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There are many ways to say it: asking Jesus into your heart, giving your life to Christ, putting your 'all' on the altar, walking in the light, keeping your eyes on Jesus, making a decision for Christ, living by faith, accepting God's gift of salvation, becoming a Christian, growing in grace, staying in the Spirit, etc.

But one term covers it all: faith in God. If you believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God, everything else will just naturally flow from this tiny source.

The word faithful comes from being full of faith. People are faithful to all sorts of things: their spouses, their jobs, their churches, their hobbies. They do it because they are full of faith in those things.

And faith in God will result in faithfulness to God. Jesus said that the tiniest little speck of faith will grow (if it's the genuine article) into something powerful enough to move mountains. (Matthew 17:20)

So when we argue against the teachings of Jesus because they are too difficult... when we become impatient or depressed by circumstances... when we fail to love others with the love of Jesus, we are doing so because we have lost faith in God.

Faith in God is not a static doctrinal statement; nor is it an emotional experience. It's incredibly simple. You just act as though God is real and as though he is interested in you personally. As you do this, moment by moment, you build a lifetime relationship with Him.

Each time you find yourself behaving in the unchristian ways mentioned above (i.e. in the paragraph in bold type), you are behaving as an atheist. Because, in fact, you are an atheist. It only happens when you forget about God and act as though he is not real.

A very sobering thought. And one that religious people find hardest to face (because all their talk about God convinces them that they could never be guilty of not believing in his existence). And this inability to face up to just how far away from the truth they have strayed is why religious people are often the most hardened atheists.

Are you religious? Or do you have a dynamic faith in a loving, all-powerful God... a faith that evidences itself in the way you live and love every day?

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