Scripture Hebrews 11 1-10
I had a conversation last week about how the life of the church has changed. Schedules have changed. Soccer fields are full on Sunday mornings. Some big road races that I would like to run, although slowly, all seem to be on Sunday mornings. Schedules are booked! Some how going to church, worshipping God, and finding spiritual renewal has lost its importance for many people.
Let’s look at contemporary faith. If people took the time to ponder that, every seat in the church would be filled. In our everyday lives, we are caught up in situations and we can accomplish great things that are seemingly improbable, by faith. Faith is a reality whether it is today or many years gone by. It is meant to be part of one’s spirit and motivation. Contemporary faith is one of little motivation because we live in a world of “what’s in it for me?”, not what is in it for God.
Hebrews 11:1 “Faith means being sure of the things that we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” It is not surprising that sometimes we question our faith journey as we cannot see it. We do not and can not understand the power of God and everything that a spiritual life will hold. These wonders cannot be comprehended by our human brain.
Even in contemporary times, we believe what the Bible teaches. In the Old Testament, Micah predicted where Jesus would be born and it came to be the truth. Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from old, from ancient times.”
In the New Testament it says in Matthew 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem. Luke 2:4-6 “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born.”
Contemporary faith means that we can’t just depend on ourselves. We must have trust in the Lord. We live in a world where trust must be earned and seems to be in short supply. Solomon, the famous king who wrote some Proverbs, knew that trust is exactly where we must start. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” We know that God possesses all wisdom. Romans 11:33 “Yes, God’s riches are very great, and His wisdom and knowledge have no end! No one can explain the things God decides or understand his ways!”
Faith is obedience. Obedience is the action required to prove our faith and grow in it. Maybe obedience is what is most lacking in contemporary faith! Here are some of our favorite Bible verses that talk about obedience.
James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says!”
John 14:23 “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching'”.
1 John 2:17 “The world and its desires pass away but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these word of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his home on the rock.”
Proverbs 10:17 “Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.”
Let me sum this up in a contemporary way: only he who obeys believes and only he who believes obeys.