For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. – Romans 10:10
This morning I want to share something that is an important principle in what I call the ongoing faith journey.
- If you read me at all then you already know where I stand on the importance of living as a person of faith. I honestly believe that our absolute best life requires a vital relationship with God. In practice, it is my experience that following Jesus checks all the boxes when it comes to opening the door to God’s reconciling, redemptive, restorative love.
Today’s Faith Moment:
The principle that’s on my mind today was beautifully illustrated in my Saturday morning men’s group. Essentially, what I’m talking about is the truth that faith spoken (or shared) is faith strengthened, faith renewed, faith amplified, and faith extended.
One of our number, a man who is typically quiet and a little reserved, agreed to lead our meeting. We’re a few weeks into a summer study built around music that has contributed to our growth as people of faith. I designed a basic outline and we want everyone to take a turn sharing and facilitating discussion.
My friend is a huge fan of music, so he was excited to share a song from 1985 that was and continues to be a formative affirmation when it comes to Christ’s admonition to avoid worry. Worry never achieves anything positive, Jesus points out, plus it advances a fundamental lack of trust.
The thing about Jesus is he doesn’t go the shallow route of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” but instead offers the fact of God’s presence, and Kingdom and unremitting love. Not that trust in God makes life easy or steers us around trouble, but that God’s faithful love and comforting presence are so much greater and more durable than the stuff we get all bent out of shape about.
“But seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:33-34
Faith Spoken is Faith Strengthened…
Here’s the principle of “Faith Spoken is Faith Strengthened” in action: As my friend took time to prepare for this morning, he found himself deeply vested in the presence and the purposes of God. It is one thing to believe, it is something else to engage God in a deliberate fashion, and it is something even more to then share that insight with others as he did with our small group.
This is one of the reasons I am so committed to the covenant group model of ministry with men. When we encourage one another to be honest about our journey we provide an opportunity to both be encouraged and to move forward.
And don’t forget the true definition of “salvation”. Salvation is not getting our ticket punched for heaven in the sweet by-and-by so much as it is participating in the work God is up to. When we accept Christ’s invitation to be reconciled to God then we have the opportunity to join God in God’s initiatives of grace. When we “profess our faith” (by word and by action) that is getting on board with Team God!
So thanks to my friend for demonstrating the “Profess with your mouth” part this morning. It didn’t just strengthen his faith, it encouraged ours too.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.