By John Armes
The Words of the Profits are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls… (The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel)
Often times, people prefer to make up their own God or Jesus and bring them out when it is convenient to promote their own ideas and for their own goals. I say, instead of taking others “word” as to who God or Jesus is, we should go to the source and read for ourselves who they are and what they did. That source would be the Bible.
Martin Luther was a catholic priest during the Holy Roman Empire. At that time, the pope of the catholic church and the Roman government shared power. Martin Luther set out to seek God on his own which led him to the Bible. He wasn’t going to take the word of the catholic church on who God is and what he expects. Many people back then just did and believed whatever the catholic church told them to do and believe. Luther wanted a closer walk with God and the answers that the church gave just weren’t helping. He began to seek God and His will. He began reading and memorizing the Bible and found that the church contradicted what the Bible was saying and he did not keep quiet about it. He wrote many papers on the contradictions that he found, even though they reprimanded the church, and even the pope. It was not long before Luther was accused of heresy, and brought before the church council and the pope to answer for these accusations, especially when Luther spoke out against the church selling “indulgences”. “Indulgences” were letters of forgiveness for past sins of those living or dead, forgiving them from their sin, and paying them out of purgatory and into heaven. This made lots of money for the catholic church and infuriated Martin Luther. When Luther was asked to recant his writings at the council, he would not and therefor the church refused him protection and Charles V made him an outlaw which made it very dangerous for him. Luther’s friends and fellow believers helped save his life. We must do like Luther and stick to the Bible when man’s ways go one way, and the Bible goes another.
It seems that when one chooses to do God’s work, it requires a “step of faith”. Perhaps that is why the Bible says multiple times “fear not”. To take that “step of faith”, we must step out and leave our comfort zone. After all, isn’t that what God wants us to do. Depend totally on Him and stop holding onto those securities that we have been hanging onto all these years. Could it be that we need to take that “step of faith” and do what He wants us to do in order to receive that blessing that He so wants to give us, Him being our loving Father. The Bible says we are to be in the world, but not of the world. The world won’t understand us. They won’t see what we are trying to do. The more we learn about Jesus and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to change us, the more Christ like we become. Jesus said that the world didn’t accept Him, and so the world won’t accept us. It is only through faith in Christ and the grace of God that saves us from our sins and sets us on the path of righteousness. There is no other way to salvation than through our faith and belief in Christ and His death on the cross in our place for our sins. It requires a “step of faith” and trust. We are required to have faith in God, and God is responsible for the outcome.
When I was a young child early in grade school, I would run and play all day, come home and eat supper with my parents and my brother, watch some tv and than off to bed. I wasn’t ready to sleep, so I would sneak out of my room and go down to the end of the hall where I could see the television and my parents would never know (I thought). I would set there on the floor with my pillow and blanket and lean up against the wall above the heat register and when that old furnace would come on, it would vibrate the wall and the warm air would come out and put me right to sleep. In the morning I would get out of my bed and get ready for school, never questioning how I got in bed the night before. Night after night I thought my parents didn’t know but I always was in my bed in the morning. I never thought about it, but my parents would wait a little while late at night and would come in and pick me up and put me back in the bed. Night after night this would happen, but I never knew it. I don’t ever remember my parents picking me up and putting me in my bed and they never said anything. They were working in the background with my welfare in mind and looking after me because they knew that I would get a better rest in my own bed so night after night they would collect me and put me there but in my little mind I never knew it. Never even thought about it, yet it was happening constantly. That is how God is with us. He is always working in the background with our best interests at heart. He picks us up and puts us on the right path and we don’t even know it is happening because in our human minds we cannot comprehend the ways of God, but He is there, loves us and is taking care of us. That is why he tells us not to fear, because he is always there looking after us. When we come to finally understand and believe this, than we can truly have faith. We must have the faith of a child without fear and always believing in the might God that created us and everything around us. When you truly believe, without fear, than you will have faith. With the tiniest faith of a “mustard seed” than you can move mountains.
Remember when the disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee and the storm came up and they saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter began that “step of faith” . Jesus told Peter to come to him on the water, and Peter began walking on the water. He fell when he looked back at the storm and away from Jesus… Jesus said “oh Peter, thou of little faith”. If Peter would have only kept his eyes on Jesus, he could have walked to where he was. How about you, what is your “step of faith”. Will you keep your eyes on Jesus or on the storms of life that surround you… All we need is the faith of a mustard seed, as Jesus said…In your journey with God through life, will you have the nerve and the faith to keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in Him to give you strength for the task that is ahead of you? Will you pass the test and walk on the water?