Moore Church of God

Moore Church of God - 701 S Eastern Ave - Sunday 9:30am & 6:00pm; Wednesday 7:00pm

Degrees of Faith

Bro. David Chancellor
2/20/2011 6:00 PM

Mark 4:35-41

And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

This tells of the disciples and Jesus crossing the sea in a storm.  “And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.” They were taking on water.  They were familiar with the sea, and were concerned about the conditions.  Jesus was asleep.  He didn’t have anything to worry about because he was in the hand of God.

Our lives have storms, too.  Jonah slept on a boat in a storm when he should have been awake.  He was running from God in a storm and wasn’t counting on God to see him through.  Think of all the people suffering with him in the storm while he was unaware.  The storm was because of him.  If you’re in the storm without Jesus, your fate is not a good one.

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” We can be like these in our walk with God, having no faith.  Put your faith in God.  He cares and he knows.  He hasn’t left us alone.  We may encounter things that are fearful.  We need the assurance that comes from God.  Assurance in Jesus is necessary for the storms of life.

“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Without faith, you’ll find yourself asking, “God, where are you? Do you care?” in the storms of life.  Before we came to Christ, that’s where we were at.

Storms come to all of us.  God can see us through the storms.  He is our confidence and strength.

Mark 9:14-27

And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

The father brought his son to the disciples first.  They tried, but were unsuccessful.  They had dealt with similar things before.  Jesus came into the situation asking questions.  The father said, “…but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” The father had had a negative experience with the disciples.  Have you ever prayed this way? “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”  This was Jesus’ response.  “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  This is a good follow-up prayer.  The father had some belief or he would never have come.  Ask God to help you believe.  Jesus met the need.  God can inspire faith in us by His Spirit.

God’s conviction is there to draw us to him and give us faith.  This is where faith is born.  We need belief that goes deeper than our minds.  We need God to inspire our faith.

Matthew 8:1-4

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Sometimes we come like this: acknowledging God can do something, but questioning his desire.  God loves us and is compassionate, but we don’t always understand his working and plan.  Ask God to work his will in your life and to help you to understand it.  We want to understand the will of God.  We want our requests to work what God wants.  Sometimes we don’t know what to ask for.  We want God to be glorified.  We want to be able to ask knowing it is within God’s will.

Matthew 15:21-28

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

This woman had to press her request to receive.  The disciples wanted her sent away.  “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Jesus came and spent his earthly ministry with the Jewish people.  His ministry is to all the world, prophecy tells us.  This woman’s position was: “I’m not entitled to it, but I’m going to ask anyway.”

Our society is one of entitlement.  If you meet the requirements, you feel it is owed to you.  When we come to God, we can come as this woman did.  It isn’t owed to us, but we can ask for it and believe he’ll give it to us.  We may not be entitled, but we can ask.  Have enough confidence in who he is to go and ask.  Sometimes, the circumstances may require a “no.”  Still, feel free to ask because you know who God is.  God loves humanity.

This woman demonstrates real faith.  We can be partakers of the grace, mercy and goodness of God.

Mark 5:25-34

And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

This woman’s prayer was this: “If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” Sometimes we come with the thought of just reaching out and touching Jesus.  She had to go past a lot of hindrances.  She succeeded in getting there.  Jesus felt that touch.  Picture it like feeling a static electric shock.  It was a flow of power.  Jesus knew something happened.  He spoke up for her good.

Pray with the thought that if you can reach out and touch God, you can receive the help you need.  Push the hindrances away so that you can touch God.  When you reach out to God, God is reaching back.  Be stirred to reach out and touch God.

Matthew 8:5-13

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

This centurion came to Jesus and said, “Just speak the word.” He didn’t even feel worthy to ask.  Consider his faith. “When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” This is the faith we’d like to have.

See the progress we can make in our souls.  He saw Jesus as the ruler of mankind who could speak the word and take care of it.  Jesus is still in the place where all he has to do is say the word and it’s done.

There are still battles to fight.  This is where we want to be in our faith.  It is possible to grow in faith.

1 John 5:14-15

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

John was there.  Our confidence can be that God will hear us and move on the situation.  The most important thing is to seek God’s face for what you need.  Our faith can grow.

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