Summary: A message on faith.
HOW GREAT IS YOUR FAITH?
INTRO: There is a church in Houston, Texas which several years ago raised over $1 Million dollars in just one month. They were planning on erecting a new educational building, and did not want to go into debt to build. They had already broken ground before they had the campaign to raise the money. This is an example of great faith. We could all probably tell stories that we have heard of this kind of faith. What is the source for such great faith? How can we have this kind of faith ourselves? Our text tell us how. There are several reasons for this man’s great faith. Let’s look at three. His faith was great because it was:
I. HUMBLE (vv. 8-9).
The centurion came to Jesus. Jesus said “I will go to your house and heal him.” The centurion said to Jesus: “I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” In other words, he was saying I am not worthy.
He also remarked to Jesus: “I myself am a man under authority with soldiers under me.” Even though he was a powerful man, he was humble and not trying to throw his weight around or make demands upon Jesus.
ILLUS: The best illustration of humility I have seen is the time during a chapel service at SWBTS where a guest speaker, while walking up onto the platform to the applause of the audience, looks around for the person for whom the audience is applauding.
If we are going to have great faith the first thing we must have is humility. We can never think we are too important to be humble before God. Usually pride is the problem with most people.
II. UNSELFISH (vv. 5-6).
The centurion didn’t want something for himself. He was concerned about his servant. He had a sympathetic heart for a suffering human. Also, he was concerned enough to do something about the servant’s need.
ILLUS: ASKING AMISS. Two boys were on the freshman debating team in college. The big night of their first debate, they nervously paced up and down their practice room offstage. The debating coach stuck his head in the door to remind them that the debate was only fifteen minutes away. Ages later he said it was five minutes. At that point one of the boys turned to the other and said, “Jim, let’s pray!” The other boy agreed, and the first boy simply blurted out, “Lord, help us to beat the pants off of those fellows out there.”
The second boy interrupted to suggest that they could not offer that prayer. With some anger the first boy wanted to know why, for his Bible says to ask anything. The response was, “Those boys out there are praying the same prayer; and God can’t answer both of them in the affirmative.”
Many times the reason our faith is so weak is because we have selfish motives. It is usually what “I” want, or how will this help “ME!” If we could get SELF out of the way, perhaps God could bless us like this man.
III. CONFIDENT (v. 8).
The centurion was confident in Christ’s ability to heal his servant and never see him or touch him. “Just say the word,” is all the centurion asked Jesus to do.
The centurion’s confidence in Jesus was rewarded. Jesus healed the servant and said of the centurion, “I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
We sometimes get bold and ask God to do something for us, then we begin to make provisions in case he fails. This is quiet often the reason that God never answers our prayers in the way we wish for him to do.
CONC: How great is your faith? You can have great strength if you will practice the principles given in this message.