Tag: agree. faith version

Agree or Disagree?


My friend David Himes has suggested, “For most people, the Bible is like a software license. Few actually read it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree.'”

His observation gives me a chance to say, “Too many believers settle for faith that is little more than a list of statements they agree with. Faith has been reduced to landing on the right side of arguments starting with the words, “What do you believe about…?”

No wonder the world religion we call Christianity is in decline; the truth of faith has been sucked out of it.

True faith is life, and Jesus illustrated this when he rattled cages with his parable of the sheep and the goats. “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matt 25:34-36 NIV

Jesus describes faith as more than a list of things you agree about. Faith opens eyes to be like Jesus, to see like him and to see him in people around us before they do. It takes eyes of faith to see like that; to see below the surface and behind masks. Faith even sees the invisible.

So, do you see Jesus or are you stuck on the agree/disagree button?

Try this: There are 4 dots around the center of this picture. Stare at them for 15 seconds. I mean study them, lose yourself in those four dots. Then close your eyes and wait. You will see a clear image of Jesus. The illusion is unmistakable.

You know the test: Do you see Jesus among you? Do you see what Jesus sees? Do you look past the failures, the struggles, the grief, the miscues and mistakes? Do you see life in the middle of death? Do you see hope when others argue? Do you see what can be?

Then, do you step up? Do you change things? Genuine faith never settles for agreement and never settles for simply seeing what no one else sees. Faith is proved by actions!

The musical, Les Miserables based on Victor Hugo‘s classic work, is all about faith in action–grace lived in spite of despair.

Valjean, prisoner 24601, is released after years of incarceration for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family. He is bitter and shunned and judged and lost.

Finally a bishop invites him to spend the night at the church and to eat at his table and enjoy his trust. During the evening Valjean eyes the silverware as much as the food. He could sell the silver and get a fresh start.

In the middle of the night he steals all he can carry, but once on the street he is stopped by two policemen who search him and find the stolen goods. Recognizing the silver, they take him and the loot back to the church.

The bishop identifies the silver, and then faith steps in. This religious man sees beyond the thief held by the police. He sees Jesus. He sees future and hope and grace.

No one is more stunned than Valjean when he hears the bishop say that the silver was a gift and that he is glad Valjean has returned because he had forgotten the candlesticks.

This act of faith, this seeing Jesus in a trapped man’s eyes, this undeserved holy moment, changed everything. Not immediately, but over time, Valjean became what the bishop saw in him.

The eyes of faith changed everything. Valjean was no longer 24601, no longer a thief; he was transformed.

Keep your eyes open, not your physical eyes, your holy eyes. See what Jesus sees.

Take a moment for God to work on your holy eyesight this week. Step back, study the scene, look at the heart of what’s happening.

Close your eyes and let God show you what HE sees. Look for Jesus, for the future, and for your next step.

God is going to show you wonders this week. Are you ready?

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February 13, 2012 | 0 Comments More