Faith really does save.

The Bible’s powerhouses had one thing in common: faith. They believed the word of the Lord. Completely. They didn't have our scriptures. But they believed God, heard his voice, and loved him.

Jesus did what he did for one reason, and one reason alone: LOVE.

He loves us! Unimaginably so!

And he wanted to be present with us so desperately that he came, lived, suffered, died, and rose again so he could continue to claim the right to forgive, to comfort, to heal, and to SAVE.

To start, he asks that we believe. Only that we believe. That we believe his word above all else. We don't have to earn his love or presence. We don't have to be worthy of him. He paid the price, with his priceless blood, to make us worthy. To cover our sin with his mercy, to forgive our debt. All so we could receive the feast set before us in the presence of our enemies, so we could sit at his table and be filled and satisfied by our extravagant, generous, lavishly-loving God. It is receiving this untold bounty that changes us, that sets us free and heals us deeply, so we can walk out the work he so desperately needs us to do.

In the Hebrew culture, your actions reveal what you believe. If you say one thing and do another, what you did demonstrated the truth of the matter. It is Greek thought/philosophy that divorces belief from action. (And mind from heart, for that matter.) When Jesus said we only had to believe him, he wasn't talking about lip service. It was a radical invitation to walk by faith--to allow living out his word to transform us into the image of God.

Our God never ceases to amaze me.

Bonfires Walking

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” ~Exodus 3:1-3

The illustrations I saw as a kid always seemed to show this burning bush as a leafless mass of branches and twigs. And until this week, that’s the image I carried. Until Holy Spirit connected the burning bush with this passage:

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ~Acts 2:1-4

Those weren’t bare skeletons the tongues of fire came to rest upon. Those were apostles and disciples—vibrantly alive, flesh and blood, breathing human beings. The bush that wasn’t consumed wasn’t a dry, leafless thing. I believe it was a beautiful example of its species, in full leaf and possibly in flower. Seeing that totally engulfed in flames, but not withering and fading to ash, stopped Moses dead in his tracks.

I love the vividness of God’s message to Moses, and the clear messages these two passages send to us: we are resting places for the fire of God to dwell, that fire does not consume us, and God is eager to pour his spirit out upon us in such abundance that miracles flow in the overflow of love and glory.

If you’re a believer, did you know your inheritance includes being a walking bonfire?