Of course preacherman! I know I must believe. And I do believe. I believe in Christ. He is my Lord and Savior. So, what are you talking about?!?
Well, let me explain. We have all been to church and we have heard the preacher tell people that they must believe in Jesus. They must put their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior in order that they might be saved. And suddenly, after doing this, they receive the Holy Spirit and become Christians. But…there is a little more to it than that 🙂
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
It is not simply believing that there is a God or that God sent His Son to die on the cross for me. There is a specific God. He is unique with characteristics unlike any other. I must not believe the generalities of the existence of God. I must put my faith into the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, the compassionate High Priest, who is One with the Father, has made promises to you. We cannot simply say that we believe that He has died for us and then choose not to believe the promises. If I say that I trust my wife then when she says to me that she is going to do something, I trust her. More than trust, I expect her to do it because I have put my trust in her.
So many believers, it seems to me, attempt to put their faith in Christ, but struggle with believing His promises. How can I say that I trust the Lord if I have no expectation that the Lord will do what He says He will do. That is no faith at all. In Hebrews 11, what we call the ‘faith’ chapter, we learn that we can not come into the presence of the Lord unless we believe, not simply that He exists, but that He REWARDS those who EARNESTLY seek Him. The Holy Spirit puts this into no uncertain terms. You must believe! If I don’t believe this, how can I say that I trust the Lord. After all, going back to the Covenant of Abraham that now belongs to all believers, the Lord said this:
“I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you
I don’t know about you, but it seems that God really wants to bless His children. He wants to bless them so much that there is overflow to all the peoples of the earth that they might be blessed by the children of the Lord. Do you believe that?
Of course, if we do not seek Him earnestly, it could only mean two things. Either we do not really believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, or we don’t really want to be blessed. Maybe we don’t like blessings? Yeah, maybe that’s it. Maybe we enjoy pain, suffering, problems, evil winning, and total destruction. Yeah, maybe that’s it. Ok, I am being very sarcastic. My wife doesn’t like it when I am sarcastic like that. No one wants those horrible things to characterize their life. So what does this mean then? Doesn’t it mean to too many of us do not really believe that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
We can say we believe it all day long, but unless we earnestly seek Him, we are not displaying faith, but doubt or disdain. One of my favorite Scriptures is found in Proverbs:
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day
Wait a minute. I know what you are doing. You are thinking, “Well, that’s great, but I am not righteous. I sin all of the time.” Well before, you give up and go count worms, let’s talk about what it means to be righteous. We are not righteous by our own actions. All have fallen short of the glory of God. We are only righteous because through the blood of Christ shed on the cross, we receive forgiveness by faith. Our sins are thrown into the Sea of Forgetfulness, remembered no more. Even on Judgement Day, we do not fear judgement, because all of our sin has been cast out. Praise God! We are forgiven. Our sins have been washed away by the precious blood of the Lamb of God. We are the righteousness of Christ. And the path of the righteous continues to shine brighter even as the sun rises from early morning unto its highest point in the sky.
His forgiveness moves us. Thankfulness manifests in us for what He did for us before we ever believed. And in this thankfulness, we seek to please the Lord, don’t we? Don’t you want to say thank you to the Lord? If you never received another blessing in your life, isn’t having a place in Heaven reserved for you enough?
So how do we say thank you to the Lord for what He has done? Faith. Trust. Assurance. When we put our faith in Him, in His promises. This honors Him as God. This exalts Him as omnipotent, the All-in-all. This sets Him high above anything of this world. And, it pleases Him.
It is a decision. It is a simple decision. To believe in something, anything, requires only a decision in our mind. Decide today to believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. How will you know you have truly made up your mind to believe? You will seek Him, in prayer, in love, in church, in worship, in service. And shouldn’t we, as His children, believe that the best part of our life is yet to come. I suppose Heaven would be when the sun is at its highest point, but no matter where the sun is positioned in our life today, God’s promise, if we earnestly seek Him, is that our sun will continue to rise. So, believe…you must!