Live What You Believe (Galatians 2:11-13)

When a person comes to Chist, they begin a journey of learning and living by faith.  It may sound like an easy task, but it is anything but that.

Remember, the scriptures are your sole source of truth. God may use people that he gives to the church and their gifts to guide and influence you, but in reality, it is still just you and God.  God brings to you truth and he expects you to trust him and live by faith in that truth. 

There may be times when you struggle with this.  Your struggle may come from a mis-understanding of truth or from fear that may keep you from believing and living by faith.  It can happen to the best of Christians.  The scriptures record the Apostle Peter as being one of those who struggled.

When certain disciples came to Antioch from James, Peter, who had previously eaten with the Gentile believers, withdrew and separated himself from them.  It was a terrible decision that brought upon him rebuke from the Apostle Paul.  Furthermore because of his vacillating, he probably confused and offended the Gentile believers, negatively affected his testimony, and hindered his ability to lead and influence others.  The worst was that he grieved the Holy Spirit and disappointed his father in Heaven.  All of this happened because he feared what others would think.

I wonder how many times in my life, I have failed to live as I believed, but instead altered my actions to satisfy others.  Believers need to know what they believe and then live according to that belief without being confused or ashamed. To keep from falling into that trap, I suggest that you consider the following.

1. Expose yourself to the scriptures daily.

2. Learn truth from the scriptures.

3. Believe what the scriptures say and not what others tell you what they say.

4. Ask God for grace to live the truth that you learned and believed: especially when you may be afraid.

5. Praise God each step of the way.


Making Others Bold and Fearless (Philippians 1:14)

Can you imagine the fear that early Christians faced as they shared the gospel to the entirely heathen world and the nation of Israel that defied it? They did not have a friend in the world, but what God did was bind their hearts together and used them to bring encouragement one to another. Paul, by example of suffering for Christ and at the same time experiencing his wonderful grace, mercy, peace and comfort, was used by God to bring boldness to other believers and remove fear from their hearts.

And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. (Philippians 1:14)

Individually, we must ask ourselves, “What in my life has God used which caused others to face their trials with boldness and without fear?” Was it sickness? I remember a lady in our church who died from cancer in her 40’s. She faced it boldly and at the same time carried concern for her family. Her trial and example of faith brought strength to me. I think of a mother whose son has brought great shame to her and her husband, yet she steadfastly remains faithful to God. Her testimony is a beacon of God’s grace to those around her. I know a man whose family has pretty much fallen away from God, yet he firmly stands in allegiance to Christ. Each of these have one thing in common: the examples of their faith brought boldness to others as they face similar and diverse challenges without fear.

God wants to use each of us to be an encouragement and example to others. As you face your trials, trust The Lord. Young believers and old are watching. Your trial is part of God’s plan to provide strength and encouragement to them. Before you is a great opportunity. All you need to do is be faithful.