Author Archive: Revraney

We Use Faith Everyday

The world is full of modern day Thomases.  You remember Thomas; he’s the one who has gone down in history as ‘Doubting Thomas’.  How would you like to have that tag?  Its somewhat of a bad rap.  How many have never doubted God?

In the story where Thomas got his moniker, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.”  John 20:29b  He is challenging Thomas, as well as the rest of us to believe beyond what we can see.

Whether we realize it or not we exercise “faith” everyday in all manner of things:  things spiritual as well as things routine.  Lets look at some examples.  When you walk into a dark room the first thing you do is locate the light switch and flip it on.  Did you make sure the wires were connected properly?  Did you make sure electricity was flowing through the wires from the utility company?  No you just flipped the switch.  You had confidence, you had faith in the technology we call electricity.  Do you fully understand how electricity works?  Could you wire a house?  When you enter a room for a meeting, you select a chair and you sit down.  How many of us look under the chair and examine the construction of the chair to make sure it will hold us?  No, you just sit down.  You have confidence, you have faith in the people who built the chair.    You sit in the driver’s seat of your car and you turn the key or push the ignition button fully believing the car is going to start.  You have confidence, you have faith in the manufacture of the car.

We exercise ths kind of faith everyday yet we struggle to believe God, the creator and sustainer of all that we see, know and more.  Sometimes we exhibit more faith in the creators of our everyday appliances and items than we do in God.

Mercy Rather than Merit

I have recently had a few people half-sarcastically ask me if certain ‘sacrifices’ would get them into heaven.  They had to put up with difficult people and/or difficult situations.  Their comments were made out of frustration and part in jest, but they do reflect a common mindset.   “What must I do to obtain eternal life?”, with the emphasis on “do”.

Is there some minimum level of sacrifice, giving, or good deeds that will meet the criteria for entrance into heaven?  Obviously to get a reward such as heaven one must do sufficient good things to earn it.

Heaven cannot be obtained by merit, but by mercy.  Not in acts of mercy that we might perform to our fellow man.  That would be another form of giving or doing good deeds.  No, our acts of mercy cannot earn heaven for us.  Nothing can earn eternal life for us.

We all have failed to live up to God’s perfect moral law – even the best of humanity.  There must be an atonement for our failure.  God has acted in mercy toward us through the atonement of the suffering and sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.