Posts Tagged ‘faith’



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Brian Buhler tells a fictitious story of three men who were born blind but who had been miraculously healed by Jesus. The three heard about one another and decided to get together to celebrate their unity in Christ and to exchange testimonies. After the men introduced themselves and exchanged warm embraces, one man began telling his story.

Bartimaeus said, “Gentlemen, let me go first. I cannot wait to tell you what Jesus did for me. I was outside the city of Jericho when Jesus walked by, surrounded by a mob of people. I cried out, ‘Son of David! Son of David! Have mercy on me!’ and Jesus stopped. The crowd quieted down. He asked me the most unusual question. He asked, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ I said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’ He said, ‘Go. Your faith has made you well.’ Gentlemen, at that moment, instantaneously I could see. I was healed. As a result, I have come to this conclusion: When it comes to healing blind people, Jesus uses our faith and His word, and that equals healing.”

The other two shook their heads and frowned. They obviously disagreed with Bartimaeus’ conclusion. Unable to keep quiet, the man from Bethsaida spoke up. He said, “Gentlemen, my story of how Christ touched me isn’t anything like that. Jesus took me out of the city, and he spit directly into my eyes. Then he touched my eyes with his hands. I was expecting an instantaneous healing like yours, Bartimaeus, but when I opened my eyes, it was awful. I saw men as trees walking. Everything was a blur. I thought, ‘If this is what it is like to be healed by Jesus, he’s not much of a healer.’ Then Jesus repeated the procedure. He spit in my eyes again and touched me again. Gentlemen, the second time I opened my eyes, I could see. As a result, I am convinced that when Jesus heals blind people, he uses spit, and it’s always in two stages.”

By this time, the third man was red in the face. he said, “Gentlemen, I would seriously doubt the validity of both your conclusions. When Jesus healed me, he used saliva all right. But he did not spit in my face. Instead, he spit in the ground, and he took the saliva and the dirt and made mud packs and put mud packs on my eyes. It was uncomfortable and somewhat disgusting. Then he told me to go to the pool of Siloam and commanded me to wash the mud out in the pool. As I washed it out, I could see instantly. As a result, I am convinced that when Jesus heals blind people, he uses mud and the holy waters of the pool of Siloam.”

The three men argued with one another well into the night and went away divided on the matter of Jesus and healing. In the days that followed they formed three denominations – the Mudites, the Spitites, and the Faithites. The Mudites made mud their sacrament of healing, the Spitites made saliva their sacrament, and the Faithies assigned no special sacrament at all to healing, believing that faith in Christ’s word was all that was necessary to be made well.

Which one do you belong to?

Tags: , , , ,



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

Back in the early 1990s our church was packed in two worship services, landlocked with no parking, and making plans to build. We had obtained the present site but had exhausted our building fund to do so. We needed to progress with building plans but did not have enough money. To progress meant that we had to go into considerable debt with the local bank. Some were ready to trust God, others thought we should not begin until we had the money raised. They had an ongoing debt with their personal home, but thought it was scriptural for the church to do so (double standard). We had a dilemma.

So I did my best at envisioning the church to trust God. When we took the official approval vote, it was 146-3 in favor. The three were all older retired members who had earlier sacrificed deeply to pay for the previous building. They didn’t want to get stuck paying for this new one. Those three each made a significant faith pledge on the new project, however.

It amazed everyone what happened immediately when we finished the construction. Attendance doubled almost immediately. Our offerings increased with the attendance and we had the debt retired in just a couple of years. We learned that when God’s people take a leap of faith, God is there to catch us. And I don’t think God has changed. Trust Him in your crisis and take that leap of faith.

Tags: , ,



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

The great Chicago evangelist Dwight L. Moody, himself a veteran of the Civil War, once used the following illustration in a church service:

“When President Lincoln signed the proclamation of emancipation, copies of it were sent to all points along the Northern line, where they were posted. Now, supposing a slave should have seen a copy of that proclamation and should have learned its contents. He might have known the fact, he might have assented to its justice, but if he had still continued to serve his old master as a slave, his faith in the document would not have amounted to anything.

And so it is with us. A mere knowledge of the historical events of Christ’s life, or a simple intellectual assent to His teachings and His mission, will be of no help in a man’s life unless he adds to them a trustful surrender to the Lord’s loving kindness.”

That was a current-event method to teach about the freedom we have in Christ. Could you illustrate it better?

Tags: , , ,



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

One of my favorite stories gleaned from my genealogy research is about one of my direct ancestors from the early days of America. Mary Hobson was born and raised in a coastal village in Ireland. Raids by British Pirates were common and her parents were killed in one such raid and she was taken to America where she was sold as a slave (yep, that happened back then). After serving an early American family for many years she was given her freedom to marry.

Her husband was not a Christian but she was devout in her Catholic faith. Her first official act in their new frontier home was to set up an altar in the log cabin where she prayed routinely. Her fervent Catholic faith led to the founding of the first Catholic church in that part of the Allegheny Mountains. Although her husband never responded to faith in Christ, her children all became faithful supporters of local churches as they migrated westward, most Catholics, but some Protestants.

Her negative beginnings as a child never caused her to relinquish her faith in God. That’s an Irish example I want to follow. I’m wearing green today to honor my Irish g-g-g-g-g-?-grandmother.

Tags: , , ,



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

We can’t win if we won’t take a risk. Martina McBride released a song last year that touched my heart. Here are the lyrics:

You can spend your whole life buildin’
Something from nothin’.
One storm can come and blow it all away:
Build it anyway.

You can chase a dream
That seems too out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way:
Dream it anyway.

God is great but sometimes life ain’t good
And when I pray
It doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway. I do it anyway.

This world’s gone crazy
And it’s hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today:
Believe it anyway.

You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away:
Love ’em anyway.

You can pour your soul out singin’
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang:
Sing it anyway! Yeah, sing it anyway, Yeah, yeah.

I sing
I dream
I love anyway, yeah.

Tags: ,


12 Days: DAY THREE

   Posted by: pastordiehl    in God's Grace

On the third day of Christmas my True Love sent to me: Three French Hens”.

The three French Hens represent the Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity (agape = love). These three key virtues are referred to often in the New Testament. They summarize all the other Christian virtues in a nutshell. Faith is trusting in the omniscience (all knowing) of God. It is resting in Him because we are assured in our hearts that He has a great plan for us.

Hope, however, is not passive trust. It is aggressive in desiring something. Some confuse faith, which is passive by nature, and hope, which is aggressive and takes action. But both have to do with belief. The Hebrew writer said that faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Charity is a better word than love because ‘Agape’ requires action, not feelings. ‘Agape’ actually kicks into gear when feelings are absent or negative.

Our True Love, God gave us these three gifts. PTL!

Tags: , ,



   Posted by: pastordiehl    in Uncategorized

In a 2005 article published in Ministries Today magazine, Eddie L. Hyatt remarked, “Shortly after enrolling as a student at Christ for the Nations Institute in 1973, Kenneth Copeland taught there for one week. During that week he made the emphatic statement, “I will never be sick.” About twenty years later, however, I heard Copeland speak to a small group of faculty and students at Oral Roberts University School of Theology and Missions. He shared honestly about a time of sickness he went through during which he thought he might die.”

Copeland’s experience is common among the word-faith movement. Richard Roberts once talked about a famous word-faith televangelist who checked himself into a Christian Hospital under an assumed name because he was afraid his illness may harm the faith of viewers. That’s hypocrisy! In an attempt to claim the promises of God for healing, they took upon themselves the responsibility for the healing rather than trusting in God. And God loves each of us enough to teach us the truth over time.

What are you learning about faith?

Tags: , ,