a blink of an eye. Your confidence in the person of Jesus Christ is developed as your relationship with Jesus Christ grows. Faith begins with trusting Jesus Christ to deliver you from the penalty of sin. As your relationship with Jesus Christ grows you will begin to tell Jesus about your desires while Jesus shares his desires with you. As your faith in Jesus grows you will make a unified effort to please Jesus Christ by applying your time and effort to see the desires of Jesus are met.
Do we not naturally return good for the good that has been done to us? Isnít it human nature to love those who love us? Doesnít God draw closer to us when we seek him and want his attention? The compassion we show for others is returned to us like the principle of sowing and reaping. The seed you sow is the fruit that grows and the faith you sow in Christ will be harvested later in life. Kindness begets kindness just as easily as those who smile at you when you smile at them.
Man explains this occurrence in this way, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Christian explains faith as a confidence in God that we will reap what we have sown today and in the future.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8
Do our deeds reflect a desire to please Jesus Christ? We have become a new creation in Jesus Christ and our eyes have a new view of what true life is all about. We have become a new person and have begun to see life through the eyes of Jesus Christ. This relationship with Jesus Christ affects our attitude and the perspective of how we see life.
Through our relationship with Christ we have a greater acceptance of the principles God lives by. Our day to day contact with Jesus becomes the experience that we remember and count on when the world interrupts our way of life. However, it is these trials that bring us closer to Jesus as we adopt the ways of God and learn to walk in a way that is prudent and pleases God.
We also learn that we canít avoid trials by going around them. Nor can we escape them either, but going through the trials of life with Jesus makes you a better person that the world will see and admire. Through the trials of life you will see the integrity of God and his constant concern over your well being that develops your loyalty to him.
Faith is not just a set of principles that guides your life, but a way of life that trusts in God and his wisdom completely. What you know and understand about the nature of God increases your zeal for life and the successes you acquire following his advice deepens you relationship with God. God does not find fault in the person who asks for wisdom, but Godís wisdom demands a personal relationship.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:6-8
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14
The world does not trust things that they can not see or touch and loose the certainty of knowing Godís trustworthiness. They have refused to seek a truth that is of no use to them or fathom would benefit their life. They see life in difference to truth and the truth about their integrity is thrown to the ground in an attempt to bury the deeds that they are ashamed of doing. They donít realize that everything they have done will be laid bare before the Lord and he will judge every man according to their deeds.
Through the confidence that other Christians share in God, you became aware of the truth. Men of faith came proclaiming the word of life and you were persuaded to accept Jesus as your Lord. Since the day Jesus became Lord, have you grown to know Jesus as a friend who is seeking what is best for your life and is actively working with you to help you to live the abundant life. Ultimately your confidence in Christ is due to the experiences that you have faced with him and have overcome. Jesus overcame the world with Godís help and God will help you so you can overcome the world too.