Combining an insightful read with a daily devotional, this religious companion provides helpful advice for bridging the gap between the biblical and practical meanings of faith. Weighty questions are addressed, such as What is the purpose of faith? How can faith be increased? and What is faith? With ways to apply faith practices in finance, health, marriage, parenting, and career building, this handbook looks at faith as the core value in the Christian religion and elemental to meaningful daily living.
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About the Author
Jawanza Kunjufu is an educational consultant and the author of more than 40 books, including Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys, A Culture of Respect, the bestselling Raising Black Boys, and State of Emergency. He lives in Chicago.
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To Live By
By Jawanza Kunjufu
African American ImagesCopyright © 2012 Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu
All rights reserved.
What is faith?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. If faith is the evidence, then faith is real. In Hebrews 11, the words faith, hope, and believe often are used interchangeably. They are in the same family of meaning, but they are not the same. Note the difference between faith and hope in Hebrews 11:1. Hope is the object or desire, but faith is the title deed, the evidence, the assurance, the foundation you use that you will secure what you have hoped for. Faith is a noun and believe is a verb. Hope says I will get it in the future. Faith says I have it now. The simplest definition of faith is acting like the Bible is true. Kenneth Hagin, Sr. said that before praying for a person's healing, he would ask them if they "will" be healed when he would lay hands on them. If they said they "hope" they will be healed, Hagin told them they won't because they are in hope not faith. Hope is future tense and faith is current tense.
The same applies to believe and faith. To believe is to desire, to hope for, it requires no foundation or work. Faith is the corresponding action to your belief. More will be offered about these words throughout the book. Fred Price says, "The greatest enemy to faith is ignorance of the Word of God."
Your faith must understand the stages of harvest. First the blade (the seedling or young plant), then the ear (the blossoming), followed by the fully ripened manifestation. Your faith must be patient and confident.
In Genesis 32:24-28, Jacob wrestled with God and would not let Him go until He blessed him. You must develop bulldog faith. In Mark 5:35, they told Jairus, "Your daughter is dead." Jesus said to Jairus and now to you, "Do not be afraid; only believe" (Mark 5:36). Jesus then healed his daughter, like He will for you.
Faith is not a feeling, it's a choice, it's a decision. You must bind every thought and image that contradicts your faith and the Word of God.CHAPTER 2
What size is your faith?
Oh you of little faith Matthew 6:30
Faith the size of a mustard seed Matthew 17:20
Full of faith Acts 6:5
Sufficient faith I Corinthians 13:2
Growing faith II Corinthians 10:15
Rich in faith James 2:5
Genuine faith I Peter 1:7
Firm faith I Peter 5:9
Holy faith Jude 1:20
Great faith Matthew 8:10
Strong faith Romans 4:20
Righteousness of faith Phillippians 3:9CHAPTER 3
How essential is faith?
It's as important as air and water. Your salvation and gift of eternal life is based on faith. Romans 10:9(NKJV) says, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." "The just shall live by faith" (Hebrews 10:38). Living by faith is not something you do just when you're hoping or believing. Living by faith is not reserved for a crisis. Andrew Wommack said, "God gives you grace and our part is to receive it by faith." Every time you receive the physical manifestation of what you were believing God for, it builds your confidence and you are moving from faith to faith. You must have faith in your faith. You must be able to tell your story of what God has done for you. You cannot ride the faith of your grandparents, parents, pastor, spouse, siblings, or anyone else. You must develop and use your faith. For the rest of your life, you must live by faith. Faith for the promise is in the promise (God's word). Faith says the same thing the Bible says. Many unbelievers say, "if it be Thy will for me to be healed". The word if illustrates their doubt and to use Thy will, which is God's Word indicates they are not aware that God has already healed us by His stripes. The greatest enemy to faith is doubt. The Bible reminds us in II Corinthians 5:7,(KJV) "For we walk by faith not by sight." You don't walk or talk by how you feel. You must walk by faith. For the rest of your life you must walk by faith not by sight. You can no longer place your five senses before your faith. Sight or the five senses is the opposite of faith. Faith is the sixth sense, or actually, I would prefer to call faith the first sense followed by the other five. A pilot learns to fly by relying on the instruments because often they cannot see much of anything. To walk by faith you must believe the Word of God. Do not look at things because they are subject to change. Things are not the proof. Faith is the proof. Ephesians 2:8 reminds us that you are saved through your faith. Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith (see Hebrews 12:2). Your faith can make you well. Just ask blind Bartimaeus, described in Mark 10:52 or the bleeding woman in Matthew 9:20-22. The only fight the believer is called upon to fight, is the good fight of faith. It's a good fight because you always win. You cannot lose a fight of faith — you can only quit a fight of faith. If you've got joy in the middle of a fight, then you are walking by faith.
There is a difference between head knowledge and heart faith (see I Timothy 6:11-16). Satan wants you to believe with your mind, flesh, and five senses. He wants you to believe in the natural. God wants you to believe with your heart (see Romans 10:10).CHAPTER 4
How does faith come?
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). When you got saved, your spirit got saved, not your soul or flesh. You will spend the rest of your life in a war between your spirit, who wants you to live for God and your flesh (a mind-set), who wants you to live for the pleasure of his five senses. Your soul is the determining factor. God gave you the truth and Satan gave you a lie. You are the deciding witness. The decision will be based on whether your soul will receive more word from God or from the world. Your faith will come by hearing the word of God. Faith does not come by praying. It is a gift from God that only comes by hearing and believing His word.
Faith is like a muscle. Everyone is born with the same level of faith. God does not give one person more faith than another person has. God does not show favoritism (see Acts 10:34). God has dealt to each one a measure of faith (see Romans 12:3). You must develop your faith. The greatest hindrances to your faith are fear and doubt. More people die of the fear of cancer than the actual cancer. Their fear is greater than their faith. Fear is faith in the devil. They both come from Satan. God gave you the authority to bind both of them. Developing your faith is like making a cake. You have to mix God's Word with your faith. Fred Price says, "The mixing bowl is your mouth and the beater blade is your tongue."
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Your faith needs a foundation. What Scriptures are you basing your faith on? You cannot develop your faith with one sermon. You must continue to hear the Word of God. Could they not hear the voice behind the verse? Bishop David Oyedepo says, "The voice of God is the stronghold of faith." Satan can only destroy you through your mind. Satan does not want you to have faith in God and His Word.CHAPTER 5
How does faith work?
Jesus said to the two blind men, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." And their eyes were opened. (Matthew 9:27-30, paraphrased). Notice the Scripture did not say His faith; it's your faith. It also did not say according to your income, education, race, gender, family background, or anything else but your faith. You start with your belief. You start with something hoped for. You then bring it into fruition with your faith. Let's review the above Scripture. Jesus wants you to believe He can achieve what you have hoped for. It is not the size of your faith, but the size of the God you believe in that will determine the size of your harvest. Your faith grows with your love for God. Do you have faith in the name of Jesus? This is different than you believing you can do it. In the secular world people have high expectations of themselves. There is a difference between faith in God and the power of positive thinking or science of the mind. Oral Roberts once said, "The important thing is not the size of your faith, it is the One behind your faith — God Himself." Hebrews 12:2(NKJV) says, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith." Notice God wants you to believe He can do it but it's according to your faith. Not His faith. Not your ability, degree, race, income, good looks, etc. That's why this subject is so important because everything you need, desire, or want will come according to your faith. Even Jesus could only perform a few miracles in His hometown because of their little faith. Can you imagine you can block the power of God according to your faith? In Mark 9:23(NKJV) we read, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him [and her] who believes." What are you believing God for? If what you are believing God for can be achieved by you, then it's too small for God. How big is your God? Is there anything too large or impossible for God? In Genesis 13:15(NLT), God told Abraham, "I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants." How far can you see? Your faith is contingent upon how far you can see.
James 2:20(KJV) says, "Faith without works is dead." Until you do it you have not believed the Word.
Many people have beliefs and hopes but no faith. This is illustrated by their lack of works, their corresponding inaction. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus told the 10 lepers to show themselves to the priest and they would be healed. When were they healed? When the priest saw them? No. They were healed when they took their first step toward the priest. Their first step was an illustration of their faith. It was their corresponding action. Faith can be seen. You sow and reap in faith. Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:50 threw away his beggar's clothes because he had the faith to know Jesus was going to heal him of his blindness and he would no longer have to beg. When was he healed? When he threw away his clothes. God wants to see your faith.
Everything in the Kingdom of God operates by faith. It is the answer to every question. God needs to see your faith. The more Word of God you hear and believe, the greater your faith. How many hours of God's Word do you hear daily? How much secular news do you hear daily? No word — no faith; little word — little faith; much word — much faith.
If your faith is not at the level of your hope you must strengthen your faith. Galations 3:14(NKJV) says, "that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." Your blessing from God is dependent on your level of faith. The greatest illustration of your faith can be found in your praise. Faith sees the end result. Faith always has a good report.
Seed faith is giving something you have for something you desire. God is not moved by your need or your tears. He is moved by your faith and your seed. Seed faith is giving something you have for something you desire. In Hebrews 4:2," Fore we also have the gospel preached to us, just as they did, but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." You can go to church every Sunday, hear thousands of sermons and read your Bible every day, but without faith you will not receive God's best.
In Hebrews 11, the faith hall of fame, the men and women listed in these verses lived and died in faith. They finished the race in faith. Do you have finishing faith? Stubborn faith? Radical faith? Sold out faith? Abraham is considered the father of faith; but remember, he was about 117 when he was going to sacrifice Isaac, a very strong 17-year-old. Isaac could have easily stopped Abraham. Do you have the faith of Isaac that your heavenly daddy will take care of you?
What you conceive, you believe. The God kind of faith is conceive, believe, speak, and see. To receive God's best you must believe He is a good God. You cannot believe those who tell you that when something bad happens to you God is trying to teach you something. You must believe John 10:10(NASB), which speaks of Satan: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly." You must believe that.CHAPTER 6
When is faith present?
Faith is now, says Hebrews 11:1. Tradition and your carnal mind will always try to get you to believe that your blessing is in the future. Your healing, job, marriage, child, whatever you are believing God for is in the future. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (read Ephesians 1:3). By whose stripes were you healed? (Read I Peter 2:24.) Faith is now, hope is future tense. I believe God is going to heal me is not faith.
You already have your healing, job, marriage, children, whatever you are believing God for. You have it by faith. Your job is to show some corresponding action. My pastor, Bill Winston shares the following story: "If a prospective employer told you that you have the job on Friday, you would spend the rest of the weekend preparing for work on Monday. Why would you believe the employer more than God?" The weatherman says tomorrow will be hot and you believe and dress accordingly. God wants you to believe Him like you did the employer and weatherman. God has 7,874 promises for you in the Bible.
Galations 5:6(KJV) says, "but faith ... worketh by love." You can read your Bible and pray every minute of your life, you can read your confession every day of your life, you can tithe and offer all your income, but if you are not walking in love, if you have not forgiven everybody your faith has no power. Unforgiveness is the thief of faith. Be quick to forgive, repent, and believe. Your faith and your victory are in jeopardy if you are living in sin. Strife steals your faith. Is there any strife in your house?
Faith is voice activated. Proverbs 18:21(KJV) reminds us, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Romans 4:17 says that God calls things that do not exist as though they do exist. I want you to read carefully Mark 11:23-24 (KJV). Count the times it uses the word say. Count the times it uses the word pray. Three times it uses say. One time it says pray.You do not get what you pray for, you get what you say. Bishop Clarence McClendon connects it to law enforcement: "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you." Pastor Winston describes it to being a pilot; you must say exactly what the air traffic controller said. Pastor Nasir Saddiki parallels it with Hebrews 4:12 and the two-edged sword. This sword represents God saying it first and you repeating it back verbatim. There is no faith without confession. If you can't say what God said then be silent. Confession is faith's way of expressing itself.
Faith never rises above or below your confession. Your confession is the best barometer of your faith. Author Mark Hankins says, "Your voice is your address in the Spirit. Your voice is the highway your angels travel. If your faith is not talking, it is not working." Speaking is how you release your faith. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. You cannot pray in church that you are healed and talk to your friends about "your" illness. The Shunamite woman (II Kings 4:8-37) in the natural knew her son was dead but to her husband and Elisha she held fast to her confession of faith (see Hebrews 10:23), and she said, "It is well!" Her faith healed her son.
You must hold fast to your confession of faith because Satan is trying to take away your faith. Many people get tired of holding fast and they lack patience. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:13(KJV), "I believed, and therefore have I spoken." When you speak your faith your corresponding action must back it up. You do not call things the way you "wish" but the way they are. The doctor says you are sick. That is a fact and subject to change. Second Corinthians 4:18(NKJV) says, "While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary (your sickness, poverty, and poor relationships), but the things which are not seen (God's 7,874 promises) are eternal." The Bible says you are healed. That is the truth and will not change. You must ask yourself, whose report will you believe?
Excerpted from Faith Nuggets by Jawanza Kunjufu. Copyright © 2012 Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu. Excerpted by permission of African American Images.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 What is faith? 1
2 What size is your faith? 7
3 How essential is faith? 19
4 How does faith come? 23
5 How does faith work? 27
6 When is faith present? 35
7 Faith Nuggets 47
A Man of Faith 119
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a very informative and helpful book. I have learned a lot and seriously recommend that everyone read it!