By Kelly Carr
This week we are introducing a new column to our 2016 Bible study resources. Read more explanation below. We came up with the title of Engage Your Faith for this column, as it describes the content sufficiently. But that title had me dwelling on its words for a while—it became a challenge to me. Perhaps you would care to be challenged as well.
What does engage mean? I use the term and obviously thought it applied here in a weekly column for The Lookout. But sometimes it’s good to reread descriptors of words we think we already know to find new depth.
On the handy website Dictionary.com there are many definitions of engage. (Read all 15 sometime.) Here are a few ways to use the word:
• I can intensely occupy your attention and hold it fast by engaging it.
• I bind and secure by contract when I engage myself to a promise. I am liable.
• I occupy myself and become involved when I engage in an activity.
With these three definitions in mind, how will you engage your faith?
• Will you intensely occupy your attention on your faith and hold it fast, not content with a mere passive belief in the general concept of a Creator? Will you recognize your participation in learning more about the Almighty?
• Will you bind yourself to God’s truth? Will you promise to live it out daily, not just at church services?
• Will you become involved, not being a stagnant Christian in name only but refining your identity as God’s child, desiring to grow more and more like him?
The secret I’ve learned is that I can’t do it alone. I need God so much that I can’t even have faith in him without his help! But I also need the people he has put in my life.
When I struggle, my brothers and sisters in Christ lift me up. When I become complacent, those closest to me ask me what’s going on. When I drift, I need someone to come along and anchor me back to God’s Word.
When I want to grow, my small group aligns with me to study. When I see an answer to prayer, I eagerly share it with my family. When I’m so filled with God’s love that I want to burst, I blab about my joy to someone—and I always find a willing, listening ear, ready to participate in that joy with me.
I can’t fully engage my faith on my own. I probably wouldn’t want to anyway.
As we sit on the very edge of 2015 and peer into the unknown land of a new year, the blank canvas before us, we have a choice. We can be the same as we once were, or we can keep growing, keep engaging. I can offer us this promise—we won’t be alone on our journey.
New Study Resources:
• David Faust begins a new column this week, Engage Your Faith, based on the International Sunday School Lesson (ISSL) daily reading plan. He will provide personal application of the Scriptures, digging in to how we can apply God’s Word to our daily lives.
• This new daily Bible reading plan will now be based on the same Scripture schedule as our Sunday School Lesson Bible commentary, written each week by Mark Scott (also taken from the ISSL reading plan).
• If you enjoy our reading plan that takes you through the entire Bible in a year, it is available here on our website. Past Revealed and Relevant articles written by David Faust that coordinate with the read through the Bible plan are also archived here on our site.