Works of Faith

 

Faith works powerpoint 2Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; (1Th 1:3)

The relationship between faith and work has been preached, taught, and pursued since the time of Abraham and before.  Although there has been much taught and written about the works of faith I believe we are lacking a full understanding. Below is a simple description of the three works of faith.

First – The Works of “Supplying Faith”.

This is the power of faith. It is the work that God does.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: (2Th 1:11)

 It is God in us working the power of faith. We must seek and permit this work of faith of God in our lives if we are to experience power in our faith

Second – The Works of “Supporting faith”.

This is the product of faith. This is the work that we do.

Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; (1Th 1:3)

These are the works of faith described in Hebrews 11.  These are the feats of action begun, performed, and completed by acting in faith toward God and His Word.  This is the common work of faith we think of when we seek an expression of faith.

Third – The Works of “Showing”  Faith.

This is the proving of faith. This is the work that faith does.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (Jas 2:14-18)

This is probably the most important and spiritual of the three.  These are the works that flow involuntarily from the child of God that is truly growing in his faith. It is the work of faith that is most Christ-like.

For us to be perfected in our faith, with nothing lacking, we need to ensure we are perfect in all three works of faith.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

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Sin’s Reprieve is a Blessed Trust (Jer 17:7-8)

c1bea889d88ff5a6bd1a0d0364ac94bd_clip-art-tree-with-roots-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-tree-clipart-with-roots_1501-1998Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jer 17:7-8)

Review: In the past few posts we have been looking at Jeremiah’s sermon about the sins of his nation and the coming judgment.  We now come to the light shining in the dark night of judgment, that light of blessing available to those that will trust in the Lord and NOT in man and their own flesh.

When we put all our trust in God and His goodness, God promises the following blessings will be ours!

The man that trusts in the Lord will be planted.

– This means that God a very specific place for us.

We must needs find and submit to that place.  Just as we all expect our pastors to be sure that they are planted just exactly where God wants them, so EVERY Christin should be just as sure that they also have been planted by God in that church and they are growing and serving in THEIR place.

– This means that God has placed us for a specific purpose.

God never works without a plan and design.  So, what He plants, He not only has the where planned but the why planned as well.  As God plants each tree (member) in the local church, he does so with the entire body in mind.

– This man that is planted in the right spot will spread his roots there. 

…that spreadeth out her roots by the river…

Plant your roots in the place God has planted you and STAY and GROW.

The man that trusts in the Lord will be refreshed

…and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought…

When trials come and the heat is “turned up”, the man that has the confidence that he is in the place God has planted him and has stretched out his roots there, need not fear the threats and trials of the sun’s rays.  He has deep roots and is refreshed by his Lord.

The man that trusts in the Lord will remain fruitful.

…neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Is not being fruitful our goal?  Being fruitful all our lives, every season of our lives, and consistently all our lives is the least we can do for the One who saved us, planted us, and refreshes us.

So, let us not put our trust in man, but the Lord and enjoy the “Blessed Trust”


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

The Blessed Trust – Sin’s Reprieve (part 2) “Sin’s Reward is Loss”

 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jer 17:7-8)

Review: As we look at Jeremiah’s sermon about the sins of his nation and the coming judgment and chastening of God, there shines a light of a blessing available.

In a previous post we saw God tells us that there are only two places we can trust.  We can trust in man and our flesh or we can trust in the Lord.  The blessing of God is for those that put their entire trust in God.

Before He gives us the blessings of trusting in Him, He gives the reasons not to trust the flesh. The first of these reasons was in my last post, “Sin Leaves a Record”.

Let’s now consider the second reason not to put our trust in man and the flesh.

Sin’s Reward is Loss

Satan leads us to believe that sin will bring us profit. The profit of joy, peace, and even financial gain, but just the opposite is true for the child of God.

We experience the loss of our treasures.

O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. (Jer 17:3)

We experience the loss of our heritage

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever. (Jer 17:4)

The idea behind the word “discontinue” is to “fling down” or “remit”.  When we begin to trust in man and fail to keep our trust in the Lord we lose those things that God had planned for us.  We lose the blessings and the special land of rest where He wanted us to take as our possession.

I do not know about you, but I do not want to miss a single blessing that God wants to give me.  Therefore flee sin if you want to keep the heritage God has for you.

We experience a loss of our freedom

And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever. (Jer 17:4)
When they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2Pe 2:18-19)

Again, one of the great lies of Satan is that sin brings us freedom. Sin brings us into bondage while trusting and submitting to Christ and His ways bring freedom! TRUE freedom.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (Joh 8:36)

Beware putting trust in man and our flesh.  This can only lead to loss.


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

This Daniel –  Because He Believed In His God

Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God. Daniel 6:23

There was no doubt many men named Daniel in that day, but God three times points out the particular aspects of THIS Daniel. Could God call attention to our lives in the same way and speak so greatly about THIS __________ (put your name in the blank)

I. This Daniel Was Preferred

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Daniel 6:3

Daniel was preferred because of an excellent spirit was IN him. It was not something he put on, something he used as a facade, but it was something that was IN him or a part of him! If we are to be preferred because of an excellent spirit, it will be only if the spirit is true, natural, and part of us.

We all cannot have talent, brains, health, money, or looks,  but we ALL can have an excellent spirt

A. He had a spirit of humility

Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days… Daniel 2:27-28

He did I not take the credit for his answer but gave all credit and glory to God.

In Daniel 1:8 Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself but requested of men not to be forced to eat. I believe he would not have eaten if the answer was no, but he still showed a great spirit of humility by kindly asking for an exception. It is true, you draw more flies with honey than vinegar! When have a strong belief in God, humility ,and confidence go other!

B. He had a spirit of faith

Daniel had a practice of putting his life where his mouth was when it came to his faith in his God. Whether it was regarding his habit of prayer or the refusal to eat the king’s meat, he acted on what he said he believed.

II. This Daniel was Persecuted

Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Daniel 6:5

A. He was persecuted because of the blessings of God (Dan 6:1-4)

His rivals persecuted him because of God’s blessing on his life made them jealous.

B. He was persecuted because of the Book of God (Dan 6:5)

He was committed to following God’s commands and instructions to the letter as revealed in God’s commands. This will always bring persecution from the enemy.

C. He was persecuted because of his boldness for God (Dan 6:10-11) – He opened the window and prayed!

III. This Daniel was Prospered

So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Daniel 6:28

A. Note the time of his prospering

As we consider if we too can believe in OUR God for His preserving and prospering us in our day, let’s consider the time of Daniel when he believed and was prospered by God.

1. It was a time when God’s people were corrupt

2. It was a time when the devil’s people were conquering

3. It was a time when the world was trying to convert God’s people

B. Note the timing of his prospering

Let us evaluate the events that occurred in his life and see his godly actions that all proceeded his prospering. In spite of trials and difficulties, we can expect God’s blessings if we obey and believe God completely.

1. It came after he was taken into captivity. He lived through a frightful calamity

2. It was after forming and following a conviction. (Refusal to take of the king’s meat)

3. It was after a faithfulness confrontation (He was faithfulness to prayer even if it may have meant his life. – den of lions)

Conclusion

Because Daniel believed in his God;

1. He was preferred

2. He was persecuted

3. He was prospered

How much do we believe in OUR God?


Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

How to Establish and Pass on a Proven Conviction

PersonalConviction

And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever. (Jer 35:18-19)

A conviction only becomes a proven conviction when it is proven. A conviction is not proven until it has been tried.

Over 300 years before, Jonadab had taught his family and taught them to pass along what was TO BECOME a proven conviction. Here is how it happens.

 

It begins as a COMMAND 

But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Jeremiah 35:6

A proven conviction begins with an obedience to a command. It has to be planted. It started with him giving and expecting obedience to a simple COMMAND.

If we want to impart a proven conviction to your children or followers, you start by showing them God’s commands and expect them to obey them, simply because it is a command.

And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which ye shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. (Deu 32:46)

 

It follows with a CHARGE

Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;  (Jeremiah 35:8)

A command is a beginning, a change is a teaching. He followed the commands with the admonition to teach the same to others in their family and loved ones. Commands without knowledge or understating will not be effectively passed on. We must teach God’s principle and the reasons if we want to establish and pass on proven convictions.

 

It then brings a CONVICTION

The prophet of God had brought them in to his presence and commanded them to drink wine. (Note; It not to have them drink wine, but to prove the strength of their convictions.) These men refused to drink the wine, even though they had been told to do so by the religious leader, because they obeyed and remained true to the convictions delivered to them by Jonadab. The pressure was on and they did not falter. You cannot know the strength of your convictions until your convictions are tried.

Then comes the CROWN.

They were reward for standing by their convictions.

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever…

Summary: to posses and pass along proven spiritual convictions;

  • Accept and teach the commandments of God
  • Learn and communicate the reasons for the commands and take them as a “charge” from God
  • Take the charges to heart making them convictions.
  • Look forward to receiving the crown of rewards for faithfulness.

Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

 

Except the Lord…

build-house_SIA Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psa 127:1-5)


We are all building a house. We are building our children. We are building our marriages.  We are building our homes.  We are building our church or ministry.  We may or may not be doing well or even devoting any thought at all, but we are building and one day we will have to own the fruit of this building.

Allow me to take a few helpful thoughts from two key points in this pssage as we consider building our homes and children.

First, we will look at the LABOR

It is a required work

Without work – nothing gets built.

Things may pile up, stack up, or fall apart, but nothing really ever gets built without work.

I often say, God can bless our labors, but there must be a labor to bless!

It must be a resolute/round the clock work

The word build is a word that means to “begin to build”.

It is a rewarding work

The children are our reward

When God uses the word “reward” it is refereeing to a payment according to contract or salary.  We are doing the work of building and God says that our children are our salaries.

The children we build are our resource (arrows) for the work and battles before us.

 

The second key is the Lord

The building must be a Labor of the Lord

Except the Lord build it is all vain.

Therefore we must PARTNER with Him

Therefore we must keep Him and His as PRIORITY

Therefore we must seek HIM always in PRAYER

The building must be recognized as a Labor from the Lord

The verse tells us that our children are an heritage from the Lord.  This means they are our inheritance or gift. We do not just get our children by the result of nature, but they are from God and thus we have a responsibly and job to build them.

The building must be a Labor for the Lord

Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. (1Sa 1:28)

Let’s give the children to the Lord.  They came from Him and are

 


Visit us on line at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay

Families of Impact

familypicAnd be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph 5:18-20)

There is a great need today for Christian homes to become “Families of Impact”.

This means that both their family is greatly impacted BY God and that their family is having a great impact FOR God.

Before God gets to discussing the rolls of the individual family members in this chapter, He addresses some foundation elements the family of impact will possess.  Here are a few.


A Family of Impact Will Focus on Their Walk

Thier walk will be of one of “Following the Lord” (vs1)

The word fused or “followers” relates to being an imitator.  The family of impact will have its members imitation the life style, attitudes, and actions of our Lord.

Their walk will be a walk in love (vs2)

As in a selfless love – as Christ gave himself

As in a sacrificial love – as Christ made an offering and sacrifice

As in a sweetsmelling love – as God accepted Christ’s sacrifice

 Their walk will be a walk in the light (vs8)

Proving and reproving things of life by the Light of His Word (vs10-13)

The walk will be one on the lookout (vs15)

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, (Eph 5:15)

The word translated “circumspectly” means to be exact or watch carefully.  The family of impact will carefully guard their walk.  Inspect it often. Make adjustments to make it “exactly” what God wants.


A Family of Impact Focuses on Their Witness (vs3, 5-6)

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; (Eph 5:3)
This not just their verbal efforts to share the Gospel, but what is seen by the world.  It should be only that which  “becometh saints”


A Family of Impact Focus on Their Words (vs4, 12, 20)

They will be careful that the words they use in their homes are TASTEFUL.  They will ensure that the language in their homes is not filthy, shameful, or obscene.  They will endeavor to keep a close watch on even using bi-words that are euphemisms for taking the Lord’s name in vain.


A Family of Impact Focuses on Their Withdrawals (vs5 – 7, 11)

This means that they will watch to see if there are some acquaintances or situations that they may need to dis-associate from for safety and testimonies sake.   These verses admonish us about not being partaking with or fellowshipping with works of darkness.

Let each individual and family in our church seek to become a “Family of  Influence”



Visit us online at Lighthouse Baptist Church of the East Bay