Not because of their work ...

Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. -Romans 4:1-5 NLT

The life of Abraham presents us with a mixed review of a man of faith. On several occasions he lied and led people to believe that Sarai was not his wife just to save his own skin. In King David, a man after God's own heart, we are also presented with such a mixed review of a man who vacillates between sin and faith. The truth is that no one's work has ever caused them to be right with God. Yet the grace of God is so evident in the history of the faithful.

The fact is that faith is not a simple concept. Many struggle with the idea that faith is a gift given to everyone because the world is filled with people, like Abraham and David, who do not always act in faith. My thinking is that faith is like a dormant seed that comes alive and grows. For some that seed remains dormant and never comes alive. In others the seed comes alive but never grows. Yet in some the seed flourishes and increases with humility and God's grace.

Our boast is in you alone Lord God. Help us to do the things that cause faith to grow in our lives.

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