Summary: Faith does not wish, hope, or desire--faith believes & receives, because we know Christ personally.

A Matter of Faith

Mark 9:23

Faith does not wish, hope, or desire--faith believes & receives, because we know Christ personally.

Some Christians fear they are the only believers who wrestle with doubts. Consequently they build façades of spiritual confidence, but feel like fakes. Fortunately, God understands such frustration and has provided for us in the midst of our doubts, by revealing himself to us

We need the complete picture of God

Six blind men approached an elephant. Each man put out his hand to touch some part of the elephant’s anatomy and thought he had grasped the whole.

To one the elephant was like a tree,

to another like a wall,

to a third like a fan,

to a fourth like a snake,

to a fifth like a spear, and

to a sixth like a rope--

Depending on whether they had touched his leg, his side, his ear, his trunk, his tusk, or his tail.

The poem in which this fable is contained concludes that all of them were right, though each of them was wrong.

It takes a synthesis of all aspects of God and His creation to get a complete picture of Him--and none of us is so gifted as to be able to comprehend this, though we make some progress as we open our hearts and minds to the various facets of truth we encounter on our heavenward journey.

If we believe, we will receive, because we know Christ personally.

Mark 9:23 KJV

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Those who believed and received, because of their faith

1. The woman with the 12 year ailment who touched Jesus hem.

2. The 10 Lepers that where healed by Jesus

3. Heals Peter’s mother-in-law (at Capernaum)

4. Heals a paralyzed man (at Capernaum)

5. Heals an immobile man at the pool of Bethesda

6. Heals a man having a withered hand (at Capernaum)

7. Heals the servant of the centurion (near Capernaum)

Jesus touches us many ways

It is said that the Eastern shepherd, as he brings his sheep back to the fold each night, stands at the door and counts each one. As he does so, he puts his hand on the head of each animal. He makes a habit of touching each one of them. If he were to grow careless and neglect to habitually touch his sheep, it would soon turn its head away when it heard his voice! This, of course, could be very serious, for with such a broken habit would follow the animal’s actually ignoring the warning shout from the shepherd and subsequently could be disastrous for the sheep.

If we are experiencing the Shepherd’s touch daily in our lives, then we will recognize His voice when He warns of impending danger.

This will mean "practicing His presence" daily.

It we do not practice His presence then we have probably been practicing the presence of our enemy.

Our Lord awaits the moment to "touch" our day with His presence.

Sometime we need a second touch

Never looking up

Sheep get lost by nibbling away at the grass and never looking up. The same can be said for us. We can focus so much on what is immediately before us that we fail to see life in larger perspective.

Mark 8:22-25 KJV

22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him.

23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.

24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.

25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.

Sometimes we, like the blind man, need a second touch by Jesus in order to see things from his perspective.

When C. S. Lewis lost his wife he recorded notes of his emotional pain. These notes eventually became a book that gives a very honest look at grief. In the middle of his hurt he wrote a very penetrating statement: "I need Christ, not something that resembles him." In the midst of grief, and every other aspect of life, we can’t afford anything less than Christ.

A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis, 1961, p. 51

Three voices

If we listen carefully to those around us, we will learn to distinguish three voices, or influences, which direct the thinking, attitudes and actions of us all. We can hear them at our work, in our homes, and in the quietness of our moments alone.

Fear (the first voice) disguises itself as "being safe," as "practical," "conservative," "cautious," or "reasonable." Look for the motive behind the disguise. Fear is a demanding master, never able to be satisfied. It disdains any voice but its own.

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