Posts Tagged ‘ Believe ’

Ask & Affirm

Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me. (Psalm 69:16) NRSV

MP900177811[1]“I need help, Lord, and I need it now. I know that you are full of love and mercy. So turn to me. Meet me in my moment of need. Let your face shine upon me and be gracious to me.”

The psalmist spoke words like these just as he was about to be destroyed by those who hated him. His sight was growing dim, and he was sinking fast as he waited for God. Caught in a mire of lies, insults and threats, his faith clung desperately and tenaciously to God, as he waited for salvation.

Cling tenaciously to God!

There are few prayers that are more beautiful in their simplicity. In just a few words, the psalmist asks God for help. He affirms who God is, and what God is like. Then he pleads for action.

What makes this prayer so unique is the way it combines asking and affirming. God is ready, willing and able to meet every need. God can help us overcome any circumstance. There is simply no limit to God’s love, or end to God’s power. So when we approach the Lord with our requests, we know our God is up to the challenge!

God’s love and power know no bounds!

MP900443146[1]But the question isn’t really whether God is ready. The question is whether our faith is ready. Are we ready to step up to the plate, like the psalmist, and affirm who God is? Are we ready to declare to God’s steadfast love? Are we ready to stand on God’s promises of mercy? Are we ready to ask and affirm?

Prayer is so much more than telling God our laundry list of wants and needs. It is so much more than complaining about the problems we face. Prayer involves asking and believing. Prayer is inviting God into our challenges, and then affirming who God is. Prayer is laying our requests before the throne of grace, and then fully trusting in the steadfast love of the Lord. Prayer is pleading, and then believing in God’s wisdom, mercy and power!

Invite God in. Affirm what God can do.

A child of God in need is never ignored by God. God is ready to respond. We have to begin by asking and to affirming. Why not ask God to meet your needs today, and then trust in God’s steadfast love and great faithfulness!

Trust God and affirm God’s gracious goodness!

Prayer:

Gracious and faithful God, I am like the psalmist. I need help. You know the struggles I have and the pressures I face. I place my life in your hands. I trust in your abiding love, and know you will stand with me and work all things together for good. You are great, and I give you all the praise and glory I have to give!

Amen.

Bless

Stop Doubting & Believe

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”John 20:27 NRSV

MP900435912[1] This was the moment for which Thomas became famous. He firmly refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead. He wanted to put his hand in Jesus’ side before he would let himself believe. Thomas required tangible proof. He had no interest I believing the ravings of bewildered men having what seemed like grief-triggered hallucinations.

Of course, Jesus knew exactly what Thomas needed, and he gave it to him. Then Jesus called Thomas to faith. In that instant, Thomas stopped doubting and started believing. His faith drove him to proclaim Jesus as Lord.

Faith puts doubt to rest.

Thomas is best known for his doubting. But Jesus told him to stop doubting and believe. That was Thomas’ whole problem. He didn’t really need to put his hand in Jesus’ side. He needed to stop doubting and start believing. MP900422224[1]

Jesus knows that as long as we doubt, we can’t believe. Doubt and faith are opposites. They make up an either/or proposition. We are either doubting, or we are believing. We simply can’t do both at the same time.

As long as we doubt, we can’t believe.

Doubt fills our minds with questions. It wraps our heart with the feelings of uncertainty. It casts a shadow across our path and blinds our eyes to the truth. Doubt suffocates faith. As long as we make room for doubt, there will be no room for faith.

But it works the other way too! Faith pushes away doubt. Faith floods the mind with truth. It opens our eyes to God, and our ears to God’s voice. Faith connects us to the Spirit’s power. Faith overcomes obstacles. Faith pushes us in new directions. Faith activates action!

So how do you stop doubting? Begin by doing what Jesus said to do, believe! As long as you are believing, you are not doubting. As long as you are believing, doubt can’t get a grip on you.

MP900422834[1] It’s time to let go of doubt and embrace faith! We face the same choice as Thomas did. We can cling to the doubts that lurk in the dark corners of our minds, or we can believe in Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and he is alive!

Greet Jesus with a heart of FAITH, today!

 

Prayer:

Jesus, I struggle with doubt too. Without seeing you, it is sometimes hard to be sure. But I know the truth, and the truth is you are alive. Live in me today, and help me to continue believing in and responding to your word each and every day!

Amen.

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Love Sees Possibilities!

For the Advent/Christmas season, each Monday’s post will look at the love that came down at Christmas. We will explore what Jesus’ love offers us and asks of us.

In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. Jesus answered them, “ Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:20. 22-24 NRSVUnique Sugar Loaf View

Who is this man whose words caused a fig tree to wither? Who is this man who  talked about throwing mountains into the sea? It’s Jesus! He’s the one who thinks the unthinkable, imagines the unimaginable, and does the impossible!

Not only does Jesus do things never before done, he invites his followers to a faith of almost limitless possibilities!

Imagine the possibilities if you began thinking the unthinkable.

That’s part of what makes Jesus’ love so wonderfully different. It isn’t just a love that gives a comforting embrace. It isn’t just a love that speaks encouraging words. It’s a love that lifts the curtain of spiritual blindness, and reveals the endless possibilities that come with a life of faith and discipleship.

MC900446104 So Jesus’ earliest followers learned to think big! They set out to bring the love of Jesus to the whole world. They carried out their mission against all odds. Their prayers opened doors, freed them from prison and advanced the kingdom of God.

Love thinks big, opens doors, and does Kingdom work!

That same love is at work in you. The question is, are you open to it? Are you willing to see things differently than you’ve seen them before? Are you willing to walk down paths never before traveled? Are you willing to boldly approach God in faith?

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a time for celebrating new beginnings. Why not let Jesus’ love open your heart to the birth of new possibilities!

Let Jesus’ love do the impossible through you!

Prayer:

Lord of the possible; let your words take root in my heart. Lead me to a faith that trusts God for all my needs, and looks to God for a vision full of possibilities!

Amen.

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Believing Foolishness

…God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 1Corinthians 1:21 NRSV

Jill Carattini writes, “…foolishness and weakness imbibe the Christian story.”

When you think about it, she’s right! It made no sense for God to speak to theFaith world through a man born in a desert town to two poor parents. It made no sense for Jesus to eat with sinners and count the poor as friends. It made no sense for God to save the world by using a Savior who humbled himself to death, even the death of a cross.

The wisdom of this world calls the gospel of Jesus Christ foolishness. Had it been up to them, the worldly wise probably would have crafted a very different plan of salvation. But that plan would have failed. That’s because those who believe what the world says end up deceived by sin and on a collision course with death. To me that’s real foolishness!

Wise people follow the wisdom that gives sight to the blind, that makes the lame to walk, that heals the sick and washes sin away! Wise people look for the path that leads to life!

God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom (1Corinthians 1:25). Since that’s true, then I think it only makes sense to put my full faith in God, and to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. If that means believing foolishness, then count me a fool!

All I know is that once I was lost, and now I’m found. So I am going to just keep on following the one who found me!

Why not come along? Believe some of God’s foolishness today!

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