Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.

Romans 9:32 (NIV)

The Jews believed that if they followed the law they would be righteous. However, the law required that the entire law be followed, which is impossible. They also believed that their diligent study of Scripture would bring them life, yet they rejected Jesus when he appeared (cf. John 5:39). This is the stone they stumbled over. The hubris they had, was believing that they were worthy when no one is worthy. Yet, faith in Christ and the humility that comes from knowing that you cannot live up to God’s standards without his grace and mercy is the difference between works and faith. We can do nothing on our own.

What does a life of faith look like?

I used to think that a life of faith looked perfect. There were no flaws, and everything in that person’s life went well. After all, if God is for us, then who can be against us? If we are listening to and following God, don’t we have the victory? In everything we do? Yet, when I think about the faithful life and what it looks like. I’m reminded of this verse from Proverbs.

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)

As in Peter’s question to Jesus about the number of times he should forgive someone: “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” and the Lord’s response, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times,” the number of times the righteous person will encounter trouble and fall is relatively countless (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV). When I think of falling down, I think of bruises, aches, and pain. I think of being covered in dirt.

I don’t see the faithful life as being scrubbed and clean, like a brand new car. What did Jesus say about those religious leaders who claimed to follow God yet did not follow him in their hearts?

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”

Matthew 23:27 (NIV)

Inside of every Believer, we have been made clean by the Holy Spirit, yet outside, our lives might look messier than before we knew the Lord. I’m reminded today that, when I look in the mirror of my life, to see with the eyes of the Spirit the Lord has given me and not those of the flesh which miss so much. Indeed, my prayer to the Lord is to open my eyes to see as he would have me see, open my ears to hear what he is saying to me, and move my heart so that it moves with his.

This is what a life of faith looks like. It may be dirty and messy on the outside, but the inside is radiant with the love of Christ.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be free from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.