Faith Moves

[271 words] J.W. McGarvey said, “If our faith is to save us, our faith in Christ, it will be by causing us to act in harmony with that faith” (emp. added, rek). McGarvey continued, “If He is Christ, the Son of the living God, ruling over heaven and earth, and we believe that, and act in harmony with it, we immediately surrender our souls and bodies and all that we have and are, to His divine guidance and control” (Sermons, p. 93). Faith always moves. Faith must move in the direction of Christ. We are “looking unto Jesus, the author…
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Go Forward

[519 words] In the account of the crossing of the Red Sea in the Exodus of the Israelites, we can learn some important things about God and His people. As the Egyptians were in hot pursuit and the Israelites’ fears are growing, God said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exod. 14:15). Moses was then to lift up his rod, stretch out his hand over the sea, and it would be divided (Exod. 14:16). When Moses did this, Exodus 14:21 records that “the Lord caused the sea to go back…
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Who Are You Trusting to Save You?

[230 words] “And when I saw that you would not save me, I took my life in my hand and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?” (Judges 12:3). Jephthah had tried explaining to the king of the Ammonites that he had no cause for war, but he wouldn’t listen. We’re told in Proverbs 15:1 that a soft answer is supposed to turn away wrath, but that didn’t work. Neither did it work for Jephthah when the Ephraimites were upset…
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Faith: How Important?

[482 words] “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Christians, in some ways, are like anyone else. We all have a tendency to become lax about matters that should be basic and indispensable. It is like eating well. Anyone can learn how proper nutrition works and can even begin to do what it requires. But, there is always the human characteristic to revert back to old behavior, even when it is not good for us. Daily Bible reading is like this. Within the heart of every Christian we know that the life-stream of…
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Is an Active Faith Important?

[431 words] A ship wrecked off the Rhode Island coast, one winter day. A father and son managed to get into a lifeboat. The father refused to let his son help row. Upon reaching land, the father found his son frozen to death. The boy needed activity in order to live. What is true of the physical body is true of the Body of Christ, the Church, there needs to be an active faith in following God. Yet, what I often encounter with many people today who claim to be Believers, is that having “faith” simply means that one just…
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The Heart is Where Home Is

[192 words] It was Paul’s wish for all Christians “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 3:17). The word “dwell” in this verse brings forth a powerful concept concerning our relationship with Christ. According to Robertson’s New Testament Word Pictures the root of the word in the Greek means “to make one’s home, to be at home.” Isn’t that interesting! Jesus is not only to make His home in our hearts, He is to be at home there, as well. The question to ask ourselves in light of this is: “Is Jesus ‘at home’ in my heart?”…
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Chariots of Iron

[303 words] The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel” (Joshua 17:16). When the land of Canaan was being divided, the descendants of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, were given land but were not satisfied. They felt they were too numerous and needed more land. The problem was that they saw the people living in the towns on the plains as too powerful for them to…
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Mustard Seed Faith

[367 words] “So Jesus said to them ‘because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you’” (Matthew 17:20). Unfortunately many modem English translations talk about faith “the size of a mustard seed,” but the Bible actually says that God’s kingdom and faith are “like a mustard seed,” or “as a mustard seed.” The size of a mustard seed is only one of its characteristics, and not necessarily the most…
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Are You Passing on Your Faith?

[349 words] “For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:5). I remember well the name of Howard Hughes. Hughes’ life started with great potential, but his life ended in a pitiful condition. This one-time wealthiest man in the world died as a spiritually bankrupt individual. He was born in 1906 in Houston, Texas. His mother, Allene, died in 1921. His father was a Harvard educated attorney and a great inventor. He invented the…
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Success

[687 words] How close can you come to success and still fail? Why do some people succeed and others who seemingly are doing the same thing fail? I guess I am asking is, “What is the secret to succeeding?” In the Bible God tells us about the lives of some people who were successful and some who were failures. “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: ‘The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will…
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Showing Everyday Faith

[188 words] • The respect you show God and His Word on Sundays says a lot about your faith in Him. • The attitude you show the world on Mondays says a lot about your faith in God. • How much time you send reading your Bible and in prayer on Tuesdays says a lot about your faith in God. • The number of brethren you visit with on Wednesdays says a lot about your faith in God. • The opportunities and resources you utilize in helping the needy on Thursdays say a lot about your faith in God. •…
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Do You Ever Forget What You Are Doing?

[362 words] Have you ever deliberately walked into a room, gone back to your house, or driven to a store only to forget why you went in there, in the first place? Many of us have done this, unintentionally, of course! We may feel dumb or scatter-brained when it happens. We may even get frustrated. Thankfully, most of us have learned to retrace our steps in our mind, and then, snap. There it is! We remember what we were doing. Most often this has something to do with us being really busy, behind schedule, or emotionally preoccupied. This can become…
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Taking the Heat

[93 words] In the early 1970’s the firefighters of Fairfax County, Virginia, received new helmets. They were sharp looking, colorful, size-adjustable, made of high-impact plastic, and scuff-resistant. There was only one problem with the helmets: when they were worn near the heat of a fire, they melted. This, of course, made them useless to firefighters; they needed helmets that could take the heat. In the same way, we need a faith that can take the heat—a faith that endures the fire and protects us in the midst of the blaze….
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Don’t Forget to Use All Your Strength

[138 words] A father was watching his young son struggle to lift a heavy rock. The little fellow grunted and strained, but couldn’t move it. The father said, “Son, are you sure you are using all your strength?” The exhausted boy said, “Yes, I am!” The father replied, “No, you are not. You haven’t asked me to help you.” How true is this illustration! We grunt and struggle with our burdens in this earthly life, often forgetting the Father in heaven is always willing to aid us. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,…
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Fan the Flame of Your Faith!

[642 words] The fire began to burn low, so he got another log and put it in the fireplace. Those who wish to remain warm normally do this. Flames burn their fuel and, without additional fuel, they will go out. Timothy needed a boost; his zeal to use God’s spiritual gift had declined. We do not know the specifics of this miraculous gift, but it had come from the Holy Spirit through Paul for a purpose. Paul gently advised Timothy, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God which is in you through the…
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People and Challenges

[402 words] Why is that so many people take the challenge to run in a marathon, but won’t enter the race of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2)? Why is it that so many people develop the skill of self control to engage in an athletic contest, but fail to develop that skill when it comes to their spiritual life (1 Corinthians 9:27)? Why is it that so many people can read for hours in books that are difficult to read as well as interpret, yet neglect reading the Bible, which was intended to be read and understood (Ephesians 3:4; 2 Timothy 3:15)?…
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Spirit, Help My Weakness

[354 words] Help my weakness of virtue. A primary weakness that we notice about ourselves is our moral weakness, our weakness in the face of temptation. Jesus noted that, like when we want to stay awake but drift into sleep anyway, we are susceptible to the weakness of our fleshly cravings. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41). May the Spirit help us when we are tempted to sin. Help my weakness in hope. In the context of Romans 8, in which the teaching “the Spirit helps us in our weakness” appears, the immediate subject matter…
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Looks Aren’t Everything

[392 words] You wouldn’t think to look at him as mighty. When the man of God came to town, he wasn’t even invited to eat with the rest of his family. Sure he was good at what he did. He was trusted to handle the families’ sheep. He was a musician. He was young. He was characterized as ruddy faced and beautiful, but not mighty. He wasn’t even old enough to go to war. No one had yet sung songs of his glory. He had not yet won any glory for himself. But he was chosen of God. The man…
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Looking for What Can’t Be Seen…Yet

[456 words] A common theme with God’s people–and by that I mean people who were living in and going after a right relationship with God–all throughout the Bible was their yearning to see something that they couldn’t see at the time that they wanted to see it. They had a hope that looked forward to something that they wanted, or even possessed, but they just didn’t have it, or they weren’t able to see it…yet. Hebrews 11:8-16 and 24-27 reminds us that Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and even Moses heard the calling of God and went after what God had…
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Soaring Faith

[50 words] The eagle sweeps across the sky,Wind under its wings and opened breast.It glides upon the current, highAbove the earth, for food and rest.Wait, wait upon the Lord,Renew your strength where the Spirit blows;Your soaring faith its own reward,The quiet heights for your repose. J. Randal Matheny…
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God’s Faithful Children

[308 words] “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15). This verse from the Psalms causes our minds to reflect on the many Christians who have passed from this life. We know that, in spite of the great strides in the world of medicine, death comes to everyone. Just as surely as we are born we will die, unless, of course, the Lord comes again during our lifetime. The writer of the Hebrew letter tells us, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27)….
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Standing With Jesus 

  [340 words] Certainly you have heard about the shooting that took place this past week at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine people were killed. Several more were injured.  There are conflicting reports about this, but some outlets are reporting that the shooter asked his victims if they were religious or not (if they were Christians) before he shot them.  Regardless of what he really asked the innocent people he shot (and what his motivation might have been), such causes us to pause and think.  Let us first pray for these families. Let us pray for the devastated…

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Jesus Did Not Commit Himself to Them

  [222 words] “…many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men” (John 2:23-24).  This passage has been highlighted in my Bible for a while. Early on, it seemed odd to my frail ear that Jesus would not “commit Himself” unto people who “believed in His name.” Logically, there had to be a reason for Jesus’ reaction to the faith of these folks, right?  It is interesting that the word “believed” in 2:23, and the word “commit” in 2:24, come from the same…

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By the Root 

  [313 words] Growing season for most things in gardens and flower beds is winding down. That means less weed pulling! This preacher remembers a weed in Georgia that we nicknamed “Monster Weed” because it grew very quickly, developed thorns and had a root system that made it nearly impossible to pull up by the stalk. Of how much sorer back would one be who attempted to pull up a mature tree by its roots?  Luke records the following lesson on faith that Jesus taught his disciples: “And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard…

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Lieutenant David Steeves

[257 words] In 1957, Lieutenant David Steeves walked out of the California Sierra Mountains 54 days after his Air Force trainer jet had disappeared. He related an unbelievable take of survival after parachuting from his disabled plane. For almost three months he said he had eaten berries and dug snow tunnels to sleep in, had seen no one during the entire time and finally walked out on his own. By the time he showed up alive, he had already been declared officially dead. His story was viewed with much skepticism because during that same time frame his assigned unit had…
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What About Our Reach?

[394 words] The Impala is an amazing creature that has a vertical leap of more than 10 feet and can jump an amazing 30 feet. With such abilities, one would think zoos would have to take extraordinary measures to build enclosures to keep these nearly airborne creatures inside the zoo, but they don’t. It seems the Impala will not execute its amazing jumps unless it can see where it’s going to land. So, zoos only have to build a six-foot wall to keep the animals inside. Unfortunately, there are some members of the Lord’s church who have this same problem….
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Faith Followed by Obedience

[117 words] If Noah had lived by today’s religious standard, he would have said, “Lord I believe you but you are asking too much, I don’t really need an ark.” Abraham would have said, “Lord, I have great faith in you, but I can do just as much good by staying here in Ur.” The apostle Paul might have said, “Lord do you know what they will do to me if I go to Rome?” James said, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:21). The writer of Hebrews penned, “And (Jesus) having been perfected, He became…
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Meeting God on the Battlefield

  [247 words] In 2 Chronicles 20 we are given an interesting story about three nations on their way to destroy Israel and drive them out of the land. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was scared for his people when he caught wind of this massive army coming after them. The way it reads, they were no match for them at all. Jehoshaphat turned to God in his distress and prayed a prayer for his people, calling on the faithfulness of God and his care for his people. God responds to Jehoshaphat’s prayer and this is part of that response. “You…

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Spiritual Sight

  [257 words] The hymn writer Fanny Crosby gave us more than 6,000 gospel songs. Although blinded by an illness at the age of six weeks, she never became bitter. One time a preacher sympathetically remarked, “I think it is great pity that the Master did not give you sight when He showered so many other gifts upon you.” She replied quickly, “Do you know that if at birth I had been able to make one petition, it would have been that I should be born blind?” “Why?” asked the surprised clergyman. “Because when I get to heaven, the first…

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An Act of Real Faith

  [278 words] After reading about Jeremiah, I have no right to complain about my lot in life as a preacher. The fact is, I never had the right to complain (Philippians 2:14). God did not give Jeremiah a choice to be a prophet, and times were very bad for good people (Jer. 1:1-10). His message was not only unpopular; it was viewed as treasonous (Jer. 32:2-5). He was a prisoner because of his unpopular messages. Then, while he was in prison, while Babylon had already started the siege for the inevitable destruction of Jerusalem, God tells Jeremiah to buy…

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James: Where Faith Meets Real Life

  [333 words] We all are looking for ways to deal with the trials and tribulations in our life each day. The book of James provides us with practical strategies from Scripture which allow us to overcome challenges, grow spiritually, and help others with struggles. James 1:1-7 teaches us we can profit from trials! This section of Scripture says, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad; My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But…

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‘A Man in Whom is the Spirit’

[385 words] What will be said of us when we die? How will our eulogy go? If there ever was a funeral that I would have liked to be present for, it would have been Joshua’s. In Numbers 27:18, the description above is given to Joshua. We find much written about him in the Old Testament, and we would be hard pressed to find anything negative said of him. He led God’s people into a partial and temporary rest in Canaan and restored them to the Lord. Joshua’s life, though, started out in a very difficult manner. As a youth,…
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Got Faith?

[192 words] “This righteousness from God comes through faith inJesus Christ to all who believe … ” Romans 3:22. Having already established that there is an obedience that comes faith, that faith is something we do, and that we must not rest in what we’ve done or who we think we are in God’s sight, the third chapter of Romans holds up God’s complete faithfulness and righteousness in contrast to our complete lack of these qualities. All of us are being held accountable for having been found sinners and fallen short of the glory of God. Thus, we need Jesus’…
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Faith Check

[387 words] It is always good for a person to do regular checkups on themselves and their lives. We know the importance of this physically, mentally, and even financially. But too often we neglect to do this spiritually – and this is the most important area of all. In Micah’s day, there were questions of how best to demonstrate one’s faith in God. Was it simply just going through the motions of required sacrifices and offerings? No. Their faith was to be more than an outward ritual – it was to be proper outward actions based upon the proper inward…
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Do You Believe?

[478 words] A brand new calendar year is upon us! As such it is a great time to evaluate where we stand in a number of different areas. Experts tell us that nine out of every ten “New Year’s Resolutions” will fail…and most of these failures occur by February. This means that for the average person, year after year, they abandon their plans of self improvement after a few short weeks. So, instead of creating some resolutions we will not likely keep, why don’t we take a different approach? Why not ask ourselves some important questions that, if acted upon,…
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Different Attitudes Toward Faith

Some Welcome It (Acts 8:31-32; 10:33). Some Receive It (John 12:48). Some Obey It (1 Peter 1:22; Acts 17:10-12). Some Do Not Love It (2 Thess. 2:10-12). Some Resist It (2 Timothy 3:6). Some Turn Away From It (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Some Speak Evil of It (2 Peter 2:1-3). via San Augustine church of Christ San Augustine, TX…

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Faith Comes by Hearing

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Pertaining to personal salvation, there is no subject more necessary than faith. In Hebrews 11:6 it is written, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” The importance of faith is likely the most common feature of every religious group under the general umbrella of Christianity. From the most liberal to the ultra-conservative, faith is a predictable admonition heard from their pulpits and…

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Do You Believe and Obey?

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel” (Romans 9:2-4). Anyone who has ever known a loved one to slip away from this life without obeying the gospel, who had rejected the gospel that spoken to them knows the “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” that was in Paul’s heart as he saw the Jews who had every advantage in knowing God and were anticipating the Messiah but rejected Jesus…

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Faith and Optimism

When your cup runs over, is it a blessing, or a mess? Is your glass half full or half empty? Do you make difficulties out of your opportunities, or opportunities out of your difficulties? Are you the kind that complains about the noise when opportunity knocks? Do you claim to be an optimist who doubts that being one really helps? I was reading Psalm 23 this week, and it occurred to me that King David was a true optimist. “I am never in need…green pastures…peaceful waters…paths of righteousness…my cup overflows…even though I walk through the dark valley of death, because…

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Trust in the Lord

Trust in yourself, and you will always be disappointed at your level of achievement. Trust in friends, and they may let you down in your hour of greatest need. Trust in money, and you will spend your days trying to protect your investments. But trust in God, and you can rest assured of his eternal presence: “For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psa. 100:5). via Curry church of Christ Jasper, AL…

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