I Believe, But…

We all have a measure of faith that we are given by God.  Without it, we could not be saved.  Without it, we would not believe in anything.  After all, we must have some faith to simply get up and face the day.  We must have some faith to believe that we can accomplish the day’s tasks.  Faith can be grown.  Faith can mature.  Faith can become weak.  Faith can become tested.

When Faith Wavers

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No matter how strong our faith is in God and what He can and will do, we will have times that our faith is weaker than usual. This can be caused by a series of trials and tests which can either be extremely serious situations or minor nuisances.  Even what does not seem such a big deal can get to us if we have had very many minor nuisances hit us all at once.

When faith wavers, as it sometimes will, it is time to go before God and confess it to Him.  His compassion never fails.  He does not refuse the one who comes to Him humbly and openly.  Once you have went before God, get into His Word.  Find scriptures that apply to your situation.  Read them out loud, or, write them down on index cards to keep with you.  If need be, write them down on a sheet of paper and put the paper on your refrigerator.   This might sound extreme, but when faith wavers, it must be built up again.  The only way to do this is by the Word of God.  After all, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

Help My Unbelief

In Mark 9, a man’s son was possessed by an unclean spirit.  The man brought his son to some of Jesus’ disciples while Jesus and the other disciples were on the mountain during the transfiguration.  When Jesus came down, the man informed Him that the disciples had not been able to cast the demon out of his son.

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The man asked Jesus to help his son.  At the end of his request, he adds the words “if you can” in some translations.  Jesus told him that if he believed all things were possible.  The man instantly replied, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24).”  Immediately, Jesus cast the evil spirit out of the young man. Jesus did not wait for the man to confess that his own faith was great.  When the man said he believed, yet, he admitted there was some unbelief in the mix, Jesus moved on behalf of the father and his son.

Although we do not want to make unbelief a practice in our lives, there are times when faith wavers.  There are times when some unbelief is mixed with our faith.  That is the time to tell Jesus that you believe, but, add that you need Him to help your unbelief.  The Lord was moved because the man was pressing past his unbelief.  He did not deny it, but he pressed past it.  That is what you and I must do when our faith wavers.

Willfully continuing in unbelief is dangerous; however, confessing the unbelief to Jesus as the man with the demon possessed child did, brings deliverance.  The man’s faith was built up and deliverance came.  Cry out to Jesus even in your wavering faith.  Deliverance will come and your faith will be stronger.

Pursue Holiness

What is true holiness?

In Hebrews 12:14, we are told to pursue holiness.  How does one pursue that lifestyle?  Of what does holiness truly consist?  Although much of the Christian teaching we hear would have us to believe that holiness is what we say, what we do, and how we behave, holiness is so much more!

Where is my righteousness?

During my experience as a Bible teacher, I have heard people make the following statement: “I would love to give my life to Jesus Christ, but there is no way I could live it.”  My reply is always this: “You are right.  You can’t.”  I have received some priceless facial expressions with this reply, but the fact is, I am right.  In myself, I am completely unable to live the Christian life as the Bible commands, and so are you.No Confidence in the Flesh

What is a person to do?  Should you just give up and sin recklessly because you are unable to live the life the Bible instructs you to live?  No, not at all.  It is at this point that you should look and see the source of your righteousness—Jesus Christ!

Christ in me!

Galatians 2:20 (MEV) contains an important truth about pursuing holiness.  It states the following: “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  What happens when I come to Christ?  My sinful nature dies, and I come alive to a new nature—Christ in me.  He is the one who makes me righteous.  It is impossible for me to make myself righteous, and that is why many Christians are in such religious bondage–from pursuing righteousness by their own merits.

No Confidence in the Flesh 2If you are in Christ, you will walk free from sin, but it will not be of your own goodness.  It will be Christ in you (see Romans 6).  If you or I were capable of living without sin on our own, it would not have been necessary for Jesus to leave heaven and come to Earth to live and die, then, live again.  We were hopelessly enslaved to the power of sin, but God gave us Jesus.  He is our righteousness.  He is holiness.

Pursue Christ!

Since Jesus Christ is my righteous, my holiness, then to pursue holiness as Hebrews 12:14 says is to pursue Christ!  Go after Him!  You will not have to go far.  He is waiting on you to draw near.  Because of the cross, you can approach Him with confidence.  He is in you if you have accepted Him as Savior.  If you haven’t accepted Him, there is no time like the present.

What good is it to try to pursue self-righteousness?  No good!  Self-righteousness is a pathetic attempt to glorify you.  The righteousness of Christ glorifies God, the Father.

If you pursue Christ, you let go of yourself and allow Him to live through you.  As a result, your life will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit.  The life you live will be a result of Christ in you, and nothing of your nature! Amazing Grace is More than Enough for me!

 

Pursue Christ Himself!  Seek Him.  Love Him.  He will change you, completely transform you.  You will never be the same.  You will lose your self-righteous attitude because you will clearly see that your righteousness in Jesus Christ!

 

Mercy Seat

I don’t know about you, but I need God’s mercy every day.  For the past week, I have been reading in the book of Hebrews.  Throughout several chapters, the Old Testament priesthood is compared with the priesthood of Jesus Christ.  I will share with you some portions of what I read.

Behind the Veil

In the Old Testament, the mercy seat was located inside the most holy place of the temple behind a veil, or curtain.  No one could enter certain places of the temple except for the priests.  The priests, who were from the tribe of Levi, made sacrifices and atonement for the peoples’ sins.

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The mercy seat was surrounded by cherubim.  In Hebrews 9:5, the writer speaks of the glory overshadowing the mercy seat.  The writer goes on to say that he could not speak in detail of the things concerning the mercy seat and the holy place.  I find that statement compelling.  Of course, he was most likely referring to the magnificence of the tabernacle, yet, we can take his words to heart because it is often difficult to express the details of our gratitude to Jesus for what He accomplished at the cross.

The Veil Torn

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil to the most holy place was torn, not by human hands, but by the power of God.  Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, the complete atonement for our sins.  The veil was torn because we were no longer restricted from an intimate relationship with God, the Father.  People no longer had to go to a human priest to be absolved of sin.  After the cross, people could go directly to the Father through Jesus Christ.

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Unfortunately, it seems a veil is still up for some people.  It is not because God does not love them.  It is because they have not accepted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as the atoning sacrifice for their sins and the only way to God, the Father.  Once you accept Jesus for who He is and follow Him wholeheartedly, you have direct access to the mercy seat.

Receive His Mercy

God’s mercy is available to everyone, but it requires a personal choice.  He forces nothing on you.  Each person must choose Jesus.  Each person must come running to the mercy seat, so to speak.

I know and love Jesus, but I still must come running to the mercy seat.  I need His mercy daily.  No, I do not intentionally sin, but I will fall short of His glory.  You will too.  That’s where mercy comes in.  Am I suggesting that you can be careless and reckless in your sin without consequence?  Certainly not!  However, I am suggesting that when you do surrender to Jesus, you will be changed forever, not perfect, but changed.  Then, you will be humbled by His wonderful mercy, and you will not take it for granted.

What about you?  Have you accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ?  If not, you can do that now.