Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 171
Passage of the Day #1: Romans 4: 20 [In the context of verses 18-22] [NLT] …
18 When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed Him. God had also said, “Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars,” even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife, had never been able to have children.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything He promised. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God declared him to be righteous.
Contextual Study for today’s passages above: Romans, Chapter 4 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Hebrews 11: 6 [God’s hall of faith!] [NLT] …
6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.
Contextual Study for today’s passage above: Hebrews, Chapter 11 [NLT] … Go to this link …
My Journal for Today: Two people, same age, sex, and life conditions … both claim to be Christians. Both receive the same diagnosis of terminal cancer with the same prognosis of just a few months to life. One of these “christians” immediately commits suicide; and the other fights the cancer and lives well beyond the time predicted by the doctors, though ultimately succumbing to the disease. … What’s with that? Why does one give up and the other fights on in faith?
Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or one with a doctorate in theology to understand the difference, does it? No, … one had a “real-deal” faith in God and the other, the one committing suicide, was likely stricken with hopeLESSness and didn’t have faith enough in his/her Lord to deal with the negative prognosis.
In the highlight passage above from Os Hillman’s devotional, we read in Romans, Chapter 4 of a man of “real-deal” faith, … Abraham. And when this man, called the “father of the faith,” encountered God, he was a rich man with all the where-with-all to feel that he had life under his own control so that he could reject God’s call on his life to pick up everything in faith and relocate to an unknown place. But in faith, REAL-DEAL faith, Abraham did exactly that.
In Hebrews, Chapter 11 a whole list of believers with “real-deal” faith are listed with the proviso, documented in Hebrews 11: 6, that those listed were believers who KNEW that God not only existed but they had “real-deal” faith that God would reward those who diligently sought the Lord’s providence and protection. Therefore, in our hypothetical scenario above, the “Christian” who persisted in faith and lived beyond the time of prognosis was likely someone who could have been listed in Hebrews 11 as one with “real-deal” faith. However, the faith of the one who committed suicide would have to be questioned as false-faith and their claim to be “christian” would have to be questioned (though only God can judge the heart of such a person).
So, … what makes a person have “real-deal” faith? And I can summarize the answer to that one in one word … SURRENDER. Abraham was willing to surrender his life to that of a God Whom Abraham KNEW was worthy and able to lead Abraham and his family into an unknown future.
And so, risking all, Abraham surrendered all to the LORD. And in doing so he was justified unto an eternal life with God.
And so in reading after Os Hillman today, the question before us is … do we have the “real-deal” faith; or is our faith just a surface declaration with no REAL surrender to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You have to answer for yourself, but I’m here this morning, digging into the truth of God’s word, as I’m here every morning (as any who read along with me will attest), because I BELIEVE in and I have SURRENDERED faith in the same God to Whom Abraham surrendered.
But I have an advantage over Abraham.
I have the whole of the New Covenant [i.e., the New Testament], with God’s written history of His Son coming to save me; and believing that Jesus did exactly that, my surrender to His promises gives me the “real-deal” faith to know that I know that I know that I have eternal life in Christ. Do you have that “real-deal” faith, my follower, reading along with me today? Because if you have any doubts about your surrender to Christ, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s “talk” about it.
My Prayer for Today … Lord, thank You for giving me the “real-deal” faith to believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to save me and give me life eternal. And, Lord, You know my faith is the real-deal! … Amen