Tuesday, January 24, 2017
KINDLE OUR FAITH
Faith comes from hearing testimonies. Testimonies come from witnesses. Witnesses come from overcoming challenges. The singer/song writer, Michael English, sang "There's Not A Crown Without A Cross" many years ago. This is still true today. Then after "The Crown" is achieved, testimony is an awesome way to build-up The Body - the faith of Christian believers.
Hebrews 12:1 encourages us in this vein by saying, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses...". The phrase "compassed about" in the original Greek is peikeimenai. This is a compound of the words peri and keimai. The word peri means completely and highly surround. The word keimai means to lie down. When we combined the two we have something to the tune of - Where as we see nothing but all these biblical examples piled up and lying all around us...
So, Hebrews makes it clear that when our faith needs a boost we can jump back into the Scriptures and find plenty of examples to receive encouragement. However, there are many modern day testimonies of God's care right next to us everyday, but especially every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. This is why I am so excited about the Testimony Initiative, for the lack of a better title, that my church is beginning. We will be listening to the testimonies of our own people for the building up of our faith on a regular basis starting soon.
The Shield of Faith spoken of in Ephesians 6 is not only a shield of Christiandom that we hold up to the devil and his firery darts. We not only hold up the shield of showcased saints in Scripture to thwart our enemies attacks of things such as depression, lust, or pride. But we hold up our own embattled, weathered, but victorious shield of faith which testifies to God's goodness in our individual lives.
Revelation 12:11 speaks of a time now and future when Christ's blood and Christian's testimony, even to the point of death, will be the reason Christians triumph over the enemy.
"They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death." But it all beings with opening our mouths, speaking up and speaking out about God's greatness in our lives in front of others, if we are going to Kindle Our Faith.