Friends, it's not enough to talk about faith; we need to be willing to act on our faith. That means making life decisions based on faith in God and taking action that fits with His purposes. Our faith must be turned into actions that reflect God's Word and promises.
I happened to read one of the articles of Charles Swindoll which is excellent, noteworthy and exemplary. During his days as president, Thomas Jefferson and a group of companions were traveling across the country on horseback. They came to a river which had left its banks because of a recent downpour. The swollen river had washed the bridge away. Each rider was forced to ford the river on horseback, fighting for his life against the rapid currents. The very real possibility of death threatened each rider, which caused a traveler who was not part of their group to step aside and watch. After several had plunged in and made it to the other side, the stranger asked President Jefferson if he would ferry him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side. As the stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground, one in the group asked him, "Tell me, why did you select the president to ask this favor of?" The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who had helped him. "All I know," he said, "is that on some of your faces was written the answer 'No,' and on some of them was the answer 'Yes.' His was a 'Yes' face."
Freedom gives people a "Yes" face. I am confident Jesus had a "Yes" face. I have never seen Him, but I've determined from what I've read about Him that this was true. What a contrast He must have been! He was surrounded by lettered men, religious, robed, righteous, law-quoting, professional men whose very demeanor announced "NO!" Pious without, killers within . . . yet none of their poison seeped into His life. On the contrary, He revolutionized the entire direction of religion because He announced "Yes" while all His professional peers were frowning "No." That has intrigued me for years. How could it be? What was it that kept Him from getting caught in their grip? In one word, it was grace. He was so full of truth and grace, He left no inner space for their legalistic poison.
A TV camera crew was on assignment in Southern Florida filming the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew.
In one scene, amid the devastation and debris stood one house on its foundation. The owner was cleaning up the yard when the reporter approached.
"Sir, why is your house the only one standing?" asked the reporter. "How did you manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?"
“I was astonished,” Sam said, as he described his emotions when he first saw the ruins left by the cyclone in the small town where he grew up. It was the worst disaster that anyone had ever experienced. Tall trees had their roots ripped from the ground and were thrown all around. Houses made of hay and tin were scattered everywhere. Roads were blocked by debris. It was nearly impossible to reach those who needed help the most.
Pity and love filled his heart as he cried out to God. “Not only did they lose everything, but their spirits also seemed to have vanished.” When relief goods were insufficient to meet the vast needs, he felt helpless, and could only console the home town residents by telling them of God’s mercy and generosity.
"I built the house myself," the man replied. "I also built it according to Florida State building code. When the code called for 2x6 trusses, I used 2x6 trusses. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane. I did, and it did."
How about you?
Are you living according to God's code or God's word?
Or are you playing the worlds' standard and make it your our own standard way of living?
We're now seeing signs of the times. Today...
...Pornography is everywhere.
...Premarital sex is a normal for a relationship.
...Lying is just part of day to day conversation.
...Homosexuality is becoming a new gender.
...Any sinful act has become a norm in our society
It is folly to believe that God liberates us from all discomfort and affliction. What He does do is give us the will and determination to go on, even in the face of tough times. He works within us to give us peace and strength and courage; those things necessary to get through life. We can be sure that our trails will not come to an end, but the love of God will see that we get through anything that comes our way. The Creator of mankind made us with a void in our hearts for Jesus to fill. Everything we put there—whether it seems like a good thing at the time or an obvious bad choice—will ultimately leave us empty. And we will remain in bondage until God frees us and then provides the only true satisfaction.
Faith in the Name of Jesus
"And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.
"And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also.
"But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you,
Acts 3:16-20 NASB