After I finished writing part 1, I read an article on twitter that provided some insight to “faith.” The article features Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, he shares his thoughts regarding his new book, “One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World.” The article offered a different way of defining faith to me. I previously stated that faith for me is an action word; with the focus being “my” actions…I believe that I was somewhat slanted in my view. While it is true, faith in God requires my affirmation (action) in God displayed in my daily life and interactions, the real action of faith is the power, majesty and grace of God. Faith is the foundation of Christian life and assurance of a future in Heaven with God. A quote from the article that really spoke to me was “Only undeserved grace can truly melt and transform the heart. The route by which the New Testament exhorts sacrificial love and obedience is not by tempering grace but by driving it home. Charles Spurgeon nailed it when he said, “When I thought God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I beat my breast to think I could ever have rebelled against One who loved me so and sought my good.” We are incapable of saving ourselves; faith enables us to spend eternity with God. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And, Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) states, “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.” Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Scripture explains that the source of faith is God: Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)”For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” Another quote (paraphrased) that hit me like a brick wall was, “The focus of Christian faith should not be our love for God but to realize God’s love for us.” And, “Christianity is not about good people getting better. If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”
I did say this is a journey and my first task is to identify and name it, the thing or things that keeps me from fully living my faith and developing a deeper relationship with God.
Now, my work begins. Funny, that statement immediately took me to one of my favorite places, my church. At the end of every service the congregation says, “Our worship has ended. Now our Service begins!” I approach this task with fears, humility and hope. Below are a few of sites I have looked at and they offer simple and creative ways to build self-confidence and trust. Our pasts will be different during this portion of the trekking but our futures can and will be what we choose them to be and mine is to grow and develop an interacting relationship with my Creator and Savior.
~Blessings and Peace~
References and resources: