Author Topic: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith  (Read 3686 times)

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Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2017, 06:09:08 AM »
Amen, Jim! When we remember what God has done for us personally and individually, it has a transforming, uplifting influence upon us as we learn experientially how good God is. When we see others having a rich experience in the things of God, but we ourselves are not continually acquainted with His goodness to us, we are liable to grow careless in our need to be in continual communion with God. To know God is to love Him--and that means that our experience will be transformed as we are partakers of the divine nature and enabled to bless others with our testimony!

I praise God for the opportunity He gives me to share His word with others and I am so thankful for the book The Desire of Ages that continues to prompt me to appreciate the loveliness of Jesus! I am so thankful for God's healing in my life, and for how He has comforted me and sustained me after I lost my dad at the age of 12 and my mom when I was 15. It is as I look back over my life and realize the closeness of Jesus to me that I am encouraged to claim more and more by faith of what God can and will do! Faith expressed deepens faith, and so we can continue to grow in Him as long as we are fully surrendered to Christ, abiding in Him, which means that all off the fruits of the Spirit will show in our lives.

Jesus healed the woman who had been diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, and wanted her to express that faith for her own benefit!

  "Looking toward the woman, Jesus insisted on knowing who had touched Him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward tremblingly, and cast herself at His feet. With grateful tears she told the story of her suffering, and how she had found relief. Jesus gently said, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace." He gave no opportunity for superstition to claim healing virtue for the mere act of touching His garments. It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His divine power, that the cure was wrought." {The Desire of Ages, page 344, paragraph 3}

Jesus did not do things by superstitious power, but He healed souls who had faith that He was able to restore them by His divine power. So it is today. Many are close to the power--they may have the Bible and go to church--but do they surrender the heart fully to be cleansed? Do we believe that Jesus can heal us from all our sins and iniquities, to make us partakers of His divine nature? Jesus will do this pardoning, cleansing, healing work in our souls personally, individually as we trust Him with all the heart! The greatest miracle is the new heart and new mind restored to reflect the likeness of Christ--even while we still retain fallen natures that clamor against us. We need not let our "old man" rear its head as long as we remain vitally connected to the healing source of power and love--Jesus Christ living in us by the Holy Spirit! Praise God!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2017, 01:29:39 PM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. As long as we will abide in Jesus, the "old man" cannot read his ugly sinful head!! As Paul reveals, we can keep the body (flesh) under, through the divine power given to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit!

There is more encouragement in a personal gift from God to me... who? me! Wonder of wonders, than all the reading I can do about even those who loved God.

Amen!  And yet, we so often forget what wonderful things God hath done for us. We need to give more testimonies more often. We need to tell of His blessings!! We are to be His witnesses.

The Lord works continually to benefit mankind. He is ever imparting His bounties. He raises up the sick from beds of languishing, He delivers men from peril which they do not see, He commissions heavenly angels to save them from calamity, to guard them from "the pestilence that walketh in darkness" and "the destruction that wasteth at noonday" (Psalm 91:6); but their hearts are unimpressed. He has given all the riches of heaven to redeem them, and yet they are unmindful of His great love. By their ingratitude they close their hearts against the grace of God. Like the heath in the desert they know not when good cometh, and their souls inhabit the parched places of the wilderness. 


Let us not forget!

Yesterday, I had a few projects to do. One was difficult. A light had quit working. After five hours, and two trips to the hardware store, I had not fixed it. There were three switches in the electrical box on the wall. There were three hanging lights in the foyer. The center one did not work. I got out a ten foot ladder to get to the light and pulled one of the bulbs. I managed not to break my neck (I was praying continually) and tested the bulb to see if they were all burned out. I prayed it would not work. It did work, so my prayer went unanswered, thus I had an electrical problem, not burned out light bulbs. I got back on the ten foot ladder and went to the very top, and replaced the bulb, the whole time thinking about the impossibility of working on that light fixture ten feet high. I could barely pull the bulb, and I was as far up the ladder as I could go. It would be impossible to work on the fixture with that ladder.  :(

So, my next work was to pull the switch and see if it was faulty. They are not easy for one who is not an electrician. They have a technique to bend the wire so it will go on the switch. It is not easy to get off or put back on. The box had three switches and the wires were short and stiff.  But, I finally got the switch out and while praying continually that it would be bad, I had it tested at the store. It was good. But, I replaced it anyway still praying that a new switch would take care of the problem. Again, my prayer went unanswered. :(

So, what next? A bad breaker? No, the other lights were working. Then, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the problems when there are GFI receptacles on a circuit. It would be strange to put the lights on a circuit with plugs, but they do it. I went outside and checked three GFI protected receptacles. Two were tripped. I reset them, and still the light did not work. Worse, when I flipped the switch to a third light, it caused the one that did not work to come on!  :( Miseries of miseries!  There were two three way lights involved and this complicates things greatly! I continue to pray. It is getting close to the Sabbath and I can't leave the situation as is, if I can help it. Electrical problems are a safety issue. I pray harder, but my prayers appear to go unanswered, still.

Well...Sabbath is soon beginning, and I cannot fix the situation and have nothing left to do without more tools and more information as to what to do. I have some ideas about jumping wires to hot the bad switch, but it is going to have to wait until after the Sabbath. I pack up my tools, and am ready to head home, when I see a switch on the other side of the entrance door. I realize there is a switch for the outside lights. It must be for them. I go over and turn it on and the hanging light which is above the staircase turns on. It is one of the three hanging lights. Strange!  Why would it come on? Things must be really messed up. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, the switch I replaced was never meant to turn on the hanging light. Maybe, just maybe, it was the switch that turned on the outside lights!!

With tools in my hand, I was on my way home, I opened the door so I could see the outside lights, while praying very hard, flipped the switch that I thought went to the hanging light fixture which was not working, and it turned on the outside lights!!!

Yes, God had answered my prayers some time back, but I did not know it. When I replaced the outside GFI, it solved the problem of the inside hanging light. For some strange reason it was on the same electrical circuit as the hanging light. When it went bad, it caused the inside light to cease working.

God could have helped me see that I was working on the wrong switch, but He did not. He let me go through this trial so that I would know I needed Him so very much. And, after today's reading in Desire of Ages, how could I not relate the joy I had as those lights outside turned on with that "bad" switch.  :)  God is so very good. He gave me the knowledge to check the GFI plug outside, which fixed the problem. He did answer my prayer without my knowledge!  Do we lose our peace when our prayers go unanswered? Hopefully not. God answers our prayers in the very best way He can. We just don't always know it when He does. But, we can know His promise is true. Therefore, we can glory in our tribulation knowing it is for our good and His glory as we abide in Him. What a God we serve!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 02:05:05 AM »
What a wonderful Savior we have in Jesus our Lord! What mercy and grace we see in how He healed the woman who had an issue of blood twelve years, and finally reached out and touched but the border of His garment, and was made whole! Jesus asked, "Who touched Me?" (Luke 8:45). It was because He knew that the woman's touch was a touch of deep need, one of complete faith that Jesus was able to heal and save HER. How about you and me? Do we believe that when we come in faith to spend a "thoughtful hour" with Jesus that He will bless and heal us, to make us partakers of His divine nature as we surrender the whole heart to Him? He will! All these beautiful accounts of what Jesus did then are to tell us of His power to save us NOW! Praise God! Let us exercise SAVING FAITH--a faith that works by love and purifies the soul, a faith that lays hold of Christ's merits for ourselves, so that we experience in our lives all of the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing. Jesus is coming again SO SO SOON, and He invites you and me to touch Him not for a moment merely, but to be in a vital union and communion with Him by faith each step of the way toward heaven. Look and live! Jesus saves!!

"The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no accession of vital power. But when the suffering woman put forth her hand to touch Him, believing that she would be made whole, she felt the healing virtue. So in spiritual things. To talk of religion in a casual way, to pray without soul hunger and living faith, avails nothing. A nominal faith in Christ, which accepts Him merely as the Saviour of the world, can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere intellectual assent to the truth. He who waits for entire knowledge before he will exercise faith, cannot receive blessing from God. It is not enough to believe about Christ; we must believe in Him. The only faith that will benefit us is that which embraces Him as a personal Saviour; which appropriates His merits to ourselves. Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power." {The Desire of Ages, page 347, paragraph 1} 


May we say in all honesty, "Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief" (Luke 9:24). You can never perish while you do this--never!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 06:51:59 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean.  I too, was impressed with the very same paragraph. I studied closely after being shown again what real faith is. It brings a transformation of character then, not later. Here is the key truth that reveals this so very clearly.

     "Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power."


For those who are truly seeking truth that they may know God and the plan of salvation, we find here the substance of eternal life in Christ Jesus. What does it mean to "hold faith as an opinion"?  It means to have an intellectual opinion of Jesus as God. That is not the same as genuine faith which saves. Genuine faith is "saving faith," where one believes with all the heart, not part of it. Saving faith is a "transaction". What is a transaction? It is an agreement between two or more parties. In this case it is personal between two parties, the one exercising saving faith and the One with whom the faith is directed, God. Another word for "transaction" is "covenant."   In other words, to have genuine faith that saves, one enters into a covenant relationship with  God.

What does this transaction or covenant involve? What does one party offer and the other party give? God offers so very much that we could go on and on, but let's keep it very simple. Besides love, joy, and peace, He gives eternal life and the promise of a home in a world where there are no tears, sorrow, or death. What does the other party offer in order to fulfill his part of the covenant or transaction? In this agreement, there are two parties and both must bring something to the table. God does not do it all. Man has a part to play in his salvation, however immeasurably small it is when compared to the part that God plays which is immeasurably large.

Sinful man brings a sin polluted heart and offers it along with an abiding trust in Jesus as the One who is in absolute control of all that surrounds us. That trust is "a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power." If God be for us, who can be against us!! He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and my Savior. He is my wisdom and my strength. Without Him I can do no good thing, but as I trust in Him, I can do all things He asks of me. I believe this with the whole heart which I have completely surrendered to Him. This is real faith and we can see that the result is that God imparts to the repentant sinner a conquering power, a power to keep the commandments of God. This is the new covenant experience that God offers to all who will love Him with the whole heart.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 07:13:49 AM »
That is one of my favorite stories in the bible Pastor Sean. The more I read the more I see the love, mercy and compassion that Jesus exudes. I cling to the promise of "by beholding we become changed" because I want to be just like Jesus. But oh! I have so far to go. He has His hands full with me.


Closer to the end of the chapter and after the mention of the ten lepers where only one returned to thank Jesus I read this....


"It is for our own benefit to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and to receive more and more. There is greater encouragement for us in the least blessing we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others. The soul that responds to the grace of God shall be like a watered garden. His health shall spring forth speedily; his light shall rise in obscurity, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon him. Let us then remember the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the multitude of His tender mercies."


And then it says..."And as we review His dealings with us in our pilgrimage, let us, out of hearts melted with gratitude, declare, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cups of Salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people." Ps. 116:12-14.

So this morning I am exceedingly thankful for God's great mercies towards me and for the changes He has made in my life. I have not always been faithful to Him and guilt kept us separated but when I came to understand that His forgiveness covers every sin that is genuinely confessed I was like a prisoner set free.  Each one of us has their own prison and only God holds the key to that prison door. All He is waiting for is to hear us say, I'm sorry, please forgive me and he will unlock that prison door and let us go free promising to keep us free if we will only moment by moment abide in Him. I want the kind of faith that the woman who suffered for 12 years had and Jarius whose daughter Jesus raised from the dead.


One more quote that means so much to me this morning is this....


"Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. Genuine faith is life. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which the soul becomes a conquering power."

I am gradually experiencing day by day what is meant by this statement. Praise God; He does exactly as He promises.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2018, 08:39:14 AM »
Has God been faithful to you? Isn't He wonderful to us? Tell others what He has done for you!! He has healed me from a broken heart after losing my parents, He has healed me completely from bipolar disorder (from which I have been free for over seven years), and He is the guide and keeper in my life! Jesus, the Author and Finisher of faith--His faith that He will work in you by His grace--is more than willing to give you a vital testimony like the woman whose touch of faith meant she was healed!

"Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls." {The Desire of Ages, page 347, page 3}

Find someone to show God's love today by expressing what Jesus has done for you!!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2018, 08:42:20 AM »
I love how there are always new revelations to add to the ones already received. Today as I was reading I was reminded that the touch of the Saviours garment by the woman in distress had no virtue in it of itself. No one else sensed anything different happening but both Jesus and the woman did. It is the touch of faith that made the difference.

"He gave no opportunity for superstition to claim healing virtue for the mere act of touching His garments. It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His divine power, that the cure was wrought."

I may never have an experience such as this chapter relates to but by faith I do know the healing power of Gods touch in cleansing me from sin. That is a testimony the world needs to hear from each of us. Today we are given another opportunity to do just that.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2018, 09:41:25 PM »
Amen, Dear Sister! That is what God wants to hear from our lips. We are to testify to the power of His love to transform us.

As we review His dealings with us in our pilgrimage, let us, out of hearts melted with gratitude, declare, "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?


Grace is so very powerful when it is beheld and taken into the heart! What shall we render unto our Savior? His reward is seeing Himself reflected in our character. Such a miracle!!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2018, 03:18:09 AM »
I couldn’t miss the parallel in the following beautiful promise in The Desire of Ages to 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

“Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience.” {The Desire of Ages, page 347, paragraph 3}

I confess that God has forgiven my sins that put Jesus on the cross. I confess that it has been just over ten years that I have been rebaptized, but that baptism is a way of life abiding in Jesus Christ so He reveals His perfect character in me in spite of my weaknesses. Baptism is not merely an event! I am not in bondage because Jesus is my continuous Healer and Deliverer!!! I confess that through full surrender to Christ by beholding His infinite loveliness of character, I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. I am a walking miracle—and you can be, too! I am at Camp Sagola with the intense purpose of seeing the souls of God’s children thoroughly converted. “God is faithful” (1 John 1:9).
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--36--The Touch of Faith
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2018, 09:44:39 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. I too chose this truth to share. I was greatly impressed that it is important for us and others to understand our testimony is so very important. It is God's grace that has changed me, has cleansed my heart, and put me on my face. Who am I that the King of Kings should love me so!

Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven's chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls. 


We by our character are to reveal the character of God to the world. As impossible as it seems, we are to be transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18). We are to have power over the flesh. We are to love those who despitefully use us. Yes, grace has power to change our lives!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.