Effective Effort from God’s Men in Today’ Post-Christian World Part 2 of 3: Do we really believe?

Do we really believe?

In Part 1, we determined that to be effective for God, love of God and others must be our first and primary focus as Christian men.  But beyond Love there is a need for Faith.  Apostle Peter, for instance, loved God but initially failed to act effectively.  Why?  Because his faith was still limiting and his focus was still physical.  But when his faith and vision matured, he fulfilled his purpose (to be the Rock upon which Jesus built his church) well.

If we review our personal relationship status with Christ and effectiveness for Him, we must first ask, “Do we love Him?”  Beyond this, we must ask, “Do we really believe Him?”  Do we believe the truths that He told us? Jesus used a unique statement with such great effect to take His original 12 disciples to another level of faith.  “Oh ye of little faith” was used three times in the book of Matthew.  This statement should be equally challenging and faith-prompting to today’s disciples.

In Matthew 6:25-30:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 

In Matthew 8:23-27:

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

In Matthew 16:5-11:

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”   They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

In the three uses of this statement Jesus basically collectively says, 1) Quit worrying about basics of life because your Father that love you knows what you need before you ask, 2) Quit fearing for your life because you are friends with the One who controls the winds and the waves, and 3) Quit being such shallow thinkers and believe and mature in your knowledge of the Faith.  Why and how do we do gain the faith to do these things? Because He is who He says He is and ‘in Christ’, these great promises and callings are ours.  How do we get to this level of faith and understanding? ‘Hear and See!’ Seek Him, ask for wisdom, and the Spirit of God will do the miraculous that only He can do, i.e. enlarge our faith.  Do we believe Him?  Oh WE of little faith — Let’s put fear and worry and immaturity behind, and believe today.

Derek Dougherty

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