Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith that Doesn’t Fear Obeying God”

Hebrews 11:23  By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

You can read about the birth of Moses in Exodus 2:1 – 3. What’s important to know about this setting is that in Exodus 1, just before the birth of Moses, the Pharaoh made a government declaration that all boys who were born to the Jews were to be immediately killed. The king created a law for the Hebrew nurses to kill all the male Hebrew children; however, the nurses decided to obey God by saving the lives of the male children rather than obeying that evil government mandate. The Bible says that because of this, God blessed the nurses and their families.

This was the political and cultural situation that the parents of baby Moses were facing when we read about their faith in Hebrews 11:23! The Egyptians and many other idolatrous nations did not value human life. The concept of valuing human life only came about when people learned to worship the God of the Hebrews, the Creator of all life.

When Amram and Jochebed, Moses’ father and mother, decided to save their son’s life by hiding him in a basket, they risked their lives and the lives of everyone in their family because they chose God’s way rather than the ways of those who did not honor God.

The decision to honor God is a decision that most people do not make; however, it was made by Moses’ parents because they had Faith that Doesn’t Fear Obeying God! Because of their faith, we are reading about them in the Bible today! What better way for God to honor those who honored Him?!

When you’re faced with having to choose between God’s way and the way of those who do not honor God, we pray you’ll choose God’s way and have Faith that Doesn’t Fear Obeying God!

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith that Expects God to Bless”

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Hebrews 11:22  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

You can read about this event in Genesis 50:24 – 26. In this setting, Joseph, the son of Jacob, was getting ready to die. At this point, the Jews were still living in Egypt, but God had made a promise to Abraham in Genesis 15 that not only would the Jews live in Egypt for a while, but also that God would bring them out of Egypt one day. This promise was made to Abraham about 215 years before the Jews ever even went into Egypt. Israel would go into Egypt in Genesis 46 and God would bring them out of Egypt in Exodus 12 (another 215 years). That’s 430 years that this promise had been passed down from generation to generation until it finally came to pass! Talk about faith!!

 Joseph knew about this promise that God had made to his great grandfather, Abraham, and Joseph made an oath with the Jews who were there to ensure that, when God brought this promise to pass, they would make sure to take Joseph’s bones with them and bury his bones in the land that God had promised them once they arrived there. He made this oath although they didn’t yet know where that promised land was. The exodus from Egypt didn’t happen for about 144 years after Joseph died…Joseph truly had Faith that Expects God to Bless! He didn’t know when or how, but he believed God to be a God who honors His promises!

While Joseph knew he wouldn’t be there to see this promise come to pass, he wanted to show forth some action of faith that indicated he still believed that it would happen, even if he would never see it himself.

God has given you and me some great and precious promises in His word; promises that He wants us to take quite literally and to start showing forth actions of faith to show that we believe those promises will come to pass!
What can you do today to show forth that you truly believe the promises of God are true and that they will take place? Is there some step of faith that God has been impressing upon your heart to take? Let’s be like Joseph and take that step of faith! Whether we see an immediate result or not, we can show God that we mean business and that we believe His promises! Let’s have Faith that Expects God to Bless!

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Launch Out into the Deep

I once saw a video of a moose in a river cooling off when a wolf came out of the woods into the water and latched onto the moose. No matter how much the moose tried to stomp on the wolf, the wolf had latched onto a spot where the moose could not stomp on it…right behind the moose’s front right leg. The moose was able to get the wolf to let go once by holding the wolf under the water until it released its vice-like grip. But, then as the moose ran, the wolf gave chase! The moose ran and ran and eventually began to run out of energy, with the wolf hot on its trail. It wasn’t until the moose ran into the deeper part of the river that the wolf had to finally back off.

This is a great illustration of how that, as long as the Christian stays in the shallow waters of living, the enemy can easily chase after them and, if the Christian is not growing stronger, the enemy can latch onto that Christian’s life in such a way that, no matter how much that Christian tries to fight him, the devil has secured a spot that the Christian cannot reach unless they change the way they do things and decide to go out into the deeper waters of living for God! Thank God the Christian has a deeper place to which they can go and find refuge and strength! That place is in the deep places of God’s strength and protection!

After calling His disciples, Jesus tells Simon Peter in Luke 5:4 …Launch out into the deep… and that’s just what I want to encourage you to do starting today…right now! LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP!

Launch Out into the Deeper Levels of Thinking

Contrary to popular belief, Christianity was never meant by God to be an autopilot lifestyle, and yet that’s the way many Christians seem to think about and therefore treat their Christian lives. The world and satan take advantage of this lack of understanding and therefore cause people in Christian churches to think and believe all kinds of things…even unbiblical things!

Everyone thinks they’re a “deep thinker” until they have to look at facts and think deeply. Then you find they will spend more time and energy defending the way they have always done things and ignoring, or flat out refusing, to hear anything different!

While it is in every person’s human nature to go along with the bare minimum status quo way of doing things, they may even defend their bare minimum level of shallow thinking. This could be in the form of such phrases as “At least I’m saved and on my way to Heaven and that’s enough for me!”. Shallow thinking brings shallow emotions, shallow actions, and shallow reactions!

Christians are not called to the shallow end of life, we are called to Launch Out into the Deep! Concerning the things of God, the great Apostle Paul puts it in 1st Corinthians 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

It is in our human nature to want the shallow and easy things of life. This is why we need to be born again and to receive the divine nature of God! Only then can we truly want to launch out into the deep! There is a deeper level of living for God that awaits all of His children who will take the time to cultivate this kind of relationship with Him!

Launch Out into the Deeper Levels of Learning

There is great protection in knowing the truth about things! Our Lord Himself tells us in John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. When you know something is true, you are protected against believing lies about it and when you know something is a lie, you are protected against believing it to be true. If you and I can get THIS, we will have unlocked a great deal of blessings and power in our lives!

There are so many people who know so much and yet understand so little and it shows in their daily lives. It shows in their attitudes, in their marriages, in their family life, in their professional lives, in their financial lives, etc. When discussing those who are educated, but are easily carried away by their lusts, the Bible says in 2nd Timothy 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I’m talking about getting so consumed with intellectual knowledge that you can speak Hebrew and Greek but completely miss what’s actually being said! These people know so much about what the Bible says, that they don’t know what the Bible is saying. (Really, they know what it says to others, but don’t seem to pick up on what it’s saying to them.)

Launch Out into the Deeper Levels of Understanding

Just because we know something, does not mean we understand it. You may know that a car cranks when you turn the key or push the button, but you don’t necessarily understand combustion engines. You may know the cell phone works when you turn it on, but you may not understand how motherboards, resistors, and RAMs work.

As God’s people, if we choose to stay in the shallow end of the pool of understanding, then we will not experience the joy of understanding the deeper things of God! There is so much more to knowing God than the children’s prayer of “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soda keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soda I can take!”. We expect that kind of prayer from a child, but not from a maturing Christian who is launching out into the deeper things of God!

For the maturing Christian, we are told in Hebrews 6:1 …let us go on unto perfection… We are also told in Hebrews 5:13-14  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  (14)  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (Meaning those who choose to Launch Out into the Deep)even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The word for “senses” is the Greek word aistheterion which means “an organ of perception”. This explains why there are so many Christians who can memorize scripture and study the Bible, all of which we should do, but still seem to not understand the very basic tenets of God’s word. This leads us into our next section.

Launch Out into the Deeper Levels of Discernment

Deeper levels of discernment can only be discovered when first built upon the foundation of deeper levels of learning and understanding (both of which we discussed earlier). In the Bible, discernment, from the Greek words diakrino and diakrisis, means to separate thoroughly; to properly discriminate; etc. Another way of saying it is: the ability to sense the differences between two or more things. These things can literally be objects, ideas, activities, actions, or people (when it comes to people, this also entails being able to accurately sense their true intentions as well).

In order to gain this ability to sense the differences between two or more things, we must first learn and understand the word of God. The reason for this is that we’re told the word of God Hebrews 4:12  …is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The more you learn and gain understanding of God’s word, the more you will receive from God a sense of the things of this life and be able to discern between what is good and evil; what is the will of God and your own will. This takes a sense of commitment that many are not willing to give. This leads us into our final section.

Launch Out into the Deeper Levels of Commitment

We’re given an illustration of the man who obeys the word of God in Luke 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (For all the women: Proverbs 14:1  Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.). Women have the power and responsibility to help build the house on a deeper foundation as well.

The man in Luke 6:48 had to DIG DEEPER than the man in Verse 49 in order for his house to stand during the time of flood and storm! It took a deeper sense of commitment and a deeper act of commitment on his part and it’ll take the same deeper sense of commitment and deeper act of commitment on our parts if our spiritual house is going to stand during the time of flood and storm! God calls us to be fully committed to the cause of Christ! Fully committed from our hearts!

Jesus just wants people to commit and be faithful and He was content even when it was just a few who were committed on a deeper level (which is how it usually was when He preached about commitment).

This deeper level of commitment is built upon the foundation of learning and understanding that launching out into the deep and committing ourselves to God is an expectation from God. If He committed His Son to us, and His Son committed His life to us, shall not we do the same for Him?

Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith that Blesses”

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Hebrews 11:21  By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

You can read about this event in Genesis 48:5 – 22. In this setting, Jacob, who had been named Israel by God, blessed his grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh was the eldest and was thought by their father Joseph to receive the greater blessing, but Jacob pronounced the greater blessing upon the youngest, Ephraim.

At first Joseph was angry about this, but his father Jacob let him know that this is what God wanted. Jacob’s life had been full of many troubles, but by this point in his life he understood how to perceive and obey the voice of God.

This gives you and me hope that, no matter what troubles we have faced in our lives (even if we were the causes of those troubles) it is still possible to move beyond that and get to a higher level in your life where God’s voice is something you learn to perceive and obey.

It may have been easy at one point to look at Jacob’s life and say, “He needs all the prayers he can get.” But, now he was the one blessing others, and that is the way it can be in our lives as well.

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith That Trusts God’s Way of Doing Things”

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Hebrews 11:17-19  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  (18)  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  (19)  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

So far we’ve learned the history of how God promised Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age, and then they had to wait several years for that promise to come to pass. Now, we see that God was calling on Abraham to give his son back to God by offering him on an altar. You can read about this account in Genesis 22:1 – 12.

As you could probably imagine, this would be extremely difficult for anyone who did not have strong faith in God, and an understanding of how God operates, as Abraham did. When Abraham obeyed the Lord, it wasn’t out of blind faith because God doesn’t call anyone to obey Him simply out of blind faith.

When Abraham obeyed God, it was from a place of intelligent faith; meaning he understood how God actually operated and he understood that this commandment was not in keeping with God’s normal way of doing things.

One thing we learn from Abraham is that after you have been in relationship with God for a while, you also learn God’s character and how God does things. Learning God’s character helps you depend upon Him and trust Him even more because you know how He really is instead how people think He is.

So, what did Abraham know about God? The Bible says he knew “…that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead…”. Another thing Abraham knew was that God did not accept human sacrifices, as the idolatrous religions of the land.

Knowing these two things, Abraham basically realized that God must be up to something if He is allowing this to take place. Abraham also knew that if he would just trust God, everything would turn out alright and he would receive a blessing for the simple act of trusting the way God was doing things!

God did not allow Abraham to go through with this sacrifice. We now know that it would serve as an illustration of how one day God would give His only begotten Son and, instead of stopping that sacrifice, God would allow the sacrifice of His only begotten Son to be carried through to completion because it was necessary to redeem the world from the penalty of their sin.

Of course, this redemption is only effective when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Have you made Jesus Christ your personal Savior from the penalty of your sin and the Lord who directs your future? Doing this takes Faith that Trusts God’s Way of Doing Things!

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith That Doesn’t Go Back”

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Hebrews 11:15-16  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  (16)  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Up to now we know that Abraham left his original home, Ur of the Chaldees, to go to a land that God had promised him; the land of modern-day Israel and much of the land around it. Abraham was in the business of obeying God because he had been in relationship with God long enough to know how God operated.

Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob were now in the wilderness, and since God had not turned away from them, Abraham wasn’t about to turn away from God! Paul, the author of Hebrews, is bringing out that Abraham didn’t even consider taking his family and going back to his old life because God had been too good to him!

Other than the grace and power of God that was keeping Abraham from going back to his old life, Abraham had one more factor…he had a made up mind! He made up in his mind that he would trust God and not even consider going back to where and what he used to be!

This illustrates to us how that, when God brings us out of our old life of sin, by salvation through the blood of Jesus, we don’t have to go back to what we used to be, and that is good news!

There will be many opportunities for us to go back to what we used to be, but let us have the kind of faith Abraham had…Faith That Doesn’t Go Back!

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith That is Persuaded”

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Hebrews 11:13-14  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  (14)  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

In our last video, we talked about how Sarah considered God to be a God of His promises. In her case, she saw the promise come to pass. In this video, we will talk about how all those mentioned thus far were also convinced of God being a God of His promises, and yet they didn’t see the promises come to pass.

What promises are we talking about? Promises such as the land God promised to Abraham (the Promise Land) modern-day Israel and much of the land around it, the promise of the Messiah, the promise of eternal redemption from the penalty of sin, the promise of an eternal kingdom, the promise of an eternal city that is built and governed by God!

They didn’t need a contract to be signed by God and they didn’t need to have a sign shown to them, they were fully persuaded of God’s promises to be good because they knew that God, the Promise Maker, was good and the fact that He made the promises was good enough for them!

Are you persuaded that the promises of God’s word can be completely depended upon simply because it is God who gave those promises? Such promises as Philippians 1:6  he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: and where it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 God is faithful, who will not suffer (allow) you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

All these promises are true when you are walking with the Lord and in the power of His might! The saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 knew this and God wants you and me to know it as well, so that we may also have Faith That is Persuaded!

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith that Waits on the Answer”

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Hebrews 11:11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

In our last Five Minute Faith episode, we talked about Faith that Doesn’t Need All the Answers. In this episode, we’ll talk about Faith that Waits on the Answer.

If you don’t know who Sarah was, she was the wife of Abraham, the patriarch of Israel, and she was mother to Isaac, who was the promised child of God to Abraham and Sarah in their old age but also the heir of Abraham’s estate and Messianic promise.

For those who know the story of God promising them a son in their old age, we know that when Sarah learned of this announcement she laughed to herself in disbelief of the promise in Genesis 18, and I believe that often we think she was the only one who laughed, but Abraham also laughed at this news when it was told to him in Genesis 17.

It would be easy to hold that one event of unbelief against Sarah, but that is not how God tells the story here in Hebrews 11. He tells us Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. It matters more how God tells the story than how your past tells the story.

There was apparently a time in Sarah’s life where her faith grew and, rather than continuing in her old mindset of unbelief, she began to have faith in God; the kind of faith that learns to wait on the answer. She didn’t do this because she had some great sign shown to her, but she simply considered God to be a God of His promises!

We do not have to be defined by any one particular incident or time in our lives. Sarah, not only shows us the importance of learning to wait on God’s answer, but she also shows us what it looks like to move beyond times of unbelief and failure and to move forward into greater levels of faith.

Let’s allow Sarah’s faith in action to stir our hearts to put the same kind of faith into action in our lives…even if it’s the action of…waiting on the answer.

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith That Doesn’t Need All the Answers”

Hebrews 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  (9)  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  (10)  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

                 How many of us like to know as many answers as we can possibly know before we make a decision? I would say we ALL, to some degree, feel more comfortable when we feel like we have some answers before we make decisions, especially life-altering decisions such as starting a new job, relocating our family, deciding whether or not to invest, deciding whether or not to buy a house or to rent, etc.

                 While it is certainly wise to get as many answers as possible, it is not possible to get ALL the answers because there is probably always one more question that can be asked. For those who tend to seek “all the answers”, they tend to fall into what’s called “Analysis Paralysis”, meaning they get so bogged down with analyzing whether or not they should do something, that they never actually do that something.

                 Abraham did not allow himself to fall into this trap. But rather, when God called him to go out to where the Lord would lead him, the Bible says he “…obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went…”.

                 One thing we notice about Abraham’s life is that he knew how to make sure it was God speaking, and once he was assured of it, he didn’t keep asking for more answers; he just obeyed and had faith that God would direct his next steps. He understood that he didn’t have to know all the steps, or the outcome, but he DID have to take the next step, and so do you and I if we are to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives!

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Five Minute Faith Talks: “Faith That Moves”

Hebrews 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Many people have heard of the story of Noah and the ark. It’s often used in preaching and in many Children’s Ministry lessons. We have to remember that Noah was a real person, living a real life, in this real world, with real people, and real circumstances. What distinguishes Noah from the rest of the people around him was that Noah had real faith in God. When I say “real faith”, what I mean is he had faith that believed God enough to get moving on that which God had placed in his heart.

We’re reminded in James 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Long before these specific words were penned by the Apostle James, the prophet Noah understood this concept and that is why the Bible says he “…moved with fear…”, because he had Faith that Moves.

When you and I face this life, as Noah did, and we place our unreserved faith in Almighty God, we no longer have to live in fear, as others may, but we can confidently pursue that into which God has led us. We don’t just believe in God, but we believe Him enough to move when He says to move, because true faith is shown when it is acted upon, as it was with Noah.

As we seek God for stronger faith in this new year, let’s also ask Him to give us the heart and courage to move on that faith as well, for THIS is where we will see the blessing in our lives!

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