Principles for a strong faith . . .
God will reveal His written Word to us and answer prayers if our heart truly belongs to Him and if we are living our lives according to His Will. We were created to honor and glorify Him, to worship Him, to praise Him, and to serve Him. We must thank Him for all things, meditate on Him and His Word, trust and depend on Him, cast our burdens on Him, and have a daily personal relationship with Him.
Prayer is an essential part of that relationship, but God requires certain things of us before He will answer our prayers. His "permissive" Will might allow our wants, but not His blessings.
* We must truly know the One to whom we are praying.
* Requests must be according to the "perfect" Will of God - no selfish or pride motives.
* Prayers must be prayed to receive answers.
* Pray with faith that God will answer.
* Pray specifically, so when the answer comes, there is no doubt it came from God.
* Must not have un-forgiven or hidden sin in our life, and must have forgiven all others.
* Prayers must be prayed in Jesus' Name, as He is the only intercessor to the throne of God.
Read and study the Word of God daily. Memorize key Scriptures by chapter and verse. For whom were those Scripture passages directed, and why? What is the context? What is the message for us as believers? Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life" (John 6:48), and, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6:11). We must have spiritual nourishment DAILY to remain strong.
Meditate on Him (Josh. 1:8), praise Him (Ps. 34:1), and thank God (Eph. 5:20) in all things. Nothing is too big or too small for Him. He wants to hear from us. God holds the whole world in the palm of His hand, but desires to curl up inside our heart if we allow Him to do so.
We must lean on Him, depend on Him, and trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6) in all areas of our life. God desires to carry our burdens (Matt. 11:28) and sorrows. We must share our innermost thoughts with Him as we would share with a close friend (Ps. 139).
Always let our light of faith shine brightly before men (Matt. 5:16). Hold fast to the faith that is within us (1 Cor. 15:2), and always be prepared to defend or share our faith with others (2 Tim. 4:2). Pray for the needs of others (Gal. 6:2) - lifting them up before His throne of grace.
Personal faith evaluation . . .
Hebrews 11:1-2 defines faith as: _____________________________________________________________________________
Importance of a Biblical faith (express each in your own words):
Matt. 17:20 _________________________________________________________________
Rom. 1:17 __________________________________________________________________
Rom. 3:22-24 _______________________________________________________________
Rom. 10:17 ________________________________________________________________
2 Cor. 5:7 __________________________________________________________________
Gal. 2:16 __________________________________________________________________
Eph. 2:8-9 _________________________________________________________________
Eph. 6:16 __________________________________________________________________
2 Tim. 4:7 _________________________________________________________________
Heb. 11:6 __________________________________________________________________
Attempts to display a faith in our lives through our good works will count for nothing until we first reach out to receive and accept the free gift of salvation Christ offers to us through His finished work on the cross. Salvation is only available through Him (Acts 4:12), for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). We are saved for good works - not by good works.
Key salvation Scriptures for sharing the gospel (express each in your own words):
John 3:3 ___________________________________________________________________
John 3:16-17 _______________________________________________________________
John 5:24 __________________________________________________________________
John 11:25-26 ______________________________________________________________
Rom. 10:9-10 ______________________________________________________________
Rom. 10:13 ________________________________________________________________
1 John 4:15 ________________________________________________________________
* Is Jesus the Savior, Lord and Master of my life? ___________________________________
* Do I have personal prayer and study time set aside each day? _________________________
* Do I have a family prayer and devotional time each day? ____________________________
* Are all areas of my life a clear testimony of my faith in Christ? _______________________
* Do I freely share the saving gospel with others? ___________________________________
Identify areas needing improvement in my faith/walk with the Lord. List specifically how they are deficient, then, establish a date for personal change.
(Examples: prayer, Bible study, praise and worship, thanksgiving, trust, forgiveness, sharing, lifestyle, family, co-workers, finances, compassion, possessions, or other)
In all circumstances, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Heb. 12:2), the author and finisher of our faith. Put on the full Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18), that we might be strong to finish the race set before us - with victory in Jesus!
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
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