'Persevere in faith'

Thursday Reflection

16th July 2020

'for at the proper time we will reap a harvest'

9 Let us not become weary in doing good,
   for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
   if we do not give up.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity,
   let us do good to all people, Galatians 6:9-10a

Paul is writing to encouraging the Gentile believers of churches of southern Galatia
which he established on his first missionary journey
but it is also for all Christians everywhere.
I have a problem with the second half of verse 10
which is why I have decided to treat it separately.

10b 'especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Gal 6:10b'?

Surely all people need to be treated according to their needs.
How can we draw people to Jesus if we favour other Christians?
Yes, I know it does say

'all people'

but I think the addition of the second half of the sentence is unnecessary and divisive.
Jesus said,

"It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.' Matt. 9:12

He came to bring the non - believers to God.
Now having got that rant over I can concentrate on the main body of the today's text.

'...if we do not give up'.

There is nothing in our lives that can take the place of perseverance.
As Thomas Edison put it, 'Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.'
Neither talent nor intelligence can bring success without perseverance.
How many talented and intelligent people make no real use of their gifts,
or misused them, because they couldn't stick at something worthwhile;
the prisons are full of them!

Determination and perseverance are the key to getting anything done,
and God's work is no different.
It's easy to get discouraged and it happens to all of us,
at least everyone I know, at some time in our lives.
To really accomplish something takes time and effort;
if we want flowers, we have to plant the seeds well in advance
and then make sure they have everything they need to grow.

If you want to be a vet it will take you 5 years;
a doctor it will take 10 years
or a surgeon 14 years of constant, dedicated work.
Growing in faith is the same, it takes practice;
faith is like a muscle, it needs to be exercised if we want it to grow;
and if we get discouraged and give up,
we'll never reap the rewards God has prepared for us.
There are many people today who get baptised,
are on fire for Christ for short time, but,
get into a routine where they stop growing.
I came across a quote which sums up the faith journey in an interesting way,
'faith is like a shark, you have to swim forward to live.'

There is a huge debate among theologians about who is saved and who isn't,
about whether salvation is permanent or whether it can be lost.
I believe that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and saviour we are 'saved',
that's Biblical. Jesus himself said

"Truly, truly, I say to you,
 whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life." John 5:24a

And Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans

"That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord,"
 and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
 you will be saved.
 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified
 and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." 10:9-10

Can we 'lose' that salvation?
My instinct says that if we turn our back on Christ then the answer is, 'Yes'
for every Gospel and Epistle provides powerful encouragement for us not to 'backslide',
and as Paul knows, from his message above in Galatians 6:9-10a,
we can become 'weary', stale, bored, tired or distracted from the path we are travelling.

We used to hear of 'revival meetings' being held in some areas,
often to great effect,
I wonder why they disappeared, because we all need revival.

So what can we do to galvanise our faith?
Try something we've never done;
find a new class or service being broadcast on line
or read a book about Christ, of a kind or subject we've never really thought about before.
Watch a faith based film
or perhaps get back to church, if we can find one nearby that is open.

Whatever we do, let's find a way to get closer in our walk with God today.