Thursday, December 19, 2013
Did you know that hearing the word of God is not enough? Did you know that the magnitude of your faith is determined not by what you hear, but by how you act upon that which you have heard? I like to believe that the majority of people who will read this have confidence in not just God, but in His word as well. The question I pose: Do we place our trust upon it? In and upon are two completely different actions that yield two completely different results. Placing something "within" something else will result in that thing being contained or enclosed: limited. While placing something "upon" something else indicates positioning. Upon is a position reached by going up. Building your trust upon the word of God establishes His word as our foundation and the sky as the limit to which we can travel with it. Building our faith upon the word of God enables us to go higher in God to be with God. It may sound a little odd for me to say that you limit your faith by placing it in the word alone, but that's what I believe. Placing your faith in the word alone limits your capacity to understand God's ability and your ability to witness God's capability. By its very definition, faith is the substance of things hoped for and the and the evidence of things not seen ...........but how many of us can say that we have faith enough to believe that God not only can, but will, even when His word seems to suggest otherwise? In the 15th chapter of Matthew (verses 21-28), the Syro-phoenician woman comes to Jesus on behalf of her demon possessed daughter. She pleads with Jesus to have mercy on her and then she TOO tells Jesus what’s wrong. But something very interesting happens; He ignores her. In this time, it was improper for a woman to directly address a man and yet here this woman is INITIATING the conversation. Only to be answered by Jesus and told that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel. Again she pleaded for Him to help her yet Jesus replied “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Can I tell you that this woman was better than me? Cause I would have went all kinds of Queen Latifah on Jesus. “Who you calling a ????? ” For the inference made was that she being a Gentile was like a puppy to the children of Israel…. when I read this I thought, How much are WE (Christians) like Christ in this way? Do we not fix our mouths to tell people who NEED Jesus that they aren’t who He is coming for……… I mean, that IS what He said isn’t it? We seem to rest our faith in His word at the most convenient times Did you know that sometimes the audacity with which you hope is what makes your faith visible to God? While many would suggest (and I believe) that there is a divine order of operations, the Bible gives us many examples of grace being accessed in any instance where humility, faith and mercy (from God) abound. Humility when added to faith increases it exponentially (raises it to an nth power) and as a consequence evokes mercy, which is why God gives us grace. Each time Jesus spoke of great faith in the Bible, His words were preceded by an act of great humility. In the book of Matthew we find two separate instances of Gentiles who sought out Jesus on behalf of someone close to them. In each instance Jesus is moved by their faith, which is evidenced in their humility….. but in this instance it was the unmitigated gall of this woman that made Jesus take notice. Well this woman, a woman whom Jesus himself said had GREAT FAITH chose to ACTIVATE her faith. Kneeling at his feet she told Him, she TOLD Jesus, that is WAS right to throw the children’s bread to the dogs for “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Notice how he didn’t ask her was it right, yet she told Him that it was. She placed her faith UPON His words and THAT is what moved Jesus to grant her request. What is faith? The substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen……….What is faith? Belief that the God you recognize as Lord will recognize you as one of His own simply because you believe………What is faith? Belief that while you are NOT worthy to speak to Him that He will yet hear you and respond when you cry out to Him…….What is faith? Belief that all it takes is His word to fix the situation no matter what it is……What you ask is faith? Forsaking All I Trust Him Faith cannot exist where there is fear. Humility can not exist where there is pride. Often times we confuse audacity with arrogance or pride. Audacity is but fearless daring. His grace and mercy is abounds if we would only humble ourselves to receive it……….