“By Faith Alone”
Nothing else matters- if you cannot breathe. This is the Gary Inrig describes this oxygen as essential to life. He also states, “The life of faith is the only life that pleases God, and nothing else matters if faith is missing.” No matter how many navigational devices may be present in our lives, if we lack faith, we lack the necessity for lifeadvertising carried out by the lung associations in the support of people who are unable to breathe due to asthma, bronchitis or serious lung disease. When flying in an airplane it is very important that oxygen be present in the passenger cabins as oxygen is essential for breathing and breathing is essential for life.
Hebrews 11 gives examples of those who lived many years ago but still have a message for God’s children. Each person who acted and served God by faith and through their actions were considered righteous and faithful in God’s sight. Abel, Enoch,Noah- each of these men’s stories is a story of faith. Abel- making an offering from his heart.
Enoch lived 64 years and we know nothing of him. At the birth of his son at age 65 he walked with God. He pleased God and was taken. “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.”(Genesis 5:21-24)
Noah lived when people were wicked and evil but he was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time and he walked with God. He was called to build the ark and he worked building the barge as God had instructed him. And by faith God cared for him. To Noah, having faith means building the boat before the rain begins. Taking God at his word and stepping out and acting on the basis of God’s word.
Jesus comments about faith—“Jesus was amazed by their lack of faith.” (Mark 6:6) and in \Luke 7:9-“I have not found such great faith even in Israel”—the faith of a Roman centurion whose servant was deathly ill. In these statements he sees both the abundant and the lack of faith. What would Jesus be amazed at in your life?—belief or unbelief. By faith what are you doing for God; who are you becoming by faith?
By faith we live following God’s guidance. But do we have authentic faith that is faith that comes from within and that we may call our own? Many people today say I have faith because of my grandmother/ mother/ father/ but am unsure of what I believe. Have you discerned what you believe based on your ideas about God in your life? Has this changed through your years of believing? How and were these changes good?
By faith, we praise you, we love you and we serve you. Hold us in your hand, strengthen us and catch us when we are weak. For by faith we believe help our unbelief to know and grow. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
This reflection is based upon some ideas offered by Gary Inrig in his book, True North: Discovering God’s Way in a Changing World, Discovery House Publishers, 2002; ch.10