Stories For Faith is the first volume of the devotions In My Father’s Footsteps.
I’ve been writing devotions for over 15 years and I weave my personal stories in with the Truth of God’s Word. Below is a sample of the devotions in this book.
Sincere Belief is Not Enough
I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
I have a mini-basketball. And I believe that when I throw it up in the air, it will stay in the air. It will not fall back to the earth.
I believe that.
I believe that with all my heart.
I sincerely believe that!
Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Sure, it may be a sincere belief, but it just isn’t
true, is it?
I tested it, by the way. I took my mini-basketball and tossed it in the air. It did come back down and bounced on the ground. Maybe I didn’t throw it up high enough. Well, if I could throw it high enough to send it into orbit, then it would be true. But I can’t, and no one can without the aid of a rocket.
Just because we sincerely believe something, that doesn’t make it true. If what we sincerely believe isn’t true, then we’d just be sincerely wrong.
A few days after my first son was born, we had to take him back to the hospital because his skin had this remarkable shade of yellow, as did the whites of his eyes. He had jaundice. Our doctor told us that this is a potentially devastating disease but it’s easily treated. All we had to do was put him under a special light for a while and this would stimulate his liver properly and he’d be all right.
Now, I could have said, “That sounds too easy to work. If it’s potentially devastating, then I will have to work hard to make him better. Instead I’ll scrub him with soap and dip him in bleach. If I work hard enough, I’m sure I can get his normal colori
The doctor would have said, “No, there’s only one way to deal with jaundice.”
My wife could have replied, “We will just sort of ignore this and pretend everything’s OK. You know — jaundice is your truth, Doc, but it’s not our truth. If we sincerely believe that, things will work out for the best.”
The doctor would have said, “You’d jeopardize your baby if you did tha
t. Look, there’s only one way to cure him. You’re hesitant because it sounds too easy, but look at the credentials hanging on my wall. I’ve studied at medical school and I’ve used what I’ve learned to cure countless babies like yours. Trust me!” (My thanks to Lee Strobel for reminding me of this real story of my son’s first couple of days.)
Now, would anybody accuse us of being narrow-minded if we trusted
that doctor and pursued the only course of treatment that was going to cure our little boy? That’s not narrow-minded; that’s acting rationally in accordance with the evidence.
In the movie The Passion of the Christ Mel Gibson took a big chance in adding a flashback scene showing Christ making the claim above from John 14:6. I think it is amazing that the controversy over this film is that it is anti-Semitic (which I believe it is not) and that no ink has been spilled over the claim that the only way to Heaven is t
hrough faith in Jesus Christ! John 14:6 is truly saying that the Christian faith is the only way of salvation. Islamic people, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others who reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died to take away the sins of the world and rose again to give eternal life to all who believe this, will not, in fact, be saved.
Now that is controversial, especially in this day and age. But it is also true. Not because I sincerely believe it, but because this claim made by Christ is backed up by overwhelming evidence that Jesus is who he says he is – the one and only Son of God. The evidence of the prophecies he fulfilled, the evidence of the miracles and the fact that over 500 people saw Jesus alive after his death on the cross.
Christians are called to act on this evidence, to act on this belief. Many will call us narrow-minded, bigoted, snobbish and arrogant. But that would only be true if what we believed were, in fact, not true. But it is. We are to have compassion on the rest of the world by telling them this Good News.
Take heart, the Holy Spirit will give you strength and wisdom to carry o
ut this compassionate and important work.