Thursday, September 13, 2018

Devotion - Thursday, September 13

My readings have me in Acts 16.  This is the part of the letter where stories are repeated of those who came to "believe".  Silas and Paul have been set apart, and are traveling to various towns and sharing the story of Jesus.

As I read, I remembered the student lead devotion shared at last evening's gathering.  I appreciated greatly Sam's lifting up of the number of times and persons who struggle "to believe."  

The passage of scripture shared last evening is the one with the confession "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief."  This is the tug in which we continually find ourselves.  On the one hand, we are believers - otherwise why even open an email from a campus pastor?  On the other hand, each of us must struggle with the particulars of what others have told us it means to believe, or what it is that they believe.

Above all - NEVER fear speaking of your own struggle, least of all speaking to me about it.

Now, go back to that earlier sentence:  "the particulars of what others have told us it means to believe, or what it is that they believe."

Jesus rarely uses "believe" in his invitation.  He speaks of "follow."  The exchanges he has with those whom he encounters has less to do with the finer points of what it means to believe or what is to be believed and more to do with finding oneself in the company of persons striving for the life and way of living seen in Jesus.

When the fear invades your life over whether you "believe" the right thing or believe it strongly enough, shift the question to "is following Jesus and being among Jesus' followers making it possible for me to live more fully?"

We can talk about beliefs - and we will.  But our aim is to experience the joy and comfort and hope and promise of being among those who know the power and ability of the Jesus story to put us where God wants us to be and where we desire to be.

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