God’s Love is the love of a Father, Creator, and Friend. The Bible is full of examples of how He has shown His love to people throughout history. He showed love to Adam, first by warning him of the danger of temptation, and then, when Adam had to leave the garden because of his sin, by both clothing him and by promising to fix the evil that Adam had caused. He showed His love to His people in Israel by saving them from the oppression of the Egyptians and continually calling them back to Himself when they disobeyed (again and again and again).
I’ve been spending a good amount of my time studying the biblical doctrine of faith and hope. In doing so I uncovered this gem from John Bunyan and thought you might enjoy. (I’ve tried to modernize the language or summarize where necessary)
Here are nine ways which faith and hope are different and yet work together:
Unity in the Christian church has been a challenging thing since the earliest days of Christianity. The importance of getting Christian belief and behavior right, coupled with the open-to-interpretation nature of much of Scripture, leads to VERY strong feelings and uncompromising convictions on all manner of Christian theology and praxis.
Humility doesn’t come from self-help. Any do-it-yourself “humility,” rooted in your own initiative, is but pride masquerading as its enemy. Genuine humility is the work and initiative of God.
And yet we human creatures have a part to play. Our humbling, at God’s lead, manifestly involves our minds and hearts and wills and behaviors. And while there is no simple program for making ourselves truly humble, God has given us examples to follow, and he has given us some practices and patterns to cultivate and sustain.
Years ago, the Lord gave a powerful word to Kenneth Copeland that has changed his life and the lives of KCM Partners around the world:
Don’t look to the government for your supply.
Don’t look to other people for your supply.
Pastors, don’t look to your congregation for your supply.
Jesus is our Source, and The WORD is our supply.
Why is this truth so important? Because as long as we rely on natural sources, our faith in God is not in operation, which blocks Him from showering us with abundant blessings. Today and every day, God wants to meet all your needs.
A while back, I was talking with a young lady who said she was going to quit being on a worship team because she was so frustrated with how the other members treated her. Too often people give up what they really want to do because of discouragement or fear. It’s something we all face. I remember the first time I was asked to speak in church. I wanted to do it, but I was so afraid!
If you’re really quiet you can almost hear it: the heartbeats of those around you. People are scared. We try to distract ourselves so we get more information, thinking it will help diminish fears. But instead, fears grow. So what do we do when we are surrounded by fear? Here are 6 ways to demonstrate faith in the midst of widespread fear:
Too often, we get comfortable with where we are in life and use that as an excuse to remain in mediocrity. “My parents were poor,” we say with a pout. “Before them, my grandparents were poor. Nobody in my family has ever amounted to much, so I guess I won’t either.” Don’t believe that lie.
Surrounded by the busyness of parenting, it’s no wonder to me that Jesus had to withdraw after meeting multitudes on his travels. We’ll never know exactly what it was like for Jesus, but amongst all the cooking, cleaning, planning, parenting, attending to my relationships… I can start to relate.
Before I was old enough to remember, I learned to pray in Jesus’s name. What a gift. Praying in his name is a reality simple enough for a child to acknowledge, and yet profound enough to keep saints in awe for eternity. Like learning to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”
For two thousand years, Christians have been praying in Jesus’s name, and for good reason. But when was the last time you paused to ponder why?