Transforming Sunday Religion into Immovable Faith

“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” That was the haunting question Jesus asked his disciples in Luke 18:8 NIV. It’s a question that makes us squirm a bit. But it shows exactly what Jesus is looking for in us, his people. He will NOT be searching our lives for status, fame, money, perfection, popularity, a great marriage or well-behaved kids. No, the question is, will Jesus find evidence of faith in you and I. The answer lies in whether we allow our belief to be transformed into immovable faith.

I’ve been trying to come up with a tag line for my blog, something that really stands for the banner I want to wave. And I think I finally have it thanks to Jesus’ question. A FRUITFUL WOMAN — Living Fruitfully by Swapping Sunday Belief for Immovable Faith.

Are we, God’s children, a people of only Sunday morning belief or a people of moment by moment faith?  I ask this of myself as much as I wish you to seek your own answer. The reason? Because faith is what Jesus desires of us. Faith is what makes belief in Christ come alive. It switched my heart from a life of stressed out striving to a life of excited joy in Jesus.

Faith in Jesus doesn’t always change our circumstances, but it changes everything about how we live in our circumstances. – afruitfulwoman.com

What is faith?

Faith in Jesus doesn’t always change our circumstances, but it changes everything about how we live in our circumstances. So we need to ask ourselves what we think faith really is. To me, faith is living like what we believe about Jesus, through truth in the scriptures, is actually TRUE every moment of our day.

*Faith is waking up identifying that we are loved children of The Living God, not some project God has to repair.

*It’sClinging to the fact that Jesus laid down his everything for you and I individually, not thinking grace is for everyone but ourselves

*Faith is about believing that our prayers go straight to the ear of our Father instead of into the abyss of nothingness.

* And it’s knowing in our bones that we are not alone in the struggle, that the Holy Spirit is not some weird myth but a living and active member of the Triune God. Trusting him as our helper sent so we don’t have to walk this world alone post Christ’s resurrection. And following as we feel God’s Spirit as us to wait, stay, go, trust, be silent, speak up, or stand firm.

How do we strengthen our faith?

When we write our beliefs on our hearts through time spent with Jesus reading his word in our Bibles and in prayer, we put our feet on solid ground for the day. With God’s word on our hearts and his presence near in prayer, we can more easily see light through the darkness and therefore love our people more like Jesus and less like ourselves.

When asked what the greatest commandment to keep was, “Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

Loving God with everything you’ve got is more than a Sunday coffee date. It is an everyday affair that sustains our souls when the world around is trying to break off pieces. – afruitfulwoman.com

Loving God with everything you’ve got is more than a Sunday coffee date. It is an everyday affair that sustains our souls when the world around is trying to break off pieces. And when we love Jesus with our everything, loving others becomes more of our natural default instead of our sacrifice.

Fight the Good Fight

So I rededicate this space, afruitfulwoman.com, to everyone like me who is sick of struggling for joy, peace, patience, and goodness and wants to experience these divine qualities in abundance through Christ. Let’s start living like Jesus really loves us, that the Father counts us as his own, and the Holy Spirit is ready to do battle with us in our hearts as we stand firm in FAITH.

Let’s each of us in our circles of friends, family, children, marriages, churches, schools, jobs, be light and love as we point to the grace of God. And let’s stand firm so that Jesus will find fruitful faith instead of empty religion in our hearts when He returns.

Let’s start living like Jesus really loves us, that the Father counts us as his own, and the Holy Spirit is ready to do battle with us in our hearts as we stand firm in FAITH.

– afruitfulwoman.com

5 Books that will Inspire You in 2018

 

The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer

IMG_4505

For a long time I wondered about this study and was a little scared to crack it open. But Iam so glad I did. It focuses on the last chapter of the book of Ephesians and the strength and power God has given his children to face this world and the enemy. I recommend watching the videos with it if at all possible because Priscilla’s stories are very relatable and help us digest the scripture.

 

Audacious by Beth Moore

This book is a must read for anyone who needs to feel inspired and loved by God. It will make your heart quicken and your feet want to race. It’s not as intense scripturally as her traditional studies which makes it an easier read but is still impactful. It’s so good I already loaned out my copy so I can’t take a picture for you! Go get it. You will love it.

Mountain View by Kim Penny

IMG_4508This one is a diamond in the rough. It’s a testimony of a woman’s hope and faith in God through physical and emotional turmoil. After an accident snow-tubing in the mountains, Kim’s body is broken but her God is near. This true story is a light for other everyday believers that God sees his people, hears their prayers, and shows up in their need. Read and be encouraged by this up and coming author’s words. You can read more from her at kimpenny.com.

 

Beautiful Outlaw by John EldredgeIMG_4507-2

Anyone starting in faith who wants to know Jesus, and anyone who wants to be challenged in truth to see Jesus in the light of scripture should pick this one up. It challenges readers to know Jesus heart and motives, his love and mercy alongside his intensity for God’s will. This book will make a vivid picture of Jesus in your mind and leave you more in awe of your Savior.

 

Restless by Jennie Allen

IMG_4509

This one is for women who are trying to fit all their pieces together and make sense of their calling. It patches together our hurts and our strengths with scripture and stories to give God glory. It empowers readers to live boldly in faith with the one who created them. If you are wanting more out of life, this will start a fire in your heart.

 

 

**(Ok I know I said 5 books…but this one goes without saying. #6 is your BIBLE. The chapters that have grown my faith this past year in no particular order are Matthew, John, Phillipians, Colosians, Ephesians, Galatians, 1 Peter, and James, ….They all have taught me something new in a different time of need. My best advice is to pick a chapter, read it slowly, and pray to Jesus to help you understand and teach your heart. He is our savior but also the best teacher you will ever know.)

Advent: Open Your Gift

For decades of Christmases I had an unopened gift under the tree. Santa didn’t put it there. It was placed there for me by the greatest gift giver of all. But I was scared of it, didn’t understand the packaging, and thought I needed to be in my Christmas best instead of my bedhead to open it. I couldn’t shake that it was really for someone else. So there it sat…

My Salvation.

Turns out, that was all untrue. My Father was waiting patiently for me to open it. Wondering what my face would look like when I believed it really was for me and what I would do when I found priceless freedom inside. Watching to see, would I leave it in the box? Or take it out for a ride?

But I lacked faith.

I wasn’t sure if I needed or wanted the gift God was offering. Or if there was anything in the box at all outside of Sunday mornings. So I let it sit there. I ignored it and pretended it wasn’t calling out to me. I made excuses and thought I could make my own gift with my own hands. But the glue wasn’t holding.

He let me bend just enough so I would see the gift under the tree once again and would run to it and open it because there was nothing else that would do.

I tried and tried til God let weights of this life bring my heart’s eyes down. He let me bend just enough so I would see the gift under the tree once again and would run to it and open it because there was nothing else that would do. There was nothing else that I wanted or needed.

So by prayer, reading my bible, and asking God for His Holy Spirit and His help, I had enough faith to take the gift of my Salvation– and open it.

Inside the box was a new set of heavenly clothes purchased at a high price but worth every bit in God’s eyes. I put on my new self found in Christ and looked in the mirror and I saw something unexpected — it was the me that I was supposed to be from the start. It was me plus the love and forgiveness of my God.

I learned that God is a generous and patient gift giver and His grace is truly what extends the freedom of our Salvation in Christ. No effort of prying or pulling can open God’s free gift– only faith can do that. Not just faith that Jesus conquered death on the cross for the sin of those who believe, but faith that He did it for ME (for YOU!). Faith that He came so I wouldn’t roam this earth wondering if God loved me but walk it boldly proclaiming and living out His love.

I have Faith that He came so I wouldn’t roam this earth wondering if God loved me but walk it boldly proclaiming and living out His love.

When I started running with the gift of forgiveness and mercy and love from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my feet wanted to fly. And I have faith with Jesus they will have enough strength and endurance to run my best race.

“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. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV).