Faith - Section 2

  1. God has paid the greatest debt you will ever incur, and once you understand the incredible sacrifice He has made for you, you will feel compelled to turn to God and accept Jesus Christ in your heart.  - From Page 151 from Billy Graham in Quotes by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney. 
  2. The true goal of our faith and life should be to glorify God through love, faith, and purity. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:1-2  pg. 145.
  3. James 1:2 - James shows that when faith is but an empty profession or mere sentiment not based on firm and intelligent convictions of divine truth, the fire of trouble will burn it up. But where there is true faith, affliction naturally leads to deeper thought on one's true condition than under other circumstances and thereby frees the heart from deception and self- righteousness. The source of weakness leads to earnest wrestling with God in prayer; and the experience of the sustaining grace thus obtained strengthens and exhilarates hope. - Excerpt from commentary on James 1:2 from MacArthur’s New Testament Commentary by John MacArthur 
  4. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ep. 2:1-10).
  5. God reveals the content; we believe it in faith.  "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17).  We are all called to build our lives on the foundation of our Lord's words (Matt. 7:24-27). - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:4  pg. 146.
  6. Psalms 31:23-24Love the LORD, all you his saints!  The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.  Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!  David had written about his faith in the Lord (vv. 1, 6, 14, 19), but now he encourages his people to love the Lord and put their hope in Him. Faith, hope, and love always go together (1 Cor. 13:13). The courage and strength we need in the trials of life are available from the Lord if we will put our faith in Him. Let’s be sure that we give Him the glory. - From the BE Series Commentary by Warren Wiersby.
  7. If you are thinking you can never be Christ’s disciple, let me assure you that it is not too late. With God it is never too late. It is true that sin brings consequences and that some sins bring consequences so terrible that they remain with us for life. But in this matter of discipleship God always begins with you where you are right now. You may have denied Jesus once. You may have denied him a hundred times. It makes no difference. Jesus comes to you now with the call of discipleship. He says, “Follow me now.” Then he sets a new way before you. - From commentary from John 18:25 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  8. Belief in Christ is necessary to salvation.  Belief encompasses trust, dependence, and obedience.  It is a belief that changes our lives now and for eternity. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 1:16  pg. 152.
  9. There is only one way in which you will come to love God, and that is by coming to know and believe in his love for you. Love provokes love. His love calls forth yours. Consequently, the way to love God is to learn that he loved you so much that he gave his only begotten Son for your salvation. - From commentary on John 14:15 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by John Montgomery Boice).
  10. The foundational element of love is a sincere faith.  It must center on God, who is Love.  Faith involves correct belief about God and his personhood.  Genuine faith cannot be contained; it expresses itself in day-by-day living.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 1 pg. 156.
  11. Psalms 149:4 - For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Through His grace, His people would be elevated to the level of angels, and even higher. In God's wisdom, the last (His people) would be first, and the first would be last. Are we His people? Do we accept Him, and fashion our life to His will, or do we reject Him, continuing to live by our own rules? Christ will beautify the meek with salvation. It is in our meekness that we realize our need for God. Let God beautify you, and you will find His pleasure.  Prayer: Make me meek, Lord. Break my spirit of willfulness and recreate me with Your beauty. Amen. - Excerpts from the December 26, 2015 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan R. Dick
  12. The Lord makes a most wonderful promise to any person who will trust Him. He is going to place a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a cornerstone that will serve as the foundation for any life built upon it. Whoever trusts this stone will be secure and never have to flee from the coming judgment of God (v. 16). This stone is a clear reference to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the One upon whom believers and the church are built (Mk. 12:10; Ac. 4:11-12; Ro. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Co. 3:11; Ep. 2:20; 1 Pe. 2:4-8). All who build their lives upon the foundation of Christ will no longer have to run here and there seeking protection from enemies. Christ is the foundation stone that supports His followers amid the stormy trials and temptations of this world.
    c. At the same time, people must understand this fact: if they reject the foundation stone God offers, they will face judgment (vv. 17-22). God will inspect the foundation of every person’s life and measure it by the standard of His justice and righteousness. If they have based their security on Egypt (the world), they will be swept away by the flood of God’s judgment. They will be guilty of ignoring the Lord and trusting in the arm, the power of the flesh. - From the reading about Isaiah 28:16-17 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  13. Harry Ironside wrote: “You may be sure that whenever the Father gives any one to Jesus, he gives him for time and eternity. Such an one will never be lost. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ People call this the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, but I rather like to think of it as the perseverance of the Savior. He says, ‘Those that Thou gavest me I have kept.’ If I had to keep myself, I would be hopeless of getting through. I would be sure that something would happen some day which would cause me to lose my hold on Christ and be lost. But it is his hold upon me on which I rely. None can pluck the believer out of his hand. I receive great comfort from these words. When he gives his account to the Father, when the last believer of this dispensation is safely arrived in heaven, he will be able to say of the entire elect Church, ‘Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost.’….We are safe, not because of ourselves (for we are weak), but rather because we are kept by the Lord Jesus Christ and the Father. - From the commentary on John 17:12 from the Boice Expository Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  14. We often seek to please ourselves first, instead of God.  What is interesting is that when we seek to please God first, very often we discover that we end up far more pleased than we did when we put ourselves first.   - From the section on “God” on page 150 of "Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  15. True faith shows in loyalty and love - especially at home, but also in service to others. Service to Christ and others is not reserved for the young.  In fact, physically and mentally capable people entering retirement often have more discretionary time to devote to church ministry, teaching, discipling and missions. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 5:9-10 pg. 224. 
  16. One reason the Lord permits trials is that we might not get comfortable in our faith and stop growing. “I was at ease,” said Job, “but He shattered me, and He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces; He has also set me up as His target” (Job 16:12 NASB). Prosperity without humility can lead to adversity. - From commentary on “  New Day - Night to Morning" in Psalm (vv. 4-5) from the BE Series Commentary by Warren Wiersby
  17. True Christian faith produces humility, gentleness, unity and giving.  It is based in servanthood. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 6:4-5,  pg. 243.
  18. Our faith is unsteady. Our sense of God comes and goes. We need constant renewal. We can’t trust in our trust in God. We must rest in God himself. He himself is the only bedrock under our feet, and his promises and his grace alone secure our future. - From the reading in Isaiah 38:1-39:8 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et all, Crossway Publisher
  19. It is a great error to think that faith preceded life; the clear teaching of the Bible is that life precedes faith.  Man does not like to believe this because it takes the credit away from man and gives all the glory to God, who has said, “I am Jehovah: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another…” (Isaiah 42:8)...The exact meaning of the (John 5:24) passage is: “He that hears my word and believes on him that sent me, does so because he has eternal life planted within him.”  The hearing and believing are the marks of the existence of the new life of God implanted within the individual.When this is understood, we can realize that there is no struggle between God and Satan for the possession of man’s soul.  God is irresistible, and everything that He has planned will come to pass.  Satan can never, under any circumstance, frustrate the grace of God.  What God has promised He will perform.  God promised Christ before the foundation of the world that He would give Christ the whole body of those who had been thus chosen in eternity, and Christ Himself declared: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)…The battle between the Lord and Satan in the soul of man cannot be over possession of the soul.  The battle is within the soul of the redeemed one as to whether he will honor and glorify God or whether he will live to his own ends. - from pages 138 & 139 in the book Invisible War by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
    In other words, we can set the course of our daily lives, but not the course of our eternal ones.  By our choices, we establish our rewards in heaven, but not our entrance into heaven.
  20. For Paul,  godliness was the entire scope of faith - correct doctrine combined with new life, truth measured by right living.  The spiritual goals and disciplines necessary to progress to Christlikeness are to be the consuming passion of all his followers.  This has nothing to do with material wealth or poverty.  Material possessions are irrelevant.  The human soul was not created to find contentment in the accumulation of stuff.  This is a phantom that too many people chase.  Personal peace is found in intimate relationship with God - this is great gain.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 1 Timothy 6:4-5,  pg. 243. 
  21. The Inability of the Law to Justify "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ…But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "The just shall live by faith. - (Galatians 2:16 and 3:11)" - From the DBD 1/10 message in the MacSword Program.
  22. The Inability of the Law to Sanctify - How did the Spirit come to indwell us? Was it by our performance, attempting to live up to the law of God? No, it was "by the hearing of faith." We heard the good news that Christ died for our sins. We heard the truth that Jesus could forgive us of our unrighteousness. Faith was stirred in our hearts as we considered that grand message. In simple, humble faith, we asked the Lord Jesus to come into our lives, to be our personal Savior. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12).  The next two questions in our text apply this same biblical reasoning to sanctification"Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" To think that we can advance the process of sanctification (that is, progressive transformation unto Christlikeness) by our own human resources (that is, by the flesh) is foolishness.  What a staggering thought! Just as we could never secure justification by our own best efforts, so it is true that we can never increase personal sanctification by our own best efforts. Yes, "The just shall live by faith," initially and continually!  - From the DBD 1/11 message in the MacSword Program.
  23. If your situation looks bleak, give your concerns to Christ.  He will guard your faith and safely guard all you have entrusted to him until the day of his return.  - Life Application Study Bible NIV Version - 2 Timothy 1:12 Note 1:12 - Pg 2199. 
  24. “Hope is hearing the melody of the future. Faith is to dance to it.” Patterson, Ben (2008-09-22). God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms (p. 95). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition. 
  25. Other Ways to Describe New Covenant Living - ""If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me"…be filled with the Spirit…"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (Luke 9:23Ephesians 5:18; and John 10:10)"  Living as servants of the new covenant is not some exclusiveelitist religious concept, available only to an initiated few. Rather, it is just one way to describe the life that is to be experienced by all who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  For many believers, these terms involve unfamiliar language.  Some familiar terminology that describes the same biblical reality would be "Christian discipleship." A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. In Luke 9:23, Jesus explained what was involved in following Him as a disciple. "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me'." In order to follow the Lord, a person must be willing to renounce the self-life, which is produced by one's own sufficiency. Then, that person must agree that such a self-produced life deserves to be judged and separated from God. Finally, everything that is needed for godly living must be found by pursuing a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Some other terminology that depicts the essence of new covenant living would be "the Spirit-filled life." "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit." The Lord calls His people away from earthly influences that can dominate and diminish lives and urges us to live by the fullness of His Spirit. When Christians answer this call, they are willing to live by God's powerful, unlimited resources, instead of by man's feeble, finite means.  One other familiar phrase that comprises the same reality as life in the new covenant is "the abundant life." "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." When Jesus came into this world, His mission was not only to rescue us from the consequences of our sins but also to provide us with "abundant life," a spiritually enriched life that only He could produce in us. New covenant living—it is the same reality as "Christian discipleship," "the Spirit-filled life," and "the abundant life." - From the DBD 1/24 message in the MacSword Program.
  26. God's mercy belongs to those who remain faithful.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Timothy 1:16-18,  pg. 271. 
  27. Understanding that God intended grace for us before the world's creation, knowing that we have a glorious future with Christ, and trusting his presence for today can free us from shame and give us courageous faith.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Timothy 1,  pg. 273. 
  28. The righteous will live by faith regardless of circumstances.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Romans 1, 1:16-17,  pg. 29. 
  29. Spirituality is evaluated by God internally more than externally.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Romans 2,  pg. 90. 
  30. Have you been made new? If so, all things are new and God’s blessings are yours in full measure. Arthur Pink sees this passage as presenting all those new features of Christianity that are ours through Jesus. “1. Christ is known in a new way, no longer ‘after the flesh,’ but in spirit, on High. ‘Touch me not … ascended’ (20:17). 2. Believers are given a new title—‘brethren’ (20:17). 3. Believers are told of a new position—Christ’s position before the Father (20:17). 4. Believers occupy a new place—apart from the world (20:19). 5. Believers are assured of a new blessing—‘peace’ made and imparted (20:19, 21). 6. Believers are given a new privilege—the Lord Jesus in their midst (20:19). 7. Believers have a new joy—through a vision of the risen Lord (20:20). 8. Believers receive a new commission—sent into the world by the Son as He was sent by the Father (20:21). 9. Believers are a new creation—indicated by the ‘breathing’ (20:22). 10. Believers have a new Indweller—even the Holy Spirit (20:22). How Divinely meet that all this was on the ‘first of the week’—indication of a new beginning, i.e., Christianity supplanting Judaism!” - From the commentary on John 20:20-22 from the Boice Expository Commentary Series (27 volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  31. Faith, in simple terms, is simply saying "Yes" to God's gift of redemption and justification through Christ.  Faith is agreeing with God that his plan of salvation is the one that saves.  It is absolutely in congruous for a person to have faith and then boast about observing the law as an instrument of salvation.  It would be the same as receiving a valuable birthday present and then insulting the giver by insisting on paying for it yourself.  Once the item was paid for by another, and received "by 'Yes' alone." (by faith alone), is it a gift. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Romans 3:27-31,  pg. 110. 
  32. Right standing before God is obtained freely by God's grace or not at all. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Romans 3  pg. 116. 
  33. First, on that great and final day, the wrath of God will explode upon the world like the bursting of a dam, with the mountains dissolving in mud-slides of human blood (v. 3). God is patient with human evil, more patient than we would be. He is giving everyone a chance. But his patience will have an end, because he is also just, more just than we are, more just than we wish he would be. Secondly, the sword of God will descend from Heaven. And how can we run from that? What canopy of defense can deflect the tip of the sword of God?  Thirdly, there will be a final sacrifice. All the moral guilt not paid for by the sacrifice of Christ will be paid for by the guilty themselves. Someone will be sacrificed for your sins, either Christ as your substitute or you yourself. But God will balance out the scales of justice in your case. Fourthly, all this terrible finality has actually been scheduled on the calendar of this human history in which we are living. The Lord has a day. It is coming. God will not leave things hanging forever. He will vindicate the faith of everyone who trusts him (“for the cause of Zion,” v. 8). - From the readings located in the section “Two Final Outcomes in Isaiah 34-35 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughs et al., Crossway Publisher.
  34. Be strong in grace.  How can someone be strong in Grace?  Grace means undeserved favor.  Just as we need to be strong in grace (Eph. 2:8,9) we should live by grace (Col. 2:6).  This means trusting completely in Christ and his power, and not trying to live for Christ in our strength alone.  Receive and utilize Christ's power.  He will give you strength to do his work. - Life Application Study Bible NIV Version - 2 Timothy 2:1 Note 2:1 - Pg 2200. 
  35. The response God longs to find in us is a heart in love.  - From location 1190 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  36. Do you realize that it is God’s will to make this earth into an extension of his throne room in Heaven? Do you realize that it is God’s will for his kingdom of glory to come into your life and for his will to be done in you as it is done in Heaven? Heaven is expanding, spreading in your direction. That is the meaning of your existence, if you will accept it and enter in. Heaven is taking over. Yield. Plodding through our daily routines, we seldom feel God’s glorious presence. We are absorbed in our own petty ambitions. But the truth is, God not only deserves to reign supreme, he does reign supreme. And his reign is glorious.  - From location 1255 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  37. “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).  - From location 1325 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  38. If your heart does not leap at God’s grace in Christ, what you need is more grace. Nothing else can save you from your own deadness. Therefore, fear your own hardness of heart more than anything else. 9 Beware of rigidity, ingratitude, a demanding spirit. Beware of an unmelted heart that is never satisfied. Beware of a mind that looks for excuses not to believe. Beware of the impulse that always finds a reason to delay response. Beware of thinking how the sermon applies to someone else. God watches how you hear his Word. If you are ever again to receive it with at least the capacity for response that you have at this very moment, hear it now: But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66:2). - From location 1362 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  39. God starts his renewing work of grace in the desert of our real lives. How could it be otherwise? A dreary desert is what we are. But God is able to give lush growth and life and joyful song. Joy pervades chapter 35, because salvation is not just when we stop being bad; salvation is when we delight in God’s glory and majesty. What must he be, if the mere sight of him transforms us from death into life? It is so foolish to hold God at arm’s length. He himself is the desire of your heart. And he wants you to see his glory, both now by faith and in Heaven face to face.
    How does God show himself now? Through the ministry of the gospel: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). We see God’s glory in the face of Jesus. And we see the face of Jesus as the Holy Spirit makes him real to us through his Word — how Christ is an overflowing fountain for thirsty sinners, how Christ is their wealth and honor and wisdom and happiness, how Christ’s righteousness covers all their guilt, how he is a power to conquer all their sins, a purity to wash away all their filth, and their spring of eternal freshness. They see in Christ a fullness to satisfy them forever. And the believing heart thrives in this new awareness of Jesus Christ.
      - From the reading about Salvation in Isaiah 35:1-2 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al, Crossway Publisher
  40. The person who is afraid of sinning because of hellfire isn’t really afraid of sinning; he’s only afraid of burning. He has no love for salvation. He has no stimulus for action except fear and pride. But true faith is swallowed up with such a sense of the glory of Christ that the heart transcends choice in the pleasures of surrender.  - From location 1389 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  41. Sometimes we sin so badly, we wonder if trusting God is even possible again. But God meets us even there. When our faith crashes and burns, is that the end of everything? No. It can be a new beginning. Our failure is God’s opportunity. - From the reading in Isaiah 38:1-39:8 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et all, Crossway Publisher 
  42. When you and I hover between the competing claims of good and evil, we’re only proving how empty and divided we are. True faith is not the capacity for victorious choices when faced with two equally compelling alternatives. True faith is the capacity to act fully, joyfully, enthusiastically because our eyes have been opened to the glory of Christ. 1 “Creatures no more divide my choice.” Isaiah experienced that, and it saved him. We can’t be saved without it.   - From location 1391 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  43. Inevitably God brings us into crisis. Sooner or later this question presses itself upon us: If I put my trust in God, will he save me? Will he be true to his promises in the gospel when it really counts for me? Our answer to that question will either be an agonized struggle back and forth, as we are unable to make up our minds, or our answer will be a clear yes. And the larger point Isaiah is making is that God’s people don’t trust him as they should, and they pay a price for it. But his grace will have the last word on their behalf — the triumph of his grace over their failure.  - From location 1416 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  44. God is our true ally, he invites us to trust him, and not trusting him is a destructive choice. - From location 1421 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  45. God is present in our crises. If we will trust him, he will save us. If we refuse him, he will discipline us. But he would rather save us. - From location 1441 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  46. God is attracted to weakness and need and honesty. He is repelled by our self-assured pride. - From location 1467 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  47. Isaiah 7:9b makes faith in God the central, unavoidable question of our lives. What is faith? It has three components: knowledge of God, persuading us to agree with God, motivating us to embrace God. John Murray, the Scottish theologian, defines faith as “a whole-souled movement of intelligent, consenting and confiding self-commitment. . . . Intellect, feeling and will converge upon Christ. . . . There is a consensus of all the functions of man’s heart and mind.”7 In other words, faith is the God-awakened capacity to respond fully to Christ. And if that is faith, then unfaith is the fragmentation and breakdown of our inner beings — intellect, feeling, and will. We know that God is more real than the earthly things immediately before us. We know he is more desirable than worldly attractions. We know he is faithful. We know we should live not out of what is but out of what is promised. We know our hearts must be grounded in finality if we hope to go the distance. And to refuse what we ourselves know to be true tears us apart inside. When we deny the truth we believe and refuse the consent we desire and withhold the trust we were created to enjoy, how can anything go right? The human being unravels. If we are not firm in faith, we are not firm at all. Everything in life, not just religion, flows out of our whole-souled movement toward Christ. Something inside us — the Bible calls it sin — is spring-loaded to see God as a Hallmark-card sentimental glow for the warm moments of life. But God offers himself to us as our greatest ally at all times. With him, we can face anything. He is appealing to us here, “Lean on me, and you will stand. But treat me as irrelevant, and you will become irrelevant.” - From location 1468 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  48. We need to think this through again and again, because living by faith in God rather than by faith in ourselves takes time to catch on to, and we lose focus quickly. Conversion to Christ is only the beginning. And how do we learn but in our crises? That’s when God takes the training wheels off our bikes and teaches us to ride like the big kids. God is saying, “In your crisis, when it counts for you, trust me. I will keep my every promise. But if you treat me as unreal, you will not connect with reality at all.” - From location 1481 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  49. Trusting God to save us when we are assaulted by evil has no downside. He meets the weakness and foolishness of faith with his power and wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:18-25). Therefore, the question we should be asking each day is more profound than, Have I said a prayer? That’s a good thing to do. But we should be asking ourselves, Am I trusting God right now, where it counts for me? If we welcome God as our ally and yield to his way, his timing, his control, his glory, he will fight for us. And we will have no regrets. He never lets faith go unmet. But if we set our own terms, we will fight alone. Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29, KJV). Moment by moment, that is the key to life. - From location 1521 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  50. The way to experience the saving presence of God is to look at the gently flowing trickle of water called Jesus Christ and say, “I will stake my life on that supply, and I will never thirst again, no matter how long I am under siege.” The way to experience the saving presence of God is to look at the baby Jesus and say, “He will be my fiercest ally, and I will conquer, no matter what sin threatens me.” The way to experience the saving presence of God in your crisis right now is to say yes to the improbable ways of God. The first business of our lives is to learn what it means to stop trying to save ourselves and venture all on God. He saves sinners. So be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint. “God with us” is more than a name. He is a reality. And when you lean on him as your reality, what more do you need? - From location 1539 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  51. One of the striking things about this testimony, this voice out of the future, is its simplicity. We complicate our trust in God. We mix in other things. We trust in our trust in God. We trust in our theology of God. We trust in our worship of God. We cling to God plus whatever makes us feel comfortable and superior. And the more props we need, the more insecure we become. But when the grace of God overrules our folly, real faith comes alive, and our outlook is simplified so that we say, “Behold, God is my salvation. He is enough. Period.” We then discover that we have been safe all along. For the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. (v. 2b).  - From location 2108 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  52. They were weak. But it didn’t matter. Why? Here is the confidence of the Biblical gospel from cover to cover: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). When that assurance enters our hearts, we see that even the frightening experiences of life are leading us more deeply into our salvation. We can stop thinking like victims and start singing even now.  - From location 2128 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  53. Joyfully drawing water from the wells of salvation is the very life of God, openly accessible to us all, entering into our actual experience. And the deeper we drink, the greater our praise. Jesus said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37, 38). One commentator explains it this way: When the believer comes to Christ and drinks he not only slakes his thirst but receives such an abundant supply that veritable rivers flow from him. This stresses the outgoing nature of the Spirit-filled life. . . . There is nothing of the piety of the pond in Christianity.4 Stagnant experience — the piety of the pond — is not of God. His salvation flows in endless freshness.  - From location 2145 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners by Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr..
  54. May God give us by the Holy Spirit the gift of faith that we may triumph over doubt and take every thought captive to obey Christ!  - From the Kindle book - Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig, location 615.
  55. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.” This is the great thing about being a believer. This is how the Lord works in guiding and directing us. He writes His will upon the table of our hearts. Jeremiah calls it the new covenant (31:31). Paul says it’s God working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). If you’re delighting in the Lord and staying connected to Him, He will give you the desires of your heart because those desires will be from Him. That’s the way He directs and guides. - from Psalm 1b), 2(a) of Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson.
  56. Becoming “new” in Christ is a wonderful beginning, but it isn’t the end of pain or problems in our lives.  It is the beginning of our facing up to them.  Being a Christian involves a lifetime of hard work, dedicated study, and difficult decisions. - From page 103 of "Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.