“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Faith is a conviction with a commitment that produces real evidence. That evidence is called a testimony. The purpose of faith is to please God. Our faith is not just for our goals. It’s actually and primarily for God’s purpose in bringing heaven to earth in and through Jesus by the Holy Spirit as we walk in the obedience of faith. Faith believes that God is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Many people think of God as a punisher, but faith believes that God is a rewarder. When you are convinced that God is good and his intentions for you are good you will be committed to diligently seeking him. Remember to seek God not a reward, his reward is with him. He is our exceedingly great reward. The Father knows what you need and what you want. He also knows what you can handle and when. Trust that he will reward your diligence in dew time. The good news is that we are not the author and finisher of our faith; Jesus is. He will finish what he started in you, but you must be patient and persevere. Your patience is further evidence that you really do trust God. Remember that from the time that you pray to the time that God answers he is producing patience in you. And it’s through faith and patience that we inherit the promises of God. If you are wanting to grow in faith click here to register to a free School of Faith this Saturday at Rescue Church in West New York, NJ.
Would you rather be slapped or kissed? That is not a trick question. It is a question about what type of relationships do you want? Do you want people who actually care about you? Or do you want people in your life who are seemingly nice but really do not care about you and are only in it for what they can get? We need to ask ourselves, what kind of person are we? Do we genuinely care for others? Or are we just nice to people for the purpose of what we can get from them? Are our compliments genuine and sincere or are they filled with flattery for the purpose of manipulation? Sometimes the people who feel and sound safe are actually not. Sometimes the people who rub us the wrong way are actually better for us than the feel good flatterer who is really lying to us to try to manipulate us. Remember iron sharpens iron but never without friction. We need more friction and less flattery if we want to be sharp and on point.
“Let the righteous strike me; It shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; It shall be as excellent oil; Let my head not refuse it. For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.” (Psalms 141:5 NKJV)
David is welcoming the correction of the righteous. I would rather be slapped by the righteous than stroked by the self seeking. What about you? Do you want real relationships where people love you enough to be honest with you? Learning to respond to correction is essential for our personal growth. People who can’t hear correction position themselves for deception. Someone who is humble has the ability to hear hard things that others would want to avoid, deny or make excuses about.
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:5-6 NKJV)
Open rebuke is more beneficial than a deceitful kiss. It’s better to be slapped or wounded by a friend than kissed by an enemy. We need to have courage to develop relationships where there is enough trust for us to be honest. It’s possible to be honest and honorable. The goal is to be able to slap someone with truth and it feel like kindness to them.