Saturday, April 22, 2017

Faith and the Faithfulness of God

Some of you may know that Hebrews 11 is often called “The Hall of Faith.” However, I would suggest that it be called “The Hall of the Faithfulness of God.” In the beginning of the chapter it does say that the people mentioned there received a testimony, and that testimony surely comes from God himself. But we must understand that God’s testimony goes something like this:

“Abraham looked to me, he trusted in my purposes, promises, and plans, and he found me to be faithful. So look to Abraham and imitate his faith in me. Sarah looked to me, she trusted in my purposes, promises, and plans, and she found me to be faithful. So look to Sarah and imitate her faith in me. Moses looked to me, he trusted in my purposes, promises, and plans, and he found me to be faithful. So look to Moses and imitate his faith in me. Rahab looked to me, she trusted in my purposes, promises, and plans, and she found me to be faithful. So look to Rahab and imitate her faith in me.”

From beginning to end, Hebrews 11 is about the faithfulness of God and therefore in the beginning of chapter 12 the author turns toward his beloved readers and says:

“It’s your turn—run your race by faith in the faithfulness of God. I know the race is hard. I know that you’re weary. I know that you’re drifting from Christ and that part of you wants to give up. But look to God, trust in God, hope in God, and press on! Know that those who’ve gone before you suffered as well, and some of them greatly so, but they believed and persevered and now their joy is very great. 

"So, my precious readers, rise up and run your race by putting all your faith in the faithfulness of Christ! Life is about who he is not who you are. Life is about what he’s done not what you will do. Life is about what he’s promised to accomplish for you not what you’ve resolved to do for him. He’s your rock, your hope, your joy, your stability, your security and safety, your strength, your very life. So fix your eyes and minds and hearts on Christ and keep on running your race!”

Beloved, let’s heed this God-given, sage advice and fix our eyes on Christ both today and forevermore. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Faith and the Word of God


However, by the grace of God, Müller came to appreciate and feed on the Word of God day by day. He soon discovered that the Word of God is the food of faith, without which it shrivels and starves. Indeed, faith works by knowing the promises of God and trusting in the God of the promises in the ebb and flow of daily life. Therefore, if we neither know nor pray on the basis of the Word, we cannot exercise and grow in faith.

Therefore, Müller offers this sage advice to his readers: “Before I leave this subject, I would only add, if the reader understands very little of the Word of God, he ought to read it very much; for the Spirit explains the Word by the Word. And if he enjoys the reading of the Word little, that is just the reason why he should read it much; for the frequent reading of the Scriptures creates a delight in them, so that the more we read them, the more we desire to do so. And if the reader should be an unbeliever, I would likewise entreat him to read the Scriptures earnestly, but to ask God previously to give him a blessing. For in doing so, God may make him ‘wise unto salvation’ (2 Tim3:15-17)” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 21).

When we cherish the promises of God and trust in the God of the promises, our faith grows because our God shows his glory in the daily stuff of our lives. As Jesus said, when we abide in him and his words abide in us, we can ask whatever we wish and he will grant it (John 15:7-8). And when he does our faith prospers. Beloved, the Word of God is the food of faith, so devour it daily!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Faith and the Body of Christ



The incubator of faith is the body of Christ. The food of faith is the Word of Christ and the light of faith is the Spirit of Christ, but the context in which it grows and prospers is the Body of Christ.

George Müller is famous for his faith in God, but his faith did not come out of nowhere. It was, of course, granted by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:3), but it was fanned into flame by other believers who gathered with him to seek the Lord and advance in their Christian life together. 

For example, when he was a young man, he would regularly gather with about twenty believers to sing, pray, read the Scripture, read portions of godly books, and speak the Word to one another. When he was much older, he wrote about that time and the effect it had on him both when he was seeking the Lord and when he was backsliding. Müller writes:

“I was often greatly stirred up and refreshed in these meetings; and once, being in a backsliding state, and therefore cold and miserable, I opened my heart to the brethren, and was brought out of that state through the means of their exhortation and prayer. “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together,” is a most important exhortation. Even if we should not derive any special benefit at the time, so far as we are conscious, yet we may be kept from much harm. And very frequently the beginning of coldness of heart is nourished by keeping away from the meetings of the saints” (Autobiography of George Müller, Westminster Literature, page 20).

Indeed, the Lord is utterly wise and on our side when he inspires the author of Hebrews to write, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The incubator of faith is the body of Christ. The food of faith is the Word of Christ and the light of faith is the Spirit of Christ, but the context in which it grows and prospers is the Body of Christ. If we are to reach the heights of faith and behold the glory of God as he stretches out his strong right hand, we will have to do it together. This is the Lord’s design and it is good.