BIBLE STUDY – ACTS 14:9-10; Luke 5; Hebrews 11:1, 33:
“He [a crippled man] was listening to Paul as he talked, and [Paul] gazing intently at him and observing that he had FAITH to be healed, Shouted at him, saying, Stand erect on your feet! And he leaped up and walked.”
FAITH IS THE KEY!
Now a “KEY” is used everyday in our lives. We carry a set in our pockets, in purses, on a key-chain attached to a belt-loop–all for the purpose of locking something up or unlocking something to get at or in.
FAITH works on the same principle and it becomes the most important element necessary to grow in our Christian walk.
A. W. Tozer said, “FAITH is the vitamin that makes all we take from the bible digestible.”
–We are SAVED by faith…
–We WALK out our salvation by faith…our Christian walk
–We are of the Household of FAITH…
FAITH is the KEY that unlocks the supernatural realm of our natural existence here on earth. Where you and I are standing right now, in our Christian walk with JESUS, is a direct result of the location and depth of our FAITH.
Our FAITH WALK is a Journey–
I feel sorry for Moses…who spent 40 years wandering in a desert…eating nothing but bread off the ground and occasional bird…and everyday a million people would ask him, “Are we there yet?”
Romans 12:3 tells us that each of us has been given a measure of faith…what we do with it and how we use it…is up to us!
Two Things Stand Out About “Faith-people”…
FIRST, they feel good about themselves…they KNOW that they’re the way they are because… GOD made them that way! GOD doesn’t ever make mistakes (fearfully & wonderfully made).
I think most people believe, not what they are that holds them back, but its what they think their not. Let me give you an illustration to clarify my thoughts. Since I live in Dairy Country, milk hauling from the local dairies is an everyday occurrence.
Sometime Living in the “Milky-Way”…INADEQUATE!
2 COWS were grazing in the pasture, when they saw a milk truck pass by. On the side of the truck were the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added.” One cow sighed and said to the other cow, “Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”
Do you feel at times, somewhat “inadequate” in showing your FAITH? That there has to be something added to make it really applicable?
FEAR is the EXACT OPPOSITE of FAITH…
FEAR believes the worst–
FAITH believes the absolute best will happen in every situation. What then does FAITH look like, to us and others, as we come in contact with them in our Christian WALK?
In our referenced Scripture, we see a man crippled in his feet since birth. He had never taken a step forward in his life, never ran barefoot through the grass, felt the hot heat of beach sand through his toes. He was just sitting where he had been placed–period!
Have you ever found yourself just sitting, waiting for something to happen–period? FEAR has you paralyzed!
Many times the reason we have so little FAITH is…we are still sitting in the place where GOD put us long ago. We are comfortable in our usual seat in church–it’s where we belong!
GOD requires “LEGS ON YOUR FAITH” –
Legs on our PRAISE…Legs on our PRAYER LIFE. When this happens, we can then move on and on to higher levels.
As a Pastor once said, We need to get up on our feet, move out of our seat and into the street!”
“But, I’m afraid to SHARE my FAITH.”
One man said, “Our Pastor tells us to go out and witness to others weekly.”
Nothing strikes FEAR into Christians more than SHARING their FAITH to complete strangers. In fact, it’s gotten so bad for some, they’ve enrolled in a “Witness Relocation Program.”
The Stranger Who Was Listening…
This man described in Acts 14:9-10, LISTENED intently to the apostle Paul as he spoke and when he fastened his eyes on this crippled man, everything else went out of focus except what he perceived in the stranger’s eyes.
FAITH GETS OUR ATTENTION!
Paul saw expectancy and enthusiasm in the crippled man’s eyes. I love it when I meet someone for the first time, and as we are speaking to one another, I can see their undivided attention, their eyes focusing at me and not looking elsewhere at other distractions.
Paul saw this man running in his spirit–Paul saw a man who was leaping up and down on the inside! Do we really stop and look to see the FAITH in others?
HEALING comes from FAITH in Both Individuals, NOT just one–
EXPAND YOUR PERIMETERS…YOUR COMFORT ZONES, start to think outside of the box. When we limit ourselves, we limit the POWER of GOD!
What we see is not all there is…
What we are is not all we will be…
Where we are is not where we will end up!
THE FAITH OF FOUR GOOD FRIENDS – Luke 5:17-20:
The Pharisees and teachers of the Law had gathered from the surrounding cities. The Bible says that “the power of the Lord was present for Him to heal the sick” (verse 17).
There was an overwhelming crowd surrounding JESUS that day, and it became increasingly difficult for some men to bring their paralyzed friend to be HEALED by JESUS.
Many would simply give up…catch Him the next time He was in the neighborhood…but NOT these four good friends. They decided to look for another way to get close…an opening. They decided to go up on the roof, drop their paralyzed friend right into JESUS’ lap. They put legs on their FAITH.
Scripture says, He saw [their confidence in Him, springing from] their FAITH, He said, Man, your sins are forgiven you!” (verse 20).
It seems to me, this man was in such bondage about his past, he couldn’t receive his present. THEREFORE, the believing FAITH that took the action of a few good friends, brought about a Miracle!
Boy, I hope if I need a healing miracle in my life at any given time, I’ll have a few friends like that. Or even better, to be a friend to someone else with unwavering resourcefulness. That’s putting legs on my faith!
So when someone tells you that they are FAITHFUL…or you proclaim to others that you are faithful…how would you explain your FAITHFULNESS?
“The willingness to take risks that requires FAITH in order to produce fruit.”
FAITH becomes an unquenchable desire! The Free Dictionary defines the word “unquenchable” as, “Impossible to suppress or destroy”–you just cant get enough of it!
You might say that FAITH looks a lot like a “hail Mary” pass [an American football term] when there is no time remaining on the clock.
FAITH IS DEAD TO DOUBT…
FAITH IS DUMB TO DISCOURAGEMENT…
FAITH IS BLIND TO IMPOSSIBILITIES…
FAITH knows nothing but success in GOD! “FAITH is not believing that GOD CAN, it’s knowing that GOD WILL!”
Hebrews 11:1 says:
NOW FAITH is thee assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses] – Amplified Bible.
Breaking the verse down just a bit:
The size of the man or woman is more important than the size of the problem:
“Greater is He that is in me than the problem
that is coming against me.”
FAITH TAKES ACTION!
Hebrews 11:33 tells us, that FAITH subdued, FAITH worked, FAITH obtained and, FAITH stopped the mouth of lions.
What does your FAITH look like right now? What are the “lions” in your life?
When you find JESUS, you find the author (creator), finisher (completer) of your FAITH! Christ in you…the hope of glory!