IF YOU LACK FAITH! You don’t understand the Bible

Jesus made promises to tax collectors, adulterers, prostitutes, demon possessed, religious leaders, lepers and people like Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer rapist who cannibalized his victims, that they could be saved. Is your past worse than any of them? Why should you feel unworthy if God forgives you? Are you struggling with faith because of past baggage, not feeling worthy or do you feel you have not been working hard enough spiritually, to accept God’s promises that requires your faith to be activated? Why do you think Christ spent more time with sinners than with religious people? Consider the sermon He preached in Matthew 5:3 – 12. NLT

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”

A requirement that God asks is that you live the opposite of how the world lives. You must love instead of hating; you must be willing to give of time and resources instead of being a taker. You must be willing to serve others and not want to always be served. You must be willing to forgive as Christ has forgiven us. Christ wants us to make Christianity much more than what the world offers. He provides a code of ethics to live by. Living a holy life we believe means performance. Yet we are repeatedly told it is NOT about working one’s way to Heaven. Having the right heart and attitude is more about what we should not do rather than what we must do.

The world measures success by how much we do and the quality of our performance. When we apply the same standard of measurement toward Christianity we come up short. This is why so many Christians have a problem with faith. They just do not feel they measure up. This is why they need to understand what the Bible teaches. However, it is just as wrong to determine how spiritual we are, measured by our religious performance. John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

I have belonged to churches that believe a Christian with problems were not spiritual. I now belong to a church who realizes that we all have problems and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. A major reason Christ came to earth was to change the hearts of wounded people. Romans 12:2 tell us we must be transformed.

Transforming is like the caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly. Which of the two would you want to be?

Becoming a Christian was a learning process to become more like Christ. This does not mean we are to be transformed into becoming someone other than who we are. We often struggle for God’s acceptance and work as hard as we can to please Him. It is difficult for many to believe they were accepted the moment they received Christ as their Savior. The fact is: they were given the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that they were accepted into God’s family as His child. As His child, all of His promises apply to each of us. When He says we have been forgiven, that means we can start life all over as a new person with the power to change who we are. Can you muster the faith to realize that His Spirit, which has been given to us, can change us into becoming what He wants us to be? Do you have a problem forgiving yourself or others?

People having the greatest problem forgiving others are those who have a problem accepting their own forgiveness. (Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.) Do you sense a repentant heart wanting to change?

Do you have the faith to believe that God wants to give you an abundant life and meet your needs?

Romans 8:16 – “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.”

I John 1:7 “But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 – “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Romans 5:1 – “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.”

Romans 6:6 – “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.”
Romans 6:14 – “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”

My faith also comes from the many blessings God has given to my family and me. Studying the Bible has helped me understand how much God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are involved in my life. Doors have been opened and doors have been closed and all for the best. He has given me a life filled with joy, peace and has met our needs.

When faced with problems, He gave me the faith to know that He allowed it for a purpose. I learned from the experience of having problems and it helped me deal better with life. When my family was told I had a 10% chance of living through a heart operation, my faith was at its highest ever. That was years ago.

I hope you allow God to increase your faith and He will, if you study His Word and accept that it applies to you.

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