107 truths about God, the world, and you.
A book of short devotionals based on the Westminster Shorter Catechism (1646-1647).
He has made from one blood every nation of men to live on the entire face of the earth, having appointed fixed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek the Lord so perhaps they might reach for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
Acts 17:26 MEV
We are created beings set in predetermined times and places by our Creator for the express purpose of seeking, reaching out to, and finding God. However, our limited existence and definite point of entry into history make us ignorant of all other times and places. Most of us live out our lives oblivious to what was before and disconnected from the reality of the life and happenings after we depart.
Understanding and knowing there is an eternal God – One who longs for us to reach out to Him and find Him – makes us cognizant of those who lived before us and those who will come after. This is what I experienced after God captured my heart. I began seeking Him earnestly not only in my life but also in other eras and places through those who wrote about Him. With children of my own, I became genuinely concerned about the importance of future generations knowing the truth.
I was intrigued and amazed when I discovered The Westminster Shorter Catechism (WSC). It was written in the 1600’s as a basic primer on Christian discipleship to teach the truth of who God is and who we are before Him. A detailed explanation of the shorter catechism was published in the mid-1700’s “by James Fisher and other ministers of the gospel.” In my self-focused ignorance, I thought: You mean way back then, they had these great teachings on theology? on God? on what it means to be His?
Reading through The Westminster Shorter Catechism and its explanation, I found at its heart a desire to clearly teach new Believers, and those who would come after, the Christian faith – its truths and ways. The catechism was an intentional effort to ground newcomers in the faith with clear reasons and the biblical foundation of Christianity’s beliefs. It was an answer to what I remember longing for early in my walk with God. I wanted to know with certainty what I believed and why.
The discovery of this teaching gave me a clear understanding of the responsibility Believers have in their own time to not only learn from those who came before but to equip those coming after them with the truth they need to live as faithful disciples of Jesus.
The Heart of the Christian Faith is my working through the 107 questions and answers in The Westminster Shorter Catechism and its explanation as a resource for those following Jesus today. I prayerfully condensed the extensive work of the catechism and James Fisher to short devotionals reflecting the heart of each truth explained. It began as an inspiration to share them with my family via text. I then enlisted a very gracious Presbyterian minister to review my short works for accuracy, and a trustworthy sister in Christ to share her thoughts with me regarding the truth, worth, and readability of the brief devotionals offered here.
My heart for these truths is for Believers to know clearly and concisely what it means to believe. Truth doesn’t change. It is eternal. It is the same for us today as it was for the very first generation of mankind and remains unchanged for however many generations follow. I’m aware some grew up in churches where they were required to memorize the catechism as part of their religious training, and they may cringe at the subject matter, but I hope even they will have a taste before turning up their noses and leaving it unread.
It may be obvious by now I didn’t grow up in a church tradition. I came to Christ as an adult and by the time I discovered the catechism I had some spiritual maturity but historical ignorance, thus the wonder of finding something so old, a connection to those before who knew Jesus way back when. My hope is for every reader to approach these writings with a fresh hunger for God and a heart to know His truth.
My prayer is for you to come to know and love our eternal God, to seek Him in your world, in eras past through the writings of faithful men and women, plus gain a heart for equipping those who will come after.
By His grace and for His glory,
Carol B Weaver
an ordinary Christian following an Extraordinary God.