Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Faithfulness- IOW Tuesday & Tuesday's Together (In the Word) Combined Post
Denise from Shortybear's Place is hosting In "Other" Words Tuesday today. Please be sure to visit her and link up, sharing your own take on the quote below.

Taking the first step in anything God has called you to is an exciting time! It can be scary, but obedience to whatever God has called you to is what He wants. God has really been growing me in prayer this year. I have had to really step out on faith to pray some bold prayers and trust Him to handle some thngs that I know I cannot handle on my own. He has been so faithful to give me the wisdom to deal with what I must and to take from me what He knows I can't handle. He has helped me establish boundaries with an emotional abuser in my life that I have never been able to stand up to before. He sent a great friend to aid me with this and by her encouragement and faith in God, I have grown stronger.

I think of all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11. From the formation of the universe to the persecution of martyrs in the New Testament, we read time and time again how much began with one step on faith. How these truths inspire me!

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I wanted to combine my TUESDAYS TOGETHER (in the WORD) post with this In "Other" Words Tuesday post because both related so well to each other. Truly, they are intertwined.

I have really enjoyed reading through the NT, Psalms and Proverbs.

This week I wanted to share one thing that stuck out to me as I read.

In Luke 18, Jesus shared a story, or parable, to show us to pray and never give up.

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' " And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"" ~ Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)

A story of faith is shared in praying. This widow, when she first asked, probably didn't know that her request for justice against her adversary would be granted, yet she kept asking and asking and finally the judge said, "...beacause this widow keeps bothering me..."

The Greek word for bother here is a combination of parechō and kopos.

Parechō means:

1) to reach forth, offer

2) to show, afford, supply
3) to be the authors of, or to cause one to have
a) to give, bring, cause one something either favourable or unfavourable, to occasion
4) to offer, show or present one's self
5) to exhibit or offer on one's own part
a) to render or afford from one's own resources or by one's own power

Kopos means:

1) a beating
2) a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow
3) labour
a) trouble
1) to cause one trouble, make work for him
b) intense labour united with trouble and toil

I am reminded in this verse to always reach forth and offer my prayers to God, bringing my case before Him and presenting my whole motives to Him. No matter what my griefs or sorrows are, I can always have faith that intense prayer, united with trouble and toil (a sacrifice of prayer, if you will), is always fruitful.

Jesus asked in vs. 8,
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"

Look at the definition of faith here. The Greek word for faith, pistis, means:

1) conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
a) relating to God
1) the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ
b) relating to Christ
1) a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God
c) the religious beliefs of Christians
d) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same
2) fidelity, faithfulness
a) the character of one who can be relied on

Let's strive to be FAITHFUL women, in our prayers, character, and words!

F - Fear God and serve Him faithfully. "But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." ~ 1 Samuel 12:24 (NIV)

A - Accept that sometimes you can't see what God has in store for you ahead. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~ Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

I - Ignore the temptations of Satan to be weak. "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." ~ James 4:7 (NIV)

T - Trust God to guide you through trials and temptations. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~ James 1:2-4 (NIV)

H - Hold firmly to your faith. "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess." ~ Hebrews 4:14 (NIV)

F - Find freedom in faith to approach God in prayer. "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)

U - Understand your faith is something that should never stop growing. "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." 2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)

L - Live your faith out loud as an example to others. "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." ~ 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Click the button below for more In "Other" Words Tuesday posts.


Tuesdays Together (in the WORD), is hosted DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy...



Denise said...

Such lovely thoughts dear, love you.

LAURIE said...

Great post. The first step of faith is TAKING a step. -Blessings, Laurie

Melanie said...

"Accept that sometimes you can't see what God has in store for you ahead.." For me, this is the hardest part of stepping out in faith. However, with time spent in prayer and truly turning it over to Him, it does get easier and easier.

Thanks for a great post on faith this morning, Laurie Ann!

He And Me + 3 said...

Great post. I love the last line...Live your faith out loud...I am sharing that tonight with my girls during devotions. Awesome!

Karen said...

Live your faith out loud, how true. Others need to see us walking in faith. We need to see it ourselves.

Jennifer said...

Great post, Laurie Ann...very, very powerful. I enjoy your post so much because you write in such a beautiful way...easy to understand.

Thanks for always sharing your heart!

Love you!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Great teaching, Laurie Ann. Your letter "I" is something I've been intentionally praying about and asking the Lord to help me with lately. I just read it in the message version this morning. Thank you!

Lady of Value said...

Laurie Ann, I loved this post, so inspiring! I love the acronym for faith - the "i" and the "t" are ones I need to work on!

Luke 18 seems to be speaking to a lot of us, check out Tricia's page.

Susan said...

Laurie, you are just incredable!

What can I say, I'm going to use your acrostic AGAIN. This one is GREAT.

Thanks for being such a blessing to us, you are truly a gifted teacher♥

Homesteader in Training said...

Wonderful post my friend. It's good to hear that the Lord is working you through some things and making you stand a bit stronger each time. Also it's always a blessing to have someone standing along side of you.
Hugs to you my friend.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Love this...being FAITHFUL in our prayers..."we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Yes, Yes, Yes! He is really "drilling" in that concept of the freedom we enjoy in Him , lately. Thank you, as always for a wonderful "Tuesday Together in the Word"!

Kelly G

DeeDee said...

Very good Laurie Ann! That picture and quote made me think of the book, "Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On" by Stormie Omartian.
Also, I really like the U from your acrostic. Never stop learning. Never stop increasing our Faith!
Good stuff!
Sweet Blessings,
P.S. I finally have mine posted. I think I was dealing with some WARFARE!

Tricia said...

Hey Laurie Ann
I find it so interesting the God spoke to so many of us through the same passage... I think God is wanting us to be more persistent in our prayers... and from your post yesterday... more bold! He is definitely getting my attention!

Thanks for sharing! I love how you really do dig into the Word and share with us what you have found!


Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie Ann...How wonderful of a Bible Study dig once more! May we be ready to "take the first step"!

Just like yesterday, BOLD and beautiful...filled with POWER leading me to strive to be
FAITHFUL according to scriptures:
in character, prayer,
words & deed.

Let us step and HEED!

Your wise acrostic of FAITHFUL:
Fear & serve Faithfully
Accept, Ignore, Trust, Hold, Find freedom, Understand & Live...step by step! Thank you my gifted friend & teacher!!! I love to learn from you as we sit at the feet of Jesus!

Toia said...

These are great words to live by. I love how you broke the letters down in faithful. I, alos, love how God uses others to break down the word of God in the simplest form.

Great post!!

Tami Boesiger said...

Wow, Laurie Ann, there's so much here, you've got my head spinning! Nice work.