DAILY DISCIPLINE #12
by Colleen Donahue
"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."
It's a startling fact that it's impossible to please God with our lives unless we have faith. Now, if you don't care whether you please God or not, then to act with faith will not concern you. But for those of us who have accepted freely the salvation that God has given us through Jesus, we have already started our life of faith and long for God to be pleased with our lives.
The Bible says that even if we only have a little faith (like the size of a tiny mustard seed) we'll be able to "move mountains." Imagine the life we'll live if we have BIG FAITH! I think nothing explains faith so accurately as God Himself and examples from the lives that God has used. So use the outline I've provided and find out for yourself.
WHAT IS FAITH?
Day 1-What is faith?
Day 2-Faith is synonymous with believing and then acting on WHO we believe in.
John 3:15 / 5:24 / 11:25 / 12:46 / 20:31
Day 3-Where does faith come from?
Day 4-How is faith increased? Reread:
Romans 10:17 / 2 Timothy 3:15
Day 5-How does faith express itself?
Deuteronomy 10:12 /Galatians 5:6 / I Timothy1:5 / James 2:17
Day 6-We were meant to do everything in faith. What if we don't?
Day 7- What should our faith be based on?
2 Chronicles 20:20 / Mark 11:22 / John 6:29
Day 8 -What else?
Romans 4:21 / Hebrews 11:13
Day 9-What is the only way we can please God?
Day 10-How does a righteous man live?
Habakkuk 2:4 / Romans 1:17 / Galatians 3:11 / Hebrews 10:38
Day 11-We are able to accept ourselves as righteous in God's sight for one reason.
Romans 5:1 / Philippians 3:9
Day 12-What makes it possible to draw near to God?
Day 13-How do we stand victorious over the world in which we live?
1 John 5:4
Day 14-How do we stand firm against all the temptations and accusations of Satan?
Ephesians 6:16 / I Timothy 6:11-12
We use the shield of faith like this:
Satan tries to put in our mind some lustful thought. When that hits your shield of faith you say to him: "No. God's word says that I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Jesus doesn't want to be thinking this thought and since I have the mind of Christ, I don't want to be thinking this thought either! You always answer the devil back with the word of God. For you'll remember from Day #4 that faith increases in proportion to knowing the Word of God.
Day 15-How can our day to day difficulties be overcome?
Matthew 17:20 / 21:21-22 / Mark9:21-24 / Mark 11:22-24
Day 16-What role does Jesus Christ play in regard to our faith?
Day 17-At times God tests our faith. What is the outcome?
Day 18-What role must faith play in our prayer life?
Day 19- Things will happen in our life according to our faith.
Matthew 8:13 / 9:29
Day 20-Our faith will enable the impossible to happen.
Mark 9:23 / Luke 17:6
Day 21-What are the results of living by faith?
Day 22- More results.
Day 23-.......and more.
Day 24-......... and more.
Day 25-......... and more.
Day 26-......... and still more!
You'll notice between different versions of the Bible, "believing in" and "having faith in" are used in the translation. For example:
John 14:12 in the NIV says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing."
John 14:12 in the NLT says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done."
Belief used at that time was not just acknowledging it in your head. If you believed something then you acted accordingly and that is exactly what faith is.
Day 27- Example of victorious faith in Caleb's life.
What did the Lord promise to Caleb?
What was the difficulty?
What was Caleb sure of because of God's promise?
Day 28- Example of victorious faith by Jonathan.
1 Samuel 14:6
What did Jonathan feel guided to do?
What was he sure about?
Day 29-Example of victorious faith by King David.
1 Samuel 17:37
What was David facing?
What did he remember from his past about God?
Therefore what was he sure about now?
Day 30- Example of victorious faith by Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 20:12-30
What confronted Jehoshaphat?
What was the word of the Lord to Jehoshaphat? vs 15-17
What finally happened? vs 22,24
Day 31-Example of victorious faith by Paul
What was Paul facing?
What was the Lord's word to him?
What happened to Paul and the others?
Do you see the pattern here?
1. God guides us or promises us something so that we have His Word on it.
2. In every case, there is opposition or something bigger than the person to solve or to do. Satan will always oppose God's will using people.
3. Yet, because the person knows God and that He will keep His word, he goes ahead to take the next step to gain what God has promised.
4. As soon as he/she starts to act, God comes alongside in partnership with us.
5. We receive what God promised -- sometimes immediately but sometimes over time.
Faith is simply taking God at His Word (from the Bible), acting in accordance with it, and expecting He will do what He says. It's like we are saying this:
"Father, you promised that if I asked, you would give; if I searched, I would find; and if I knocked, the door would be opened. I am in need of a job and have asked you for one. In my searching, I found this opening _______. Now, as I go to knock on their door would you open that door for me or allow another door to open in its place? I am excited to see what you are going to do!"
This is a prayer of faith and is always based on God's word to us from the Bible or at times a personal word (called a Rhema) to us. Most of our acting in faith will be because God says it in the Bible. Can you see why this kind of living, acting and praying pleases God? It's like He's daring us to believe what He says so He can prove Himself true and faithful in our own life.
Most of us have very little faith when we start out. But as God proves faithful to His Word, faith grows and we grow in the Lord. The two main keys to increasing our faith is:
1. To know more of what God says in the Bible. Therefore we should read and study it daily. Scripture always leads us to know God Himself.
2. Then act on what God says in your situation. That usually means taking the next logical step. And when you do, God joins you in a partnership and together you realize the promise.
Remember that a life of faith is a "walk by faith" and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). When God asked Noah to build the ark, the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. But Noah believed God and built the ark. As a result, he and his family, along with two of every living creature was saved in the flood and preserved alive to start the world over.
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