Some profess their faith in the obscurity of night, John 3:2. Though, perhaps, excusable at first, such profession cannot be maintained over the long haul. It will either come into the light or die in the dark. The believer must fight the good fight of faith in the presence of many witnesses, I Timothy 6:12. He must “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what is promised,” Hebrews 6:11,12.
—Ed Mathews, Plow New Ground, July 18
Focus question: Before how many witnesses has your faith been fought?
Times are when we must work in the fog, and slog through the mud, having only a general sense of the right direction and little notion of progress.
Tremendous thought today from Ed M., based on Malachi 3.13. In his full page of meditations, he says,
The reluctant say that it is “futile” to serve Him. There is no “gain” in keeping His commands, Malachi 3:14,15. These people believe religion ought to pay big dividends now. It ought to bring great rewards immediately. The general feeling is that folks surely will not serve God for nothing, Job 1:9. In spite of that sentiment, the faithful may live a lifetime without seeing a reward, Hebrews 11:13.
Focus question: When it seems there’s no advantage to faith, what am I thinking?
Ed M. wrote as a part of today’s devotional:
People should bring to Him their daunting perplexities, vexing questions, and impossible situations. He will give them strength to overcome their weakness, II Corinthians 12:9,10. If we would fully trust Him, we could do great things. We could defy all the odds along the way. We could swim the deepest ocean, climb the highest hill, and move the biggest mountain, Matthew 17:20b.
What should you bring to the Lord in faith, for him to solve, accomplish, or multiply? What great thing awaits us to do when we show full trust in him?
Great point by Ron T. in the last line:
Elisabeth, an older woman who looked on her life as one not blessed by God because she had no child (or no children) to raise and nurture. She may not have considered her and her husband (Zacharias) as cursed, but it is more than likely she saw herself and them as not blessed (cf. Deut. 7:14: You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. ESV). She was very much on the Lord’s mind (as was her husband) and she was very much in the Lord’s good graces. It goes to show (teach) that reality as one thinks of it in her life may not be reality at all.
God may change our status, situation, condition, circumstance in a moment, in the blinking of an eye.
Oh, Lord, I believe!
James’ argument for the necessary outworking of this salvation in good works ( 2:14-24 ) is countered by Paul’s insistence on the working of the grace of God in the act of faith for salvation ( Rom 3:24-31 ).
Source: Faith Definition and Meaning – Bible Dictionary
So is Paul correcting James? Is that what he’s saying? Paul “counters” James? I guess if you believe in salvation by faith only, James has to be countered in some way.
Faith is the attitude of the interim, Heb 11.39-40. It walks toward the promise of God. It plows through doubt. It breaks through barriers that would throw it down as a useless tool. It battles the challenges to receive from the Lord an eternal reward. Faith will one day be dissolved when sight comes into play, when the promise is given. For now, however, faith is the bridge to carry us across.
From Cory C.’s blog. Quite a worthy read.