As we say goodbye to 2014 let’s take some time to consider our intentions for 2015. In our recent Christmas celebration at Kings we looked at some of the different things people are searching for at this time of year. Now, as we make resolutions and give some thought to what 2015 might bring, let’s ask the question ‘what is God searching for?’. You see, once we’ve agreed what God might be looking for from us it would make sense for us to resolve to be/do just that. Two verses from the New Testament spring to mind:
Luke 18:8 : When the son of man returns, will he find faith on the earth? Hebrews 11:6 without faith it is impossible to please God.
To God faith is a valuable commodity. Another word for faith is trust and the Bible has a lot to say about the kind of trust that saves us and is pleasing to God.
Faith takes hold Faith holds on Faith lets go
Faith is always active and always results in action. There is no such thing as a private faith. Regardless of what we say, what we actually believe is revealed by the way we live; how we spend our time or money or by what sorts of things are important to us. Faith is always active and what matters isn’t faith itself but the object of our faith.
Biblical faith requires that we take hold of God and his promises. We take God at his word, pray his promises back to him and sort of wrestle him to the ground in our pursuit. It also requires us to hold on to God even in the midst of trials and storms. We allow the promises of God and God’s past goodness to speak louder to us than the present struggles. We resolve to not let go, believing that one day soon the clouds will part and the sun’s warmth will be felt again. Lastly saving faith, the kind the Bible holds up as an example for us is faith that lets go of everything that would hinder us from pursuing God and his way of living.
The story of Zacchaeus the tax collector is a good example of all three types of faith working together. In Luke 19 Jesus enters Jericho. In order to get a good glimpse of Jesus Zacchaeus climbs a tree. Upon reaching the tree Jesus stops, looks up at Zacchaeus and requests to join him for lunch. Zacchaeus is so impacted by this and all Jesus is that he vows to return everything he’s stolen and promises to stop defrauding people. Jesus then declares ‘the kingdom of God has come in this man’s life’. The kingdom of God coming, activity prompted by saving faith, involved three things:
Zacchaeus held on to the tree
Zacchaeus took hold of Jesus’ offer of lunch
Zacchaeus let go of his old way of life
So among all of our resolutions to eat better, liver healthier and learn new skills let’s aim also to be the kind of people God is looking for, people who trust him and take him at his word.
It’s what God’s after and it’s what’s best for us.
Happy New Year!