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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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Faith is a crucial part of relationships, with God and people.

Faith make it possible to trust, love, be inspired and forgive.

Without faith, we cannot believe in God or people.

Without faith, we lose our conscience about sin and we lose our vision.

Is your faith low, lost, or misplaced? Then it’s time to reclaim it!

Reclaim Our Willingness

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along. He had a skin disease all over his body. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground. He begged him, “Lord, if you are willing to make me ‘clean,’ you can do it.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing to do it,” he said. “Be ‘clean’!” Right away the disease left him.

Luke 5:12-13 (NIRV)

Willingness is a quality of God that is amazing, but it’s one we often miss. The willingness of Jesus out his hand to connect with us. The willingness of God to feel what we feel and still call us to be more. The willingness of Jesus to sacrifice to make our relationship right with God.

How willing are you? Our faith shrinks when we lose our willingness to become the kind of people God wants us to be.

Are you…

  • Willing to listen?
  • Willing to be vulnerable?
  • Willing to take responsibility?
  • Willing to go wherever God calls you to go?
  • Willing to play any role that will build God’s kingdom?

Understanding the significance of the cross is what gives us a faith that’s willing. Jesus was willing to reach out and touch a man that was untouchable, and make him clean. That’s the message of the cross. Faith is simply when we decide to believe the message of the cross.

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Luke 22:42 (NCV)

The message of the cross is about the willingness of Jesus to be what God needed him to be. Jesus embraced that God wanted something more than the wellbeing of himself, even though he was God’s own son. God wanted a relationship with us even more.

This is not a joke. This is not a play to get you to join a church or suppress your behavior so you can be accepted. This is about you and I realizing that faith is the response of someone who understands God’s desire for relationship.

If God was willing to do anything so I could be close to him, what am I willing to do to be close to God?

Whoever is not willing to carry his cross and follow me cannot be my follower.

Luke 14:27 (NCV)

There is a cross you and I must bear – to allow ourselves to be crucified on our own cross. That means losing our life in this world for a life that is with God instead. Religious people still don’t get it; it’s not just words or outward actions, but a surrendered heart.

Crucified life means you are not your own any longer. It’s not about what you want. Now it’s about who God wants you to be.


Reclaim the Power

One day Jesus was teaching. Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. They heard that the Lord had given Jesus the power to heal the sick.

Luke 5:12-13 (NIRV)

When they heard that Jesus was given power from God to heal, they all sat around him watching. They had no idea how to access that power, but they wanted to be around it.

But the Pharisees and teachers of the law were powerless people. The religion they practiced was powerless and hypocritical.

And know this: in the last days, times will be hard. You see, the world will be filled with narcissistic, money-grubbing, pretentious, arrogant, and abusive people. They will rebel against their parents and will be ungrateful, unholy, uncaring, coldhearted, accusing, without restraint, savage, and haters of anything good.

2 Timothy 3: 1-3 (Voice)

This scripture opens our eyes to the truth about the hearts of people… all people. We always want to believe people are good, but the truth is that no one is good without God. Godless people do godless things. Going to church doesn’t mean you’re not godless. But having a real relationship with God does.

Expect them to be treacherous, reckless, swollen with self-importance, and given to loving pleasure more than they love God. Even though they may look or act like godly people, they’re not. They deny His power. I tell you: Stay away from the likes of these.

2 Timothy 3: 4-5 (Voice)

This is the religious world today… Talking about living by the Bible and Jesus, but no idea how to access the power that comes from having a real relationship with God.

This verse is talking about people who go to church. Lostness is not a label; it’s a choice. It means we have said no to the power of God and said no to faith. When we aren’t serious about our faith, we end up having no power.

Some men came carrying a man who could not walk. He was lying on a mat. They tried to take him into the house to place him in front of Jesus. They could not find a way to do this because of the crowd.

Luke 5:12-13 (NIRV)

A crowd stood around and watched, but among them were a few with real faith.

It takes faith to…

  • Not get distracted by others’ complacency
  • Find a way to help when others are too busy
  • Believe in a a friend and rally your friends to do the same

Their friendship influenced their faith. Their friendship made them find a way.

So they went up on the roof. Then they lowered the man on his mat through the opening in the roof tiles. They lowered him into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw that they had faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

 Luke 5:12-13 (NIRV)

Faith makes you determined not to settle for the norm or accept others’ small expectations. It takes faith not to quit on people.

When Jesus saw that they had faith, it moved him to forgive and restore the man’s ability to walk.

Decisions to Reclaim Your Faith

  1. Read a gospel to understand who God was through Jesus
  2. Ask yourself: what are you unwilling to let go of that is stopping you from becoming who God wants you to be?

Written by

Bay Area Christian Church

This was created by a member of the Bay Area Christian Church team.