For this study, reflect on what you’ve learned and how it relates to your current season of life. Simply pause. Don’t rush. Churn the passage over in your mind and pray in light of what you read. Ask God to seal His Word in your heart.
The concept of faith is woven through the pages of Scripture and is essential to a personal relationship with God. In fact, “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV). It is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not only is it necessary for salvation it is part of our daily walk and warfare as believers (Ephesians 6:16).
Contrary to popular Christian opinion, the Bible neither exhorts us to have childlike faith nor does it tell us to believe as children believe. The idea that we are to have childlike faith is an incorrect inference based on several passages of Scripture. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15; Luke 18:15-17 NIV).
These passages don’t tell us what receiving the kingdom of God like a little child means so it is wrongly assumed to be referring to the faith of a child. In Matthew 18:2-4 Jesus spells out what He means. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Our goal as believers is not childlike faith. Instead it is to grow to be “mature and complete, not lacking anything" (James 1:4).
The thing that makes for greatness is determination, persisting in the same direction over the long haul. Success is the result of a long, painful, arduous, sometimes sacrificial process. In our world of instant everything these are not popular traits, but they lead to excellence.
If we truly desire to grow deeper, pull together, and go further than skin-deep superficiality in our relationships, we must remove those things that hinder true community.
Committing to the road less travelled has nothing to do with anyone else’s road or what he or she is doing on it. I’m not travelling any road except for the one God has allowed me to take.
It’s difficult to make sacrifices and give others our time, possessions, and money. But it’s in the giving we learn to rely on God instead of ourselves and it’s in the process we learn faith.
Esther’s commitment to God and ability to do what seemed impossible gave me hope. My weight problem seemed small compared to what Esther faced. If she could do what needed to be done, so could I.
If you want to be a person of integrity, think about the consequences of sin rather than its pleasures and focus on Christ each and every day.
This year, it’s this careful balance of guilt and relief I’m pondering. I’m contemplating the injustice of being saved from my sin without deserving it in the slightest.
Is it just a poor word choice to say you can't when you really won't? In this Video Insight, Chuck Swindoll suggests it could really be a statement about God.