Friday, August 29, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 7 (QUIZ)

HEBREWS 11 HEROS:

1. Which man, mentioned in Hebrews 11, was taken up to heaven without dying because he had lived a godly life? Enoch

2. Whose faith and actions as a result of that faith condemned the world? Noah

3. Who didn't know what was ahead when he obeyed God's call to follow Him and to leave his current location? Abraham

4. Who lived in a tent while searching for a city designed and built by God? Abraham

5. Who believed that she could have a child even though she was past child-bearing age? Sarah

6. Which man of faith promised future blessings to his twin sons? Isaac

7. Which man mentioned in Hebrews 11 foresaw that the people of Israel would leave Egypt? Joseph

8. What former prince of Egypt chose to suffer with his people instead of lead the life of a royal? Moses

9. Who saved her life by harboring spies in her house? Rahab

10. Can you list five other men mentioned in Hebrews 11, who haven't appeared in the prior quiz questions? Abel, Gedeon, Esau, David, and Samuel     

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 7 (ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS)

1). How do we grow in our faith?

We grow in our faith by reading God's Word, applying it to our life, trusting Him with all our heart.

2). Advancing in your faith require what?

Advancing in our faith mean we must totally rely upon Him, trust Him with all our heart, and lean not unto our own understanding, acknowledge Him in ALL our ways.

3). When you walk by faith what can you expect on your daily walk with the Lord?

First, you are assured that you will get to know God in an intimate and personal way.
Second, you will discover His will and purpose for your life.
Third, you will learn to listen to and obey Him.
Fourth, you will experience His unfailing presence, power, and wisdom in your life.
And fifth, you will learn to walk by faith.

4). Will the Father reject us if we have faith failure?

No, our Father will not reject us because our faith failure, because He loves us, and we are growing every day in this love, and through our confession of faith failure to Him. So when our faith fail us we are not rejected, but God draws us closer to Him through His love.

5). When we grow in the Lord, what does it bring Him?

Glory, Honor, and Praises. He want us to believe in Him, to rely on Him so completely that others recognize His presence in our lives and realize their need for Jesus. Amen!

6). What does it means to walk in faith?

Walking by faith and not by sight requires you to go to a place you do not know, one that God will reveal as you walk in obedience. Just look to Abraham as an example (Genesis 12:1).
Walking by faith means that you continue to cling to the dreams God has planted in your heart, even when you've been thrown away, taken to prison for crimes you didn't commit. Just look at all Joseph endured (Genesis 37-50). Walking by faith requires a strong determination to follow God's plan regardless what life throws your way. Look to Daniel to discover how to have the resolve not to sin (Daniel 1:8).
Walking by faith means you have the courage to stand up for the hurting, broken, and down-trodden, to face death yourself for the good of others. Look at Esther and how she risked the death penalty to save the Jews (Esther).


7). Why is Abraham known by the title "Father of faith"?

He[Abraham] is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed -- the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead -- since he was about a hundred years old -- and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God," (Romans 4:17b-20a NIV) Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

8). What is necessary for remaining in confident in the Father?

Prayer is necessary with expectation, confidence, boldness, assurance, diligence, and persistence.

9). How does the Father communicate with us?

We communicate with the Father through His Word, His Holy Spirit, and through prayers as we totally depend upon Him.

10). Instead of regretting our failures, we should do what?

Instead of regretting our failure, we should focus on God, and strengthen our sisters and brothers. Our heavenly Father will even allow us to teach others about His unfailing faithfulness.    

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 7 (REFLECTION ANSWERS)

1). What makes waiting on God's timing so difficult?

Waiting on God takes faith; walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit of God is not faith. For the flesh wars against the spirit, and that is very difficult. Walking by sight and not by faith is difficult when we don't trust God. When we don't take heed and wait on God, we miss it, and that is difficult.

2). Do you take an active role in the waiting process by praying, reading God's Word, and counting on His promises with expectation?

I try with all my heart, but I fail at times. Then I ask God for forgiveness and He forgive me, and I go on trusting Him by reading His Word and counting on His promises with expectation.

3). Would these make the waiting process easier to handle; If so, how?

Be faithful, reading God's Word, and trust God, take Him at His Word.


4). What active steps you currently taking to further your relationship with God?

Oh, I love this one! My bible studies are so important to me as to reading God's Word, praying daily, seeking His guidance, and my daily quiet times each morning helps me to keep my relationship close to God. I am learning each day to trust Him more and more.

5). Recall a time when God answered a prayer of yours. How did that answer grow your faith in Him? 
 
I have a ministry of (live-in personal care-giver), and have been doing walking in it for years now, and it take faith to do what I do as to trusting God for the next assignment without a in between company. I love it because I have seen God move on my behalf so many times. In the past I've meet my next assignment through what is called God's appointed time. I would pray and wait on God to reveal, then, in my wait I would call those things which be not as though they were (Romans 4:17). I would not allow negative talk hinder my communication with God through His Word, I would not communicate with negative people; I would stand firm in my faith in God, and His promises to me. I would get a promise scripture and repeat it over and over again, get it in my spirit-man. These are precious times to me, because I have seen answers from God this way. Yes, sometime the enemy would fight against me by bring negative thoughts, but I stand firm in God and His promise to me as I live by faith, not by sight.    

Thursday, August 28, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 7 (LET'S PRAY!)

Father of all, we come to You thanking You for Your grace and mercy. In this study show us things to help us continue to walk in good faith, so we can please You. Walking with the Lord Jesus Christ is the most exciting life a person can live, and we thank You for giving it to us. We stand on Your Word that says we are overcomers even when we have adversities and trails. Give us discernment on Your nature as Your dear children. We acknowledge that Your are omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, loving, and merciful. Thank You Lord! Help to always meditate, apply Your Word, observe Your ways and works. We do desire to obey You and Your laws. As we study this lesson teach us how to advance in our faith. As said, we will never know what our potential is unless we are willing to "walk on water," to step out and trust You in faith. We call on You now to help us advance spiritually, transform us to Your image, Your ways, Your thoughts, so that in all our situations or circumstances we will trust You always. In our Lord Jesus's Mighty Name, AMEN.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 7 (8/26/14)

In the School of Faith

Bible Study

From a study of Charles Stanley

Date: 8/26/14

Week # 7

 

SUBJECT:      Advancing In Faith:

Key Passage: Matthew 14:22-23

Supporting Scriptures:     Luke 1:80; 2:51-52; Colossians 2:6; Acts 2; Hebrews 11:6; 13:5  

                             

God want you to grow.

 

Many people accept Christ as their Savior and do not realize this is only the beginning of their relationships with Him. Some believe they can stay where they feel safe and comfortable, and merely talk about trusting God. However, the Father desires more than that for each of us. His plan is that we mature in our knowledge and understanding of His ways—living vibrant lives in obedience to Him. He wants us to grow in our faith, which is the confident conviction that He will do all He has promised.  Are you growing in your faith? Is your trust in the

Lord increasing? Do you believe that God hears and answers your prayers? If you have been struggling with doubt and unbelief, it is possible that you have begun to stagnate in your faith. The Father wants to bless you and work through you in a powerful way, but you must trust Him to do so. You see, many believers are not being used by the Lord because they're unwilling to rely upon Him. But if a person is to advance in his or her faith, dependence upon God is absolutely critical. You have the presence, power, and wisdom of almighty God to help you through anything you must face in life. You can have complete confidence that He will do as He has promised. And you can trust Him to increase your faith through the following avenues.

 

Ten Ways to Advance in Faith

 

 1. Facing and overcoming adversity and trials. God looks at each person's life and designs trials to achieve His purposes. God knows exactly how to strengthen you spiritually. Also, He will use and bless you in proportion to your faith.  It is when we encounter troubles, temptations, and obstacles that we must decide whether we truly trust God or not. He will challenge us to obey Him, even though our circumstances appear absolutely impossible. Will we give up and quit when the path ahead becomes trying and difficult? Or will we cling to the Father and praise Him for answering our prayers, despite how things look?

2. Understanding the nature of God. The Father wants His children to know Him better. We must comprehend that He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient as well as holy, righteous, merciful, and kind. As you come to understand the totality of the God who reveals Himself through His creations and Word, your faith will grow.  The Lord is fully trustworthy. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, loving, and merciful. It is in discovering His unfailing character that we realize we can completely rely upon Him. Therefore, we should make every effort to spend time with Him and get to know Him more intimately.

3. Meditating upon His Word. The Bible is the Word of God, the very fuel of our faith. If we want to know what God thinks, how He acts, and what He can and will do, the Bible is the place for answers. Daily meditation on it allows the Father to reach our minds and hearts, protect us, and provide for our needs.  Of course, one way we can know the Lord better is through His Word. In fact, we cannot grow in our relationships with Him if we ignore Scripture.  It is the fuel of our faith and how He directs our paths. If we desire to know the Father—how He thinks and acts, as well as His will for our lives—we must meditate on the Bible daily. This means we read it, think about what it means, and ask the Lord how He wants us to apply it.

4. Applying the principles of His Word. We cannot expect to grow if we do not apply the Bible's principles. If we follow His will, God will enable us to succeed. He honors our willingness to follow Him, and our faith grows because we can see the evidence of His hand working in our lives. Once the Father reveals His direction for us, we must step out in complete confidence of His wisdom and provision. The Lord wants us to succeed, so He enables us to do so. As we watch Him working in our lives and honoring our obedience, our faith in Him grows. 

5. Observing the ways of God. At times, God allows hardships to help us learn dependence. Other times, He is silent in order to develop patience. Also, He uses seemingly inopportune situations or people who seem unfit for His purposes to accomplish what He desires. Knowing all the ways in which God works will broaden your faith.  By comprehending how the Lord works in others' lives, we can understand His activity in our own circumstances. The Father often operates in unusual ways that we do not expect. However, by learning how He demonstrates His power through believers and teaches us during times of adversity, we can remain confident regardless of what happens.

6. Observing His work in the lives of others. God will put certain people in our lives to influence and challenge us. Watching their actions and hearing their testimonies can help our faith mature. The Lord will also instruct us through the lives of the biblical saints and believers we know and respect. They are truly examples of His principles in action. He works through them to strengthen our faith and plant His truth in our hearts and minds.

7. Obeying the will of God. Obeying God and leaving all the consequences to Him is the perfection of faith. The willingness to do what He asks is the greatest example of obedience, and it brings the ultimate blessing because it honors and pleases God.  We live out the words of Hebrews 11:6, "He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." This is the perfect expression of faith. We do as the Lord says, regardless of what it costs or requires of us—all the while trusting that He will help us. We believe wholeheartedly that He will not only honor our obedience, but will also bless us abundantly.

8. Receiving answers to prayer. We should pray with expectation, confidence, and boldness that our heavenly Father will provide everything we need. Much like a father who promises to catch his child when he leaps into a pool, God wants us to trust Him and "jump" in faith. He'll catch us every time.  It is such a wonderful experience when the Father responds to our requests. We see the full power and provision of heaven employed in helping us. This is why we should always pray with expectation, confidence, boldness, assurance, diligence, and persistence.

9. Worshipping God. When we sing, whether in church or by ourselves, we are making a public profession. We're saying we believe in God's power and greatness. We're confessing what we believe and receiving a blessing at the same time.  The songs we sing in praise to the Father offer us an opportunity to profess our absolute trust in Him. We remember all the ways He has been faithful to us, and that never fails to bolster our confidence in the Lord.

10. Confessing faith failures. We can't fool God; He knows when we've made a mistake or failed Him in some way. The only thing we must do is confess it immediately. Then, recommit ouselves to live according to His will and learn from our errors.  The Father will not reject us because we've failed. He wants to forgive us, give us another opportunity, and bring us back into unhindered relationship with Himself. When we fully experience His unconditional love, it will deepen our trust in Him and help us continue growing in our Christian walks.

We will never know what our potential is unless we are willing to "walk on water," to step out and trust God in faith. Whatever your situation or circumstance, God can transform your life and help you advance spiritually if you're ready to call on Him.

 

Walking in Faith:

 

The Father of Our Faith

Abraham is known by this title because of his inspiring and historic trust in God. Although he grew up in a pagan land and knew nothing about Yahweh, he obeyed when the Lord called him (Josh. 24:2-3). God said, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you" (Gen. 12:1-2). It was an incredibly difficult command—Abraham was to leave his family and everything he had ever known to go to a place he had never seen. Although Abraham's faith was severely tried, we know that he remained devoted to God even when everything appeared contrary to the Lord's covenant with him. And the Father blessed him beyond measure—fulfilling every promise. Yes, Abraham failed at times and had doubts like we do. He wasn't perfect. This is the reason he is an excellent example of what it means to live a vibrant life of faith. We all experience faith failures, but if we pick ourselves up and renew our trust in the Lord, we will see God's promises to us fulfilled as this patriarch did. Thankfully, Abraham also demonstrates what is necessary for remaining confident in the Father's provision. These five requirements are as follows:

 

Requirement 1: Learn to Listen to God

The Lord is speaking to each of us individually—just as He did with Abraham. But if we do not learn to listen to Him, how will we ever have a relationship with Him? The first question we should ask is "How does the Father communicate with us?" He does so primarily through His Word and prayer. As we read the Bible daily, He shows us how to handle the issues that concern us. However, He may also communicate through other people, sermons, Christian books, songs, and circumstances. In fact, He will move heaven and earth to show us His will when we seek His face. The key is to begin each day by praying, "Father, if You have anything to say to me, please speak—I'm listening." Though there may be times when God's directions do not make sense to us, be assured that He would never tell us to do anything that contradicts Scripture.

 

Requirement 2: Learn to Obey God

As you and I grow in our relationships with the Father, we learn by trial and error how crucial it is for us to do exactly as He tells us. In fact, once we hear the Lord's direction, our best course of action is to submit to His commands fully and immediately—no matter what it costs us—because obedience to God always brings blessings. As we mature, we also discover that when we attempt to take shortcuts or circumvent God's plan, we get ourselves into trouble. This is because partial obedience is disobedience, which always brings terrible consequences.

 

Requirement 3: Learn to Depend on God

The more closely we walk with the Father, the more we understand how perfectly He leads us. This is why God will sometimes only show us where to go one step at a time—so we will rely upon Him completely. When this happens, we may become frustrated or impatient with our progress and begin to doubt. However, when we do so, we show that we don't truly trust and depend on God. As a result, we begin to feel we must handle things on our own and pull away from Him. This is always a mistake. Instead, we must constantly remain in complete dependence upon the Father, which is the position of ultimate safety.

 

Requirement 4: Learn to Wait Upon God

Time is a tool in God's hand, and its passing will either strengthen our faith or undermine it, depending on how we respond. Take note because Scripture is clear: "God . . . acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him" (Isa. 64:4). No matter how many days, weeks, months, or years pass, the Lord will still keep His promises to you. Trust is all He requires of His children.

 

Requirement 5: Learn to Acknowledge, Repent, and Profit from Faith Failures

We all make mistakes and fail to rely on God at times. We run ahead of His timing, trying to invent our own solutions to the problems we face, or achieve the desires of our hearts in our own ways. Although there are certainly consequences for this, we must never imagine that the Father gives up on us. The Lord never turned His back on Abraham, and He will not forsake us either. However, God will continue to try our faith until we are able to trust Him with everything we love in life. Therefore, instead of merely regretting our failures, we should acknowledge them, repent of our unbelief, and make every effort to avoid such mistakes in the future. Do you have confidence that God will fulfill every promise He's made to you? Do you trust Him to lead you in the best possible path for your life? Are you willing to put those you love most in His capable hands? I hope you can answer "yes" to these questions because when you become a believer, you entered the school of faith for this very purpose—to trust Him more. Friend, don't miss God's best in your life because of fear. Grow in your relationship with the Father by listening to, depending on, waiting on, and obeying Him. At times when you fail, learn from your mistakes. Remain devoted to the Lord even when everything appears contrary to what He has promised you. You can rest assured that He is trustworthy and will keep His promises to you. You cannot lose by trusting Him, and there is no substitute for faith in the life of a believer.

 

Reflection:

1. What makes waiting on God's timing so difficult?

2. Do you take an active role in the waiting process by praying, reading God's Word, and counting on His promises with expectation?

3. Would these make the waiting process easier to handle.  If so, how?

4. What active steps you currently taking to further your relationship with God?

5. Recall a time when God answered a prayer of yours. How did that answer grow your faith in Him?

 

 

Questions:

1. How do we grow in our faith?

2. Advancing in your faith require what?

3. When you walk by faith what can you expect on your daily walk with the Lord?

4. Will the Father reject us if we have faith failure?

5. When we grow in the Lord, what does it bring Him?

6. What does it means to walk in faith?

7. Why is Abraham known by the title "Father of faith"?

8. What is necessary for remaining in confident in the Father?

9. How does the Father communicate with us?

10. Instead of regretting our failures, we should do what?

 

Prayer:

 

Father of all, we come to You thanking You for Your grace and mercy. In this study show us things to help us continue to walk in good faith, so we can please You. Walking with the Lord Jesus Christ is the most exciting life a person can live, and we thank You for giving it to us. We stand on Your Word that says we are overcomers even when we have adversities and trails. Give us discernment on Your nature as Your dear children. We acknowledge that Your are omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, loving, and merciful. Thank You Lord! Help to always meditate, apply Your Word, observe Your ways and works. We do desire to obey You and Your laws. As we study this lesson teach us how to advance in our faith.  As said, we will never know what our potential is unless we are willing to "walk on water," to step out and trust You in faith. We call on You now to help us advance spiritually, transform us to Your image, Your ways, Your thoughts, so that in all our situations or circumstances we will trust You always. In our Lord Jesus's Mighty Name, AMEN.

 

Quiz:

 

HEBREWS 11 HEROS: WEEK # 7

1. Which man, mentioned in Hebrews 11, was taken up to heaven without dying because he had lived a godly life?

2. Whose faith and actions as a result of that faith condemned the world?

3. Who didn't know what was ahead when he obeyed God's call to follow Him and to leave his current location?

4. Who lived in a tent while searching for a city designed and built by God?

5. Who believed that she could have a child even though she was past child-bearing age?

6. Which man of faith promised future blessings to his twin sons?

7. Which man mentioned in Hebrews 11 foresaw that the people of Israel would leave Egypt?

8. What former prince of Egypt chose to suffer with his people instead of lead the life of a royal?

9. Who saved her life by harboring spies in her house?

10. Can you list five other men mentioned in Hebrews 11, who haven't appeared in the prior quiz questions?

Monday, August 25, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (QUIZ)

 Complainers in the Bible:


1. Israelites (Numbers 11:5) (e)      

2. Jonah (Jonah 4:7) (f)              
 
3. High priest (Acts 25:7) (k)    

4. Spies (Numbers 14:36) (c)


5. Laborers (Matthew 20:10-11) (h)


6. Scribes (Mark 14:4-5) (g)


7. Grecians (Acts 6:1) (i)


8. haldeans (Daniel 3:8-12) (d)


9. Cain (Genesis 4:5) (j)


10. Rachel (Genesis 30:1-2) (a)


11. Saul (I Samuel 18:8) (b) 
 

 
I Matched the alphabets with the right numbers.
 

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS)

1. What is failing faith?

 

Failing faith is when we don't believe or trust God.

 

2. What is the cause of failing faith?

The fear of failure will cause our faith to fail, and when we refuse to trust God in our own challenges, temptations, and difficulties. And as we read this study we do find out that are many other reasons too.

 

3. How to overcome failing faith?

We must turn to God's Word by reading it daily, plant the right seeds in our minds and heart, and we must keep our focus on God.

 

4. What are some of the questions we must asked ourselves concerning failing faith?

Where are these doubts coming from?
Has God been faithful to me in the past?
Didn't the Lord promise to meet my needs? Don't I have the help of the Holy Spirit?
Isn't the Father with me at all times? Is anything too hard for God?
Is my focus on the Lord as it should be? Could my unbelief in this situation cost me a lifetime of regret?

 

5. When you trust God what are you doing?

We are honoring Him and bring glory to Him, and His Son Jesus Christ.

 

6. When we refuse to believe that God will do as He's promised, we often experience devastating consequences. What are you in danger of? Please list them.

1) Being double-minded.
2) Becoming unstable in our ways.
3) Missing the blessings of God.
4) Having our faith destroyed.
5) Misleading others about God's character.
6) Losing our influence.
7) Weakening our testimonies.
8) Making wrong decisions.
9) Forfeiting our peace.
10) Committing costly mistakes.
11) Being discouraged in prayer.

 

7. What can we be assured of in the Lord when we are suffering faith failure? Name a historic faith failure from the Old Testament.

No sooner had Abraham entered the land that God had promised him, than he had to leave that very land because it is not livable. We do not yet know the story, but this is the first of many times that faithfulness to God will place Abraham and his clan at risk. From God's side, one of the governing themes that emerges in this story is the question of whether Abraham will hold fast to the promise and continue to follow God even in the midst of seeming dead ends like this one. Or will Abraham abandon the promise and seek to make his own way in the world?
And yet from Abraham's side, the questions are just as pointed. Will God be faithful to Abraham in support of the promise? Or will Abraham have to take matters into his own hands and try to shape his own future amid the realities of life? Abraham left his "promised land" and journeyed on to Egypt because there was food there. Because of the fertility of the Egyptian land watered by the annual flooding of the Nile, food was usually plentiful in Egypt even when the rains failed in Canaan. And yet this circumstance sets the stage for an immediate crisis. As Abraham was about to enter Egypt, he began to fear for his life. His fear revolved around Sarah, his wife. He was afraid that she would catch the eye of the powerful in Egypt, and they would eliminate him in order to take Sarah. So he said to Sarah (Genesis 12:1-20):
I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, "This is his wife"; then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared on your account. Abraham didn't trust God then, his faith failed him.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (ANSWERS TO REFLECTION QUESTIONS)

1. What event/situation/person has caused your faith to waver?

My faith failed when I was without a job and no husband was died and had children to feed, I was so afraid of not been able to take care of them, I took my eyes off God and onto the problem. I thought God was punishing me for something of the past, and I stopped praying, and turned my back on Him, then God spoke to my heart and I repented. God supplied my need with a job, food until I got my first pay check. It was awesome!

2. If you overcame that doubt, how did you do it?

I realized I could not do this by myself and repented, I read God's Word until it got in my spirit and encouraged.

3. If you are still struggling, whose godly, biblical wisdom can you seek?

I am standing strong now, and I study God's Word, I pray often, and I have learned to trust Him no matter how it looks.

4. Do you believe what you read in 1 John 1:9?

Yes, I do! "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

5. What benefits can you envision to reading and memorizing this Scripture?

Blessings of knowing in your spirit you have been forgiven, that God loves you, and you can continue to wait on Jesus' His return, and walk by faith and not by sight or circumstances. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.    

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (PRAYER)

Let's Pray!

 

Father God, we acknowledge that our faith is weak at time, and that You are displeased in no faith in Your children; Father, when our faith fail us, we know we need to read more of Your Word, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Help us Lord to have a burning desire to read, study, and meditate on Your Word, so our faith can grow stronger in us.  As we study this subject please help us to walk by our faith and not by our sight, we live by our faith in You always.  Help us to keep our faith from failing by reading, planting the right seed in our minds and hearts, and by keep our focus on You. We trust You with all our heart, and we refuse to lean to our own understanding, in all our ways we will acknowledge You, so You can make our path straight. This we pray in Jesus' name, amen.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

BIBLE STUDY WEEK # 6 (8/19/14)

In the School of Faith: Bible Study

From a study of Charles Stanley

Date: 8/19/14

Week # 6

 

SUBJECT: The Grades of Faith

(IV) Failing Faith

Key Passage: Luke 22:31-32

Supporting Scriptures: Romans 10:17; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 17:5; Ephesians 3:16; I Thessalonians 3:11-12

 

 

Peter experienced this when he denied Christ three times (Luke 22:31-32). These moments are inevitable in our lives; however, God uses them to strengthen our faith and to teach others.

 

Like the disciples, we all have varying degrees of faith in our relationship with God, and we respond to the Father based on that amount. If we have great faith, He can trust us with bigger challenges and do amazing things through us.

  • A. Our faith grows as we study the Word, listening for His guidance through the Scriptures.
  • B. It is also strengthened when we face and overcome struggles. God uses tests for our good and to make us more capable servants.

Weak faith will fail you. You must trust God, even in our testing time. As we read and hear the Word of God, our faith grows. As said earlier the scriptures will guide us with peace in our hearts. But, we must remember that our faith is the tool and it must be strong. Weak faith is when we don't believe in what God's Word says.

 

Sometimes you feel weak spiritually. And when you do, you probably feel like you're the only one. You're not alone. Every Christian experiences times of weakness. What does weak faith feel like? Sometimes it manifests itself in:

 

  • Wondering if God is in control.
  • Questioning whether God really loves you.
  • Doubting God's forgiveness.
  • Lacking the motivation to engage in spiritual things.
  • Worrying about the future.
  • Being discontent.
  • Feeling discouragement or being downright blah.

Good News

· If you're like me, you don't like feeling spiritually weak. And you don't have to be! Weakness doesn't have to be the new normal! God has the power to strengthen you.

· You can see this fact in verses like Luke 17:5 where the apostles come to Jesus asking Him, "Increase our faith!" and Mark 9:24 where the man cries to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief!" You see it in Ephesians 3:16 where Paul prays that God will strengthen the church in Ephesus, and in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12 where Paul prays that God will increase their love for one another in Thessalonica. You also see it in Luke 22:32 where Jesus prays that Peter's faith would be strong enough to withstand the devil.

· The God who created the Universe, who delivered the Israelites, and who raised His Son. Can (and wants to) strengthen your faith.

How?

· Recognize that you cannot fix your weak faith by mere determination – by thinking positive thoughts, listening to music, or reading a 'Christian' author. That isn't taught in the Bible. These things can only offer the illusion of faith.

· The Bible tells us clearly what we need to do:

Ask

· When the man with the demon-possessed son cried to Jesus, "I believe; help my unbelief," Jesus responded by strengthening the man's faith (Mark 9:14-29). Likewise, we need to ask God to strengthen our faith.

· Don't think you need to be strong before God will listen to you. Like the man in Mark 9, ask God for help. Tell Him your faith is weak, and ask Him for strength. And He will respond by strengthening your faith when you follow the next step:

Listen

· So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

· When we hear the Word of God, God will use His power to strengthen us. The answer to weak faith is returning to the source of our faith: the Word.

· When you feel you are in a spiritual low point in your life, here are some passages that I have found to be helpful:

· Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. (Psalm 50:15)

· If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, Who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

· But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-9)

· For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

· For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

· Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)

· Read these verses, pray over them, and then dive even further into the Word.

· Realize you can't grow spiritually if you aren't feeding yourself (1 Peter 2:2) a steady diet of the source of faith (Rom. 10:17).

 

Suffering a Faith Failure:

Often, God's answer to our prayers about challenging circumstances is "Trust Me."

This is because the first step in overcoming our difficulties is to focus on the Father and have faith in His direction. We express our absolute confidence that even though the solution may be far beyond us, He knows what to do. And we can be assured that the Lord will lead us in the best way possible because He loves us unconditionally. When we have faith in God, it glorifies Him. Unfortunately, when we fail to trust the Father, it dishonors Him. He shows us how to proceed—how to have victory in our circumstances—but we refuse to obey Him. It may be because we believe we know better than the Lord does about our situations. Or maybe we are simply fearful of what may happen if we submit to His commands. Either way, we allow our unbelief to rule us and miss His best for our lives.

 

SERMON POINTS

A Historic Faith Failure

One of the most devastating examples of unbelief occurred when the people of Israel gathered at the edge of Canaan—the Promised Land (Num. 13–14). Although God had faithfully delivered them from Egypt and led them successfully through the wilderness, they were still unwilling to trust Him. It began when God commanded the Israelites to send 12 spies into Canaan to inspect the fruit of the region. Sadly, only two returned with positive reports of the land, which flowed with milk and honey. The other 10 spies were more focused on their inability to over throw the inhabitants than they were on God's great provision for them. They said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us" (Num. 13:31). The people of Israel experienced a faith failure. Even though God had promised to give them the land, they refused to believe Him. They considered the obstacles simply too immense to overcome. Regrettably, this faith failure resulted in 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and an entire generation of Israelites missed the blessings of the Promised Land.

 

The Causes of Failing Faith

Likewise, we experience faith failures when we refuse to trust God in our own challenges, temptations, and difficulties. What causes these breakdowns in our trust?

 

Fear of failure:

When we consider our trials from our own ability to handle them, it is normal for us to become afraid. However, it is not up to us to solve our problems—this is God's responsibility when we're living in obedience to His commands. David understood this and wrote, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Ps. 27:1). We have nothing to dread because God is with us, and He is greater than anything we will ever face. We cannot allow fear to cheat us out of His blessings (2 Tim. 1:7).

 

Listening to false information:

We must always be careful about whom we ask for advice. Others may not understand what the Lord is accomplishing in our lives or what He's promised us. Therefore, they may counsel us in a way that works contrary to His will. This is why God's direction must always take precedence in our lives—only He knows what is possible and how we can reach our full potential. We must obey Him regardless of what others say.

 

Failing to recall the power of God in past situations:

The Lord is intimately involved inour lives—blessing us and working through ourcircumstances to reveal His goodness to us.However, it is easy to forget this when we're focusedon our problems. This is why it is always necessaryfor us to actively recount the ways the Father hasworked in our lives. It gives us confidence He will help us again.

 

Failing to consider God's perspective:

The Lord desires that we learn to depend upon Him. This means He must put us in situations that are far beyond our ability to control, so we'll turn to Him. First Thessalonians 5:24 tells us, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." We must trust that the Father will accomplish all He's promised.

 

Focusing on the obstacles rather than God:

We will always be tempted to fear the challenges before us. We catalog our weaknesses and dwell on what we lack—imagining our trials to be much larger than they actually are. This shows our focus is misplaced. Instead we must pray to God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. When we keep our eyes on Him, we will see the difficulties in the proper perspective—as a way for Him to show us His glory

.

The Consequences of Faith Failures:

When we refuse to believe that God will do as He's promised, we often experience devastating consequences. We are in danger of:

 

1) Being double-minded.

2) Becoming unstable in our ways.

3) Missing the blessings of God.

4) Having our faith destroyed.

5) Misleading others about God's character.

6) Losing our influence.

7) Weakening our testimonies.

8) Making wrong decisions.

9) Forfeiting our peace.

10) Committing costly mistakes.

11) Being discouraged in prayer.

 

Overcoming Failing/Wavering Faith:

So how do we overcome our unbelief and steady our faith? How do we conquer our doubts when they arise?

 

First, we must stop and ask ourselves the following questions:

1. Where are these doubts coming from?

2. Has God been faithful to me in the past?

3. Didn't the Lord promise to meet my needs?

4. Don't I have the help of the Holy Spirit?

5. Isn't the Father with me at all times?

6. Is anything too hard for God?

7. Is my focus on the Lord as it should be?

8. Could my unbelief in this situation cost me a lifetime of regret?

 

Second, we must meditate upon the Word of God

The Lord speaks to us in many ways, but one of the primary avenues is through His Word. Therefore, we should study Scripture each day, deliberately considering how He may be instructing us through each passage and applying His principles to our lives. The Father knows you are seeking His direction and assurance, so trust Him to speak to your heart, answer your questions, clarify your path, and comfort your soul.

 

Third, we must recall times when God faithfully answered our prayers.

This is one of the reasonsit is always a good idea to write what the Fatheris showing you in the margin of your Bible—itbecomes a biography of how He has worked in yourlife. Then you can recall His absolute faithfulnessand trust Him to lead you when troubles arise.

 

Fourth, courageously choose to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.

There willcertainly be times when it takes a great deal offaith to obey God. But when you are walking in anintimate relationship with Him, He will give you theconfidence to take the leap. You will never regretstepping out in faith with Him.

When you live without faith in God, you are limited by your own strength and must endure difficulties without His awesome ability to help you. It is a terrible way to live and is certainly not what the Father wants for you. The Lord desires to show you His grace, love, and generosity, but your unbelief is hindering you from experiencing it. Don't continue in your wavering faith. Trust God with every detail of your life and make your relationship with Him your first priority. Be confident in His presence, power, and provision, and His peace will fill your heart.

 

Reflections:

1. What event/situation/person has caused your faith to waver?

2. If you overcame that doubt, how did you do it?

3. If you are still struggling, whose godly, biblical wisdom can you seek?

4. Do you believe what you read in 1 John 1:9?

5. What benefits can you envision to reading and memorizing this Scripture?

 

Questions:

1. What is failing faith?

2. What is the cause of failing faith?

3. How to overcome failing faith?

4. What are some of the questions we must asked ourselves concerning failing faith?

5. When you trust God what are you doing?

6. When we refuse to believe that God will do as He's promised, we often experience devastating consequences. What are you in danger of? Please list them.

7. What can we be assured of in the Lord when we are suffering faith failure?

8. Name a historic faith failure from the Old Testament.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we acknowledge that our faith is weak at time, and that You are displeased in no faith in Your children; Father, when our faith fail us, we know we need to read more of Your Word, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Help us Lord to have a burning desire to read, study, and meditate on Your Word, so our faith can grow stronger in us. As we study this subject please help us to walk by our faith and not by our sight, we live by our faith in You always. Help us to keep our faith from failing by reading, planting the right seed in our minds and hearts, and by keep our focus on You. We trust You with all our heart, and we refuse to lean to our own understanding, in all our ways we will acknowledge You, so You can make our path straight. This we pray in Jesus' name, amen.

 

Quiz:

Complainers in the Bible: WEEK #6

Israelites (Numbers 11:5) a. Childlessness

Jonah (Jonah 4:7) b. David's successes

High priest (Acts 25:7) c. Land

Spies (Numbers 14:36) d. Jews and golden image

Laborers (Matthew 20:10-11) e. Garlic

Scribes (Mark 14:4-5) f. Gourd

Grecians (Acts 6:1) g. Ointment

Chaldeans (Daniel 3:8-12) h. Pennies

Cain (Genesis 4:5) i. Neglect of widows

Rachel (Genesis 30:1-2) j. Offering

Saul (I Samuel 18:8) k. Paul

Bible Study: The Prayer Jesus Taught His Disciples Week # 7

Matthew 6:5-15 Beginning Prayer:   Father God, we ask that Thy will be done in our hearts today in Jesus' name.  Help ...