For most people, faith is like a long- atrophied muscle. It lies dormant, and on account of its weakness is not used at all, or very rarely used to very limited extent. But our faith is not something we should ignore. It is something we should feed and something we should practice because faith is the key to the kingdom of God.
Faith is what allows us to enter His kingdom to start with. As Romans 3 says, “…righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe,” and as Ephesians notes, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” In fact, no one can even approach God apart from faith, for the Word says, “…without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
Faith is the doorway to God and the path to His kingdom. Faith is the means by which we live the abundant life, and the means by which we acquire all the eternal things God means to for us to have. Faith is the means by which we glorify God, and the one thing God seeks for us have more than anything else. As Peter would later testify to the struggling and persecuted churches, “These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
To that end Jesus always started making disciples by encouraging their faith. If He found some faith already there, He would fan it into flame by healing or a miracle work. He did this with the woman who was subject to bleeding, “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment,” and He did this with the one leper who came back to say thanks, “Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.””
If He did not find faith already in the people He came across, He would speak the truth of God (the Word of God) so that it might birth faith in those who heard, for “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”
We must do likewise. Exercise our faith in being fully obedient to Word and Spirit – as Jesus was – and speak the truth of the Word of God to those who do not yet have faith – as Jesus did. In these ways we find our own faith growing to the praise, glory and honor of our Lord, and to the very great joy of our own souls! Amen.
It is of the first and last importance that we should search ourselves whether we be in the faith, and whether, being in the faith, our graces are growing, our faith increasing, and our love deepening.Charles Spurgeon
How do you know when your faith is deepening? How can you cooperate with God in stretching it?