Friday, January 8, 2010

Daily Bible Reading - January 8 - Faith, Life and Death

Genesis 12-15 and Mark 5 contain two story lines that involve life emerging from death. In Gen. 15, God reiterates His promise to Abram that he will have a multitude of offspring, despite the fact that (in Paul's language in Rom. 4:19) Abraham's body was "as good as dead." And in Mark 5, Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead. Though the circumstances of each are quite different, there is one common denominator-
-"And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness" (Gen. 15:6).
-"But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 'Do not fear, only believe'" (Mark 5:36).

Faith is the link between the stories. The faith of an aged nomad that God would give him children as numerous as the stars of heaven, and the faith of a desperate father who just witnessed the death of his only daughter that she could be raised.

Each story illustrates the many facets of faith. It is on one level an intellectual decision - to agree that God is indeed powerful enough to bring life from death. But on another level it is a matter of the will, to place trust in God that He will do what you believe He is capable of. And Abraham and Jairus are great models of what it truly means to trust.

This applies as well to the spiritual life God can create from death. We are dead in our sins (Eph. 2:1), and we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8) - not merely a belief about God, but a deep trust placed in God and His Son. This is the very point Paul made about Abraham in Romans 4-

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Rom. 4:20-25)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting your comments on the daily readings, Shane! I am really looking forward to the depth I know they will add to this reading plan.