Tag Archives: michael casey

The Grace of Faith

I’ve been working through my favorite author’s latest work, and recently read a chapter entitled “The Grace of Faith”. It is so rich and insightful and wonderful, that I want to share some of it with you for our Hebrews 11 reflection on faith. Actually, I’d love to share the whole awesome chapter with you, but that’d be a bit much for an email I guess. Therefore, I’ll keep it to a couple paragraphs.

Our having received the gift of faith should not lead us to complacency. We who practice religion should not consider ourselves untouched by the secular skepticism that surrounds us. Our faith, perhaps without knowing it, is not absolute. More often than not our understanding of it is qualified, partial, and undeveloped, and so our assent is incomplete. For example, we will often find ourselves buttressing our presentation of religion by appealing to its visible benefits; its works of compassion and education, its ethical and moral guidance, its role in personal well-being. So eloquent are we in religion’s defense that we may convince even ourselves that its principal value is to be found in these collateral benefits. And meanwhile we become forgetful of the “supernatural” basis of all our faith and practice.

It is possible to admire Jesus as a great teacher of wisdom and as a model of genuine humanity and, with great sincerity of heart, to become his enthusiastic followers by purely rational or historical grounds—just as some may become followers of Socrates, the Buddha, or Karl Marx. Such an adherence is not what Christian discipleship is about. Christianity is more than an identification with an admired leader; it is not merely a philosophy or a code of conduct. Authentic Christianity sees itself as a participation in the life of God through immersion in the mystery of the Word become flesh. At the heart of our adherence to Christ is a truth that surpasses human understanding, one that even we, who accept the truth, cannot fully explain. The gift of faith takes us beyond the known world into a sphere of being that transcends the power of rational thought. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).


December 28 / Proverbs 28 / John 21

Proverbs 28:26

Those who trust in themselves are foolish, but those who walk in wisdom will be kept safe.

What I believe is of the utmost importance in these days of our insanely noisy culture of distraction from what is truly important, are encounters with God in solitude, quiet, and listening.  It is in this place of meditative silence that the many voices competing for our attention are finally able to be turned down. This does not come at once, but with practice.

How can we hear someone except to be quiet and listen for two seconds? The same goes with listening to God. How can we hear Him unless we quiet ourselves and the voices around us so as to actually hear Him who is always speaking to us?

God is spirit, and must be worshipped and communicated with in spirit and in truth.

We don’t expect to see God with our bodily eyes-simply because we can sense only what is spatio-temporally limited. We can’t see God by some sort of intellectual vision, because cognition depends on a sensory infrastructure which cannot contain divinity. It is only at the level of spirit that God is visible. For us to see God we have to leave behind the world of sense, enter the region of unknowing and allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide.”If we have known Christ Jesus according to the flesh, then we know him thus no longer” (2 Corinthians 5:16).

-from Toward God by Michael Casey

This has absolutely, unequivocally been my experience.

John 21:21-22

“Master, what about him?”

“…what’s that got to do with you? Follow me!”

Yet another distraction from where our hearts should be. When you find yourself wondering if mega-churches are on the right path or if other denominations have the correct doctrine and practices, imagine Jesus Himself asking you, “What’s that got to do with you following Me?”

I’ve noticed this Christmas season, for whatever reason, that we humans have quite an intense affinity for talking about others and their shortcomings. Why? Well, when we’re discussing that topic, the pressure is off of us, isn’t it? We don’t have to think or talk about our own shortcomings or areas of needed growth. Unless of course we have no need for growth. Then I guess we can talk about people all day long…

But seriously, what if we, as Christ followers, made an agreement with ourselves that we will not speak negatively of others, at all. If nothing else, we will remain silent, not giving in to fueling the fires of gossip. I’ve tried this a couple times this week, and it went well, tho feeling slightly awkward at first-just not responding at all-but the convo stopped. It had nowhere to go due to the cut-off of supply line.

If nothing else, before responding, imagine Jesus asking you, “What does that have to do with you following Me?”