Powerful messages  that encourage, inspire, and convict “People of the Way” to enter into the presence of the Living God and to mirror the image of the precious Lord Jesus, bringing his life to this hurt and broken world. The messages were written by Richard E. Bieber. A pastor whose prolific writings spanned six decades.

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WHERE IS YOUR FAITH?

 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even wind and water, and they obey him?”  (Luke 8)

Jesus never sympathizes with our lack of faith.

To Jesus our lack of faith is absurd.  

“Why are you so full of doubt?”

“Why are you so afraid?”

“Believe!  All things are possible to the one who believes!”

When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, he said…

“If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”   (Luke 17)

“Increase your faith?  A speck of faith is all you need.”

God gives us the power to believe, but we have to exercise it.

The Spirit gives us the power to trust, but we have to do the trusting.

God speaks, but we have to open our ears and do something with what we hear.

“If you can do anything, have pity on us and help us!”
“If you can?  Believe!  All things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 

“I believe; help my unbelief!” 

And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” 

And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.”  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.    (Mark 9)

Faith in God.

Faith in Jesus, the Living Word.

Faith that comes, when he says, “Come.”

Faith that goes when he says, “Go.”

When we panic, when we sulk, Jesus gives us no sympathy.

He simply says, 

“Where is your faith?”

Prayer: Lord, where is our faith when things seem unresolvable, impossible? Help our unbelief, our terror over the unseen. May we have the faith that dispels doubt and fear, may we have the faith that believes you can do anything, anything. And yes, help us to grasp the trust planted in our hearts by your Spirit, to exercise the belief you give us. Help us to open our ears and do something with what we hear. Give us the faith to not give in to panic and to not wrap ourselves in self-pity and sulking. Jesus, lift us up so we can easily come when you say “come” and easily go when you say “go” even if all the faith we have is a speck. May we come to the point where you won’t have to ask us “where is your faith?” .…because our hearts trust you so deeply. Amen.
Message: Richard E. Bieber  2020 Printable/Shareable Copy  
Featured Artist: Patrick Marrin 
Website: None but author of Pencil Preaching at NCR
#WhereIsYourFaith #Mark9 #IBelieveHelpMyUnbelief

SHOW ME

When we say to God, “Show me your credentials!”

…We get silence.

But when we say to God, “Show me the way!”

…We get light.

  Light will come in the way of God’s own choosing.

We will hear a word that points the way.

Or we will see an open door that leads to light.

Or we will meet a person who brings us hope.

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.  (Psalm 143 ) NLT

God never wastes time vindicating himself to his detractors.

But he never fails to answer the cry of a wounded soul. 

The timing, of course, belongs to God.

Righteous Job had a long wait.

The thief on the cross received an instant answer.

This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.

If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

* * *

“Look at that man, bloated by self-importance— full of himself but soul-empty. But the person in right standing before God through loyal and steady believing is fully alive, really alive.  

Habakkuk 2 (MSG)

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for our resistance, our stubbornness, our doubt, our need for proof and instant answers. We cry for more than silence from you. But we are willing to wait for answers from you. We do ache for their coming but trust the answers will come at the perfect time. We want to hear you. We want to trust you. Show us the way. Show us where to walk. We don’t want to be soul-empty anymore. We want light. We do want to be fully alive, really alive as we give ourselves to you and completely trust in your leading. Lead us, show us. Amen.
Message: Richard E. Bieber 2014    Printable/Shareable Copy
Featured Artist: Patrick Marrin  Website: None but author of Pencil Preaching at NCR
#ShowMe #Doubt #ShowMeYourCredentials #IfItSeemsSlowInComingWait

 I COULD LOSE EVERYTHING! 

If things keep going the way they are, I could lose everything!

The economy looks like a sinking ship.

My income is less certain with every day that passes.

World events are rocking the foundations of freedom.

People around me are starting to panic.

      I never dreamed such things could happen here!

Yet Jesus’ word to us is exactly what it has always been:

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16)

 No matter what happens….

“I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you.” “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift  the world cannot give.  So don’t be troubled or afraid.  (John 14)  

Now is the hour to turn our hearts to the only sure anchor we have ever known.  

If things should turn out so badly that we lose everything….

…The Guardian and Keeper of our souls will still sustain us.

  In Him we are rich… when we have nothing.

  In Him we are strong… when we are weak.

  In Him we live… even when we die.

Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away….

They cannot win the day.

The Kingdom is ours forever!

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:30-33)

 
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us not to panic. Help us to reach for, to trust in, and to embrace the peace you promise us. Oh, help us not to be afraid. Help us to keep seeing and seeking your Kingdom…despite any lack, any loss, or any turmoil around us. Help us to be encouraged, to take heart because you will, you will sustain us. Amen.
Message: Richard E. Bieber  2019 Printable/Shareable Copy  
Featured Artist: Michael Cook
Website: hallowed-art.co.uk/
#Overcome #Don’tPanic #TakeHeart

YOUR IMAGE OR YOUR HEART?

You have a choice:

You can work on your image,

 or you can work on your heart.

It’s impossible to do both.

A good image will take you far in this world—even in the “Christian World.”

Doors will open for you.

People will seek your company.

But when darkness falls, and you’re alone with your thoughts, what do you have?

After King David took Bathsheba and arranged to have her husband killed, his image was still intact.

      But his heart was a mess.

      His only hope was to exchange his phony image for a clean heart.

   Which is what he did.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!” he cried, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me!”

When you come face to face with Jesus the Messiah, you quickly discover that your only hope is to exchange your doubtful image for a clean heart. 

Jesus died on that cross to drain away the mess within you and give you a clean heart.  

Draw near, and ask him for cleansing.

He’ll wash you within as no one else can.

 ““Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.  You fools! 

Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well?  But give from your heart to those in need, and then everything will be clean for you.”  (Luke 11:39-41)

What a relief to be able to walk through this world with a light heart, a clean heart…

 A heart at peace with God and man.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to let go of being so concerned about our image and to open our hearts to you instead. Like David we admit our hearts are a mess. We open them before you. Wash them. Clean the inside of us. Take our ugly thoughts, our unloving and vain attitudes, our foolish self-preoccupation and drain them away. Give us new hearts, change these dark minds Lord…so yes, we can truly be at peace with you and with those around us. Amen
Message: Richard E. Bieber 2019 Printable/Shareable Copy
Featured Artist: Michael Cook
Website: hallowed-art.co.uk/
#Image #CleanMyHeart #FilthyCups #CleanTheInside

HIGHLY GIFTED…

PITIFULLY PETTY

Satan has a favorite technique for undermining those who are highly gifted by the Spirit of God:

He inspires them with the most absurd pettiness.

Instead of allowing slights and insults to wash over them in the Holy Mercy of the Spirit,

         They become indignant, irritated…

…allowing vanity to drain them of the Spirit’s power.

For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

Romans 12

If I am crucified with Christ….

If my name is hidden in his….

….what does it matter if I am demeaned, misunderstood, ignored?

He must increase.

I must decrease.

For the more I decrease, the more his redemptive power can work through me.

To the glory of God alone.

Prayer: Merciful Lord, we bring our pettiness before you. Help us to let it go. Bring us to the point that when we are slighted, insulted, unappreciated, forgotten, misunderstood, demeaned…that we stop obsessing on it. Yes, help all these to wash over us, drawing us into your redemptive love and power instead. Keep our hearts soft and not bitter towards those who look down on and demean us. We confess that our self-focus, our bitterness, our defensiveness take up too much space in our minds and hearts …. pushing you aside, separating us from your comfort, from your mercy, and from your very presence. We confess that they keep us from pouring forgiveness and blessing on those who hurt us. Oh, help us to stop drawing defensive lines. Help us to continue loving those who insult us as you love them. Help us to allow your goodness, your mercy, your comfort to occupy the spaces in our hearts and minds taken up by pettiness. Amen.
Message: Richard E. Bieber  September 2013  Printable/Shareable Copy
Featured Artist: Julia Stankova
Website:  juliastankova.com 

#Petty #Slights #Vanity  #ThinkWithSoberJudgment #IMustDecrease

A VICTIM OF CIRCUMSTANCE?

Many of us feel trapped.  

We aren’t happy with the life we’re living.   

But we see no way out.   

And every time we try to make a change for the better, our circumstances close in on us like prison guards.

“No you don’t!” they shout and block the way.

    Some of us have given up.

“I’m a victim of circumstances. There’s nothing I can ever do to change them.”

If you feel that you are a victim of circumstances, and if you’ve been giving up hope, consider this:

If you remain a prisoner of your circumstances it’s only because you are choosing to stay in that prison.

Because…..There is a Helper who is offering to open a door for you and lead you to freedom.

This Helper is closer to you now than the air you breathe as you read these words, He has been in the business of setting the captives free for 2000 years.

No one who has ever listened to this Helper…and trusted him … and followed him has ever failed.

If you listen to him, trust him,  follow him, you will not fail!

  You will not fail!

You may have your opinions about Jesus.   

We’re asking you to lay them aside and get to know Jesus.

“Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you!

I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.

Prayer: Jesus, Helper… I feel trapped, hopeless, I can’t seem to make things better, Every time I try, I run into obstacles that seem insurmountable. I am turning to you in desperation, help me. Give me hope, answer my prayers, overcome these circumstances. Speak to me. Help me to really hear you, see you, so I will know what to do. Help me to find the life, love, and answers that you promise. Amen.
Message: Richard E. Bieber Unknown Date  Printable/Shareable Copy
Photos: Unsplash
Website: Unsplash
#Victim #Hopeless #Helper #Jesus #DoNotBeAfraid