Walk by Faith

THE PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

We approach God’s Word and pray that the Holy Spirit, will open our lives to encounter the Living Christ. Join me in a moment of prayer.

 

God of new life, move through the locked doors of our hearts. Open us to your love moving in the world. Instruct through your Holy Word as you taught the disciples. Help us by the work of the Holy Spirit to understand the deep secrets of faith.  Make a new church of us, a blessed place where we live in unity. Help us to learn from those first believers who prayed with great faith in Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

SCRIPTURE READING                 2 Corinthians 5:6-17               The Ministry of Reconciliation

So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord—for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

 

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others; but we ourselves are well known to God, and I hope that we are also well known to your consciences. We are not commending ourselves to you again, but giving you an opportunity to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast in outward appearance and not in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

 

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

 

TIME WITH GOD’S CHILDREN#653 “I Will Call Upon the Lord”

 

THE MESSAGE                                            “Walk by Faith”

 

 

Christians throughout the ages experience God’s love and grace. Sometimes, we experience a strong faith that soars above like eagles on the updraft of the wind. This spiritual strength carries us over difficult times and we barely feel a bump in the road. At other times, the wind seems to be still and our spirit falls from the sky like a fallen star. Then, even a minor challenge seems insurmountable. Our faith needs a jump start to soar again.

The Christian church in Corinth experienced this roller coaster of faith. They started out of the blocks with strength and vitality. The Apostle Paul sent the first letter of encouragement, even as they faced challenges of internal conflict over whom the members would follow: Apollos, Paul, or Christ. He later wrote a severe letter that admonishes their lack of faith and allowing simple things distract them from following Jesus.

Today, we hear the words from Scripture that remind us that even in times of darkness, Christians can acknowledge an abiding faith with confidence. God is always with us. Because Jesus came to earth, God is always with us, even when we feel distant. God abides with us even when we don’t necessarily feel the warmth and love in the present moment.

Walking by faith, sometimes feels like we are walking blindly, not sure what our next step will be or where God will take us or what we can learn from God’s apparent silence. Yet, we still walk forward trusting that the Lord will guide us and be with us. Our sight line may only be one step at a time. So we need to walk by faith confidently knowing that Jesus waits for us just around the corner. 

We would rather see Jesus leading the way or at least a clear sign that we are moving in the right direction. We would appreciate hearing a voice in the wilderness speaking God’s directions like our GPS voice taking us to a new and unfamiliar location. We hope that Jesus will take our hand lifting us above the perilous rock formation that seems to be blocking our way.

Unfortunately, that is walking by sight and not by faith.  Faith requires us to believe even when we do not see, hear, and feel God in the night. Faith comes from the confidence of knowing the Lord well enough that even in the darkness we see the silhouette of Christ. We hear the still small voice in our conscience. We feel the presence of Christ with a hand on our shoulder. We know that when we arrive safely at home our Lord who left the light on for us, will welcome us with open arms.

Until our final destination, we walk by faith making decisions between good and evil. We celebrate the journey when we travel along a smooth road, like one just resurfaced after construction season. When the bumps and potholes of the road elevate the fear of running off the road, we seek the Lord to save us. We fear how disappointed God is with our actions. We may fear that we will not be accepted in heaven. We might fear that God will forget us. We fear that we’ve lost our way in the darkness.

In those times, we remember with confidence that Christ will never leave us. We trust that even our biggest failure will not separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ. We seek a detour in our life that skirts around the trouble and know that the Lord forgives us. Christ makes us new and fresh. Christ helps us along life’s journey and lets us try again to walk by faith and make good decisions that honor our relationship with our Lord.

When we walk with a confident faith, we can share with others our eternal hope. We can persuade others that they can experience the same confidence in Christ when they walk by faith. God gives us opportunities to boast not in our own doing but in God’s activity in our life. Walking by faith improves the strength of heart and not our outward appearance. We give God the glory that our failures are not fatal. Our confidence comes not from our ability but God’s graciousness.

The love of Christ urges us on to the next step. We can face tomorrow, because we’ve experienced Christ today. Our experience of Christ convinces us that walking by faith is the only way to live. Walking by faith reminds us that Christ died that we might live better now and will experience the best in eternity. We want to boast in God’s work on the cross for our lives so that we may share the eternal peace with others.

We walk by faith every day. We can see, hear, and feel Christ’s presence. I urge you to reflect on your faith journey and look over your shoulder and the rear view mirror for the hand of God, even when you did not see God in the moment.  Listen to the lyrics by Jeremy Camp

 

Would I believe you when you would say            [chorus]  Well I will walk by faith

Your hand will guide my every way                                              Even when I cannot see

Will I receive the words You say                                                     Well because this broken road

Every moment of every day                                                                 Prepares Your will for me

 

Help me to win my endless fears

You've been so faithful for all my years

With one breath You make me new

Your grace covers all I do

 

“Walk by Faith by Jeremy Camp” Let us walk by faith and persuade others to join us on the journey. TGBTG. Amen.

  May 2017  
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