Monday, September 10, 2012

Persuasive Faith

You’ve probably heard it said: “The Bible wasn’t just meant to be read. It was meant to be LIVED.”

That’s why much of Scripture is narrative.
We have story after story of real lives living out Bible truth.

The Women of the New Testament lived in various circumstances with varying needs. But no matter who they were, Jesus touched them, and they were never the same again. 

They believed in Jesus, and their faith looked like something.

People around them were persuaded by their lives that they believed in Jesus.

The Woman Caught in Adultery heard the most incredible words ever spoken.
She was brought to Jesus to be judged.  Instead, He taught her that no one is beyond the reach of His mercy.  The sinless Son of God said to her: “I do not condemn you; go and sin no more.”

Lived-out Faith turns its back on all the sin it used to be enslaved to.
Because Christ paid a high price for its freedom.

Martha learned the lesson of priorities through her sister Mary's example. She confessed her faith in Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus. And all her busy serving took on a new dimension. She learned that Christ didn't need her, as much as she needed Him. So she served Him solely out of love for Christ and to honor Him.

Lived-out Faith serves the Lord with pure, unselfish motives.
                Because Christ’s love is unselfish and giving.

Mary was always found at Jesus' feet. She loved to hear His teaching. She wept, as she struggled to know Him better. A week before His death, Mary anointed His feet with a valuable ointment.  Jesus called that anointing a "good work" because of the love behind it.

Lived-out Faith sacrifices the less meaningful things in life out of love for Christ.
                Because Christ sacrificed His life out of His obvious love for sinners.

Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven demons and became a devoted follower of Christ.  She was there at the cross and watched them bury His body. After Jesus rose from the dead, Mary Magdalene was the first person He appeared to.  Jesus told her to run and tell His disciples that He had risen from the dead. And she did.

Lived-out Faith is eager to tell others Who Christ is and what He has done.
                Because it can’t keep it silent.

The Woman at the Well looked for satisfaction in all the wrong places. Jesus knew the brokenness all this had led to in her life.  So He offered her "living water" -- the sufficiency of Himself; a constant flow of strength and contentment that she could drink from and never thirst again. She "left her waterpot" -- as if to say, she was leaving all the things in life that never completely satisfy.

Lived-out Faith finds its satisfaction in Christ alone.
                Because it has found that everything else leaves a person still thirsty.

The Woman with “Great Faith” knew Christ was the only solution to her impossible need.  Her faith was tried by His silence. . . yet remained steadfast.
She would turn nowhere else.

Lived-out Faith trusts the Lord against all odds.
                Because it knows He is the only answer.

The Forgiven Sinner who Anointed Jesus’ Feet knew the greatness of her sin, received forgiveness in Christ, and loved much.

Lived-out Faith lives a forgiven life of love.
                Because it realizes how much it has been forgiven.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus was not the “Queen of Heaven” or the “Mother of Mercy.”  She was a young girl who submitted to a high calling – to be the mother of Jesus. Though He was her son, she learned to love Him as her Lord. Mary was the only woman of the Gospels mentioned in the book of Acts.  She was listed along with the other disciples waiting in the Upper Room in devotion, after Jesus ascended.

Lived-out Faith lives a life of submission and devotion to Christ.
                Because He is worthy of both.

The Early Church Women were like us – they never saw Jesus, but they believed.
But their belief didn’t stop at saving faith. They trusted Him for much more than that and served Him by serving others in some capacity.

Lived-out Faith serves Christ by serving others.
                This is the least it can do in gratefulness for all Christ has done.

These are just a handful of women whose real, genuine faith looked liked something.

Could our lives, like theirs, persuade others that WE believe in Jesus?

(Click here to listen to the final lesson in the series on the “Women of the New Testament.”)

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