Friday, March 10, 2006

Faith Starts with a Person

I've had the honor of talking with a number of people lately who are struggling with believing in God. They've heard all about how other people believe but they are personally struggling with believing.

I went home thinking about their struggle and then I realized that if I was them, I'd struggle too. For me, faith in God- at least a personal God - starts and ends in the person of Jesus, not the experience of someone else.

I was with a different group of people last month ( a new group we started at Cedarbrook called "Out of the Box". It's a discussion forum for people that aren't in "the box" of the church - people who aren't sure what they believe.) One person asked my associate and me what made us believe. It was interesting because we both came to believe for different reasons. My associate had a dynamic spiritual experience that convinced her that God existed and Jesus was, in fact, God.

But for me, I was struck by the person of Jesus. As I studied the New Testament I became convinced that it was an accurate document of a person that really lived and said the things that were written. Once I was convinced of that, the rest came naturally. If the Bible is telling us the truth about what Jesus said, then you can't be passive about it. It might be convenient to think that Jesus was "just a good teacher" or that people made more of Jesus than he really was (ala DaVinci Code) but that is only to your loss. For me, and countless others that I've had the pleasure of knowing, believing in Jesus and following him has been to my gain.

If you are searching, I recommend a book about the accuracy of the New Testament called, The Case for Christ. It's very readable. A former writer for the Chicago Times talks about his own skepticism and how his research of the New Testament brought him to faith in Jesus. You owe it to yourself to give it a read!

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