Monday, November 2, 2009
A Man of Simple Faith
Monday’s with Marv #3
November 2, 2009
Pumped! That is how I would describe Marv at this evening’s bible study. He was up on a soapbox and having his say. (LOL) I was writing down his quotes as fast as I could, because they are “so Marv”.
Our message on Sunday began a new series, and the topic happened to be about the origin of the bible, historical facts, a video clip of a contemporary cynic reporter wondering why the virgin birth was not mentioned in all four gospels, etc. Probability and reasoning were discussed, eyewitness accountability, basically – lots of prodding and poking into the bible, and the basis for Christian faith. Of course this teaching fits into the mission of our church “…to reach a community that is lost without Him.”
Marv doesn’t get the need for Sunday’s message. “Why does one need to prod and pick the bible a part?” Marv asked. He stated that, “the bible doesn’t need to be defended – just believe it.”
“I know that Jesus Christ has put this book in front of me to get me ready for what’s going to happen. I can’t say that I am not excited – maybe I will get to help build the next Jerusalem...but I don’t think there will be concrete in heaven.”
Don’t you just love his conviction? This is one of the reasons I love Marv so much. Carol started reading a book called “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. She said it is amazing…I have dibs to read it, but likely I won’t get a chance until all my Christmas gift making is done. The author pulls scripture from the bible and expands upon it. If anyone has questions about what heaven will be like – “Heaven” is being highly recommended.
From what Carol has read so far, one of Marv’s favorite paragraphs in the book discusses these Words from 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, verses 13-18:
13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words.
Truly, I do wish I had had a tape recorder at our study this evening. I felt like we could just play it all back at Marv’s funeral and he would just be telling it to his family and friends like it is, like he is.
“Believe simply and don’t let anyone confuse you. The Spirit either convicts you to believe, or not.”
Personally, after spending an hour with Marv, all I can say is "thank God for simple faith." He is right. We don’t need to poke and prod and pick apart the bible. It needs to be read, and in context, I might add. I don’t have too many peeves, but taking one verse from the bible construing it for our own purpose and justification is one. We need to remember that the Bible was not written to us, but meant for us. Most of all, we need to remember it is a letter of love, from the heavenly Father to you and me. We don't need to have all the answers to receive God's grace, the ransom for our sins has already been paid for on the cross.
All who believe are “on their way”. Carol and Marv, Jesse and I – we’re going to hold fast to our simple faith. We know that we will all one day share in the heavenly Kingdom. Our simple faith is simply summarized in my very favorite of scripture, Hebrews 11:1 - “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”