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be-strong-courageous

God has given us The Bible for a reason.  This is the living breathing alive active powerful Word of God that reveals who God is and what God does and what God likes and what God is doing.  Not just at the big picture level but to you personally.

 

Live like everything you read in the Bible is true. Doubt your doubts. You won’t regret it.  – Carey Nieuwhof

 

To grow in courage you have got to get this book inside you – you’ve got to read it and let it inspire you.

Put yourself in their shoes….   When goliath faced the giant, he didn’t know the end of the story, he was just a teenager with courage to believe that if God said He would win he would win.    When Moses split the red sea, he didn’t know the end of the story, he was just an old man with a stick got said lift up.  When the little boy brought his lunch to Jesus he thought maybe just the disciples might get a snack, he didn’t know the end of the story, that his lunch box fed 20000 people.  When Shadrach, Mesach and Abendago said no way will we bow down to a false god, they didnt know the end of the story and that they would walk with Jesus in the fire.   They are humans, like you and me.  What got them in the book is their faith and courage, they chose to step out and let God step in.

Getting familiar with The Bible feeds your faith and faith is the key that unlocks adventure.  You get stirred to believe in a great God who does extraordinary things with ordinary people.

 

As you step out into new things remind your heart of the times when God has come through for you.  Turn up the testimonies and let them stir your heart to have courage to face the new opportunities.  God is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow.  He has gone before you, is beside you and is there to give you a push behind you!

 

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

Now I’m not suggesting you quit your job or your family or anything because you look around and don’t like what you see…. Or that you defriend people in real life…  But we can have a measure of say about the people who are closest to us and who have permission to speak into our lives.

I remember being in my early 20s and a couple of friends told me to stop being so spiritual.  I was like “seriously!”  I don’t think so!  I had already had to make that choice when I first became a Christian – I hung out with some kids that came to youth group, but they weren’t living it.  Instead they were into surfing and binge drinking.  After a few months I felt like I was in the middle of a tug of wall, I’d take 2 steps forwards with God but then they would pull me back.  I had a big decision to make.  I knew that God was real and I wanted to live to please Him, but I couldn’t do it in that social group.

Proverbs 13:20 He that walks with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

This year God is calling us to step out of the boat and do awesome things – and we need people who are going to encourage us and call out the gold and potential, not who are going to pull us down or tell us that we cant do that.   We are called to live holy lives and we need to surround ourselves with people who stoke the fire.

We need to hang out with people who throw water on the fires of our fears and throw gasoline on the passions of our dreams.  Kris Vallotton

Lets surround ourselves with people who are going to stir our hearts towards obedience, towards adventure, towards the purposes of God.

 

And in the end, what we dwell on is what we become. Where we camp, is where we live and die. Louie Giglio

Our perspective — the way we interpret what’s happening around us — can make or break us in any given situation. Our perspectives shape us, how we think, how we engage with people, how we action in our every day.   Perspective creates opportunity to grow and opportunity to step out, or how it can hinder our progress and restrict us.

Clues to what type of perspective we have is in some of the phrases we regularly say or think.  If your perspective leans to the negative you may not even be aware of it. Thinking the worst can be second nature after years of doing it. But it can be influencing how you live life and keeping you from getting the best out of it.

A negative perspective says:

I can’t

I will never

I could never

That always happens to me

That never happens for me

That’s not possible

It’s language is negative and limiting.

It’s reactive vs proactive,  seeing the bad in people and in situations.

 

A optimistic perspective says:

I can

I will

I will try

It’s going to be okay

Let’s keep going

It’s language is positive and overcoming.  It is responsive and proactive, choosing to see the good in people and situations.

 

A faith filled perspective says:

I can do all things through Christ

I am more than a conqueror

With God nothing is impossible

 

Positive perception says that failure is part of learning, that we can do hard stuff,

We need to turn down our negative self talk and make intentional decisions to transform our perspective, from the inside out.

 

God is calling us to have an enlarged perspective of His faithfulness and power as we step into a new year, to be aware of His ableness vs our own limitations and vs what the world may say.

God sometimes has a totally different perspective than us.

His challenge for us is for us to align our perspective with His, to see things from His vantage point.

We can begin again and change the way we think.  Changing the way we think sets us on a new road that trusts more, dares more, loves more and lives more.

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The Bible is amazing… did you know that the gospel is found in “code as it were” in the name meanings of the men in the lineage of Jesus in Genesis 5. if you look at the meanings and then put them in a fluid sentence you get the gospel. seriously.

Adam – Man 
Seth – Appointed 
Enosh – Mortal 
Kenan – Sorrow
Mahalalel – The blessed God
Jared – Shall come down
Enoch – Teaching
Methuselah – His death shall bring
Lamech – Despairing
Noah – Comfort and rest

if you put those those meanings into a complete sentence and you get: Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow, (but) the blessed God shall come down teaching. His death shall bring (the) despairing comfort and rest.

And there you have it, in the names of Adam to Noah, a summary of the New Testament message – the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

For Jesus is Himself God, who came to down to Earth to teach. His sacrificial death on the cross washed away the sins of despairing man, and gave them comfort and rest.

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"I need my own set of default procedures for when selfishness, pride, impatience, anger, or bitterness rear their ugly heads. Because in the moment I feel them, I feel justified in feeling them and find them hard to battle. But God’s promises – His truths and examples from Scripture – are powerful enough to redirect me to the divine nature I’m meant to have." ~ Lysa Terkeurst ~ Unglued

the truth of God sets us free from our sins and our fears – and fear is rooted in the lies we tell ourselves – we do not need to be afraid of people, we do not need to be afraid of pain/loss/evil, we do not need to be afraid of death. these are rooted in the lies that God is not with us and not almighty God and not at work with purpose. if we confront the lies with the truth of the Word of God and who God is then we will walk in freedom from fear! God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind!  We need to be people that have FAITH not fear.  Faith is trust in God, that God will protect us, that GOd is at work, that God is in control, that God is Lord of our life.  Dont live in fear.  Dont let fear restrict.  Live in freedom!

Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27

A Psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Hebrews 13:6
So we may boldly say: “ The LORD is my helper;I will not fear.What can man do to me?”

Matthew 10:31
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. We must believe that God is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him…. Hebrews 11:6

We know faith is important right.

Jesus told people that it was their faith that healed them.

We are saved by faith, not by our own works.

Faith is mentioned heaps in the bible – 402 times!

Faith begins with God.
It begins with us believing in who God is.

God is all powerful, all seeing, all knowing, all loving, compassionate, strong, just, kind, great, good, glorious.

In hebrews 11 we see many examples of those who demonstrated and lived by faith – those who had faith in God and followed Him….

remember: faith is based and on and in and to God. faith really begins in God.

God is:
All powerful
All knowing
All seeing
Everywhere
Loving
Compassionate
Just
Glorious
Holy
Great
….. Amazing!

Faith says
I believe God has the answers
God is almighty and all powerful
Nothing is impossible for God
God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow
Jesus is Lord of Lords, King of Kings – His name is above all other names and He is victorious
The Word of God is truth and right
I trust God

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said, “IN ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS SHALL BE CALLED.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead. Hebrews 11:17-19

Faith is a verb – Faith is doing
Faith is an ACTION
“faith without works is dead” James 2:26

Takes action – prays, speaks, shares, does
Steps out
Demonstrates
Trusts God
Is determined and perseveres
Obeys
Teaches us (to have faith)

Faith believes what God says is true – and runs after that

This is what the essence of faith is if we break it down.

Faith is believing in God. Believing in what he says. Believing in who he says he is. Believing and trusting in him and living like that.

Faith says yes to God. It says yes i believe you are the almighty God and all powerful and all knowing and all loving and able to work in our own lives.

Faith stretches out towards the truth and reality of God

Faith in God vs circumstances

This is the challenge of faith. Often the circumstance says one thing – but God’s word says another. It is the challenge of believing in what God says

Faith comes
by hearing the
Word Of God
Romans 10:17

How does our faith grow?

How do we get more?

The bible gives one very clear way of how we grow our faith…. That is to read the bible. To believe the bible.

You cant know the bible unless you read the bible.

You cant know the promises of God, or who he is – without reading the bible. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and His Ways and His promises to us.

There are times when you “really get it” – where God illuminates his word and that causes faith to grow.

The simple revelation of who God is through his word – how almighty and able and powerful and creative and holy – causes our faith to grow.

Faith is a choice – it may fight against what our mind and soul think and see…

“For the weapons of our warfare are not natural but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that sets itself against God, bringing every thought into captivity and obedience to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

TRAIN your mind to have faith

Feed your faith
Church
Music
Worship
Prayer
Conversation/Friendships
The books you read
What you watch
What you do

It all can influence your faith for good or bad


Remember – God’s Word is TRUTH… He is greater than you and I. He sees all. He knows all. He is God Almighty. The Creator of the Universe.

Remember – our faith is in Almighty God.

Remember – our minds and souls will sometimes clash with the truth of God’s Word. Our mind and soul must bend to the truth of God!

Faith grows when we feed it with the Word of God and we CHOOSE to believe it and live it.

note: the centred bolded text were my powerpoint slides in my preach on faith last night at church

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