DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Faith
 

This study talks about how to grow practically in your faith.

1. Walk by faith

Matthew 14:22-33
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
29 "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."


Peter walked on the water. But then he saw the wind and the waves and became afraid (v30). He took his eyes off Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the problems, and you walk by faith.

2. Don't be afriad

Mark 5:21-36
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.
22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet
23 and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him.
25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.
26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,
28 because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."
29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
31 "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'"
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"
36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."


Jairus had a problem. Then he got interrupted by the woman. Imagine how he felt. He heard his daughter was dead. It could have caused him to fear and doubt God's power. But Jesus said, "Don't be afraid. Just believe". This is what we need to do. We can do it!

3. Bring the boy to Jesus

Mark 9:14-29
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.
15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 "What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.
18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."
19 "O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?" "From childhood," he answered.
22 "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."
23 "'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead."
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."


The man's child had a big problem. No one could help. But when they brought him to Jesus, the problem was taken care of. We need to bring our problems to Jesus through prayer (v29) and not worry about them.

Also, (v22-23) the man was not sure if Jesus could really help his son. "If you can.....", he said. He was doubting. We must never doubt Jesus. We must get rid of all doubts about the existence of God. His justice, His plan of salvation, the Bible, our leaders.

4. Open your eyes

2 Kings 6:13-19
13 "Go, find out where he is," the king ordered, "so I can send men and capture him." The report came back: "He is in Dothan."
14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked.
16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, "Strike these people with blindness." So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
19 Elisha told them, "This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for." And he led them to Samaria.


The king of Aram was at war with Israel. Elisha knew where he was planning to attack, so he warned king of Israel. This enraged the king of Aram. Doom was near (v15). The servant was overwhelmed (v15).

Do you ever feel that way? Elisha challenged him to open his eyes and see God's power. In the same way, when we are feeling overwhelmed, we must open our eyes and have vision for God to do incredible things.

We need vision that God will change our lives and others' lives and that God will make us fruitful.

5. Believe in your heart

Mark 11:20-25
20 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
22 "Have faith in God," Jesus answered.
23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."


If we just believe, our prayers can move mountains.

Practical suggestions

Write down on a piece of paper, the thing you find most difficult to change in your life. Write down a challenging goal for contacts and fruitfulness. Now believe you can do it and pray daily!