Thursday, December 13, 2012

Faith in Santa or Jesus?




Scripture

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
(Hebrews 11:1 NASB)

 

Observation


This verse is the true definition of faith and according to Barnes there is no verse in the Bible greater than this. John Chrysostom said, “Faith gives reality or substance to things hoped for.” There is no faith if the object of that faith is seen. When the object of hope is unseen, then faith, according to Garvey, can exist in its fullest form! Therefore our hope is directly in proportion to the our faith which is either the "assurance" or "substance" of things hoped for. This word "assurance" or "substance" are words that really mean the foundation on which hope may be built. Therefore faith is the foundation of all hope. For example, I believe that a place such as Beijing exists. I have never been there, but I believe it is in China and therefore I act as if it's possible for me to go there someday. In this context faith in Jesus Christ and what he has done gives us hope of the resurrection and eternal life.

 

Application


Yesterday the news showed a large billboard placed in Times Square which said, "Keep the Merry!  Dump the Myth!"

Photo of the Atheist sponsored billboard in Times Square (Courtesy athiests.org, http://aka.ms/atheists-billboard) Keeping the Merry meant to embrace Santa Claus, and dumping the myth showed a picture of the crucified Christ. I find it interesting that atheists would want to keep the merry by embracing the story of a man named Santa Claus. In other words, they do have a faith and choose to put their trust in a man who lives in the North Pole, has elves as helpers, and travels around the world on the night of December 24th in a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer. On the other hand we wouldn't want to put our faith in a man who came to earth nearly 2000 years ago, who claimed to be the Son of God the Father, who died on a cross for our sins and is currently in heaven preparing a place for us to enjoy eternity! Honestly, they both take a step of faith. That's what this verse is telling us. Faith means that I do believe in things that I cannot currently hold onto -- I hope in things I cannot see. This is the very nature of faith. Therefore if I am going to make a choice as to the kind of faith I choose to have, do I want to believe in the one who might bring me a gift this year at Christmas, or do I want to have faith in the one who came once as a gift that will last throughout all of eternity? My odds are much better with Jesus, than with Santa! I'd rather dump the merry and embrace the myth.

 

Prayer


Jesus, I do believe. Thank you for your eternal gift. Amen.

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