Today at The Gathering we continued with our series “Surviving Christmas” with installment number three entitled, “Miracle On 34th Street.”
Christmas is a time of miracles. It causes us to have faith; that a virgin could conceive a child who could be called “Emmanuel, God with us,” or “Jesus, our Savior;” that indeed the Prince of Peace, God Himself invaded this planet in this way, requires faith; the power to believe.
Today we talked about life by other means, or the foundations we try to lay for our lives:
1. You can live by facts, or what you perceive to be the facts that seem to be constantly changing. Have you bought a map lately?
2. You can live by fear, which only creates more fear, and doubt, and sorrow, and pain.
3. You can live by fables, the things you’ve heard other people say or buy into.
4. Or you can live by faith; not just a faith in the faith, but faith in the person who is God and His Son, who is our Savior, Jesus Christ.
We also talked about, when you opt for faith over facts, fear, and fables, there are two kinds of faith. There is second-hand faith and first-hand faith.
1. Second-hand faith is based on family history. “My parents were (Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Episcopalian), so that’s what I am.”
2. Second-hand faith is based on what we’ve heard. It’s an amalgamation, a collection, a smorgasbord of this belief and that belief that we’ve hear on TV, or You Tube, or Internet, or in a college lecture, or at a funeral.
3. Second-hand faith is based on where I was born. People say, “I was born in the north where we don’t go to church,” or “In the south where we always go to church,” or in the “Bible Belt,” or the “Buckle of the Bible Belt.” That’s like saying if you were born in McDonald’s, you’d be a Happy Meal.
4. Second-hand faith is based on apathy. I just don’t care enough to investigate and seek the truth.
We turned then to first-hand faith, which is trusting God, testing God, and taking Him at His word.
1. Trusting that God always tells us the truth.
2. Testing His promises.
3. Taking Him at his word and trusting that as we test Him that we will see achieved what we have faith for.
Make sure you join us this Wednesday night at 4:00 and 6:00 in Jamison Hall at The Factory here in Franklin for our great Christmas Eve services. Both will fill up so make sure you arrive early.