Faith is like a hot meal, it is meant to be hot!
(Idea prompted by: “A Hot Faith,” by J. Randal Matheny in Forthright, July 20, 2009, http://forthright.net/2009/07/20/a_hot_faith/)
By Don Ruhl
Do you like: Cold French fries? Cold black coffee? Do you like it when the restaurant server fails to bring the food as it gets cold? Do you cook your food hot, then let it cool down completely before serving it?
If we want hot food hot, why do we accept cold faith? God did not design faith to be cold and inactive. He designed it be hot and active.
Do You Like Cold Faith?
What kind of worship leaders should we have? Do you want song leaders who are not serious about the songs? Do you want prayer leaders who pray the same things without much thought? Do you want preachers to deliver lifeless sermons? Do you want men making comments before the Lord’s Supper and before the contribution to sound as though what God has done for us was not all that great? Do you want a cold faith in your own heart?
Turn on the fire of faith by learning how to get faith! Romans 10 reveals the not-so secret plan for having faith, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom 10.17).
Have a plan to read through the entire Bible. Do you know why reading the Scripture daily will fire up your faith? I once attended a Bible class where the elder taught a good class, except for one thing. He did not read from Scripture to establish his excellent points. Yet, he gave us his thoughts, and took comments from the class.
I thought to myself: If God had been sitting in a pew, the teacher would have called on Him, delighted to hear what God had to say. However, God was there with something to say. All the teacher had to do was call on God by opening the Bible and reading from it. Do God’s comments add anything to Bible class or to our lives?
One day, Luke 4 shows, God entered a worship service and watch what happened,
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.’
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him (Luke 4.16–20).
Knowing now fully the identity of Jesus, would you have fixed your eyes on Him to hear what He had to say? Sure you would. You demand that in the worship service! You want to hear the word of God. Good for you! What about in the home?
One day, Luke 10 shows, God entered a home and watch what happened,
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10.38–42).
What would you do if God visited your home today? Would you want to hear what He had to say or would you ignore Him and go about your daily business? I know what you would do, you would do what Mary did!
If, when God departed, He left behind a book for you to read, what would you do? If you want to fire up your faith, pick up that Book and read it everyday! Listening to God fires up your faith because:
- He is the best coach,
- He is the best teacher,
- He is the best counselor,
- He is the best cheer leader,
- He is the best trainer!
How then can you go wrong? When you have the Best of all best things cheering you on, you will have more hot faith than you will know what to do with!
What Hot Faith Does
Do you know what will happen to you if you start dwelling upon the faith-inspiring word of God everyday? Hebrews 11 shows that you will have hope, obtain a good testimony, understand creation, offer excellent sacrifices, please God, move with godly fear, act out without knowing the result, receive strength, offer up treasured possessions, bless your family, overcome powerful forces against you, and accomplish things that you never imagined you could do. That was verses 1–31 of Hebrews 11.
The writer also showed what other people either accomplished or what they endured when they had a hot faith,
And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth (Heb 11.32–38).
Any of that could be you, either accomplishing great things as some of them did (vv. 32–35a), or enduring horrible treatment as some of them endured (vv. 35b–38). I do not want to promise you that only good will come to you. Both good and suffering will come your way. You willingly do good and suffer harm for your nation and family. Your faith in Jesus Christ is an even greater commodity! Do you remember why you started following Jesus Christ?
What do you think of someone with hot faith?
Does he seem fanatical, even cultish, to you? Have we become so comfortable in our life on the earth and as Americans, that anyone living as Americans in former days seems odd, weird, and strange? If you think of this article that way, I can only ask you to join me in joining Paul, “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!” (1Co 4.10).
Paul’s words in Romans 12 are my words to you, “[Do] not [lag] in diligence, [be] fervent in spirit, serving the Lord…” (Rom 12.11).
Faith is not merely something you confess before baptism. It is a new way of life.