Everyone has faith. Everyone hands over trust in the unseen every day. That is all faith is. Trusting what can’t be seen.
You can’t function in this world with out faith.
You have done it several times today
I trusted that what I smelled coming from the kitchen was indeed coffee. I drank it trusting that my husband didn’t spit into it, although I didn’t see him make it.
Some of us have trusted the chemistry that went into the medicine - Even thought we have not had a tour of the manufacturer we take it in faith.
When we get into a car, we have faith.
trusted that the gage in my gas tank was accurate although I couldn’t see the fuel with in it.
faith in science
faith in medicine and chemistry
faith in each other
These types of faith satisfying in your day to day life.. We can get into our car, we can digest food, medicine. but faith in these are minor.
They aren’t as the great Preacher John Wesley described in the 1770’s a SAVING FAITH.
A SAVING FAITH is placing your trust in the unseen world of the DIVINE.
AS SAVING FAITH is what we have when we trust in the LIFE/DEATH/RESURECTION of Jesus Christ when we are at the end of our rope.
private struggles, personal weaknesses - the darkness we each wrestle with
that we are too weak to fight and are in need of divine intervention.
is the faith that PAUL is writing about
Anyone who has gone through these knows, that the deliverance through was not of their own work, not something they could BOAST about.
Ironic - because faith has become something people boast about -
How often do people lay claim to their faith as a badge of superiority? Yep, it's what gives Christians a bad name and it's not biblically sound.
Today I want to use the image of the House, to explain the relationship we share with God and how in our life, we are indeed saved by grace, through faith.
After a series of events involving my two cats and a second story window, I realized in a new way how faith and grace work together in order to save us.
First, about my cats.
Molly who is twelve, rescued from the sordid alley of Washington DC one cold rainy night when she was just a kitten. Her whole trust is in my husband and me. She has no interest in venturing from from the comfort and safety of home. She relies on us. She is content.
Bob who was not even a year old at the time of this story was born into the lap of luxury. Bobs mother had bob and his brothers in the closet of a home in Lusby.He is curious about the world outside the home.
One night, while everyone was in bed. my husband and I hear a cat crying. We both get up to go look, see if she got caught in the bathroom, or one of the kids bedrooms and she is no where to be found. The crying continues and we discern it must be coming from outside. we open the front door, expecting her to run in, but no. No Molly. We walk outside into the driveway, her cries getting more desperate and we don’t see her. Then we look up. She is on the porch awning. Crying wanting in, but the window sill she must have been sitting in, was two feet up from that awning that caught her. She can’t get herself out of this predicament - She needs rescued. She needs a savior. And as Paul wrote, everyone who calls upon the name of the lord will be saved. She calls upon the strong name of her Daddy.In a flash, moments Doug has run back in the house, reached down the two feet, calls her name and she comes toward him and calmly and firmly, she is lifted up and back into the home.
Even the best behaved of us, is sometimes goinna fall out the window - but God’s grace catches us like an awning, so that we don’t perish…but the grace that saves us is not enough to restore and bring us back. We still need to call uponl upon the one who loves us. Molly knew her home was with her daddy - not out on an awning, she called for help and it came.
Which brings me to Bob.
. (No animals were harmed in the story by the way.) Bob is a kitten and Bob - I couldn’t believe it myself, also took a turn out the window and was caught by the grace of God on that same awning.
Now whereas Molly fell out of the window, ( it was left open and the screen was removed) Bob ran into the room, charged the window that was open and pushed pushed the screen through, consequently, flying out the window. landing on you guessed it the awning.
I heard this happen. and my daughters and I rushed to the room only to look out and see the screen several yards out into the driveway and bob below on the awning.. delighted and exploring.
Do we sin so that grace may abound?
The grace that caught him and kept him from hitting the pavement did not lead this cat to repentance, he was quite pleased actually.
I looked down at him, called to him and he was still investigating.
The girls and i began a campaign to try to get him in, and he had no interest in coming near o I could grab him. He was romping, playing and the girls are screening YOU ARE GONNA DIE and he didn’t seem to sense the danger at all.
It took this kitten Bob quite a few minutes before realized he was stuck out there. And life out on the awning was no life at all. Once he did realize he wanted in, then he started crying.
Oh, good I thought, now he will come near to let me pull him up.
No - now that he realized he was in danger, he was coming up with his own ideas on how to rescue himself. Which was even more death-defying as he moved further out
I went beneath the awing at this point, got a ladder and stood below, reaching up and tried pulling him down. He fought that and clawed and gripped his claws into the awning. He had no faith in me.
He had faith in himself. But his self didn’t have the skills to get him down. And faith in me? well he didn’t trust that I wasn’t going to drop him.
I got him down. He came home.
Grace is what catches us when we fall. And whether we fall by accident or by charing ahead into a life of recklessness, sin is when we aren’t in relationship with God, we are outside the house. But God doesn’t want us out there, he prevents us from dying out there, catching us with his grace.. but we, we can respond to that grace in many ways.
Molly represents the mature Christian, if she was singing a hymn, it would be “I Know Whom I have Believeth”
Or for you who don’t know the old hymns, then here is what Molly would sing - Carrie Underwood’s “Jesus Take the Wheel.”
Because Molly is quick to surrender.
and Saving Faith requires surrender.
If Molly models for us surrender than Bob brings out the other responses.
He had faith, faith to charge out of a window and expect not to get hurt. That’s kind of like being young and just not knowing the danger, real danger associated with breaking a rule or messing around. And when he was caught by grace, he was like the person who strays from God and doesn’t suffer too many consequences so it feels kind of fun. Then that moment when it is not fun? When the party ends? What did Bob do? He tried to climb his own way back into the window. He tried to find a new place that was safe, not back in the house, but maybe if I just get down from here, I will be better.
This is me - this is all of us. In the peril, we panic and search out a new path. But the one who loves us is there calling us back into the arms.
My cats also reminded me that “Being Saved” is not a one time action. One night after Bob’s window incident, he curiously explored the roof by getting out a different window and climbing up a steep gable.
My daughter was asleep when she awoke by the sound of a cat crying. She looked up above her bed and there, by the light of the moon through the skylight, she saw the silhouette of Bob. Crying out in cat language, “Abba, Father!”
She yelled (which woke me up), “Bob what are you doing on the roof?”
As she spoke to him, he stepped on to the screen of this skylight and the screen gave way, causing him to come crashing through into her room.
We are all prone to wander away from the safety of God’s place for us. And as we mature in our faith, we know we can call for help.
I think Bob knew someone would save him. And he surrendered to the help.
Do we know that?
God doesn’t want us in peril. He wants us in his house. And he gets us back by grace, through faith, and none of this is of our own works.
Discover God’s Grace / Call out in Faith / And be brought back into relationship with the Lord.