We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Kelly Bryant.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Understanding God’s definition of faith is a deal breaker in Christianity. We are saved through faith, so what exactly is faith? If we get this answer wrong, our salvation is in question. This sounds harsh, so keep reading and understand the way that God’s word discusses the faith based relationship between humans and himself.
In the Old Testament, we learn about men and women whose “faith was counted as righteousness.” This means that although they lived before the final redemptive sacrifice of Christ, they lived in good standing with God because of the contents of their hearts which were bent toward God in faith. Enoch is one of these major Old Testament examples of a man who was fully submitted to the Lord and placed his whole faith in him. His faithfulness resulted God using him to prophesy about the future conviction and judgement that God will execute on the world for our violations of him. His faithfulness also resulted in God rapturing him instead of allowing his death. He was commended for living a life that pleased God.
In Hebrews 11:6 we are told that just like Enoch, those who genuinely seek God are rewarded. We are told that without genuine faith, it is impossible to please God. Anyone who prays to God must believe that he exists and is listening. If we are praying in order to cover our bases just in case some higher power is hearing us and may act on our behalf, we are being counterproductive with a God who only acknowledges the genuine. God does not reward us for half heartedly speaking to him as an act of superstition or ritual; he rewards a true heart that is seeking him. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through FAITH-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.
James 1:6-7 says “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”
Evaluate your heart. Is there evidence of a love for God, and a true belief in his word, the Bible? What you really truly believe in will show up in your decisions and behaviors without fail, whether it is evidence of consistency or hypocrisy between your stated beliefs and actions. Be genuine with God about where you’re at spiritually. Do your feelings thoughts and actions line
up with what you say you believe in? If not, admit this to God and ask him to change your heart to reflect his! In John 14:12-13 Jesus said “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” If we believe in Jesus, then whatever we ask in his name, meaning it is in alignment with his mission and will found in his word, he will do it! We are told this truth by our savior and God, and we are absolutely required to believe it if we expect to receive it as a reality played out in our lives.
Read the book of James to understand how faith and actions correlate. Our salvation through faith in Christ depends on it.
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