Friday, 19 September 2014
Hungry for Authentic Faith
Are you tired of hype about the Christian life?
You know, the over promising, self-promoting version of Christianity we often meet when we browse Facebook or check the latest blogs. We’re hyped by titles that promise life-change of all sorts in 5 or 7 or 10 easy steps. We’re pulled by people who claim to have found the secret to joy or victory or success.
The public face of Christ becomes a talking head.
It’s all about big vision and massive success. A big vision begins to draw a crowd. Social media inflates the bubble until it stretches past its legitimate reach and bursts. Fans and followers find ourselves alone, sitting dazed and deserted among the shredded pieces. Nursing our wounds. Wondering what happened. Vowing not to get hurt again. Until another growing bubble catches our attention…
This cycle is like a sugar high. We rise and crash repeatedly, wrecking our spiritual adrenal system. Eventually we get worn out. Disillusioned about institutional faith, we wonder if there’s any reality out there. Cynical about personal faith, we wonder if there’s any reality in here. We become hungry for the real thing.
What does authentic Christianity look like, feel like, taste like?
Bring Your Hunger
There is a place to bring our hunger. God wants us to bring our disillusionment, our doubts, our deep questions to him in his Word.
…nothing is more necessary for the life, health and growth of Christians than that they should hear what the Spirit is saying to them through his ancient–yet ever modern–Word.
J.A. Motyer, John Stott
The New Testament book of James takes our questions seriously. James writes his letter to a scattered, discouraged church. It sounds like he’s writing to us. He tells us that true faith is more than sound bites and slogans, it’s lived out through word and deed in the ups and downs of real life.
James doesn’t sugar coat the problems we will meet along the way. He doesn’t promise quick fixes. But he does point us again and again to the object of our faith–God himself–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Consider Yourself Invited
Next week I’m starting a six week study of James. I’d love to have you join me.
Here’s the overall plan:
- Order the study book pictured above.
- Find a friend to study with.
- Look for a post on Monday with some opening thoughts.
- Look for a post on Friday with some application thoughts.
Here’s the week by week plan:
- April 25-30: James 1:1-18
- May 2-6: James 1:19-2:13
- May 9-16: James 2:14-26
- May 16-20: James 3: 1-18
- May 23-27: James 4:1-12
- May 30-June 3: James 4:13-5:20
James is true food for real faith. Come hungry.