By Pat Russell
“Faith” – Romans 4:1-3, 18-25
Pastor Bruce Spear
We all have heard many sermons on faith and yet we are still challenged to grow in our faith. We don’t get faith all at once! It does not happen just because we hear a good sermon. To grow in our faith, we must increase that “muscle” by practicing actions that draw on faith and by receiving grace from God. He loves to give good gifts to his children, and he loves to partner with us in our growth.
On our hand out from Sunday, Paul says this about Abraham: “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.” (Rom. 4:20-22). Abraham's part: He did not waver, he gave glory to God, he was fully persuaded of God’s power. God’s work: He gave a promise and he strengthened Abraham with even more faith!
What is your working definition of faith? A working definition is something that you live by, not just something that you think about. An example of a working definition of faith might be, “For me, faith is trusting that God will help me even if I get really sick with the corona virus, so I am going to chose to NOT walk in fear.” Now write your own working definition that is about your life right now.
Perhaps you might like to write a prayer that is like what the frantic father said in Mark 9:24: “Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.” It might go something like this, “Lord, I believe that you love me, but help my unbelief that you will protect me and care for me.” “Lord, I believe that _______________ but help my unbelief in this area______________________.
Go ahead! Give this practice your truth, not your “what I should say.” Be encouraged by the words of Karl Barth. “By faith we must resolutely turn our backs on our own lived experience, in which we find the old nature still there and the new nature not yet present. We must with equal resolve set our faces on our new life in Jesus Christ in which the former is dead and new is alive.
You ARE a new creation and new creations GROW!
Written by Pat Russell in follow-up to the sermon.
Feel free to email me to express your thoughts and experience with this passage.