DO YOU REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE FAITH?

We must remember that faith is not a desire that something may take place in the future. True faith is an absolute certainty, often things that the world considers unreal and impossible. Man’s natural response is to trust his physical senses and put his faith in things he can see, hear, taste and feel. As Christians we must trust in something we may not be able to experience with our senses. Our faith must be such that we are willing to put up with life’s struggles or pain knowing that we shall receive our reward in the future. Earth is God’s laboratory where we all are preparing for the future. What happens in the “now” determines where we will be in eternity.

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17

Mark 11:23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.”

Matthew 17:20 “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (I tried to live with this Scripture that if it was God’s will, nothing I wanted to do was impossible because God had given me a mustard seed of faith.)

Faith could be considered an important emotion. Faith helps us to achieve our dreams or the goals we set. Faith removes doubt and gives us confidence. Having worked with thousands of employees I often needed to promote people to supervisory positions. About 90% of those I offered a promotion would ask me: “Do you really think I could do the job?” My reply was always the same: “If I didn’t think you could do the job I would not have offered it to you.” After a year or two of them supervising 4 to 10 people, their confidence changes them to having a different personality. They became confident and sure of themselves and the decisions they had to make. However, some struggled to have faith or confidence. No matter how much faith you may have, it can still be developed and strengthened.

Faith helps us see the world as it is. Faith helps as we approach life and as we encounter problems, faith helps us find their solutions. Faith will provide a sense of empowerment and a purpose. Faith helps us shape our personality and how we live the future. Faith defines for us moral values.

Hebrews 11:2–6 “This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 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.”

God has always approved and recognized the person of faith. In the Old Testament they had little verification but had complete assurance and conviction. Many Jews believed it was the sacrifice and fulfilling the law that pleased God. Even under the old system, grace not deeds was the basis of salvation. Today, spiritual faith is a gift God gives when we are receiving salvation.

Faith allows us to believe that God created the world out of nothing merely by speaking His Word. This passage tells us that all of creation was new, not made from any pre-existing materials. Genesis 1 God simply said, “Let there be” and what He wanted came into being.

Though we cannot understand how this could happen, Abraham and the prophets could accept this, as they were inspired to write it and with all of the knowledge Christ brought to this world, why is it so difficult for most people to accept this belief?

Abel, a shepherd brought a firstborn sheep. Cain, a farmer, brought an offering from the ground. God accepted Abel’s sacrifice and rejected Cain’s. Cain became angry and killed Abel. Theologians assume it was the attitude or the quality behind Cain’s sacrifice that caused God to reject it. We know God is more concerned about our heart and our motives than He is about our sacrifice. Abel’s sacrifice made him a righteous man. We know that a person must be righteous to enter the presence of heaven. We know where Abel is and we know where Cain’s soul resides. Faith and attitude is a choice.

This illustration was very important to the Jewish Christian. From the very beginning, faith has been the only thing that God will accept to save a sinner. Abel was the first man of faith and we must understand that his faith gave him his personal salvation. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

The fact that Cain and Abel came to sacrifice at the same place at the same time suggests God specified a time and place of worship. The fact that he accepted one sacrifice and condemned the other indicates a pattern for worship. The difference seems: Abel gave God what God wanted and Cain gave God what Cain wanted. Or, Abel was obedient and Cain was disobedient. Cain believed in God, he just didn’t believe God. He possibly thought a loving God would accept just anything. Cain is an example of a religious natural man, who believes in God and even in religion, but only on his terms and not on God’s.

True spiritual faith is always obedient. James says in 2:14 and 17 Faith without works is dead. Believing but not responding is not true faith. Cain had faith in God but he did not respond to God’s requests. This verse tells us three things: man comes to God by faith, not works; man must accept and obey God’s ways above his own self-will and sin is severely punished.

Genesis tells us Enoch walked with God for 300 years. Abel had true faith but apparently it was Enoch who walked with God. Abel did not understand the concept of walking with God. The story of Enoch illustrates for all of us the importance of fellowshipping with God.

Faith in God is an absolute requirement and those who believe can come to God and discover that He is approachable.

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