CONTINUE IN THE FAITH

We must continue in faith, to experience the fulfillment of God’s promises of abundant blessings!

Romans 11:22 – Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you goodnessIF YOU CONTINUE in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

“Continuing” — (Jesus). Jesus instructs us to CONTINUE IN THE FAITH!

“Dis-continuing” — (Devil). Our enemy, the devil tries to STOP US FROM CONTINUING IN THE FAITH, with many distractions, tricks, and devilish traps!

ABIDING

Definition: includes CONTINUING; remaining; staying united/joined/connected

ABIDING — IN THE LORDJohn 15:1-10

In verses 3-10  –  Jesus encourages us to “ABIDE (CONTINUE) in Him” 10 times!

The results of ABIDING (CONTINUING) in the Lord are fruitfulness and blessing; if we don’t CONTINUE & ABIDE in Christ, the results are dreadful!

ABIDING (CONTINUING) – TRUE DISCIPLESHIP

John 8:31-32 – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you ABIDE in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Acts 1:4 – These all CONTINUED with one accord in prayer and supplication…

Acts 2:42 – And they CONTINUED steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

CONTINUE IN THE FAITH

Here is a key verse that clearly expresses the importance of continuing in the faith.

Colossians 1:22-23 – …in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you CONTINUE IN THE FAITH, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…

CONTINUE IN PRAYER, SOUND DOCTRINE, THINGS TAUGHT, LOVE

Colossians 4:2CONTINUE earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving…

I Timothy 4:16 – Take heed to yourself and to the doctrineCONTINUE in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

2 Timothy 3:14 – …you MUST CONTINUE in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them…

Hebrews 13:1 – Let brotherly love CONTINUE.

CONTINUE IN COVENANT

Hebrews 8:9 – …they did NOT CONTINUE in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

James 1:25 – …he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and CONTINUES in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

  • Special note: If we don’t want the Lord to disregard us, and to bless us and hear and answer our prayers, we need to be steadfast in keeping covenant with HIm.

CONTINUANCE IN FELLOWSHIP – LITMUS TEST OF BEING PART OF GOD’S FAMILY

I John 2:19 – …if they had been of us, they would have CONTINUED with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

CONTINUE TO BELIEVE (HAVE FAITH)

I John 5:13 – These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may CONTINUE to believe in the name of the Son of God.

ADMONITION / RESOLUTION

Let’s CONTINUE TO ABIDE in the Lord! May our faith in the Lord continue, no matter what! Maintain our relationship with the Lord (CONTINUE)…

WARNINGS ABOUT LACK OF CONTINUANCE…

Luke 6:46 – “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

Matthew 7:27 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘LordLord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Revelation 2:4-5Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

Revelation 3:15-19 – “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.Therefore be zealous and repent

TRIALS OF FAITH

Our faith is tried in the fires of human experience. May our faith be refined and purified in the fires – “gold refined in the fire”, and become more precious and pleasing to the Lord!

Hebrews 11:36-39 – …others were tortured…36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword… being destitute, afflicted, tormented; … 39 And these ALL, having obtained a good report through FAITH…

FAITH IN GOD

Mark 11:22-24 – …Jesus answered and said to them, “HAVE FAITH IN GOD. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Jesus’s evaluation of people

“Great” Faith“Little” Faith“No” Faith

According to your FAITH be in unto you…” (Matthew 9:29)

  • Jesus evaluation of people is often different than our assessments. He is not so impressed with popularity, fame, and fortune. What He is looking for is FAITH!

Luke 18:8 – …when the Son of man comes, shall he find FAITH on the earth?

Peter

Matthew 14:29-31 – …He (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O you of “little” FAITH, wherefore (why) did you doubt?

  • Special note: How many of us have walked on water? If we had done that, we would have considered doing that to be such a miraculous act of faith. However, Jesus not only saw the accomplishment. From His perspective that appears to be minimal compared to Peter’s demonstration of “little” FAITH by getting his eyes off of Jesus and onto the challenging circumstances, and allowing doubtful thoughts into his heart and mind rather than ones of FAITH!

LOOK TO JESUS IN FAITH, WITHOUT GIVING PLACE TO DOUBT AND UNBELIEF

THE SOURCE OF FAITH

Hebrews 12:1-2 – …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,Looking  unto JESUS the author and finisher of our FAITH

Romans 10:17 – So then FAITH comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD

Philippians 1:6 – …being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

LAST DAYS SCENARIO

Matthew 24:9-10,13 – …because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall become cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

  • Special note: In these “last days”, the faithful love of so many (as seen through enduring faith) will become cold and cease! This is a major warning from Jesus about pursuing continuance in faith!

2 Thessalonians 2:3 a “falling away” first …(before the anti-Christ is revealed)

2 Peter 3:17 – You therefore, beloved… beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.

BE WATCHING AND READY

Those watching and ready for the return of Jesus are rewarded (Matthew 24 & 25). Those who are not watching and living in readiness for Jesus return will be not be rewarded, but punished.

Luke 13:24-28 – “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’  26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…

Hard, rocky ground

Luke 8:13 – They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation FALL AWAY.

  • Special note: The seed sown on the rock did not continue to live and become fruitful. Ground that isn’t watered continually will eventually become hard and rock-like. We need to be refreshed and watered CONTINUALLY by God’s Word, to maintain our hearts to be good ground, and develop strong roots. Let’s be very careful in these last days to maintain our hearts, and have deep roots in God’s Word, and in fellowship with the Lord and others.
  • Special note: When afflictions and persecution comes, they are offended, wither, and fall away (have no roots don’t have a good, strong root system that has been developed over time).

OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, HINDRANCES, AND CHALLENGES TO OUR FAITH

ENEMIES

Our adversary the devil uses many tricks, traps, and circumstances to try to undermine and destroy our faith! Here are some of them: Fear; Unbelief; Ignorance / Blindness; Discouragement; Dis-interest; Alibi’s and excuses; Sin; Other people; Persecution; Lack of love and commitment; No consistent, personal devotions; Lack of fellowship; the world, flesh, and the devil; Pride; Deception; Distractions; Lusts, worldly temptations, and cares of this life; Love of money; Worldly pleasures; Etc…

I Thessalonians 2:18 – …we would have come unto you… but Satan hindered us!

  • Special note: It is important that we recognize the devices of the enemy to hinder us from pursuing things that edify us, and that strengthen our faith and the faith of others. Hinderances to faith need to be overcome!
  • Special note: It is difficult to expose and highlight all of the enemies in this short article. The ones that are highlighted above are ones that we will especially target, below…

WE CAN OVERCOME, and triumph BY FAITH

Revelation 12:11They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.

Romans 12:21Do NOT be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with GOOD.

Our enemy, the Devil (Satan) is trying to destroy faith! He is a deceiver and destroyer, and he is out to “kill, steal and destroy” our faith (John 10:10); and as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8). However, the good news is that Jesus provides ABUNDANT LIFE BY FAITH (John 10:10; Galatians 2:20), and we can overcome the devil! “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).

I Peter 5:9…Resist him (the devil), steadfast in the FAITH…

James 4:7 – Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have PEACE. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheerI have overcome the world.

FAITH MIGHTY FAITH

There is a powerful Scripture song about FAITH that goes like this:

Faith mighty faith the promise sees and looks to God alone. Laughs at impossibilities and cries “it shall be done”! And cries “It shall, it shall be done”, and cries “it shall, it shall be done”! Laughs at impossibilities, and cries “IT SHALL BE DONE”!

PRECIOUS FAITH

We need to recognize how precious and valuable our FAITH IS! Things that are very precious and valuable we guard and carefully protect.

2 Peter 1:1 – Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like PRECIOUS FAITH with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

I Peter 1:7 – …that the genuineness of YOUR FAITHbeing much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…

Justified by Faith

Romans 5:1 – Therefore being justified by FAITH, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

  • Special note: Justification and reconciliation to God through FAITH is a precious gift from Jesus that produces peace. Let’s not minimize it, or take it for granted. Let’s cherish it, and guard it carefully by CONTINUING IN THE FAITH!

FIGHT THE FIGHT OF FAITH

FAITH IS THE VICTORY

I John 5:4-5 – …whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome (overcomes) the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

I Corinthians 15:57 – …thanks be to God, who gives us the VICTORY through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Fight of Faith

I Timothy 6:12 FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you are also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

DIFFICULTIES, TROUBLES, & OBSTACLES

Matthew 7:14 – Because narrow is the gate and DIFFICULT is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

2 Timothy 2:3 – Therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 46:1-2 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…

  • Special note: The Lord didn’t say we wouldn’t have any trouble or trials of faith, but that He would be with us in the midst of all of the adversity to help us through!

Matthew 28:20 – …lo, I am with you always...

I Corinthians 15:37 – …in all these things (right in the midst of the trouble and conflict) we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Hebrews 13:5-6 – …He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper;I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

      DISCOURAGEMENT

      The hardness of the way

      Numbers 21:4 …the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.

      The difficulty of the task

      Nehemiah 4:10 – And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish, so that we are not able to build the wall.

      The prosperity of the wicked

      Psalm 73:2,3 – But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

      Delays in the fulfillment of desires

      Proverbs 13:12Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

      • Special note: Prescription for broken heartsIsaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:18 “… to heal the broken-hearted…” There are many need inner healing from physical, sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse… If that speaks to you today, and what you are experiencing, reach out to the Lord in faith, and let him bring healing and restoration to you through His Word, and by His Spirit. He sends His Word and “BRINGS HEALING, and delivers from destruction (the destroyer)! (Psalm 107:20)

      FIVE THINGS THAT DESTROY OUR FAITH

      1. Offenses
      2. Complaining
      3. Un-forgiveness
      4. Addictions
      5. Strife

      OFFENSES

      3 OF THE WAYS OFFENSES COME (Matthew 18:21-35)

      1. We get offended with God.
      2. We are offended by others.
      3. We offend ourselves.

      Psalm 119:165Great peace have those who love Your law (Word), and nothing shall OFFEND them (causes them to stumble).

      • Special note: When we are tempted to be offended, let’s fall more in love with God’s Word, with God and His people, and determine to follow Jesus’s amazing example to resist temptation and overcome it!

      COMPLAINING – (DON’T COMPLAIN… BE THANKFUL!

      Philippians 2:14 – Do all things without murmurings and disputings…

      (AMPC) -Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining…

      BE FORGIVING!

      What happens when we don’t forgive?

      1. We cannot be forgiven.
      2. We open ourselves up to deception.
      3. We allow a root of bitterness to take root in us.
      4. Our prayers are hindered.
      5. We allow their sin to also cause us to sin.
      6. Our physical health can be affected.

      PROPERLY DEALING WITH OFFENSES (1)

      1. Don’t nurse them.
      2. Don’t curse them.
      3. Don’t rehearse them.
      4. BUT disburse them.
      5. And God will reverse them.

      Dispersing our Offenses – (Not keeping them – getting rid of them)…

      4 Steps to dispersing our offenses:

      1. Choose to FORGIVE the person and say it out loud to God (Declare it with your mouth – make a faith declaration!)
        • Colossians 3:13 – “…bearing with one another, and FORGIVING one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”
      2. Make a decision to never rehearse the offense to anyone again.
      3. Choose to bless the person and pray for them each time the devil brings them to your mind.
      4. Do good to them (if possible) acting on your commitment to forgive and bless them.
      • Special note: GOOD NEWS! You can get free from the vicious circle of bitter thoughts flooding your mind regarding the offense. God is able to reverse them. What the devil intended for evil, God can turn it around and work it together for good to those who love Him, who called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
      • Joseph – Genesis 50:20 – …you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good…

      OVERCOMING VICES & ADDICTIONS

      Destructive vices and addictions can be overcome through the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word – such as: Anger, alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, immorality, lying, gossiping, stealing, etc...

      AVOID FIGHTING AND STRIFE

      Fighting, strife, and debate are works of the flesh – not the Spirit. We are to live & move in the Spirit, not the works of the flesh. Like the Bible says, “Only by pride comes contention” (Proverbs 13:10)

      PEACE, HARMONY, AND UNITY

      Let’s maintain A HAPPY, PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERE in our homes. Our lives are to be filled with praise & thanksgiving.

      Let’s not let difficulties get us down, or destroy our faith

      Even in times of trouble when our FAITH IS TESTED AND TRIED, God promises are true, and He promises to be with us through it all, and help us!

      JESUS HELPS US, AND GIVES US POWER TO OVERCOME, BY FAITH, AND BE VICTORIOUS OVER ALL OF OUR ENEMIES!

      ENCOURAGEMENT

      It is important to know how to encourage and strengthen ourselves in the Lord, like David. At Ziklag David “strengthened (KJ21 – ENCOURAGED) himself in the Lord” (I Samuel 30:6)

      It is encouraging to note that our labors of faith and our faithful endurance in the midst of trial don’t go unnoticed with the Lord, and He promises to faithfully reward us!

      I Corinthians 15:58 – …be you steadfast, un-moveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

      Some Precious Promises to bring encouragement

      There are so many promises that strengthen and encourage our faith. Listed below are a few of them:

      Hebrews 4:16 – Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

      Philippians 4:13,19I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me… And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

      Matthew 19:26 – …with God all things are possible.”

      Isaiah 25:4 You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

      Isaiah 26:3-4You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,Because he trusts in You.Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

      Psalm 37:5-6 – Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

      Etc

      REWARDS AND BLESSINGS OF FAITH

      Revelation 21:7He who OVERCOMES shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

      Hebrews 11:1,6 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seenBut without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

      Matthew 6:19-20 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves TREASURES IN HEAVEN, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

      James 2:5 – Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?

      FAITH PLEASES GOD

      Let’s live to PLEASE GOD. We were created for His pleasure – not just for our own pleasure! (Revelation 4:11). Let’s CONTINUE IN THE FAITH! Faith is what pleases Him!

      Hebrews 12:1-2 – …let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,Looking  unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith

      WHEN WE SEE CHRIST (2)

      There is a precious hymn of the church – “When We See Christ” that goes like this:

      Verse 1

      Oft times the day seems long, Our trials hard to bear. We’re tempted to complain, To murmur and despair. But Christ will soon appear, To catch His Bride away. All tears forever over, In God’s eternal day…

      CHORUS

      IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL, WHEN WE SEE JESUS! LIFE’S TRIALS WILL SEEM SO SMALL, WHEN WE SEE CHRIST! ONE GLIMPSE OF HIS DEAR FACE, ALL SORROW WILL ERASE – SO BRAVELY RUN THE RACE,TILL WE SEE CHRIST.

      Verse 2

      Sometimes the sky looks dark, With not a ray of light. We’re tossed and driven on, No human help in sight. But there is one in heav’n, Who knows our deepest care. Let Jesus solve your problems, Just go to Him in prayer!

      Verse 3

      Life’s day will soon be o’er, All storms forever past. We’ll cross the great divide – To glory, safe at last. We’ll share the joys of heav’n – A harp, a home, a crown… The tempter will be banished, We’ll lay our burden down!

      IT WILL BE WORTH IT ALL, WHEN WE SEE JESUS! LIFE’S TRIALS WILL SEEM SO SMALL, WHEN WE SEE CHRIST! ONE GLIMPSE OF HIS DEAR FACE, ALL SORROW WILL ERASE – SO BRAVELY RUN THE RACE,TILL WE SEE CHRIST.

      ____

      1. Special thanks and acknowledgement to Missionaries Phil and Judy Jaquith for these insights about overcoming offenses, as shared in their “Family Matters” Seminar in the Philippines.
      2. Thanks and acknowledgement to composer Esther Kerr Rusthoi (1941) for this beautiful, faith-building song.

      2 thoughts on “CONTINUE IN THE FAITH”

      1. Thank you so much for these encouraging words from the Lord Himself. We have been through some REALLY HARD TRIALS these last 3 months and all that you wrote and said has given me strength of heart to trust ever more fully the promises of God!!! 🙏🙌

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