By Faith Not Sight

“Thomas, believe because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

 

 

Is what is really real only what you can see and feel? If we are told to walk by
faith, how do we have our eyes open to “see” the unseen as real as the seen? Can
my head knowledge be enough or does seeing include the heart?
These questions lead to an interesting conversation on what is entailed in our
lives to encourage us to learn the “faith walk.

Walking by Faith

“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Hebrews 11:6

 

 

There are a lot of opinions of what real faith is and how it works. Hebrews 11:1 states, “that faith is the substance of things hope for the evidence of things not seen.”
With our advance visual devices and media exposure, we want to see everything and if we look for the unseen, the goal is usually not to explore deepening our faith.
Join our discussion today to gain understanding, God’s way, to “see the unseen.”

 

A New Creature in Christ

“Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

 

 

Hearing, knowing, and applying what the Word says regarding our blessings and protection as new creatures in Christ will prevent us from falling into the same trap as Eve did in the Garden of Eden.When she listened to the voice of smooth deception, she set herself up for reaping what she chose. The results of her wanting more for herself proved the heart was deceitfully wicked and who can know it? Only as we listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus expressed in the Bible can we stay clear of the AGONY of deception. Listen as we discuss the Truth in being a new creature in Christ and avoid the pitfalls of bad choices.

How to Pray

“For the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword dividing between soul and
spirit.” Hebrews 4: 12

 

 

When the disciples wanted to know HOW TO PRAY they had to retrain the brain in how they understood the words of Jesus. Knowing what He said and why He said them required a heart adjustment. Today, we look to the Words of Jesus for deeper insights into a guiding light that defines HOW TO PRAY.

The Heart of Prayer

“For the thing I greatly feared has come up me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25

 

 

Do you pray according to the mind of God? Job certainly thought he did. Then, trauma and tragedy hit suddenly with intensity, and he worshiped. In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong. That was only the beginning of sorrows. How did Job pray when fear and dread lingered and friends became  the enemy. How was his heart tested?

Delayed answers to prayer can expose hidden weakness not revealed except under intense testing. Job praying in anguish cries out from the heart about his loss.

Let’s go back in time and hear Job’s questions and the way God chose to answer.  Was his final outcome worth the trial?

Pray Boldly

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ.”  Colossians 3:2

 

 

As we put on the full armor of God according to Ephesians 6 our prayers are answered as we pray boldly. Boldly praying includes being earnest in knowing what is needed, making sure we are vigilant in request with thanksgiving, and never forgetting that the heart must be in tune with all issues requiring praying with boldness. 

 One goal in boldly praying is that doors will be kept open as pressures mount from within and conflicts surround us. Today we discuss the command to know how to pray and the necessary diligence needed to continue in prayer, boldly by faith, for the harvest is ripe, but the workers are few. 

Simplicity of Diverse Prayer

“I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercession and giving of thanks be made for all men” I Timothy 2:1

 

 

This exhortation was made by Paul to Timothy for encouraging him to have the flock pray in public worship.  That is very hard for some people but there was a need for knowing and bearing the burdens of others, listening to heart needs that may be difficult to discuss but easier for others to hear our hearts on their behalf. With a desire to open your heart to blessing others it gives confidence that they are being remembered before God when maybe they “just can’t pray right now, too overwhelmed.  When  Jesus talked to His Father in prayer He made a specific requests submitting all to the Father’s perfect will.  Let us not grow weary in well-doing and do not allow lies to place fears in us to hinder the flow of heavenly answers for earthly problems.

The Simplicity of Prayer

“So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 

 

To have the freedom to come boldly before the Throne does require being prepared to enter into that room or area. Remember Esther of the Old Testament, where she spent months preparing to go before her king, who was also her lawful husband. We likewise want to make sure our hearts are right so that our prayer, petitions, intercessions may be answered.

Prayer can be super simple in a very young child offering up prayers and petitions only knowing it as “talking to Jesus and God.” Whether we want to believe it or not, nothing happens from the heart and mind of God unless it begins with someone in prayer.

Explore with us the wonderful privilege and responsibility of being able to “talk with God.”

Love Never Fails

“Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:35

 

 

We don’t learn love through a textbook, evaluating how the bones are growing longer and stronger, or how we are getting smarter, but the process is happening all the time.  The Father says He has given us His love through His Son. He is love, not just that He has love. 

His love in us cannot fail, but we can fail when we use our intellect to learn His love. As we grow through our failures His sufficiency holds and teaches. Let’s unravel what we need for a life in love that never fails. 

Subtleties of Evil Thinking

I Corinthians 13: 5b “Love thinks no evil:

The “normal way of thinking about evil is that it is violent, demonic, wicked, and as a Christian, I am simply not in that category. What we fail to accept and realize is that evil can be anything that is not of Christ’s definition.

Our priorities that promote self-indulgence, complacency, our will, needing to be vindicated, being overly sensitive, even going so far as selfish prayers and sorrows can become an enemy of what God calls evil.  This can be rather shocking to our thinking and nervous system.

Hebrews 4:7 “TODAY if you will hear His voice, DO Not harden your hearts.” If we ever want peace in this world and find rest for our souls, we have better learn what The Scriptures call evil and do not compromise our thinking. It is time to explore the subtleties of evil and examine our hearts “to see if there is any wicked way in me. “

Love Is Not Provoked

“They angered God also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses on account of them: Because they provoked God’s Spirit, so that Moses spoke rashly with his lips.” Psalms 106: 32-34

 

 

How many of us have experience:

The Blame Game, “its your fault”, “You made me so mad”

”You hurt my feelings or you don’t meet my needs”

Have these thoughts ever cross your mind and you used the silent treatment to make someone feel guilty?” How about lashing out in a verbal frenzy assuring the other person they are wrong.  Sounds crazy but many do this?

As we accuse one another do those same pitiful arguments go back to our God for His “mistreatment” of us?

Living lies is the surest way to the door of misery, anger, anxiety and blinding us to the Truth.

Is it a lie that we must earn God’s love? Is it ok to get impatient with God’s timing on how He is working in other lives?”

Come investigate how we accept lies to avoid pain and suffering. Learn how we are bombarded daily with lies to keep us under the control of the enemy. Don’t let lies believed as truth affect you as if they were true, even though they are LIES.”

Violations of Gods Love

“love does not brag or parade itself, is not puffed up.” I Corinthians 13: 4

 

 

The root meaning of brag or parade itself is WIND BAG – a lot of hot air. Ouch, then how to you build up someone else or speak of the wonderful works in ones life that do not come across as bragging? Pride can easily puff us up. Telling the Truth with one another becomes imperative as we live in days on confusion, isolation, and just no knowing what is real truth and what is “truth”, based on someone’s opinion or agenda.

Be ready to open your door to inner attitudes of violating God’s expression of True Love and how to build up one another and not puff up ego, when many are needing encouragement in these difficult days.

Love in Action

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy, love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.” I Corinthians 13: 4

 

 

We tackle what real love looks like as we see the lack of love  exhibited in envy, arrogant bragging – being a hot windbag, and  , being puffed up.

“We all stumble in many things” James 3:2. Stumbling should not become a habit or lifestyle. We “bear, believe, hope and endure” all things when one falters, showing longsuffering and kindness. God’s love is the only love that can change people’s lives forever.

Let’s explore the Word together as we discuss how true love will mold, melt, fill and use  us as lights in reflecting His love.

Steps to Forgiveness

Psalms 32:5  “I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up in iniquity. I said: “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

 

 

Forgiveness is not an easy subject to discuss, but if we ever want to live in freedom there must be forgiveness. Forgiveness from the Father was necessary to pay for and remove our guilt. This allows us to then forgive one another. But freedom was not free – there was a price to be paid. Father God and Jesus

Christ with the Spirit secured that freedom, once for all on the Cross.

Now, we are commanded to follow through in living in that forgiveness, forgiving others. This is not a feeling choice, but a heart willful decision.

Then why is it so hard to forgive? In a word, PRIDE. We want to bring about justice in our way.

We share today the consequences of failing to forgive and how to move forward with total forgiveness.

Prepare the Heart to Forgive

Ephesians 4:32: “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in  Christ forgave you.”

This week on Sharin’ Hearts Woman to Woman, Janie Ratzlaff and Sharon Hoskins discuss the importance of true forgiveness.

Once we acknowledge our emotional baggage and apply understanding to our lives with the provision graciously provided by The Lord, we can move forward in preparing our hearts for the next step.

In preparing our hearts to live free from blindness and emotional turmoil, we need to search our hearts to see if there is anything that is hindering us. As we study and apply Ephesian 4:32 see forgiveness as the main requirement. It may sound simple, but we will need a guide to help us.

Philippians 4 provides us with 7 precepts to bring us to our goal. Find a quiet corner and come join us in discovering these Truths.