Given by Pierre
Romans 12.2,3 says, “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
Faith is essential in Christianity. We read about it all through the Bible. Hebrews 11.6 says, “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” Wow! This faith is important stuff! Anything a person does, in attempting to be Christian, means absolutely nothing, if he lacks faith. For without faith, he has no hope—no possibility of pleasing God. Yikes!
In the first passage I read in Romans, we see that God has given each of us… faith. We also read in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight.” We not only please God with our faith, but we actually live by it! So, what exactly is faith? The dictionary definition is: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
[Connect to God – As Christians we have complete trust and confidence on God and in His Son Jesus.]
Hebrews 11.1 and 3 says, “1 Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it…. 3 It is by faith we understand that the whole world was made by God’s command so what we see was made by something that cannot be seen.
Now, what did Jesus have to say about faith? In the gospels, we read the story of Jesus and the disciples sailing across Sea of Galilee when a sudden storm alarms the disciples who, fearful of drowning, awaken Jesus for help. Jesus rebukes them by saying, “O ye of little faith.” (Matthew 8.26) and calms the sea. Despite demonstrating His power over the natural world by physical healing and the demonic world by exorcism, the disciples did not fully realize who Jesus was and therefore showed their lack of faith… right in front of Jesus! I mean, he said, “O ye!” to them! We all know that ye means you, but Jesus said ye! That must have been important.
Anyway, after a quick search, I found at least six places in the Bible where Jesus says these same words, “You of little faith.” He said it in Matthew 14.31 when Peter walked on water out to Jesus, but he started to sink when he realized what he was doing. And again in 16.8 when the disciples did not have enough bread to feed the multitudes of people who came to see Jesus speak. “O ye of little faith.” I can just imagine him if here with us in the present day, he’d be saying, “ Yo dude! Bro! Maaaate! Any Ozies in here? Wake up and smell the coffee! I’m the bomb man! You need to trust that I am who I am and that I can do all things!”
And there’s one more I’d like to share with you. In Matthew 17.15~20 a man comes to Jesus with his son who had been greatly suffering from seizures. He tells Jesus that his disciples were not able to heal him. (Matt 17.17~20) You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Wow! All we need is faith as small as a mustard seed. You know how small that is? I mean, mustard is, like, smooth. But the point is that even a little faith in God is powerful. And I think that we all need to think about this very deeply. The Bible is full of stories about how faith in God allows miracles to happen. Don’t we want those miracles in our lives? In Matthew 13:58, Matthew says, “And he (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”
Whoa! I’d hate for that to happen to us. We all need God’s mercy and grace in one way or another. We have pastor Andrew, who’s currently in the hospital who needs God’s covering. We’ve got big things, and we’ve got small things that seem like big things to us. But in order to get through these things and to have God with us, guiding us, comforting us, working in and through us, and hearing our prayers, we need faith!
We obey Christ – in prayer, in works etc – because we have faith that he is fully trustworthy and that He, as the Son of God, has the power and authority to do all things.
Jesus sent the disciples out on a missionary journey and they in faith for who Jesus is , they obeyed and great things happened.
– Jesus told Peter to throw his fishing net over the other side of the boat. In faith for who Jesus is, he obeyed and caught so many fish the nets began to break.
– Jesus told the disciples after His resurrection to go and wait in Jerusalem. (It’s interesting that the command was actually to not do anything! – just wait). It would have been tempting for them to try to do things on their own (or to do the runner). But they were told to wait and by faith they obeyed.
By obeying in faith – waiting and praying expectantly – at Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out, the church was birthed and the world was changed. Imagine what would have happened – or what wouldn’t have happened! – if the disciples had not had the faith to obey. But they [the disciples] had faith that Jesus was true to His Word, that He was who He said He was – and that led to action.
And so we see the relationship between faith and actions/deeds.
Today is Pentecost. It’s the day we remember how the Holy Spirit was/is poured out on all who put their faith in Christ.
Today is the Global Day of Prayer. It’s the day we pray in faith to the same God of Pentecost together with millions of believers from all around the world, asking Him to bring healing and salvation to all who call on His name. It is by faith the we ask God to pour out His Spirit in fresh outpourings for our families, our church and our community.