It's impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6MSG"How do you convince an atheist that Jesus exists?" Two teens in my Sunday youth Bible class recently asked this question because they had a family friend who refused to believe there was a God.
Their question led to a discussion of the ways we know Christ is real:
- Personal experience - I know Christ exists because I had a real, up-close and personal experience with Him when I was a child, following an abusive experience.I knew Him as a big brother while growing up and I've known Him as a Father since I became an adult. I can't imagine living without Christ in my life because of all the times I 've sensed, known, felt His love and presence with me.
- The experiences of others - When I hear the testimonies of others, my faith is strengthened. In some cases, their stories help me to know I'm not alone - not the only one wh has ever felt a certain way. Other times, I am awed by the things God has done for them.There are simply to many valid experiences by others to say that God isn't real.
- Nature- the development of a baby in the womb and feeling it move for the first time. The Grand Canyon, The intricacies of a snowflake and the fact that there are no two alike. All I have to do is look around and I can see Him everywhere.
- Miracles - How a person with cancer becomes cancer-free and the doctors can't explain it. How a migratory bird finds its way thousands of miles to a seasonal nesting area for the first time, even though it's never been there. How situations line up just right for the perfect outcome, even though it looked impossible in the beginning. Even "coincidences" or God's little miracles incognito are evidences of his reality around us. I've seen too many "God-incidences" not to believe.
- Because the Bible says it's true.The Bible is a life-changing book. When a person sets out to disprove God by discrediting the Bible and ends up believing instead - wow! Now that's a powerful testimony of the truth of God's word and his existence.
Lord, help us to live every day so others will see your reality in us and believe! Amen.