Zechariah 1:2-4, James 4:8
Message No. 0695 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca
I have often heard preachers say ‘the faith of our forefathers’ when preaching, and in most cases, it was a reference to the fact that we have lost it in our recent generations. We have altogether become less committed to the things of God and the power that accompanied the faithful(s) of old no longer accompany us today. There is, in fact, a song called ‘Give me that old time religion, and it’s enough for me.’ The question is, where did the old-time religion go? Did it just disappear or was it we who lost or abandoned it? The Bible says in Malachi chapter 3 verse 6:
"For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
And in Hebrews chapter 13 verse 8, the Bible says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can therefore establish that God is constant and the powers that He gave to our forefathers are available to us today. We can conclude that if the faith of our forefathers is much more powerful or much more effective than our faith today, then it is we who dropped the ball, not God.
We often see today that young Christians are sometimes more effective that those who have been in Christ for ages. Why? It’s because of the journey of salvation, which seem to reveal that the older you are in the Lord, sometimes, the less effective your faith is. This is a tragedy and is probably due to two reasons.
The first is that there is always an excitement when you first give your life to Christ. You are eager to do all that you are told to do by your leaders in the church and you want to test out your new faith in the world. There is no experience, so you go out with the faith of a child, and God rewards your dedication and sincerity with results. As you grow and become more experienced in the faith, and as you watch those who are older than you in the faith, you often discover that the excitement begins to wane, because you have learned that some of the things you have been doing could be done differently.
I remember when I gave my life to Christ and I was always looking forward to church days, especially the Bible study program. I learned a lot from those studies and was willing to put to practice what I learned. In one of the programs, we were challenged to talk to our neighbors about Christ, so the next time I saw our landlord (I was staying with a Christian brother at that time), I told him that he needed to give his life to Christ. Now, this was a devout Muslim and he was very offended by what I told him, so he went to report me to our church leader.
I expected that he (my pastor) would reiterate what I told the landlord, but instead he apologized to him, so I got confused: was I not supposed to preach to a Muslim or are there boundaries regarding who we are supposed to preach to? I later began to figure out that I could perhaps have taken a different approach but there was no approach that would not infuriate the man. The incident was a factor that slowed me down; I gained experience, but I lost excitement.
The second reason why the faith of an older Christian might be less effective is that you no longer see the same results when you do the things you did when you were a young Christian, because to whom more is given, more is required. While a young Christian might pray for only five minutes and obtain some results, God expects an older Christian to pray more before obtaining the same results. When you begin to notice that the results you knew are no longer showing up, you begin to get discouraged and reluctant to do certain things.
This year, can we all go back to our excitement? Can we renew those old feelings we had and reenergize ourselves in the things of the Lord? Can we talk to people this year like we used to do when we first got born again? Can we attend Bible studies with the same commitment and regularity that we had in the early days of our journey? Can we look forward to going to church the same way we did then? Can we pray more this year than we did in past years? In Joel chapter 2 verse 12, the Bible says:
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
And in James chapter 4 verse 8, the Bible says:
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
We can see the results of old again if we come back to our faiths of old. We can become more effective if we go back to doing what we did during our first love. We can win more souls to Christ if we go out with the same excitement that we had at salvation. God can use us to accomplish greater things if we renew our faith and rededicate ourselves to Him. What would you do this year?
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PLEASE ACT NOW:
If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!