Friday, September 17, 2010

Thoughts on Luke 18: Part One

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.'

"For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' "

And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8
We started looking at Jesus' parables in chapel recently and I love reading and soaking in Luke 18. So much so, I decided to write a series on the six sections of the chapter. This is the first part of six I will be writing and posting. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts as well.

My favorite question in this section of the chapter is, "when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" What is faith? The Greek word for faith is pi'stis and in this context it is a physical action, based upon a belief and sustained with confidence; relying on God no matter what the circumstances or outcome, complete trust that God will take care of it.

The word faith usually brings on the word belief. The scene in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade portrays the difference. Indiana Jones is in the cavern looking for the holy grail and comes to a cliff and reads the clue. He looks across the bottomless pit and believes that he can step out and he will live, but does he have faith? He takes a moments, holds his heart and believes and steps forward in faith to find an invisible bridge. For me, this images visually show us the difference between the two.

Isn't it hard to sometimes relinquish all your doubts, fear, worries, etc. to the Lord? Yet it is plain in God's word that our faith is powerful. Matthew 17:20 says, "...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain..." Christ challenges me to allow Him to take over, operate on faith and know that He is going to take care of everything.

Do we follow the example of the widow and pray/cryout to the Lord day and night; petitioning Him for all our daily needs? In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are encouraged to, "pray continually." How's your prayer life? God hears your prayers. Jesus sets the example by praying himself, "During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears..." (Hebrews 5:7). When was the last time you prayed and were moved to tears?

We can have such a loving and passionate relationship with Christ and it starts with faith. I pray yours and my faith in Christ grows daily and the fire inside burns because he will return and is looking for the faithful. Where will He find you?

God Bless and tune in next time.

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