blind faith

The Dangers of Blind Faith

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. 

1 John 3:1a

Recently, my pastor preached a sermon around our opening Scripture. His message challenged us to reacquaint ourselves with the Father’s love.

I wonder if some of us are still awaiting an introduction.

For many, God’s love remains a theory. We’ve heard about it. We quote Scriptures about it. We may even try to will ourselves to believe in it.

But John invites us to move beyond blind faith in God’s love. He challenges us to see it.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us…

Do you see it, dear one? Have you looked God full in the face and found yourself enraptured by His heart? Have you been caught by the fierceness of His love for you? If you aren’t sure, I’d guess your answer is no.

Many of us have been looking at God through a broken lens. Theoretically, we know that God loves. But something inside of us resists receiving the reality that God sees and desperately loves me. History’s wounds have distorted His truth and impaired our vision, leaving our belief system compromised. If we don’t have a clear view of God, we’ll operate in limited faith.

Take a look at what Jesus said in Luke 11:34-35.

“Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.”

Matthew 6:23 adds these words:

“… If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

You may not realize it, dear one, but your eye—your ability to see—greatly affects what you experience in this life. If your eye is good—if you see clearly and your perceptions are true—light fills your being. But when your vision is compromised and your eye is bad, your whole body fills with darkness. And not just a few harmless shadows. Jesus described it as great darkness!

“Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.”

Beloved, if the enemy can alter your perceptions, he’ll overshadow your light with darkness. And you will miss experiencing the graces of your salvation.

Isaiah 59:7b-10 offers a vivid picture of what false perceptions—thoughts of iniquity that defy God’s truth—will do.

… desolation and destruction are in their highways. 8The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peaceTherefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.10 We grope for the wall like the blind; we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men.

Precious child of God, are you groping in darkness? Do you look for light, only to find yourself experiencing gloom?

False perceptions—deceptive thoughts that oppose God—come from the enemy and have one agenda: to destroy. They rob us of peace. They hide our path. They release darkness where light should be, preventing Christ’s righteousness from overtaking us. They cause us to grope in the dark like the blind. 

That darkness has an astonishing result.

…among those in full vigor we are like dead men.

Behold today’s church, beloved. Many have become like dead men walking. Oppressed by the darkness. Hoping for light yet walking in gloom—and doubting God’s promises. 

1 John 3:14 sums up our problem.

Whoever does not love abides in death.

Death lingers where love is absent, dear one. We can serve God. We can worship every Sunday. We can read the Word and even memorize Scripture. But none of that matters if our hearts don’t run headlong into His. We need to receive and return the love poured out to us. 

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.

We will only operate in the power of our inheritance as God’s children when we see. We must invite Jesus to reveal who He truly is and allow Him to show us who we really are. Darkness has flooded Christ’s church, extinguishing His light. We have traded our joy for despair, our faith for hopelessness, truth for deceptions.

Let’s proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, liberty for captive hearts, and recovery of sight for the blind.

Lord Jesus, help us to see!


Love Bears All Things

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

We all long for love, and we think we understand it. We’ve felt its pull binding our hearts to another and think we know.

We don’t.

Love is so much more than we have understood it to be. Love revealed itself fully in the shape of a cross.

Don’t let familiarity with Easter’s story diminish its impact, beloved. Invite God to open your heart to a fresh reality, a new depth of understanding.

Love obediently surrendered Himself to a cup He didn’t want. Love endured pounding fists and baseless accusations. Love remained silent while mocking soldiers pounded a crown of jagged thorns deep into His brow. Love felt strips of leather and bone tearing flesh from His back, life and strength diminishing with each crimson spatter. Then Love stumbled in the street under the weight of a wooden cross.

A cross that wasn’t His. A cross that belonged to you and me.

How could Jesus do it? Why would He want to?

Scripture answers that question for us. He did it for the joyset before Him.

… Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:2

You are that joy, dear one. His love for you compelled Him. He saw the weight of sin breaking you, hiding the untapped potential within your soul and stealing your life. And He created a way to release you from it.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24

His wounds have healed you, beloved. They brought death to sin, conquered its power, and released His righteousness in its place. 

Love did that for you, child of God. Because,

Love bears all things.1 Corinthians 13:7

God has captivated my heart with the meaning of that scripture. The Greek word bearsin that verse is stego. It means to cover, as a roof covers a house. 

Take a moment to contemplate that picture. The love of Christ has created a new dwelling pace for you. It conceals, covers, and protects from exposure to harmful elements. It offers you a place of safety, a shelter from the harsh realities of this world.

But it only becomes that shelter to us if we enter it. 

Have you entered into the love of Jesus, dear one?

I only ask because I almost didn’t. I believed in a Name, but I hadn’t opened my heart. And professing Jesus as Lord while withholding your heart doesn’t save. It simply stacks a religious weight on the load you already bear. And that burden will rob you of the very joy that the cross set before you.

Grace is found through death and resurrection. The old passes away, and a new nature rises in its place. But that resurrection only becomes possible one way. We must open our hearts to love. 

You see, our broken, hard hearts keep love out, and God IS love. Our self-protective walls reject the very answer our souls long for. If we withhold our love from Jesus, we deny the healing His cross bought us. And we will miss the blessings of resurrection life.

But if we will open our hearts to Jesus and let His love become ours—if we will offer Him our broken hearts to mend—a miracle occurs. We come alive in His love! And from that place of freedom, we become a shelter for others.

Ann Voskamp describes it this way. 

“Real love is a roof. Real love makes you into a shelter, real love makes you into a safe place. Real love makes you safe.”

(Voskamp, Ann. The Way of Abundance. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 2018. Print. p. 98)

Have you entered into Christ’s love, beloved? 

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

We cannot say we have entered into love when we keep fortifying the walls around our hearts to keep people out. Only a real encounter with Love (Jesus) will free us from the fear of loving others.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18

When we boldly enter into the shelter of Christ’s love, we become an extension of it. We become a safe place for others to run to in a storm. Freed from fear, our love becomes a roof over another.

So very different from the wolves of this world who bite and devour. 

Choose love, beloved. Trust Jesus to open and fill your heart.

And you will live!

Save Now, Jesus!

And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”Mark 11:9-10

We come alive in pivotal moments. Our souls sense the rise of a changing tide and are quick to submit to its power. We love the significance of feeling a shift in the atmosphere, and something in us longs to participate.

That changing tide caught the crowd on the first Palm Sunday. The people could feel something in the air. Prophesies promised centuries ago were breaking through to fulfillment in their generation. 

And they couldn’t hold back their excitement. The crowds encircled Jesus, their voices crying out praise. “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Hosanna. Save now!

The people believed their hearts were ready to receive their Messiah. They spread their cloaks on the road and waved palm branches they had cut from the fields in honor of their King. They declared themselves ready for rescue, to leave the oppressive shackles of the Roman Empire and see their own promised Kingdom established.

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

Their hearts cried out for Jesus to save them. What they didn’t understand at the time—what we still struggle to understand in our day—is that true salvation requires surrender.

The people wanted Jesus to save them, but they wanted it on their terms. They wanted to define what it would look like. And it when it didn’t look like what they expected, they turned on Him.

Less than a week later, the rising tide caught the crowd again. Only this time, it turned their hearts against the One they had declared their saving King.

And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.Mark 15:12-15 

Beloved, how does your heart respond when Jesus doesn’t save the way you thought He would? When His answer looks different than your heart’s cry?

Does your heart stay true, trusting the One who declares He works ALL THINGS for your good? Or do your circumstances dictate whether Jesus becomes your Savior or your enemy?

Trusting Jesus means trusting Him fully. 

If we don’t get that up front, we’ll find ourselves rejecting Him. His ways won’t look like we expect them too. At times darkness will seem to overshadow His light. And that’s when you and I will need to choose, dear one. 

Will we allow ourselves to be caught again by the rising tide of fear that discredits Him? Or will we surrender all that we are to trust His love?

We aren’t ready for rescue if we’re the one telling Jesus what it should look like. In that scenario, we’ve invited Jesus to submit to us as lord—and that removes Him from His position as powerful Savior.

Oh, dear one. Salvation comes through surrender.Salvation comes when we trust Jesus to be Lord over us. When we trust Him to do what He must. Because He knows best.

Jesus IS love, beloved. It’s not what He does. It’s who He is.

And He cannot operate outside of love. He will always choose what’s best, even if it’s what’s hardest.

Like He chose the cross. 

The people thought they needed new government. Save now, Jesus!

What they really needed were new hearts. Hearts that wouldn’t harden over disappointment. Hearts that wouldn’t reject the very help held out to save them. Hearts that could love with heavenly love.

So, Jesus made the hard choice. He risked everything to save their fickle hearts—to save our fickle hearts. He risked being misunderstood. Risked rejection. Risked being hated. 

Because Jesus is love. And He always gives what’s best.

To receive His best for you requires surrender, dear one. It requires softening your hardened heart and opening it to trust. To trust His Way. To trust His Truth.

Only then will you experience His Life.