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The Just shall live by faith 

How do we go about keeping our faith lives on track? Joseph Fernandes delves into the Bible to highlight 12 areas every Christian might consider


BibleonTable400Mark 11:22-24  So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be removed and be cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."

Living by faith involves praying, speaking our faith, and believing we receive them when we pray. The following 12 points provide biblical wisdom on how to live by, and go about fighting the good fight of faith.

1) Believing by faith. This is choosing to trust in God’s Word as stated in the Bible as true, even though we will never understand everything. There is a need to mediate in the Word so that we can live it out.

Attached to this article are a series of Bible meditations which have been saved as a downloadable pdf file, with Bible verses relating to a range of emotions and values, such as love, faith, wisdom, overcoming worry, grace and overcoming anger.

John 8.31: Then Jesus said to those who believed Him, If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.

2) Thought life through faith. Life involves decision making and the more we line up our thoughts with God’s Word, the more our decisions and our actions will line up to God’s will for our lives.  

2 Corinthians 10:5: casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

3) Hearing by faith: Knowing what the Word says is important because it gives us the basis for our faith.

Romans 10:17: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

4) Praying by faith: We communicate with God through prayer. Through it we can worship, praise and thank, petition, speak to God about all things, ask for forgiveness and hear what He has to say to us.

Hebrews 4:16: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

It is helpful to remember that the purpose of prayer is to help us do His will and not for Him to do ours.

5)  Speaking by faith.    

2 Corinthians 4:13: And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak

To speak by faith means to say what God says about us in any given situation. This results in a good confession, also known as a confession of faith. Some of them are:

Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of Him I am in Christ Jesus, who became for me wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification and redemption
2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:20 I am an Ambassador of Christ 
2 Corinthians 5:21 I am the righteousness of God in Christ.
Ephesians 1:3 I am blessed with all spiritual blessing.
Ephesians 2:6 I am raised us together, and He made me sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
1 Peter 2:24 By His stripes I am healed.
I John 4:17 As He is so am I in this world.


6) Seeing by faith. Instead of focusing on our abilities and disabilities, we are asked to focus on God’s provision and promises.

Proverbs: 4:21-23 says My son, give attention to my, words; incline your ear to my sayings  Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;  For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
 
This can be done by listening to gospel music which reflects biblical teachings, placing meditation scriptures at places where we can constantly see, speak and remember them.  

7) Giving by faith. Giving can involve time, money and can even mean encouraging words.  

Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

8) Fasting in faith. Jesus teaches about fasting, which is a discipline which helps to overcome temptations and the dictates of the flesh, enabling a Christian to walk in a higher level of faith. It also helps to bring our emotions under control and should be accompanied with prayer and the study of God’s Word.

Matthew 6:17-18:  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

9) Do all things in faith for the Glory of God We should look at work as part of our worship, do our best as we would do it unto the Lord, and with the fruits of our labour use it for His will and purpose.  

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

10) Worship, praise and thanksgiving through faith

We worship God in all we do, give praise and thanksgiving in all things. While we wait to see our prayers manifested, and even when things happen the way we do not want them to, we can be confident that He will use all things for our good and His Glory and will bring us out successful in the end.

Romans 8:28:  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Hebrew 13:15: Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Philippians 4:4-7:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


11) Living in Love, repentance when we fall and forgiveness by faith

Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

Luke 6:27-28: But I say to you, Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those that persecute and despitefully use you.


Repentance is changing our minds to conform to, and allow ourselves to be transformed by God's Word. (Romans 12:2)

Forgiveness is a choice. We can and should forgive in love and faith, even though we may not feel like.

Ephesians 4:32: And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

12) Saying in faith in times of trouble
There will be seasons when we will go through difficulties and all may seem lost. There is therefore a need to keep faith alive by writing down our vision and hopes, and reviewing our minds constantly with the promises and provision of God.

Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 5:19: speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord
 

Conclusion

God has given us our five senses, our minds and our hearts and wants us to use them, but when it conflicts, He wants us to make decisions, live and act based on what His Word and not based by our feelings hence the Hebrews10:38: Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.

When we fall short we should not have guilt or condemnation because our right standing comes through faith and is not based on our works. I John 1:9.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Also Read 2 Corinthians 5:21: For God made him (Christ Jesus)  who knew no sin to be sin, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

On this life's journey we have to continue to live by, and fight the good fight of faith, (1Timothy 6:11-12:  But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.) till we meet our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and He will be able to say to us as in Matthew 25:21:
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.



Joseph Fernandes is a member of Slough Baptist Church who endeavours to help others come to the saving knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

Download his Bible meditations - a series of scripture verses on a range of emotions and values, such as love, faith, overcoming anger, overcoming worry, grace, overcoming doubt, overcoming guilt, temptation and humility.
 

Picture: Jason Smith/Creationswap

Baptist Times, 27/08/2015
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