Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2002

Subject: Are You in the Wheelbarrow?

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

Another book that made a great impact on me as a college student…and has stayed with me down through the years is Billy Graham’s book Peace with God.

I can still remember reading this book one afternoon in the house where I rented a room and understanding for the first time the meaning of saving faith and what it means to “believe on the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 16:31).

I had wondered about this, as we learn in James:  “Do you…think it’s enough just to believe…in God?  Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror!” (James 2: 19)  Over and over, James emphasizes that “faith that does not result in good deed is useless.? (v. 20) and that “we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” (v. 24)

In summary, it IS faith that saves us…but the faith that saves is the faith that shows itself in actions.  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:  8 – 9)

But as far as an “operational” or “real world” definition as to what this kind of faith would be….I found in the following short story from Billy Graham’s book:

The section is entitled:  “An Example of Faith”

“I head about a man some years ago who was rolling a wheelbarrow back and forth across Niagara River on a tightrope.  Thousands of people were shouting him on.  He put a two-hundred-pound sack of dirt in the wheelbarrow and rolled it over, and then he rolled it back.  Then he turned to the crowd and said, ‘How many of you believe that I can roll a man across?’

Everyone shouted!  One man in the front row was very excited in his professed belief.  The man pointed to this excited professor and said, ‘You’re next!’

You couldn’t see that man for dust!  He actually didn’t believe it.  He said he believed it, he thought he believed it…but he was not willing to get in the wheelbarrow.

Just so with Christ.  There are many people who say they believe on Him, who say they will follow Him.  But they never have gotten into the wheelbarrow.  They actually never have committed and surrendered themselves wholly, one hundred percent to Christ.”

I hope this story clears things up for you…it did for me.   As we begin this new year, there is no better time to reevaluate one’s commitment…and to make sure you are “in the wheelbarrow.”

Writing from the other side of the River,

With love,