Romans 4:5 Not Work, But Faith

Walking On Water

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:5

The majority of the people around the world like to earn what they get. They are willing to work in order to get something. Many do not want to just get something for free.

One challenge is that many people want a lot more for what they work for than what they actually deserve. People want a very large paycheck for a small amount of work, yet, they still want to be able to say that they worked for the paycheck.

There are also many who make the statement that a person will treasure what he works for more than what is just given to him. This implies that people must work more for the things that they want.

This type of thinking has also come into the thinking of many people in the church. People work very hard to be a “good” Christian. They will go to church, carry a Bible, quote a few good verses, don’t drink/smoke, and dress very nicely on Sunday. While none of these things are bad in and of themselves, none of them help a person with being righteous.

Righteousness, which is being right and holy before God, is only achieved by faith in God’s grace and mercy. It is faith in what Jesus has done for the person that makes a person righteous before God.

All of the actions that a believer does, should be done out of love for God and thankfulness for what Jesus has done for him. None of these actions need to be done to make a person righteous.

As a believer, you must have faith in the work Jesus has done for you. Having faith in God is putting your trust in Jesus. Trusting that Jesus has forgiven you and will save you.

While having that faith, you must work for God as though your salvation depended upon your own work. The works you do, do not earn your salvation, but prove that you are saved. It shows that you are grateful to God for what He has done for you.

As you are going through your life, stop working to earn your salvation from God. The price has already been paid. The work has already been done for you. Just trust God and live for Him.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will have faith in the work of Jesus; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus gives you; and that you no longer work for your salvation.   

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Mark 14:27-28 Hope After Failure

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“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Mark 14:27-28

Jesus had just predicted His death again, and also predicted that the disciples would abandon Him for a time. He does also say that He will meet with them again after He has risen.

Failure is something that everyone experiences at some point in their life. Each person has a different amount of failures and types of failures. Some keep trying many times and go through many failures. Many quit after a failure, giving up all hope of succeeding. Or they change what they are trying to accomplish.

Thomas Edison is known for saying that with each “failure” it was not a failure but a success. He then knew one more way not to do something.

God knows that every person is human and will make bad choices. They will fail at times in following Him with all of their heart and life. Jesus knew this about each of the disciples. They would deny Him and walk away in fear.

However, Jesus was still willing to accept them and work with and through them. Despite the failure, He planned to meet with them afterwards and move on, rather than giving up on them.

A lot of people have made mistakes and failed God, then quit trying to serve Him because they are such failures. They lose hope in being able to be saved by Jesus.

Salvation is not dependent upon how you live your life, it is dependent upon your belief that Jesus saved you and will save you. Take a look at the lives of the disciples and see how often they failed Jesus, and yet He still loved them and worked through them. He met with them afterwards and did not scold them for failing Him.

Do not cut yourself down when you fail God. Go to Him and repent and accept the forgiveness Jesus provides. Jesus is waiting for you. He is going ahead of you to meet with you when you are ready to meet with Him in your Galilee.

There is still hope after failure. It is not the end, until you take your last breath in this life. Believe in the hope Jesus provides you.

I pray today that you will know the hope Jesus provides; that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides; that you will keep striving to serve God; and that you will trust in God with all of your life.

Mark 11:22 Have Faith In God

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“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Mark 11:22

Jesus and the disciples had been walking along one day and He saw a fig tree that was not producing fruit. Jesus cursed the tree saying it will never bud again. The following day, they saw the tree all withered up and dead and the disciples were amazed at it. Jesus told them that they needed to have faith in God and the power of prayer.

A lot of people claim to believe in God. They do believe that He does exist and is out there somewhere. However, many of those same people do not believe that God is really concerned with them or even that He is the only God. They do not believe that everything the Bible says is true for them.

People wonder why God would be concerned with them or even care for them at all. They look at their own lives and see it as insignificant or that they do not need God in their lives.

Often when people pray, they do not really believe God will answer them. It is believed that God is busy or does not really care about them. Or they remember past sins and think that God is holding those sins against them.

Throughout the Bible there are many promises of God to people. God promised that He would never leave or forsake a believer. He promised that He would meet all your needs. He promised that He would forgive you of all your sins. God promised that He would hear your prayers. He promised that He would answer all of your prayers. These promises can be claimed by everyone who has faith in Him today.

Jesus goes on in this passage to talk about being able to have a mountain moved out of the way if one has faith in God.

This faith is knowing that God’s promises are true and that God is faithful and will do what He promised.

You may have mountains in your pathway that need to be removed. You may have things that hinder your growth and need to be removed. Have faith in God and believe that what He says is true. Then obey Him and watch Him do miracles in your life and meet all of your needs.

Have the same faith that Jesus did. God will work through you if you have faith in Him.

I pray today that you will know the promises of God; that you will have faith in God; that God will show Himself faithful to you; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.

Ezekiel 34:31 You Are His Sheep

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:31

In this passage God is upset with the leaders of the temple. They were focused on themselves, rather than the people. He calls them shepherds who are not taking care of their sheep.

Now God calls the people His sheep and that He is their God. He plans to take care of them and meet all of their needs. They are to live with no fear, because He is their good shepherd. This is ultimately seen in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus provided for His sheep the highest offering one can give, His life.

Going through life, is like walking through a wilderness that one has never been in before. For each person, each step is new and brings with it new challenges.

Walking in the wilderness can bring about things that appear to be dangerous. Things such as briars, poison ivy, and fallen trees. These are the immobile things. Then there are the wild animals and bugs that can cause harm. Some of these things are unseen, until one is right upon them and it is too late. There may also be limited light, because of the tree and bush coverage. This makes it difficult to see the path or things in the way.

As a believer, you can walk with assurance, because God is leading you. He will ensure that you have all that you need, just like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep. If a shepherd’s sheep get harmed or die, it does not do him any good. In the same way, if God’s sheep are harmed, it does Him no good.

God has given His word to be a light to your path. He has given His Son to take away sin, which is the sting of death. God has also given you a mission to do, which provides the nourishment you need. He also provides the peace and rest in the middle of the wilderness you are traveling in.

There will be a day when God calls you home, so that you will no longer have to travel in the wilderness. Until that day, you can trust Him to provide for all of your needs. You are His sheep, His pride and joy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your shepherd; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; that you will follow God’s lead in your wilderness; and that you will know God’s peace in your life. 

Lamentations 4:12-13 The Unexpected

The kings of the earth did not believe, nor did any of the peoples of the world, that enemies and foes could enter the gates of Jerusalem. But it happened because of the sins of her prophets and the iniquities of her priests, who shed within her the blood of the righteous. Lamentation 4:12-13

Jerusalem had been a very powerful city, in a very powerful nation during its time. It was set on a high hill with a great wall surrounding it. Attacking it and overcoming it would have been very difficult. All over the world, other nations knew that taking Jerusalem would have been nearly impossible. Yet, it happened, it was destroyed for a time, the unexpected happened.

The only reason that the enemy was able to take Jerusalem was because of the sins of the prophets, priests and people in the city. God handed Jerusalem over to the enemy because of sin.

Just like Jerusalem was confident that no one could conquer them, many other nations and people feel as though the enemy has no chance of overtaking them. People hide behind their money, power and position believing that those things will protect them from all harm or destruction.

Others hide behind church or a position in church. They feel that because they are a leader in the church or go to church each week, that they are immune to any destruction. As they stand behind these things, some will live in a sinful lifestyle, rebelling against God and His commands. They feel as though they are protected because they go to church and call themselves ‘Christian.’

God sees through their false living. He sees how each person is really living his life. He knows whether a person is really following Him or not.

In the end each person will stand before God to give account for his life. If one believes in Jesus and is following Jesus, God will see it and he will be saved. If one does not really follow Jesus, regardless of what his words say, God will also see it and the person will not be saved.

You have to make the choice to follow God. Do not trust the things of this world or yourself, put all your trust in Jesus. If you are against God, you can be overcome. God will win in the end.

Who are you really following today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God with all of your life; that you will trust God in every area of your life; and that you will be saved by Jesus. 

Jeremiah 51:46 Do Not Fear Rumors

Do not lose heart or be afraid when rumors are heard in the land; one rumor comes this year, another the next, rumors of violence in the land and of ruler against ruler. Jeremiah 51:46

While the Israelites were in Babylon under captivity, God told them that there was coming a day when He would destroy Babylon and they would be set free. During that time He gave warning that there would be many different rumors. Rumors that would strike fear in the hearts of many people, however, they were not to be afraid at all.

Thousands of years later, rumors are something that still runs rampant in this world. With the speed of information at lightning fast, rumors spread even easier. News sources are not always to be fully trusted as to telling what is really happening. Many times the news is slanted to push an agenda. Facebook is filled with stories of pictures and articles of things happening, many of which may not be true.

One area that rumors run heavy on is of war and destruction. Fear of attacks from terrorists are constantly in the news. Fear of foreigners runs high, because of terrorism.

As you hear all these rumors, you must keep in mind that God is in control. God knows exactly what is happening at the moment. It may be God is using an enemy to strike a nation, in order to get their eyes back on Him.

As a believer, everything that occurs is for a purpose. It is the purpose to get your eyes back on God, or to build you up stronger in the Lord. When rumors of war, destruction, death, economic collapse, or anything else occurs, turn to God and seek Him. Seek God’s protection in and through it all.

Some of those rumors may never occur, while others will happen. Either way, God is not surprised or worried. If He is not surprised or worried, then neither should you be.

Do not think, that because of all these rumors, God is not in control or does not care. He does. There will come a day when either you will be called home to heaven, or Jesus will return and take you home to heaven. Rumors will never change that fact.

I pray today that God will calm your heart in fearful times; that you will know that God is in control; that you will not fear any rumors or news that you hear; and that your complete trust will be in God.