Cade Hill gets asked if he's my brother 9/10 times, will fly to Colorado for the weekend to see NeedtoBreathe at Red Rocks, and pursues the Lord with adventure and abandon. He pushes everyone he knows to look towards Christ; thanks Cade for sharing! Faith in its worldly form is defined as complete trust in something or someone. However if my faith, my life with Christ, was summed up by a Google definition I would not only have nothing to stand on but you would be reading a very short blog entry. To me Faith is best displayed through the testaments of God’s beloved children. After all a Christ follower’s faith is centered around the greatest story ever told in the center of a book filled to the brim with stories. The stories of Faith today possess the same importance and power as the stories that are written in every chapter of the Bible. I think it is safe to say that the Lord not only enjoys stories of faith but delights in using them to advance his kingdom to the ends of the earth. So here are a few stories that not only capture the essence of the most high God but display his characteristics and the ways that his children have faith in him.
I had the privilege of serving overseas this summer in Munich, Germany with a group of 15 high school and college students. Because I have never felt closer to God and had my faith stretched as much as during my time in Germany, I decided this would be a good place to start. The first story is about a Muslim refugee who brought his family to Germany to escape the battlefield that they once called home. For the sake of his safety we will call him Sam.
Sam met two of the girls with us several times throughout the summer; casually inviting them to meals with he and his wife and not much fruit had come about from the conversations. Then one day, unknowing that his last invite would be life altering, he invited the girls to the river. During their time together the conversation quickly turned to the gospel. The girls shared the gospel and upon asking if this was something that he wanted to believe, Sam in his broken English and calmed spirit accepted Christ into his heart and invited his friend next to him to do the same. The next day before baptizing him we asked him why he wanted to be baptized. In an almost annoyed tone he responded, “Because I want to show that I have new life!” Sam reminded me that faith is not a simple definition nor is it meant to be something that only the most devout theologians can possess. Sam showed me in the midst of converting from Islam to a follower of Jesus that Faith is not something that you can reason or question but is like an ever growing flower: rooted in the gospel always growing outward and upward.
This next story is about two of the girls with us and their amazing experience with language. Delaney had the opportunity to meet with a refugee woman named Joy and on a follow up visit she brought along Sky. Quickly diving into Joy’s faith journey, Joy began to have difficulty with English. Sky asked if she spoke any other languages and from there they decided on Italian. Knowing that Delaney could not speak Italian Sky proceeded in discussion. Their time ended and upon leaving Delaney looked at Sky and told her that she did not understand why Joy was worried about her English and that she thought her English was great. Sky, still in awe of what just happened, looked at her and said Delaney no it wasn’t. As they looked back at the experience it turns out that after deciding to speak Italian Joy only spoke in Italian and Delaney, never studying the language a day in her life, understood every word and thought that English was being spoken in the room. Delaney, Sky and Joy showed me that faith is not something that was only powerful in the days of Jesus but that the same Holy Spirit lives in each of us. Faith is not only a feeling but something that can be seen and heard in experiences like Delaney’s. Faith is believing that the radical and powerful stories of the bible are not reserved for the pages of the Bible but that the same power is still alive and present today.
This last story is not one that happened this summer but one that happened 2000 years ago and would radically change lives forever. This story is about a man named Jesus, his life and his ultimate, underserving sacrifice.
There was a man named Jesus who walked the earth many years ago. God sent his one and only son Jesus down to the earth in order to save his people that could not save themselves. Jesus lived a perfect life without sin or rebellion against God. After living a perfect life, Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins! The death of Jesus made a way for us to escape a life of bondage to sin, plagued with the empty pursuits of this world and eternal separation from God. Three days after his death, Jesus rose from the dead! God saw that we were unable to escape a life of brokenness so he sent a way for us to be one with him. Jesus was and is the answer. The story of our savior shows me that my faith in Jesus is like no other. I serve a savior that is no longer in the grave but at the right hand of God. My faith is not centered on my own efforts but the ultimate, perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
My faith is ever growing. The Lord pursues us like a groom pursues his bride on their wedding day. He looks at us, sees our faults our fleshly desires, insecurities and hidden sins and yet he still says RUN TO ME! My faith is centered on two pursuits. My pursuit of Jesus followed by my pursuit of man and telling them the good new of Jesus Christ. Come join me!