Help Me Overcome My Unbelief!

 

faithMost of us are aware that God responds to faith. The way to salvation is not through religious works but trust (faith) in God. Jesus congratulated people for their faith and rebuked other for the lack of it.

I think the biggest challenge to prayer and seeing God move is our unbelief, and I don’t mean that in a cruel or condemning way. I look at some of what I need in my life, I think about the people Sandra and I pray for and there are some very difficult things to deal with.

The problem we face is not a lack of goodness on God’s side, it is just the fact that we are not sure we can trust God to move in these areas. We find ourselves caught between believing in God and yet not believing at the same time.

The good news is that none of us are alone in these things. In Mark 9:14-29 we read the story of Jesus coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration and facing a boy afflicted by a demon, who the disciples were unable to help.

There is a lot going on here, but for now look at the father’s desperate cry; those of us with children can relate to this. Perhaps disappointed by the disciple’s failure, he looks to Jesus and asks, “if you can do anything’. Jesus’ response and value of the individual is amazing. He gives a gentle but real rebuke and says, “If I can?”. The following verse is amazing, but brings with it huge responsibility. “Everything is possible to the person who believes!”

Harold_Copping_Jesus_Heals_The_Epileptic_Boy_400“I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief”. That cry has reflected the experience of millions of followers for 2,000 years and still does today. Look at how Jesus responds, despite the faithless crowd, despite the father’s self-confessed unbelief, he helps a struggling dad take that first difficult step into trusting God when circumstances are beyond his control. The outcome? Jesus comes through where others failed.

Of course, we have only looked at one aspect of this multi-layered story and there is more to come in the proceeding verses. But for now, what are you facing that is beyond your trust level? What is there you know God can do, but are afraid to ask? Well perhaps you can join us and countless others in confessing to God that you do believe, and then asking for His intervention to help you overcome your unbelief. You may not see and immediate breakthrough (though you might), but God will immediately go to work in your life, the outcome of which will be amazing.

If this has helped, please like and share.

Go well my friend.

Reign In Life

To reign in life, that is a nice thought.

When Paul wrote this in Romans 5:17, what did he have in mind? Was it a picture of us sitting by a pool and being waitLight of worlded on by lesser people – people by the way who are definitely not reigning in life.

We know instinctively that the Christian calling is not one of laziness and luxury, but what was Paul saying?

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

The picture we have here is one that goes all the way back to the garden, the time when mankind fell from their high calling. What was that calling? We were created to be image bearers; those who reflected God’s good and compassionate reign into the world and then reflected the worlds praises back to Him. A royal priesthood, no less.

When sin entered we hid from God and  reflected creation back to itself, which in turn unleashed all the corruption and horror that we see through history and to the present day.

Everything changed when Jesus went to the cross. There He defeated sin and death on our behalf, and now we have forgiveness and resurrection. We have a new covenant, the new creation has begun and those who turn to God can start to reflect the Divine to the dying. We pick up the mantle of the One who died and rose again, and reign in life. Not as overlords or tyrants, but servants who reflect the loving, suffering giving heart of God and declare the more than good news, that Jesus is risen and He is Lord.

Go well my friend.

 

Good News About Failure

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There is a temptation for preachers to take the victory of the Gospel beyond the the age that that we live in. The reality is that we all face failure and suffering, but this doesn’t mean that we have failed as Christians or committed some terrible sin. After all, the apostle Paul spent years in prison and was eventually beheaded; was that because he ignored the will of God, or because he followed it?

I have to apologise to the more sensitive, because I do have a bit of a rant 😉

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If this is a help, please share – thanks.

 

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The God Who Camps With His People

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 I hear of some Christians, who disregard or dislike the Old Testament, they say things like “God is so angry” or “God is so unjust in His treatment of people”. When people say this to try and undermine the Scripture, what they tell me is that they don’t understand the Old Testament, and confuse their ignorance with God’s character. The reality is of course that the Old Testament contains the history, reason and revelation of the New, and as we understand more about it, the New Testament starts to stand out in vivid multi-dimensional colour.

The writers of the New Testament really knew what they were doing and were capable of using individual words to convey a truckload of imagery and meaning, which can empower us to really grasp the magnitude of what God has done. A great example of this is in John 1:14, where we read that Jesus “made His dwelling among us” NIV, or as the ESV says “dwelt among us”. Clearly, this is amazingly good news, but if we look a little deeper the picture becomes even more exciting. Read more

What Is Truly Worth Dying For?

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It’s no good; I have to come clean about what I really believe.

I have been a Christian for over 30 years, and the last few years have been difficult. In that time I have read and studied quite a lot, I have connected with people with all sorts of views about God and the Bible; I have read books from Catholics to Charismatics, Calvinists to Wesleyans and many in between.

In one sense I pushed everything I believed off the table and started again, not accepting my beliefs at face value, but challenging every assumption and trying to think them through. I have found there were things I believed because I assumed it, people told me it was so, or it was simply convenient. Read more

Is Jesus The “I Am” of The Old Testament?

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Most Christians understand that Jesus is God in some way or another, but how does He relate to the God revealed in the Old Testament who He claimed was His Father? In the first of 2 short studies we will look at how this question is answered by the New Testament writers, starting today with the apostle John. Read more

Is Jesus God?

grunge background with copy space for your textThat might sound a bit of a silly question, but I am not sure how many believers can actually give a definitive answer and explain their reasoning. Some might say Jesus is God as is the Father, some say He was made by God before creation, or even one of many who have attained to some level of divinity. But what does the Bible actually say?
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How the Seven Year Tribulation is doing damage today.

 

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WARNING! I might rant a bit here, but you will see why… Anyone who follows my Facebook pages will know that I am a great fan of Open Doors and the amazing work they do. Thanks to them and other outstanding organisations like them, the plight of Christians being imprisoned, tortured and murdered comes to our attention, or at least to some of us, and with our support they are able to do something about it. Read more