So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
Could this be the answer to our concerns over a feeling of lack of faith? Could this one little sentence be the answer to all the fret? Maybe you aren’t someone who has difficulty with their level of faith. Maybe it’s not a concern of yours but I know people that struggle in this area. This verse is so simply put. We listen to the Word and faith will come. There are a few important distinctions here, we need to hear the Word and that hearing comes by the word of God. It means that you can hear the word of God and that this process of hearing it will bring faith. That means that only reading the bible will not have the same results. This verse also means that the bible came by someone hearing the word and recording it but that’s another point of another blog. So, back to the main point, we only need to hear. That could be by a preacher (the context of this verse) but I also believe that you could speak the word over yourself, you could speak revelation that you get from God over yourself, and you could speak revelation over others. It also sounds like we could do this process over and over again endlessly receiving faith. There does not seem to be any constraints on this verse. So maybe this notion of not having enough faith is flawed and maybe it is the act of choosing to pursue God and hear from Him that gives us all the faith we need to accomplish what we are believing for? Amazing. What a good God we have who provides a source that we have complete freedom to access that provides for our needs.
As you know by now I have been immersed in thoughts on community lately and this scripture came to mind the other day. Obviously this is a community type passage. It uses imagery to explain how we can grow from our exposure to each other and influence from friends. A few things occurred to me as I pondered this verse.
In the process of sharpening, parts of the item that is being sharpened are removed.
So if we relate this to being in community or in relationship with one another than that means you don’t get to stay the same and in fact that you will lose something. I think this means the things that make us dull or not as sharp are slowly ground off of us. Bad habits, poor choices, repeated behaviours, negative thought patterns are a few of the things that may be removed in this process. But you could also lose things that you once considered good. As we are exposed to each other we are inevitably exposed to each others opinions and understandings. We learn from each and grow in our understanding and we can begin to lose some of the things we thought we had all figured out, for example.
2. This verse talks about friends sharpening friends.
This means to me that this process of sharpening doesn’t just happen with anyone in your life. This speaks to a more involved and ongoing process. This verse specifies friends and to me that means that the result from this process won’t just happen with minor interactions with people. It won’t happen when you sit next to someone on the bus tomorrow or stand behind someone in the line up at the store. The kind of change this verse speaks about comes only from relationship.
3. The change is permanent.
You can’t “unsharpen” a knife. Once it has been sharpened it is no longer the same knife that it was when you started.
If you are wondering if iron really does sharpen iron, like I was, here is a link from people who know way more about this topic than I do: https://top.quora.com/Metallurgy-Does-iron-really-sharpen-iron
Thank you for coming with me while I dove deeper into this passage. I love going deeper into the Word, the treasures I find are always truly wondrous and impactful.
Please let me know what you think in the comments. Sharpen me!
I pray this makes you think and that you encounter your Creator today.
This is where I got the pic: http://www.wacmm.org/JoppaISI.html
Here’s the argument: we are sinners VS we are righteous. I’ve heard arguments, conversations, messages from the pulpit on both sides of the argument. You probably have heard them as well. I am not here to add to the long list of people who have spoken on either side of this subject nor am I here to pick a side but I do have thoughts. I don’t think I could find a Christian alive that would be able to say that they have not sinned since becoming a Christian. I also believe that we are made righteous in Christ from the moment we believe. So, what if it’s not an either or thing? What if both are true? I know, it sounds crazy but hear me out. What if we are simultaneously righteous and sinners? What if in the process of picking a side we are missing the point? What if we need to be both fully aware of our sinful nature and fully living in our righteousness in Christ?
I was thinking about this sinner or not debate this morning and a picture of a glue bottle popped into my head. This was not your average type of glue bottle. It was that kind of glue that comes in one bottle but inside is two compartments each containing one of two different chemicals that I can only assume are not sticky substances alone. It is only when the two chemicals mix that they become super glue (apparently called epoxy). It is only after combining the two that they fulfill their intended purpose. That made me think that maybe we need to embrace both sides of this debate. I think power is released when we accept and walk fully in both our potential for sin and our the righteousness that was given to us. See, all kinds of unhealthy character traits can spring up if we decide to live in the extremes of one or the other point of view. On one side, we can become bogged down by our past sins and walk in fear of living them out again if we only focus on our sinful nature. On the other side, I have met fellow Christians who don’t consider their potential for sin, call it being redeemed and live in denial while continuing to relive their mistakes from the past. I get it, these are nowhere near the only two possible ways this could play out but they serve as examples of what could happen. I think that there is power in fully embracing our humanity and fully embracing the power and authority we have in Christ. Accepting them both creates an internal environment that calms fears and sparks strength that helps us walk in all that Christ has for us, I believe.
If you’re interested in the scriptures I have based these thoughts on here is a list:
1 John 1:7-9
1 John 3:5
1 Timothy 1:15
I pray that you find this thought inspiring and that you encounter your Creator, Jesus Christ, today.
This is my tomato harvest that I brought in this week. As I was checking the box this morning for more ripe tomatoes something came into my head, this is an aspect of community. See, I’m in the middle of putting a book together on community so it’s on my mind a lot. When I first picked theses tomatoes I posted it on Facebook and one of my friends said to leave a few ripe tomatoes on with the green ones to help speed the ripening process along. That stuck in my brain, ruminated around and came to fruition this morning. As I mentioned, I believe this is an aspect of community but more than that an important part of why we need community. I believe that the concept is this: being exposed to other people whom we are in community with who are further along in their journey than we are helps us advance faster than trying to do it alone. So whether these fellow community members are more educated, more intelligent, more enlightened, more dedicated, have grown in their character, learned to love better, whatever it may be that they have gone further in than that will cause me to grow faster in these areas just by being in community together. That is exactly what the tomatoes do, they ripen faster with other ripe tomatoes around them. I love it when God helps me understand His truth through natural things around me. This is a primary way He speaks to me.
This truth is so important today in this era of isolation. Now, I haven’t been around for ages nor have I done the research but I think that our society is experiencing a more stronger pull to isolate than ever before in history. We have lost sight of our need for each other. There are so many ways we need each other. I’ll get into them in other posts as well as explaining what I think community looks like.
What do we do with this info? If you’re not in community you need to be. Begin making friends, having conversations with strangers, showing kindness to those around you. It won’t always go perfectly, that’s part of being human, but if you stick with it, it will change your life.
As always I pray this makes you think and that you encounter your creator today.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Hi. Here I am, finally starting something that I have had on my heart to do for awhile, quite awhile, probably a few years if I’m being totally transparent. There are lots of reasons I have taken so long to get here, some of which I will get into in future posts, but I’m finally here. The end of the procrastinating opens up to the beginning of my blog journey. This is exciting. What can you expect? This blog will be a mash up of my thoughts, spiritual ponderings, some prophetic view points and personal experiences or testimonies. What do I need from you? Well, for starters please read my blog (if you’re reading this now I realize that this is a redundant request but please continue to do so). Secondly, please give me feedback! Comment, comment, comment. No feedback, no growth. That’s how I feel. So join me on this journey and let’s see where it leads!