Monday, February 25


"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

According to the New International Version bible that I have, in the commentary section, faith "needs an object and the proper object of genuine faith is God." Not for the first time, I am left feeling that something different is coming from this verse, not what the theologians in their studies have touched upon. Dr. Larry Crabb talks of this verse being the jumping point of his journey in "Finding God", his book that I am studying with the discipling group.

Faith, according to the American Heritage Dictionary (2nd college edition c1975 rev'd), is "a confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance. Belief and Trust in God. Religious conviction. A system of religious beliefs. A set of principles or beliefs." In the Japanese bible, faith is defined as "Believe and look up." While I believe that the first definition captures the essence of what faith is to me, I would narrow it down to a person rather than an idea or thing. But it seems that the church has taught us that God is more of a thing, or even an idea, that a person.

Faith is alluded to, mentioned, or written one-hundred and six times in the reference guide I used. Sure Faith is spoken of in Psalm 34:8, " O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him." (Amplified version). The frailty of human faith is referenced in Luke 22:31-38, "I have prayed especially for you [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; and when you yourself have turned again, strengthen and establish your brethren…… When I sent you out with no purse or [provision] bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" (Amplified version).

In 1 Timothy 1:19, Paul speaks of faith being sent to the rocks, leaving hope shipwrecked….." By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith. (AMP)" These are only a few of the references to faith. Faith is a topic that is as widely disagreed upon as it is discussed. Some claim that faith is a work based system brought on by salvation, others a legalistic methodology, and the emergent imagery is faith is personal, unique, and that will get us to heaven.

A friend of mine, Garry, wrote about faithfulness (the act of living faith) on his website: I would check it out. But two verses he referenced stood out to me, for different reasons than what he quoted them for.

"Since we are surrounded by so many examples of faith, we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us. We must run the race that lies ahead of us and never give up."(Hebrews 12:1) Version unknown. I can live this verse, being surrounded by the mighty spiritual men that I gather with once a month in a discipling class, and every other month in a men's study class. Faith is not only an individual expression but is bound by noticeable and definable boundaries that are common to all.

But, and I guess this is my point for today, there is a solid, logical, and unmovable expression of what faith is for each of us who call Christ our King. It was sent to me via the Worthy Ministries email/devotion for today:

One day a passerby saw a homeless man on the roadside. He stopped for a moment to hand him some loose change and casually said "God bless you, my friend”.
"I thank God," said the homeless man, "I am never unhappy."
"What do you mean?" the passerby asked.
"Well," he said, "when the sun is out, I thank God -- when it rains, I thank God. When I am full, I thank God and when I am hungry, I thank God. And, since God's will is my will, and whatever pleases Him pleases me, why should I say I am unhappy when I am not?"
The man looked at him in astonishment and asked, “Who are you?”
"I am a King," said he.
"Where, then, is your Kingdom?" asked the man.
"In my heart." The homeless man replied.

Faith is the expectation of what we yet cannot see, the realization of the temporariness of what we have to endure, and the hope that wells within our hearts no matter the raging storms outside. We live, in faith, the realization of God's promise:

"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 40:10 Ver. Unknown)

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