Saturday, February 6, 2016

Faith in Action

Matthew 8:5-13
"When we had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion replied, "Lord I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment."
Back in the New Testament days, a Centurion would never dare be near Jesus unless he was slandering or arresting him, but there was something different about this Roman soldier. He was not afraid of the potential punishment his government could inflict upon him and boldly he came before the son of the most high God. There are three things I learned from the faith of this man. First, the centurion took a step of faith and came to Jesus (verse 5). He came with a constant expectation that Jesus would heal his servant and prove himself to be exactly who He said He was. The centurion laid himself bare before the Lord and completely placed all of his burdens at the feet of Jesus. “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Secondly, the centurion recognizes that he is a sinner (verse 8). He did not waver in the fact that he was unworthy and undeserving of God’s grace and love, however, he believed that Jesus would freely pour out his grace upon him, regardless of the sins he had committed. Finally, the Centurion recognizes that Jesus is under the authority of God (verse 9). Many people believed that Jesus was simply a good teacher or a prophet, but very few called him the Son of God, and even fewer called him the Son of God before he had performed a miracle. He didn’t come to Jesus saying, “show me your power and I’ll believe you,” he came saying, “I believe you, now show me your power.” So how do I come to Jesus? Do I come to him with an eager expectation that he will heal and restore? Or do I come to him with a wavering hope, doubting that he is actually able to help me? If we truly are children of God, our faith should be manifested in our actions and words.

Application: Today, I will use these three steps as a guide to my prayer life. I will first, come before the Lord holding nothing back, acknowledge that I am a sinner, and lastly, recognize the authority of Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

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