Biblical Faith 3

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding of Biblical faith and to evaluate our lives in the light of Jesus’ life and teachings on faith.


Mark 9:17-29

17  And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18  And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”

19  And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”  20  And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.

21  And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.  22  And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23  And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.

24  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

25  And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”  26  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.”  27  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

28  And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”  29  And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”


This text is another notable teaching of Jesus on prayer.  Read through the text again, making notes on the lessons in faith you can learn from Jesus’ teachings and actions:

  1. Note Jesus’ the interaction between Jesus and the disciples (v19, 28-29). How would you describe Jesus’ response to the disciple’s failure to deal with this situation?  And what was Jesus’ faith lesson to them?
  2. Note Jesus’ interaction with the possessed boy’s father. How would you describe his attitude with the father’s desperate request?  What was Jesus’ faith lesson to him?
  3. Notes Jesus’ interaction with the boy. How did Jesus exercise his faith in this situation?

Application and prayer

  1. Reading Jesus word’s to his disciples “O faithless generation… how long am I to bear with you?” – how do you feel? Can you associate with the disciples?  Spend time in prayer with God and talk to him about your measure of faith (cf Romans 12:3).
  2. Reading the father’s plea for help “I believe; help my unbelief!” – how do you feel? Can you identify with the father?  Consider a situation in your life where you acknowledge your unbelief; confess it to God and ask for faith in that area.
  3. Take 5 minutes and meditate* prayerfully on Jesus teaching “All things are possible for one who believes.”

*mediate here means to think about, speak about, pray about and repeat the phrase in prayer with God.  The idea is to internalize and consider the consequences of the truth.

  1. Grab your phone and encourage one person who needs to hear this truth today!

And here is a good anthem for the road today.  Sing along!

Biblical Faith 2

The aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding of Biblical faith and to evaluate our lives in the light of the John’s teachings on faith in Jesus.


John 20:30-31

30  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;  31  but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

John 1:1-3

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2  He was in the beginning with God.  3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.


  1. In John 20:30-31 John writes the intent of this gospel is “to believe” through recorded conversations, miracles and teachings of Jesus. Unpack this statement and write down what it reveals about the Christian understanding of faith?
  2. John thus wrote down everything in this gospel account intending to stir belief (or trust) in Jesus Christ. Study John 1:1-3, 14 and discover at least 4 reasons that John intentionally gives to put your faith in Jesus Christ.


Shortly answer these questions form your personal perspective.

  1. How do I relate to Jesus as the One who was “in the beginning?” How does that truth stir my faith in him today?  How can it find expression in my life today?
  2. How do I relate to Jesus being “with God” from the beginning? How does that truth stir my faith in him? How can it find expression in my life today?
  3. How do I relate to Jesus being “God”? How does that truth stir my faith in him?
  4. How do I relate to Jesus being the “creator of all things”? How does that truth stir my faith in him? How can it find expression in my life today?
  5. How do I relate to Jesus who “became flesh and dwelt among us”? How does that truth stir my faith in him today? And how can it find expression in my life today?


In personal prayer, confirm your faith (and perhaps doubts) in Christ, in God, as well as in the Bible as the Word of God.  Ask God to reveal Himself more sincerely to you.

Biblical Faith 1

The Aim of this devotion is to grow in understanding of Biblical faith, to evaluate to which degree you “live by faith”, and to help put your faith into practice today.


Mark 11:12-15, 19-24

12  On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry.  13  And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.  14  And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.

15  And they came to Jerusalem… 19  And when evening came they went out of the city.

20  As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.  21  And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”

22  And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God.  23  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”


  1. Why Peter was surprised when he saw the fig tree had withered so quickly?
  2. Jesus’ reply to Peter is a teaching on faith in action. Make simple points on Jesus’ teaching on faith.  Now summarize it as “my own principles of faith to live by.”
  3. Jesus’ first principle in his teaching is “Have faith in God.”  Write in your own words what it means to “have faith in God”.
  4. Jesus moves his conversation from “say to this the mountain” to “ask in prayer”. How does it differ in practice? (i.e. when, for what and how will you “say to this mountain”?  When and how will you “ask in prayer”?)
  5. Try a few synonyms for “faith” in this context.


  1. Look at your “principles of faith to live by.” Think of you prayer life and daily activities and future aspirations.  Which principles do you put in practice, and which do you neglect?
  2. Consider your greatest “fig trees” or “mountains” in your life (relational, financial, personal weakness or sins, or some insurmountable situation – anything too big for you). Write a declaration against it, commanding it to be removed (if it is a situation too big for your) or to die (if it is a sin or stronghold such as addiction, anxiety etc).  Read this every day for the next week at least with the confidence “it will be done for you.”

Note: “Our battle is not against flesh and blood… but against spiritual forces” [Eph 6:12] therefore we do not speak death to people, but the situations and sinful habits.

  1. Considering Jesus promise in verse 24, make a list of things you really need or desire (also consider non-material things, and requests on other’s behalf!) Write the date on the top of the page, and leave space where you can write the date in which your prayer has been answered. Have it somewhere where you can ask that of God daily.


Looking at your application of Jesus’ teaching on faith in this section, talk to God about your life of faith, and how you put it in practice – whichever way the Spirit leads.

Then look at that list of things you ask of God in faith, and start asking God boldly, with the assurance that he hears and will give “whatever you ask”.

Biblical Interpretation – Exercise

The Aim of this short exercise is to practice systematic Biblical Interpretation and application.


Psalms 93:1-5

The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 2  Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. 4  Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!

5  Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.


1. Take a moment and identify the various nouns in this short text; how do they relate to one another?

2. What is the setting of this Psalm?  What picture does it sketch?  (Hint: in these type of Psalms you look at the middle thought / verse).

3. There are three parts to this short Psalm; what is the main theme of each and how do they relate to each other.

Part 1: The pronouncement of the Lord’s reign if followed by a description of how he reigns. In your own words explain what the Psalmist meant with each of the following phrases by unpacking the imagery

  • Robed in majesty
  • Belt of strength (hint Eph 613-14)
  • The world / Your throne established
  • Everlasting

Part 2: Then follows the announcement that the Floods have lifted uptheir voice …their roaring

  • What feelings does the Psalmist try to convey by these phrases?  (Image a raging flood).
  • List a few things what these floods could represent to a community or individual.
  • What comforts the Psalmist during this raging flood?

Part 3: With what two tangible things of God does the Psalmist comfort himself in God’s eternal reign over the flood?

4. Now in one sentence, summarize the message of the Psalm.

Psalm 93:4   Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!
Psalm 93:4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty!


1. The Psalmist wrote this song to pronounce over his / her flood “The Lord reigns! The Lord is Mightier than this storm!”  List a few situations over which you have no control – personal or national – and then take you time to declare loudly over it: “The Lord reigns! He is mightier than this storm!” (learn to do this habitually)

2. The Psalmist takes comfort during the metaphorical flood in God’s testimonies (Scripture). Think of a friend going through some storm, pray and ask God for a Scripture to send to him/ her now.

3. The Psalmist also finds comfort during the metaphorical flood in God’s house. We are God’s house.  Who needs comfort and strength from God that you can spend face time with to encourage in the next week?  Send someone a message right now to meet and comfort them – then invite that person with you to church or small group, trusting for a meeting with God.


Look at the Psalm, think of a personal storm (or that of a friend), and pray to God in line of the Psalm over the situation.

Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart

The Aim of this devotional time is to reflect on the condition of your own heart and to ready your heart for God’s Word and respond appropriately towards God’s Word.

For a memorable summary on why you can trust that the Bible is reliable and accurate, see this 2min video clip


James 1:17-25

17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

18  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;

20  for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

21  Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

25  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Note: in reflecting on this text you might also compare it with Jesus’ parables of the Sower (Matthew 13:3-23) and the house on sand / rock (Luke 7:24-27).


  1. Write down what you observe about our relationship with “the Word” as James notes it in this section.
  2. James writes to his readers that they should clean their hearts of “filthiness and wickedness” to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save [your] souls.” How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 13:22).
  3. In v22 James says one who listens but does not “do” the word is in danger of “deceiving himself”. How do you understand that? (Compare with Matthew 7:24-27)
  4. James promises one who “perseveres” in doing the word is “blessed in all he does”. What do you understand in “perseveres” in this section?  (Read James 1:2-4 to understand the situation of the readers; Compare Matthew 13:20-21).

Application and Prayer

  1. James addressed uncontrolled speech and anger throughout his letter, calling it “filthiness and wickedness”. What “filthiness and wickedness” must you “put away” for the Word of God to produce fruit in your heart?  Write the specifics down and repent of it.
  2. Is there anything righteous that you do / have done but you have felt resistance and have already given up, or want to give up? James says you need perseverance.  Write it down and pray for strength and patience – but don’t give up!
  3. Pray and allow the Holy Spirit time to show you where you have become a hearer and not a doer. Write it down, and commit to God in prayer to become a doer of the word.

(It is strongly recommended that you discuss with your Bible School Buddy / accountability friend these application points, so that you may encourage one another to continue in it).