JOURNEY OF FAITH
Definition of Faith: Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrew 11:1)
Faith can never be without action [James 2:22], Faith and actions works together, without action faith is considered to be dead. Where there is faith there is grace. Grace follows the faith. The grace of God operates where there is faith, sometimes we use to say that we are saved neither because of our good work nor because of our merit, we are saved because of the grace of God. We need to have the faith to be saved or we need to have the faith to please God. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” [Hebrew 11:6].
Let’s dig out scripture:
[St. Matthew 9:20-29] “A woman who has been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch the cloak of Jesus, I will be healed. “Jesus turned and saw her, “Take heart, daughter,“ He said, “Your faith has healed you”. And the woman was healed from that moment. Because of the woman’s faith in action, grace of God operates through her life.
[St. Luke 18:35-41] “Two blind men were following Jesus when He was passing by, they called Him out, and “Have mercy on us, Son of David”. When Jesus has gone indoor, the blind men came to Him and He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?“ They replied, yes Lord. Then He has touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”. And their sight was restored. They had the faith and they went to Him. Grace operates because of the faith with action………….
[St. Luke 7:1-9] There was Roman Army Officer, had a servant very valued to his master, was sick and about to die. The master (the Army Officer) heard of Jesus and sent some elders to Jesus asking Him to come and heal the servant. When the elders came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with Him. So, Jesus went with them. When Jesus was not far from the house, the master sent his friends to say to Jesus, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I don’t deserve to have you come under my roof. Just say the word and my servant will be healed. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and he said, I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel. And the servant was healed. Here again we can see Grace operates because of faith……
[Daniel 3:1-30] During the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (605BC-536BC) in Babylon, Daniel and his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) were taken as captive to Babylon. They held prominent positions within the Babylonians government because of their wisdom, knowledge and discipline. They worshipped only the Living God. During that time king Nebuchadnezzar made an image of god, and a decree has been issued that anyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music must fall down and worships the image of god. Now the conversation between king with these three men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as follows: King Nebuchadnezzar said-“if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you don’t worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied:”O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown in the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand king. But even if He does not, we want you to know king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”…….see the heights of Faith that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had.
Finally they were been thrown into the blazing furnace, the furnace was been heated seven time hotter than usual. But king Nebuchadnezzar saw something different in the furnace, he said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the forth looks like a son of the gods. “And then he shouted,”Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here! Then king Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants…….....
Grace operates because of the Faith in action. What is pasted in our mind that finally becomes our faith….thought comes like seed in our mind; and the more and more we nurture the thought it takes the form of faith, fully grown and strong idea or conviction: Faith defines the mental status of a human being. Faith is not a one time achievement, it is life long process….one has to grow daily through the walk of faith. No one can claim that now I have 100% faith, it has reached the peak point. No, never……. We even don’t know how much faith we do have. Sometimes we do assume that we have high level of faith, but that comes to prove when it has been tested. Only God can measure the level of our faith.
Let us again explore what the scripture says: Luke 22:32-34, John 13:36-38 says, I believe God likes them who are bold, prompt and those who accept challenges without any delay. Peter was one the disciple who seems to be very bold, active and challenging. Once Jesus was predicting his death and the trials He is going to face, immediately Peter replied to Him, “Lord where are you going? Where you are going, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. “Jesus replied to Him, Simon (Peter), I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail. I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! You can’t follow me because of your estimated faith, because you think you have high faith and for which even you can lay down your life for me………but you can’t stand with your faith…. And that has really happened what Jesus has said about Peter’s faith; Peter was having the faith but failed to show it in action at that time. When Jesus was been arrested and was going through the trials, Peter was following Him but unable to stand with Jesus, he confessed three times that he doesn’t know Jesus at all. But latter on Peter was able to stand for his faith through action, he died for Jesus.
Faith is what we think, but faith with action is what we think and (respond) do accordingly. We are not going to judge by our faith only; we are going to judge by our work or actions.
[1 Peter 1:17] Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially.
[Romans 2:5,6] When God’s righteous judgement will be revealed, God will give to each person according to what he has done.
[James 2:17] Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, are dead.
The Lord said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you: I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; “So Abraham left, as the Lord has told him”. That may not sound so great sacrifice because God has already announced His promise to Abraham and His promise was greater than the sacrifice Abraham has made. Still without any doubt Abraham followed. [Genesis 12:1-4]
Obeying God without getting any promise…Walking the Way of Faith without receiving any Promise. There comes the real test. Genesis 22:1-18, this time Lord has asked Abraham to do something without any promise to test his faith…..Now this is remarkable!
One day Lord has said to Abraham, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love and go the mountain side, Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering. So early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey, he took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. After going a certain distance Abraham asked his servants to stay there, he took his son so that both of them can go to the place Lord has asked and worships the Lord. As the two of them went together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father, the fire and wood are here, “Where is the lamb for the burnt offering? “Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son. “When both of them reached the place, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him from heaven and said, “Don’t lay a hand on the boy, don’t do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son. The angel of the Lord then blessed Abraham with the promise, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless thee and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the sea-shore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies. And through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me, says the Lord”. Who can give his one and only son as a sacrifice to God without any reason, God has tested the faith of Abraham and Abraham stood firm through his action. That’s why he has been known as the father of faith. Abundance Grace from the Lord has flowed through the life of Abraham……………..
Many times it happens that we like to receive the promise at the beginning of our faith journey, before getting the promise we feel very insecure and difficult to walk the way of faith. We need the assurance and God’s promise so that we can walk confidently and comfortably without any fear. But the Word of God says, Fear not, for “I will be with you always even to the end of the world”. Let us cling on this promise of God that in every situation or in every trial, God is always with us.
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LIGHT OF LIFE
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