Thursday, March 4, 2010

Faiths Persistence

Hey everybody, I know its been awhile, but I've been writing in my notebook instead of this blog. I wanted to share some of the things the Lords been showing me about Faith. James 2:18b "I will show you my faith by my works". The fact that someone is living by faith can be seen through their works. Mt 15:21-28 is the story of Canaanite woman who came to Jesus looking for help for a demon possessed daughter but Jesus answered her not a word (verse 23). Notice the object of this woman's faith was Jesus as it should be for all who follow Christ. How often do we come to Jesus in prayer in our time of need it seems that Jesus dosn't answer or even hear us. Also notice the reaction of His disciples to the woman's request, Jesus send her away for she cries out after us. This woman had a choice at this point. Walk away shamed and unfulfilled or persist until her request was granted. She chose the later. When Jesus finally answers her He tells her that He was not sent to her (a gentile) but to the house of Israel (Jews). How many people never get a hold of Jesus due to their race or their past. They may have thoughts like this - "Jesus is not answering me because I'm black or poor. Or maybe I've gone to far in my life, I've sinned to much etc. etc.. Throughout the gospels we see people, Jews and gentiles alike, who pressed pass these type issues in their life and layed hold of Jesus and received their miracle. Prostitutes, adulterers, the blind, etc. were the ones who showed greater faith than the religious of the day. Persistence can be defined as perseverance or continuation despite the shame that this would bring. In other words getting a hold of something despite shame. She came and worshipped Him after Jesus spoke these words to her. She didn't quit or go back to her problem. She pressed in to Jesus. She pressed through the shame of being a Gentile, of Jesus not answering her a word, and of the rejection of her request by Jesus and His disciples. On a side note, how many people have quit living by faith because of what Jesus disciples have done to them. You were once on fire but someone hurt you in church. In verse 27 this woman answers Jesus by saying "Yes Lord but even the little dogs get the crumbs from the masters table". Jesus had told her that he couldn't give His bread to the dogs. How insulting this must have been for this woman. Her response to this insulting words was not to get mad or quit but she agreed with Jesus and identified herself as a dog. This speaks to me of humility. To press through the obstacles of shame and insults we must humble ourself. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up. How many of us would have stayed humble through this whole process. Jesus finally answers her with these words (28) "Oh woman great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed in that very hour. Wow!! Today I hope you would judge your faith today. Or you being persistence in your seeking of Jesus or have you quit and just going through the religious motions. Without Faith it's impossible to please God. How pleasing must this woman's faith been to God. She didn't let anything else become her object of faith but kept her faith in Jesus until her request was granted.