Day 24: A faith that works – Part 7f

The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Bible References (NIV)


To conclude the series it is logical that we summarise its message as a whole, and then consider how we will respond.

If we can accept that design needs a designer, information an author, an artwork an artist and therefore this creation a Creator, it’s not hard to accept there is a God.

The next question is about what that God is like, and whether he/she/it can be known. The Bible records a history, the first half of which is believed by over half the world’s population (Jews, Christians, Muslims). These agree that this God has revealed himself to us. What is discovered early in the Bible is that he is a good God, not bad. Because evidence around the reliability of these historical records does stack up, there is good reason to consider the possibility. To take it a step further — when the evidence of miraculously fulfilled predictions in the Bible is then considered, we have not only a strong basis for believing that there is a Divine hand behind this book but also to very specifically consider Jesus!

The Christian therefore looks more carefully at Jesus — discovering a man who is unique in the manner of his life, miracles, teachings and influence within history. Even around points as singular as his resurrection, the historical evidence is strong enough for sceptics of the faith to admit the disciples had profound experiences of the risen Jesus by some means.

This leads us to consider how this faith might work in experience, to test it. It is here that many discover the most profound evidence. It’s as in the saying within today’s video clip: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Whether we’re looking at the influence of this faith in history as a whole, or only in individuals’ lives, there are patterns. Beyond one-off stories that could potentially be found anywhere, there are literally hundreds of millions of stories, and this says something.

This brings us to the challenge presented by King David almost 3000 years ago, which you read in Psalm 34. David remembered God’s work in his life with gratitude and then said, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

The final test is in the ‘tasting’. It’s like with my friend who had struggled with alcoholism. Even though a part of him still wanted to deny God, he chose to reach out and ask God for help anyway. A point comes where we have to put various questions aside to see if it works.

While God could appear physically before any of us right now, he doesn’t. I suspect this is because, if he did this, we would be overwhelmed and submit to him. He’d have our submission — but not our love. He’d have our obedience — but not our hearts. The most significant revelation we can get from the Bible is that our Creator isn’t only intelligent and powerful. His very nature can be characterised by the word ‘love’!

Love is therefore what our Creator is both offering and asking for. While the evidence is strong, God has set things up so our final decision is uncoerced. This makes our final decision a decision of the heart.

What do you choose for your life?

I hope this series has helped.

Video clip: A faith that works – Part 7f — 1min

Reflection questions

  • To summarise this series in your own words, why do Christians believe there is a God, who can be known and who is good, who revealed himself through Jesus, who is here to help us and who can be personally known?
  • What stories or illustrations from this series stand out to you as most useful for your conversations?
  • How will you respond today to God’s invitation to know and follow him?

For prayer

“Dear God my Creator, thank you for loving me despite the wrong I have done. I thank you, Jesus, for taking the punishment I deserved when you died, and for inviting me to follow and know you. From today I choose this. Please forgive me for the selfish and wrong things I have done. I give the rest of my life to you. Please help me to learn about you and your ways from the Bible, to find friends for this journey, and to love others as you have loved me. From this day onwards I am yours. Amen.”

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