Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Faith Unseen

IBS 1/17/16

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of the things not seen.”

Our faith is substantial, it has merit, but it’s not the kind of substance our flesh knows. Our flesh craves an understanding that it can touch, that is tangible, limited to the abilities within our five senses.

But the true beauty of our faith is that it is a substance beyond our five senses, it is beyond us and greater than us. It is found in “hope” a kind of trust that is counter productive to the flesh, but feeds the spirit and helps our faith grow.

See the evidence of things unseen are not easily explained by nature. But with proper care and the right tools one can fully experience faith and begin to understand it.

The truly brilliant part is that to understand faith you need to experience it, and with that said it’s not very easy to explain. My greatest attempt would be to say it’s like a blindfolded trust fall. A trust fall that could possibly kill you if you’re not caught, and if you’re lucky it might just kill your flesh either way. And God is going to have to show up without Him telling you weather he will or not. It’s like throwing all your chips in and your not even holding your own cards (God is)… but have no fear Gods not one to bluff, he truly is deserving of our hope and our blind faith.

Wisdom From Above

Wisdom From Above 

James 1:5
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally (generously) and without reproach (criticism), and it will be given to him.”

1st kings 3:9
“Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.” – king Solomon

James 1:5 brings me back to being just a very young boy, about 4 or 5 years old. My mother had a habit of comparing me to Solomon when I was little. She would tell me that I would be quote “wise like him one day”, this statement would usually be paired with something along the lines of “if you obey your mother”. But for some reason, to this day, ill never be able to forget the first time she told me the story of Solomon and his request for wisdom in 1st kings chapter 3. It just seemed like a good thing to ask for, so I began to ask God for it! “the wisdom of Solomon.” I would just kinda throw it into the end of every prayer I prayed quote “Oh and Jesus please make me wise like Solomon, amen.” But now looking back I can’t help but marvel at the childlike innocent faith I had. Oh how I wish I could get that back.


The point of my story is that, I lacked wisdom, and I asked for it. Believing in childlike faith, as to meet the specifications in verse 6. “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting.” I was so young I had no idea what I was asking for, thus I had no doubts, yet God blessed me with just a pinch of wisdom anyways.  God honored those requests I made as a kid. oh I can see it now God smiling down on my little blond bowl cut, as I prayed in a chapel for the Wisdom of Solomon. Little did I know, how much of a blessing it would become.
 But that still not the whole point of this story. The real beauty lies in the fact of me asking for it as a clueless child has kept me humble in my wisdom, it’s a gift! Not something I’ve earned or taught myself. It is purely by the grace of God that I have any understanding or decrement at all. In my older age I came to realize that I owe any wisdom I can claim to the answered prayers of a silly boy. And cant be more thankful. God gives perfect Gifts.

Matthew 7:11
“If you then, being evil, know how to good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”- Jesus

Jesus’ statement in Matthew brings me so much joy. He states here that if we require something, all we must do is ask.

Application: I’m going to dare to ask God to do something that will require childlike faith on my part. Personal between Him and I, and I already know what it is.

Jesus the Wise Friend of Sinners

Jesus the Wise Friend of Sinners

Matthew 11:19

"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, “Look a glutton and a wine bibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” But wisdom is justified by her children."

“Look!” they said. Turning to one another in disgust, speaking critically of Jesus’ routine behaviors. Trying to justify their own knowledge, trying to convince themselves that the children birthed from earthy knowledge could out weigh the children of wisdom. But, if wisdom is justified by the children she bears, what do the children of the self-righteous resemble? If we were to compare the two in the light of truth what would we see?

Let me share with you just a glimpse.
I would see a multitude of people left for dead. I would see leaders who care more for titles than sacrifice. I would see tax collectors and sinners drinking and eating without conviction, for conviction comes from hope, a hope that the religious elites were unable to offer. I would see my own reflections hopelessly looking back in the mirror, repeatedly shouting at me that I will never be good enough, that the righteousness I need, can never be earned. These are the children/works of earthly knowledge. such a hopeless glimpse.

But then I look and see the children of wisdom, the children born of righteous acts, the children of Christ. The ambassador of God and the spokes man for humanity, drinking and eating with, dare I say it… us, yes, you and I, unworthy in the sight of earthly knowledge.

Jesus’ wisdom leads him to exemplify the relational God we would soon inherit. For he knew the heart of the father was to know us intimately.

What I got out of this verse is that the foolishness the religious elites saw was only foolishness without the cross. But the justification of this wisdom was the cross. When Christ delivered hope to us his actions became justified. And the actions in this specific part of scripture were exceedingly wise on His part. Jesus’ end to death justified his means in life.

For anyone I lost with this description, the  “children” of wisdom are simply the “works” of wisdom. I just loved the idea of comparing Christ’s works and the self-righteous’ works to the children they were bearing. I just love the image of the healthy young ones Jesus was tending to when he was eating and drinking with sinners. I can imagine so easily Jesus looking to the Pharisees and seeing them trying, desperately, to hide there unhealthy hungry children.

So “look” I say. Look at the son of man drinking and eating with sinners. Look at my Jesus the savior of the world spending His limited time with those who would make the most of that limited time, a wise investment indeed. By eating and drinking, Jesus was simply giving people fellowship, people that would actually receive Jesus’ attention in humility. Wisdoms children are full of joy, and they can’t help but share the good news with everyone. For without the gospel wisdom would not exist.

My application: I will reed through the proverbs 2 today and try to see wisdom form this new point of view, where its value is contingent on redemption. I will discuss my IBS with a friend to get all that I can out of this scripture.

More general application: take part in the eating and drinking relationship we can have with Jesus