The “Least likely” Maturing in the faith

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And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritence among all those who are sanctified (Acts 20:32)

“Why me Lord?!” Almost always our first response to God in our season of circumstance, And yet, 66 book of the Bible give more than enough reason to respond, “Why Not me?!” In my contemplation, I am lead to look at three area that impact my faith and maturity in Christ; How I see myself, How others see me, and What I might look like if… Let’s track together and see what the Scriptures reveal anout our disciplines in this area:

Gideon is called: (Judges 6:11-12) The Angel of the Lordcame, and sat under the oak that was on Ophrah, which belonged to Joash, the Albiezrite. His son Gideonn was threshing wheat in the wine vat in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12 Then the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: The Lord is with you mighty warrior.

“Gideon” A military general, judge and Prophet called to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites, and to turn them from their idol worship of Baal, back to God.

God will use the most unlikely to accomplish the greatest tasks. Why? Our inferiority to God. (Isaiah 55:8) “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways” This is the Lord’s declaration.
We doubt our worthiness and capabilities: (Judges 6:14-15) The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and deliver Israel from the power of Midian. Am I not sending you? 15 He said to Him, “Please Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.
Others are not convinced: (1 Samuel 17:33) 33 But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Phillistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.
Even Moses doubted his ability to finish what God Almighty had already ordained.
.. But you’ve been conditioning all along for this moment: (1 Samuel 17:33-34) David answered, “Your servant has been tending your father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock 33 I went after it and struck it down and rescued the lamb from it’s mouth.
Samuel, son of Elkanah, and Hannah; His appearance was certainly a divine appointment: (1 Samuel 1:27-28) I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord. Then he bowed down in worship tp the Lord there. At a very young age, Samuel served in the tabernacle long before being called to his kingship. (1 Samuel 2:18) The boy Samuel served in the Lord’s presence and wore a linen ephod (hip length sleeveless garment). His dities included making certain the menorah (lamp stand) remained lit until the sun rose, and opening the doors to the tabernacle.
In all instances, None knew where their paths would lead and the impact they wotld have. Gideon doubted, David was seen as inferior and incapable to complete the assignment, Moses was both, and Samuel had no clue of what God had instore. The common thread was their obedience to move pass their limitations, and through their circumstance to ultimately become champions of their faith. The season you’re in is conditioning you for your next assignment.

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Get moving! Working out our salvation.

Good morning. The greatest testament to our faith is our actions. We know that we mature in our faith comes from tempering-A process known sanctification (Isaiah48:10).  Maturity in the faith comes by the continual contention of the Holy Spirit at war with the flesh.  Thus, How we live out our faith reveals the substance of our faith. The book of Hebrews lays out what the testament, and substance looks like- Self-reflection will reveal the necessary steps to champion our faith.

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(2 Timothy 4:7) I have fought the good fight, I gave finished the race, I have kept the faith

 

39 But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life HEBREWS 10:39.

 

 

Purpose of writings: “Encouragement”; maturing in the faith. Theories hold that the audience was possibly Jews who broke away from the main church; who were converts to Christianity. They were wavering in the faith, contemplating returning (to Judaism) in fear of persecution. The audience were possibly “Gentile Christians”- believers who were Not Jewish; those who were not quite members of the club.
The impetus “main point”: kreitton Gk: “More excellent” *Maturity in our faith. The author writes about Jesus’ ministry (life, ministry, resurrection), HIs focus on OT covenant says that the audience only knew OT; The Law (Judaism). He ties OT covenant to NT to prove Jesus was OT prophecy fulfilled. His focus on OT “Heroes of faith” (Hebrews 11) was to provide evidence of accomplishments of those who stepped out in faith.
Exodus 14:15-16 The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me?” Tell the Israelites to break camp. Stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so the Israelites can go through on dry land HCSB
Fact “Believer’s truths”: (Ephesians 2:6-8) We are save by grace through faith. We rare given more than enough faith to move through our assignments; We need to move: Then the prophet Gad said,” Don’t stay in the stronghold, Leave and return to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
Champion our faith. Now faith is confidence in what we hope and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients commended for.
By Hope and sheer Determination we develop Earth Shaking Faith: (Hebrews 11:13-14)All these people were still living by faith when they died. They didn’t receive the things that were promised; they only saw them form a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things are looking for a country of their own.
Our marching orders; Maturing in our faith:
Discussion:
(Romans 8:15) “Identify” mountains presently keeping me from growing my faith-Face them down: 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have a Spirit of adoption as sons (daughters), by whom we cry “Abba Father”
(Philippians 4:6) “Pray” for strength as God’s mighty hand to move and transform me: 6 Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.
(Matthew 17:20) “Move” toward my mountain(s)-Face them down. 20 Ge replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ’Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing is impossible for you.
PRAYER:
LORD, I pray for strength and protection from your mighty hand as I step out in faith to these things you have called me to do. I submit to the finished work of Your, Son Jesus Christ, and to the hope that is in You. I pray for strength to remain obedient as I am moved through my assignments. In the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen

Pursuing Jesus; Just a glimpse

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Deuteronomy 7:9) Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands

Matthew 9:21 Just then a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached from behind and touched the tassel of Hid robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just touch His robe, I’ll be made well HCSB
*For she said within herself, If I may touch his garment, I shall be whole KJV
Gardarenes: On the southeast region of the Sea of Galilee at the outset of Jesus’ ministry. The woman: possibly Hebrew.
This woman was humiliated, a social outcast; unworthy. Yet her condition did not affect her faith. The bleeding woman was ceremonially unclean and prevented from entering the temple for worship. The penalty for breaking this law was punishable by stoning.
*OUR CIRCUMSTANCE SHOULD NEVER CAUSE US TO SHRINK BACK FROM OUR FAITH; Never affect our need for God.
After all, Moses Stuttered: 10 But Moses said to the LORD, ‘Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue EXODUS 4.
Faith is fueled by our Love for Him. 12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me and give me a willing spirit PSALM 51:12
Matthew 14:36 They were begging Him that they might only touch the tassel on His robe. As many as touched it were made perfectly well.
“LONGING” a yearning a desire (to be in His presence) 2 My soul thirsts for the living God; When shall I come and appear before Him? PSALM 42:2
Seek to be filled with spiritual substance; Not only will we be filled, but will be sustained: Psalm 107:9 For He has satisfied the thirsty and filled the hungry with good things HCSB
*For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. KJV
Press in and pursue His healing: Matthew 5:6 The sermon on the mount “The Beatitudes” They came hungry and thirsting: 6 Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed for they will be healed.
James 5: He is faithful to restore those who obediently pursue Him: 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven
Let us pray: LORD, I offer my praise, and thank you for Your transforming spirit at work within me; Thank you for the healing and restoring me back to yourself. I pray that in my season, I may just have a glimpse of your goodness and be filled

A “New Season”

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Acts 2:38 Repent, Peter said to them, “and be baptized each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the Holy Spirit.
Repentance; To turn away. Changing the mind will cause the heart to change which will in-turn cause the flesh to follow:
FAITH CHECK: When first coming to Christ, what was my reaction when told I need to give up my Old self (carnality) to follow Christ? What about now?
Focus: John the Baptist (Matthew 3)-The need to change. Read 3:11, What is John implying, how do I interpret this message? *Walking the Walk, Keeping our faith feet to the fire.

The dilemma: Bondage:
Genesis 3. “We want” We are bound by our carnality (Pneuma-Sarx); helpless in our humanity: Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. ESV
*Impetus (Focus): John the Baptist (Matthew 3)-The need to change. Read 3:11, What is John implying, how do I interpret this message?
Question: What are some things we can do change our ways? There is nothing we can do. Our righteousness is imputed (Paid was by another), Our grace. Unmerited.
John the Baptist tells us we must be Emancipated-Freed from Our old-selves. This freedom can only come through submission and surrender:
Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Matthew 3:11 I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
Three virtues we need to keep in check in our walks:
Proclamation: Baptism, Public Statement of “My Choice” to follow Jesus. Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live
Conviction, Commitment: “I Will” at all costs: Living out my faith. “Read:” Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup I drink or to be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with
Affirmation: “I can” Philippians 4:13 I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens Me.
*These are intrinsic. You cannot have one without the other.
These virtues can only be developed by repetition, Daily. Perhaps we need to re-commit our lives back to Christ. Thoughts?
What about devotionals, sitting at the throne of the King: 27 Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my up rightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant PSALM 35:

A NEW RESOLUTION.
“I Choose to” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
and,
Out of obedience, “I Will” (Mark 10:38)
(Mark 10:38)
Because,
“I Can” (Philippians 4:13)

Let us pray: Lord, Thank You for the precious gift of my salvation. Thank You for Your unceasing mercies and grace you pour out on me. I recommit my life to you and submit all that I am to be filled with Your trans-forming Holy Spirit. Let me find my strength in you and help keep my eyes trained on You. Let me find victory in You through a constant renewing of my heart. I love You, and turn all my praises back to You. In the mighty name of Your Son Jesus Christ, Amen.