The Faith Process

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Luke 5:17-26

One day while Jesus was teaching, a paralyzed man was brought to where he was teaching to try to receive healing. When they were unable to find a way into the building through the crowd, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him through the tiles and set him before Jesus. That day, the man who was paralyzed from birth was healed. He was the only one healed that night, and his sins were forgiven.

The Lords healing power was with Jesus, and he had the ability to heal that day as much as ever. It was there for everyone, but not everyone decided they wanted healing. God didn't decide who got healed that night. Faith decided who got healed that night.

Only one man was healed, everyone else went home the same way they came in, no one else was transformed and no one else got healed. We can have encounters with God, but that doesn't always mean that there is a permanent change, many of the people in the room, were excited, but they were not changed. Just being in the presence of God isn't enough to change your life, whether it be through a great worship service, or an incredible message, unless you walk in a faith process after the encounter you won't change.

The Faith Process Requires four things: determination, a plan, hard work, and friends.

  • Determination:

  • The men in the story didn't just give up when they couldn't reach Jesus because of the crowd, they went up onto the roof, continuing to seek a way until they found it. We also cannot allow the crowd to stop us, things naturally will snap back into their origional shape, so if you don't go through the faith process, you will revert back. We need to make the choice not to let the people in our lives, the movies we watch, or the music we listen to pull us back to where we were.

  • A Plan

  • “Your life will not change for the better by accident” God's plan for your life will not fall into your life, you have to make a effort, and actually develop a plan through which to change your life. The mans friend developed a plan on how to move the man, how to lower him into Jesus. Sometimes we will find that the plan we originally had isn't working out, and we need to adjust. But we can't just sit around and expect everything to work out on it's own.

  • Hard Work

  • What God has called you to do is not easy, but it is supernatural. The work of the man's friends didn't heal him, but it put him in a position to get the healing power of God. We aren't going to make anything supernatural happen, but our work will put us in a place where God can work. “Faith without works is dead”. If you expect to do what God is calling you to do without working for it, you are being deceived, and you will never accomplish what he is asking of you.

  • . Friends

  • You can't do it alone, we all need a support group in order to make it through. People that will hold us accountable, and help us in our journey. That man could not have gotten up onto that roof without his friends, it would have been impossible, no matter how determined he was. There are things in our lives that we can only do with the help of others, so we need to surround ourselves with people that will help us in our journey, and we need to remove ourselves from people that are holding us back to the place where we currently are.

An encounter is great, but it will not change your life without a faith process, you must be determined, come up with a plan, take progressive Faith steps, and surround yourselves with people that will help you succeed in life.

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Message Recap - Blessed

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blessed are the peacemakers,for they will be called children of God.

Matthew 5:3-11

Everyone wants to be blessed, the translation in the Greek is “happy”. Everything we do is an attempt to feel happy, our efforts in school work, and personal relationships are all efforts on our parents to become happy.

In this scripture Jesus reveals that peacemakers will be blessed. This brings the question, what is peace, and how can we find it? Many people believe peace is the end of war, or for their lives to be less busy, for some to be alone. They seek it in all the wrong places, in relationships, drugs and alcohol, in lifestyles that will never truly bring peace. We life life thinking the next thing will bring us peace, graduation, a job, relationships, kids. All of these things carry the promise of peace, but none of them have it.

Peace, is not any of these things, peace is a gift, it's not something you can attain by effort, or purchase, you can't reach it by “achieving a zen like state, occupying wall street, by having tea, or protesting war.” You cannot attain peace in any earthly way. Peace comes from Christ, to your mind and heart so that you do not have to be afraid, or worried. Jesus had peace of mind in the midst of his crucifixion. This same peace that Christ left he also left for us. In John 14:27 Jesus said “I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So do not be troubled or afraid.”

Once we have accepted the peace of Christ into their own heart, and willing give it to others, you are a peacemaker. We cannot give what we do not have, just as someone who does not know how to play an instrument cannot teach someone else how to lay that instrument. In the same way, if you do not have peace, you cannot bring peace to others. A peacemaker realizes that the world cannot give peace, and they turn to Christ and ask for his peace, and then follow up by giving it out to other people.

Those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness. The words we say, and the prayers we pray, are seeds being planted in peoples lives. It's not a peace that comes from the world but from Christ. They are seeds of Salvation, and that needs to be our ultimate goal. Salvation is the only way to true peace, and the world cannot know that until we plan the seeds.

Matthew 5:9 in the NLT says “God blesses those who seek for peace, for they will be called children of God. This is an important distinction, because our efforts at being peacemakers might not always succeed. Just because we pray for someone, or talk with them, it does not mean their issues will be cleared up. Our being blessed is not dependent on our success. If we work to spread peace, whether we succeed or fail, we are children of God. If we are working for peace, we are a peacemakers, and we will be blessed.