Discipleship, Part 2: Don’t Stop Believin’
Acts 16:30-31a And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.
John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
II Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Disciples enter the Kingdom of God by believing—believing in their inherent sinfulness, and then believing that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was a sufficient sacrifice for that sin. That’s the first believing we do. Then we are called to walk by faith (believing) the rest of our lives by continuing to believe a whole lot of other things.
Just look at these few scriptures:
• I John 4:16a And we have known and believed the love that God has for us….
• Matthew 21:21-22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
• James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
After believing that He has died for our sins, we are challenged with believing more, one step of believing leading to (and supporting) the next. We are called to believe that He loves us and works everything together for good for us (Romans 8:28). We are called to believe that He always has a way of escape from temptation (I Corinthians 10:13).
God calls us to believe that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He calls us to believe that when we know His will, we can pray in bold faith. We are called to believe that God will give us wisdom when we ask without doubting.
These are only a few points of belief for growing Christians. What is God asking you to believe right now? It might be something deeply personal; it might be finally, fully believing something in His word. In speaking of the Israelites, the author of Hebrews says in 4:2b: “…but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” We can hear and read His word all we want, but what changes things is when we mix what we hear with faith.
Jesus said it was work to believe. Of course He was right. Sometimes it’s fairly easy work; sometimes it’s the hardest thing to do. But it’s the way we walk as disciples. As we are challenged to believe again and again, we can say with the father in Mark 9:24: “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Prayer: Father, help me to be honest with myself about what I believe and what I really don’t yet. As I walk the walk of a disciple, please remove every obstacle to believing that’s still in my heart. Thank You that it’s Your will that we go from faith to faith.