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    Live by Faith

    June 8, 2017

    Do you lack faith in your life?  Are you slow to have confident trust in someone or something else?  If you are, take heart, because you are not alone.  One of the most despairing phrases in all of scripture comes from the mouth of Jesus himself in Matthew 8:26.  This phrase comes from Jesus in the midst of a severe storm in which his disciples think they are going to perish.  They wake Jesus up to see if he can do anything to change their fate.  Before Jesus displays his miraculous power by calming the storm, he looks right into the eyes of his disciples and asks them, “Why are you so afraid, O you of little faith?”  

    The men who were chosen to follow Jesus, who actually left everything to walk with him, lacked faith in this circumstance.  They lacked confident trust in Jesus, thinking he probably had no power over the winds and waves.  I wonder what would have happened if they approached Jesus in faith, rather than in doubt?  I wonder what Jesus would have said to them if they came to him with confident trust that he would get them through the storm.  As Christians, we need to learn from the mistake of the disciples, and realize that instead of doubting the power of Jesus Christ in our lives, we must embrace him and live by faith.  

    There are two ways we can live by faith as Christians.  The first way is to realize that faith is powerful enough to completely change the identity of a person.  We are told this in Galatians 3:25-26, “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.”  According to Paul, it is through faith in Jesus Christ that we are transformed from orphans under a guardian (the law), to sons of God.  That word “sons” is very important because it denotes the fact that those who have faith in Jesus Christ are now in line for an inheritance from their Father.  This means that it is through faith in Jesus Christ that men and women now have the right of eternal life in the presence of God.  Living by faith starts with an identity change but it doesn't stop there.

    The second way to live by faith is to have faith be your lifestyle.  Galatians 2:20states, “…And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Paul is telling the people in Galatia that because he has a new identity through Jesus Christ, he now lives by faith in the One who gave him his new identity.  If we are able to have our identities changed by faith in Jesus, then we can surly live our lives by faith in Jesus, can’t we? 

    Living your life by faith in Jesus should always be rooted in the fact that your life has been transformed.  This is where the disciples were wrong that day on the boat.  Jesus entered their life and flipped it upside down.  He changed their identities from mere men to disciples of the Son of God.  Now, because of this change, these disciples should have had faith in Jesus when the storm grew worse and worse, but they didn’t.  Their faith was small when it should have been huge.  

    Every Christian should understand that we must live by faith in Jesus forsalvation, but then we should also live by faith in Jesus because of our salvation.  If your identity is changed by Jesus then your life should be dictated by Jesus.  But many of us struggle with this, don't we?  We all lack faith in Jesus in tough circumstances and we all forget at times that Jesus really does love and care for us.  In these tough times, I want you to remember that Jesus is more powerful than any wind and wave that may come into your life.  I want you to remember that those winds and waves obey the voice of God.  That is why we can live by faith in Jesus, because he is powerful enough to change our identity, which also means that he is powerful enough for any circumstance that comes into your life, good or bad.  If you want to live your life well, live by faith!  Grace and Peace.

    Pastor Ryan

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