“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified”…(1Corinthians 2:2)
To have faith is to believe, to trust, to have confidence in, or to rely on something or someone. Faithfulness describes the quality of someone with unwavering allegiance to an oath or a promise. Our example of faithfulness comes from a God who has kept and is in the process of keeping every promise contained in the Scriptures. We are commanded to “have faith in God,” and out of that faith flows our ability to remain faithful to people ~ to keep the promises we have made as husband and wife, as children, as parents, and as servants of God.
We are not to preserve a picturesque old-fashioned lifestyle or to be closer to nature, or even to live green. Rather it’s about being humble, not driven by our egos or the consumer culture, but instead, caring for and loving God, our families, and other people above all else.
God directs us not to worry about or pursue the accumulation of money and stuff, because pursuing it distracts us from our real reason for existence ~ caring for others and for what God has given us.
This is the spiritual heart of simple living
It is so tremendously important to regularly remove ourselves from the frenzied, frantic commercial world in order to deepen our relationship with God, to know who we are, to know whose we are, and where we are going.
Simple living is to invest in a regular practice of study, meditation of God’s Word and prayer that will give us the energy and direction we need to succeed at this. It makes everything else possible!
The results are transforming! It can “…open awareness of our hearts toward our experiences and people with whom we share life…as Bill Callahan says in his book Noisy Contemplation (Quixote Center, 2008).
We don’t understand ourselves, we find ourselves feeling defeated, not doing what we want to do, and doing what we hate to do. (Romans 8:15-25)
It is out of the depths of our faith that our motivation, drive, and energy come for living a simpler, richer, and more demanding way of life. Without practicing our faith regularly, it becomes more difficult to sustain it, and in fact we lose the primary reason for embarking on this way of living in the first place.
Faith thrives when we stay focused on God rather than on ourselves. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves ~ blessed riddance. While we look at Christ the very things we have so long been trying to do will be getting done within us. It will be God working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.
Faith is a redirecting of our sight, a getting out of the focus of our own vision and getting God into focus. When a task requiring faith confronts us, voices around us may say, “It can’t be done.” The voice may even come from within us, and we may want to quit before we start. But if we hold on to faith, we can succeed, no matter what the critics say.
Some people blame their lack of faith on their difficult circumstances. Yet rough situations are often the catalyst for displays of great faith.
It’s amazing what we can accomplish if we keep our eyes off the circumstances and on the One who is in control of them
No one likes suffering. But it brings our attention back to God and reminds us how helpless we are without Him.
It takes faith to go beyond what others know ~ to explore new ideas, to stand on our convictions that there is something more, and to trust that God has called us to discover it.
Having faith is believing that even small things have significance. People of faith believe that every person matters, even one person can make a difference, and that God takes small things and makes them into great things.
The Bible is filled with stories of people who had faith ~ people who believed what God promised and acted on those beliefs.
When we step out and do the things we believe God wants us to do, even if it doesn’t make sense, that’s faith! Our greatest reward can come from those acts.
God’s grace is not limited by human flaws. It is need, not worthiness, that draws His response. He is as eager to sustain you as you are desirous of strength.
If your weakness brings you to the mercy seat, it is an instrument of good. You are better able to worship God when you have conscious need. Self-righteousness destroys the heart as much as a moth eats a garment. Penitence restores and peace rules where self abandonment provides a place.
Seek wisdom, but in searching, lose not simplicity, for wisdom without simplicity is a snare.
Procrastination preludes, shuts off, closes, prevents and makes impossible deliverance, because it seeks God’s blessing today while refusing to accept them until tomorrow. No hindrance warrants discouragement, for God will comfort the mourner, cause the lame to walk, and He will heal the breach, broken and torn apart.
The Christian walk is not always an easy walk. It is a life of denying ourselves and taking up the cross and living daily for Jesus. There will also be trials and tribulations. But through them all Christ will be with us. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
The victory lies in KNOWING that He is stronger
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Psalm 19:7)
The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. (Psalm 116:6)
The entrance of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
“As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1Corinthians 2:9)