Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Sometimes we don’t feel very faithful, or very joyful or triumphant in our walk with God. There are even more people who don’t even feel like coming to God to approach Him. What do we do to move beyond our feelings about not approaching God? Can there be a better solution than ignoring God’s call? God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be born in Bethlehem, in an animal stable of all things, and God invited the lowly shepherds to the party first. What a better picture of God reaching out to those of us who don’t feel faithful, joyful or triumphant in life. God wants you. God came for you. Won’t you come to Bethlehem to see this one, born king of the angels? God is waiting for you to come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant.
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The arguments ensued among the disciples on that night when Jesus was betrayed, the disagreement was about who was the greatest among them. Can you imagine that kind of bickering in the presence of Jesus? And Jesus didn’t talk them down, or stop the argument with words, he simply poured water into a bowl and started washing the feet of the proud disciples. You want to save your marriage? Serve your spouse. You want to grow a friendship? Serve someone. Do you want to love like Jesus? Serve people. The best way to stop an argument is to serve someone. The best way to grow a church is to serve someone. The best way to grow your faith is by serving others. Serving starts with an attitude of care for others, then the actions follow. Give it a try. You just might grow up in your faith, and start to be more like Jesus.
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Do you find yourself wanting more emotional connection with God? Sometimes we seek after something emotional, or tingly feelings from God, rather than seeking the truth of God’s character. We live in a society now that is so emotionally driven, fake news or real, that we miss what God’s character is really like. Did you know that the Bible is not primarily emotionally satisfying? Did you know that Jesus didn’t ever ask someone how they “felt” about obeying God? God doesn’t ask us how we feel about walking with Him, He expects us to walk by faith.
God doesn’t exist to serve us, we exist to serve God. God is not a short-order cook, granting our every wish. God is more sovereign, more good, more loving and His ways are higher than our ways. When we begin to understand that God’s love will never fail, and God’s presence is always with us, we learn to trust in His glorious power and sovereign will for our lives. Don’t let circumstances sway your view of a Holy God.
Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. We like the following part, but find it harder to do the “deny ourselves” part. Sometimes when we give of our time to others and serve them, we reap a reward of God’s blessing. We walk with God to learn how to give more service away and honor God by blessing others.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says to lay aside the things that distract us from God, and run the race marked out for us in faith, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author of our faith, so that we don’t grow weary and lose hope. How do we fix our eyes on Jesus? What sort of things take away our sense of hope? The boys in the story of the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 found themselves up against a rock and a fireplace. They chose to follow God, no matter the cost … “even if”. Can you say that in your life? Even if God doesn’t save me from this situation, I will still trust him.
We are in a series on the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11, and the author of Hebrews names the prophets as heroes of faith. We wanted to cover what the prophetic books were about in relation to today’s culture. If you were asked to speak for God as a prophet to your culture, what would you say? Would you have a message of love for today’s generation of people? How can you help people grow in their faith with God, today? What message would you give?