Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Faith Beyond Boundaries

Ask a fellow believer, “What is faith?”, and you may be answered with a quote from Hebrews chapter 11 stating, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In that passage, we are reminded of the lives of Abel, Noah and Abraham, who demonstrated obedience, dedication and trust in the will of God.

In Genesis 22, Abraham, who after a lifetime of waiting, was finally blessed with a child through Sarah, only to be given the ultimate test of faith to prove his obedience to God - sacrifice this son to the Lord.  He had three potential responses: He could reject God’s command, question God as to why this was necessary, or comply. His internal thought process is not recorded in the Bible, but the response was swift. We see that Abraham, the promised father of many nations, trusted God with no hesitation, question, or doubt.  He did not speculate as to how God’s promise would be fulfilled if this child was to be killed, and he did not demonstrate possessiveness of Isaac being ‘his’ child.  Abraham knew that God had a greater plan than what he could comprehend, and was willing to trust God through a very difficult decision. This was Abraham exhibiting his faith without boundaries.
What are the barriers that prevent us from having “faith beyond boundaries”? To believe that faith can even have boundaries seems like a paradox. After all, if we are ‘sure’ and ‘certain’, how could we have limits to that belief? One of the biggest self-imposed constraints to our faith is a lack of confidence. We are all aware of the gift of grace and the hope of salvation, yet sometimes we have difficulty letting go of our inhibitions and following the path God has set out for us. Perhaps we are uncomfortable with God having his own plan for us. Maybe we’re afraid of taking risks for a God who we haven’t placed as the top priority in our lives. Perhaps we’re overly concerned with how the world perceives us when we’re fully devoted to Christ. After all, a Christian that is outspoken in his faith is not respected or appreciated in today’s society. In Corinthians, Paul talks about being, ‘a fool for Christ’ – someone who has been put on display and suffering for Christ, departing from societal norms at the expense of their reputation, and even their lives. In order to have faith beyond boundaries, we must be sure and certain of what we do not see, and be willing to take risks. For if we know what is in store for us in Heaven, how could we possibly allow earthly limits to hold us back? Let us cast aside uncertainty, and remember the reward that awaits us if we live a life of faith – eternal life with our Father in Heaven; full of pure joy, where there is no pain, mourning or death.

Lord, help me to cast aside earthly inhibitions so that I may live a life of faith beyond boundaries.
 Thought for the Day:  faith crosses all boundaries

Blessen Kurian, St. Thomas MTC, NY