Faith Comes By Hearing

Faith Comes By Hearing

In my years of owning my own businesses, my role many times becomes that of a salesman. And sometimes I even get to enjoy teaching others on selling. And whenever I get that chance, I always say the best salesmen listen. They don’t just talk and talk to try to sell the client, they must listen and if they listen long enough the client will tell them their needs and then the salesman can show them how his company can solve the clients issues.

On that same note, I teach several Christian classes to men each week. The classes are on Servant Leadership and becoming a servant leader. And, as with selling, when one of the students asks a question or makes a comment, I always listen closely because often times, they teach me with their comments or question. And many times, I learn much more from them they then might be learning from me.

One day, during one of my classes, I was spiritually discouraged with my life. Basically I was feeling sorry for myself and I was wondering why God was not getting me out of a mess that I created. Sound familiar?

And since other people may be struggling with the same issues, I believe that I should share my struggles in my teachings and sermons. So during this period when I was “spiritually discouraged” I went on to say to my class “sometimes I feel like just when I am trying to get up again, God comes with his big foot and STOMPS on me, knocking me down again.”

In hindsight that was not one of my more positive statements to my class but it did create some interesting discussions. But not until the next week did I realize how God was using one of my students to speak to me about this subject and to teach me one of the most powerful truths that I believe I have ever learned.

The following week, one of my students came up to me after class and said that God had given him a word for me.   I had a class right after this one, so I told him I would come early the following week and we could meet. So when we did meet he read me Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.

Now I have heard that many, many times. Great scripture. But again I have heard this so what is the word. So I just sort of looked at my student waiting for more. My student continued and said let me read only part of that scripture again. And he only read “So then faith comes by hearing.” And he stopped waiting for me to get it.

He then said, “Do you see that. Faith comes by hearing. WHAT ARE YOU HEARING? I’ll tell you what you are hearing. You are hearing yourself talking about how bad things are, how you regret what you did wrong and how you feel God is punishing you or keeping your down. SO THAT IS WHERE YOUR FAITH IS. Your faith is in what you are saying and what your mind and your spirit are hearing.”

I was just blown away. It felt like I just stood there with my mouth open for a good minute. He smiled and waited for me to say something. And for a moment I could not. It was as if my brain was processing all of this and all I could hear in my brain was WOW! WOW! WOW! And when I was able to saying anything all I could say, yes you guessed it, was WOW!

I had been feeding myself so much negative thoughts about myself, about my life and about what I felt God was doing in my life that I believed in it. Better put, I had very strong faith that God was out to punish me and keep punishing me to teach me His lesson for me. Because as God’s Word promises “Faith comes by hearing…”

But faith in God can only come when you complete the entire scripture “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.   It is only when you hear the Word of God, does the proper, real faith come into your mind, body and soul.

And it is not just with ourselves; it is the same with the people around us. Just fit that same thinking into what your kids, wife or husband or friends are hearing. What they are hearing from you, from music, from television and from all media? If they are not hearing the Word of God, then they are going to have faith in what ever they do hear.   Makes you start to think about all the things you say to your kids, your wife or husband or your friends.

So I stopped the negative talk and thinking and started to hear the Word of God. Here are some scriptures that I started “hearing”:

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:31 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Romans 8:38-39 – For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And one of my favorite: Isaiah 40:28-31 – Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Look again at the second sentence in Isaiah 40:28-31. It reads, “Have you not heard?” Can God not spell it out any better? Isaiah 40:28 “Have you not heard?” and Romans 10:17 “And Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God”.

If you want to change your faith in God, then you have to stop speaking out and hearing your own self talk and your grumbling. Maybe like me you were speaking out disbelief that God could not bless you. Or He was out to get you. It is spiritually unhealthy.

Start practicing spiritual preventive medicine. Start daily hearing God’s Word and strengthen your faith.

Let’s God’s Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding Guide You

I have been doing a study of Proverbs and what I have learned the most is that unless I have God’s Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding, I cannot correctly and effectively walk the path God has for me.

Simple put in one sentence – Wisdom is from the Lord and it gives us the ability to Understand the Knowledge He gives us.

You can have knowledge. You can know everything about a subject but if you do not understand how to use that knowledge it is useless information. And the wisdom from God is the ONLY way to truly understand the knowledge from the Lord.

So you ask how do we get Wisdom, Understand and Knowledge? We get it through God’s Word and through the Living Word Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 2:6 says it pretty straightforward: “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” From His mouth means His Word. John 1:1-2 reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Word made flesh. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

So you may ask how does this all help us in life? How will wisdom, understanding and knowledge help us in our every day life, at our work, in “building for our future”?   There are two great Proverbs that speak to that. Proverbs 24:3-4 explains, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established, through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. And Proverbs 2: 9-11 reads “Then you will understand what is right and just and fair in every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”

Praise God! I just want to shout out those two scriptures.

So you may say, it is that simple? Just have wisdom, understand and knowledge? Then okay I am in. I want wisdom, understand and knowledge. Well that is at least what I said I wanted after my study of Proverbs. So I quickly started reading everything in Proverbs on the subject and realized that maybe I did not have the wisdom of God and if that is so then how do I get God’s wisdom. Let’s read James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  My immediately prayer “God please give me your wisdom, in Jesus Name!”

Then I found Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” I must clarify something here. The fear of the Lord is no being afraid of Him or worrying that He is going to punish you. Fear of the Lord is reverence of the Lord, believing and honoring Him as God Almighty, our Lord and Savior, the Beginning and the End.

So now I get it. It is all making more sense to me. Now I understand that I need to seek God and then I will gain the wisdom, the understanding and the knowledge of God.

Walking in God’s wisdom, and understanding the knowledge he shares through His Word, our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, will be life changing. Life altering. For me it has been and I pray for all of you.

One of the first truths that God showed me through his Wisdom was that I have been living much of my life with misdirected “zeal” and making quick and hasty decisions that affected my life, my career, and just about every aspect of my life and thus affecting my wife and kid’s life. Proverbs 19:18 ”It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, more to be hasty and miss the way.” Now that I did not like reading!

You see I am a guy who when I go after something, I go. And I go fast. Read all I can and then go with it. I realized that had to change. That perhaps I was too hasty. Simply put, I was not giving time for God’s wisdom to help me assimilate the knowledge and understanding I was receiving from our Lord. I was not using God’s wisdom, and I was not taking the knowledge and understand I was learning from God and putting it to work in life, in my marriage, raising my children, in my business, with work, in managing my investments. IN EVERYTHING!

I had to stop thinking I had all the answers. I was being wise in my own eyes, and I felt I understood what I needed to do. But that is the exact opposite of the wisdom that comes from God.   In fact, here is what God says in Proverbs 3:5-8 about that very subject, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.” Now to me that was a WOW moment. Do not be wise in your own eyes and do not lean on your own understanding. That just blows me away. The power of that scripture as compared to what I was living.

Also in this portion of Proverbs right after it says not to be wise in our own eyes, it says “fear the Lord.” Now that is very important to remember, so important that I will end on with a scripture of why “fear the Lord” is so important.

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Let us pray. Father, dear Lord I thank you that your Living Word has taught me a powerful life lesson. I pray that you speak to all who reads this and you help them to have your wisdom, understanding and knowledge. In Jesus Name, Amen

Lost and Lonely People

There are several scriptures that keep reminding me that I need to help more people in need. That I need to be more aware of my surroundings because someone right next to me could be in such emotional pain or need and I just walk by. There is a song by Casting Crowns titled” Does Anyone Hear Her?”

It is powerful. I tear up every time I hear it. I love to sing and I have yet been able to sing this entire song without breaking up. The link I have above is a music video of the song. I hope it speaks to your heart as much as it does for me.

So why is lost and lonely people the subject of this week’s lesson? Because God’s word talks alot about lost and lonely people. Also about the sick, the needy and more.

Matthew 25:31-46 covers it all in a very powerful way. As we go through it, I hope that it will convict you as much as it has convicted me to do something. Anything but ignoring it.

I encourage you to read the entire Chapter 25, because in the entire chapter Jesus was talking to his disciples and the crowds of people who came to listen to him. He talks about the kingdom of God and being ready for it. You will learn so much.

Starting on verse 31 is where Jesus is talking about when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him and He will sit on His glorious throne. It goes on to talk about the Son of Man separating the people as a shepherd would separate his sheep from the goats with the sheep on the right and goats on the left.

Let’s pick up what Jesus is saying in verse 34,  “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

That is important so I am going to repeat that last part. “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I have always wondered what I could do for Jesus because I am always asking him what he can do for me. Then when I read this I have my answer. It’s pure and simple. You now know how to do something for our Lord.

If helping the lost, the lonely, the needy, the stranger, the sick and those in prison is not motivation enough. Then perhaps doing it for our Lord hopefully will get us moving in the right direction.

I do not mean this in a condemning way. Trust me when I say, I am not just talking to all of you but also to myself on this.

I need to ask God to keep me more aware and to hear from His Holy Spirit and see these lost and lonely people. In the song I mentioned above by Casting Crowns, there is a line “Does anybody hear her? Does anybody see? I know I am missing many of them. But if I were perfectly honest, there are one’s I do hear and one’s I do see. And I do nothing. Have you been there also?

Oh I know, we had our reasons why would could not help them at that point in time. Some of the reasons were very valid. We were on the way to work or picking the kids at school. But again if I am being honest with myself, thee were other times where I could have stopped or could have gone to help someone. It was more of just an inconvenience. So I would come up with some reason or excuse.

Why do we do that? Are we embarrassed, afraid of the person? Why? Perhaps if we know the reasons, it might help. We need to be true and honest to ourselves if we ever want to grow in life and in the Lord. We need to examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to show us how we can help these people. There is one positive thing we can do. Something that may help us to get involved, to help the lost and lonely, hungry, needy, sick and in prison.

Bring some Christian friends along. I have found that when a group of Christians get together they are more willing to go to places when by themselves they would be uncomfortable or unsure. With a group people, many are more willing to move out of one’s comfort zone. This is scriptural. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”   Now there is the perfect way, you, Christian friends and Jesus helping the least of His brothers and sisters. You just can’t go wrong with that. Praise God.

Thank you Father for this word. I pray that all of us listen to your instructions and help those in need.

Are We Envied?


Are we envied? Now that is an interesting question. And one, that at first glance, we feel is wrong. We should not envy so why would we want to cause envy. After all, we read in Galatians 5: 19-21 where it talks about envy being one of the acts of the sinful nature. And even in Galatians 5: 26 where after talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit, it reads, “ Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

So why should we be envied? Why would we want to be envied? Paul talks about it in Romans 11:13-14 “ I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.” Many of the different translations use jealous instead of envy.

What do you think Paul was saying when he wanted the Gentiles to make the Jews envious or jealous? He wanted the Jews to envy what was in us because of Jesus Christ.  He wanted them to envy us so much that they would become followers of Christ.


When the unsaved meet us, how should our lives be in order for them to envy us or be jealous of us for being a Christian? Or better put, how should we be living our lives, that makes people want to be like us?

If we can go back and read more of Galatians 5 it gives us a clear description of what type of person we should be and what our lives and actions should be, so that people would want to be like us. Let’s read Galatians 22-26. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Love, joy, peace, forbearance (which also means tolerance, restraint), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, now there are some goals to have. Imagine if everyday we focused on just having one of them. And once we were able to have that in our lives, we can focus on adding the next one. And before you know it, you would be living your life with all of those fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Remember these are fruits of the Holy Spirit, so when I say focus on having them, I mean praying and asking the Holy Spirit to let these fruits grow within you.

I think then people would envy you. And would want to be like you. And hopefully want to be so much like you that they ask “What is it with you. You are always up, you never have a bad word about anyone, and your such a loyal friend and gentle with everyone even when people wrong you.”

I know you may be thinking how would anyone see all of that in your life. Well the people you work with would and do. They see how you act everyday now. What do you think they are seeing now in you? Are you a light for the world? Do people see the fruits of the Holy Spirit in you?

If the answer is no, please don’t put yourself down. Instead, decide today to change. Pray to God for all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. And practice using them. Focus on using them. Let me repeat that because it is of the utmost importance.

Practice and focus on using the fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life. Let me explain. I read a story in a book called The Energy Bus, written by Jon Gordon, that explains this very clearly.  The story went as follows: “A man goes to the village to visit with the wise man and he says to the wise man. ‘I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is the positive, loving, kind, and gentle dog and then I have this angry, mean-spirited, and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know which is going to win.’  The wise man thinks for a moment and he says, ‘ I know which is going to win. The one you feed the most, so feed the positive dog.”

Now that is powerful. So what are you feeding your mind and spirit? Are you daily feeding your minds by reading and studying God’s Word and praying for guidance, strength and for the fruits of the Holy Spirit?

And are you listening too?  God will speak to you through his Word, the Holy Spirit, and by what your read.

In my opinion the really battle is with your thoughts. What are you thinking most of the time?  Money, the lack of or something you want to buy.  You job, that you want a new one or why someone else got the promotion instead of you. Things you want like why do others own a nice house and you are still renting?

Why do they other people have this or that and your don’t. I can come up with 1000’s of these, mainly because I said a lot of them for my life. I was always asking God why other people had such wondering lives. Great kids. Great jobs. Nice homes.  And it was not just with worldly things.  It was in my Christianity also.  I would ask God why does He seem to always be giving revelations to other people but not me. Better yet, God why aren’t you talking to me or showing me the way I should go.

Let’s just think about those thoughts for a moment. Which dog do you think those thoughts are feeding? If you said the negative dog you would be correct. Do you see the connection with what you think and what you feed into your mind and spirit with is what will grow in your life? And what will be evident to everyone you meet, know and work with even be evident to your family.

You want to live and walk with the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then feed yourself with the positive things we have been talking about. Grab a hold of God’s Word and don’t let it go. Read it.  If certain scriptures seem to come alive to you, memorize them.  Repeat them.  Tell others about them.  And then read them again and again.

I know a lot of Christians, who are wonderful people with a heart after God and so dedicated to their church but when I ask them how often do they read their Bible, they say “I know I need to read it but I don’t right now. I can’t seem to find the time”. And I ask them how often they pray, or if a couple, how often do they both pray together as a family. They again answer, “I know we need to but we just don’t seem to find the time.” Then after awhile, I will bring up one of the TV shows my wife and I watch and they will say, “Oh we love that show. Watch it every week. Or they record it to watch it later when they have time.”

Now I am not judging. In our family, we do the same thing. We record shows and watch them later. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, we are so diligent to record these shows that I have them programmed to record each week. So trust me when I say I am not judging about watching TV and making sure we always watch our favorite shows.  But we have to have a balance in our life. We can watch those shows, but if we watch those shows and leave no time in our life for God’s Word or pray, then we are doing what? Exactly, we are feeding the wrong dog.

We need to feed the right dog. I promise you that if you daily spend time in God’s Word and if you pray alone, and with your family, the results will be noticed. By you and everyone around you.

I was going to say you would be envied. But there is still something that bothers me about using that word envied even though, in the context that I am using it, the Bible shows that we want to be envied for this.

I think a better way to put this is people will want what you have. They will see God as such a positive force in your life, that they will crave it. Desire it.  And then ask you what is different about you. You then will get to have one of the greatest privileges in our lives, you will get to share Jesus Christ with them.

Again God’s Word always puts it better than any person or book. It reads in 2 Cor 2: 14, “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

I pray for all of us, that we will become the fragrance of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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