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Four Signs That Your Faith May Be Too Small

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Believing in a Big God for Big Things:

 

 The second in Calvary’s series of Core Values is Faith: Believing in a big God for big things. Sometimes it’s easier to relegate faith to what happens between our right and left ears. Christians are people who believe that Jesus died for our sins and are therefore saved. But that’s only where faith is supposed to begin.

All of Israel demonstrated a believing faith in God. Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth was no exception. Pastor Wayne pointed out, however, that Jesus marveled at their unbelief—which kept him from giving them miraculous and wonderful gifts (Mark 6:5-6).

The people who knew God and knew Jesus from childhood were missing out on great things because their faith was too small. What attitudes could be causing us to miss out on God’s greatness and how can we know? Below are four characteristics of small faith and the opposite mindset that corrects it.
  

  1. Your faith might be too small if you live in disappointment with the way your life turned out. Disappointment is a faith killer because it assumes the story begins and ends with us. The people of Nazareth were disappointed with Jesus—He was not fitting their expectations of reality and they were closed to the possibility that their experience was wrong.  People who believe in a big God for big things, don’t deny reality; they hold open the door for God to grant a new reality

  2. Your faith might be too small if you are always looking at the latest fad. There is nothing new under the sun—only new packaging. Helpful tips, whether for our health, finances, relationships, or emotions are potentially useful tools, but they are not blueprints for our lives. These, instead, come from God.  People who believe in a big God for big things are dependent on God’s direction through prayer.

  3. Your faith might be too small if comfort is your default. Humanly speaking, comfort and security do not require faith. The reality of God in our lives pushes our limits from the inside out, challenging us to serve when we would rather rest, befriend who we would otherwise reject, and surrender what we would rather keepPeople who believe in a big God for big things exchange comfort for effort.


  4. Your faith might be too small if you live in fear of change or loss. When we fear change, we believe that the status quo is as good as it gets. We tend to view the world with myopic vision, managing only what is right before our eyes and rejecting vision for a better future that is intended for our good. What do you expect? People who believe in a big God for big things are people who learn to expect big things from God.
Posted by Nan Maurer with

Three Ways the Gospel Changes How You Live

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Calvary began a six-week series on Core Values last Sunday in which Pastor Wayne explained that values determine the flavor of a thing--including us!  Red Delicious and Macintosh, for example, are both apples, but a Red Delicious is crisp and sweet. A Macintosh is mushy and tart. Both are apples; each offers a different experience.

Values determine how other people experience us, like the taste of an apple.  Values also determine how we see other people--and that makes a difference in how treat them. 

1. When we value the gospel, we understand that people need the gospel more than they need anything else.

Seeing other peoples’ needs is something that Calvary does well. Pastor Wayne explained that as a church, we feed the poor, provide needed resources for our community, serve as advocates for those who don’t have a voice—and we will continue to do these things.

But these things are not the gospel. They are venues to communicate the love of the gospel (more on this below). The gospel is Jesus seeking and saving the lost by dying in their place for their sins—for our sins--on the cross.

Jesus died for every person, and that is why every person needs the gospel more than they need anything else. 

2. When we value the gospel, we break down barriers that hold it back. 

We don’t always know what we need most. The distractions of life and suffering can make understanding fuzzy. Suffering and distraction usually drive people toward relief and satisfaction--It's hard to ponder the deeper eternal truths of life when you're not sure you can pay your mortgage or worse. Helping people is the kind and right thing to do (Proverbs 3:28). In fact, it's that kindness and relief that often opens doors to "the deeper" things.   

When the gospel is our core value, we understand the importance of breaking down barriers—even if it means getting messy. As a church we fill food boxes for refugees. We volunteer at Hope Rescue Mission. We make room in our row of seats on Sunday for people in work release programs.  Obstacles to truth diminish when we help the hurting as a church for the sake of gospel. But the biggest impact must come to each of us as individuals.

3. When we value the gospel, we choose to be uncomfortable for the sake of love. 

If gospel is your driving core value—it will change the way you live on the six days between Sunday to Sunday. The best way to put it into gear is to ask yourself questions like these:  

  • If gospel is my core value, and every driver on the road needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how will I respond to the one who cuts me off in traffic?
  • If gospel is my core value and every waiter needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how will I interact with the one who messes up my order… again?
  • If gospel is my core value and every person who lives an alternative lifestyle needs the gospel more than they need anything else, how much of my friendship and listening ear will I offer them?

Living the gospel as a value is not easy. In fact, the gospel itself is the one thing all believers need more than they need anything else in order to walk like Jesus.  

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