Words from the Heart for Tuesday December 13th, 2016
You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.
John 1:45 (NLT)
Blessed for Believing
Faith is strengthened when we recount God’s faithful deeds in the past so that we might trust Him in the present and wait with expectant hope for Him to act in the future. Recount the ways God has acted faithfully toward you this past year.
There is an interesting church attendance contrast between traditional Canadian families and new Canadian families. According to a 2015 survey by pollster Reginald Bibby, in families from a Western culture who attend church, parents sometimes go while the kids stay at home. Not so with the immigrant communities. With Filipinos and Nigerians in particular, when Mom and Dad come to church, the kids come to church. In fact, there’s an interesting split when it comes to youth and religion. Among the Canadian-born, those older than 55 are more likely to embrace religion than younger generations. The exact opposite is the case for those born outside Canada: almost half of those aged 18 to 34 said they attend a religious service at least once a month. A smaller number, 27 per cent of the foreign-born older than 55, make the same claim.
At the heart of the Christian faith is just that – faith. Our salvation is obtained by faith and everything that follows is a walk of faith. God’s blessings come to those who believe. Luke 1:45 puts it this way: “You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said.” These are the words of Elizabeth when her cousin Mary arrived to visit. Mary was pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth was as well – with John the Baptist. God revealed to Elizabeth just how important the child was the Mary was carrying. The text tells us that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child in her womb leaped. The spiritual was being revealed in the physical through the lives of pre-born babies. They knew that something unique was happening here. Later, as an adult, John would see Jesus coming and tell his followers that the Lamb of God, who will take away the sin of the world, had arrived. He would instruct his followers to follow Jesus. This was in the spirit of his mother, who tells Mary that she was being blessed by God because she had believed that God would do what He said He would do. We are blessed when we do too. Jesus would say that even more blessed are those who have not seen but believe. We are called to a life of faith and as we believe God, His blessings are ours.
These have been words from the heart.