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.


A Magical Whimsy said...

I'm typing the blog I told you about.
Hopefully, you can access it from this comment.
Now, I am going to go back and read your Part 4 Trees, post.

A Magical Whimsy said...

This is a very precious post, my sister. What a beautiful salvation message intertwined with your thoughts about trees and what they signify spiritually. Very deep thoughts here.

Anonymous said...

Yes! That measure of faith comes from Jesus Christ, who is the Light that enlightens every person who comes into the world. John 1:1-9.
Thank God--we have a wonderful Savior.
I love your photo showing a child's trust, his faith in his daddy. Beautiful post.
Love, Mother

jubilee said...

Enjoyed your post Rebecca. Such a peaceful reminder of our salvation linked with the beautiful imagery of a tree.

A Magical Whimsy said...

I am posting something here tonight. Well, I humbled and humiliated myself today. It was me, myself and I who accidentally sent you know who 'Big D' the email meant for you. I accidentally sent it to his email. So, obviously you never got it because it was never sent to your email address. So, I impaled myself on my own sword.
Romans 8:28
Whatever lesson I learned and whatever lesson 'Big D' learned, if any, the Lord knows.
God does all things well.

A Magical Whimsy said...

I do love all of these photographs of the trees, especially the one that seems to be in the middle of the stream/river...Planted by the rivers of life~
About the dolls...I have enjoyed them and thought I would pass them on to others at lower prices then I paid. the Victorian Gothic is of course, Blackeyed Suzie. Her dolls have gone up in price,some up to $400 dollars. I did have an offer on it, but the gal found out that Sarah Faber aka. Blackeyed Suzie will soon be putting some of her latest up for sale and the gals husband said she could buy one! She was over the moon when she found that out. And I told her, Hey, 'go for it'! I told her I would do the same thing if my husband said he would buy me a $400 doll! Anyway, I need to support my family, including you and brother Troy to help out where I can. So some dolls in a cabinet aren't helping anybody. I did sell the brother and sister...they are adorable and I still have two more which are very similar to them, from Cheryl Foster of Pie Cake Primitives. This is what I get for being in the doll ning sites, I see all these beautiful dolls I can't resist.
love to you,
I'm fine.