Monday, September 29, 2014

"Faith, Faith, And More Faith!"

"Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" Matthew 8:10 

But He said to them, "Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?" Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26

And behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you." Matthew 9:2

Then Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour. Matthew 9:22

Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." Matthew 9:29

And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31
As I was reading and praying through Matthew this morning I noticed something about what Jesus said to people about their faith. By the time I had gotten to chapter 14 I had noticed that He used words like "great faith" in reference to the centurion soldier. He used "your faith" to the woman with the issue of blood and the blind men. 'Their faith' is referenced when He moved on behalf of the paralytic. But, and this, at least for me, is a big BUT; on two separate occasions He used the words "little faith" and on both occasions they were said to His disciples!

Jesus said, 'great faith' in reference to the guy who understood that the person with the highest rank has all the authority. He speaks and underlings jump into action! He understood that all Jesus had to do was speak and healing would obey!

He acknowledged different people's personal faith like the woman, the blind men, and the friends of the paralytic as they put action to their faith that He was the only One to meet their needs.

But, and again, I think its a big BUT, His disciples got 'little faith' because of doubt and fear.

Jesus asked the blind men something before He healed them. He asked, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" When they responded, with "Yes, Lord." He said, "According to your faith let it be to you."  It is a question that we all as believers have to answer. Do we believe that He is able?  The disciples got 'little' as the adjective to describe their faith because they allowed doubt and fear to cause them to forget what He had said would take place. Do we as His disciple believe that He is able to perform His word in our lives? Do we believe when He says, "Come," we can, even if it means we walk on water to do it.

I find the statement, "According to your faith let it be to you" to be very profound in this moment. Will He describe my faith as "Great Faith, Faith, or Little Faith." I find it interesting that in the parable of the sower He ended with, "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some a hundred. Mark 4:20 The parable of the sower is about who will allow the seed, His word to have its place to grow - thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold. Faith is about believing That He Will And Can Do What He Has Said He Will! Thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold return based on the place we let His word have in our lives. Little faith, faith, and great faith all based on the place His word is given in our lives. Do we believe He is able and will do what He has promised?

In Romans 12:3 we are told that 'God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.' We all have a seed a faith, a word of promise that says He is who He says He is. If we give it good ground to grow it will produce fruit! Jesus told us that faith the size of a mustard seed, will reap  its desired result. Little faith will be enough to wake Jesus to calm the storm. Little faith will be enough to cry out to Jesus when we sink. Faith will be enough to cause us to pursue Him and to receive all our needs. Great faith will always declare Him and His word to be the one and only authority!

I don't know about you but I find it a great comfort to know that even though His disciples got "little faith" here in their time of training they gave their "seed of faith" a place to grow and therefore reaped occasions such a this, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." Acts 3:6 where they too planted faith in the hearts of men!

One other thing I noticed: Jesus always responded to any measure of faith so, isn't it a good thing that we all have a little mustard in us?

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