Priorities, Faith, and Believing  

Journey, New Year, Isaiah, Corner, New Chapter, Beginning, Dayton, Church of God, Pennsylvania, Sermon Series

Listen here:

Please note that sermon notes are meant to act as a guide and may not be exactly what was preached.

Further reading and Digging Deeper Questions are found at the end of the post.

John 20:24-31

Just a quick review: Mary was the first sent after the resurrection. God wasn’t then, and is still not, concerned whether you are a man or a woman. God always looks at the willingness of the heart first!

God is a rewarder of those who will earnestly  seek Him… How – Knowledge

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. – Hebrews 11:6 BSB

Whether you are a man or woman has nothing to do with it, your background has nothing to do with it, your upbringing has nothing to do with it, your job, your heritage, your circumstances, or even the mess you’ve made with your life, have nothing to do with it. But priorities, faith,  and believing have everything to do with it!

Priorities: Thomas’s were not where they should have been, pessimistic (see chap 11). He was off by himself when Jesus returned to the disciples the first time and when told of the resurrection he expressed his doubt. Thomas’s first priority was to see for himself that Jesus was alive. How often do we hear that “If God were real there would be evidence of his existence and until I see that…”?

The Rich young ruler’s priorities were off as well. He was more concerned over the physical than the spiritual, more concerned for himself than in following Christ.

Martha and Mary… we must understand what must come first. God, spouse, family and then everything else. Your priorities show where and what your faith is truly in.

Faith:  is something in which we either grow or diminish, progress or regress with each day thru our ups and downs, victories and setbacks, triumphs and failures.

Your faith, our faith, is only as good as what we put it in! Think chair…

All too often we do not take faith seriously or we are not sure how to apply it… We are called to Love the Lord our God – Jesus said in Mark 12:30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The whole person is involved in putting faith in Him: your mind, your emotions, your strength of will. And your faith is to be seen in all that you do and say and where your priorities lie. And that is not just on Sundays or while the pastor or some of your church friends are around…

You are a witness of God’s love and salvation as you live out your faith, day by day, hour by hour,  minute by minute. Your faith is an aspect and a witness of your relationship with God , your walk with Jesus, and the influence of the Spirit on your life.  

Your faith will never be mature and perfect until you’ve learned to step out and act on the knowledge you have. As Jesus said, “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God …” (John 7:17). Among other things, this means pressing forward in spite of your feelings –getting past your fears and anxieties and doing what needs to be done even when your emotions, your feelings,  are screaming at you to cut and run.

My faith is not blind faith, I am not a crowd follower, I believe because of the over whelming evidence that is presented to me in His word and by His creation! God has made it plain and for all to see, the sun rises and sets at it’s appointed times, we set the atomic clock by the movement of His Stars, lives are changed, people are healed, prayer is answered! People that refuse to believe do so by choice.  ROMANS  The engine is “fact/knowledge.” The coal car is “faith.” The caboose is “feelings/emotions.”

Believing  is living out what you know of God’s will for your life. It is seeking a deeper relationship with Him through His word and in His Church. It is being a part of the Body of Christ, involved in what God is doing, with and in that body!

It is also loving as God loved us… laying down our lives for others who may or may not know Him or His love, mercy, and forgiveness.

If “they” do not see your faith outside the church building why would they place their faith in Your God? If they don’t see the love you have for others why would they think that you or your God could love them? Or forgive or accept? Your “believing” is the witness of those things!

(Love God and others) “There is no separation between the spiritual and the social. The way we feel about people is the way we feel about God, and the way we treat people is the way we treat God…I love puppies. I don’t like jerks. But jerks are still made in the image of God. Lassie isn’t.” – Next Door as it is in Heaven

The days of “It does not matter what I do or say” are gone!  I am no longer the person I was before Christ! I have been blessed with the grace I need today! In Christ I can overcome_____________ because He overcame death! Are you a witness of His death and resurrection because of your believing?!?     “I walk by faith and not by sight. I place my trust in God”??!

Digging Deeper:

  • How do you demonstrate to the world and your neighbor that you  truly love God and want to put Him and His Word first in your life?
  • If you were judged by where you invest your time and money, how would that look?
  • What do you truly put your faith in? Is it God or what you can see in this world? For example: job, money, family etc.?  Which comes first and how?
  • Are you a “believer”  seeking the Lord and walking by faith? A follower of Christ who is fulfilling the call of God on your life? (think Great Commandment/Great Commission)

Further Reading:  

 

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