Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Measure of Faith

Scripture: Romans 12 v 3: "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."

This verse speaks of a specific measure or amount of Faith given to every person ever born.  We all get the same measure, whether a cup full or a teaspoon.  So when we look at Faith giants over the millennia since Adam, men like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, the Prophets, the Apostles, and many since then, we need to ask how they grew their faith to be able to do the miracles they performed.

Faith is a muscle.  People who have big muscles train in the gym for hours every day to be able to compete on sports fields and win.  Spiritually it is no different, except the gym looks like a closet and the equipment is the Holy Bible.  Faith grows by hearing the Word of God and being obedient to it.

When Jesus went back to Nazareth He could only heal a few sick folk because they had no faith in Him.  There was no Facebook or Whatsapp to send out the news about Him.  He was just some man who grew up among them.  God needs our faith in Him to heal us, deliver us, save us, anoint us, bless us.  He needs our strong faith to use us to touch the lives of others.

If you are full of doubt and fear because of who is running the country; the decline of confidence in banks; the decay of truth in churches; the increase of plagues, earthquakes, extreme weather, famine, poverty, then your eyes are not on the One who said these things will happen just before His return!  In Job it says, That which you greatly fear shall come upon you.

If you fear heart attacks, cancer, Zika, poverty or whatever calamity or destruction, you are putting faith in the Devil's ability to kill, steal and destroy your life.  The words, Fear Not, are written 365 times in the Bible, one for every day.  Fear destroys faith and causes you to find every alternative to God's Word more appealing than obedience to His will.

About healing: The Word of God says, By His stripes you are healed!  By the 39 agonising lashes that tore the back of Jesus to shreds, we are healed.  He went about Israel and healed every disease, He raised the dead, He set epileptics free, He opened blind eyes, deaf ears and made the dumb to speak plainly. The lepers were healed and the thankful one made whole, that is, he had his nose, ears, fingers, and toes restored!  This same Jesus lives in your heart today and wants to use your body to do the same things He did and even greater things than He did. Put your faith in the Word to receive healing.

If we laid hands on the sick and Jesus healed them, we would not have to do much else to extend the Kingdom of God, they would be running towards it expecting great things.  If you have faith to trust God to do it, He will.  Think of those faith giants of the Old Testament.  When they died they went to a compartment of Hell called Paradise, or Abraham's Bosom, from where Lazarus spoke to the rich man who was in Hell.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus was told by Him, This day I will be with you in Paradise.  I can imagine this repentant thief arriving in Paradise to announce the arrival of the King of Kings!  The excitement in Paradise must have been like Black Friday in the top stores!  Then after Jesus had thoroughly beaten the Devil, this happened......Matthew 27 v 52 - 53: "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

Their faith was honoured and many saw them pass through from Paradise to Heaven where Jesus took them to present them to His Father.  All these had the same measure of faith as we have yet without knowing Jesus and His salvation.  How much easier it is for us to believe!  Do not let sophistication, man's philosophy, or intellectual prowess rob us of the simplicity that is in Christ.  Some may discard salvation through faith as too simple.  Some may say they have no faith but we each get the same measure.

Mark 16 v 17 - 18: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us all an equal opportunity to know You and to make it to Heaven.  Help us grow our faith by hearing and obeying Your Word.  Let us apply what we know to help those who lack, and trust You to work with us to bless them all. In Jesus' name. Amen.