It’s a very special thing – the truth. I realize that I’ve often not appreciated all of its power. Looking back at many of my conversations with other believers, I see that others have underestimated the power of the truth, as well. I see that it’s a more wide-spread problem that one might think at first.
What am I on about… Well, it began with the question – Do I really need to prove the truth when I talk about my faith with non-believers? This has always bothered me, but over the years of my Christian life I’ve continually been taught how to defend the truth. So I presumed that the truth needs to be defended, proven, protected. Well, it doesn’t. The truth remains what it is independently of one’s choice to fight against it or to rejoice with it.
If it weren’t for Hebrews 11:1, perhaps the case of blind Bartimaeus would be most fitting. How much further could it get than a blind man’s hope for being able to see.
The Bible says that Bartimaeus was doing the regular daily “exercise” – sitting at the city gates and relying on the pilgrims’ mercy for his dinner. There must have been a decent amount of dust on his clothes… over his body… And the heat certainly couldn’t have made his situation any better. But what else could he do? He’s an outcast after all – a cast out one.
But Bartimaeus isn’t just any outcast. Not just any blind guy. He isn’t just any beggar either. Bartimaeus is a believer, but not just any – a true one he is. The Bible says he heard Jesus approaching and began to shout – perhaps a usual picture given the popularity of the Lord. He was an emerging star for many of his time. The picture becomes unusual when a minute goes by and blind Bartimaeus is still shouting. “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Some from the crowd tried to shut him, but apparently whatever he had lost with his sight had now turned into a voice amplifier.
Some call it fellowship, others simply a relationship and I’ve chosen the name partnering in life. Neither one, however, can fully reflect the meaning of the Greek κοινωνία (koinonia) better than the passage from Acts 2:42-47.
Today we tend to take relationships for granted. The Internet offers them at practically no cost, and so does the local school, sports club… oh, yes – even the church. So far – nothing wrong. Sadly enough, the fragrance of the koinonia seems to have faded away. Instead of being like a fresh Spring bloom, it’s more like a frozen vegetable which has then been microwaved – you wouldn’t know it smells like something if it weren’t for the big fat colored label on the package that tricks your mind into believing it does. We’re either really dumb fools or really lazy and indifferent to our own lives.
We like having partners in life as long as they don’t require much of us. As long as they don’t disturb out comfortable and well planned and organized living. It seems to me that the fancier mobile phones one can buy, the less we care about sincerely maintaining our relationships. Perhaps this would be quite a shock to Johann Philipp Reis (whom I credit as the inventor of the telephone). Nevertheless, my point is – the things that ought to draw us closer to each other seem to actually scatter us apart.
Our prayers toward God speak a lot about our faith, as well as about the way of living which we have. If we constantly pray for material benefits, financial security and independence, perhaps even perfect health, then these things must be more important for us than God is. Moreover, this is a sign that our life spins around them.
Jesus uses the example of worrying to show us how strong our faith ought to be and how we need to live and consequently – pray. Let us turn to his words from Matthew 6:19-34:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. read more
One of the biggest problems before the Christian faith today is that all Christians claim they believe in God, but not all of them live according to their own claims. In other words, many of us daily call ourselves Christians, but far too many of us don’t live like Christians.
Let’s look at the relationship between a child and his or her parents as an analogue of ours with God. When a child truly trusts his or her parents, he or she waits patiently and faith till their promises come true. When mummy and daddy promise their son a new bicycle he doesn’t immediately run out, seeking for ways to buy it himself earlier than it’s promised to him. Where there is trust in a relationship between two sides, there is also patience and faith.
Between many believers and God, however, the trust is little… so, naturally, many Christians quickly run out of patience and lose faith. God, on the other hand, doesn’t cease caring for us, but how is it possible to feel Him caring if all the time we’re trying to solve our problems on our own and pay more attention to them than we do to God? read more