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Summary: A sermon that shows tht faith must be unconditional , nothing can be held back. That we must surrender all.

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A Faith Not Seen

3/10/05

Matthew 8:5-13

Mt 8:5 And when he was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

Mt 8:6 and saying, Lord, my servant lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

Mt 8:7 And he saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

Mt 8:8 And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

Mt 8:9 For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers: and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Mt 8:10 And 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.

Mt 8:11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven:

Mt 8:12 but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.

Mt 8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; as thou hast believed, [so] be it done unto thee. And the servant was healed in that hour.

How many of us trust our dog? We trust them not to bite us, to guard our homes, and to be our friends. We trust our doctors to give us the correct medicine for what ails us. And the truth is that often times they are only making an educated guess at what is wrong. We seem to have complete faith in their judgment of what is wrong with us. I hate to get a doctor that does not listen to what I have to say but tells me what is wrong. We trust our police officers to enforce the laws and make a safe environment for us to live in and to raise our families in. How shocked we are when we discover that the police officer is human and he makes mistakes maybe he is even the criminal that he is suppose to be protecting us from. How devastated are we when we discover that our doctor is human and makes mistakes. You see we put our trust in humans and animals and often that trust is mistaken. Humans and animals fail to meet our expectations but yet we blindly put our trust in them instead of in Jesus Christ.

I love to cut pictures out of the local newspaper.

In Saturday’s paper, I found a very special one, depicting a high school freshman as she prepares for a track meet. With shoulder length brown hair, she looks like most runners her own age, thin, focused, intent on the race ahead. Undistracted, her face turned downward, she holds one hand at her right ear. In the other, she carries a tiny radio attached to a fanny pack. Nearby her father, Matt McCarthy, speaks into a small transmitter.

Natalie McCarthy, the ordinary looking girl in the picture, sprints both the one hundred and two hundred meter dashes for her Steilacoom High School track team. It is her almost total blindness that makes her most extraordinary.

So, how does she do it? How does she line up with a group of healthy, sighted teens and dash for a finish line she cannot see?

By radio.

Natalie runs with a single earpiece in her right ear. With her father’s voice coming through the tiny transmitter, she hears the course corrections he gives her from the sidelines. With nothing more than trust, and her father’s verbal directions, Natalie runs at full speed toward a goal she cannot see, with competitors she can only hear, over obstacles she can only imagine.

Hers is a perfect picture of our race with Christ. For us, the Holy Spirit directs our race. We face challenges we cannot see. We race for a goal we can only imagine. Though we don’t hear our coach through a radio earpiece, the Lord promises over and over that he will guide us in our race for the finish line. He will direct us. We will hear our Heavenly Father’s voice. We must trust, as blindly as Natalie does, the whispering in our spiritual ears. We must trust and respond. Change course. Run the race. Your Father is whispering in your ear.

Proverbs 3: 5-8

The centurion had this type of faith. Jesus the Son of God marveled at the faith of this Gentile who had not the advantage of the Old Testament to show him the path to God. This centurion understood what the Jews did not understand and that was you can say have faith, you can think about having faith but until you submitted to its’ authority in your life you can never live by it. Just what was different about the centurion’s faith than what most of the Jews were doing?

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