Focus on Self is the Opposite of Faith


by Pastor John

This week has brought about some fresh repentance and fresh faith in my life. As I've been preparing to preach on Mark 9:14-29 and chewing on a lot of Jack Miller's writing, I've seen a lot of my own self-reliance, ho-hum prayers, and lack of faith. I've realized again that a deep focus on self is really the opposite of faith and drains us of any real spiritual power.

I am so thankful for this gracious rebuke from Jesus, for in it I have been renewed to grasp a hold of him by faith in deeper ways. If you're reading this on Sunday morning before the service, would you pray for me as I prepare to preach this morning? I need it, and I can only give to you what God gives to me. I don't want to "stick with me". I'd rather be renewed by Jesus.

See you at 10am at OBJ.

"Intense preoccupation with self is the opposite of faith, but believe in Jesus and you will be filled with the faith that overcomes the world. Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. The power of God is the main idea in this victory. Through the powerful work of God in this new birth, we believe in Christ, and because we believe in him we love the Father and, out of that love, we love the children. This love expresses itself in deeds that we call obedience. We believe, we love, and we obey. Remember God’s power is yours in the stress, pain, and struggles of life. By faith, you can experience his power, and in the midst of your weakness, struggles, sins, and failures, you will overcome. But note, the emphasis is not on the victorious person, but on the victorious power. If you begin to think of yourself as the victorious person, you could easily go up like a rocket and down like a rock. The glory of what you are is the work of God, and if you’re the work of God, you can’t ultimately be defeated by the world."

-Jack Miller