Friday, September 30, 2016
A performer I once heard thought of the word as an acronym for "Feel As If There's Hope."
When I mentioned that to Ted, he disagreed because faith is not a feeling. According to Hebrews 11, "faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
After all, it was by faith Abel brought a better sacrifice, Noah built an ark, Moses' parents hid their baby from the king, Abraham took Isaac up the mountain, and Rahab welcomed the spies. By faith the people crossed the Red Sea on dry land, the army marched around Jericho until the walls fell, and Abraham and Sarah had a child in their old age. Examples abound in this chapter about how faith carried the believers through difficult and even unheard of things.
In the same way, my own faith has inspired and carried me through many difficult and amazing things. I can recall many situations that completely changed -- even overnight -- when I held onto my faith.
Paul says in a letter to the Corinthians that "we live by faith, not by sight" and "we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." We may not see it, we may not feel it, and we may not even be able to put it into words, but when we have faith in God, the most incredible things can happen. Faith in God changes everything.
So, how would I define faith? My acronym would be this:
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Here's a continuation of 1 Peter 1, in my own interpretation:
10 Prophets took great care in bringing such an important message...
11 with great reverence, prayer and searching to know when and how these things would unfold.
12 This was not self-serving, but the Holy Spirit's message coming through. A great mystery!
13 Get ready -- seriously, intentionally focused -- and ready for knowing Jesus more fully when He returns.
14 Abide in Jesus, not in the world, now that you know better.
15 In all your ways, strive to be like Him -- Holy!
16 Early scriptures (Leviticus) commanded holiness.
17 Remember this life is only temporary and God is sovereign; Lord over all. Live your days in awe of that and expectant of what is to come.
18 No amount of treasures or riches or works could do for you what God has done
19 with the precious blood of Jesus, freely given for all.
20 This was planned from the beginning of time but only recently revealed.
21 God gave us a real-life human example before our eyes to increase our faith.
22 So, love deeply as Jesus did.
23 We are born again in new hope; true children of God.
24 This world, our bodies and all that we now see is temporary
25 but the promise of God stands for eternity!
Dear Lord, help us live our lives in reverent awe of what you have done. Let us not become complacent or satisfied in this world, but let us live in the light of eternity with expectant hope of all you have promised. Even now, you are equipping us for this higher calling of being holy, like you are.