Scripture: Hebrews 11:1-16 (Faith in Action)
Faith is a verb.
Faith is not what we believe or know, it’s not how much we love or are loved by God, though it grows out of those things. Faith is the choices we make, the actions we take on the basis of how we know and love God. As Biblical scholar T.C. Smith puts it, “Faith is the way by which invisible realities become real for people…faith is the complete reliance on God by trusting in his purpose, power, wisdom and mercy. It is the movement of finite life toward the infinite promise of God. There is a depth to faith which we in our conventional piety have failed to comprehend.”
In other words, as the preacher says in Hebrews, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It’s not simply how we feel or what we know. It’s believing Jesus when he says the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you and then beginning to act accordingly.
We’ve been told that the evidence of faith is well-behaved, widely admired people living exceptionally desirable lives.
That’s a lie.
(Sells a lot of books and conference tickets though…)
In Hebrews famous roll-call of faith, we find a list of folks with outrageous faith expressed in strange choices that led to shortened lives, persecution, wild adventures, suffering, frustration and… the approval of God. If we believe God is the source of all goodness and true wisdom, if we love God more than all else, shouldn’t that last one be more than enough?
God is calling us out of one life and into another–a new life that is holy and wholly new. Faith is answering that call, one foolish step at a time. I hope you’ll join me for worship this week. A life of faith is a wild, beautiful, weird ride and, like any good road trip, it’s a journey best made with your friends.
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