Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 63
Passage of the Day: Hebrews 4: 2 [NLT] …
2 For this Good News—that God has prepared a place of rest — has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t believe what God told them.
Passage of the Day: Hebrews 4: 2 [NKJV] …
2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Hebrews, Chapter 4 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Matthew 14: 24-31 : [Faith in action – Peter steps out of the boat.] …[NLT] …
24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!”
27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”
28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.”
29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said.
So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?”
My Journal for Today: In teaching about the Greek concept of “belief,” which is captured in the Greek word “pisteuo,” I’ve often referred to the illustration which Os Hillman used today. If you were to see a wire-walker traverse the Niagara Falls on a wire strung from one end to the other; and then if you witnessed him do so a second time pushing a wheel barrow, you might “believe” that this man could do the task. However, would you “believe” in his skills/abilities enough to get in the wheel-barrow for him to push you over the falls? That’s the difference between intellectual “belief” and totally-surrendered emotional “belief;” and it is the latter which was referred to in the Greek word “pisteuo,” which you find in the much quoted John 3: 16 or in the Apostle Paul’s clear declaration about salvation in Romans 10: 9.
Faith … real faith … i.e., the faith that saves one in receiving God’s free gift of His saving grace, … is not just knowing something and understanding it. No, it goes beyond the head and into the heart and requires the action of decision. The title Hillman gave to his devotional today, which I’m stealing for mine, is ”Knowledge + Action = Faith”.
And it’s also illustrated by the powerful story of Peter, seeing Jesus walking on the water in the midst of that life-threatening storm [see the story in Matthew 14]. Peter, as you probably remember, BELIEVING that Jesus was the Messiah, was willing to step out of that boat to demonstrate that he had FAITH that Jesus could save him from drowning and allow Peter to walk on the water just as Jesus had. And he did, as long as his heart faith was not clouded by his head faith, which waned in power when his head told Peter that he was actually doing something impossible, like walking on water in a storm.
The question posed to us by Hillman today is … ” Has God spoken to you about an area in your life that requires a step of faith?” Hillman then follows the question with this exhortation … ” Let God provide the courage, as He does the knowledge, to act in faith on what you believe.” And the question which really got to me this morning was, “Do we really BELIEVE in God enough [in the Greek sense of the word] to step out of the boat of our comfort zone and walk where He calls us to walk, … even in the storms of life?”
My Prayer for Today … Lord, I BELIEVE!!! … Amen
Blogger's PS: And to help one meditate on the Greek concept of belief, which adds action to understanding, here’s a link to a song by Phillips, Craig, and Dean entitled … I Choose To Believe …