Sunday, July 30, 2023
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” James 2:17,21

f there is dead faith according to James from the reference above, there must be living faith - in the elementary school we learnt words and opposites, it is also applicable in the spiritual terrain.

The book of Hebrews gives us the vital background on faith.”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Biblical faith is based on the sure, unchanging promises of the faithful God.

A living faith is an active faith. We show our belief in God and His ways by striving to live like our loving God and following His laws and wise principles contained in the Bible. Living faith means to strive to live as Jesus lived. This means to diligently do what apostle John wrote:

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. …

In 2 Pet 1:1 the apostle says that faith is precious. In Heb 11 we read about the great works of faith that are more precious than gold. 1 Pet 1:7

Abraham demonstrated living faith in many ways. He did not talk about faith , talk is cheap, we never read in the Bible that Abraham confessed faith, he just took actions that was credited to him as faith . The Holy Spirit wants you to practice living faith by following these examples from a none- theorist but a practical man of faith- Abraham, in Gen 22.

1. Test of faith Gen 22: 1. “After these things God did test Abraham “ Until your faith is tested you don’t know whether you carry a dead or living faith . Unlike college exams where you are giving date, venue,duration of exam, life exam comes anywhere, anytime, everywhere,and with undefined duration! It can come from man, Satan or God! Nobody lives on planet earth without a test of faith. Expect yours!

2. Sacrifice of faith : Gen 22:2 “Take now thy son..offer him for a burnt offering“ Abraham was ready to place all his possessions on the altar. What about us? ( Rom 12:1-2;15:3). Are you willing to sacrifice your time, energy, talents resources to advance the gospel?

3. Obedience of faith: Gen 22:3. Abraham got up very early. ( Heb 11:8;John 2:5). How promptly do you respond to God’s instructions? Imagine Abraham waiting to get the opinion of his wife or his nephew! “Lot I know you have not always being there for me but I need to make a difficult decision, God wants me to sacrifice Isaac- what do you think?” Living faith obeys God- period!

4. Perseverance of faith. Gen 22:4. On the third day Abraham saw the place far off. God did not choose a place nearby, it was three days journey, to see if Abraham will change his mind. Can you persevere when you are going through a test of faith? When that conception is delayed for three years, when getting that contract is delayed for X years do you cave in with a short bribe? When you don’t know when the next meal, rent or mortgage will come from? When that church refuse to grow for 3 years do you join the company of ritualists?Living faith endures hardship and perseveres.

5. Hope of faith: Gen 22:5. Abraham said “ I and the lad will …come again to you” Heb 11:19. Abraham knew that the promise was in Isaac Gen 21:12. Do you have hope for a better tomorrow? The gospel artist, Bola Are sang - “Ola yio dara. Ki yo sin nkan. To ri Jesu je ki n mope Ola yio dara”meaning “Tomorrow will be great, through Jesus I know, tomorrow shall be great” Living faith sees a greater, better , glorious tomorrow! You may be a bus conductor today, you are the professor of tomorrow. You may be the hotel cleaner today, see yourself as a franchisee of Sheraton tomorrow! There may be pain of fuel subsidy removal today but Nigeria shall be great.

Abraham said “We will come back” I like that!. Are you down today? you will bounce back. That marriage, business, ministry will live again. You will pass that professional exam. That sickness is not unto death.

6. Provision of faith: Gen 22:8. Abraham said “ My son, God will provide…“ Believe like a child in God’s provision. I am yet to see a 2- year old boy thinking of how Daddy will put food on the table. God says he is your father Jn 1:12. Living faith is trusting God for provision when it does not look like it. Matt 6:25-34.

7. Victory of faith : Gen 22:12. “ Now I know” Isaac was destined, sacrificed, and given back to his father. (1Jn 5:4, Mk 9:23) There is a mountain top of faith you get to where the blessings come tumbling down. Where the trophies are awarded. I see your living faith yielding results.

In conclusion Living faith strengthens us, makes us more humane, prosperous and develop a better personality. Living faith leads us to live like Jesus Christ. Obey God’s laws and instructions. Care for our families, Church members and others in need.Trust in God in good times and in fiery trials. Resist Satan.Endure to the end and receive the gift of blessings in this world eternal life. Mk 10:28-30.