October 22, 2015

Your Faith Box: The First Foundation Belief, "For God..."

I have asked many Christians the following question. What is or are the basic essential beliefs of a Christian? Most of the responses are some variation of the familiar scripture in John chapter three where John writes in verses 16 and 17 (do not leave out the critical 17th versus). Let me quote it from the King James Translation, but feel free to read it from other translations.

   "For God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
     For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

If I were stricken dead and not able to complete this blog, that verse would stand as my primary faith statement. This is the one truth Christians must be able to affirm in the face of any temptations or challenges Satan might thrown at you even if your life depended on it. Within this statement, complete though it is, we can learn several secondary but essential truths basic to Christian.

First, a Christian acknowledges there is a supreme being we call God. Muslims call that being Allah. Ancient Jews were so in awe of this supreme being they could only spell his name with no consonants, YHWH. There are many other names for God, but they all point to a supreme being, someone or something well beyond the human experience.  There are numerous concepts about this God. In pantheism, God is the universe itself. In atheism, God does not exist, The agnostic sees God as unknowable or unknown. In deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer of the universe. He built it and then left it on it's own. There are other "isms" about the concept of God, all beyond the scope of this blog, but worth reading about.

October 20, 2015

Your Faith Box: What is in your faith box?

As a young boy, I had a cigar box I found in my grandfather's basement. Over the years, I began to fill that old box with my "treasures". Even into young adulthood, I added to my box. While the contents of the box were not valuable to anyone but me, they served to remind me of my youth and the events that shaped my life. I had an old knife my grandfather gave me, my Dad's military ribbons, a lock of my first girlfriend's hair, a medal I won in high school, a letter from my Dad, a postcard from a family vacation; nothing of worldly value, but priceless in the story of my life.

I am suggesting you have a box as well. This box, however, should be filled with something more valuable than my cigar box. My box was filled with things. This box should be filled with your ideas. Filled with your beliefs. Filled with the keystones of your faith walk. I call this your Faith Box.

In your faith box are those things you truly and deeply believe. Things you will not disown. Things that guide your life. Things no one can take from you. Have you read the story of a gunman who entered a classroom on a college campus and held the class captive? At one point he asked a student, "Are you a Christian?" When the student answered, "yes", the gunman shot her. While her courage and commitment needs to be celebrated, it is what happened next that speaks volumes about courage.  The gunman turned to a second student and asked the same question. Imagine what goes through a person's mind when they know answer to the question will get them killed. Answering "Yes" would get her killed! What would you do? A lot depends on what is in your Faith Box. She did answer "yes" and was shot. What a testimony to a strong faith, what courage!

So what is in your Faith Box? What do you believe, not what do you think, not what do you feel, not what you hope, but what do you believe; absolutely, unshakable, without a question, believe?

October 15, 2015

Your Faith Box: Planting in good soil

For your faith to grow and mature and produce a good crop, it must be planted in good soil, soil that provides room to grow, proper nutrients, protection for the weather and resistance to the weeds and thorns seeking to hinder growth and maturity. The new Christian has already provided the soil ready to receive the word. You have accepted Christ as your savior and Lord. Hopefully you have been baptized and have received the Holy Spirit. What more can you do? The first thing you can do is read the Word of God regularly. Find out what the scriptures say about the life you want to build with God.

Luke's gospel 4:1-13 records the story of Jesus temptations by Satan in the wilderness after John had baptized Him. Notice in the story as Satan tempts Jesus, His every response begins with, "It is written,..." Or "It is said.." Jesus knew the wisdom of the prophets and ancient men and women of God; the scriptures. He used the scriptures to rebuke Satan because He knew the scriptures. A new Christian would be wise to know what the scriptures say about God and this new life you want to live.

Feel free to Comment on Posts or Contact Me


Email *

Message *