Fellowship with Christ; January 20, 2022

1 Cor 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

It has been pointed out by many people that the church in Corinth had many problems, but Paul started his letter thanking God for them. This verse tells us why he could have such confidence. There are three elements to it. Word order is very different in English and Japanese, but in both languages the verse starts with “God.” When our focus is on other things, which by definition are less than God, we are easily distracted. Those things might be temptations of various sorts, or they might be an awareness of our own gifts and abilities, or lack thereof. It’s not at all that we are to ignore everything else, but rather that God needs to be supreme in our heart and mind so that we see everything in relation to Him. In so doing, we need to have a clear and accurate image of God in our heart and mind. This verse brings up one of His characteristics that is often totally overlooked by those who don’t know Him personally, and that is His faithfulness. The NIV gives that extra punch by closing out the sentence with it, and the Japanese brings it out right at the beginning, but in either case it is vitally important. The thing is, God is faithful but we aren’t. Spiritual growth can be said to be growth in faithfulness. The less mature we are, the more likely we are to be sidetracked by all sorts of temptations, and the less likely we are to follow through with what God tells us to do. We can’t rely on our own faithfulness, but God’s is totally dependable. What this verse is saying is that this totally faithful God has called us into fellowship with His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We aren’t just called to “be good little boys and girls,” but to have fellowship, intimate communication and interaction with, the Son of God! If God feels far from you, you need to realize two things: God hasn’t moved, and you need to repent and grow. It is logically obvious that our greatest joy and satisfaction will come when we are fulfilling the purpose for which our Creator made us, and here we have it: fellowship with His Son. That can seem like an impossibly high goal, but it’s the one our Creator set for us, and remember, He is faithful! Of course, perfect fellowship will be experienced only when we are before His throne in heaven, but we can taste it here and now, and that should be our goal. (Psalm 42:1)

I have tasted fellowship with God enough times that you would think I’d be totally obsessed with it, but unfortunately that’s not the case. My flesh still gets in the way in various ways, which is why I look forward to being through with it! I am at times painfully aware of my own unfaithfulness, but I have experienced God’s faithfulness too many times to doubt it. I well remember one time I was in a small prayer meeting and the presence of the Lord, the sheer joy of it, was so intense that I felt one more drop would cause my physical body to give up, and I would go straight to heaven. I actually expressed in my spirit, “Lord, if You have more work for me to do here, You’d better let up a little.” Obviously He did that, and that was several years ago. Of the three other men in that prayer meeting, one has gone on to heaven, one I am in contact with fairly often by Facebook, and I recently reestablished contact with the third. God is faithful for them, too! As a pastor, I deeply desire that each of the believers discover the joy of fellowship with Jesus Christ, and that’s why I urge morning devotions all the time. We all need to set the tone of each day by consciously seeking to be in fellowship with our Lord.

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness! Thank You for the incredible privilege of fellowship with Your Son. Thank You that He was born, lived, and died as a human being, in addition to being divine, so that He indeed understands what we are going through. I ask You to use me to bring more and more people into fellowship with Him by faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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Women in Ministry; January 19, 2022

Romans 16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea.

In reading through this great list of names I was quite struck with how many women there are, starting with Phoebe. In her case, the NIV gives a footnote that “servant” could be translated “deaconess,” but the Japanese just uses the term for deacon, which isn’t gender-specific. So much for all the arguments about women in ministry! As my grandfather W. O. Carver always insisted, Paul’s remarks in 1 Corinthians 11, and particularly the infamous “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,” (1 Timothy 2:12) are taken out of context. As my grandfather explained, there were societal customs that dictated all sorts of things, such as the whole matter of meat that had been sacrificed to idols, that aren’t to be normative for the Church through the ages. Many people have been hurt, and even churches torn apart, by men who didn’t want to share the limelight. Societal norms need to be respected to a degree, but are never to take precedence over the Holy Spirit. God’s kingdom operates in many ways, with a virtually infinite variety of roles, but everything is under and in submission to God Himself, which makes differences insignificant by comparison. Problems arise from pride, both in men and women, and we’ve got to remember that that’s what got Lucifer thrown out of heaven.

I have seen people of both genders who had no business teaching, whatever they thought of themselves, and I have been greatly blessed by the spiritual insights of both women and men. My mother was distressed when the mission board demoted her to “missionary wife” after she married my father, when she had actually applied to be a missionary before he had. I feel that distress was quite understandable, but at the same time my mother’s internal turmoil was her own issue, to the degree that she didn’t release the issue to God. In the secular world, the “Women’s Liberation Movement” started with some reasonable and even noble goals, but it was quickly hijacked by the devil, and easily so because there was so much pride involved. I am to treat all people with honor and respect, recognizing that God can use anyone, and seeking to encourage each person in their individual gifting and calling.

Father, thank You for this reminder. There are many difficult things, not to mention unknowns, about this whole issue. Help me look to You constantly and hear You clearly and obediently, so that Your plans for everyone may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Relationships; January 18, 2022

Romans 14:7-8 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

This is an important truth, but there are many who would dispute it. We don’t like to admit we are property, that we belong to God. American culture in particular stresses individual autonomy, and this seems to fly in the face of that. That’s just evidence that America isn’t perfect, either! I have long maintained that suicide is a supremely selfish, or at least self-centered, act. All of us impact those around us, whether we realize it or not. When we are totally focused on our own pain we have great trouble recognizing how our death would affect others, or even why it matters. A recent tragic story in the news was of a young couple, both law officers. The husband had been in the military, and his PTSD from that caught up with him and he killed himself. Where it gets even more tragic is that his wife, in her grief at the loss of her husband, killed herself too – leaving behind a child less than a year old. Both of the adults in that needed to read this passage! This past Sunday I spoke on Relationships. It is of utmost importance that God created us as social beings, related and relating to one another, all on the basis of our relationship to Him, our heavenly Father. Paul is stressing that last fact here. Our relationship to God governs every other relationship in our lives. If the vertical is right, then the horizontal is much more likely to be right. It’s no coincidence that the cross is made up of a vertical piece and a horizontal piece. It’s also no accident that the vertical piece is longer. It is only when we have our vertical relationship to God straight that we can rightly relate to those on either side of us. We tend to think of people as either “above” or “below” us, particularly in Japanese society, but compared to God, every human being is on exactly the same level. It would take a scanning electron microscope to detect the bumps! We often fail to recognize our impact and influence on others, and that is a real problem. God intends that we be instruments of His grace and blessing to those around us. It is only when we fit into His plan for us that we achieve the peace and satisfaction we desire.

This naturally applies to me, just as it does to everyone else. As I confessed on Sunday, I’m not by nature a “people person.” However, being married to one of the most connected people on the planet for over 52 years has been very educational! I’ve been slow to learn it, but it has finally sunk in how much I need other people, and how God wants to use me in meeting their needs as well. I certainly still have my selfish, self-centered moments, but I’ve come a long way from how I once was. The acronym JOY – Jesus, Others, Yourself – seemed rather trite to me the first time I heard it, but there’s a lot of truth in it. As someone who belongs to the Lord, I need to be fully available to Him as an instrument of blessing to those around me, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the very full day yesterday, and for all You have planned for today. Help me recognize and follow Your plan each moment, not only to get done what’s on my schedule but to impact those around me as You intend, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Fundamental Laws; January 17, 2022

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

This is a justly famous, vitally important passage with which I am naturally very familiar. However, the Japanese translation I use gives me fresh insight. In English we only have one word, “law,” to express what are actually various different things, but Japanese has three terms that I’m aware of. There is judicial law, as in a human court, there is God’s law, as in the 10 Commandments, and there is the term used for fundamental principles, as in laws of nature such as gravity. Interestingly, that is the word used here. You can’t annul gravity by executive decree, legislative action, or judicial judgment! However, things like the “laws” of aerodynamics counter gravity all the time, as witness all the airplanes flying around. That’s the sort of thing Paul is talking about here. The law of sin and death doesn’t disappear, but it’s more than countered by the law of the Spirit of life. That’s why we need to be careful to walk in the Spirit at all times, as we are admonished to do several times in the New Testament. Otherwise, the law of sin and death takes over, as when the engine quits in an airplane. That’s why Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) If we fail to walk in the Spirit of Life, it’s as though He doesn’t exist for us. The good news is, repentance is always available!

This naturally applies to me as much as it does to everyone else. I’m certainly not immune to gravity! I’m back to the vital importance of applying the truth I know. James hit the nail on the head when he wrote, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) Mere lip service doesn’t free us from anything. As I am reminded rather often, as someone actively involved in telling others what God says to do, I’ve got to be careful that I’m doing it too! However the glorious truths of Scripture, like this passage, are just as true for me as they are for anyone else, so I am to rest, relax, and rejoice in my Lord, just as He has told me to do.

Father, thank You for this reminder, and for the very clear illustration You gave me of how this works. Guide me in when and how I am to share that with others. Thank You for all You did yesterday, and all You have planned for today. May I indeed walk in Your Spirit each moment, so that Your life through me may touch all I encounter, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Eternal Life; January 16, 2022

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is one of the more famous verses in the whole Bible, but it’s still worth fresh attention and meditation. To this point Paul has been using the image of slavery in talking about our relationship to sin, but here he at least says we get paid a wage for it – but what a wage! This is a truth the devil does his utmost to hide, which is all the more reason for us to trumpet it everywhere. The problem is, until our spiritual eyes have been opened, we don’t recognize the death that is reigning in us even while we’re walking around. It’s kind of like taking a poison a little bit at a time, perhaps thinking we’re “building up immunity,” when actually we’re adding up to the fatal dosage. The only antidote to that poison is the blood of Jesus Christ. That an antidote is available is the best news in the whole world! The problem is that most people don’t recognize the poison for what it is. Mankind has always been on a quest for eternal life, probably in an instinctive desire to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden. Burial rituals in different cultures can be a fascinating study, with the Egyptian pyramids as an extreme example. All those human efforts are ultimately futile, and that includes the “scientific” efforts today to extend physical life to 120 years and beyond, and even to “record human personality” in digital form so that we could live forever, essentially, as computers or android robots. Those who have had what are called “Near Death Experiences,” including my wife, testify to the futility of that. It’s like we’re striving to keep living in a dirt-floor hovel when we are offered a luxurious mansion! The thing is, this isn’t just a “pie in the sky by and by” thing, because eternal life in Christ begins the moment He is enthroned in your heart. Eternal life in Christ, far more than quantitative, is qualitatively infinitely above anything we can achieve on our own. Since we can’t earn or achieve it, God offers it to us as a gift, as Paul says here. We are to be good stewards of the life we have here, but going from this to the next, for those who are in Christ, is pure joy and glory.

I’ve had a cousin and her daughter die just recently, the cousin at an advanced age with Alzheimer’s, and her daughter with MS. For both of them it was a huge release, and since they were both believers, a glorious graduation. For those left behind, particularly the daughter’s husband, there is sadness, but not for the two “graduates.” I have lost count of the people I’ve “seen off,” and there has been a wide variety. For active believers, there has even been joy in the process. For those with no faith, only sadness. For the majority, there has been a relinquishing of them to God’s judgment, because He alone knows the content of our heart. For myself, I have a joyful anticipation of my graduation, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy life here and now. However, I certainly experience a lot of things I won’t miss when I’m gone! Meanwhile, I have the privilege and responsibility of sharing the Gospel with as many as will receive it, so that they too may join me in the eternal life that God offers.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me be faithful in every moment of the eternal life You have given me, in this body and after, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Depravity; January 15, 2022

Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

In a way, this first chapter of Romans should be an encouragement to believers today, because it shows us very clearly that now isn’t the first time such conditions have been rampant. The only distinction I see between today and 1st Century Roman society is that today the idols aren’t in the shape of birds and animals and reptiles (verse 23) but are more likely to be electronic, or even intangible, as came up a couple of days ago. The moral and sexual elements read like current news reports. The thing to remember is that things didn’t stay this way, even in Rome. Depravity is endemic in human society because sin is endemic in the human soul, but it always leads to its own destruction. The problem is that such collapse generally injures innocent bystanders as well. There’s a line from Jude’s letter that is seldom quoted, but seems very appropriate in this context. “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.” (Jude 1:22-23) Believers are on a rescue mission in the middle of an intense battle. We aren’t to close our eyes to all the evil, trying to retreat into some place of safety, because frankly, they won’t leave us alone! Rather, we are to go on the offense, declaring the truth of God in love and being unwavering in our defense of Biblical standards. America is far from the only place all this is going on. A former member of the Finnish government is in danger of a significant prison sentence for simply stating that homosexuality is unnatural and wrong! Even if your position is very libertarian, saying that we should let people destroy themselves if they are intent on doing that, you need to realize that such people aren’t satisfied with anything less than enthusiastic support of their activities, just as this verse says. Backing down never solves anything.

Like many in the Church I have been only peripherally aware of all of this until fairly recently, but it’s certainly unavoidable now. Just last night I watched a very powerful message by Bishop E. W. Jackson on the political and racial implications of the current assault on the kingdom of God, and he didn’t even touch on the sexual issues. The thing is, as nasty and as powerful as all the rot is, it’s no match for the power of God. I, and all those who seek to follow God, have got to remember John’s very comforting words: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) I’m not to back away from the fight, but as Jude said, “snatch people from the fire.” At the same time, again as Jude said, I’ve got to be careful the corruption doesn’t spread to me. I am to walk in the purity and love of Jesus Christ my Lord, because nothing else is up to the task.

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. Thank You for the video of Bishop Jackson, and for the friend who sent me the link. Help me indeed not back away from the fight, but fully clothed in Your armor be fully useful to You, to destroy the works of the devil and bring people from darkness to light, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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The Gospel; January 14, 2022

Romans 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

We ascribe various shades of meaning to “Gospel,” and in the process often lose sight of what Paul says here. “Gospel” is applied to a style of music, that in Japan at least is often sung by non-believers who just like the music. It is applied to the four books of the New Testament that specifically recount the life of Jesus, and as an extension of that, is applied as a standard of truth, “the Gospel truth.” We must never forget, however, that it means Good News. Why is it good news? Because of what Paul says here. John 3:16 could rightly be said to be the foundation of the Gospel, because the good news is indeed that God loved us so much that He prepared a way, through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, for us to be saved from the penalty for our sins and brought into eternal fellowship with Him. The better we understand that, the better that news becomes! None of us is sinless, even after we encounter Christ, as John makes very clear in his first letter. (1 John 1:8-10) In the middle of that, however, John further clarifies the Gospel by saying, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) The sticking point for many when it comes to accepting God’s salvation is acknowledging that they need it, that they are sinners. Confession, at least to God, is essential for salvation. It doesn’t necessarily need to be codified, as it is in some churches, but we’ve got to say to God, and mean it, “God, I’ve screwed up. I have no right to spend eternity with You. I believe Jesus died in my place, and I ask You to forgive me, cleanse me, and take me as Your child.” That we can do that, and it really happens as an eternal transaction, is the best news possible!

I have committed my life to communicating the Gospel, but I am by temperament and gifting a teacher. Those with Encourager gifting make better evangelists! However, I’m not to make excuses, or in any way hold back from declaring the Good News of salvation to all who will receive it. On one level I feel I agree completely with Paul in what he says here, but in all honesty I have to admit that I have held back at times out of concern for how my words would be received, placing a higher value on people’s approval than on their eternal salvation. That’s being ashamed of the Gospel! I am to seek, and act in, God’s wisdom as to timing and methods, but I must never let self-centered concerns hold me back from declaring the Gospel. It is possible to come across as holier-than-thou, and when that happens it certainly doesn’t sound like good news. It is also possible to come across as pedantic, downright boring. That’s a particular hazard for someone with Teacher gifting! The way to avoid both of those traps is to remember how marvelous and how essential this truth is to me, personally, because I too am totally dependent on God’s grace. If I will remember that, then my words will come across as Good News indeed.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me be an effective communicator of Your Gospel, drawing many into repentance and faith, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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Reputation; January 13, 2022

Acts 28:22 “But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”

As I read this it struck me that Christians in America are beginning to taste this sort of thing for the first time ever. When many of the early settlers were religious refugees, and the nation itself was founded on Biblical principles, devout Christians were certainly held in the highest regard. How things can change in 250 years! Today, you can hardly look at “mainstream media” without seeing and or hearing some slur against Christians. They are called intolerant, homophobic, transphobic, and a list of other pejoratives. Paul and his compatriots would say, “Welcome to the club!” Like some of the people who have recently been sanctioned by Iran for standing firmly against that regime, we should take such insults as a badge of honor! The natural human impulse is to want to be liked by everyone, but we’ve got to realize that’s never going to happen. We’ve got to choose whose approval we want, that of the world, or of our Creator? Just before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18) He then went on and expanded some of what that would mean. We are not to offend needlessly, but we are never to abandon the things of God in order to be accepted by the world. It simply doesn’t work! Remember, the devil hates us by definition, and those who are deceived by him are going to do the same. We would do well to study the lives of the saints (and by that I mean all true believers) who have gone before us and, to use a colloquialism, “quitcher bitchin.” Our lives should be such that those who know us consider us loving, honest, and dependable, and those who are in rebellion against God hate the very ground we walk on.

I have always tended to be an independent sort, at least pretending that I didn’t care what people said about me, but I’ll have to confess it was pretense indeed. I too like for people to like me! I am very thankful to have grown up with the example of my parents, who were true to God first and foremost, and as a result loved those around them. Any time I realize I am being less than loving, I need to realize that means I’m not being fully true to God! I am fairly well known in this city, having lived here for 40 years and being rather noticeable as a Caucasian in Japan, and I think my reputation is generally good. However, not many people have been drawn to emulate me in following Christ, and that means I’ve got plenty of room to grow. It’s telling that I am most “spoken against,” as in this verse, on social media from the US, and sadly, some of that is from confessed Christians. I’ve got to remember not to be defensive, but always speak (and write) the truth in love, leaving my reputation and people’s reactions in God’s hands. If I am disliked or even hated, I’m in good company!

Father, thank You for this reminder. So much is going on, and it’s hard to stay focused on the immediate task at hand, all the while not losing sight of the ultimate goal. Thank You for Cathy asking me to translate What A Day That Will Be, by Ben Speer, and enabling me to do so. Help me remember the truth in that song, and rest, relax, and rejoice in You whatever is going on, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Faithfulness; January 12, 2022

Acts 27:35-36 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.

In the middle of a crisis, the simple act of thanking God for an ordinary thing like food can be a powerful act of faith. These men were in literal danger for their lives, and Paul said the blessing! I’m reminded of a Norman Rockwell painting of a woman and a little boy in a diner, heads bowed over their food, and two burly workmen are looking on in wonder. Our little acts of faith, of placing God first and being obedient to Him, can be powerful indeed. We have very little awareness of the weight of our actions, what is important and what is trivial. God can use what we would consider a minor thing, not worth remembering, to massively impact lives and even history itself. One philosophical idea about that posits a chain reaction from a butterfly flapping its wings in South America all the way to a hurricane in the North Atlantic. That particular example is just a mind game, but the impact of our words and actions is indeed beyond knowing, humanly speaking. However, God truly knows everything, being outside of time and thus seeing the end from the beginning. That level of know­ledge is beyond our comprehension. There is talk these days of what is called “the singularity,” when we create a computer that is more intelligent than we are, and it in turn creates one that is more intelligent than it is, and so on. The thing is, even such a process, if it were possible, couldn’t meet, much less surpass, the intelligence, the omniscience, of God. Rather than tying ourselves in knots over such things, we need to be walking in daily faithfulness and obedience, trusting God with the outcomes, because He alone knows what is fully right and necessary.

I have always liked to know stuff, and intellectual pride has been a real snare to me. At the same time, I’ve not been a very good planner, preferring to “wing it” in most circumstances. I am not to run from planning, but at the same time I am to trust God with whatever happens, whether planned or not. I am not to try to manipulate others, but rather focus on allowing God’s grace to flow through me. As the song says, “I don’t know about tomorrow… but I know Who holds the future, and I know Who holds my hand.” It is a marvelous privilege to be used by God in blessing others, but trying to “make it happen” is likely to cause more problems than not. I am to take each step at a time, not being frantic about anything but not holding anything back, either. God has told me personally that there are many things He’s not happy about at the moment, but with that was the strong assurance that He’s got the perfect “end game,” and I’m to trust Him with that.

Father, yesterday was a good illustration of all of this. We had a lot to do, but You caused it to all fit together without any rush. You know what is on today’s schedule better than I do. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, allowing You to do with and through me whatever You know is best, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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Faith; January 11, 2022

John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

This whole story is loaded with marvelous quotations of Jesus. I’m so thankful that John went to the trouble of writing his Gospel to add this sort of thing to the record, even though Matthew, Mark, and Luke had already been circulating for a few years. I’m reminded of one preacher who, to emphasize the depth of a period of depression and burnout that he had experienced, said, “I couldn’t even get a message out of JOHN!” It is indeed easy, and delightful, to open this Gospel almost anywhere and share the Word of the Lord. This particular statement by Jesus has two elements: our faith, and God’s glory. God’s glory is unchanging, and essentially infinite. Our faith, however, is another story. We may think, and probably do, that we would like to see the glory of God, but our lack of faith often blinds us, not only to God’s glory but to all sorts of things about Him and what He is doing. I am personally convinced that there is no such thing as a “coincidence.” Causative factors are almost without limit, but nothing “just happens.” Thinking too deeply about that quickly exceeds the limits of human intellect and understanding, but a study of the “if … then” statements in the Bible can go a long way in growing our hearts. Faith is enormously important, but we are quick either to discount it or to get it confused with wishful thinking. A study of the lives of the apostles should help clear that up. Their faith was exemplary and they did many miracles, but their lives were far from easy, and all but John left this world as martyrs. Faith is a gift, but it is also a choice, and must be exercised to be effective.

This is certainly preaching to me! I have complete assurance about a number of things, but my faith often comes up a little short in various details. It just occurred to me that faith is an example of quantum physics, in which something can be either plus or minus or both at the same time. Like the father of the epileptic boy, I am forced to cry out, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) I think Peter alone recorded that particular quote because he identified with it so strongly, having literally walked on water, but also having denied that he even knew Jesus. I have moments when my faith is a strong encouragement to those around me, and also moments when it’s no stronger than wet toilet paper. The marvelous thing is that the result of my faith isn’t dependent on me, but on Whom I believe. Like Paul, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12) That, ultimately, gives me all the peace I need. I just need to remember it!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me indeed walk in the faith You have provided for me, accepting it and exercising it, so that Your glory may be manifested. Thank You. Hallelujah!

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