In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (2:8-9), he writes: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” If faith is a gift of God, why do we sometimes seem to struggle to gather up enough faith to believe God’s promises, do the right thing or faithfully pray for something we want God to address? We often say that someone has a strong or weak faith. We seem perfectly able to use faith in everyday life, for example, confidently turning on the tap knowing we’re going to get water. We are sometimes less confident in using our gift of faith to 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Jesus, by His death on the Cross and resurrection, set us completely free form the Power of Sin and Death. He also gave us the free gift of faith, without which, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Questions for Life-groups: 1. Why might we find it hard to use our gift of faith? 2. Do only special, ‘mature, experienced’ Christians have strong, effective faith or is the gift given to all believers? 3. If we think we lack faith, is there anything we can do about it or are we just ‘weak’ Christians?
We're all bombarded with lies about what we need to do in order to make it. Sometimes we fall into the trap of believing the lies, and hold onto fear, or guilt, or man-made rules, believing these things will help us to change. But they don't. Only God's grace can really change us, and that's really good news. Zacchaeus changed almost in an instant, because of an encounter with the grace of God. Questions for Life-groups: 1. Have you ever felt pressurised to change in a negative way? 2. What difference does God's grace make to your aspirations? 3. How do God's grace towards us and our commitment to Him work together?
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