Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Preparing for Easter ~ Mark of Faith


[God...made a lasting mark through the sacrifice of Jesus. Hebrews 13:20 MSG
During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore the visible evidence that identifies us as faithful followers of Jesus. Can others see Jesus in our lives? ~ Donna Oswalt]

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. . . Hebrews 11

Please take time to read this great chapter of faith ~ Hebrews 11. Here you find the summaries of the heroes of faith, those who listen by faith, lead by faith, and live by faith. They are not without flaws; yet each hopes for an unseen assurance from God, trusts in the Faithful Father. Faith can be an act of believing, or faith can be discovered through experience. Sometimes faith is weak, but it can also be strengthened by the very trials that expose its fragility. Doubt can destroy faith while hope can renew faith. Our faithfulness to God will be fickle if we look to the world for applause. The truth that comes with risking obedience to God brings sweet assurance that God is faithful always, even when we abandon Him. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:9 that faith comes as a gift from the Holy Spirit.

We live in a world that expects evidence and proof about everything. Hope demands a different standard, one of possibility, one of trusting in something bigger than we are. Ephesians3:17-19 reminds Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . . that you may be filled with the fullness of God. And how will others know you have this mark of faith? The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22). We must be the evidence that testifies to Hope; we must bear the mark of faith in a dark and faithless world. 
  • How do the stories of the faithful in Hebrews 11 encourage us?
  •  When persecution of the faithful occurs in my circle of influence, do I wear the mark of faith?

Jesus, You are the Author and Perfector of faith! Grant me strength when I am weak, hope when I fail, truth when I doubt. Grow my faith through all circumstances. Let my soul be filled with the fullness of God. ~ dho

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Copyright 2013 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author
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“May you be blessed by the Lord Who loves you best!”