The first four verses of I John, which serve as a preface to the letter, represent a grammatical knot.
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).
No one knows what tomorrow will bring. But take the uncertainty of tomorrow as an opportunity to strengthen your faith—realize your future isn’t in your hands; it’s in God’s. He is with you always.
Taking God seriously is not only having a sensitive heart towards Him. It’s an inner craving to know Him more. Do you hunger and thirst after God?
Chuck Swindoll didn’t own his first car. He spent so much time polishing it the car actually owned him! So often we get caught up in appearances and forget to enjoy ourselves.
Someone has said faith is like calories—you can’t see them, but you can certainly see the results! Living a deep and consistent walk with Christ requires your time and attention, every day.
There are few things cuter than the cluelessness of children. However, there are few things more tragic than an adult living a clueless life.
Old habits are hard to break. Sometimes we do what is wrong inadvertently, but sometimes we know we’ve done wrong but because we’ve done it so long we don’t stop—even though we hurt ourselves and sometimes others.
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.
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.
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.