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Heaven Bound
Take it to Heart
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The Joy of Family
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The Rhythm of Life
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Through Their Eyes
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How Great is our Faith?
By Robert Schaetzle Sr

Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish," and her daughter was healed at once. (Mathew 15:28 NASB)

This Canaanite woman came crying out without fear of those around her. The plea was not for herself, but for her daughter, importuning our Lord to release her daughter from demon possession.

How often do we ever consider faith as being provided to us, especially as one might consider, ‘A Gift from our Lord?’ Every believer in Jesus has known the wonderful blessing received through prayer. But do you ever consider faith as given to us from God as a gift from above?

Let’s consider what our Lord shares through His Word. Romans 12:3 puts it this way, "For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith."

In other words our faith is assigned to us from heaven, from the Creator of everything. The Modern Language translation in part, puts it this way, ‘but to think soberly as God has measured out to each his portion of faith.’

It’s wonderful to look back occasionally to view where we are and observe from where faith has taken us. As a toddler takes his or her first steps onto new discoveries, even there, we’re witnessing faith. As the infant grows from being in the warmth and security of the loving parent, the child makes new discoveries in crawling about and before long, with the first steps, ventures out into a whole new world.

When I look back and see any one of our five children or grandchildren, stepping out into a new realm of faith, in witnessing their first steps, it only reminds me our Lord, as He leads each one of us, ‘by faith’, takes our hand to lead to way.

Faith is given from above, it’s not manufactured, it can’t be manipulated, it is not negotiable. It’s without charge. One might ask, how then does my faith increase if I’m not the controller of faith? Does it grow and strengthen as with observing our children mature? Yes! But not in the way we might reason.

I ask this question, "What does it mean to surrender?" The world probably would consider surrender as showing deference toward another, as not taking charge or controlling the situation.

Consider if you will Abraham, when God asked him to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains.

Romans 4:20-21 shares, ‘Yet, with respect to the promise of God he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in his faith, giving glory to God. And being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able to perform.’

Well we all know the story how through Abraham’s obedience to do what God asked, our Lord also provided the way of escape. Yet the scripture says ‘He grew strong in his faith’. So what’s the key word toward bringing increase in our faith walk? It was hope that was unseen at the moment, but through obedience God tested Abraham and brought increase or maturity of faith.

Faith was given or assigned to Abraham in small increments, as God had allotted him.

Like the toddler moving out into new discoveries, so too was Abraham’s faith I feel, with each step up the mountain, God brought a new measure of faith.

We’re all a living testament of faith at work, if we only recognize it. Not by our good works but rather, because of our works, and through obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit working through us.

One probably would not consider a cordial ‘thank you’ for receiving a kindness from another as a measure of faith. Think how many times in a day we can exercise our faith with a simple ‘thank you’ to a loved one, or a neighbor, or fellow worker? It reflects God’s love for us as we reach out to care about another.

The more we seek Him, the more we’re exercising our faith to bring increase. Think about it. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.’ Hebrews 11:6 NASB

Our Lord is the originator and the One who assigns our faith.

When we ask ourselves, ‘How great is our faith?’ it’s as strong as our commitment to deny ourselves and follow the Spirit’s prompting. We’re to keep looking to the Author and Perfecter of faith. As He assigns us a measure with each new day, we need to ask Him to reveal how we’re to exercise that special gift.

The blessing is waiting for us as we discover the gift of faith. How it deepens our love relationship with our Lord. The obedience to follow His prompting, whether we cry out as the Canaanite women, or as Abraham surrendering his son Isaac, we’ll increase our passion for our Lord. It’s learning to decrease in order for Him to increase.
Robert Schaetzle began writing close to 40 years ago with writing out his own personal messages on birthday, anniversary, or condolence cards. From those early beginnings he developed writing inspirational poetry, and today writes devotionals that are shared at a Sub Re-Hab Center. You may write to Robert care of the Letters page of this magazine.
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