Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trees ~ Part 5 ~ Emmanuel God is with us

During this time of year many commemorate the most momentous event in history.  ~ "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
We drive through our towns and cities and see Evergreen trees for sale. We place gifts under these trees.

Please remember the birth of our Savior; who He is and why He came into the world. 

God the son, became the babe in the manger, that He might become the man of sorrows on the cross, to die as our sinless substitute, to release us from the penalty of sin and reconcile us to God the Father, so we can receive eternal life and live abundantly. 
All of this as a gift by faith in Him.

For God so loved the world...

God has provided us with a Tree of Life through the work of His Beloved Son ~ Jesus.
With God's tree comes the eternal, imperishable and unfathomable gifts of His grace.

His gifts don't break or wear out. They are always timely, personal and exactly what we need. His gifts are the gift of love and the Holy Spirit, free and bold access to Him, the hope of glory, the gift of triumph in times of trouble, the free gift of salvation; the gift of rejoicing, the gift of peace in Him and the gift of forgiveness and reconciliation and so much more.

Seek Him and you will find Him.
You will be transformed by His love and grace.
This is the best gift I could give to you.
God is with us still.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trees ~ Part 4 ~ What is Faith?

What is faith? Webster's dictionary defines faith as "a belief and trust in and loyalty to God. A firm belief in something for which there is no proof."
What does faith mean to you?
The Holy Scriptures (Bible) says in Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." 
How can we please God?
How does faith come to us? 
Romans 12:3 says that, "God has given to each one a measure of faith." 
In Hebrews chapter 11 verse 1, I read, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Romans chapter 10 speaks of faith in a beautiful way. "The Word, God's message through Jesus Christ, is near you, on your lips and in your heart. Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ." 
Faith is a spiritual substance inside us that can either grow or sit dormant. 
Romans 10:17 ~ "Faith comes from hearing and hearing the word of God."

We need to read the Bible, or hear it read, so we can receive and understand faith. 
Jesus talked about faith as a mustard seed. In Matthew chapter 17 the apostles were talking with Jesus and asked him to "increase" their faith. Jesus replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed nothing would be impossible for you".
Mustard seeds are small and round. They are typically about 1 to 2 mm in diameter. They can be yellow, white, or black in color. Mustard is beneficial for health. It grows wild and once it has been sown, it is almost impossible to get rid of. The seed begins to germinate almost at once.
Jesus talked about a mustard seed in a parable. He compared the mustard seed as a model of the kingdom of God within us. It starts out small but grows to be big. Like faith, it takes root in readied soil. it grows in any climate, it is carried into all the world, it blesses and grows and thrives. Jesus used the mustard seed to make a point. Faith develops rapidly from small beginnings and once it is planted, it germinates and we see the fruit of it's labor. We see the result of faith.
What will you do with that measure of faith God has given to you? Will you keep your measure of faith bottled up or will you allow it to settle into the soft soil of your heart, take root and grow? Will you plant that seed of faith by trusting in Him?
All we have to do it sit at the foot of the cross and accept His free gift of salvation through Jesus. Salvation is free, but it's not cheap. It cost God the death of His son. When we plant that seed of faith, we are trusting in Him and we have the capacity of growing into beautiful trees of Life. 
Do not be afraid, only believe. With God all things are possible. 

King David wrote in Psalm chapter one, "You will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bring forth fruit in season, your leaf will not wither and whatever you do will prosper." 

What is the message of faith? For the Christian, it's the 'salvation message'. I believe it is the only, true faith. 
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in chapter 10, "If you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes on Christ and so is declared acceptable to God; with the mouth we confess and speak freely our faith and confess our salvation. Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of Christ."

We are to be rooted in God's word, a good tree, planted by God, set by His rivers of water, grafted into Christ, our Tree of Life and rooted in Him with a continual supply of His divine grace we are watered and will grow.
Because of God, we live and move and have our being. We live because of God's providence and blessing.
When we accept Christ as our savior, we are acquitted from sin's penalty and are made acceptable to God. We are reconciled to Him. We now can have peace with God. 
That sin that separated mankind from God, that started back in The Garden, can be washed away through the blood of God's son Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, the Redeemer. All we have to do is accept and believe with that small measure of faith that God has placed in each of us. It's that easy. God has given us the opportunity to eat from the Tree of Life once more.