Sunday, February 27, 2011

That “In Spite Of” Faith

Gracious Father, I come before your magnificent power and glory, always in submission before your Holy Spirit, and grateful for all that you have done and will continue to do in my life.  I thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed; those seen and unseen.  I thank you for waking me up this morning, with my organs functioning and my bones intact.  I thank you for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a tongue to give you praise.  Now Father, in my thanks, I come also petitioning blessing on others.  I pray a blessing on all who will read this message.  I pray oh God that I be your vessel to speak what thus saith you into their hearts.  I pray of God that they will take your word and apply to their life, and also share it with others.  Father, if there is anything that we have done that has not been pleasing to you, we pray in the name of Jesus that you forgive us for it.  We give you all honor and glory in the precious name of your son Jesus.  Amen!

I believe there are different levels and different types of faith.  For example, the scripture states that we were all given a measure (level) of faith; (Rom 12:3) which I believe indicates a portion just enough for us to make the choice to believe or not to believe.  The scripture states that Stephen was full (level) of faith to the point he was able to do wonders and signs among the people.  (Acts 6:8)  His measure of faith as described as “full” allowed him to tap into the mysteries of God.  Then you have faith that are weak (type) as described in Romans 14:1, and strong (type) faith as described in Romans 4:20.  I believe I am on the right track here.  What do you think?  With that being said, I also believe there is that “in spite of” faith.  Of course it can be attributed to a faith that is strong, firm, or unwavering, but I like the ring to it.  She has that “in spite of” faith!  That man of God has that “in spite of” faith!  I like it don’t you? 

When I say a person have that “in spite of” faith, I am saying  that no matter what the circumstance, no matter the trial, no matter how things look, they will still remain faithful.  If they lost their job, no worries God will open a new opportunity.  If they are about to lose their home, it is ok, God will make a way.  They have that “in spite of” faith.  Take a look at another example of that type of faith.  When Jesus was captured, beaten, and sentenced to be crucified, there were two criminals with him.  The bible reads “There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death.  And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.  And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God."  The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself."  And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us."  But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?"And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong."  then he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."  And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  (Lu 23:32-43)

What an awesome display of faith.  The criminal sees a man who is known as Jesus.  The criminal heard of this man healing the sick, making the blind see, dumb speak, and raising the dead.  This man has been saying he and the Father are one.  Now he is in the same predicament as the criminal.  He is battered, bruised and nailed to the cross just like him.  The rulers mocked this man.  The soldiers mocked this man.  Even the other criminal mocked him.  And in spite what he sees with his natural eye, what he have heard about this man is believable, and he does not care what his eye sees, his spirit tells him different.  He then says to this man “"Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."

The bible does not indicate if the criminal saw firsthand the works of Jesus.  Nor does it indicate any prior history between the two of them.  However, this criminal’s display of faith has proven scripture to be true.  Faith indeed comes by hearing.  If we can display that same type of faith, in spite of the circumstances, in spite how things make look now, we too can partake of the wonderful blessings.  Jesus said to the criminal, “assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  That was for the criminal.  What will be for you?  Amen.

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