Good morning and welcome! This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Have you ever been asked about why you go to church, or why you have faith in God? Hopefully all of us that attend regularly could answer that question clearly. We use phrases like “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God” and “I knew I was sinful and wanted to go to heaven” or “I felt Him calling me”. We use words like “faith” and “belief” so much in worship and around each other… and everyone just accepts it as having a deep meaning. But what if I asked you “Why”? Could you cut through all the “church lingo” that we sometimes hide behind (on purpose or not) … and speak plainly about why you personally have faith?
Why do you have faith that God is real?
Why do you have faith that he cares?
Why do you have faith that he is working?
What can you point to and say “This is why I believe” and “This is what I have based my faith on”?
If you are like most, you probably find these questions difficult… which it is why we need to spend some time thinking through what our answers would be. Non-Christians have all kinds of presuppositions about what kinds of people become Christians and those thoughts lead them to false conclusions. I have been confronted by a lot of ignorance pertaining to how they believe we act and what they think we believe. Some see us as ignorant and blind, others think we are bigoted hypocrites devoid of love, and others think that we believe because we were taught to believe. Some of that blame falls on us for not being more vocal about who we are and what we believe. We are accused of being foolish for believing this invisible “god” because there is purported evidence all around us that points in the opposite direction. For example, if there is a god then why is there so much suffering? How can you blindly stand in the face of science? How can you not only hold these beliefs but also be so self-righteous and arrogant as to think that you should go into other countries and tell them that they have been wrong all along and are going to hell unless they accept your ideas?
I know that these are big questions, but that is what people are thinking, and sometimes asking. They want to know the answers to the tough questions… because if you cannot answer those big questions… then why do they want to hear about what you have to say about the little things? The answer to these questions begins with forming relationships with those outside the church and showing them your faith and love by what you do. Then, when the times comes to talk with them… start with your faith in God. You have to be able to tell someone why you know God is real before they will accept any answer referencing him. I know you have reasons for believing and having faith. My prayer for this week is that we are able to form those thoughts into words. That we are ready to “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2) So that we can be his ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20). So that we can show them the truth that we have found. Take some time and think through/write out your testimony. You never know when someone may ask…
Striving alongside you for the prize,