For the umpteenth time Mrs. Youngston came to her pastor to tell him, "I'm so scared! Joe says he's going to kill me if I continue to come to your church."
"Yes, my child," replied the pastor, more than a little tired of hearing this over and over. "I will continue to pray for you. Have faith - the Lord will watch over you."
"Oh yes, He has kept me safe thus far, only....."
"Only what, my child?"
"Well, now Joe says if I keep coming to your church, he's going to kill YOU!"
"Well, now," said the pastor, "perhaps it's time to check out that
little church on the other side of town." Laughingzone.com
Paul has just finished what some people consider to be the most dynamic words found in any of his letters. After reminding the saints of the blessings God has given us in Christ, he now mentions our faith. It is not so much the faith we exercised for salvation, but the faith we work out on a daily basis Ė our faith in Christ that lets others know we are continuing in the Christian life. Itís the kind of faith we expect to see in Christians, like Mrs. Youngston, when they are having tough times, though itís often not the kind of faith we display when our own pastoral lives suffer adversity. Would we risk our lives to attend a worship service?
Paul is writing about faith that proves itself by actions. Itís a faith developed by the Holy Spiritís gentle persuasion as we hear the word of God and move through life guided by His Providential hand. Our faith, then, is our complete trust in the Lord and our utter dependence upon Him. Led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, our faith rests not in our own abilities.
On Monday, April 25, 2005, I heard about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The voice that pierced my soul belonged to the Holy Spirit, who reminded me of the faith I had exercised 23 years ago in Greensboro, North Carolina. Over the years, He has deepened my faith and taught me many things. Some have come with great tussle, though not for Him.
One of those struggles involves showing love for all the saints. Too often I have paid lip service in lieu of sacrificial service. Yet, His word shows that love is a sweet action verb, not just sweet verbal action. Itís easy to say I love you yet never take the time to get involved in your life. Thatís just Saccharin. My faith must come to the point where I withhold no good from those who need it when it is in my power to act. As our faith develops, we must learn to follow the Spiritís leading without hesitation. When we do that, people will see our faith in tangible ways that both Paul and James write about. Only in Christ is this possible.
Mountain Time Moment
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus
and your love for all the saints,
Ephesians 1:15 NIV
Complete writing with verse links in blue is at: