By Faith – 11 August 2013
Good Morning and welcome to worship today. I can’t believe that it’s already a month since Cheryl & I returned from our holiday in Fiji and we shared with you the Fijian welcome:- “Bula!!” The experience in Fiji reminded us of the value of having God as the centre of our lives and of the importance of our families and the need to keep cultivating the soil in our family plot. My sister celebrated her 50th Birthday this week and we were part of a lovely ‘surprise party’ for her last Sunday.
The opportunity to gather together as a family to celebrate this particular milestone for my sister has caused me to reflect on Jesus teaching from Luke 12:32-40, where Jesus asks us to tone down our fretting and think about what is most important in life; because what we think is most important WILL become most important, and most influential in our lives. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34) is not just about finances. It’s about all that you value: your relationships, your time, your work, your play/leisure, and your memories. How do those things that you value affect how you spend your attention, your time, your money, your effort or your worrying?
Hebrews 11:1-16 reminds us of the role and value of faith in our lives and invites us to consider and celebrate the past, present, and future of our faith story. “He (Abraham) went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him; he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner, living in a tent. And so did Isaac and Jacob (Abraham’s son and grandson), to whom God gave the same promise. Abraham did this because he was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God” (Hebrews 11:8,9). So faith is more than mere belief. It is about trust, and loyalty, and where we dare invest ourselves. To say we have faith in God is to do more than simply say it – to have faith means to live a radically different way, trusting that tomorrow is taken care of in the hands of God. This can sometimes be a scary place to be, but the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as recounted in Hebrews chapter 11 gives us the assurance that “faith really is the promise of things hoped for and the evidence of things yet unseen [or things to come”] (Hebrews 11:1).
This is not just an ancient story from the pages of the Old Testament written thousands of years ago. The story of Ash and Anji Barker in the August Journey on pages 10 and 11, Hope on the margins is a current example of a life of faith and trust which expresses a desire to follow the radical call of Jesus, just as Abraham and his family did in Genesis chapters 12 ff.
Trusting that tomorrow is taken care of in the hands of God is what we are called to do as disciples. If that is so then what does that say about how we live today? What impact might that have on your daily living?
Ultimately a life of faith is one that needs to be road tested by every person who claims that Jesus Christ is LORD.
May you exercise your FAITH muscles …. this week….Rev. Brad Foote