Tuesday, January 27, 2015
There are many people who have never read the Bible and/or don’t make it a practice to attend church who claim they have faith. My guess is that they are referring to a feeling or a general attitude of the heart and not the genuine faith portrayed in the Bible. In their case, they may believe in a rabbit’s foot, horseshoes, fortune cookie slogans, religious artifacts, lucky pennies, and other such things which really have no substance. Some even believe in science, like Nacho Libre’s sidekick, Esqueleto, but how many times has science let people down? NASA is one that comes to mind, just to name one. Speaking of fortune cookie predictions, a fellow got one which read: “You will be running into a lot of money very soon.” He believed it wholeheartedly and excitedly told all his family and friends of his soon impending good fortune. His faith in the fortune cookie prediction came true for a few days after, he crashed his car into a bank.
As far as “substance” is concerned, Hebrews 11:6 in the King James Version says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Other bible versions connect to faith, words such as “assurance”, “reality”, “confidence”, “realization”, and “proof”, among other things. If faith is not based on something real or true, it is a blind faith. How hard can it be, on the other hand, to believe in someone who has never failed or lied? Hebrews 6:13 says: “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself.”
At my sister Alice’s funeral recently, I shared with those assembled a little bit of the history of the Golden Gate Bridge. During it’s construction, 11 men fell to their death because the safety net that was provided was faulty. Despite the hard financial times, many workers quit because of the great risk. Because of it, a new and better safety net was constructed and all nineteen that afterwards fell into that new net were saved. They had little trouble finding workers for the project after that. Can you see the picture? The fear of a fatal fall was greatly minimized when the workers knew a proven and stronger net would be there to catch them. Our faith is based on Someone who is even stronger and more secure than that. In fact, He is 100 % reliable. I concluded that all those who are in Christ, my sister included, will, without a doubt, be caught by strong and loving hands on the day they “fall off” from this world. It is no wonder, then, that Paul wrote: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” If we are trusting in anyone, even ourselves, other than Christ, we have no assurance. With Christ, however, there can be no doubts. Thank God for faith!
Memory verse for the week (Hebrews 3:7-8 KJV) “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith , To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.”