December 31, 2009

Surrounded By Faith

Written by Boyd Bailey

Surrounded By Faith… “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” Matthew 3:9

It is wise and good to be surrounded by those steeped in the faith. You are blessed if you come from a legacy that loves the Lord, a family of faith. However, do not depend on the faith of others as a substitute for your faith. God does not have grandchildren, only children. Let your faith be inspired by the faithfulness of your righteous relatives, make them proud of your wise choices, but avoid using them as a crutch for your convictions.

Have you been blessed with a Christian education? Are your parents in vocational ministry or highly committed volunteers in the church? If so, thank God every day for calling them to follow Christ wholeheartedly, and for their obedience. But, how do you define your faith? What do you believe about God your Heavenly Father, Jesus the Savior of your sins and the Holy Spirit your comforter and teacher? The faithfulness of others who surround you is meant to be a stepping-stone for your faith, not a surrogate.

The prayers of your parents, grandparents and mentors are a motivation for you to pray and trust God. Be careful not to allow the prayers of those who love you to be your proxy for prayer to the Lord. Indeed, familiarity in the faith can breed contempt and apathy. Once you place your faith in Christ and allow Him to cleanse your life, make sure to refill it with faithful living, otherwise, as Jesus says, “The final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:45b). Fresh faith is kept alive by growing your own faith.

So how do you become a faith producer and faith reproducer? First, recognize Jesus Christ as the source of your faith. “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). As you hear, understand, and apply the word of Christ, your faith grows in grace, truth and influence.

Lastly, when you commit to teach, train, disciple or mentor others, you are accountable to live out the truth you are transferring to other faithful followers of Jesus. As Paul told Timothy, his son in the faith, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2). Yes it is smart to be surrounded by faith, so you can then grow and share your faith.

How can I better steward my legacy of faith? Who do I need to come around and encourage in the faith?

Related Readings: Genesis 12:1-3; Acts 16:29-35; 1 Corinthians 4:17; Ephesians 4:13

Transformational Living
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