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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

How much is our usefulness to God dependent on our own faith and spiritual sensitivity? How about the God sized breakthroughs? When Jesus went back home and into the familiar synagogue, there was very little faith present. As a result, Jesus did very few miracles there.

To this same group of people he makes the point, “There were many widows, yet Elijah was not sent to any of them; but to a widow in Zarephath” and “Many in Israel had leprosy, yet not one of them was cleansed, only Naaman”.

I believe much is on us to position ourselves as a proven faithful servant. God used this story this morning, as the never ending “follow me”, to draw me to himself. He is a gracious God.

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It is Right to Ask

I love the story of Hezekiah. The intimidating Assyrian army is just outside their gates because Hezekiah had decided to no longer give in to their demands. I love what it says Hezekiah did. “He went into the temple of the Lord.” And the coolest thing . . . the Lord heard him and helped him.

This army had a history of obliterating those they went up against. And on that basis Hezekiah could have crumbled and given in to their demands. He could have reasoned that it would be better to muddle through life than to risk not having life. He could have wondered why the Lord would help him when He had not helped so many others.

I wonder sometimes when I pray, why I expect to be helped when there are so many who have it so much worse. Whether I am praying for myself, my family or someone else, I wonder. It is tempting to give in to the demands of life.

Instead, I make the same decision that Hezekiah made. I go into the temple of the Lord. I believe it is right to ask for what is right rather than to accept what is wrong. I believe the Lord gave us this story of Hezekiah to show us that He is in favor of us asking for what is right.

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Prayer

Your praying creates a vein through which the grace, help and love of God can flow.

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Back to Work

I stumbled across an analogy a few years ago that helped me in the area of faith. It all started with the question the disciples asked Jesus when they had been caught red handed at not being able to heal the boy who had seizures. Their question, “Why couldn’t we heal him”, struck me. It became my question.

It’s funny how if you just stay with something, instead of sweeping under the rug, as the disciples had tried to do, hoping Jesus wouldn’t find out; that Jesus must enjoy our searching. It really is like looking for jewels. They’re not just laying out in the open; you have to dig for them. And if you stay with it, every now and then you will find one.

So, this is the jewel I found. Jesus told them if they had faith even the size of a mustard seed, they could move mountains. And it hit me. Jesus’ faith is like a dozer. He can move a pile of dirt pretty quick. Mine on the other hand is like a shovel. I can move the same pile of dirt; it’s just that it will take me longer. Faith believes that if you stay with it, it will be moved. Not that it might be moved, but that it will be moved.

It was the perfect analogy for me. Being a builder, I have had plenty of opportunity to move dirt with both equipment and the old shovel and wheelbarrow method. Little by little, if you stay with it, the latter will get the job done.

It is important when we invest our time and energy in physical labor that we see progress—evidence that our labor is paying off. The same is true, it think, in the area of spiritual labor. We’re bad about praying for something a couple of times and then quitting if it doesn’t happen. But to see evidence of progress; that is enough to confirm you are on the right track.

A few years ago I took to task, praying for a girl who had seizures. After months of praying from time to time, and maybe even a couple of years now that I think about it, the only evidence I saw was when her mom said the seizures had become less frequent and less severe.

Two or three years have passed and the mom just mentioned in a comment, that the seizures were still, “less frequent and less severe”. Funny that pile of dirt is just where I left it. When I laid my shovel down, it quit getting smaller.

So this morning, I am picking it back up again. As with any pile of dirt, it is not a matter of trying to move it—hoping you can move it—hoping it will eventually be moved. It is a simple matter. Stay with it, shovel by shovel, wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow, and eventually it will be moved.

I believe it.

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