May the Lord give us the faith of Abraham–for we know that He will provide our salvation, our sustenance, and the endowment of every other need:
”No distrust made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.'” -Romans 4:20-22
Praise God that He is faithful, even when we are faithless… He does not remove His steadfast love despite our fickle faith and half-hearted love. He bestows the best of Christ to cover the worst of us–His righteousness for our sin!! And yet, through the Spirit of Christ, we have been given the gift of faith–to guide us to Christ and empower us to persevere in Him as we journey through a place that is not our Home.
I appreciated this post from Dane Ortlund so much that I’m shamelessly reposting it here:
Jack Miller writes in the 1990s to a church he had recently spoken at–
Jesus knocks at the front door of our heart (Rev. 3:20). In response we do not immediately open the door via our free will. Instead, we quickly put locks on the door and push furniture against it. The Lord then sends the Holy Spirit to slip in the back door. He goes down into the basement, where He turns up the heat and sets fires until the rising heat forces us to remove the barriers and open the front door and let Christ in. I believe that the Lord keeps right on using this backdoor approach in our growth in grace.
He sets fires in our basements by putting us in limiting and painful circumstances.
—The Heart of a Servant Leader: Letters from Jack Miller (P&R, 2004), 90
HT: Dane Ortlund
Decisions or Disciples: So often when we share the gospel, we’re more concerned about decisions than disciples. Obviously, we’re motivated by compassion for the lost, but we can easily rush the process of conviction and do more harm than good. The Holy Spirit must convict a person about sin and then implant a love for Christ in order for that person to actually repent and believe.
When we rush people toward decisions and artificial prayers, we do them an eternal disservice. A wise minister has suggested, “We lose thousands of people who are going to die and go to hell, thinking they are saved. And they’ve never been saved.” This is a very sobering thought, indeed.
“The Bible recognizes the reality of false faith. Demons have faith (James 2:19). Simon Magus had faith (Acts 8:13, 21-23). Many Jews who were impressed with Jesus’ miraculous power put their faith in him (John 2:23-25). But the Bible teaches that none of these were truly converted. They did not possess saving–that is, life-changing–faith in Christ.”
A life of true, saving faith is evidenced by genuine repentance and is followed by progressive growth in godliness. Let us, therefore, examine our souls to see if we possess the marks of grace that are consistent with saving faith. If we are unsure, then we ought to humbly ask God to save and sanctify us so that we may be transformed into His likeness and restored to His favor.