She is related to one of our members. I have gotten to know her a little bit at social functions. I see her in the community. Recently I asked her, “Do you guys ever go to church?” Her reply, “No. I mean I believe, but . . .”
She is like a lot of Americans. A Harris Poll finds that a strong majority (74 percent) of U.S. adults say they believe in God. But few Americans are active Christians. Even with a broad definition of church attendance, where a regular attendee is someone who shows up at least three out of every eight Sundays, only 23–25 percent of Americans would fit this category. So, 74% versus 24%.
“I believe in God.” Great. So does Satan. What else do you believe in? The Laws of the Physics? The Indianapolis Colts? Unicorns or Angels?
Does it matter what we believe? Absolutely. What we believe impacts how we see the world and how we behave in this world.
For a lot of people, they believe God exists. They believe in God, but they are not sure what to do with God. They are functional atheists in their day-to-day lives.
A lot of people believe in God, but they do not believe in the Church. They do not think belonging to the people of God makes a difference in their lives. They do not believe that being part of the worship, discipleship, the evangelism, the fellowship or the ministry service will add value to their lives.
Their response challenges us. Do we live out a life changing faith that can affect other people? How is our life together as the resurrection, hope-filled, faithful committed community of Christ adding value to people’s lives? Do they see our believing in God in our lives?
I see how our life together adds value to people’s lives. We bring hope, belonging, forgiveness, encouragement, enlightenment, and purpose to our people’s lives just to name a few of the benefits we derive from sharing Christ together.
What does it mean to believe? The Greek word translated as believe is the word pisteuo. To believe, to trust in, put faith in, to rely on.
Our believing in God deals with real-life contexts for real-life people challenging them to be helpful to others who are in doubt and to deal with that doubt honestly, because there is an answer. How are we helping others to come to know Christ? To experience Christ?
In August we will talk about how relying on the LORD, trusting God to work in our midst makes all the difference. We will talk about trusting Christ in Holy Communion and we will talk about trusting God in our prayers.
I hope for this young lady and other infrequent Christian believers, the LORD will use us to draw them into a faith, a trusting, where they will more than simply know about God, but that they will come to Know Christ.
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Eph 1:17)
Your friend in Christ, Pastor Douglas