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You Can Have Living Faith

You Can Have Living Faith

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Our world is experiencing a crisis of faith. Few people place much faith in the future. Many have no faith their marriages will survive, that political leaders will honorably serve their country or that education will prepare them adequately for the challenges ahead. Faced with the difficulties of everyday life, many people simply have no confidence that there will be a better tomorrow. [ View or download other free booklets at www.ucg.org ]
Our world is experiencing a crisis of faith. Few people place much faith in the future. Many have no faith their marriages will survive, that political leaders will honorably serve their country or that education will prepare them adequately for the challenges ahead. Faced with the difficulties of everyday life, many people simply have no confidence that there will be a better tomorrow. [ View or download other free booklets at www.ucg.org ]

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Published by: United Church of God on Jul 09, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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07/17/2010

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© 1999 United Church of God,
an International Associaion
All Rights Reserved. Printed in U.S.A. Scriptures in this booklet are quoted from the New King James Version (© 1988 Thomas Nelson,Inc.,publishers) unless otherwise noted.
Y
OU
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AN
H
AVE
L
IVING
F
AITH
 
 I nroucion
solve their problems. Then,because emotions are so subjective,people are left confused and grasping for anything that offers hope.
Religious unbelievers
Pollster George Barna commented on America’s Christianity: “I am quite confident you will agree that Americans are religious people. Personally,I am less persuaded that we are truly a Christian people,regardless of our self-perceptions(George Barna,
The Indexof Leading Spiritual Indicators,
1996,p. xvi). Confirmation of the superficiality of faith is to be found in the fact that,although 90 percent of Americans say they pray,many are unsure that their prayers make any difference (
 National & Inter-national Religion Report  ,
May 17,1993). “What we have witnessed in the latter part of the twentieth century is the growing seculariza-tion of a self-described religious people,”the pollster commented (pp. 2-3).Are churches helping solve this problem? The results of a survey of 11,122 people across six Christian denominations indicate thatchurches are not doing their job when it comes to inspiring faith intheir members. Only a third of adults surveyed said they have a life-transforming relationship with God and are dedicated to serving their fellowman (“What Makes Faith Mature?,”Eugene Roehlkepartain,
Christian Century,
May 9,1990,pp. 496-499). If the United States,said by some to be the most religious Christian- professing nation,is having such problems,what does that tell us about the rest of the world? Lack of faith—an active,living trust in and rela- tionship with God—is a widespread problem affecting every nation andvirtually every individual. When it comes to faith,does God encourage or accept a diver- gence of approaches? Is it true,as many believe,that many paths lead to God?Jesus Christ pointed us in
one
direction:“But the hour is coming, and now is,when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him”(John 4:23).Our worship of God must be a reflection of 
ruth.
Although worship involves feelings and emotions,God expects us to understand
how
and
wh y
we worship Him. Only by understanding these concepts can
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You Can Have Living Faith
Introduction
... When the Son of Man comes, will He really findfaith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
O
ur world is experiencing a crisis of faith. Few people place much faith in the future. Many have no faith their marriages will sur-vive,that political leaders will honorably serve their country or that education will prepare them adequately for the challenges ahead. Faced with the difficulties of everyday life,many people simply have no confidence that there will be a better tomorrow.In a burned-out,tuned-out and turned-off world,sentiments like The rich get richer and the poor get poorerand “Nothing ever turns out rightclutter our thinking. At the same time,many people view the values and promises of the Bible as judgmental and archaic. The popular approach is to accept and validate all opinions,no matter what they are. But the same people don’t realize that such an approach inevitably produces doubt,which undermines faith. We may not deny the existence of God,but,because of the materialism,humanism and moral relativism of the world around us,we convince ourselves that God is not involved in human affairs. We see through a prism that leaves God out of the picture. Even for professing Christians,religion is often superficial. Many lack a basic knowledge of the teachings of the Bible or their denomina- tion’s beliefs. Far too many have come to believe that every aspect of  life is simply a matter of personal choice,and nothing matters beyond their feelings. Instead of relying on God,they trust only themselves to
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What Is Faith?
What Is Faith?
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for andcertain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NewInternational Version).
D
o you see much faith in the world around you? We live in asecular-oriented society that is virtually devoid of faith. Since most people don’t read the Bible,they don’t know much about God. Many are not even sure there is a God. Others,although they believe in Him,don’t know what kind of God He is. This situation shouldn’t surprise us. After all,it’s impossible for people to have living faith in a God they do not know.What about you? Have you thought about—do you
now
whatGod can and will do for you?The God of the Bible tells us that we
can
come to know anddevelop a relationship with Him. We can know what He has planned for us and our families in this life and in the future. We can restassured He wants good things for us. His Word tells us that “godli- ness is profitable for all things,having
 promise of the life that nowis
and of 
hatwhich is to come
(1 Timothy 4:8,emphasis added throughout). Not only can we come to know God,to believe
in
God,but much morewe can learn to
believe
God.There is a huge difference. Many people believe
in
God. They assume He exists,although they probably haven’t given His existence much thought. But God is not real enough to them,and this lack of 
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You Can Have Living Faith
we develop the sure,unshaable faith spoken of in the Bible.
A perpetual problem
Generations come and go,but chronic problems persist. Lack of  faith has been around a long time. Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ spoke a parable that illustrated our need to have and practice living faith. He described a widow who was having difficulty obtain-ing justice. She persevered in her quest for righteous judgment,how- ever,and eventually the judge decided to help her only because he grew weary of her constant pleadings (Luke 18:1-5).Jesus used this example drawn from everyday life to illustrate God’s promise to intervene on behalf of people of faith:“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge themspeedily(verses 7-8). Although Christ assures us God will answer our prayers,do you have faith that He will answer yours? Understanding and living according to God’s instructions will inspire faith in God and His promises. Faith helps us make sense out of our troubling and confusing world. It gives us the confidence we need to move forward with our lives. When Christ concluded this parable,He asked a question with pro-found implications for all of us:... When the Son of Man comes,will He really find faith on the earth?(verse 8). Faith is all too rare today,but we can develop it if we understand the keys to faith. Continue reading to learn more about how you canhave living faith.
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