Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Teaching DETOUR

As I arrived in FL yesterday afternoon the LORD took time to teach me things even as I studied and prayed on the plane. It was especially nice to think about "riding on the clouds" as I spoke to the LORD from my heart (rather than aloud as I usually pray). I have to admit, I did not like praying silently - it was hard to focus and concentrate. I laugh when I think back to my prayer time at 5AM at home - with the dog and cat by my side - as they listen to me pour my heart out aloud - sometimes in tears of anguish or joy. I think my dog needs counseling for it all! She just can't figure out who I'm talking to - but as the days go by she is getting more and more used to my early morning prayer life. The best thing is - so am I. I even asked the LORD to wake me up at 5AM today without an alarm - guess what?... the clock in the living room chimed at 5 on the dot!

Going to church with my son-in-law was awesome last night. The Pastor taught from James - about faith + works = SANCTIFICATION (the on-going process of growth (holiness) in the believer's spiritual life.) He discussed the controversy over the book of James in contrast to Paul's teaching in Ephesians about faith - but pointed to the simple fact that Paul was talking to Non-believers and James was speaking strictly to [brothers ] believers. The Pastor gave a simple explanation to remember:

  • Paul taught sinners how to be saints

  • James taught believers how to become sanctified [set apart/unto holiness]
Then... we read more scripture about Abraham. I just can't get away from that man - because all that God is holding for my future - my promises - are wrapped up in the those personal encounters with God - just like that of Abraham. From Genesis to Romans - to Hebrews and now James - Abraham is everywhere - and so is his faith - a faith with action behind it - the very faith that God desires for my life - and yours.

James 2: 20-23

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless [for growth] ? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. [emphasis mine]

Abraham had faith with action. It was present and active and motivated toward what God intended and desired. It was faith with obedience. Let your heart rest on that for a bit as you ponder what God is calling you to take action with in your own life of faith. Will you obey - like Abraham? The reward will be great! There's nothing like a fresh encounter with God Himself.

Choosing JOY,


1 comment:

Much4Him said...

Amen Sister Stephanie,

I need to sit at the feet of James for a while and allow the Spirit to soak my mind in His word!