(faith + v + k + sc + p + G + bk + l) = (F x 2)
“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith…”
What is faith? Why is faith so important? Faith in Who? Where is faith at work? How and when did you come to understand the importance of faith?
The basis of our hope and security…the foundation of our future…the beginning of our spiritual walk with Christ — it must be faith.
In order to begin answering our mathematical equation, we should first understand that you can’t add to something that’s not there. The verse above said to “add to our faith”, which means that faith is the foundation of our inheritance. Without it, we cannot know God, the things of God, nor the purpose of our life in God.
I expect that many of you reading this today have already made a decision to accept the free gift of salvation offered by our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, I don’t want to proceed any further without making sure. If you have not done this, I implore you to take a moment to pause……….God is giving you another opportunity to hear the greatest of news! Faith in God is where it all begins.
Faith starts small and simple…confessing our sin, and believing that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth to take the punishment for our sin. Like a newborn baby drinks milk from a bottle, salvation is easy to digest (free and available), does not need chewing (no special works required), and satisfies our hunger (is permanent, filling us with the gift of life).
From there it takes root, and starts to grow when we apply God’s Word to our lives. At some point, we move from “milk” to “meat”. We begin desiring more and more of God and His Word. We crave knowledge and wisdom as only God can provide. We read the bible, understand our purpose and calling, and live our lives in obedience to God. The more we persevere, the more we step out of our “box”, the more we reach out to others, exhibit the characteristics of Christ, and grow our personal relationship with the Lord, the bigger our faith grows.
Hebrews, chapter 11, defines faith as “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The chapter goes on to list many people in biblical times who accomplished great things for the kingdom of God. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses lived on the earth long ago, yet have something very much in common with today’s people —they, too, had to believe in the “unseen”. Verse 13 says that they “all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” If we all could just do these three things with our faith, we could surely move mountains!
A pastor once defined faith as:
Being sure God is who He says He is, and
Being certain that God will do exactly what He promised He would do.
Another definition I have heard is: “Believing — no matter what the outcome or circumstance, and acting upon it.”
Faith requires action — even when you don’t like or know the outcome. When tested through trial and affliction, faith should strengthen and grow. A faith that stands still becomes stagnant.
If you left the earth today, what would be said of your faith? Imagine the inscription on your tombstone, or a line in your eulogy — how would it fill these blanks?
“By faith, (insert your name) , when he/she was tested, (did what?) .
How are you exercising your faith today? Are you regularly reading the bible? Are you talking to your friends, family, and neighbors about Christ? Are you making an effort to further your relationship with God? Do you whine and complain when God wants you to do something? Do you rationalize or ignore your way out of the responsibilities of the “Great Commission”?
I ask you to examine your faith today. Look closely to see what “cracks” are in it, and allow God to make the needed repairs. Know that “without faith, it’s impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6, and be diligent in faith to add the next piece of our equation…