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Football Faith

I’ve been posting about the need for our faith and actions to line up together. That’s where we see God’s power at work in us. It’s time for God’s people to start living out their faith.

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. That’s a great thing to trust in. But if you really believe it, then you’re going to let someone know that you feel that way.

I live in the Boston area. It’s no secret that the people around here believe that the New England Patriots are the greatest football team ever. Because of that, in the fall, on any given weekend, no matter where you go you’ll hear people talking about them. That’s what happens when you truly believe something. It affects how you act and speak.

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:24

We are saved because we trust in Christ. His blood was shed for our sins. But is believing enough? What does the Scripture say?

…that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10

There has to be both the faith and the actions working together. Believing alone won’t save you. There has to be a confession, out loud, from your own lips.

When the Holy Spirit works on your heart, He causes faith to arise in you. That’s actually what conviction is. It’s when you believe that something’s wrong with your life and there’s something you need to do to bring about a change.

When we come to Christ in repentance, we’re acting on what we believe. We need help, and the Lord is the only one who can give it to us.

But salvation is not the only area where faith and actions need to line up. Whenever we’re trusting God for something, we need to walk it out. Look at James’ example.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
James 2:25

This is in reference to Israel defeating Jericho in battle. Before the fight, Israel sent spies into the city. This account is told in the book of Joshua, chapter 2.

If you read that chapter, you find out that everybody in the city believed that the God of Israel was the true God. They believed that God was going to give the whole land to Israel. But of all the people in Jericho, only Rahab acted on what she believed.

She hid the spies on her roof. By protecting them she secured safety and protection for her family. Her faith and her actions worked together for her good. That’s why James concludes this section with this summation.

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
James 2:26

We need to be a people who operate with a living faith. That means that it’s not just in our hearts. It’s a faith that people can see by our actions and hear from our lips.

Question: What’s an example of how your faith and actions have worked together?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Faith, Spiritual Walk

 

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Is Your Faith Visible?

BeamAre people around you aware of your beliefs? Actually, they know more about what you believe than you do sometimes. What do I mean by that?

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
James 2:14

The truth about faith – your beliefs – is that it’s not so much what you talk about, but what defines your actions. It’s why you do what you do. It’s the choices you make and the path you pursue.

When I heard the truth about Jesus Christ, faith was birthed in my heart. Because it was a real faith, it prompted me to do something. I made the choice to publically accept Him as my Lord and Savior.

True faith is made visible in your actions.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

People can only see what you do and how you respond to circumstances. They only see your living faith. You may tell yourself that you believe certain truths, but if you don’t live them out, you’re only deceiving yourself.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.
James 2:18-19

Even in the case of demons, what they believe affects what they do. They may hate the truth, but it still causes them to tremble when they think about it.

You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:24

It’s only when what you believe and what you do line up that you can truly say this is your faith. That’s why Christianity is a counter-culture to our modern society. We live in an age where the lie is much more preferable to the truth.

The American way of life teaches us that it’s normal to believe one thing and then live a totally different lifestyle.

“I’m a Christian – but I can’t let that affect my politics.”

I’ve heard that on many occasions. According to Scripture, what do you truly believe? What you do shows your living faith.

The world system is based upon a foundation of self-deceit.

“I’ll trust you to do what you say – as long as I get it all in writing.”

“I’ll love you forever, but we need a pre-nuptial agreement, just in case.”

All of these, and more, are examples of how our present generation has left the truth and is in pursuit of a lie.

As the church of Jesus Christ – we are different! We must not be like the world. Our beliefs should affect our behavior. If they don’t, then what do we truly believe?

It’s time for us to stand up and live out what we believe.

Question: What are your beliefs in Christ that you find most difficult to live out?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Faith, The Church

 

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Jehovah Jireh – The Mountain

TrailThis is the final post about how Abraham positioned himself to receive God’s supernatural provision.  At this point we find him with the knife raised, about to sacrifice his only son.

But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said.  “Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Genesis 22:11-12

Abraham was able to come through this time of testing victoriously.  But there was something that always puzzled me.  God said, “Now I know that you fear God.”  I thought God knew everything, so why would He say that?

The Hebrew word for know is Yada, which means to know by seeing.  What God said was that now Abraham’s faith could be seen.  His fear of God was now obvious to everyone.

That’s the reason for trials and testing.  We may have faith quietly tucked away in our hearts.  Without works, it’s not yet a living faith.  It must be proved genuine.

It’s the trying of our faith that causes it to be seen by those around us.  That’s why Scripture tells us over and over again that without trials we’ll never become mature in Christ.

It was when his faith was tested, and proved genuine, that Abraham’s eyes were opened to the provision of God that was before him.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  [Jehovah Jireh]  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovah Jireh – the God Who provides.  There are many who think this name is a promise of unbridled wealth.  They think that it’s all about their physical comfort.  What they fail to see is that Jehovah Jireh is a place of supernatural provision in Christ.

As I said in the first post of this series, it’s a spiritual mountain that must be climbed.  To get to that place in God, it will require the same thing from us that it did of Abraham.

It will take a life of immediate obedience to God, perseverance, speaking our faith, and a decision to give up everything for the cause of Christ.  That’s the real mountain that Abraham had to climb.  The physical mountain was easy in comparison.

As with all things in Christ, God has already provided everything we need for life and godliness.  The problem is that we need to position ourselves to receive the provision of God.

That’s the point.  Why do we want God’s blessing?  To accomplish His will or ours?

If you want Christ to be exalted in you, then you’re in a position to receive.

I ask everyone who reads this post to pray and believe God for those who respond to the following question…

Question: What is God calling you to do that you need His supernatural provision for?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in Faith, God's Provision, Prayer

 

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