Sandra Kennedy has learned that the key to faith lies in how people answer one question, "Does God lie?"
Even though they will say God doesn't lie, if they act as though they believe that he does and that he can't be trusted, they will miss out on living a life of faith, said the Rev. Kennedy, the pastor of Whole Life Ministries and the author of Your Robe of Righteousness.
She will hold a book signing from 10 a.m. to noon today at the ministries' bookstore, 2621 Washington Road. The book, published by Charlotte, N.C.-based LifeBridge Books, is drawn from sermons she preached about a year and a half ago. The book, Dr. Kennedy's third, has a foreword by international Bible teacher Marilyn Hickey.
If the church looks less than glorious, it is because the people in it doubt their righteousness before God, Dr. Kennedy said. They doubt that God has forgiven them. They don't feel saved. They think God's provision is inadequate or nonexistent. They think he is silent in the face of their circumstances. But Jesus already has done all he's going to do - his work is finished, she said.
"Too often, we accuse others and even point our spiritual artillery toward heaven itself to account for why things aren't working in our lives, but the blame rests with us!" she wrote in her book.
Just knowing what to do or not do is insufficient, she argues. Instead, people need to take the Scriptures to heart. God offers salvation, forgiveness, healing, deliverance and prosperity through his word, but people have to choose to accept it, the pastor said.
"Most of us stay in doubt and unbelief simply because we stay on the problem," she said. "If you talk the problem all the time, you are going to have 'faith' in the problem."
Circumstances can seem overwhelming, but God doesn't change in the midst of them, she said.
"A headache to God is no different than cancer. I mean, he doesn't get up in heaven and say 'Oh, my God, this is really hard. They've got cancer. I don't know about that,"' she said. "God doesn't go there. He is just the healer."
Faith comes as a gift, but it needs to be nurtured. Dr. Kennedy said it helps build her faith to study how men and women of faith acted in the Bible, to recall the times God has acted on her behalf and to remind herself that the Bible says God doesn't lie.
In accepting salvation, "we must lay down our grave clothes and put on robes of righteousness - (thereby) making a choice to begin our journey upward to victory with God!" she wrote.
For more information, call 737-4530 or visit the church's Web site, www.wholelife.org.
Reach Virginia Norton at 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.