Faith

Feeding your Faith & Starving your Fear

As they left Bethany the next day, he was hungry. Off in the distance he saw a fig tree in full leaf. He came up to it expecting to find something for breakfast, but found nothing but fig leaves. (It wasn’t yet the season for figs.) He addressed the tree: “No one is going to eat fruit from you again—ever!” And his disciples overheard him. [Mark 11:12-14]

I pray that as you read this blog, you will be encouraged to take your faith to another level.  That’s exactly what Jesus did with the disciples every chance he got.  I once heard it said that you have to be taught the same thing TEN times before it begins to become ingrained in you as a person. Is it any wonder why Jesus spoke so much on faith while he was still with the disciples? For Jesus to spend so much time and energy on one subject…I think he wanted us to tune into what he was trying to say.

I want you to take some time to reflect on your own life for a second.  Have you been feeding your faith or feeding your fear?  Maybe I should ask you another question…have you been obeying the voice of God in your life or been running from what God has been telling you to do?

Have you ever doubted in your heart?  What makes you doubt?  TIME! When time goes by…it will beat at your heart and tell you “when is it going to happen?” Sometimes time has a way of making us feel impatient.  We’ll wonder, why hasn’t it happened sooner?  In those moments, what do you tend to say to your mountain?  Do you speak faith or fear?

If you are in the habit of speaking fear…let me give you some quick advice: God responds to Faith, not Fear [which in most cases is our emotions].  Why is saying/speaking your faith so important?  Because it’s easy to pray quietly or in your mind. But if you’re mountain doesn’t move…no one will ever know.   it’s safe.  But if you speak it out…now that’s a test of faith!  Today I want to encourage you to speak out in faith…don’t get tired of waiting on God.  It’s just a matter of time before that mountain is moved in your life.  God doesn’t want you to struggle.  Choose to do things different today.  God is always trying to teach us faith.  He did the same thing with his disciples even after he died.  Remember what he said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe!”

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Be An Example

And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.

Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don’t be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. – 1 Timothy 4:12-16 (The Message)

I had the opportunity this past weekend to spend some time with my spiritual sons.  I love when I get the chance to impart into the next generation.  And even though the following was targeted towards young men, I believe that we can all apply these powerful principles into our lives.  Timothy was being challenged to be an example.  I think the same is true for anyone that is taking the time to read this as well.  If you have people that look to you or follow you…then you know the responsibility of being an example!

God never gives someone great ministry unless you have great destiny!” Timothy was that man! God had a huge calling in store for this man.  God knew it and Paul knew it too! That’s why Paul took the time to write this letter.  Timothy was pastoring the largest church at this time.  While that might be pressure enough to handle, add to it the fact that he actually had people in his congregation who had seen Jesus (one example being the Apostle John).  Talk about pressure! Most scholars believe that Timothy was 19 or in his early 20’s. History even tells us that there was a group of elders at the time that said they should make it a rule that someone shouldn’t be a pastor until they were 30 years old! Seemed like Timothy was definitely going through a lot at that time!

Paul challenged Timothy in the following areas: [Basically he was saying…this is how you shut their mouths, Be An Example!]

  • Speech-What’s coming out of your mouth? Get rid of the stuff that leads to nowhere.
  • Life-Set a covenant with your eyes. Don’t waste time! You’ll be a lot further if you don’t waste time.
  • Love-Have a love that is different from that of the world.
  • Faith-Trust God even when it’s hard.  God will fashion us through pain!
  • Purity-There’s a story of a man who was cleaning a huge window.  When he was almost done, everything was clean except for one spot.  He added more soap, scrubbed harder and did all he could to get ride of that spot.  A man a little ways away came up to the man and said, “the spots on the inside.” That’s exactly what God might be telling you today…”the spots on the inside.” There are some things that man can’t see but God can see everything.

I think Timothy had to be challenged after hearing this from his spiritual father.  I know I’m challenged every time I get around my spiritual father.  I really take the time to think about what he tells me.  I meditate on it, I pray about it and I even try to put it to action.  That’s the same thing that Paul was doing with Timothy. He was provoking him to make him do something about it.  The only way he was going to be able to silence his critics, was to be an example! Most scholars believe that Timothy was single at this time too.  So if you’re reading this…it doesn’t matter your age, your relationship status, whether people see you as a leader or not…if you take the time to apply these truths to your life you’ll be an example worth following.

The choices you make will determine what you’ll be and what you’ll have!