Tag Archives: religion and christianity

It’s a Matter of Faith — Little Faith

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Darrel Tank

23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

27 The disciples were amazed. “Who is this Man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey Him!” ~ Matthew 8:23-27 — NLT ~

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James Seward

This is one of my favorite scripture passages. I love reading how Jesus arises in the midst of the storm and rebukes the wind and the waves, telling them, “Peace! Be still!” It blesses me to think that He cared enough about the disciples to calm the storm that was raging all about them, and it makes me wonder, does He love me enough to calm the storms in my life? Does He love you enough to calm the storms in your life?

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To believe in the possibility that Jesus loves me, knowing that He knows my every thought and every secret deed requires faith. And sometimes, I just don’t know if my faith is strong enough. Now, when it comes to believing that He loves you or someone else, I have great faith. When it comes to believing that God will step in and move on your behalf, I have no problem.

You see, it is easy to have faith in God for someone else, but it is another thing to have faith in God for yourself. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love this story so much, because in it, I can see that I’m not that much different than the disciples who walked with Jesus everyday, and knew Him physically, as well as spiritually.

Although they knew Jesus intimately and actually saw Him work miracles, signs and wonders, their faith was still small. They had seen Him work wonders in the lives of others, but could He or would He work on their behalf? They were afraid to believe that He would, and sadly, I understand that fear.

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NancyPH Lord of the Arts

You see, it began when I was a child. I can remember not doing my homework and then praying for a blizzard, so that I could stay home from school and get my work done, and I really had great faith that He would come through for me, but He never did. I didn’t understand it. Why didn’t God answer my prayers, when He knew that my parents would beat me and curse me? Was it because I was so bad, and I just wasn’t worthy of His love? At the time, this was the only answer that made sense to me. After all, He knew the things that I had done, and even worse, He knew the things that I thought. Have you ever felt like that?

The sad thing is that we don’t always outgrow those childhood disappointments, and they can hinder us as we get older. I grew up believing that God helps others, (just as the disciples probably thought), but not someone like me, until the storms in life began to batter me. Have  you been battered by the storms in life? Have you longed for the Savior to rebuke the wind and the waves in your life?

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If so, we must do as the disciples did. They shamelessly cried out to Jesus, while He slept peacefully. As they wakened Him, the disciples shouted, “Teacher, don’t You care that we’re going to drown?” Isn’t that what we all want to know? My life is falling apart, and the storms keep on raging against me, and Jesus, do You really care about me?

Now, let’s look at how Jesus responded to His panicked disciples…

26 Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. ~ Matthew 8:26 — NLT ~

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The scriptures show no indication that Jesus was angry with His frightened disciples. Instead, He takes the time to answer them, before calming the wind and the waves. “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Now, pay attention! After telling them that they had little faith, Jesus still got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, thereby causing a great calm. Do you see that,  beloved reader? Even though their faith was small, He still answered their prayer, and calmed the storm.

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Darrell Creswell

How does your faith measure? Is it little faith, or great faith? If it is just little faith, can you still believe that Jesus loves you, and that when you delight yourself in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart? Beloved readers, Jesus loves us far more than we know, and if you are willing to admit that you have little faith, and ask Him to increase your faith, He will! Remember the father of the demon possessed boy…

21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” ~ Mark 9:21-24 — NLT ~

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You know that Jesus saw the pain in that man’s eyes, and he heard it in the man’s voice as he cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” Friends, I understand what that man was saying. “I believe, but help me Lord, because I believe for others, but not for me and mine. Lord, please help me overcome my unbelief!”

And Jesus’ response to this man’s plea? It was the same as His response to the disciples. Jesus heard the cry of his heart, and He healed the man’s son, thereby helping him to overcome his unbelief. For the disciples, He calmed the wind and the waves. He did it for their sake, to increase their little faith.

So, what do we do when our faith is little? We cry out to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith and…

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2 — NLT ~

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Do you see that? Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The author of a book is the one who writes the book, creates the characters and endows them with their various abilities, and it is the same with the author of our faith. It is He who created each one of us, and it is He who gives us our various gifts and abilities. Therefore, if Jesus is the author of our faith, then He is the One who gave us our faith to start with, and it is He who finishes our faith. Therefore, if I cry out to Him to increase my faith, since that is His will for you and me, will He not honor that request? Of course He will.

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Designs by God

Do you have little faith? Then do as the father of the boy did, and do as I do. Ask Jesus to help you overcome your unbelief… And one more thing, when you read God’s word, read it out loud, so that you can hear the words as they are spoken. Memorize His word, so that you can speak it to yourself and to others…

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God~ Romans 10:17 — NKJV ~

If you want your little faith to grow, cry out to Jesus and speak and listen to God’s word, because faith comes from hearing the word of God. By crying out to Jesus, you are crying out to the Word of God, to increase your faith. And by reading and speaking His word out loud, you are speaking the words of the author and finisher of your faith — the One who is writing your existence and your faith, and by doing so, your little faith will grow… Amen.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

It’s a Matter of Faith – Saving Faith

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And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6 — NLT ~

Did you know that it doesn’t matter how many good deeds you do, or how kind you are, if you don’t have faith, you cannot please God? It doesn’t matter how generous you are, if you don’t have faith, it is impossible for you to please God. Oh, and one more thing — if you have faith in the wrong thing, it is impossible for you to please God.

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For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16 — NLT ~

You see, the scriptures are very clear about Who you must believe in, if you want to be saved… Do you believe in God? Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God? Do you believe that Jesus suffered, bled and died to pay for the sins of all mankind? Do you believe that after being in the grave for three days, Jesus rose from the dead?

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Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” ~ John 14:6 — NLT ~

9 If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. ~ Romans 10:9-10 — NLT ~

Do you ever wonder why some people have faith in God, and some don’t? Why is it, that there are some Christians who have willingly laid down their lives for Christ? Where does such faith come from?

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8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9 — NLT ~

Faith in Christ is a gift from God. Those of us, who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, don’t believe because we know something that no one else knows. We don’t believe because we’re fools who blindly believe in anything. The men and women, whose very lives center around Christ, believe because we have received the gift of saving faith, and those who do not have that faith have refused to accept the gift that God, in His great mercy and love, offers to everyone.

16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in Him. But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s Light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the Light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the Light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. 21 But those who do what is right come to the Light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” ~ John 3:16-21 — NLT ~

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23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23 — NLT ~

You see, beloved reader, each and everyone of us, since the beginning of time, has been offered the gift of eternal life at no cost to us. It is a free gift, paid in full, by Jesus Christ, when He suffered, bled and died on the cross to pay for your sins and mine. And not only is the free gift of eternal life offered to each and everyone of us, but also, the gift of faith to believe that this is true. (Remember, that is is by grace we are saved through faith, and that is not of ourselves, it is a gift from God.) 

Therefore, those of us who love the Lord with all of our hearts, do so because He has given us the faith to love Him and believe that Jesus Christ is His Son. However, those who read this and do not love the Lord, do so because they have refused the gift of faith that has been offered to all.

Many times, I’ve seen people respond in anger when they are told that if you don’t accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then you cannot enter the gates of heaven. Indeed, you will never even see those gates. Those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will burn in hell, and this is not God’s fault, nor is it His will.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. ~ 2 Peter 3:9 — NLT ~

You see, though the gift has been offered to all, only those who accept and receive the gift are saved. If you refuse to accept the gift of saving faith that has been offered to you, it is your choice, not God’s

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And now, beloved reader, by reading this post, you have once again been offered the gift of faith that saves you, and as with any gift, you have a choice to make. Therefore, in closing, I’ll leave you with the words that Moses spoke to the men and women of Israel, when they were about to enter the Promised Land. For those words are still appropriate today, as every man, woman and child, who is able to, must make this choice. Do you want eternal life or eternal damnation? The choice is yours…

19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20 You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19-20 — NLT ~

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Routine

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge

“How does routine appear to you?” –  The drive to town every morn, that pair of shoes always worn, wake-up calls or favourite malls, superb meals or special deals, meditation, daily prayer, yoga mats or just a love of all that …

We would love to see your vision.

Merriam Webster defines Routine as…

  1. a regular course of procedure
  2. habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure

Those who know me well know that I am scattered and disorganized (except on the computer). I’m impulsive and I love doing things on the spur of the moment. If someone says, “Let’s go,” I say, “How fast?” It doesn’t matter if there’s work to be done or dirty dishes or laundry, they’ll still be there when I get back, so I’m ready!

My husband, on the other hand, is a creature of habit. He lives each day maintaining a very strict routine. He awakens everyday at the same time, even on Sundays, when his alarm isn’t set. He then goes downstairs and makes his coffee, before heading into the bathroom to get his shower, so that the coffee will be ready when he exits the shower. He gets up an hour earlier than necessary so that he can go out to his man cave and listen to some music before work starts… His whole day is regimented like this.

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Now I’ll admit that there’s been many times over the years when I’ve felt like pulling my hair out, because my husband is so set in his ways and in following his routines. There have been times when on the spur of the moment, I’ve wanted to go away for a couple of days, but we couldn’t, because my husband needed time to prepare for the trip, and make sure we have enough money.

Really! You see, I would have just gone, and if we didn’t have enough money to eat, we could just fast… Ok, so maybe having a routine is not such a bad thing. In fact, you could say that keeping a routine is a responsible thing to do…

As a matter of fact, scripture reveals that it is important to have a routine when raising children…

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

~ Proverbs 22:6 — NKJV ~

If a child is brought up in a home with no routines or discipline, he/she is likely to grow up knowing no boundaries. The child is also likely to grow up not knowing how to maintain self-control…

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I once heard it said that if a person does not come to know the Lord as a child, they are less likely to come to Him as an adult. If you think about this in light of the scripture above, it makes sense. In most instances, the way a child is raised has a direct impact on the way he/she will live his/her life. If the only time the child hears the Lord’s name spoken routinely is as a curse word, then it is very likely that this is the only way that child will grow up to use the Lord’s name also.

4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-9 — NLT ~

The Lord knows that people need a routine in order to learn. That’s why Jewish children were taught about the Lord daily, from the time they got up in the morning, and throughout the day, until they went to bed at night. They saw and heard their parents praying daily, and they too learned to pray daily. Their parents routinely quoted the scriptures to them, so that the children memorized great portions of the Torah by an early age. 

In the same ways, Christian believers must routinely demonstrate and teach their children how to know the Lord. 

Therefore, even though I am an extremely impulsive and spontaneous person, I do believe that some routines are beneficial, such as the routine of praying and teaching your children to know God…

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

~ Matthew 8:5-7 — NLT ~

I really do love this scripture, and all that the Lord reveals to us in it. When I first began to write about this encounter of the centurion and Jesus, I thought I would just write a simple post about the great faith of the centurion, and as great as that is, the Lord has revealed so much more to me in this passage. Let’s examine these verses…

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When Jesus returned to Capernaum, (the place where His ministry was located, and the place where He performed many miracles, signs and wonders) He was approached by a Roman officer, who said to Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Look closely at this conversation between Jesus and the Roman centurion.

Do you see a question mark at the end of the centurion’s statement? Certainly, it is obvious that the centurion was concerned about his servant, by the way he humbly and reverently approached Jesus. And yes, it seems evident that the centurion wanted Jesus to heal his servant. But here is what made my heart pound… Immediately after the centurion told Him about his servant’s terrible pain and paralysis, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

~ Matthew 8:5-6 — NLT ~

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I love when the Lord speaks directly to my heart through His word. It gets me all excited and wound up as I begin to ponder what He is telling me. Then, as I begin to wrap my mind around things that I’ve read many, many times before, suddenly, He opens the eyes of my heart so that I can see what I didn’t see before, and my ears begin to hear what I didn’t hear before. I’ve read this story many times in the past, and have heard many teachings on it, but now, the Lord is speaking directly to my heart again, and I am taking note of things that I didn’t see before.  Continue reading Words of Jesus – Humble Yourself Under the Mighty Hand of God…