A God Worthy of Faith

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

A God Worthy of Faith

A wise sixteenth-century Christian once said we can only love God to the extent we know him. Think about it. Can you surrender to God if you don’t know his character? Can you trust him with your life, here and hereafter,  if you’re not sure he’s willing and able to care for you?

That takes faith. And the Bible says faith ‘is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It’s the evidence of things we cannot yet see.‘ And the Bible says that faith is grounded in our very understanding of God: ‘Anyone who wants to come to [God], must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.‘ Before you can really seek God, you’ve got to truly believe that your search will lead to something, somewhere, and most importantly, to Someone worth looking for.

If you don’t have faith, ask God for it. If the faith you have is not as strong as you think it ought to be, ask God to help you strengthen your faith. This might seem like putting the cart before the horse, but the Bible speaks of faith as a gift rather than something you obtain by your own efforts.

- Steve Arterburn

“I fear one day I’ll meet God, he’ll sneeze, and I won’t know what to say.” - Ronnie Shakes

On the Defense

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

On the Defense

When my friend was in college he walked right-of-way property for a gas pipeline company one summer. In many ways, it was a great job. Lots of sunshine and exercise, walking through the countryside over a large buried pipeline. There were, however, the inevitable bulls, bees. . . and a few ornery farmers.

One day his journey took him through the field of a farmer who didn’t like anyone on his land, right-of-way or no right-of-way. After testing an electrical fence to make sure it was disarmed, my friend prepared to step over the barrier. While he was straddling the wire, he saw out of the corner of his eye the farmer running for the barn. The farmer was running for the power switch!

Are you sometimes like the farmer? Quick to turn up the power and heat when someone’s in a vulnerable position? It’s not what Jesus did, remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus extended grace. You should, too.

- Steve Arterburn

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.’ – Billy Graham (1918- )

Size Doesn’t Matter

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Ephesians 5:1

Size Doesnt Matter

We live in a culture that values things that are large, extravagant, and impossible to miss. For this reason, we’re tempted to look at the struggles in our rather ordinary lives, and consider our victories insignificant if they’re not acknowledged or recognized by others.

But that’s just not true. Victor Hugo, the great French playwright who penned Les Misérables, rightly said our ‘greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes, obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes.’

It’s not the size of the audience, or the amount of applause, that determines the value of your achievements. Live your life before the one true God. And live it with faith, hope, and love even though you’re not getting accolades for it. Remember, your true character is what you do when no one is looking.

- Steve Arterburn

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” – Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Today’s Youth

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. – Mark 10:14

Today's Youth

When June Cleaver said, ‘Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver,‘ her primary concern was probably that he’d turn out to be as obnoxious as Eddie Haskell. Boy, have times changed!

Kids today face a harder world, and are seriously threatened with a premature loss of innocence.

For instance, within the next 30 minutes at least:

29 kids will attempt suicide.
57 adolescents will run away from home.
14 teenager girls will give birth out of wedlock.
22 girls will get abortions.
686 kids will use one of many illegal drugs.
And 188 will abuse alcohol.

This picture of the struggles America’s kids now face is a long way from the struggles within the Cleaver household. The beginning of change is to acknowledge the problem. Pray for the kids of today and for their parents. The changes we need must come from the inside out if they’re to be real and lasting.

- Steve Arterburn

Materialism

Everybody says they need just one thing. What they really mean is they need just one thing more. – Rich Mullins

Materialism

Materialism is one of the most deadly diseases I know. It can eat you alive at the very moment you think things are going along wonderfully. When we acquire outward trappings and the ‘ideal image,’ we often neglect the deeper issues of life, faith, character, integrity, and a desire to love God and others. We soon would rather look good than be good. In the end the things that we acquire can turn on us and threaten our souls. In Luke 9:25 Jesus asked His disciples, ‘What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?‘ I like to paraphrase that verse as, ‘It would be really stupid if you were to live your life gaining all the things the world has to offer and then lose your life forever. If the temporary things of this world come between you and the eternal God of heaven, you’d be a fool to spend your life pursuing those things.

The pursuit of things is a deadly battleground of the heart. Painfully and slowly I’ve had to learn that I need to hold very loosely to what I ‘own.’ And it still isn’t an easy thing for me to do. When I hold onto something I’ve cherished and long felt that I needed, I may loosen my grip only one painfully pried finger at a time. But only when I release that grip do I begin to true peace and direction. St. Augustine once said, ‘Our hearts are restless until we find rest in thee.’ When you feel pain and emptiness, be assured that these things can never be satisfied with things or status. These are cheap imitations for what ails us, for our restless hearts only find rest in the One who forgives, redeems, and provides perfectly.

Excerpted from “The God of Second Chances” by Steve Arterburn

Make the Peace

How can one “make peace” with an ‪estranged‬ family‬ member? Jill Hubbard and Dave Stoop discuss how to negotiate ‪connection‬. Watch the video now.

dave-jill

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Inspirational Exercise

I’ve had many fitness advocates ask me about teaming up with Lose it for Life, but only one really impressed me. Let’s welcome Michelle Spadafora of Faithful Workouts to New Life TV! Click here to watch.

fit-tv

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How to Be a Good Friend

Having friends to support and love you is one of the greatest gifts of life. Sheri Keffer and John Townsend sit down to discuss importance of friendship and how to be the kind of friend you’d like to have. When you have true friends around you, well…It’s enough to make a grown man cry. Take a look.

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Broken Dreams

We both had dreams, they answered, but there is no one to interpret them. Then Joseph said to them, Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams. – Genesis 40:8

Broken Dreams

Do you have dreams that never came true?

  • Maybe you were you told you had great talent, that you should go for it and make it to the top.
  • Was your dream to be a star of stage or screen?
  • Maybe your dream was to live a peaceful life teaching at a university with the security of tenure, writing a few bestsellers.
  • Maybe you believed that you’d grow up, easily discover the person God chose for you, marry that person, make a lot of money, have great kids who were never a problem, and continue to live happily ever after.

Think about your great dreams that haven’t come true, we all have some. Yet our broken dreams are by no means the end of the story, because they hold important lessons within them.

If you have faith in Christ, your final destination is secure. Our life here on earth is a character-building journey full of opportunities, to dream, to connect, and to love one another, and when there is brokenness, to adjust your dream, to re-connect, and to continue loving one another.

- Steve Arterburn

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.‘ – Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Our Only Real Hope

He has caused his wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. He provides food for those who fear him; He remembers his covenant forever. – Psalm 111:4-5

Our Only Real Hope

Donna and her husband had two babies and barely got by on the tiny pension he received from the Navy. It took more than half their income just to pay the rent. Needless to say, the money often ran out before the month did.

One month, their financial situation was so bad Donna had no money left to buy laundry soap. She got on her knees and prayed, ‘God, I’ve never needed you like I need you now. I have nothing, and I need you to provide soap to wash these diapers.’

Hearing a noise at the front door, Donna got up to see who it was. Someone had left a promotional sample of soap on her doorstep. Some would call the provision a coincidence, but Donna knew it was an act of God, a ‘divine’ coincidence.

Are you dealing with difficult circumstances? Have you talked to God about your challenges, and your needs? God wants you to come to Him and to rely upon Him.

- Steve Arterburn

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there.‘ – Old saying