If Christians truly lived lives of faith then the world we live in would be totally different. Too many of us are willing to talk about what we believe, and want everyone to believe the same we do, but we are unwilling to live a life which will make that happen. We do not sacrifice our comfortable lifestyles in order to support missionaries and charities helping people discover God's love. We don't give up time to help our neighbors or visit people in the hospital. While we might believe the right things about God we don't trust His power or promises.
The Gospel, the Good News of God's Love and Forgiveness, is spread by people of faith. That means more than people who believe certain things about God, but people who trust God. Faith is not simple believe. Faith is trust and action coming together.
Acts 3 and 4 tells a tremendous story of faith. Peter and John go to the Temple to preach Jesus. Here are two disciples of Jesus going into the very heart of Judaism to preach about the salvation found in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Certainly they were aware of that this was dangerous and that the Jewish Leaders wouldn't like to hear about Jesus, just as they didn't like Jesus. Still they went to preach.
They caused a commotion by healing a cripple of 40 years, and as a big crowd gathers, so do the guards. Peter and John are arrested and spend the night in prison. The next day they get their day and court, and this is what the council members noted of the pair after questioning them:
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13; NLT).
Here is the point I want to make: Faith is the product of being with Jesus, not through education. Peter and John spent three years learning from Jesus during the time He was on earth; we are unable to have that type of experience. Though we may not have the same experience Peter and John enjoyed we can still be with Jesus. Don't limit spending time with Jesus to just time spent in Bible Study and Prayer, for it is so much more than that. We are with Jesus when we begin to live the life He wants us to do. The little steps we take give us confidence to take bigger steps because we experience God at work in our lives.
You want your faith to grow? You want to be like Peter and John? I know I do. What that means is that we have to start experiencing Jesus in our lives by doing what He has asked us to do, and as we gain confidence from doing small things we begin to take on bigger and bigger challenges. Faith begins by hearing the Gospel, but it is grown through living the Gospel.
- Point to Ponder: Faith is the product of being with Jesus, not through education.
- Passage to Remember: Acts 4:13
- Question to Consider: How can we spend time with Jesus today?