Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Gift

That screen capture is the graphic and caption from an opinion piece written by Scott Colby in The Toronto Star on Christmas Eve this year. It’s very well written, and while there were lots of thoughts in it for me, there are two things I’d like focus on today:
As a child growing up in Thunder Bay in the 1970s, it was clear Christmas was meant to be about the birth of Jesus. Almost everyone was Christian and my mother took my brothers and me to her small Lutheran church. Dad, an atheist, stayed home.
Scott’s mother was unequally yoked. Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians 7:10-15, closing with:

For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? (1 Corinthians 7:16 KJV)

There are non-believing children from devout Christian parents, so it should not be said that Colby’s lack of faith is sourced in his father’s atheism. We each make our own choice regarding our faith. Colby later wrote about his lack of faith:
Although I’m not religious, it bothers me Christmas is no longer a religious holiday for so many people. Even so, hundreds of thousands in Torontonians will be going to church tonight and tomorrow, reverently celebrating the birth of the Messiah. I envy those people. I wish I shared their faith.
Let me tell everyone reading, here’s how to share that faith (I’d like for it to be my Christmas gift to you, but it’s really from God):

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

Where will one hear the word of God? In a church that uses the Bible, God’s holy word about His Word, as the foundation of belief, teachings and sermons. There are plenty of self-help organizations, twelve-step programs, esteem-building seminars and socially acceptable gathering places that do not offer what is received from the word of God. If they help you – fine. They are meant to do so. They were not created to build faith, though. That’s for us to do for ourselves. A lack of faith is no excuse, as we find in the ‘faith chapter’:

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 KJV)

A successful business requires a business plan. A successful businessman does due diligence in preparing his plan. The Bible has shown to be a very successful plan for faithfulness, when followed:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  2 Peter 1:5 KJV)

For those looking for faith – there’s the plan to achieve it. There are detractors actively placing impediments in our way. Will they achieve their goals? Will those impediments close our minds to possibilities, to searching and researching, to seeking God through His word?

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29 KJV)

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