Friday, June 10, 2016

Author and Finisher of our Faith

Author and Finisher of our Faith
As Christians we all have our times when things around us are anything but perfect. It is easy to get caught up in the circumstances around us and become discouraged and even begin to grumble a little. Of course when we do this, it is displeasing to the Lord. Especially those of us who have been walking with the Lord for some time, for we know better. Fixing our eyes on our circumstances rather than the author and finisher of our faith.
I have known those who have lost loved ones and in the process not felt the assurance that their salvation was secure. It is a very hard thing to go through, the closer the person is to the individual, the harder it is.
So how can we know? Or I should say, can we know? To my knowledge we can’t for sure but the Bible has some encouraging news. Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42,43)  As this man was about to die, he turned to Christ for forgiveness and Christ accepted him. This shows that our works don’t save us - our faith in Christ does. It is never too late to turn to God. Even in his misery, Jesus had mercy on this criminal who decided to believe in Him. Our lives are much more useful and fulfilling if we turn to God early, but even those who repent at the very last moment will be with God in His kingdom. The dying criminal had more faith than the rest of Jesus’ followers put together. Although the disciples continued to love Jesus, their hopes for the kingdom were shattered. Most of them had gone into hiding. By contrast, the criminal looked at the man dying next to him and said “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.” By  all appearances, the kingdom was finished. How awe-inspiring is the faith of this man who alone saw beyond the present shame to the coming glory! What a motivation to those of us long time believers to look beyond the troubling circumstances in our lives to the author and finisher of our faith!
~Pastor Reg