Friday, March 19, 2010


"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)

"Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:24)

What does it mean to simply believe? Belief operates under different paradigms. There's belief that is a mental assent. I believe there is a president of the United States. I've never met him or seen him personally but I'm pretty confident that he exists. I give a mental assent to his existence.

Then there's the concept of
believing in someone or something. That concept is closely connected to faith. You can only truly trust someone you know well.

Our calling in the Christian life is to know God. Romans 10:17 tells us that, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." Jesus is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Hearing is a relationship word. We grow in the Lord and in our walk with Him as we give place to the Word of God in our lives.

As we grow in our walk with Him we grow in trust of Him! As we grow in trust our faith increases. Sometimes, I think that we have tried to teach faith without the concept of relationship. We've tried to teach it as a belief apart from the context that causes it to thrive. Faith doesn't exist in a vacuum.

How do we simply believe? We simply get to know God. The more we know; the more we learn to trust and to rest. How do we get to know God? We spend time in His Word and in prayer and with other believers. It's pretty simple. We just have to do it.

We grow up in a world that would rob our faith (after all Satan is called the god of this world and he comes to steal, kill and destroy) and keep us from the very relationship we were created for but God, in His wonderful goodness, has made abundant provision for us in Jesus Christ!

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Things first

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)

This is such a powerful picture of sowing and reaping. To put it simply, what Jesus is saying here is that when we really put God first in our lives then He will take care of the rest. I think the problem comes in that we have a very low bar for what we consider seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

Let's make one thing clear. This is not about legalism in the Christian life. It is about reaping the benefits of a love relationship with God. This is not about being saved or going to heaven or how much God loves you. It is about you making yourself available to all the wonderful promises that God has for you.

This kind of relationship is more than about going to Church or reading our Bibles. Those are pieces of the whole but they are not the totality. And maybe that's a big part of the point.

Our walk with God is not found in some single aspect of Christianity and the things we should do. Relationships are multifaceted. They involve give and take. They involve talking and listening. They cost you. A good relationship will cost you some time and some effort.

It has been said that things that are worth doing are worth doing well. That is certainly true of our walk with God. Getting saved and going to Church is a start, but the true joy in the journey comes as we grow in Him. We learn to hear His voice. We become vessels for His glory. Life becomes less and less about us and more and more about Him.

Take a good, honest look at your life. Does God really get first place in your life? Are you truly seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? What adjustments do you need to make? What can you do differently?

A life truly given over to God will be a life lived well.