Developing Faith

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. –Romans 10:17 (English Standard Version)

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Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Terrorist attacks, rumors of war and crime seemingly showing no signs to decrease. We join hands in protest but to no lasting avail. We pray for peace and it comes but after a little while then chaos breaks out again in our nations and communities. As we should, we hope for better days. Yet, how can lasting faith develop? How can we gain a better understanding of the world in which we live and in the things in which we hear and see?

Truth is, evil will continue. Sin will not cease. So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. -Romans 10:17 Have we forgotten that great commission? To “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

That gospel that heals the sin-sick soul. The gospel that points to Jesus Christ as the answer to ALL of life. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? –Romans 10:12

All those who profess the name of Christ are called to a decided course of life. A course that continuously heralds a bold confession of Christ and his truth before their fellowmen. The world needs a developing faith! The fear of terrorism, particularly in America, is at an all-time high since 9/11. Why is that?

 

Romans 10-17 faith comes from hearing

All that we hear and see is in line with scripture and there is more opportunity than ever before for the ways of God to be made known. You recall that the apostle Paul said “But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.” 2 Timothy 3:1 Read the following verses later on but let me suggest that there are a number of professing Christians who have forgotten the unchangeable and undeniable power of scripture! Beware of a form of godliness, professing Christianity yet enjoying a close friendship with the world and its systems (2 Timothy 3:5). It would seem that scripture Christ-centered preaching has become a lost art. We want that which only makes us feel good.

Rev. Dr. Gardner C. Taylor when he was asked to assess the general state of preaching today he said this:

“I think it has become far more folksy, and there is now a tendency, I think, more than ever, to make it a kind of Sunday Chamber of Commerce exercise — motivational speaking, which has its place but is not the Gospel. It becomes a kind of opium, if opium is a stimulant, for people, which gives them often a false notion of what life is all about. I think much of contemporary preaching does not prepare people for the inevitable crises of life. When we talk constantly about prosperity, well, life is not constantly prosperity. It has adversity and difficulties, and if one is trained, conditioned to see only the bright side of things, then one is not prepared for living in this world.”

He then was asked, “Do congregations want to hear that message, though?” His reply was, “Of course, people want to hear it because candy is a very pleasant thing. My daughter lives out in Harbor City, [California]. When she was a little girl, I suppose we could have fed her candy morning, noon, and night, and she would have taken it morning, noon — and enjoyed it. Soon she would have had no teeth, and soon we would have had no daughter, I think because candy is wonderful. I love it, but one needs in one’s diet more than candy.”

Today, more than ever we need teaching and preaching that is not candy-coated. The world needs to be prepared for the things to come and Scripture—truth, plainly and correctly taught, has a marvelous aptness to awaken the conscience, and touch the heart. Only then will we have a developing faith, banked on the foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. Amen

-Jason

Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is a Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.

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Disseminate Accordingly and Rightly

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Jason M. Alexandre, Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

“I swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me, God!” I suppose we have all heard that oath presented in the court of law. It is a sworn testimony that counts as evidence given by a witness who has made a commitment to telling the truth. If that witness has been found to have lied while bound by the commitment, they can and often are charged with the crime of perjury.

It is a tragedy today that when we turn on our television and radio sets there is a false gospel being preached in the world!

For there are many who distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ in order to please man, gain popularity, and fill up their church pews! Oh, they understand that they ought to go out to the entire world and to preach the gospel. –Mark 16:15

Yet, Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. James 3:1 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: if anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.       –Galatians 1:8-10

True Gospel Message of the Cross

Where is the message of  the Cross? The whole counsel of God revealing to us God’s holiness and our sinfulness. Where are the messages of Christ’s death and resurrection? His gracious and merciful forgiveness and our salvation for those of us who believe by faith! If Christ is not the center of the message, it is not a sermon!

Paul tells his understudy Timothy in our text not to get hung up on words in controversies or debates with others where the TRUTH of the Gospel is often in danger of being lost but he says to study the Word to show himself approved! Ministers ought to be workmen taking the necessary pains to present the Gospel. And what is their work? It is to rightly divide the word of truth not to invent a new gospel, but rightly to divide the Gospel that is committed to their trust. We ought to listen very CLOSELY to what is being preached! Is it glorifying self or is it glorifying Christ? Too many messages are putting an emphasis on self. It seems like this is the “me” generation. My destiny, my dreams, my goals. Where is Christ in all that?

Are we surrendered completely to him? For a Christian is a follower of Christ and Christ told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

Oh that we would be like that Church in Berea! For when we receive the Word on Sunday do we go home and check out the scriptures given? For the Bible says, the Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these were so. Acts 17:11

And we know that the Word the God, that Holy Book the Bible has an imaginary but very real scarlet thread going through the scriptures pointing to Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation! For Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. –John 5:39-40

Are you hearing the true Gospel

May we rightly divide the Word of Truth! May we have the courage and the discipline to search the scriptures for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

-Jason

Jason’s vision is for the gospel to continue to spread throughout the world and believes it is Christian’s responsibility to carry out this mission effectively. To learn more about the organization for which Jason volunteers, please visit www.HaitiChristianity.org.

Learn more about Jason M. Alexandre here.

The Mission Launch

Mark 16:15- And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (New Living Translation)

Herbert Bowen, Jr.  Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

Herbert Bowen, Jr.
Voices Against the Grain Devotional Writer

The mission, the mission, the mission. It’s a sobering thought to realize that your calling is in line with God’s direction. It’s even better to realize that your aim has minimal impediments, which speaks to God’s approval. It’s no surprise that you’re overjoyed by the outcome of your success, because through it all you looked to satisfy God’s will, instead of your own. Hence, you smile, for the hardship endured to reach your destination was a rocky one. The hardship endured to find direction created many obstacles to deter you from your true potential.

The hardship endured to make you a complete specimen, first has to be tested in the fire of the kiln to harden the exterior of God’s creation. Upon exit you stood, as the steam rose from your head. For it was there that you were perfectly made, and it was there that God implanted you with a unique mission that would magnify His Name.

#Godsway

Herbert writes weekly devotionals to combat the decreasing morality in the 18-30 age group a.k.a., “the transition gap.” This is an effort to re-introduce Jesus Christ to this spiritually starved generation. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Business Management. He is also the founder of B.T.E.P. (Bringing Together Extraordinary People), a Charlotte, N.C.-based nonprofit with a mission to unite professional athletic organizations in accordance with their neighboring counties in the Greater Charlotte area, and to improve underprivileged athletic programs and share in the duty of empowering disadvantaged youth within their communities.
Learn more about Herbert Bowen, Jr., here