As I sang these words this past Sunday morning, I was filled with a certainty that I truly believed these words, and joy flooded my soul.
At that moment I understood the power of affirming declarations – that in the confession of truth, God’s word does not return to him void (without result)…
- because it is empowered by the Holy Spirit
- because his word is living and active, able to penetrate the deepest places of our being. (Isaiah 55:11, Hebrews 4:12)
I have have believed these things more in the perspective of evangelism, not fully grasping that the power of these truths are inherent in themselves. God’s word has its own power, whether it is spoken or sung “to the choir” or to a group of “unconvinced” listeners. Therefore, as I sang these words they ministered to me with power.
I believe in the virgin birth!
I believe in the resurrection!
I believe in Life Eternal!
… and so I was filled with joy.
These words strengthened my faith.
Most Christians get their definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1:
“Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.”
This definition of faith has nothing to do with wishful thinking. This faith is built on a certain expectation – one that we have so much confidence in, that we commit the whole of our lives to believing and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Faith is… a response to the promises of God that He gives us in Christ Jesus and…
Faith is…the first step in the process of personal transformation. 2 Peter 1:5-9 says it this way:
“Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives: to your faith, add goodness; and to your goodness, add knowledge; and to your knowledge, add self-control; and to your self-control, add patience; and to your patience, add service for God; and to your service for God, add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ; and to this kindness, add love. If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
When you read these words you might get the impression that faith is about works and the effort that I must put into my salvation. Well, no – and yes. The bible is clear that we can’t earn our salvation. It is a gift of God! (Ephesians 2:8) But an amazing and priceless gift like the one that we are given should motivate a certain response in us!
God has given us the best gift ever – eternal life through Jesus Christ!
He has also given us His indwelling Spirit to help us to be able to do what pleases God and thus, to work out the salvation gift that we have received. (Phil 2:12-13). The desired end result is always LOVE!
Today I feel encouraged by the wonderful truth of what I believe. I will read a Psalm aloud so that it will minister to my soul. I will sing a Christmas carol out loud and it will bring me joy as I worship. And when God gives the grace and opportunity for it, I will speak out loud the words that I believe because it will be good for the hearer and will be good for me too.
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