"Faith is God's work in us that changes us and gives new birth from God." --Martin Luther
Faith is ongoing.
From Matthew 6, Christ's sermon on the mount, Jesus calls us to a higher standard of faith. In verse 25 He says, "Therefore," which points back to his assertion that one cannot serve both God and money, "be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than raiment?"
Worry is the end of faith, and the beginning of faith is the end of worry.God takes care of all we need. Perhaps we worry because we want a bit more than we need.
Shift focus. The big idea is to SEEK his kingdom, his righteousness, in word, thought, and deed daily.If we seek first his kingdom (Matthew 6:19-21)
What can we take with us to heaven? People#becarefullittlemouthwhatyousay (James 3:9-12)
What was the nature of the last thing you said? positive or negative, greeting or gossip, praise or complaintSeek first his kingdom in thought.
#heavenonmymind (Philippians 3:14)
Study, meditate on the Bible. When we do, God changes our thoughts. (Romans 12:2) What was the nature of the last thoughts you had? determined or skeptical, happy or sadSeek first the kingdom of God in deed.
#evangelizethelost (Mark 16:15)
When was the last time you were the hands and feet of Christ?We would practice spiritual discipline when we pray and when we fast. (Jesus assumed we do these for he said "When you..." not "If you...")
Practical ways to pray.
- Find a place of solitude (your "prayer closet").
- Go to that place every time (A sacred place to meet with Christ).
- Write your prayers (focus helps eliminate distractions).
Practical ways to fast.
- Plan ahead (setting a time and a purpose).
- Start small (beginning with a 40-day fast may not be a good idea. Start with one meal.)
- Find a place of solitude. Pray and meditate.
Seek in little things; all these things shall be added.
All we need to do is ask, seek, knock. (Matthew 6:33)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and unto you.
Pastor Amanda Blair