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

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In the midst of the storm

Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ”See-it is written about me in the volume of the scroll,
I have come to do your will, God!HCSB

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Your pain does not belong to you: You number my wanderings; put my tears in you bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8) NKJV

SEEING THE WORKS OF GOD IN MY LIFE

Psalm 10 1 Why, Lord, do you stand far off?

Why do you hide yourself in times

Of trouble?

2 In their arrogance the wicked hunt down

The weak,

Catching the schemes they devise

Feeling abandoned (by God), Standing outside the grace of God, Why? The Psalmist is probably addressing an agnostic, or someone in the infancy of their faith. The focus is inward in the plight. As opposed to God’s greatness

(Psalm 10:8-10) He waits in ambush near the villages;

He kills the innocent in secret places,

His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless.

9 he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket.

He lurks in order to seize the afflicted and drags him in his net

10 So he is oppressed and beaten down; the helpless fall because of him

”Help Me” Lord, I am afraid…

We forget,

God is powerful because, GOD DOES NOT CHANGE (Hebrews 13:8), He is Immovable and Uncompromising (Isaiah 40:28) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

God is JUST: (Exodus 33:19) ‘And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and proclaim before you My name ‘The Lord’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.

(Proverbs 3:5-6) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths KJV

*Submit all your ways to God, Enter into a Intimate relationship with Him: (Psalm 9:10) Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek you Yahweh

Celebrate God in All Things

(Psalm 9:1-2) 1 I will thank Yahweh with all my heart; I will declare all your wonderful works 2 I will rejoice and boast about you; I will sing about your name.

Remember what He has Done, and, Is Doing in your life

11 Sing to the Lord who dwells in Zion; proclaim his deeds among all nations 12 For the One who seeks an accounting for bloodshed remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted

 

 

 

The Power of Prayer

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Your pain does not belong to you: You number my wanderings; put my tears in you bottle. Are they not in your book? (Psalm 56:8) NKJV

They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says:”Today is a day of distress, rebuke and disgrace, for the children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them” ISAIAH 37:3

King Sennacherib launches a campaign against all of Judah to conquer and destroy all of God’s kingdoms. Sennacherib appoints Rabshakeh of Lachish (Chief cup-bearer)to go King Hezekiah of Jerusalem (37:10). His instructions were clear-Make Hezekiah to submit, and surrender. Issue a warning of the impending attack His intent was to instill fear to the point of Hezekiah questioning his faith, and turn his back on God.

Hezekiah responds: He sends Eliakim (Royal Chamberlain)son of Hilkiah, Shebna (Court Secretary), and all the leading High Priests to seek the counsel of Isaiah.

…for the children have come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. They are in dire circumstances and have reached a point of unbearable pain. Just as your clothes would press firmly against your body in the wind, They did not acquiesce, They pressed even harder into their faith. Hezekiah sends Eliakim (Royal Chamberlain)son of Hilkiah, Shebna (Court Secretary), and all the leading High Priests to seek the counsel of Isaiah

In addition to the gift of prophecy, Prophets made intercessory prayers *The best way to baffle the enemy is to pray. Prayers are the “Mid-wife” of mercy; These are the times when our prayers should be the most boldest before the throne of grace

God is taunted.
(37:4) Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom the master of the king of Assyria sent to mock the Living God, and rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.

Isaiah’s prophesy:
(37:5-7) So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master this, “The Lord says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me with 7I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.

(Isaiah 59:18) Thus He will repay according to [their] deeds: fury to His enemies, retribution to His foes, and He will repay the coastlands HCSB

Despite God’s warning, Sennecherib is relentless in his pursuit, and continues to taunt God-He uses his recent conquests to validate himself: (37:10) 10 Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria:

Hezekiah’ letter.
(37:14-15) Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. This is now the 2nd petition brought to the Lord concerning this matter. His plea to Isaiah (37:3), and now taking it before the Lord himself.

Isaiah relays God answers (37:21-35)

(37:21-22) Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah:” The Lord, the God of Israel says: Because you prayed to Me about Sennecherib king of Assyria, 22this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:…

(Psalm 107:28-30) Then he cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and He brought them to their desired haven

God responds to Hezekiah regarding Sennacherib’s arrogance: (37:23) Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed? Who have you raised your voice against and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
Then makes good on His promise:
37:36-38) 36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians.nWhen people got up in the morning- there were all dead bodies 37 So Sennecherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh. Where he met his demise: 38 One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adramalech and Sherzer struck him down with the sword and esvaped to the land of Ararat. Then his so. Esar-hadden became king in his place. Remain vigelent, and intentional in prayer. Aloha Ke Akua

The Devil rear’s it’s ugly head

 

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Dealing with spiritual persecution:

(1Peter 4:12-14),”Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing; so that also at the revelation of His gliry, you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory and of God rest upon you.

“I don’t believe in God!” If He is such a loving God, then, Why…?! and, It’s all the Christians fault that…!! The resonate cry of the unbeliever. Now imagine it’s your sibling, a member of the same household?
(Genesis 4:6-7) Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you furious? And why are you despondent? 7If you do right, won’t you be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door. His desire is for you, but you must rule over it.
The reality is, Sin no longer crouches at the door, but sits with you at the dinner table, it occupies the very living space you do; It even sits with you in church.

We know God allows circumstances for a reason, and almost always for reasons we don’t understand. For the believer, it is a test of our spiritual fortitude, and represents the hope to grow our faith. For the unbeliever, the perfect reason to deny, and persecute Jesus Christ; Their “Sword of Damocles.”

This warfare is real: (1 Peter 5:8) Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a lion, looking for anyone he can devour. The scriptures are clear on the consequences of how we (believers) respond, and make no concessions for those who persecute His very own. (Ephesians 6:10-11) Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

Remain steadfast in the faith, Press harder into the cross. We are already victorious!John 16:33) I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.
Aloha ke Akua “God bless”

Restoration

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My prayer for restoration: (Matthew 5:29-30) If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
(Hebrews 12:12-13) Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened kness, 13 Make straight paths for your feet, so what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.

Pray with me: Lord, I come to you seeking forgiveness for the thing I have done; “Help me” to escape this bondage that causes me to stumble, and forsake Your name. Lord, take these feelings of condemnation from me, and fill to over-flowing with Your Holy Spirt of mercy and grace. “Lead me” to repentance; “Restore” Your child, and “Move me” fearlessly toward my assignment. I love You, and worship You in all Your splendor; I turn back all praise, honor and glory back to You. In the name of Your son, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Working out our salvation, Moving through fear

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“Paralyzed by Fear in our faith-walk”

Hebrews 6:11-12 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope 12 so that you won’t become lazy but will become imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perserverence
Crippled by Fear. Numbers 13-14 The scouts returned and reported the exact opposite of what they witnessed, They were stifled by fear because of their lack of faith to take possession of what God had already promised. (13:31) But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are! Consequently, they were left to wander for forty years in the desert (14:17) Since the Lord wasn’t able to this people into the land He swore to give them, He has slaughtered them in the wilderness.

Stirring, and spurring. When we are being prepared for an assignment, a stirring begins to take place between our wiil, and the power of the Holy Spirt (pneuma-sarx). This spirit of contention creates a feeling of un-easiness, and discomfort, causing us to move-Praise God! Psalm 119:75-76 I know, O LORD, that your riles and righteosness, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant.
Getting back on track. Separate the “Rocks from the Stones!” Of all our stuff, Which are the most pressing; causing the greatest discomfort? Devise a plan to work through it-Bring it to the throne for consideration, and Let the Lord make a way; To cause everything to fall into place.

Go after it! Obedience will cause our faith to increase: Romans 5:25 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into the grace in which we stand; rejoice in hope of the glory of God. This is a process that requires repetition, not the destination.

Why? Our faith is renewed as we pass through these challenges. We are moved from a spirit of bondage to a spirit of emancipation
Romans 6:22-23 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome of eternal life.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord NASB

Championing Our Faith

Finding victory in the turmoil

(Matthew 8:24) Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But He was sleeping HCSB

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“WHAT HAPPENED?!”

“The healing at Capernaum”
(Matthew 8:14-16) 14 When Jesus went into Peter’s house,He saw his mother-in-law lying on the bed with a fever. 15 So He touched her hand, and the fever left her 16 When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick,..

The disciples who were with Jesus witnessed the recent healing had their faiths called to task, but, In their circumstance, all they saw was the storm. Ironically, it is for this reason storms occur in our lives.

Having Big Faith is a process of learning to overcome barriers and mountains. In our moments of helplessness, we almost always default to a spirit of defeat. The problem: We doubt the power of the cross, and sovereignty of God. If we are to grow in our faith, we must embrace, and ascribe to the process:

“Enduring Faith” We were given specific assignments in the kingdom (1 Cor. 12:12) and are to being made equal to the tasks.
(Jeremiah 12:5) The LORD answered, “If you have raced on foot against men and they have worn you out, how will you be able to compete with horses? And if you feel secure only in safe and open country, how will you manage in the thick undergrowth along the Jordan River? NET

“Live a life of obedience” Avoid spiritual atrophy through repitition. We must live out our faith so that we may always ready to respond:
(Acts 6:5) And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and the chose Stephen a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, Timon, and Parmenas and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch

Aspire, and Ascribe to be made Christ-like (We must Want to, and be Willing to).
(Hebrews 12:2) looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God

” Renewing our faith” comes by going to the cross to trade all that we are, to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 1:9-10) 9 Indeed we personally had a death sentence within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.
10 He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us again