My dear friend Joy at Grace Full Mama, a missionary in Indonesia, is experiencing constant power outages and is unable to post on today's chapter. I'll host Chapter 6 today in her stead, and look forward to her being able to join us soon!
We are in Chapter 6: "Look and Live!" of Because He Loves Me this week. This chapter is the last chapter of Part 1. Part 1 has led us through a deep understanding of what we believe. Part 2 will take us through the practical application of how we can apply the Gospel to our daily lives. After many weeks of considering WHAT the Gospel is all about, WHO we really are in Christ, WHY we do not stand condemned...this week, we are looking at HOW it is that we can partake in all that has been discussed up to this point.
The how is through FAITH.
Consider these thoughts Elyse makes in this chapter:
"That's what faith is--a looking away from yourself to Someone else." (p. 98)
"Leaving nothing to our abilities, Jesus himself initiates our faith, and he'll oversee it to its perfect completion. We're to rely totally on him, the 'one on whom (our) faith depends from beginning to end." (p. 102)
"We don't have to have a great faith; we're just commanded to believe that God will do what he says he will do." (p. 103)
"Even though the amount of faith we have cannot make us any more or less justified, the strength of our faith will grow in direct proportion to our exposure to God's Word, particularly as it highlights God's love for us in the gospel." (p. 103)
I grew up thinking that faith was something I had to muster up, that depended on my own faithfulness and determination. I thought of faith as me pursuing God, rather than God pursuing me. That is not the Gospel; that is not Grace.
Instead, the picture of the father running toward his repentant son in the story of the Prodigal Son is true picture of the Gospel, the real image of Grace. That "while we're still far away, his compassion overwhelms him and he runs toward us" He is not standing around, waiting for us to grovel and prove that we're properly sorry. He doesn't allow us to come to him as hired servants. No, if we're going to return to him, then he is going to enjoy the pleasure of graciously blessing us with all the riches of full sonship." (p. 100)
He is the Author and the Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He simply requires that we BELIEVE who he says he is...and look to HIM for ALL things. That is good news indeed!
Now let's talk about it...
1) Do you think of yourself as possessing faith, and yet, disbelieve who God claims to be? What ways do you struggle to believe him?
2) Has this chapter challenged you to define faith differently than you may have believed previously?
3) What struck you the most about this chapter?
I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can do so in two ways...
*Leave a comment below, and feel free to discuss with others there!
*Write a blog post either answering these questions or with your own reactions to the chapter, and link up your blog post below! (Remember to add the title and url for the specific post and not your blog url and name. Thanks!)
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(It's not too late to read along. If you haven't purchased a copy of the book, you can do so here.)