Developing Faith: How do you develop or increase your faith? How do you develop the water walking, dead raising faith Jesus had? Peter also had this faith as he walked on water until his faith was distracted and Tabitha was raised from the dead after he prayed. Jesus says, "EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR HIM WHO BELIEVES". Jesus educated His followers in many ways. He taught them verbally, He provided them opportunities for on the job training, He gave lessons by observation and experientially. One of the faith building lessons Jesus provided by experience was when His friend Lazarus was sick. Jesus foreshadowed the coming events by saying, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it". Then He waited a couple of days. Then He revealed to them that Lazarus was dead and that He was glad that He wasn't there "so that you may believe". Subsequently God brought Lazarus back to life through Jesus' ministry. Not only did these events help the immediate followers faith but it also increased the faith of many others and as John connects the event with Jesus' last trip into Jerusalem when they treated Jesus royally praising God for Jesus ministry which most Christians remember as Palm Sunday. Another time a man whose son needed deliverance asked "help me overcome my unbelief" and his faith was helped by setting free his son1.
In both of these examples, God helped people have more faith through Jesus' ministry. To have more faith, a first step is to ask God in Jesus name to help you have more faith. Each person is different so only God knows where each of us needs more faith or where to start. Ultimately we need to have the knowledge that Jesus knew when He stated, "all things are possible with God". Many people are experts on what they cannot do, like walk on water or why they cannot be healed. It is good to "deny" your self and your personal opinions as Jesus recommends and focus on what God can do or what God wants to do for you. Jesus tells us "anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it". A little child does not have a lot of "knowledge" about what they cannot do. Too many people are "experts" as to what is impossible for God. Denying yourself is putting aside selfish wants, which can result in reducing or eliminating greed, lust, being easily offended, being unforgiving, pride, etc. What Jesus teaches about "deny", results in putting God first in your life. If you are willing to do what God wants, you will develop your faith and as Jesus teaches us, "The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do the things that My Father in heaven wants". Jesus gave us a living example of the relationship we can have with God when He told God, "do what You want, not what I want" the night before He was executed. Putting God first in our lives will help us have stronger faith and make it easier for God to increase our faith2.
1. Mt 14:29-30; Ac 9:36-41; Mk 9:17-27; Jn 11:1-44; 12:9-18; Mk 9:24 (NI)
2. Mk 10:27; 8:34; 10:15 (NI); Mt 7:21; Lk 22:42 (IC)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
A Psalm for reflection "Trust in the LORD. Have faith, do not despair. Trust in the LORD" Ps 27:14 (TE)
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Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
God stated in Genesis 2:24 and Jesus quoted it in Mark 10:8 (NIV) that when two people get married " the two will become one ". Functioning as one and being a team of two that works together is one of the main things we help people accomplish in our workshop. From God's viewpoint, it appears He treats married couples as one. In the story of Job, Satan was not allowed to kill Job and all of his family members were destroyed but not his wife (Job 1-2:9). To become one spiritually, it is good for a couple to talk about their spiritual views. If you have different views it is good to discuss them and may be a good time to use the Speaker Listener Technique. Unlike most discussions in your marriage, just because you as a couple agree doesn't make it correct before God. It is good to support your opinions with what Jesus or God said. It is good for you to have family prayers together, worship God together in the same church, and even share a ministry together. That may sound heavy but I knew a couple who had no children and had been married over twenty years who helped in the nursery together in a large church. That was a nice way to share a ministry together.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mark 10:27 NIV). From God's viewpoint it appears He treats married couples as one. In the story of Job, Satan was not allowed to hurt Job and all of his family members were destroyed but not his wife, who did not appear to be a supportive spouse. For you to function as one as a couple does require both of you to make an effort. You should develop your personal relationship with God, as that is an individual thing. In addition to praying for your spouse and encouraging them to be closer to God you can live your life as a good example. It may be hard to encourage your spouse to get closer to God, if you do not set a godly example.
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Eye Healing Miracle * The Alphabet is from God * Family Prayer Outline * Jesus Knows the Bible and Spoke Hebrew *