Tag : believe
Tag : believe
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
(John 10:27-30, NIV)
In the above-mentioned verse Jesus clearly states that if His sheep listen to His voice and follow Him, He will give them eternal life. I have often wondered if all believers are “saved” and recently have turned to the Bible for the answer. In Romans 10:9, the Bible tells us: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Emphasize added). Again the word “and” is declared in this verse which tells me believing in Jesus is not in of itself sufficient to be saved. Believing is an action of faith. It is much more than believing a statement that “Jesus is Lord.” It requires boldly declaring with your mouth that He is your Lord and Savior and to surrender and submit your will to His will. Many people saw Him and walked with Him, only to turn away when He said, ”follow Me.” The Bible tells us even demons believe and tremble.
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.“
(James 2:14-19, NIV)
Salvation is described as much more than just believing a statement about God. It reveals a life of full reliance upon Him. In Mathew 19, a rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked Him, “What good must I do to get eternal life?” (Mathew 19:16, NIV). Jesus responded, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” This man could not and went away sad.
Nothing must come between us and following our Savior—not money, friends, family, or even a spouse. As followers of Jesus, we should be willing to give up all we have if He asks us to-as He sometimes does. He will never force us. Following Jesus is a personal choice which involves humbly submitting our entire self to Him. We are then transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and slowly transform into His likeness. We undertake a radical change in lifestyle because we can no longer conform to the world and do things that go against the Word of God. We leave old things behind and do not look back. We do not long for things of the past, things that kept us in bondage. We are set free when we choose to follow Him through the narrow gate. Our lifelong hope is that our lives will mirror the character of Jesus and show others His love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).
In 1 Corinthians 2:16, we are told following Jesus gives us the mind of Christ and with this assurance we are empowered by His Spirit and given His understanding and insights. As His sheep we are to listen for His voice and follow Him. We are to be followers of Christ and not just believers. The early believers were so loyal to His teachings that other people knew they were followers of Christ by the way they spoke, acted, and lived. Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Mathew 7:20, NIV).
“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.‘ When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ Peter answered him, ‘We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.‘”
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“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.“
(Hebrews 11:1, NIV)
Contrary to what people tell you, you don’t have to see it to believe it. I had the pleasure this past weekend to participate in the 3rd Annual Level Up Dallas Women’s Conference where I was invited to share my testimony and speak on faith. I prayed and fasted for two weeks prior to the conference and kept seeing the number pattern “111” on license plates, on my phone, and even randomly on the side of a van. The day before the conference, while researching Bible verses on faith, I read Hebrews 11:1. This number pattern has a special significance for me because I was saved 11 years ago in 2011. That same year I lost my source of income, received a notice of eviction (on 11/1/11) and was given 10 days to leave. I was bankrupt and homeless on 11/11/11.
“‘If you can?’” said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’”
(Mark 9:23, NIV)
In the years following the eviction, I had no idea where I was going or how I was going to survive. I only knew that I needed to give up control of my life and surrender my will to His. I was so exhausted from trying to do things my way. I spoke to Him daily. I gave Jesus the wheel. I prayed incessantly. When He said to move, I moved. When He said to be still, I waited patiently for Him to tell me when to move again. Seven years later, after relocating six times, I moved to Dallas.
Seven symbolizes completion (“seven” is spelled with the same consonants as the Hebrew word שבע “complete/full”). I knew, as soon as I arrived in Dallas, it’s where I belonged. I was blessed with a good job and decided to plant roots and buy a house. After closing on the house, I asked the builder for the code to my front door and he said, “1111.” At that moment I realized that Jesus was traveling with me through the storm, from my eviction on 11/11/11 to my new home in Dallas with the entry code of 1111. In Mathew 8, Jesus calmed the storm and turned to the apostles and said, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Brothers and sisters in Christ, fear not. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.