Tag Archives: sincere

Two Bridges

Story of the Day for Saturday July 16, 2011

Two Bridges

 

                     The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”   And the Lord responded, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and plant yourself in the sea’ and it would obey you.” 

                                                      Luke 17:5-6

 I’m going to ask you a question in just a moment. It’s not a trick question, but most Christians answer it wrong, while those who aren’t particularly religious tend to give the right answer.

 

You and a friend go for a walk and come to a raging river. Since it’s impossible to swim across it, you look along the bank, and spot two bridges.

The first bridge is buttressed on both ends with thick concrete. Massive steel girders span the river, which have been overlaid with thick oak planks. It looks like you could drive a tank over it.

The other bridge is an oddity. It’s constructed out of cardboard and fastened together with duct tape. The light rain the night before has left the cardboard sagging somewhat, but it is, nevertheless, a bridge.

Your friend asks, “What bridge you gonna to take?”

“What! You’re joking, right? I’m taking the steel bridge.”

You soon discover your friend isn’t joking. “I’m taking the cardboard bridge,” he says.

As your friend starts out across the sagging cardboard bridge, he doesn’t have the slightest concern about its strength. He’s humming a song as he boldly strides across.

You, on the other hand, are unnerved. Your palms begin to sweat and you notice there’s a tremor in your hands. Thinking it will help to better disperse your weight, you begin to crawl across the steel bridge.

 

So, here’s the question. Who will make it safely to the other side: the person with the strong faith or the person with the weak faith?

I’ve asked this question dozens of times, and, invariably, Christians tend to blurt out, “The person with the strong faith.”

Wrong answer. The person who will make it safely across the river is you, with the weak faith. Your friend may have a strong faith, but it is faith in a weak bridge incapable of holding a person’s weight. You, on the other hand, may have a weak faith, but as long as it is in a strong bridge, you will make it safely to the other side.

 

Jesus’ followers asked him to increase their faith – and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. But Jesus knew they were looking at things from the wrong perspective. Ultimately, it’s not how much faith you have that matters; it’s what you have your faith in that counts.

   Even a weak faith, a faith as tiny as a mustard seed, can do great things if it’s placed in the true source of power and strength.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

Why Faith Doesn’t Create Open Pickup Windows

Story of the Day for Friday July 15, 2011

 

Why Faith Doesn’t Create Open Pickup Windows

 

                They called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice; no one answered.  

                                                              1 Kings 18:26

Different roads can lead us to the same town and many believe that all religions lead to the same God. Our generation has made a breathtaking transition in thinking. In the past, people thought you could be right about what you believed, or you could be wrong. But something wasn’t true because you believed it.

All that has now changed. Today, vast multitudes think that, if you believe something, and believe it sincerely, then it’s true. Why? Because you believe it.

 

Brian Tracy, a leader of the Positive Thinking movement teaches that, if you are on a crowded street looking for an empty parking space, and you believe strongly enough, you will always find that a vacant parking space has been created for you.

In this same vein, we don’t bother so much with asking whether our beliefs in God are true; the only thing that matters is that we have a sincere faith.

 

Last week, I used a cup of cold coffee to disprove this notion.

Early, on a chilly morning in the mountains, I grabbed a cup of coffee and drove down the road to the old Pinkham schoolhouse. The day turned into a scorcher and, by late afternoon, everyone had opened the windows to their vehicles to cool them down.

When it was time to go home, I climbed in my pickup and noticed I hadn’t finished my coffee so I picked up the cup and threw the cold coffee out the window.

THWACK!

I thought the window was open, but it wasn’t. The cup banged against the window and sent a shower of cold coffee my way.

If you ever want to feel really stupid . . .

 

Now, I sincerely believed that the window on my pickup was rolled down. I sincerely believed that I could fling the cold coffee outside and life would be better for my having done so.

Sadly, my faith could not create truth. If faith made things true, I wouldn’t have had sore knuckles and coffee dripping from my face.

 

On Mount Carmel, Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest. Whoever could pray to their God to miraculously light the sacrifice on the altar would be acknowledged as serving the true God. Back then, everyone agreed that faith was useless unless it was placed in the truth.

In the old days, they wouldn’t scratch their heads and wonder why my faith didn’t create an open window on my pickup; they would be looking at my soppy face and laughing until their stomachs hurt.

                                                  (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)