Faith

Modes of Spiritual Growth

With acknowledgements to Bernard of Clairvaux.

Holy Hope

I am convinced that God never ceases to form, reform, and transform all of creation. I am further assured and reassured that God in Christ works to lift our personal burdens and set us free from the chains that bind us. I therefore believe:

WE ARE RESPONSIBLE

To the extent that we assume our own responsibility, our serenity and joys increase. This response-ability is ours and belongs to no one else. It is also the basis for our personal morality and social ethic. As God's earthly flock, we are not to be condemned for our natural human weakness, sickness, or waywardness. But we are accountable. We have the choice to be willful or to become willing and allow our divine Shepherd to tend us. We can always turn and return to God for health and salvation.

God Speaks in Six Great Ways

God speaks in six great ways: in nature and creation; in the moral law; in
the Scriptures; in Jesus Christ; in human conscience; and in history. All
these things are, of course, forever imperishably true. And all of us know
them to be true, and have known it for years; yet many of us believe no more
now in the practical Voice of God than when we first heard them.

We cannot carry on a conversation with God through nature, or the moral law.
We find God's general will in the Scriptures. We find God still more
directly in Jesus Christ. But human conscience is no perfect reflector of
God, and history only points to His existence and His general will. We want
something much more direct.

We want to know that God can and does speak directly to the human heart. The

How is Your Relationship with God?

Why are some people afraid to get close to God or have a meaningful relationship with him? I think it is because when we sin, or when we commit habitual sin in our lives, we feel guilty over it. God has equipped every one of us with a conscience for this very reason. A guilty conscience is a warning signal that goes off in the mind, letting us know that we have done wrong. The problem is people try to eradicate those guilty feelings without eradicating the cause of it. But this is like taking painkillers instead of treating the disease.

Do Your Part - How to Strengthen Your Faith

2 Peter1:5-8
For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel - Key To Change

by Tim Keller

The Greek term "gospel" (ev-angelion) distinguished the Christian message from that of other religions. An 'ev-angel' was news of a great historical event, such as a victory in war or the ascension of a new king, that changed the listeners' condition and required a response from the listener.So the gospel is news of what God has done to reach us.It is not advice about what we must do to reach God. What is this news? God has entered the world in Jesus Christ to achieve a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves which now:

1) converts and transforms individuals, forming them into a new humanity, and eventually

2) will renew the whole world and all creation.

This is the 'good news'—the gospel. And it is good news in three important ways.

Answering The Skeptics About God's Existence

Is Jesus God?
As a believer have you ever been confronted with someone who is skeptical that Jesus Christ exists or that He is the Savior of the world? How about those logical, intellectual folks that like to downplay creation for evolution? Have you ever heard the one about how people evolved from oysters?

I don't know about you, but I have a bit more faith than that. Do you realize how long it would take for a human to evolve from an oyster? More than the billions of years that they like to say the earth is old. Scientific evidence has yet to prove God does NOT exist. So the evolutionists and the creationists are in the same boat – still waiting for proof to disbelieve the other.

Asking The Right Questions

The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But… the good Samaritan reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?" Martin Luther King, Jr.

In my introductory Sunday school class I always begin with this premise: God welcomes our sincere questions.

I find that many people are surprised by the notion that faith and uncertainty can coexist. I think we sometimes imply that people of true faith don't have questions. This false message squelches the expression of honest questions and creates significant guilt.

How Are You Treating Your Gift?

2 Peter 1:1 NRSV
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Do I think that my faith is precious? That word just jumped out at me on the page when I read it. Did you know that the English word precious comes from the Latin word that means price. And that's what our faith is: it was paid with a price, with the blood of our Savior. I think that sometimes, in the midst of the frenetic pace of our lives, we tend to take our salvation for granted. It's been a part of us so long that we forget that there was a time when we didn't have the hope of heaven.

How Should We Pray as a Couple?

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This then is how you should pray:
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed Be Your Name
Matthew 6:9 NIV

God is our loving Father and is not only majestic and holy, but also a personal and loving God. God is in Spirit everywhere and to all people all the time. When we become believers, we are making a personal commitment to honor His holy name in everything that we do. It is not our achievements but the workings of God in us.

Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Matthew 6:10 NIV

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