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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Faith"

Date published: 10/08/2020

Acts 9:40-41 “Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed.  Turning toward the dead woman, he said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’  She opened her eyes and seeing Peter she sat up.”

 

   I am not much on healing and miracles.  I have both been healed and experienced miracles, yet I do not see healing and miracles as a frequent part of my life or the lives of other Christians.  Our world is not of this world. 

 

   I liken it to a tailor is hired to make sports jackets.  At the end of every day he comes home to his wife who asks if he has made any pants today?  His job is not to make pants; he is to make jackets!  He can make pants, but that is not his job.  Occasionally his boss asks him to make a pair of pants, but rarely.  His job is to make jackets, not pants. 

 

   I think the same is true for Christians.  Our mission is to bring people into a saving relationship with Christ as well as disciple other Christians to become fully devoted followers of Christ.  That is our calling.  Our calling is not to perfect our health and quality of life for an eternal life on earth

 

   A person who cleans toilets every day and does a fabulous job cleaning them, has a great employer with great pay and benefits as well as great co-workers may have a great job, but it still will not compare to eternal life with his Creator.  As we live our lives on this passing journey, we must keep our eyes on God’s two primary objectives: witnessing and discipling others.

 

   Two things are critical in living out this journey: faith and how we live out life.  These two are inseparable.  James deals with this issue in James 2:14 when he says, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?”  Our life on earth is meant to actualize our faith by allowing God to fully indwell us. 

 

   God fully indwells us when we live by faith in every circumstance of life.  Paul said in Philippians 1:20-21: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  Life is not going to go exactly to our liking, but it will provide the perfect platform for God to show His kingdom in you. 

 

   Luke 12:16-20 illustrates the futility of making this world what life is about: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.  He thought to himself, 'What shall I do?  I have no place to store my crops.'  Then he said, 'This is what I'll do.  I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I'll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”  But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you.  Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’” 

 

   Cleaning urinals may be purposeful, fulfilling, and exciting, but it will never compare to heaven with the Creator of all life and the universe - nor will any other activity or occupation.  Let’s not cling to the urinals in our life, to the vapors of excitement, but live fully for God.  It is out of a faith-based life you will truly experience life. 

 

   When Peter went to heal Tabitha, he did not know what was going to happen, but he knew His God and trusted Him.  Every day that Peter went out preaching the Word he could not be assured of his safety, where his next meal would come from, or if any of the amenities of life were available – Peter just trusted God.  Peter prayed and acted on his faith, “Tabitha, get up!” 

 

   The very best that this world offers will not compare to God’s plan for you.  What God offers is an indescribable life for eternity.  When you get on your knees each morning, do as Peter did and ask God what He wants this day.  Then, live out every detail of life in the faith of God’s purpose knowing that it may or may not hold miracles for you.  God’s mission is to show His life through you, so that the world can begin to not just know Christ as Savior, but to also experience Christ alive in every detail of life!  

 

   I want to end by saying that miracles do happen.  God never takes this off the table.  But real faith does not come with guaranteed assurances.  Daniel left the lion’s pit, while Stephen was stoned to death.  Both acts required faith whose acts spoke volumes to the crowds, but in different ways.  Today, more so than ever, people come to faith from observing the faith of the faithful.

 

Philippians 3:10-11 “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  

 

Do you know someone who needs this message on faith and experiencing God?  Click below to forward this devotion to them. 

 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Satisfaction” and “Hard Times.”