Posts Tagged 'simple faith'

Simple Faith


Then Thomas, called the twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”  So he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger in to the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.  And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them.  Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side.  Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed.  Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20: 24-29.)


Thomas had seen Jesus walk on water, heal the sick, and raise the dead. And yet, when several disciples claimed to have seen the Lord after his crucifixion, Thomas’ faith wavered. Accordingly, he professed that his doubts would persist until he had encountered the resurrected Messiah; at which time, he would need to examine the physical wounds for himself. Shortly thereafter, Jesus appeared and invited Thomas to touch His lacerations. The doubting disciple promptly glorified God and expressed the renewal of his faith. In response, Jesus uttered an enduring truth. The strongest faith a person can possess is simple and requires no proof. Those who believe without seeing are the nearest to God.

As the story goes, one night a mother and her daughter were preparing to retire for the evening. The Child was afraid of the dark. When the light was extinguished, the girl caught a glimpse of the moon through her window. “Mother,” she asked; “is the moon God’s light?” “Yes,” said the mother. The little girl continued, “Will God put out His light and go to sleep?” “No my child,” responded the woman, “God never goes to sleep.” Then, out of the simplicity of her child-like faith the girl concluded, “Well, as long as God is awake, there is no sense in both of us staying up.”

Childlike faith is the most powerful form of belief; it requires no miracles, or signs or wonders. But rather, it consists of a complete trust in God; in His words, His deeds, and His promises. Although His works can be easily observed today, after His ascension into heaven, no living human being, except the apostle John, has ever seen Christ. Still, those of us who believe possess a faith that is solid and unwavering. We know Him, because He lives inside us. We would do well to continue in our faith without the need for more evidence or intellectual affirmation.

“Lord Father, we are Your children. We believe, not because of what we have seen, but because of who You are. You alone are worthy of our trust; You alone carry the truth. We accept Your words and promises without the need for proof, because You are alive within our hearts, and we are one with You. May we always possess a child-like faith. We love You Father, we praise you, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

The Simple are Wise


   At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, because it seemed good in Your sight.  All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father.  Nor does anyone know the Father except the son, and the one to whom the son wills to reveal him” (Mathew 11: 25-27.)


  In the Jewish culture, youth was often associated with weakness and stupidity.  So much so, that when a group of Jewish men gathered together, they frequently spoke in order of age; the oldest spoke first and the youngest spoke last.  They believed that with age came wisdom.  Jesus however, corrected this commonly held belief.  Wisdom concerning the messiah and God’s plan of salvation could not be attained through years of careful study; instead, the truth could only be received as a gift from God.  Those who thought themselves intelligent were blinded by pride and reliance upon their own understanding; the simple and the ignorant however, could more clearly see the value of God’s grace and the blessings of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

  Sigmund Freud pioneered what we might consider the modern field of psychology.  In fact, today many consider him to be one of the most intelligent men who has ever lived.  However, many don’t know that at one point in his career, he actively promoted the use of cocaine; believing it to be a cure for many of life’s common ailments.  He even encouraged his close acquaintances and compatriots to indulge in its use.  When one of his dear friends became horribly addicted to the drug, he saw the dangers of cocaine and anxiously recanted his previous promotions; he carried the guilt of his friend’s drug dependence for the rest of his life.  Some of the most well educated and intelligent people are often the most horribly deceived.

    The truth is a gift from The Lord (it is not something that can be earned.)  Intelligence, although extremely useful, can sometimes blind those who trust in it more than God.  God yearns for His children to trust in Him completely.  Those who are simple, unlearned, and unwise, are often the first to see the true value of God’s mercy and grace.  May we receive the gospel today as little children. May we believe with our whole hearts; that God would take control of our lives.  If we place our faith in Jesus Christ we will come to know the truth; and we’ll become smarter than the most well-educated man, and wiser than the greatest king. 

    “Lord Heavenly Father, may we be as little children.  May we completely trust in, and rely upon You.  We pray for those who are intelligent and wise in their own thinking; those who have faith only in the achievements of men.  Reveal the truth to them, that they may come to humbly receive Your mercy and grace.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name,  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Being Teachable


         [The Lord had just finished healing a blind man; but Jesus was gone by the time the man’s eyes had completely healed.  The Pharisees, seeking to expose Jesus as a fraud, brought the man in for questioning.  After a lengthy examination, the Pharisees banned the man from their synagogues because they hated their messiah.] […] ‘Jesus heard that they had cast him out (the blind man he had healed); and when he had found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”  He answered and said, “Who is he Lord that I may believe in him?”  And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him and it is he who is talking with you.”  Then he said, “Lord, I believe!”  And he worshiped him.  And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”  Then some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words, and said to him, “Are we blind also?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘we see.’  Therefore your sin remains”’ (John 9: 35 – 41.)


         There are two kinds of disciples; those who can be taught, and those who can’t.  Although there are many reasons why some students fail to learn, the most pervasive is pride; a student who already knows everything is no longer teachable (rigid intellectualism is stupidity impersonating true wisdom.)  Those who possess great knowledge are often the most misinformed.  For example, many religious leaders who interacted with Jesus were very well educated; they were proud of their intellectual superiority; they were blinded by pride and they rejected the Son of God.  In turn, when Jesus Christ chose his followers, he did not seek scribes or rabbi’s; nor did he approach priests and Holy men.  He did not scour the ancient centers of higher education; nor did he hunt for scholars at the great theological institutes of his day; instead, he lovingly embraced fishermen, prostitutes, and tax collectors; he selected them because they were eager to admit their ignorance (and to listen in humility); because they were willing to learn, societies outcasts became God’s first choice.

         Historically, surgeons have been society’s most well-educated professionals.  In the 1800’s most surgeons wore white butcher’s aprons; as they operated on different patients, more blood would accumulate on them.  Most Doctors refused to wash them, because a strange but powerful custom had arisen; a surgeon was considered accomplished based upon how bloody his apron was (the more blood, the better the surgeon.)  During this time, a young doctor named Joseph Lister was conducting medical research; he discovered that 40-50% of amputee victims died from secondary infections (infections that resulted from the procedures themselves).  He proved that cleanliness and disinfection of surgeons, instruments, and staff, would reduce the amputee mortality rate to 15%.  The results of his research however, brought him in to conflict with the majority of his colleagues.  Most surgeons scoffed at his suggestions because it meant they would have to give up their bloody aprons.  Many educated men became unwilling to learn.  Their delay in applying Dr. Lister’s suggestions caused the deaths of thousands of patients.  Although the changes were slow, they were eventually established.  By the time Joseph Lister retired in 1893, nearly every medical institution had implemented his sanitation procedures.

         Pride can blind even the most intelligent people; much learning often stands in the way of true comprehension.  Those who know everything are not teachable (and unable to follow God.)  Those who admit their ignorance and let go of any ideas that oppose the teachings of Jesus Christ, are wiser than all of the scholars, scientists, and doctors who have ever lived.  Disciples must become blind before they can see; they must be ignorant before they can attain true wisdom; they must be willing to lay down human understanding before they can pick up the cross.  Listen to the Lord and He will guide you; have faith in Him and you will know truth; follow Him, and you will enter in to everlasting peace [Note:  Not all educated people are ungodly; God has gifted many people with great minds; there are also many uneducated people who reject Jesus Christ.  Learning is very beneficial, but only if it does not oppose the teaching of the Lord.]

         “Lord Heavenly Father, may we be Your disciples; may we be blind to the wisdom of the world.  Help us to know the difference between prideful philosophies, and beneficial information; that we may always choose what is good and reject what is evil.  Teach us, instruct us, and make us willing to learn.  We admit that we are ignorant, and in humility we ask You to lead us.  We desire to have childlike faith; may we trust You completely, and may we know the blessings of Your eternal wisdom.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You; and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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