“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”— Hebrews 11:6
More than an idea to consider, more than facts to comprehend, Truth is a person to trust. This is never more true than when it comes to sharing the gospel, and on two levels.
First, there is the level of personal witness. We must take very great care that our lives do not get in the way of our words. The Danish philosopher and theologian, Søren Kieregaard recounts a true story of a fire that broke out backstage in a theatre. One of the clowns came out to warn the audience. In response, they only laughed and applauded. How could they not. In costume, there was a jarring contradiction between the words the clown spoke and the character the clown was. Nobody could hear the warning, because no one could hear the man. Sadly, this is often true of the church. People can’t hear the words we say; because our lives speak too loudly.In the second place, there is also another witness, another person calling us to believe, God Himself commands our trust.
Which God? The God who is there and who is not silent. The God who reveals Himself through creation and providence. The God who has proven Himself faithful and trustworthy. The God who created the constant laws of the universe. Every day these constants proclaim His Amen-like character. Hot beverages cool at a predictable rate. Dropped objects always fall down. The sun rises every day and sets every night. Each year, spring follows winter, and winter follows fall. This is even more so in the moral realm. God’s Law is perfect; it restores the soul, renewing us from the inside out, literally, causing us to turn around (to repent). From the falling of the rain to the bark of a tree, every good gift proclaims His kindness. And every predictable gift, His faithfulness.Instinctively, every human being knows this God. He is our reference point for certainty, without Him we would have no solid ground beneath our feet anywhere. This is what makes unbelief such a heinous sin, involving a conscious turning of the back on God, the God who surrounds us with His voice – a voice about which none can pretend ignorance – a voice that authenticates itself in the heart of every human being. For the past several years, I have refused to let go of my old “outdated’’ iPhone that I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with. Last week, it sadly breathed it’s last and I had to purchase a new/used phone. Apparently, to authenticate each user, Apple has replaced the fingerprint reading home button with a face-scanner. So the owner picks up the phone and the phone authenticates his right of passage inside. It opens for the owner and no one else. In a parallel sense, each human soul comes with a scanner for God. We look out at the world and we see His face, our owner’s face, our Father’s face everywhere. The tragedy is that instead of opening up to God, our souls deliberately shut down, we refuse to trust, we harden our hearts, and we turn and walk away.But, as our text this morning reminds us, faith knows better! Are you open to God or closed to Him? How does your life manifest faith? When you see His face, does your soul open to Him in worship, love and obedience? When was the last time this happened? Make sure tomorrow you can say it was today.