There was much in the scriptures we heard this weekend about belief and faith.
Derrick's powerful sermon based on Genesis 12:1-4 celebrated Abraham's faith, as well as the faith of a family who influenced Derrick earlier in life.
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 lays out for us how Abraham was justified by faith, not by works. Paul then reminds his readers that our justification doesn't come through perfectly performing the law, but through believing.
Skeptics might think believing sounds too mental, as if to believe means you think something about Jesus, whether you respond to that thought or not.
John's gospel, including yesterday's reading (3:1-21), reminds us that believing isn't just cognitive; it's relational. To believe in Jesus is to be in relationship with Jesus. Nicodemus' story isn't one of knowing the right things about Jesus, but of growing in his connection with Jesus.
Our story of faith/belief is to be modeled after these - Abraham's willingness to go as God calls, trusting that God will provide; Paul's teaching that we are not due grace, but given it by God's mercy; Nicodemus' example of one intentionally seeking out Jesus and growing in relationship with him.
One way to do this is through worship. I hope you'll be able to join us for the Lenten service on Wednesday at 12:30 pm. Rev. Joe Cate, pastor of Memorial UMC, Greer, will be our guest preacher. You'll enjoy and appreciate Joe's ministry among us.