faith and experience

Hello again, my name is Lewis. In the midst of difficulty, I have found Jesus… or maybe, Jesus has found me. Good can come from bad… I say this because I really don’t think I would have pursued God had life not changed so dramatically. Now I am consumed with Him… and I’m asking: What does He expect from me?

Reading His Word, it looks like God has accomplished everything through His Son Jesus Christ and now He asks us to live by faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” seems pretty clear, but what is faith? The Bible says: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I think God wants us to be confident in His love and certain that He is with us.

It is tempting to try to figure things out before believing. In the case of Thomas, Jesus said, “Reach out your hand and put it in My side.” Then He said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That is us. That is me.

It must work like this: God reveals His truth; I choose to believe (or not); then experience follows. Here’s an example from my brief journey:

The Bible says: “We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin… Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him… In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (see Romans 6)

While I don’t quite understand how I died when Christ died, by faith I am believing Jesus took my sin and my ‘old self’ to the cross with Him. And when He rose on Sunday morning, He included Me in His resurrection. Because He lives, I live… in Him, as a new creation… no longer a slave to sin.

So here’s my experience: I am a new man. Before Christ, I was a slave to sin, addicted to bad habits I could never conquer. Now I am free. This is a miracle brought about by one event: Jesus Christ came into my life. ‘I once was lost, but now I’m found… I was blind, but now I see.’ I am praising God for His grace and I am giving Him all the credit for saving me. If He rescued me, He can rescue anyone.

I must now tell my friends and family that God is real and that He loves us. I must share this new life I have found in Jesus. “Lord, let me shine Your light! Please help others find You too.”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God! God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:17-21

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

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