The Study of Faith

Bible studies and connecting with other believers
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Emerald
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The Study of Faith

Postby Emerald » 14am31America/New_York()

Faith

Abraham had faith enough to leave his home land in search for the promised land. Genesis 12

Moses had faith enough to go up against Pharoah and lead Israel out of Egypt Genesis 3:11 - 15

I cant even count the number of times Moses' faith is shown throughout the scriptures....Ex 4:20, Ex 6:30, 7:20, 8:20, 9:1, 9:13, 10:1, and all through the first five books of the Bible

Joshua had the faith to cross the Jordon River as God commanded Deut 1:5 - 18
Gideon had faith enough to go up against the Midianites with only 300 men, as God commanded him to. Judges 6:7 - 7:25

The Bible is full of examples of people having complete and total faith that God was God, He knows all, He does everything for good, His love is never failing and His grace is never ending.

In all the great faiths shown, all were met with reservation. Every single person God called on responded with basically "What? Are you kidding? How?" attitudes. Our doubt that God has things under control goes back to the beginning of time and yet, God still forgives us, and He knows we are going to doubt.

But in the end, we MUST have faith that when life throws a curve ball (cancer, job, divorce, etc) God has it under control and His plan is always the best!

Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him : for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Joshua 23:8 "But you shall hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day."

We MUST resolve to hold on to Him no matter the circumstances. Our devotion must be stronger than our fear of the unknown.

He has proven over and over to me that when a trial is over, I am in a better place. I can breathe and say "everything happened just as it was suppose to happen, and PRAISE God for it!"
"I don't care if my glass is half full or half empty, I am just thankful to have a glass!"
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby Emerald » 14am31America/New_York()

So I have been pondering this topic of "faith" a lot and God has led me back to David. I feel like He is leading me to re-study David's entire life and his impact is still felt today.

And we all know the story of "David and Goliath" but there are several aspects of the story that are either over looked, under stated, or forgotten. As always, I can read the scriptures and God ALWAYS reveals something new to me each time. That is one of the many reasons I never tire of reading His word!

So I started back to the time when David first is mentioned in the bible: 1 Samuel 15 is where the story begins. God has called Samuel to go an annoint a new king for Israel. Saul has turned his heart away from God, gotten all caught up in the world and not his Savior. God didn't take to kindly to this either, so God turned away from Saul.

In summary, God had annointed Saul as king over Israel, instructed Saul to attack and kill the Amalekites. He was to kill "man and woman, infant, nursing child, ox, sheep, camel, and donkey". (1 Sam 15) But Saul spared Agag and kept the best sheep, oxen, lambs, and everything else he thought was good. He got greedy and ignored God to fulfill his own desires.

Anyway, God sends Samuel to Jesse, David's dad, where God reveals David to Samuel as Israel's next king.

I had forgotten that David played the harp. It was this talent that God used to bring Saul and David together. Remember that David was the youngest of Jesse's sons, he is a shepard, and by all accounts, appears to be a fairly reserved young lad.

The story of David, the harp and Saul is beautiful and I hope you will take a moment to read it. It is very short: 1 Samuel 16: 14 - 23

For me, the thing that "stuck out" the most in this story was just how miserable Saul was when he no longer served God. I think Saul realized why he was so miserable, but he didn't get it that he needed to turn back to God. He looked to David to make him feel better. Perhaps he didnt have the faith that God would forgive him if he repented?

Boy, how things still havent changed! Instead of looking to God, we too look to things or people to make us feel better!

This story will continue......................
"I don't care if my glass is half full or half empty, I am just thankful to have a glass!"
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby Emerald » 15am31America/New_York()

So I am driving to work this morning and I had this overwhelming desire to listen to my cd of the group "Casting Crowns" they are such an incredible christian group. Anyway the first song that I heard was "Praise You In This Storm". It was my "theme" song last year after dx and during tx's. I made a promise to my fellow choir members that no matter what I was feeling or how tx were affecting my looks, I would continue to look to Heaven and give praises.

The words in the song are:

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

Chorus:
And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

Chorus

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth


So I began to lift my hands and cry and continue to praise. I am so incredibly humbled by His mercy and grace that it is so overwhelming. I cry as I type this, not from saddeness, but from humbleness that my God loves me enough to save me! I had church right all the way to work! His word says "where two or more are gathered in My name, there I will be there also." Well I had Camille with me....my pomeranian....LOL and I KNOW she loves God! So Me and Cami had church!

:blush: :smug: :blink:

The last section of the song comes from Psalms 121

"I will lift my eyes to the hills---from where comes my help?
My help comes from the LORD, Who made Heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Before He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your coming out and your coming in, from this time forth, and even forevermore."


What comforting and beautiful words from David. This is a psalm of trust, affirmation that help is from God. A God who does not sleep. A praise to God who protects His people. Day or night, God is always "on duty", even while WE sleep. On going protection in this life and our life ever after.
"I don't care if my glass is half full or half empty, I am just thankful to have a glass!"
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby Emerald » 17am31America/New_York()

David & Goliath

The Philistines were gathering for war against Israel. Goliath comes onto the scene and declares that if one man could kill him, then the Philistines would surrender and be their servants. Goliath was 9 feet, 9 inches tall.

Goliath taunts Israel for 40 days (40 represents a time of trials/tribulation). Meanwhile David's brothers were with the army and David was tending to the sheep. Jesse sends David w/ food to check on his brothers. David finds Israel in battle with the Philistines, but when Goliath would approach, Israel would retreat (a.k.a. run away chickens). David is perplexed by this. Why would God's army retreat? The men tell David of Goliath's "proposal" (threat) and about the reward Saul has offered to the man who could kill Goliath-(no more taxes and his daughter for marriage).

David chastises the men for retreating like little chickens reminding them that with God, there IS no fear.

So David tells Saul he will fight Goliath. Well David is kinda small......David is very small and Saul points this fact out, so to speak......David defends his size by telling of how he single handedly fought and killed lion and bear if so needed to protect the sheep. But then David says to Saul ("The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." (17: 37)

So, Saul suits David up in his own armor, but again, David is so small that the armor swallows him up! He cant walk in it. Now I get a visual here of little David and everyone snickering when they cant even see Davids eyes in the helmet.

David still isn't afraid, he just takes off the armor. He knew he had the armor of God as his shield. David takes 5 stones and the number 5 in the bible represents God's grace. It only took 1 stone and 1 single shot to bring down the giant. The number 1 represents unity, and David certainly had unity with God!

David chastises Goliath: "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and take your head from you."

David is confident, no fear, no doubt. I don't think he hesitated, was nervous, or "hoped" he was right. I believe that David was just as confident that he would defeat Goliath as we are that we will eat every day, or brush our teeth, etc. What I would give to have that same confidence sometimes!

I have actually been practicing this. The other night, when Mark was out of town, something woke me up in the middle of the night. I kept hearing "noises". You know, the kind of noises one NEVER hears when their husband is home......Our alarm was on but my mind starting thinking "maybe they cut the phone wires..." Then all of a saddened I thought "Wait a minute!!!!! What am I afraid of? I have prayed for God to drape His veil of protection over me and my family! He will absolutely honor that prayer and NO EVIL can penetrate His veil!" So I smiled rather smugly and drifted back off to sleep with a grin on my face.

Now I gotta do this same thought process with my business, and cancer, and anything else I tend to fear or worry about.
"I don't care if my glass is half full or half empty, I am just thankful to have a glass!"
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby GingerSnap » 17am31America/New_York()

Regarding men of faith, one has to remember that their faith is not the same as credulity. Their faith was not just something "out of left field" but something that was built upon. Faith is something that grows and should not be left to stagnate. In order for that to happen, it has to be "watered" and "fertilized" ... one needs to pluck the weeds out sometimes, too, if something erroneous crops up (ie we don't want to mix pagan philosophy in with truth).

David came from a spiritual family. One who surely taught him to live God's Laws in faithfulness and to be obediant to the Law. Progressive preparation was in motion because the account states that David, prior to Goliath, slew a lion, and a bear. His appointment with Goliath was preceded by such smaller victories in his walk with God.

David also did not flaunt anything in front of others...he did not tout his ability but said he came in the name of the LORD. David was so rooted and grounded in God that he had absolute confidence that he would slay Goliath. He knew that God would provide the victory so that “all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”

He was not doing this for his victory but that God's name could be sanctified over all the earth .. that God's power was greater than any man or army!
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby Emerald » 17pm31America/New_York()

Ginger, thanks for pointing out how David had to kill the lion and bear before he could kill Goliath. See, I missed that part too!!!

You are absolutely right God was training him up the whole time and David was absolutely intent on glorifying God rather than himself.

Good stuff!
"I don't care if my glass is half full or half empty, I am just thankful to have a glass!"
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby GingerSnap » 01pm31America/New_York()

There was Moses, the great lawgiver who received the Ten Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. There was Joshua, the powerful military leader who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. There was David, who was the greatest king Israel had ever known. Elijah was one of the great prophets. Peter and Paul were mightily used of God.

Yet all of these looked to Abraham as a man of faith.

So what lessons can we learn from this man who was called God's friend? When we are first introduced to Abraham, God has told him, "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you" (Genesis 12:1).

Abraham was raised in a pagan culture that believed in many gods. God knew that for Abraham to stay in his country with his family would be detrimental to his spiritual growth. In fact, his family and friends would not help, but hinder, him.

Jesus said to the man who wanted to delay following Him because of his family, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62). In the same way, God was essentially saying to Abraham, "You have to make a clean break. You have to leave now if you are going to move forward spiritually."

The timing of Abraham's call by God was significant. It occurred shortly after the destruction of Babylon and the dispersion of the nations. Humanity had done its best, and God brought its plans for the future to nothing.

Yet God's plan for Abraham was, "I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing" (Genesis 12:2).
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby GingerSnap » 11pm31America/New_York()

The Bible says, "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). The word "filled" used here carries multiple meanings, one of which is wind filling a sail. So to be filled with the Spirit means being carried along by, and under the control of, Jesus Christ. The word "filled" in this verse also speaks of something that is continuous. So effectively, this verse is saying, "Be filled over and over and over and over again with the Holy Spirit."

Another way the word "filled" could be translated is "to permeate," the way salt was packed into meat to preserve it. So to "be filled with the Holy Spirit," means that we need to let the Holy Spirit permeate our lives and everything we do. Let the Holy Spirit permeate your prayer life, your worship life, your business, your marriage, and the way you treat others.

So a good habit to develop is to get up in the morning and say, "Lord, fill me with the Spirit today. Help me to be permeated by the Spirit. Help me to be led by the Spirit. Help me to obey what the Spirit leads me to do."

----------------------------
One of the best books I have ever purchased is by Wm H Barclay, actually, all of his books. That and a Vine's Expository Dictionary. When I read the Bible, I will tend to look up a word in the Vine's then the verse in one Barclay's books. Really helps you get a sound meaning for the scripture or scriptures you are reading!!!
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby NoBamaMama » 29pm30America/New_York()

Emerald....I'll Praise You in This Storm, was my Cancer Fight Song!

From the beginning of this battle...(.dx was July 27, 2012) I asked my church family to pray that I would be a blessing to others, and that I would always glorify The Lord.

I may have let God down a few times (probably, many times) but He never ever let me down!

Blessings
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby NoBamaMama » 03am31America/New_York()

Remember in the Book of John chapter 21...Jesus had all ready been resurrected when he saw several of the disciples in their boat and he asked them if they had caught any fish. They had been fishing all night long and caught nothing!

Jesus told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat, and when they did, they caught "153 large fish).

We know God doesn't do anything without purpose, and nothing in his Word is there by happenstance. So why does it make a point of saying "153 fish?"

Every Hebrew letter also has a number. In Hebrew 153 translates, " Ani Elohim."

I AM The Lord Your God!!!!
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby NoBamaMama » 29pm31America/New_York()

Blemishes -
Poor diet and bacteria are a couple causes of blemishes. Some of the most painful blemishes are those that are festering under the skin, not on the surface.

We must learn to recognize our spiritual blemishes - those irritants that seem to get under our skin and cause hard, painful and annoying spots.
A proper diet of The Word and separation from toxins should prove to be very helpful!
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Re: The Study of Faith

Postby Mimi2 » 29pm31America/New_York()

Great analogy, Nomama.
Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV) "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left".

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