The Word of God

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the women. “Did God really say. ‘You must not eat from the tree in the garden’?” – Genesis 3:1

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” – Ephesians 6:1

“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

This Sunday we finish our 4 week series in the Book of Ruth. I hope you have enjoyed going chapter by chapter though this Book, and I hope you have a better understanding of what God is teaching us in Ruth. The church has expressed a desire for more preaching series similar to this series in Ruth and I am excited to say, starting in September there is going to be a 12 week series preaching through the Book of James! The teaching team at Faith is passionate about our church being a church where the Truth of Scripture is preached on a weekly basis. We want everyone to be growing in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

In Genesis 3, Satan uses the phrase, “Did God really say…?” Satan was challenging Adam and Eve’s understanding of what God had told them. Satan wanted to cause doubt in their minds, and of course we all know it worked. Eve took of the fruit and gave some to Adam as well. Sin entered the world because Adam and Eve did not follow the teachings of God.

The verses from Ephesians and Hebrews use language indicating a battle, or even of war. In times of war soldiers train and prepare themselves for whatever attacks the enemy might bring to them. We need to prepare in a similar way for the attacks that will come at us; we need to be in God’s Word daily and seeking His truth and His teachings for our lives. The more we know and love God’s Word the stronger we will be when those attacks come.  When Satan come to us and says, “Did God really say…?” we can then stand firm and not fall when our faith is challenged.

Further Reading: Psalm 1 and 119


“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

Throughout Scripture, mankind is disconnected from God. Living a selfish, me-first lifestyle. In the Book of Judges we learn that people did whatever was right in their own eyes. David in his sin with Bathsheba is only thinking about himself and his desires. With every choice we make, how often are we only concerned with ourselves? As the old saying goes, “You can’t spell sin without ‘I.'” Sin is putting ourselves first; what we want is what matters most.

Jesus, throughout His ministry, was changing people’s perspectives. Jesus would always say confusing things like, “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” In Mark 10, Jesus reveals the motivation of His ministry: to serve. Jesus is the Son of God. He could have called down angels to serve Him. He could have demanded worship, and He would have deserved to have everything given to Him. But instead, Jesus tells us that He came to serve, not to be served. Jesus is setting up a change for mankind’s thought process: instead of thinking about yourself, think about what you can do for others. This is what will define the faith that we confess.

On Sunday, during our Upper Room service, we are going to discuss what it means to be a servant. What does this look like in our lives? Join us on Sunday as we remember, through Communion, the sacrifice of Christ for our sins.

Further Reading: Philippians 2:1-11

Here I am

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am.’ He replied” – Genesis 22:1
“Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’” – Genesis 31:11

“And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, ‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’” – Genesis 46:2

“When the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said ‘Here I am.’” – Exodus 3:4

“Then the LORD called to Samuel, and he said, ‘Here I am!’” – 1 Samuel 3:4
In all of these passages, God is calling people to do something for Him. It may seem like something small or something great or something crazy, but they all had the same answer. In Genesis 11, God gives Abraham a crazy and impossible task: to sacrifice his one and only son. Abraham follows Gods instructions but God stops him just in the nick of time and provides the animal sacrifice. In Genesis 31, Jacob is called to return to his homeland from which he had fled after taking Esau’s birthright and blessing. Once again in Genesis 46, God calls Jacob to move his family again, this time down to Egypt (where his son Joseph) will provide and care for the family during the famine. In Exodus 3, God now calls out to Moses from the burning bush to give instructions about freeing His people from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. And finally there is the call on Samuel the prophet in 1 Samuel 3. After some confusion Samuel finally answers God and says, “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” Samuel will be God’s messenger.

There are really two parts to this. The first is, what is God calling us to? That is a very tough question to answer, and I wish I had the answer for everyone, but I don’t. I do know that God has called me to be a husband to Kristi, a father to Ava and Kenzie, a Youth Leader to the teenagers at Faith, a teacher/leader at Faith, and a witness for Him. The Great Commission does give us all some sense of what God wants from us, to be His witnesses, and the Greatest Commandment also gives some insight as it tells us to love God and others. But practically, its different for everyone; maybe it’s a calling to the mission field, to a specific job, to marriage, to being single. Everything in our calling is focused on God and Christ: I am a husband for Christ, a father for Christ, and a leader within the church for Christ.

The second part is how we answer the calling, will we trust God.  All the people in the passage responded, “Here I am.” But not everyone in Scripture responded in the same way; Adam and Eve hid in the garden when God called out to them and Jonah ran away from the calling God gave to him. None of the people in the passages knew what God would say, they had to trust God without knowing what He was going to tell them. Do we accept God’s calling for our lives, and trust that God knows what He is doing, even when it doesn’t make sense to us? Some of the paths where I have felt God’s leading haven’t always made sense, but I followed God’s call and saw great blessings because of it. Don’t be afraid to answer God with, “Here I am,” and see what He has in store for your life.


“Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” – 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

“Therefore rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:1-3
Life is all about growing up. Babies start on formula or their mother’s milk, but they soon grow and start eating real meals. Babies also eventually start to crawl and soon after that walk. They grow up. This might be hard to believe but when I was younger I was very immature. When I was a kid, I acted like a kid, I was a hot head and got angry quickly. I can remember one time while I was playing in a basketball game at Perry Hall Middle School I got very angry. I fouled out, and of course I did not agree with the call. I took the basketball and threw it across the gym, and then went to the bench and proceeded to take off my shoes and throw them as well; Dennis Rodman would have been proud of me. Thankfully, I grew up and I changed my ways.

In these passages, Peter and Paul are calling out those who are spiritually immature, people who have come to faith in Christ but have not grown at all in their spiritual lives. As new believers, Paul and Peter gave them the milk they needed to grow in the Lord. However, now those believers should be learning the deeper things of God. Paul looks at their lives and calls them worldly, they are living like those outside the church. There is no evidence of living a Godly life. Peter even calls them hypocrites. They are in fellowship within the church, but outside the church. Where is their faith?

The challenge is clear. Are we growing in our faith? Are our lives being conformed by the Word of God to look more and more like Christ? Here are some questions that have helped me change my life to look more like Christ:

1. What is your thought life like? (Romans 12:1 “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be renewed by the transforming of your mind”)
2. What is your behavior and attitude like? (Gal. 5)
3. How are you spending your time? (Eph. 5)
4. What do your social media posts say about your faith? (Ps 119:172)
5. What is the effect of the company you keep on your life? (Proverbs 13:20 “Walk with the wise and become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm”)
6. What do your ambitions reveal? (Matt. 6)
7. When was the last time you opened the Word? (Ps. 119:9-11 “how does a young man….)
8. How often are you repenting? (Where we sin, we must have repentance! Where we have no repentance…sin takes root.)

We need to grow up in our faith and it starts by reading His Word, attending church and being in fellowship with other believers.

The Wind and Waves

That day when evening came, He said to His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Him along, just as He was, in the boat. There were also other boats with Him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey Him!”—Mark 4:35-41
Early Thursday morning everybody in our house was at one point awakened by the strong gust of winds that were coming through our area. The winds would blow across the windows and scare Ava and Kenzie, carrying a lot of strength behind them. I saw pictures on the news of trees blown over and all the damage caused by the storm. Our shed was even partly blown off its wooden platform. Lying in bed and hearing the strong winds outside made me immediately think about the experience of Jesus and His Disciples on their boat in the middle of a storm.

They are crossing the Sea of Galilee and a storm comes upon them, and much like Ava and Kenzie, the Disciples are scared. They are actually even afraid for their lives as they see water coming into the boat. They go to Jesus and find Him sleeping through the storm, and they question Him and wonder if He even cares about them. Jesus gets up and performs an amazing miracle; He speaks, “Quiet! Be still!” and the winds and waves calm immediately! Christ shows His amazing power over creation: He speaks and the wind and waves obey Him. The Disciples were terrified of and amazed at what they saw that night.

The Disciples wondered if Jesus cared about them; they were facing a terrible storm and Jesus was asleep. Jesus questioned their faith, asking, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” We also face troubles and “storms” in this life. Are we afraid that Jesus doesn’t care about us? Or will we in faith trust that the God who controls the winds and the waves is also in control of our lives? Our faith gives us hope that we can face whatever troubles this world brings to our lives, because our faith and trust is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.