Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Greater Faith

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Luke 7, 8; Psalm 134, 135

Luke 7:1-10 (NIV)

1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 There a Centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The Centurion heard of Jesus and sent tome elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with Him. “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the Centurion sent friends to say to Him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Good morning!

This is an amazing example of great faith! The whole story is surprising, from start to finish. Here, we have a Roman army officer, a Gentile, who was not raised in Jewish faith and tradition. Roman soldiers were despised by the Jews because of their brutality, and the Romans seemingly hated Jewish people and their culture. But this man was different. He not only treated the Jews with respect, he even helped build their synagogue.

The centurion may not have been raised to know The Great I Am; and yet, he knew a lot about how faith works. He was placed in a position of utmost respect and power. The Centurion trusted that when he gave a command, it would be carried out. He didn’t have to second guess whether his troops would obey. The centurion did not have to follow in behind to make sure the job was done right. He trusted his team, as they trusted in his visionary leadership.

So when the Centurion heard about Jesus, he somehow knew deep down in his spirit that this man is a leader he could trust completely. Somehow, God revealed himself to a pagan, who seemingly possessed a greater faith than anyone else in Israel. What will it take for you to possess a greater faith?

The Apostle Paul says that Faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ. The Centurion was convinced that Jesus Christ is God’s living Word and he trusted Him enough to know Jesus would heal his dying servant. With one holy Word, he believed the command would immediately be carried out. The centurion understood that faith comes by hearing the living Word. Do you hear the Living Word speaking to your heart today?

Greater faith comes when we place our complete confidence in Jesus Christ. We get into trouble trying to rewrite His Word to suit our limited human understanding. We question God’s authority over our lives. We even blow the Lord off in a time of anger and rebellion, shaking our tiny little fists and saying, “It just can’t be true.” If you have a beating heart inside your body, you have the capacity to choose whether to take God at His Word and trust Him completely, or to reject Him forever.

Will you let go of your fears, your questions and doubts, and cling to the Word He speaks? Do you believe Jesus Christ has the power to save you today?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO

Pray for: a greater faith! Ask the Lord to give you the faith of the Roman Centurion. If you ask the Lord to save you, He will do it. Do you trust Him enough to receive it? If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV).


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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