Jesus Was Emphatic About Belief

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I heard a clear word from the Lord after he asked me the question “Do you believe that I can do this?” The Lord’s prompting was simple: Read the 4 Gospels slowly and stop each time the themes of faith, belief and unbelief came up.   Keep a journal and write about each of these stopping points.  Seemed easy enough, so I got started.

According to Mark, one of Jesus’ first words in his ministry were “believe in the gospel”? (Mark 1:15)  Based on the teachings of Jesus, it appears our primary role is to believe.  It is amazing to observe the weight Jesus allowed belief to play in different people’s lives and even his own life.  Think about the two blind men in Matt 9, “… two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’  28When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’  ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied.   29 Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you’; 30 and their sight was restored.”

Did you see that? “Do you BELIEVE I am….”. “According to your FAITH…”. These guys believed! And that belief changed EVERYTHING. We who have not seen with our physical eyes cannot even imagine…  Somewhere along the way we have bought into a lie about activity – that it’s somehow all about “Hard Work and Clean Living”, yesiree, all we gotta do is punch our sin in the neck a few times and once we get it to behave, we can go to God and show him our work and He will give us a cookie. NOT how it works! In God’s economy, belief is the currency and the “hard work” has already been done. Jesus allows that belief to dictate the outcome of our lives. That is threatening to our pace of living at breakneck speeds, frantically working on our own to manage our lives. But these verses and others like it tell us it’s true.  The primary question is not “What can I do to take care of this situation?” but instead, “Do I believe? Really? You know you want to…but do you?”

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I need your help. During Advent take a look at these stories about belief and give me your feedback. I would especially love to hear about your own journey and struggle with believing God and acting on your belief.

1 reply on “Jesus Was Emphatic About Belief”

Since we receive from God through faith, how do we get faith in the first place? The answer seems to be that it must be received as a gift … it really is not of our own effort (in fact our own efforts apart from Jesus can bring us into a more anxious state of fear); faith comes as a response to the knowledge that we are loved by and provided for by Jesus. With faith comes rest. The first time that I read the word “faith” in the New Testament is in Mathew 7:26 … when Jesus was asleep in a boat during a storm, and his disciples woke him up with a statement of ” we are perishing”; Jesus asked, “why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” and then spoke first to the unseen (wind) and then the seen (waves) circumstances, brining a state of great calm … there is hope for us here because these afraid men are like us, and they are the apostles of our faith. Jesus is always with us, and it is through His faith that we receive a restful state of peace as a gift; we are able to speak to the unseen and seen circumstances in our life, and experience rest even before we see the calming of the storm. May the peace of Christ be with us as our faith grows throughout this Christmas season!

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