Follow-up to What does faithfulness to God look like in the middle class?

27 Aug

We had a gorgeous day Sunday morning for worship in the park!  Afterwards the food and fellowship were great too.

The only glaring omission was our weekly sermon discussion group…  It is one of my favorite hours of the week.  Over the last couple years since we started it, we’ve had conversations that have ranged from thought-provoking (including the recurring “why didn’t I think of that for the sermon???” in my own mind), to emotional, to risky, to hilarious.  The past couple months, it seems to me, have been especially meaningful.

So let’s have a little sermon discussion here.  We do from time to time, but perhaps this week we have more of a reason.

I gave you an introduction to Sunday’s sermon with my post late last week here.

In the sermon I expanded on the difference between faith and faithfulness.  Do you remember what the difference is?  What are your thoughts and questions about that?  Perhaps you might read James 2:14-26 for a bit more on that.

I also discussed what it means to be faithful as middle class Americans.  Our lives are filled to the brim with all kinds of opportunity, the rat race, bills, entertainment, and having to balance it all with sanity.  School just started for our kids, so many of you are breathing a bit easier now that there is more of a schedule in your life.  Some of you have 7 free hours that you didn’t have a few days ago!  But with school comes homework, and sports, and early mornings trying to get it all together to make the bus, and so on.  Is there any time to grow the fruit of faithfulness in our lives?  Maybe you want to discuss that.

Finally, we talked about how God is the source of faithfulness, because he himself is perfectly faithful.  And yet, you might be wondering about God’s faithfulness.  You might be waiting for what seems like an eternity to have a prayer answered, a sickness healed, a relationship restored.  God doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the horizon.  Is he faithful?

So let’s discuss!

7 Responses to “Follow-up to What does faithfulness to God look like in the middle class?”

  1. Sherri Patton August 28, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    It’s been 3 years now since being saved, we(Ken & I) feel our Faith has grown immensely in that time. And over the course of those 3 years, we feel it was the difficult times that have strengthened our Faith. Looking back, we can see and say that the way things worked out were for the better. And I will be honest, and say “It was not what I thought would be for the better!” It was God’s plan. And I believe his plan is always the better way. And I feel that once you can grasp that concept, you then know he is a Faithful God. That being said, so why in the midst of the difficult times, do we still stress, sin, and struggle so much?? Knowing he is Faithful should be enough. I guess many struggle with this. I would like to believe in another 3 years his Faithfulness will be enough. I do believe there is always room for growth no matter who or what. So, is that the key? Growing, learning, believing?

    So then my question is this, is there another way to strengthen Faith?

  2. Sherri Patton August 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    It has been 3 years now since being saved. In that time we ( Ken & I) have grown immensely in our Faith. And honestly looking back, the times that have strengthened our Faith were the questionable times. In those times we have learned that God is Faithful. It really can be hard to grasp that concept, especially when you think what you want would be best. When you live your life without God, your own desires, needs, and thoughts are all that matter. When you allow God to work in your life, and you learn that his plan is always the best, that is when your Faith is built. However, it is still SO hard when you are in the middle of a difficult time/situation. The waiting. Wondering where God will lead you. I often think in another 3 years will it be as hard? Will I wonder? Or will I have strengthened my Faith even more? I am a person who believes that there is ALWAYS room for growth, no matter who or the what of the situation. The one thing I can say at this point, I do believe God is Faithful. So now it is a matter of learning to let go, and let that Faith in full steam, which is a struggle of mine at this point.

    So I guess my one question is, what are some other ways of growing your Faith? Besides life lessons.

    • Sherri Patton August 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Lol. Sorry I posted in here twice, the second one was my first one I wanted to post. But my phone went dead and I thought I lost it. So, when it recharged I wrote another. Then suddenly in the middle of doing something else, it came up on my screen. And I couldn’t get it to go away, and in the midst of that it posted. Again. Sorry! But you will get to read both of my thoughts!

      • Sherri Patton August 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

        Thank You. I certainly Pray often, but know there is more room for Prayer. And I will try to apply more of the others into my life. Thanks for all the helpful insight.

    • joelkime August 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Great questions, Sherri. Thanks! If this discussion was taking place in a regular Sunday morning sermon discussion, I would ask the rest of the group to respond. So I think I’ll do that here too. Any takers? And if no one responds, I’ll give some thoughts in a day or so. Hoping to generate some discussion!

      • Sherri Patton August 30, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

        Well, no takers.It’s been on my mind, especially the last two day’s. Just one more thing has been added to our time of difficulty. So do you have any thoughts you could share? Or maybe we could touch on it during Sundays Sermon discussion.

      • joelkime August 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

        There is much that could be said, but in blog discussion like this, I guess I would summarize by saying that growing in faithfulness is becoming like Jesus by doing what he did. I’m not referring to the miracles! God may bless some with the gift of healing, but even then it is from his power, not theirs. I’m also not referring to Jesus’ act of salvation, which we could never do.

        What I’m referring to is the pattern of his life, the habits he demonstrated, the Kingdom life that he lived. The Gospel of Luke, for example, is a great one to study in this regard. Read through it and take not how often Jesus talks about prayer and is actually praying. We need to cultivate a vibrant practice of prayer. This is where having an accountability partner or mentor is so helpful. Work together with someone to grow. Ask them to hold you accountable. Ask them to teach you to pray. Seek to increase the amount of time you give to prayer. Keep a prayer list. Ask God to help you pray. Study the prayers of Jesus, especially the Lord’s Prayer. Study what Scripture has to say about prayer. Prayer is vital because it shows dependence on God (John 15:1-8).

        Study the spiritual disciplines, with prayer as a foundation. What are the habits that Jesus practiced? There are many wonderful books on the spiritual disciplines. I would recommend this book. Maybe study the book with an accountability partner or mentor?

        And look at your growth in faithfulness as a marathon, not a sprint!

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