The Best is Yet to Come!!!

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“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Without faith it is impossible to please God…

In order to have faith, there must always be an object of faith. To have faith means to trust and to have confidence in whatever we have faith in.

When we cross a bridge, we have faith, trust, and confidence that the bridge has the capacity to bear our weight and safely get across the chasm.

Faith isn’t just believing in faith. Faith is to have trust, confidence in God. It is God we have faith in. To have faith in God means that we trust and have confidence that God will do what God promises. So the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” 

We are going through a difficult time in history. But you are not alone. God is still faithful. God is still trustworthy. We can have confidence that God is still at work in you and me and in our world to bring about his kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

More than ever, Little Church and Lakewoodgrace, lean hard on the promises of God. God is not done with our world. The world needs God more now than ever before. Show the world what people who have faith that God is at work looks like. As we say often at the Little Church and Lakewoodgrace, the best is yet to come. Our best days don’t lie behind us. Our best days are yet to be experienced!

Live as though we are people of faith in a great and awesome God! Be encouraged. Strengthen yourself with this truth.

Fruit of the Spirit – Faithfulness

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23)

This week we will be looking at the seventh characteristic mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 – faithfulness.

The Greek word for faithfulness is pistis. The word means faith rather than faithfulness in almost all the times it appears in the New Testament. I understand why the translators went with faithfulness in Galatians. They are trying to show that these are characteristics that we are supposed to live out.

The Greek word pistis means faith, belief, trust, confidence, faithfulness. Faith is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by human beings.

John Calvin, the father of the Presbyterian Church and one of the fathers of the Reformed Tradition writes: “Faith is a persuasion from God that we receive as he grants. Faith is always the work of God and involves hearing his voice – whereby the believer lays hold of his preferred will.

pistis in ancient Greek referred to a guarantee or warrantee. Faith is God’s guaranteen and warrantee certifying that what he promised will come to pass.

The characteristic that pistis refers to is God’s faith, God’s faithfulness. When we have faith, it is only because God grants such faith and its revelation to us, and because God is worthy of our trust and faith.

So when Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift from God, not as a result of works, so that no one should boast,” we can’t even take the credit for having faith in God, because even faith is given to us as a gift from God.

That’s exactly what Paul means in Ephesians 2:8-9. It’s all God. It’s all grace. It’s all God’s faithfulness. We have faith because God grants faith to us and because God is faithful.

We are to live a life that demonstrates our faith, trust, and confidence in God, and when we live that life, we are being faithful. Even when God’s ways and God’s truth doesn’t make sense to us, even when it goes against the world’s way, we remain faithful because God is faithful.

Looking forward to spending the rest of the week with you as we explore together the meaning of this rich word “faith”.

Free Day!

As I shared with you at the beginning of the week there are only four times that the word “goodness” appears in the New Testament so we have a free day today!

Since most of us have some time during this season – wink, wink – I would like to recommend a documentary that is on Netflix right now called, “American Gospel: Christ Alone.” It is free on Netflix and you can rent it on Prime Video for around $4.

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The thesis of the documentary is that the gospel being preached at some churches is not the gospel at all. It is a false gospel. What’s worse, this American version of the gospel is being exported to other countries under the guise of Christianity. The particular issue has to do with the dangers of the prosperity gospel. It is what you find on the best seller lists at book stores and what is being preached at some of the largest churches in the United States.

It is one of the best treatments of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the dangers around the prosperity gospel. I highly recommend it.

Pastors Brad, Bill, and I have all watched it and hope that our entire congregation can watch it as well. If we were able to gather, we would show it at the church.

After you’ve watched the video, would love to hear your thoughts. Blessings! See you at worship on Sunday!