Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Seeking Faith In Others
"I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
The Gentile soldier asks Jesus for a healing, and Jesus agrees. Then the soldier says that he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his house, but that he can speak there, and it would happen. Jesus was amazed at the man’s faith—at placing himself in the one-down position and in seeing the Father’s power through Jesus as unlimited by space. And so Jesus offers this man forgiveness and healing—salvation—because of his faith.
He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great..."
This woman was also a Gentile, and so not worthy to receive the power of the Spirit (Matthew 7:6). But she humiliated herself and persisted in asking, even though Jesus decided to dissuade her. Jesus declared that she had faith, which proved that she was not a “dog” at all, but a child of God. And so she was saved by her faith.
Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"... And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!" And Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well."
A blind man was desperate to see Jesus. Although many shushed him and told him to shut up, he persisted in pursuing Jesus. When Jesus asked him what he wanted, the man went to the heart of the matter, without thinking that the Father’s power through Jesus is limited. Jesus declared this person saved through faith.
"Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
At all times, we are to be persistent in our prayer. We can’t give up, just because we haven’t seen justice happen yet. If we continue to have faith in God, continue to ask, continue to seek him daily, then we will gain what we ask. And Jesus calls this persistence “faith”. And yet he wonders if anyone will be around at the end to display such faith.
"Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him."
God has promised us great things. He has promised us justice; he has promised us peace. He has promised us acceptance; he has promised us a new world in which to live in. Some of these promises he has granted us, some he has not. But if we continue in assurance of what he has promised, then we will gain them. We will face difficulties and sometimes it will look as if God has not granted us any of his promises. Nevertheless, we must remain and God will deliver us into his kingdom.
Romans 1:16-17/Mark 16:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH."
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved."
It is the gospel of Jesus that faith is what saves—faith is what makes one acceptable to God. Not this ceremony or that, not this action or that. But faith alone. Therefore, anyone who lives in faith is accepted by God and will gain God’s kingdom. While those who do not have faith will not.
George Mueller was an Austrian who decided to give the gospel to those in England. He found that he had to wait before God to gain any and all of his needs. If he needed something, he didn’t call his supporters or church members—he prayed to the Father and asked Him to grant it. And George was rarely disappointed. His faith made all things open to him.
To find out more about George Mueller, click here.
Living It Out
What is faith?
• Trusting in God through Jesus that he will keep his promises
• Not limiting God with human perceptions
• Placing oneself as lowly before Jesus
• Enduring in God through rejection, shame and suffering
• Persistence in asking, although you have not yet received
• Repenting from sin
• Accepting those whom God accepts
• Assisting and praying for those who reject you
Recognize that anyone who has this kind of faith is righteous—even if they have other things wrong. Like Jesus, we should seek out such souls, recognize them as God's children and help them in all things with all our resources.