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faith

The free gift of God is eternal life, through the blood of Jesus. In His blood we have forgiveness. In His resurrection we have victory over death. It is by faith in God, in this gift of salvation, and through God's grace that we can have access to Heaven. "For it is by grace you have been saved-through faith, and this not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).

This faith in God's fulfilled promises of the past, such as when He brought the Israelites out of Egypt, gives us a certainty, a reason to know and to believe that God will be faithful to keep His promises, even when we fall short. "Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

A big part of the Christian walk is learning to trust God. This is done through prayer, studying the Bible, fellowship with other Christians, and taking steps of faith. Going out into daily life with seeds of God's word and His active presence in your mind, and being around other Christians can help a person's walk in faith. Please note that these are not necessarily leaps, but often steps. Saying a prayer of dedication in the morning can help. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:36).

In and through prayer, ask God to strengthen your faith, believing that He will. These steps of faith, feeling at times like growing pains, will be evident in moments of testing, where God helps you, one step at a time, toward a stronger faith and knowing Him better.

Sometimes God lets "accidents" happen to show us that we are relying too much on other people, ourselves, or things of this evil, temporary world and not enough on the One True God. When things we depended on don't work anymore, it is a time of discovery and strengthening of one's own personal faith in God. See what God showed the apostle Paul:

"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ --the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith" (Philippians 3:8-9).

Wow! For him everything was just trash next to knowing God! Having faith in Christ and thus attaining righteousness is what he longs for. He continues, "not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me" (Philippians 3:12).

Pressing on, persevering, Paul keeps at it, trying to have faith. Its such a hard thing to do, and sometimes that old rubbish looks pretty good. But listen to his motivation. "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

The past is a big distraction a lot of the time. A big hindrance of progressing in faith can be in worrying about what happend long ago with certain people or in remembering your failures. But right there it says to forget that and move on ahead. "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2).

It is hard to look to heaven while this earth is so real to us right now, "but our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!" (Philippians 3:20-4:1)

"For in Christ Jesus...the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

Galatians 5:6

My name is Brian, I am the author of this page.



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