Faith must have Humility!
Matthew 8: 5- 13
Jesus sees the value of faith as paramount over anything else; faith is lifted up as the most important thing we have or do. Yet, all too often, we do not seek faith, but rather, just what we can get. This can and will distort our thinking and direct our actions in the wrong direction. Faith encourages humility and gives us the realization of who we are in Christ. Without humility, we cannot come to the Lord, because we will never admit our need, surrender our will, nor be able to grow in faith. We will not be able to serve others, because we will think them unworthy, just as the people did toward that soldier's servant.
· The more you find God in the midst of your problems, the more your problems will disappear or seem irrelevant (Col. 3:2).
· Obedience and the willingness to go all out in faith and prayer shows persistence and learning! How can you speak and model this to others so they might be inclined to accept the authority of Jesus Christ?
· I am not worthy. The Centurion realized his depravity and the fact that he did not even deserve for Jesus to go to his house (Luke 7:1-10). He did not have only faith, but also humility-rare qualities for a powerful soldier and leader, but, qualities essential for the Christian, and vital for the Christian leader. The Centurion knew that a Jewish leader would not go to his house, but Jesus was willing to anyway. Here is where faith comes in. He probably witnessed, first hand, miracles of Jesus for others, and, with Jesus being there physically, realized Jesus' authority and discipline. He thought that perhaps Jesus could just say the word as a command, as he, as a soldier, commanded others. This was a thought not even considered by Jesus' closest disciples. Later, at His trial, Jesus is flogged (whipped) by Centurions. (Matt. 27:26). Just imagine the compassion Jesus must have had knowing what his "friends and colleagues" would do to Him later! As Christians, we must realize that we, too, are unworthy. That is why grace is so special and faith is so vital to overcoming our sin and depravity. Even though we do not deserve Christ and His grace, we can boldly ask for and have fellowship with Him, with the confidence that He is there listening and working in our best interests all of the time (Romans 8).
· Faith is paramount. It is the most important possession you have and the most important thing you do. Faith is what we take for granted. We assume that all Christians have it, although the Bible says no, not all do have it (Mark 4:40). Some have just a little (Matthew 6:30), while, for others, we do not observe them having great faith, as is so in this passage (vs. 8:10 and Matt. 15:28).
· Faith does not mean we say the word and do nothing. Christ did not do "nothing." He healed the servant. We are still to work while still relying, a synergistic blend, because if we do not, we will think of faith as a vending machine, and never get off our couch and into life, as our Lord demonstrated for us to do.
· God's desire is for all Christians to have and practice great faith! He tells us that faith is to be planted, grown, and cultivated, as one does a seed (Matt. 17:20). So, it is something we are initially given, but it is up to us to make it grow. We cannot sit around, put it under the couch, and expect great things to happen. Faith requires action.
· John tells us that our feelings will lead us astray, but faith will be the foundation to give us victory to be the Christian God wants us to be (1 John 5:1-5).
1. Read Romans 10:17; James 1:1-8; 1 Pet. 1:1-9 and 1 John 5:1-5: How can God's Word also empower Faith onward?
2. What needs to happen in your life to keep your faith real, valuable, practical, and squarely on His solid Rock? What needs to happen in your church?
3. God's desire is for all Christians to have, and use, great faith. What do you need to do to make this more of a reality in your life and in your church?
4. What is in the way of your being fully assured in Christ and His Lordship over your life so you can put your faith, trust, and cares upon Jesus! How can you then teach this to others close to you?
5.Why do you think many preachers never take the time to do real ministry or exercise faith, but just love the pulpit, thereby not following the example that our Lord has given?
6.God responds to faith, not position. How have you seen this so in your spiritual journey and/or that of others?
7. Why is humility an essential quality for the Christian? What happens when we do not have it, or we refuse to acknowledge it?
8.Why, as a Christian, must we realize that we, too, are unworthy? What happens when we refuse to do so?
9.Have you ever taken Faith for granted, assuming that all Christians have it? How do you feel knowing that the Bible says that no, not everyone has it?
10. Why do you think God designed faith so it is up to us to make it grow? Why not just give it to us all in one, big, lump sum?