Leadership and Submission
"Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, 'Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.'" - Romans 4:1-3 NLT
Thoughts for Today
A key to focusing on our worth from the standpoint of who we are is to focus on who God is and what he has done. Our performance will always fall short until we realize it is by our faith in him, not by what we do, that we get credited with a worthy "performance."
Performing to earn God's and other people's love, acceptance, and approval demonstrates our lack of faith in God through Jesus Christ. Today's scripture tells us Abraham discovered the truth: By our faith, we are made right with God. We are accepted through our faith, not faith in what we have done but in what Christ has done for us.
Consider this …
How can we have this kind of faith? God accepts us into his kingdom when we place our faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. But he wants us to continue walking by faith."
Jesus marveled at the faith of some he healed. The Roman officer: "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith" (Matthew 8:10 NIV). Bartimaeus: “Go . . . your faith has healed you” (Mark 10:52 NIV). The leper: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19 NIV).
How did these people have such faith? They didn't focus on their own accomplishments. They didn't focus on their own successes or failures. They focused on Jesus.
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]." - Hebrews 12:2 AMP
Father, help me remember you are looking for my faith, not my performance. I know that as I focus fully on Jesus, he will build my faith, and he will help me live to please you. In Jesus' name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …
Where is the Image of God in You? by Brad Rymer. The purpose of this study is for us to see how some of the different character traits we have can be used in constructive rather than destructive ways in our lives and relationships so that we are operating more and more in the image of God according to the way He created us. Also, this study can help us better understand others as we build godly relationships. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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