The Faith Walk
What do we believe? How do we walk?
Later on that same day Jesus gathered his disciples together in the shade of some trees and started to tell them another story in order to further illustrate what he had been telling them earlier. He said, “There was a man of wealth who had a chief steward who handled all his accounts. At some point the wealthy man began hearing rumors that his steward was cheating him. So, he made a surprise visit to his hired man and told him, ‘I hear from everyone that you are cheating me, therefore, I want to see all the accounts you have been handling for me and if what I have heard turns out to be true I will fire you from your job. Have the books ready for me to inspect when I return next week.’ The steward was extremely worried. He wondered how he would live if he were fired from his job. He was not qualified for any other job and was too proud to become a beggar. Then he made a decision. He had thought of a way to make new and influential friends who he could fall back on when he became unemployed. He began to visit his employer’s creditors. To the first creditor he visited he said, ‘How much do you owe my Master?’ The man replied, ‘One hundred measures of fine olive oil.’ The crooked steward said, ‘Alright, take your receipt and change the figure to fifty measures of olive oil, and I will change the figures on my Master’s account book to match.’ To another creditor he said, ‘How much do you owe my Master?’ The man replied I owe him one hundred bushels of wheat.’ The steward said, ‘Change the receipt to forty bushels, and I will change the account book to match.’ When the wealthy man heard about what the steward was doing he laughed and went so far as to actually commend the unworthy steward for being so deceitfully cunning.”
Jesus paused in his story, then said, “You see, the children of darkness are in their way much wiser than the children of light. They understand how the kingdoms of this world work and they use that knowledge to their benefit. But the children of light make no effort to understand the kingdom of God. If they did they would work diligently and store up treasure for themselves toward the day when all else fails.”
Jesus paused again and said, “Am I telling you to act like that dishonest steward? No, of course not! Remember, the kingdom of God works on faith and faithfulness. A man who is faithful in small things will also be faithful in big things, and a man who is untrustworthy in small things will be untrustworthy in big things as well. If a man is not honest on his job, or in his home, or with his friends and relatives, how can he be honest with the things of God? If you cannot be trusted with the wealth of your employer, why would God trust you with the riches of the kingdom? No man can serve two masters or else he will begin to hate one, and love the other, or he will stay with one, and despise the other. Just the same, you cannot lust after money and serve God in faith.”
The lesson is clear if you are a follower of the Lord then learn as much as you can about the kingdom of God. Study the word of God and use the principles you learn in your daily life. The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword. Walk by faith not by sight. Walk by faith in the Word of the living God. If you believe, then act like a believer. Do not be afraid! Every day give voice to the Word of God. Pray continuously and believe.
Faith For Tomorrow
William J. Seymore (An Example of a Committed Faith Walk)
In 1906 William J. Seymore was 35 years old when he accepted an invitation to preach to a small mostly African American congregation in Los Angeles. He ended up his stay in Los Angeles preaching from the front porch of a small house located at 214 North Bonnie Brae Avenue. The Holy Spirit fell over Pastor Seymore’s ministry and soon there were so many worshippers, including large numbers of whites, that they filled the block.
The following is a quote from a Bonnie Brae resident at the time: “They shouted three days and three nights. It was Easter season. The people came from everywhere. By the next morning there was no way of getting near the house. As people came in they fell under God’s power; and the city was stirred. They shouted until the foundations of the house gave way, but no one was hurt.” Thousands of persons descended upon Los Angeles. Pastor Seymore and his supporters found a small building on Azusa Street and a revival broke out that was like no other. Men and women went to Azusa Street, waded through the crush of people, heard Pastor Seymore preach the love of Jesus Christ, and went out into the world to preach the good news. Newspapers of the day, including the Los Angeles Times, could not ignore what was happening on Azusa Street and sent reporters to the scene. The stories seemed to have dwelt to quite an extent on the fact that whites and blacks and Latinos and Asians were coming together there to worship and they seemed to love each other and sometimes they even hugged each other. The Los Angeles Times found the hugging to be disgraceful.
The revival lasted for approximately three years until eventually the Azusa Street Church settled down as a small Pentecostal ministry quietly led by William J. Seymore for the rest of his life. He is buried in a nondescript grave in a cemetery in East Los Angeles. Not many people visit his grave.
William J. Seymore was the son of slaves, early in his life he lost an eye. He never became wealthy, never lived in a fine house. He lived and died modestly. But, the movement that began under his direction at Bonnie Brae and later at Azusa Street started a flow that became a great river of faith. Great ministries, like the Assemblies of God, were born. At Azusa Street, thousands heard God’s call. Today there are something like 500 million Pentecostals world wide.
There are no monuments to Williams J. Seymore anywhere in Los Angleles or anywhere else. There are no holidays in his name. He never received an honorary degree from a University. School children do not read about him in school. And that is as it should be for a faithful servant of God, because in heaven he sits to the right of Saul of Tarsus.
Easter week... the Faith Walk Continues:
Easter Week begins with Palm Sunday (Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter Sunday). Palm Sunday is the day that commemorates the arrival of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, at the gates of Jerusalem on his final ministry visit. The people greeted him as the King of the Jews by spreading their garments on the ground before the donkey upon which he rode. They waved palm fronds, representing life, before the procession and shouted praise for the king. This was Passover week; Jews from throughout the Diaspora were pouring into Jerusalem and camping in the vicinity of the temple. As the week went on several events took place.
- · Jesus preached to the multitude and gathered a following about him.
- · Jesus drove the moneychangers out of the temple for blaspheming that holy place.
- · He preached and healed; and at the end of the week took the Passover meal with his disciples in the upper room.
- · During the Passover meal Jesus told them he was about to be falsely accused and executed, but, as usual, they did not understand him.
- · That evening Jesus was betrayed by Judas, taken, held overnight and tried in secret before the Jewish Council.
- · The following day, which was Friday, Jesus was dragged before the Roman authority, and then before the Jewish King of Galilee.
- · Jesus was condemned, taken to Golgotha and executed by crucifixion.
- · At sunset (Friday Evening) he was removed from the cross and placed in the empty tomb of a rich man.
- · Three days later, Sunday his disciples went early to the tomb to anoint the body with spices but the tomb was empty; he had risen!
Many of you may not know that the date for Easter each year is not fixed. The date changes and can occur anytime between March 21 and April 25th. This is because early Christian authorities fixed the date for Easter to the Passover full moon. Their rules were:
Easter would always fall on a Sunday because Jesus rose on a Sunday.
Easter will always fall on the first Sunday after the Passover full moon.
This year AD 2017 Easter Sunday will be… April 16th. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!! He is risen!!!!
The fresco represented above is of a work by Pietro Perugino, executed in 1481–1482 and located in the Sistine Chapel, Rome