Have Faith

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Matthew 11

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Do the things of God ever cause you to doubt?  John the Baptist gave his life, from the womb, to serve his God.  Jesus called John the greatest man ever born of woman. Without doubt, John the Baptist (the baptizer) was the greatest Old Testament prophet and in his life fulfilled prophesies of other prophets as the forerunner of the Messiah.  John’s message was fiery, so much so that he had a great following of those who repented and of those who hated him.  John gave everything to complete the mission that God created him to do.

John may have envisioned himself as the prophet of God in the kingdom of the Messiah.  He, like the apostles, may not have understood the spiritual nature of the kingdom of Christ but was looking forward to the revival of the throne of David.  Jesus was the Messiah!  John had baptized him, the Spirit of God descend upon him and John heard the voice of God from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son.”  John believed what God said and followed the Messiah.

But now, John found himself in prison with a death sentence.  This was not what he understood was supposed to happen.  Furthermore, Jesus did not come and get him released so it looked like his doom was certain.  “Was Jesus really the Messiah? Am I not the forerunner of this Messiah? Why doesn’t he come and save me from this prison and from this death sentence?”  As these questions ran through John’s head we find him sending messengers to Jesus asking him if he really is the Messiah who was to come or was there yet another one coming?

Have we ever doubted the word or the power of God?  Have we ever assumed that God was going to do something and when he didn’t a seed of doubt entered our hearts?  John did not deny Christ, and neither do we; but John did question why Jesus did not come and deliver him.  My friends, when we don’t think that God has done something the way we think he should have, we are in good company.  Many before us have wondered the same thing.  At those moments of doubt the Lord Jesus calls us to focus on him.  Jesus told John to pay attention to the miracles: notice the sick that were healed, the lame who walked, the dead raised, and the poor hearing the gospel preached to them.

In our hours of doubt we too are called to greater faith in who Jesus is and in what Jesus did.  Jesus is God.  Jesus came to this earth, lived a sinless life, died a substitutionary death, and rose in a justifying resurrection.  Jesus was seen by over 400 people after his resurrection and then rose bodily to heaven promising to return in the same manner.  This is where our faith needs to be.

Finally, notice that Jesus did not get John released from prison but let Herod have him beheaded. John’s work was finished and God took him home.  The moment John found himself in the presence of the God he loved and served it all made sense.  At that moment, regardless of how we get there, every trial and blessing of this life will make sense for us too.  Have faith.

 

We had a great Mother’s Day at church and at home.  God led us to Proverbs 31 as we studied the value of women.  When we follow God’s plan for our creation, women have great value and bring that value to every part of their lives.  I am so thankful for women of value who have been such a key part of my life from birth to today.  There were many women of virtue and value who were part of shaping me into the man that I have become.  Thanks to my mom, my wife, my mother-in-law, and dozens of others who caring for me made me into the man that I have become.  Ladies, don’t look for fulfillment in trying to be something God did not make you to be.  (For more on this, listen to the message on Proverbs 31, A Woman of Value.)

 Pray today for peace in Jerusalem.  Regardless of your politics on a US Embassy in Jerusalem, people are involved in violent protests and we should be praying for peace in Jerusalem.  Only Jesus will broker the final peace there but for now they need God to move on their behalf. 

Three churches were bombed in Indonesia yesterday.  One family  picked out three churches and a father, mother, two sons, and two daughters blew themselves up in a Catholic Church, a Pentecostal church, and a Christian church.  Ten have died and dozens were injured.  Pray for those brothers and sisters in Christ who lost family in this terrorist attack. 

 Thankfully, our Lord Jesus is the final victor and in time His kingdom will be established and will rule in peace for a thousand years.  Have faith.

 Have a great day in the Lord,
PS

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