Pastor's Message

"Faith Comes First!"

 

     Faith is essential to succeeding in this life as much as it is essential to our quest for eternal life. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must first believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." When we do not exercise faith in God's word, we further remove ourselves from any possibility of pleasing God, and when we stop pleasing God, we become more susceptible to failure and losing the peace that only He can give! God is able to give us peace in the midst of confusion and joy in the midst of sorrow.

     In times of crisis and great tribulations our faith gets sorely tested. It gets tested through making us disbelieve that we can do the will of God in the face of all that is going on around us. In Mark 4:36-41, we know that Jesus's disciples were in extreme terror and fear for their lives while Jesus slept down in the bottom of the ship as the storm was raging. When they went down to the bottom of the ship, they asked Jesus, "carest thou not that we perish?" How can you lie there asleep, awake! Then Jesus said in Matthew 8:26, "Oh ye of little faith." Then Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the sea by saying, "Peace be still." Then the wind ceased and the storm stopped raging.

     Someone must speak the word of God with authority and power to help increase our faith when our faith is low. The scriptures tell us in Romans 10:17, "so then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." We have to know that God has both an order and a plan for our lives. If we submit and subject ourselves to God's
plan for our lives no matter how difficult or rough the assignment, then we too will succeed and please Him. Just as Daddy Grace and Daddy McCollough proved it as modern-day heroes of faith, Daddy Madison is proving it and encouraging each of us to become heroes and heroines of faith for others by demonstrating full assurance that there is nothing too hard for the Lord! The Apostle Paul said in Romans 4:19-20:

And being not weak in faith, he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, … He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he [God] had promised, he was able also to perform.

     There are also wonderful byproducts of faith not the least of which is set forth in Romans 5:1-2, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." So faith gives us that peace and access into the richness of God's Grace!

     The point of this message is that faith has to be a part of our everyday existence. In Luke 18:8, Jesus asked the question that when he returned, "would he find any faith upon the earth?" Even as Jesus prayed for his disciples, I pray for the members of Atlanta's congregation that our faith will not fail us in this perilous time of war and economic downturns. Our faith must move us to take action knowing that God has given us both a purpose and a work to do that is to his glory, honor and praise. We walk by faith because we love God. Why do we love God so much? It is because He first loved us!

 

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