family devotional – week two: faith for the present
Day Three: Why Do We Need Faith?
A personal relationship with God is established by faith and a continuous fellowship with God is maintained by faith. Paul told the Colossians, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Col. 2:6). We receive Him by faith, and we walk in Him by faith. Without faith we cannot please God, and we cannot live effectively for Him. “Without faith,” the Bible says, “it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
Second Kings, chapter 5, records the story of Naaman, a powerful Syrian military leader who was suffering from the most dreaded disease of that era, leprosy. Someone told him that Elisha, the man of God, could possibly heal him, so he sought the prophet’s help. Elisha instructed Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River to be healed. The great soldier became angry at such a ridiculous suggestion. “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy,” said Naaman to his servants (2 Kings 5:11). At first he refused, but without any other remedy, Naaman at last went into the river and was healed. The act made no human sense, but in the divine plan it was an act of faith.
Why do we need faith? There is no other way to relate to God, for in His infinite plan He has determined that “the just shall live by faith.”
On your own, with your family, or in a small group, identify one thing you consider an act of faith. Determine to do that thing, and keep a record of the evidence of God’s blessing on obedience in that behavior. Share the results.
Eat This Book
Read Proverbs Chapter 25
1 Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
2 And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates:
3 Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.
4 For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
5 But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation.
6 For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.
7 And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
8 And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city?
9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.
10 Weep ye not for the dead, neither bemoan him: but weep sore for him that goeth away: for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
11 For thus saith the Lord touching Shallum the son of Josiah king of Judah, which reigned instead of Josiah his father, which went forth out of this place; He shall not return thither any more:
12 But he shall die in the place whither they have led him captive, and shall see this land no more.
13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work;
14 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and it is cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
15 Shalt thou reign, because thou closest thyself in cedar? did not thy father eat and drink, and do judgment and justice, and then it was well with him?
16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with him: was not this to know me? saith the Lord.
17 But thine eyes and thine heart are not but for thy covetousness, and for to shed innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
18 Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!
19 He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up thy voice in Bashan, and cry from the passages: for all thy lovers are destroyed.
21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.
22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that makest thy nest in the cedars, how gracious shalt thou be when pangs come upon thee, the pain as of a woman in travail!
24 As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence;
25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.
27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither shall they not return.
28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.
30 Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.