DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Christian Living
 

The simplest way to get someone to believe is to expose them to the message of Christ. When they hear it, they are amazed. When they live it out, they see it is true. When they see others with faith, they are inspired to believe.

1. Read the Bible and You Will Believe.

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

We get faith when we hear the message of Christ.

John 20:24-31
24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
28 Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
29 Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.


Thomas wanted proof. Jesus had him touch his hands and feet and probe the wound in his side. Though we cannot do this, the miracles written in the Scriptures are recorded so that we may believe and follow Jesus!

Luke 24:13-32
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.
14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.
15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;
16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast.
18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
19 "What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;
21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning
23 but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.
24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."
25 He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.
29 But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"


They had hoped Jesus was special. But his death disappointed them. He rebuked them for not believing prophecy. They noted that their hearts had been burning within them (v.32) while he opened the Scriptures to them. In the same way, our faith grows when someone studies the Bible with us!

2. Choose to Obey and You Will Believe.

John 7:16-17
16 Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.
17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.


If we choose to do God's will, we will know whether or not the Bible is from God.

John 8:31-32
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


If we hold to the teachings then we will know the truth and be set free from sin.

Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Some doubted. Jesus solution was to give them the great commission! He got them sharing their faith, and so their faith was strengthened. Try it-you will like it!

3. Fellowship With Believers and You Will Believe.

Philemon 6
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.

When we are active in talking about our faith with others (non-believers, and in fellowship with other believers), we get a full understanding of our blessings in Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.
3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.


Paul did not need a letter of recommendation; the Christians at Corinth were living testimony to the power of his ministry and message.

John 13:34-35
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."


Our love shows the world that we are from Jesus.

John 17:20-23
20 "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.


Our total unity shows the world that Jesus came from God!

Acts 8:26-31
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Go south to the road--the desert road--that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza."
27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.
29 The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.


Philip asked the eunuch if he understood what he was reading; the eunuch said he needed someone to explain it!

4. Pray and You Will Believe.

Acts 10:30-31
30 Cornelius answered: "Four days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me
31 and said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.


God heard Cornelius prayers and sent an angel!

1 Kings 8:41-43
41 "As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name--
42 for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm--when he comes and prays toward this temple,
43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.


Solomon asked God to answer even the foreigners' prayers, to give them faith in God.