Faith, what is your confession?

And the journey continues…. into Deuteronomy. This book is filled with encouragement to live by faith in God. Moses wanted to impress upon the Israelites, and us by extension, that God is the only God and that we need to remember what He has done in our lives to help us remain faithful especially when times get difficult. I love the portion in Chapter 6: 6-9 which is called the Shema in Hebrew. It was/is their confession of faith in God.

“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

**God is God alone, there is no other besides Him. Psalm 72:8 “Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds.” Isaiah 37:16 “Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.”

Devoted Jews in Jesus’ day recited this confession daily. Many take the words literally and wear lacteries upon their foreheads with verses inside and many have a mezuzot ,which is a small wooden or metal container with passages of scripture inside, attached to their door frames. The words are precious and filled with direction and meaning for us today. Examine the lessons and truths contained in this confession and ask yourself- is this what I believe with all my heart? I have included other scriptures that confirms the principles found in this confession for your meditation.

*We must love God with all our being. Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

*We must commit ourselves to Him wholeheartedly each day. Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this”

*We need to teach our children about God as we live our daily lives. Psalm 34:11 “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

*We need to show others we believe the Holy Scriptures and their truths about God. Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” James 2:18 “But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

Can you make this profession of faith about your love for Jesus? Are you committed? Do others see Jesus in your life in how you speak and act? Food for thought as you meditate on God’s Word and commit yourself to Him. Talk this confession of faith over with God, claim it as your own and ask Him for the strength and endurance to live for Him each day.

Linda

P.S. Before the protestant reformation began, Martin Luther arrived at the following statements of faith from his study of Romans. The 5 Solas- Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, Glory of God Alone, Scripture Alone. May you proclaim Christ in your life today!

Breakfast on the beach… with Jesus

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Sea of Galilee at sunrise

One of my favorite post-resurrection appearances is in John 21.  This passage will bring a smile to your face and assurance of the Savior’s love,  as you picture the scene beside the Sea of Galilee.

Several of the disciples had gathered by the Sea of Galilee, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John and 2 other disciples (John 21:1-2) and Jesus appeared to them.

“I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with. you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”  “No,” they answered.  He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find

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Typical fishing boat

some.”  When they did they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”  As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him(for the had taken it off) and jumped into the water.  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about 100 yards.  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.  Jesus said to “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.  John 21:3-14

I love this tender story of Jesus’ compassion for the tired discouraged fishermen who were his friends.  Here are a few Lessons and Truths we can know from this passage.  What Jesus did for them that morning, He can do for us too:   1.  Jesus knows how things are going in my life, my disappointments and my joys.   2.  As believer,  Jesus considers me His friend.   3.  Jesus can guide and provide for my needs.    4.  If I look,  Jesus will reveal himself to me;  He is always near.     5.  Jesus can and does make himself known to me.   I need to be aware and watchful.   6.  Jesus desires to fellowship with me.

John 20 10Which of these lessons and truths speak to you today?   James 4:8 tell us,  “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”   Meet Him today wherever you are, He will be there waiting for you just like He was for the disciples that morning by the sea.

Linda