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What Does Genuine Faith Look Like? Part 2

In my last blog I shared the first two principles from Mark 5 on what genuine faith looks like.  For many, faith can be a lot of things, such as positive thinking or the execution of a well laid out plan.
For some, faith is just having faith in faith.   But as we discovered earlier from the story of Jairus, genuine faith doesn't stand on something in itself or rest on itself.  Faith requires an object on which to focus.  In the case of this Jewish scholar, he had abandoned his faith in his religious background and come exclusively to Jesus.  Faith always must have an object in which it exercises belief and exhibits absolute confidence.

Secondly, we saw that genuine faith is recognized by its humility because God "resists the proud but gives grace to the humble."Jairus comes to Jesus with nothing to offer.  He doesn't come to Jesus as a Bible scholar or with a sense of self-importance.  He certainly could have, because he was socially prominant and influential, but h…

What Does Genuine Faith Look Like?

While in Rwanda I promised I would share the key thoughts from Mark 5 about the faith of Jairus that I taught the pastors in their preaching course.   I think you will agree that this Jewish leader truly demonstrates what genuine faith actually looks like.  
Jairus was a synagogue ruler who had one twelve year old daughter who was one year away from marriageable age in the Jewish culture.  Unfortunately, she had become extremely sick and Jairus decided that his daughter’s life was more important than his job, his reputation, prestige and money.  You know why?  Because he decided to put it all on the line and publicly seek out Jesus for healing.  That was likely the deathnell for any hope of maintaining his personal reputation, perhaps even his job!
That leads us to the first principle of what constitutes saving faith.
I. Genuine faith always focuses on the right object. Vs 22
People today love to talk about faith, but true faith has to have an object!  So many people say that they hav…

Delivering the Message

I'm in Kigali, Rwanda teaching a group of native pastors.  This is our sixth class, and it's going well.  These pastors happen to be the replacement pastors for those killed in genocide in 1994.  Our host, Pastor Denys, himself a natural leader, and a miraculous suvivor of the massacre, went out about a month after the three month slaughter and hand picked these men for their faithfulness and willingness to lead their respective congregations.  Twenty years later Global Baptist Training Foundation was founded and through a former Congolese student of mine, I was introduced to Pastor Denys in 2012.  
Now after six years of training we are teachng this week in the work of preaching or delivering Biblical messages.  Accomplishing this class through a translator can be challenging, but I have one of the best translators in the world passing along the information from English to Kinyarwandan.  Today was one of the most satisfing teaching experiences I can remember.  We are working…

Welcome to Rwanda 2018

Rwanda 2018 has begun!  I always dread the long flights, but that part is over and my first day is about complete.  I began the day by preaching in the morning service in Pastor Fidele's church who is my translator.  I preached from Mark 5 on the story of Jairus.  His story shows us what genuine believing looks like.  I will share this in in a week or so with all of our personal blog readers.  Please look for it.  The service today was very well attended and they had several who joined the church after the message.

The year has not started well for the Rwandans.  Heavy spring rains were brutally long and hard this year. It rained non-stop for the months of March and April, and then continued into June for the first two weeks.  The results were devastating in several areas.  Over one hundred people were killed on the hillsides sorrounding this beautiful city.  Houses literally collapsed and washed down the hillsides with people in them.  
The church compound was also affected on th…

The Debt Clock

We have all probably seen the debt clock billboard somewhere.  It's the clock which is keeping track of the national debt.  We are now over 21 trillion dollars in the loss column and counting.  It appears to be absolutely hopeless.  Can the debt ever be paid back?  Perhaps.  But how long will it take and at what cost to us?   Would paying it back force me to change the way I live, my plans, my ambitions?  I think so, but allow me to explain further.

I heard someone say a few years ago, "I'm now about to enter the fourth quarter of my ministry".  I think I know what that meant but I'm more convinced now than ever that this perspective can be greatly improved upon.  Forty-three years ago yesterday, I came to know Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of my life.  I could never forget that moment when the transformation of my life began anymore than if I had won a ten million dollar lottery.  Within weeks, I was a member of a brand new church plant and I was growing …

Waiting....

Have you ever heard someone say, "This is such a waste of time!".  No doubt this person is standing in line somewhere or waiting on someone to accomodate their particular need.  We have a habit in our culture to think waiting is entirely bad.  We think it has no redeeming value, at least to many of us Americans.  We have grown up thinking that immediacy is the best way to live.  From Pop Tarts to instant oatmeal, our culture has taught us to get it now!  But is waiting really a non-essential bust?  Can we, or should we think that immediate gratification is always best?  I don't think so.
The Scripture is packed with nearly 300 admonitions for the believer to learn to wait on God. For instance, the Scripture states,
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.  Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way." (Ps 37:7)
"Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Ps 27:14)
Most of us equate waiting on God as inacti…

Your Appointment has been Rescheduled!

Have you ever heard those words? I am confident you have if you are anything like me.  It's never easy when we forget an appointment because it usually comes as a surprise.  We are subsequently embarassed and can't believe it happened.  This is because we assume something that is just simply not the case.  You know, the wrong day, the wrong calendar date, or even the wrong week or month.  By the time we see the error, its too late, we missed the appointment. 
In most areas of our lives, this can be corrected fairly easily.  We just pick up the phone and set a new date that fits our plans and desires.  Normally, we move forward and hardly give it a second thought.
Whether it’s the dentist, the doctor, the optometrist, or whoever, the missed appointment is not a life-changing problem.  However we need to be reminded of something very important about appointments.  We have at least one appointment in life that cannot be missed, changed, or rescheduled, and that is our appointment w…