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Overcoming a Dying Faith

Paul Simon’s 1977 song “Slip Slidin’ Away” addresses the depressing topic of death. One of the final stanza’s of this song accurately describes the journey people take through life. God only knows, God makes his plan
the informations unavailable to the mortal man. We work our jobs collect our pay, believe were gliding down the highway, when in fact were slip sliding away.
Maybe I’m alone, but I endure annual cycles where I feel like I’m dying inside as my faith flickers on life support.

So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead), James 2:17.

One of Jesus’ siblings provides insight into symptoms of a dying faith. An active faith is highlighted by acts of obedience and deeds inspired by the Holy Spirit. Just as the physically fit are disciplined, exercise regularly and work out each week, the out of shape do the exact opposite. James describes a dying faith as destitute, inoperative and spiritually dead, void of any signs of life. If you can relate that any of these troubling traits, it’s time to develop a plan to overcome a dying faith.

Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Isaac? You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works, James 2:21-22.

Jesus’ brother points to Abraham who did not have access to the New Testament, but demonstrated faith by his willingness to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice to God. Abraham had his own flaws, with a record of lying instead of trusting the Lord in Genesis. Whenever individuals go through trying times, God uses hardships, trials and tribulations to spark faith. Moses and Sarah waited for years to have a child and now God was going to take Isaac’s life? The moment anyone takes a step beyond what logic tells you, faith is ignited as daily acts compliment what you believe.

by Jay Mankus

Sharing That Which You Believe

Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher who lived during the Age of Enlightenment.  This time period spanned from 1685 to 1815.  As Plato once illustrated in a painting known as the School of Athens, philosophers stopped looking up to the heavens for answers to life, to God above.  Rather, scholars began to look within, replacing God with science by relying on minds to direct and guide future beliefs.  Before his death in 1804, Kant once said, “There are many things that I believe that I shall never say. But I shall never say the things that I do not believe.”

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame, 1 Peter 3:15-16.

This quote from Immanuel Kant applies to today’s political climate in America as candidates seek to persuade undecided voters.  Kant realized that sharing everything that he believed openly would hinder his ability to convince skeptics to embrace his philosophical position.  Subsequently, Kant only shared the things he believed, strengthening his message.  Sharing too much information can confuse your listeners.  As long as you focus on your main points, audiences can be persuaded to change their mind.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

When making any argument, its important to possess confidence.  The Greek word εμπιστοσύνη refers to individuals who are confident, faithful, reliable and trusting.  Whenever you share what you believe, if you aren’t a credible source, living out your convictions, no one will believe you.  Therefore, its essential to demonstrate faith before you share what you believe.  The more confidence oozes out of your soul, the living Word of God, Hebrews 4:12, will pierce and persuade hearts to follow Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

 

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