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Illustration:Faith in God makes great optimists. Over in Burma, Judson was lying in a foul jail with 32 lbs. of chains on his ankles, his feet bound to a bamboo pole. A fellow prisoner said, "Dr. Judson, what about the prospect of the conversion of the heathen?", with a sneer on his face. His instant reply was, "The prospects are just as bright as the promises of God."
The Presbyterian Advance.
90% of the time people learn how to gain eternal life through the urging of a friend or family member. Seldom do people come to Christ without the aid of otherís advocacy.
When the Jewish elders came to Jesus requesting he come and save the life of a centurionís slave, the Lord saw this as a teaching opportunity for the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Jewish elders said to Jesus, "This centurion loves our nation for he generously built a synagogue for us."
Obviously the centurion was a religious man who had moral principles, but we discover that he possessed greater faith than any Jew than Jesus had ever seen.
When the Centurion saw Jesus he said, "Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus said, "I will go and heal him." The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healedÖ" Jesus said, "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faithÖ Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would!!!" And his servant was healed at that very hour.
Christís Principles of Developing Strong Faith
1. The Lord is approached successfully only with our own sense of unworthiness completely trusting in His power to deliver us from sin, problems and evil forces. The centurionís humility so impressed Jesus that He contrasted this Gentileís faith as greater than that of all Jewish people.
2. As the centurionís concern for his servant led to his healing so the love we show will pave the way for our contacts to personally experience Godís blessings. Ask God to make you a channel of His blessings today.
3. The greater our request the greater must be our faith to trust God for His mighty intercession. William Carey, the father of modern missions once said, "Expect great things from God attempt great things for God." Jesus once told a sick woman, "According to your faith be it done for you."
4. The faith of the centurion impacted the lives of many around him. Anyone whose faith is not contagious probably has weak faith. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) Do not keep your light under a bushel basket.
5. Everyone will experience a time in their life when they need the help of an intercessor like the centurion. Develop a network of close friends who will pray for you and ask God to work on your behalf. Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in their midst." (Matt 16:18)
6. Never doubt Godís ability to accomplish the impossible. God said, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything to difficult for me?" (Jeremiah 32:17)
7. Use the influence of people who are connected to powerful men of God to entreat Jesus on your behalf.
8. Practically show your love for other people in ministering
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