Wednesday, February 23, 2022

If You aren't Exercising Your Faith, then What are You DOING with it?

If You aren't Exercising Your Faith, What are You DOING with it?
Ever have one of those things happen in life, when something happens and God gives you a greater understanding of something in the Bible?

In this last Sunday's sermon we were challenged concerning going all in with God. Yesterday, after my heart was stirred up by the comments and actions and reactions to struggles at work, I took a chance at going all in.

I got approval to begin a volunteer prayer group at work to address the problems work is facing.  To pray for the leadership and those seeking to find parts to build our customers products.  If God altered the directions of nations because of prayer, He can do something with my place of employment. 

It was along the lines of this that brought me back around to the parable of the talents.  Let's read this:

"For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents. In the same way the one who had received the two talents earned two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

“Now after a long time the master of those slaves *came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have earned five more talents.' His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’

“Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have earned two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter the joy of your master.’

“Now the one who had received the one talent also came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed. And I was afraid, so I went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you still have what is yours.’

“But his master answered and said to him, ‘You worthless, lazy slave! Did you know that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter seed? Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore: take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’

“For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. And throw the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 25:14-30 NASB 

So...if indeed you are in Christ and are saved...what are you doing with what you have been given?

Matthew 5:14-16 NASB says this from Jesus "“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

If you are claiming to be a Christian, are you letting your light shine or are you hiding it?  Did you go out and bury it under a rock until Jesus returns or you are called home?

You are to live out your Christian life for the world to see, and if necessary use words. 

I told those at work that I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.  That it was prayer that brought my Wife and I to our new hometown. It was prayer that brought me to my new employer. It has been prayer that sets the days in order for me. Prayer moved the nations throughout history. Prayer birthed the United States. Prayer caused the downfall of others. 

Are you doing anything with your faith? In Romans 12 we read that to each has been given a measure of faith. Not possibly given. Not maybe given. But HAS been given. We are expected to be doing something for God with it. 

Some are fearful of speaking up at work or in other public places. There might be repercussions. Yeah? So? Isn't the one who puts the stars in their place, who orders the planets to do what they do, the one who's holding our very life-breath able to handle even that?

It might cost me my job!  Quiz time. Who gave you that job in the first place? It wasn't a random chance thing that you were hired there.  Your paths, according to Proverbs are ordered by God. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." 

So, do you think that Daniel and his friends put their jobs at risk by standing on their faith?  Did Daniel when he was tossed into the lions den?  

Did Peter and Silas? Did Stephen? 

Fear is the greatest thing that Satan uses to keep our light under a basket or under a rock. Fear of what others may think. Fear of what might happen. Fear that loss may happen. Getting people to forget what God's already done with their faith up to that point in their lives. 

Are you keeping to yourself out of fear?

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:25 NASB 


Some point to Proverbs 31 with that quote 

Another to consider is vs 26 of Matthew 16: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?

Are you keeping your faith to yourself or are you doing something with it?  In Romans 12 we read of being part of the body of Christ. That we have a function within that body. We have something to do. Are you doing it? 

Things to think about.  Hebrews 11

"Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen. For by it the people of old gained approval.

By faith we understand that the world has been created by the word of God so that what is seen has not been made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he was attested to be righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for before he was taken up, he was attested to have been pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who comes to God must believe that He exists, and that He proves to be One who rewards those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore even from one man, and one who was as good as dead at that, there were born descendants who were just as the stars of heaven in number, and as the innumerable grains of sand along the seashore.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen and welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country which they left, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and the one who had received the promises was offering up his only son; it was he to whom it was said, “Through Isaac your descendants shall be named.” He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he persevered, as though seeing Him who is unseen. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after the Israelites had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mocking and flogging, and further, chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented (people of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts, on mountains, and sheltering in caves and holes in the ground.

And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."

So think about where your faith is today. Think about whether you are all in with God or not. There's nothing to compare it to if you've never done it.

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