Faith Firmly Based on Reason.
If your worship is to be "acceptable to God," it must be "a sacred service with your power of reason.". In other words, you must worship God "in a way that is worthy of thinking beings."
-Romans 12:1 (The Jerusalem Bible) So faith described in the Bible is not something blind and irrational. And it is not credulity. It is something you have thought through carefully -resulting in trust in God and his Word, which is firmly based on reason.
It is not a sign of disrespect to examine what you believe so as to "prove to yourself' that your thinking is in harmony with God's Word. (Romans 12:2) The Bible encourages us to "test the inspired expressions to see whether they originate with God."- 1 John 4:1. When we take time to test out what we believe with what the Bible says we make our faith stronger, we are reminding ourselves what God word says. Then we are able to "make defense before everyone that demands of you a reason for the hope in you." - 1 Peter 3:15
Yes, our mental faculties must play a key role in our worship. Jesus wanted his disciples to meditate on his teaching, often he would ask them: "What do you think?" (Matthew 17:25; 18:12; 21:28; 22:42) Early Christian evangelizers helped others build faith. They "reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving by references" the things taught. (Acts 17: 1-3) A number of people in Beroea "received the word (of God) with greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so." -Acts 17:11.The Beroeans were eager to listen to God's word, however they did not blindly assume that what they heard was correct, but they referred back to the Scriptures. The Christian missionary Luke, commended the Beroeans for this, calling them "noble-minded".
Firm Foundation For Faith.The man of God must "keep holding the pattern of healthful words... with the faith and love that are in connection with Christ Jesus." -2 Tim 1:13. For faith to be real and alive, it must be founded on a deep love for the Bible and the God of the Bible, Jehovah, and for his Son , Jesus Christ.
It is the Scriptures, which include the sayings of Jesus Christ, that build a firm foundation for faith. True faith will endure test and bitter trial, persecutions, and the materialistic advances and philosophies of a godless society.
"This is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith." -1 John 5:4
In order to gain and hold on to faith, we need to appreciate the inspired Scriptures as God's incomparable gift to mankind, full of spiritual treasures whose depth of wisdom is unfathomable and whose power for enlightening and stimulating to righteousness exceeds that of all other books ever written. As we dig to gain knowledge of God's Word, we will agree with the apostle Paul:
"O the depth of God's riches and wisdom and knowledge!"- Romans 11:33
Sunset at San Elijo Beach