Summary: Faith does little good if it does not show to others
Faith that Shows
Series: Focused on Faith
January 20, 2013
During the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father's voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can't see you!"
The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, "But I can see you. Jump!" The boy jumped, because he trusted his father. The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known.
Faith is one of the foundational aspects of Christianity. Faith in Christ separates us from every other religion on the face of the planet. Faith is the belief that Christ not only died to save us and was raised from the dead. Faith believes that Christ is still at work in the lives of people today. Faith believes that Jesus can and does move on behalf of people who trust in Him.
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. It is so sure and certain, a man could stake his life on it a thousand times – Martin Luther
Think about faith that shows itself to others:
* Shadrach, Meshach and Obednigo believed they would be delivered from the fiery furnace
* Joshua believed that the walls of Jericho would fall
* Abraham believed that God would provide a ram when he took his son Isaac to the altar for sacrifice
Over and over again the Bible is filled with examples of faith. Examples that show us that faith must be shown to make an impact on our lives and those around us.
17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven."21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, "Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . ." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, "We have seen remarkable things today." Luke 5:17-26
Faith is shown in their compassion
These men had compassion on a friend who could not make it to see Jesus on his own. They saw the need of their crippled friend and their hearts were moved to assist. One of the issues that we see in the modern church is that there seems to be a lack of compassion for those who are in need. There is a lack of urgency to reach out to those who are lost. There is a lack of concern for the hurting people surrounding the church.
Their faith is shown in their depth of compassion for someone else. Compassion is simply love in action. One of the reasons that Jesus was continually healing the sick was because of His great compassion. Living faith is revealed in a genuine compassion for others. When we claim Christ as Lord, it means we take up His call to a life of compassion.
Compassion moves us to an awareness of needs
One reason that churches are dying across the United States on a daily basis is that they have lost their ability to see the needs around them. It is often easier to turn a blind eye to the needs than to reach out an help. Often we think that needs are simply things like food, clothing and the like. However, there are many needs that the church could connect with in a simple and effective manner.