Faith brings blessings not only to us but to the whole of creation, because if we love God with every part of our being and have the faith and trust in Him that He will do all that He said He would do, then we have linked into Godís love and faith to some extent depending upon our faith.
Think about what we are told in Luke 17:5-6Ö
5. And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6. And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would
say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and be planted in the sea'; and it
would obey you.
This shows that it is possible to even perform miracles, if we have enough faith, but since we also love the Lord our God, we would never do anything to harm any part of His creation, and since we know that a mulberry tree could not survive in the sea, we wouldnít do it, because that would harm part of Godís creation.
Similarly, we would not do anything to harm any animals, so we wouldnít eat or wear any of them, and we wouldnít do anything to harm the environment, so by living this way we help free Godís creation in two ways: since animal agriculture is the greatest polluter of the environment, by not eating or wearing any animal, we not only save some animals, we also lessen this pollution, and by not harming the environment in any way ourselves, we further help to free creation from its present corruption.
And if we think about it, this is how faith brings blessings.
Letís begin by looking at Genesis 12:1-4, and think about the faith of Abram, the name of Abraham before God changed it.
1. Now the LORD said to Abram,
"Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house,
To the land which I will show you;
There are not many people, including Christians, who have enough faith to make a move like this, even though it is coupled with a future blessing that they may not see for many years.
2. And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
Again, there is nothing in what the Lord says that would bring an immediate blessing, which is the way that a lot of Godís promises work, such as us having an everlasting life in heaven.
3. And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
Perhaps some of these blessings would be seen and felt in the near future, but none of them would be seen or felt immediately; so whatever Abram did, it would have to have been solely by faith.
4. So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with
him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
Notice the faith of Abram, even at the age of 75.
Letís continue to think about how faith brings blessings as we look at Psalm 121:1-8Ö
1. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From whence shall my help come?
Since the psalmist is questioning from where does his help come, we can assume that he understood it did not come from the mountains.
2. My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
Then the psalmist acknowledged that his help came from the Lord and not the mountains, because the Lord made the mountains and the rest of creation.
3. He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
It is absolutely true that God can keep our feet from slipping, but even strong people of faith have had a fall, or had things in their life go wrong, even if they are repaired by the Lord later on as was the case with Joseph in Egypt.
This psalmist is correct; God does not slumber, which also means that when we slip or have something go wrong in our lives, God sees and understands, even if we do not.
4. Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.
This verse is very similar to verse 3, which speaks of the Lordís protection of an individual who loves the Lord, but in this case He is talking about a whole nation, and today we could substitute our own nation or Christianity.
The problem is that in the case of Christianity or a nation, not everyone in it is a person who truly loves the Lord in word and deed, which is exactly what happened to Israel, for they were led into captivity in other nations.
Faith brings blessings, but lack of love and faith seem to bring a curse upon the people.
5. The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade on your right hand.
He is, but the problem is that most people either take the Lord for granted, or they simply lack the faith to receive this blessing.
6. The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
God created the sun and the moon as a blessing; it is we who decide whether we receive the blessing or a curse.
As an example, the gravitational pull of the moon causes our ocean tides, but global warming is mostly being caused by indifferent human behavior, and global warning is causing the ice caps to melt and the seas to rise, which in turn causes coastal flooding.
7. The LORD will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
He definitely does this for those who go to heaven, even if they die here on earth, but here on earth the fact that most people lack the love and faith for and in the Lord is causing true believers to suffer the consequences of the troubles that the majority have brought upon themselves.
However, those who have true faith know that they will pass through this corrupt and evil world to the glory of eternal life in heaven with the Lord.
8. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.
But what the psalmist doesnít mention is that this is for the ones who truly love the Lord our God with every part of their being, and have faith in Him, but for the others, this blessing is not for them.
Only true faith brings blessings.
Letís now take a look at Romans 4:1-17, and think about how faith brings blessingsÖ
1. What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
By obeying Godís call to him without having any proof of the blessing promised, Abraham showed his faith by his works of leaving his home and going to that place that the Lord told him to go.
2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about; but not before God.
God sees the works that come from faith, for to Him only faith brings blessings.
3. For what does the Scripture say? "And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Being declared righteous in itself is a blessing, and we need to remember that Abraham even brought with him many of his former pagan ways, such as building altars and animal sacrifices which God does not want.
4. Now to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor, but as what is due.
This is true, and it is a good example of why we cannot work our way into heaven, because these things can be done without any true faith in God and His desire for your lives.
5. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,
This also is true, but we donít believe that Paul is saying that we are not to work only as we said above, faith is the priority which leads to good works.
6. just as David also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:
Apart from works, but not without works, for our faith should always do something within us to spark us to do something to serve the Lord, even if it is cleaning up the trash to help improve our environment.
7. "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
We have seen records of this happening in the Bible with people such as Abraham, Jacob, Aaron, Moses, and David because even though they did things that were counter to Godís heavenly will, they still strongly believed and trusted in the Lord.
This happens because the Lord sees the intent of the heart, but we often wonder about today, and the fact the so many people who claim to believe, are also involved in many deeds that are counter to the heavenly will of God, such as ignoring the horrible pain and suffering that is being inflicted upon billions of animals every year.
Is this a case of faith brings blessings?
8. "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account."
This is really the same situation we discussed in verse 7,
9. Is this blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, "Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness."
The blessings of God are upon all people, whether they are Jews or Christians or any other religion, for God sees the intent of the heart, so if people have true faith in God, His blessings are upon them.
Furthermore, if we live a heavenly life here on earth, and that becomes the norm rather than the exception, even the non-believers will participate in these blessings, which will hopefully lead them into having their own faith.
10. How then was it reckoned? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
The outward physical signs or symbols of faith can be just that, and the person may not have any true faith, for they have these outward physical signs to fit into the other peopleís group, such as wearing a cross to indicate that they Christian, while there is no true faith in their heart and soul.
Faith brings blessings and not physical signs or symbols, or even what they may say in church.
11. and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them,
To be really honest with ourselves and God, these physical signs should only follow our true belief and faith.
12. and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
And donít forget what Paul is writing is much less than merely following the teachings of Jesus, which we believe is much more like the way we should be living today.
13. For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
In other words, if we truly love the Lord with every aspect of our being, we will naturally live in His heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven.
And Jesus taught us that if we love the Lord in this way, we also fulfill the whole of the Law and Prophets, which is really the whole Bible, so faith really surpasses the Law.
14. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
The work of following the written Law does not make any of us a child of God; it is our faith in God and His will that makes us a child of God.
15. for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
Well, in reality, the violations of the Law are still there but no one is aware of those things being a violation, because they have no standard, but we no longer have the innocence of Adam and Eve when the Lord created them; we know the difference, and are without excuse.
16. For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
God sees the intent of our heart and soul, which reflects our faith, and that is what really shows forth to the world around us.
17. (as it is written, "A father of many nations have I made you") in the
sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and
calls into being that which does not exist.
In other words, God created everything by speaking it into existence, and He is the only one who gives us eternal life in heaven, which is the ultimate blessing.
Our faith brings blessings and not our works, but our works of faith reflect our faith, and in that faith we do not harm any part of Godís creation, and do everything we can to free it from its present corruption.
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