Faith In Action

Now we probably already know that faith is the substance of confidence, not in ourselves but in the Lord. Who gives us the ability to walk in faith. When we talk about walking, moving, or going in faith, we are discussing faith in the sense that it is a vehicle. Something that facilitates us to move. Thus, our most holy faith provides us with a vehicle to live and move to operate and have our being as God guides and directs us along the path of life. Life takes faith. 

Turning to the book of Hebrews and the hall of faith found in chapter 11 we discover that: By faith, Enoch was taken (Hebrews 11:5), By faith Noah, when warned…built (Hebrews 11:7), By faith Abe, when called…obeyed (Hebrews 11:8), By faith the walls of Jericho fell (Hebrews 11:30) Hebrews 11:32-33~ And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through FAITH conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised. (NIV)

Moreover, we read in Hebrews 11:6~And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (NIV) Do you remember the day that the Holy Father called you, drawing you into faith, encouraging you to get into a new life, to cast off the old and to do so by placing faith in Jesus. (John 6:44) God said let’s journey through life and faith, together. Ephesians 2:8-9~For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV) 

We must walk by faith, and that faith is placed in God’s only begotten son, Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:7) We live by faith, and that faith is in Jesus who justifies us. (Hebrews 10:38) We survive the most difficult situations and trying circumstance of life by faith. And the object of our faith is Jesus. Ephesians 6:16~In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one. (ESV)

Faith is a very humble and innocent quality, which is perhaps why we associate it with childlikeness. Jesus’ disciples were concerned with who was greatest, who was closest, or the most important. Christ Jesus responds to their debate by taking a small child to His side and saying that the least among them was the greatest. This picture reveals childlike faith looks outside itself for salvation. Salvation is a gift; people do not pay for or contribute to his salvation—it is entirely of God. Romans 5:1~Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV) 

Today, take time to refocus your faith in Jesus. Ma’am maw is great, but our faith is not in her for salvation, healing, and eternal life. No, our faith is to be in Christ alone who is our hope of glory. As you refocus, God is going to share things that need to be adjusted or let go of. Just let God lead you and give-up what He asks of you. This is for your good and He will bless you with what you have need of. I bet He will even put a song in your heart to help you throughout the day. Just give yourself over to Him.

Abundant Grace

In chapter 17, Jesus gave His disciples a glimpse of His glory and coming kingdom through the Transfiguration and foretelling His death and resurrection. As chapter 18 opens, Matthew records the phrase “At that time,” which probably means at this stage of Jesus’ ministry, the disciples have a question. So, they get together and approach Him with the question: Who is… Matthew 18:1~At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (ESV) That’s a great question, right? Doesn’t everyone want to be great? The economics of greatness in Heaven’s kingdom has at least three requirements.

Today, let’s look at Being Great’s Refusal (18:2-14) As Jesus answers the disciples’ question of what true greatness is. We begin by what we must not be, if our goal is greatness, and that is a stumbling block. Jesus calls over a small child and says in Matthew 18:2~And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, (ESV) Matthew 18:3~Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (ESV) Yes, we get to be selfish and make life all about us, whoo-hoo! No, and Jesus is saying to them, that the way they look at greatness is all wrong. The disciples think greatness is about position, power and the accolades that ensue. But they are obviously wrong and so, Jesus explains Matthew 18:4~Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (ESV) 

Therefore greatness requires childlike faith, and our Lord is teaching us and all of His disciples to welcome children into His kingdom. Saying in Matthew 18:5~Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me (ESV). Thus, Jesus is referring both to children and adults who demonstrate a childlike faith. So what does the phrase, childlike faith really mean? It is not a phrase found in scripture, but neither is trinity or rapture. To learn about faith, we need a good Biblical working definition and that is found in Hebrews 11:1~Now faith is the substance (ὑπόστασις hypostasis) of things hoped for, the evidence (ἔλεγχος elegchos) of things not seen. (KJV) (ὑπόστασις hypostasis) is also rendered as confidence, assurance, reality. While (ἔλεγχος elegchos) is evidence, conviction, and certainty. 

Where in your faith, do you have the substance of confidence and assurance? This is the place that we need to cultivate our belief and trust in Jesus. We will know that we are growing in our faith by the evidence, conviction and certainty we gain as we grow closer to the Lord. So again, what area of life do you have the most confidence in Jesus? If you are not certain take time to analyze your faith today, pray and ask God to help reveal this to you, and also ask Him to help you cultivate a richer and stronger faith in Him. 

All the change we need

Today, we commit to doing our part. (Matthew 17:22-27) Jesus now tells His disciples He’ll soon be delivered, Matthew 17:22~Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, (ESV) Matthew 17:23~and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up. And they were exceedingly sorrowful. (ESV) Here in the middle of the Gospel Jesus is sharing the order of events coming because He doesn’t want this to take them by surprise. He wants them to know He is in control; however, the disciples are deeply distressed. They understand He will die, but resurrection? 

That must have been hard for the disciples to believe. Returning to His operational home base for the last time, prior to His death, Jesus and the disciples arrive at Capernaum. There it must have been April 15th because the temple tax collectors ask Pete if his Teacher pays the tax. Exodus 30:13~Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the LORD. (This payment is half a shekel, based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs. (NLT) Every male between 20 and 50 had to pay the two days’ wages of an average laborer, to help maintain the temple. Well, Pete says of course. 

Matthew 17:25b-26~And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” (ESV) Therefore, Jesus is technically exempt from taxes His Father imposed. Matthew 17:27~Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.” (ESV) 

I know some of you are thinking about going fishing for a big payday. Psalm 24:1~The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (NLT) You belong to God. You, your life, your family, and all that you have, belongs to God. He gave you everything. It is important to understand this, for even though Jesus supplies the money, Pete still has to go and get it. This is a wonderful example of how God supplies all of our needs, but we must be willing to do our part. (Philippians 4:19) 

As you reflect on the week and the 21-Days, what has God empowered you for? If our deep desire is to utilize Jesus’ power, we must Comprehend Jesus is all we need, Connect with His power through faith, and Commit to doing our part. Let me encourage you to keep growing in the Lord. Philippians 1:6~For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (NASB) May the Lord bless and keep you.