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What Does it Mean to Believe?

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Presentation on theme: "What Does it Mean to Believe?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Does it Mean to Believe?

2 Definitions Webster defines the word believe as “to have religious conviction, to accept as true, to hold an opinion, to consider to be true or honest”. Our modern understanding of the word is this: for a person to acknowledge something as being true would be to “believe it”. Do you believe the earth is round? Do you believe the sky is blue? Do you believe that God is real? If you answer “yes” to these questions, then most people would say that you believe these things to be true.

3 Biblical Belief Romans 10:10 tells us “…with the heart man believes…” The word “believe” in scripture is the Greek word “pisteuo”. The root of this word means to trust. To believe something or someone in a biblical sense is not only acknowledging that it is or is true, but includes putting your trust in it.

4 Trust requires more than our Idea of “belief”.
Our modern idea of believing often leaves out trusting with our heart. The Bible doesn’t make this mistake. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” To only mentally acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God is not Biblical belief. Many people mentally acknowledge Jesus, but there is no following of Jesus and no repentance in their lives. They are not believing with a Biblical definition of believing which includes trusting with the heart.

5 Trust requires more than we ever thought.
Luke 14:33, Jesus says “You cannot be my disciple unless you give up all your possessions.” If you believe, it will have with that belief complete trust, and the actions that demonstrate that trust will follow. Wheelbarrow story Trust requires everything. To believe, requires everything – our whole heart and life.

6 The disciples believed and followed
A beggar looking man in scraggly clothes barges into your place of work and says to everyone, “Please drop everything, quit your job, don’t go home, do everything I say, give your entire life to me, come follow me wherever I go, and do it all right now.” Would you do it? If you truly believed with all your heart that he was God you would. This was the situation presented to the disciples and they followed Jesus because they believed and trusted from the heart.

7 How to trust First, the object of our trust must be safe.
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" - Mar 4:35-40

8 How to Trust The object of our trust must be safe
Stop Judging God We often project past “fathers” or father figures onto the Lord. They were not always safe or worthy of complete trust. We must remove our judgment on God’s character. He is kind, good, and totally for us. He is trust worthy and a safe place.

9 How to Trust The object of our trust must be safe
Stop Judging God If you do have a judgment on God, recognize it, confess it to Him, and forsake it. Possible judgments on God and His character: He is selfish (truth: He is loving and giving) He will leave you or abandon you (truth: He will never leave you or forsake you) His intrusion is to abuse you (truth: His intrusion is gentle and to love you, love intrudes with gentleness) He is controlling (truth: He invites and welcomes you to join Him)

10 How to Trust The object of our trust must be safe
He is always good He has our best interest in mind, although He may need to break our legs to keep us from straying. "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him…”  Job 13:15 “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” - Psa 86:5 “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” - Psa 100:5

11 How to Trust Letting Go In order to trust we must let go.
Changing what you want to what He wants. David did this well. He directed his heart toward God.  "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God" (Psa. 43:5). 

12 How to Trust Letting Go We often want things that are not God Himself. We must let go of what we want and exchange it for the person of Jesus. We want: junk and stuff (material things, money) Our situation to change People to love us People to change Status Respect Various forms of Control Gratification We want it now, we don’t want to wait on Him

13 How to Trust Letting Go As we give up on these things, we have room in our hearts for the person of Christ to fill us. "My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God" (Psa. 62:5-7).

14 How to Trust Letting Go You may be one who has loved God strongly in the past. But unless you take an active role in directing your heart toward God, earthly dependencies increase. Eventually, the flame of your love for God dies down to a slow burn. It is too easy to turn and quench our thirsty desires by depending on anything and everything except God. Not so with David. He took an assertive and determined role in how he was going to quench His thirst. He directed his heart toward God. He was able to quench his thirst for God because David made the Lord his strength, his glory, his refuge, his first love. "O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You..." (Psa. 63:1). He also said, "Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psa. 73:25,26). David directed his heart toward God by strongly reassuring himself that God was his salvation, his hope, his strength, his refuge—and not other things. It was by continually directing his heart toward God that David became a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).

15 How to Trust Delighting in the Object of Our Trust
We must learn to delight and enjoy the Lord. "And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation" (Psa. 35:9). "The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him" (Psa. 28:7)  "But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge..." (Psa. 73:28)

16 How to Trust Delighting in the Object of Our Trust
Because of our fears or desires for control, we prefer to have our hands on the steering wheel. Once we let go and give up control, we can enjoy the ride and take in the scenery. It’s nice to let someone else drive. We can finally relax and enjoy it. Once we’ve truly entered into enjoyment, we have left our own wants and desires and have replaced them with Jesus Himself. Learning to enjoy Christ Himself is evidence of trust. “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” - Psa 16:11 "For then you will delight in the Almighty And lift up your face to God.” - Job 22:26 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” - Psa 37:4 "They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life..." Psa. 36:8,9 “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psa 34:8

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