To Believe or Not to Believe

“Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.“ Mark 16:14

Why do you believe what you believe? Why do you not believe what you don’t believe?

Perhaps you only believe what matches what you’ve been taught but are you sure that everything you’ve be taught is true? Perhaps you only believe if what you’re told comes from a source you trust but are trustworthy sources always right?

As I was thinking about all the reasons I have for establishing what I do and don’t believe I realized that sometimes it’s as simple as, I believe what matches what I already know, yet at other times my reasoning is so complicated, or nonexistent, that it’s easier to say, “I can’t explain it but I believe what I believe.”

When it comes to faith in God, God asks us to begin by believing and trusting in him and his word, the Bible. In the Bible God has given us a secure starting point for learning about God and how to have a relationship with him. I say, “starting point,” because I believe that God eventually wants us to grow in our relationship with him to the point where we’re learning things about him, and our relationship with him, that are beyond the content of scripture. The reason why I say, “secure,” is because what we learn about God in scripture are those things that we can rely on to consistently be true: no matter what.

Scripture contains enough material to supply a lifetime of prayerful contemplation and study, and anyone calling themselves a follower of Christ must also call themselves a student of scripture. Each day ought to contain some time for the gaining of more knowledge from the word of God.

For all of us it’s good to recognize that we have within our thinking content and patterns of thought that are out of harmony with truth. They may fit a system of logic or reason we’ve created but they’re still outside the divine pattern Christ has given.

The disciples were following just such a self made pattern when they rejected the testimony of the eyewitnesses of Christ’s being resurrected and declared it unbelievable. And because they rejected that testimony, testimony that while being out of harmony with their own reasoning, was yet in perfect harmony with what scripture and Christ himself had taught them, they earned for themselves the rebuke of Christ.

There will come a time, for everyone of us, when the consequences of unbelief will be far more than our Savior speaking words of rebuke. We call scripture the words of life because they reveal to us the path of eternal life. When we follow them we have life. When we don’t we trace a path that leads to death.

Friends, we must carefully study God’s word and compare its truths with what we believe and like a careful gardener, tending his plants, pull out, as weeds, any beliefs that don’t harmonize with the truths found in the precious word of God.

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