By Faith

Hebrews 11; Matthew 15:21-28

What does it mean to have faith? Faith, simply put, is believing in things not seen. Having faith means you're willing to say, "I didn't see it happen, but I still believe that it did." It means knowing that God has done work even when you can't see or understand it. It means coming to grips with the possibility that you may never see everything that God has promised, but walking the path he has put before you anyway. When you think about it in those terms, you're acknowledging the full scope of God's plan for your life: to live without any limits. 

Faith in its very nature is something that can't be limited without destruction. In faith, God gifted each and every one of you with an incredible ability, a conduit that allows you to channel the power of God into your life. Embracing faith means opening that conduit and allowing God's power to fill you, your worship, and your prayers. Limiting your faith destroys that conduit, and, unfortunately, your relationship with God. Revelation 3:15-16 says, "I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." In other words, your faith can be unlimited or limited, but not both. A single limit on your faith closes the connection to the power and glory of God. Unlimited faith will bring you closer to God and his power than you have ever been. 

Don't renounce a part of your inheritance as a child of God. You were created to be powerful in your faith. Live it out, with everything, like the many mentioned in Hebrews 11. Live it out like so many did when they encountered Jesus. Who better to remind us that our faith is powerful than Jesus himself when he said, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire" (Matt. 15:28)

O woman, great is your faith!
Be it done for you as you desire.
— Matthew 15:28

Netflix and the Bible

Recently I decided to take on the gargantuan task of writing the Bible. All of it. By hand. I was inspired by the Journible collection and Deuteronomy 17:18 with instructions for Israel's kings: "And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law." It is going to take forever (well, I'm hoping to finish in a year... maybe) but I look forward to engaging with the scripture in a much more intense and focused way.

As of right now, I am twenty chapters in with 1,169 to go. I fully expect some of it to be challenging, but I am already seeing the rewards. I am going to use this space to check in regularly and share what I have learned throughout this project.

I have a big problem with silence. At work, while in my studio, while studying, I at least have music playing, and oftentimes a little Netflix in the background. I never finished The Bible series when it came out, so I have been catching up. This is how I found myself watching The Passion, while transcribing The Fall. 

We all know the story. God created everything there is (with his words, something our church has been focused on this year, but that is a story for another time). It was beautiful and perfect...

..and then sin. As Eve ate the fruit and shared it with Adam, something entered the world that was broken. It was devastating. Sometimes it is hard to imagine just how terrible this was as we have no concept of life before it; we have only experienced the fallen world and the consequences.

And then this passage, from Genesis 3:21:

And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Honestly, this is a verse I may have glazed over in my reading before, but having to think about every letter and having the time to consider the context of the verse, I was blindsided by an obvious question.

Where did the skins come from?

Death. Something had to die, immediately, for their sin. God did this, though it was a mar on his perfect creation, because he loved them and was already beginning the work of restoration. I was floored. We think Abel was the first to die in the bible. He was the first man, yes, but death was already necessary. 

I looked up, and on my screen was Christ on the cross. My Pastor likes to say that everything in the bible "fits perfectly together," and I have never seen it so clearly. Thousands of years after God made Adam and Eve garments of skin, the full force of sin was paid for in the flesh of Christ. 

God's Word is not bound by time or limitation, and just as it worked thousands of years after creation, it is working now. The scandalous miracle is that despite all the years of sin, of man pulling away from God, is that God still pursues us, is still working for us. 

So yes, I grew closer to God last night while watching Netflix, and I am quite alright with that.