First a note to those who asked about ‘Frank’s ‘Life Strengths Chart’ (from our Daily Devotional / Bible Study email). It can now be downloaded in a clear and editable format so you can easily make changes to suit your lifestyle. You will need to choose ‘Save As’ after making changes. Give it a name you choose and you will still have the original to refer back to. Sorry we didn’t have this sooner but our technology expertise lags behind our ministry. Just go to http://www.axxiom.org/Free_Kit.php and select ‘Life Strengths Chart Download’.
IS FAITH A ‘WAGON’ WORD?
Faith seems to be a touchy subject nowadays. Some are even accused of belonging to a ‘Faith’ movement which is apparently a bad thing. Funny how something Jesus would have applauded (He did several times) can be turned into something negative.
Do you have faith? I hope so. So then you’re a ‘Faith’ person, right? Maybe you accept that label and maybe you don’t. I’m a Methodist and a believer and I certainly consider myself as possessing ‘Faith’. So what’s the big deal?
I’ve been a student of Scripture and Christianity for over three decades and one thing I have learned that interferes with discussion at times is ‘wagon words’. Those are words that carry with them more than just letters.
Sometimes there is a whole ‘wagon’ of meaning and interpretation and misunderstanding and perspective that can confuse any relatively simple conversation.
For instance, if you were looking for something for your children to watch you might go to the ‘children’s’ section of the video store. But if you were looking for something for yourself, would you go to the ‘adult’ section? Probably not.
‘Adult’ is definitely a ‘wagon’ word which if connected to other contexts like entertainment or beverages can become much bigger than originally intended.
And so is ‘Faith’.
‘Faith’ means simply ‘belief’. But of course it is also much more. ‘Trust’ actually comes closer to an American / English understanding.
It is not…
‘I believe in God’…Jesus would say, “…the demons also believe…and tremble.”
Nor is it…
‘I believe everything will work out’…Jesus would say, “…if you do what I say your house will in fact stand…but if not, the storm will wash it away.”
Nor is it…
‘I believe in what has no foundation in fact’…Jesus would say, “…the works that I do, bear witness of me…”
So what is ‘Faith’? And why has it become a ‘wagon’ word?
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
1. What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘faith’? What do you think Jesus was thinking when He said it?
2. I’m sure you’ve seen a magic show. And you’ve also seen late-night ‘televangelists’ on TV. Is ‘faith’ magic?
3. Is it possible that the persecution that Paul, Peter and James endured (and of course Jesus, among others) had anything in common with the way some people feel about ‘Faith’ today? In other words, why do you think the ‘religious’ folks back then were offended at the way Jesus talked about ‘faith’?
TOMORROW…Faith without the ‘wagon’…