Today’s Readings: click here – Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; Isaiah 25:1-5; 1 Peter 1:8b-12 (to open the scripture links – hover over, right click, open hyperlink)
Looking at Psalm 116:1-4 today…
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
The word to highlight today is … BECAUSE…
Growing up un-churched and having a few Christian family friends, I often wondered WHY? HOW?… they knew to live so differently? What did it take or mean to HAVE FAITH? They modeled a life of faith. I knew it, I saw it, but I didn’t understand it. UNTIL, as an adult (in my late 30’s, as a wife and mother) God got my attention and Jesus rescued me. I started going to church, praying, studying scripture and watched intently, those who LOVED Jesus.
Following my curious and starving heart for a life of faith, I filled my much of my time with many small group studies, Christian conferences, new friends and I soaked it all in. I knew my heart had changed, and I soon began to see a transformation of my heart, my life and those around me, and I soon knew I was headed on the GLORY ROAD.
I think back to those earlier days, had those friends and families shared a little more… for instance:
… I love and serve the Lord…
BECAUSE He LOVES me.
BECAUSE He KNOWS me and my inner being,
BECAUSE He HEARS my prayers.
BECAUSE He GIVES my life purpose.
BECAUSE He SAVES my soul for eternal life.
BECAUSE HIS LOVE endures forever.
BECAUSE I am a NEW CREATION in Christ Jesus.
BECAUSE He has rescued me from miry pits of my life.
BECAUSE HOPE fills my heart in the deepest of any despair I may know.
BECAUSE SALVATION comes to me through the message of the gospel when it is preached, believed, and then confessed by me.
Having heard this, may have changed my life, made better choices, lived life more purposefully.
I think about our upcoming adult generation and those to follow. They may see us living and loving in a Faith-based manor, but do they know why? Do we take the extra measure to explain our BECAUSE? Are we are modeling Christian character and Jesus’ love for the mere purpose that others would just follow suit? We model, but do we explain? Our hearts are wildly on fire for Jesus, BECAUSE, we live according to His will and promises. BECAUSE our hearts are in training with what Scripture tells us a life of faith looks like and that anything less than that just feels wrong and sinful.
I think perhaps most of humanity today might be missing a very vital piece of understanding the ‘GOOD NEWS” of the Gospel. Beyond living and modeling an admirable life of faith, set apart with God, we may want to consider the compelling paradigm of sharing with others WHY and BECAUSE we LOVE and LIVE for Jesus.
What might this look like? I imagine it could begin with taking a little extra time when complements or appreciations come our way to just explain a little further, starting with a BECAUSE reply. We add a little conversation, letting others know we are, we do, BECAUSE…
A college and seminary professor at Liberty University, Dr. Elmer Towns compiled ‘The Six Types of Christian Faith in the Bible’. If we ourselves can understand the WHY, we can surely take the BECAUSE a little deeper:
1. Doctrinal Faith – Called “the faith, ”Doctrinal Faith refers to the content of Christian belief. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”(Jude 3).
2. Saving Faith – Saving Faith is what it takes to trust in Christ and in Him alone for salvation. “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house”(Acts 1:31).
3. Justifying Faith – Justifying Faith is the believer’s reliance on the fact that God has declared him righteous. “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6).
4. Indwelling Faith – When you trust God’s Word implicitly and its ability to work in and through us, you have developed indwelling faith. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”(Galatians 2:20).
5. Daily Faith – Daily Faith is that day-to-day dependence on God, which is part of the sanctification process. “For we walk by faith, not by sight”(II Corinthians 5:7).
6. Gift of Faith – This is a special ability of faith, resulting in a vision of what God can do. This faith is the means by which we can achieve that vision, and the power with God to get answers to prayer. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” Hebrews 11:1-3).
Enjoy today’s devotional song ‘Let Them See You’ by JJ Weeks Band
Prayer: Lord, I want to be your faithful servant, especially in sharing the GOOD NEWS to others. Help me to remember all the Why’s and share every BECAUSE with others so they too can know your goodness and love even deeper. AMEN!