Faith · The Journey

The Journey Readings: Week 147… and… a picture of great faith…

Read Luke 7:1-10

Luke tells the story of a centurion with great faith…
faith which caused Jesus to marvel…
I tell you… I have not found such great faith… even in Israel…

This story makes me wonder…
Do those born and raised in church… lose the wonder… of faith…?

Israel… God’s chosen people… were exposed to Him… the telling of His wonders all their lives… generation upon generation… yet among those church-people… Jesus found none of great faith…

The centurion… a Gentile… came to know God and His people later in life… for he would have been raised to believe pagan gods… the gods of Rome… Caesar…

Yet this Gentile centurion… had greater faith than God’s people…

Somewhere in his life… the centurion saw the one true God through His people… they were the only ones talking about Him… serving Him… living life His Way… so among the Jews… the Gentile saw truth… he turned from paganism to Judaism…

The Jewish elders called the centurion worthy… he built their synagogue… their church house… the communal center for the Jews…

The centurion clearly loved God’s people… and God…
in Jesus he saw Him too…

In humility… the centurion would not go directly to Jesus… he asked Jewish elders to speak to Him on his behalf…

In humility… he would not allow Jesus to come to his house… he was not worthy…

The centurion understood authority… he believed… trusted… Jesus’s authority to heal disease… He didn’t need to be present… He didn’t need to lay on hands… all He had to do was speak… and He would be obeyed…

In humility… the centurion trusted… believed… saw Jesus’s authority over illness and death…

The centurion’s humble faith… belief… trust… in Jesus… caused Jesus to marvel… wonder… Not even in Israel… have I found such faith…

Sometimes… I think growing up in church… fetters faith… He becomes commonplace… instead of a wonder which humbles… bringing people to their knees…

Those who convert later… pagans who turn from worldly idols… to the true and living God… have powerful faith… often beyond those brought up in faith…

Paul saw it in the Thessalonians…

For we know, brothers, loved by God, that he has chosen you,
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power
and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind
of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became
imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word
in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you
became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you
in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth
everywhere, so that we need not say anything.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-8 ESV

Jesus sees the commonplace faith too…

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the beginning of God’s creation.
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm,
and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. …'”
Revelation 3:14-16 ESV
Lukewarm faith… Jesus can’t stand it… it makes Him sick… the original Greek literally means… vomit… not spit…
There is a danger in commonplace faith…
Jesus says He’d rather see cold faith than lukewarm…
There’s no confusing cold with anything near hot…
what’s lukewarm can be deceiving…
Hot faith… great faith… is what Jesus desires in His people…
Maybe we all need to go through a turning… a re-turning… at some point… maybe even over and over… to keep us in a place of wonder… to fuel the fire of humble faith… to serve… trust… believe… Him who Was… and Is… and Is To Come…
Is your faith great…? or lukewarm…?
Ask Him today… to stir afresh… a fire of faith…
No matter how long… since our conversion…
we need a returning to… a reminder of… the greatness of our God…
in order to maintain… great… faith…
This week’s readings…
Monday              Luke10:21 – 11:23
Tuesday              Luke 11:24 – 12:12
Wednesday         Luke 12:13-59
Thursday            Luke 13
Friday                 Luke 14
[Just a note… only eight weeks left in The Journey of three years through the Bible…]

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