Daily Readings & Thought for November 28th. “THE SHARING OF YOUR FAITH”
Today’s readings.. (Esther 3,4), (Amos 8), (Philemon)
How do we share our faith? Do we just talk to others about what we believe? Paul’s letter to Philemon shows it is more than this. Our faith is confirmed to others by our actions, by what we do, because we genuinely believe. Paul tells Philemon, “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective …” [v.4-6] Effective in what way? Paul continues, ” … for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” [v.6,7]
It is clear that “the sharing of our faith ” is far more than just talking about it. “Every good thing” is about how ‘good’ our character has become and this is shown more by what we do than by what we talk about and teach, although that is important. “Yes, brother” Paul tells Philemon, “I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.” [v.20,21]
The same lesson is evident today in our reading in Esther. Mordecai calls upon Esther, now the Queen, to act – even though it means putting her life on the line. Her action – or inaction – will show the kind of faith she has. She agrees to go and seek an audience with the king, saying, “if I perish, I perish.” [4 v.16]
And now remember what we read yesterday how Paul, as with all genuinely faithful believers ever since, can believe from their hearts that “there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” [2 Tim. 4 v.8] Genuine Christ-like love is faith in action as Jesus repeatedly demonstrated for us in his life. Look at Matt. 10 v.37 and then at his challenge to Peter after his resurrection, John 21 v.15-17.
And the time is getting closer when, those who have shown genuine faith, by both words and actions, and are alive “on that Day” shall all be changed, “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” [1 Cor. 15 v.51-53] This will be for genuine believers who have shared their faith.