For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. – Romans 12:3 ESV
Even our FAITH WAS A GIFT FROM GOD! Different translations say; that GOD has given you, has DEALT you, has allotted to you. The Amplified Bible says, “as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]”. Faith is this interesting thing, this heavenly commodity, this ETERNAL CURRENCY- this gift from God! We continually believe we need MORE FAITH, when in reality God gave us ALL THE FAITH WE NEED! Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God knows, God has plans and God is in charge: For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for hope and a future. When we add that to Ephesians 2:8-10, the picture becomes clearer. Hear the Word of the Lord; “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” The verses that proceed today’s v 3, in Romans 12:1-2, make this Faith thing more understandable! Faith is about the battle with the head and the heart, and activating the hands and the feet to be DOERS of the WORD and not just HEARERS. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
Leader, Hebrews 11 is considered the FAITH HALL OF FAME. It is nice to know what it took to get into any HALL OF FAME! What separates regular players from those that make it into the HALL OF FAME? COMMITMENT and CONVICTION to your field of endeavor, is what makes people RISE! This Faith chapter starts off by defining what Faith is: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Based on our reading today in Romans 12:3 we can also say the following about Faith: Faith is a gift from God. You only have it because He gave it to you. Faith is the instrument God uses to bring salvation to His people. FAITH is the road, the vehicle, and the WAY to meet God, get to know God and to LIVE FOR GOD! God gives faith because of His grace and mercy because He loves us (Ephesians 4—5) Unless we know that Faith is a gift, we might start smelling ourselves and think we are doing pretty good. God reminds us that FAITH is a gif because God deserves all the glory for our salvation. The human tendency is to steal God’s glory and start thinking, “We are all that”. If the receiver of faith could do anything whatsoever to deserve or earn the gift, that person would have every right to boast. But all such boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27). God wants Christians to understand they have done nothing to earn saving faith, it’s only because of what Christ did on the cross that God gives anyone faith (Ephesians 2:5, 16). Faith, like so many things in life, must be accessed, and used to have any value. The old adage goes, “IF you don’t USE IT, you will LOSE IT”! The KEY IS IN THE EXERCISING, the PRACTICE, the continual effort to walk, talk and think- “THIS WAY”. The phrase that works well with Faith, is to ACT ‘AS IF’.
Conduit, Hebrews chapter 11 is called the FAITH HALL OF FAME. Hall of Fame is defined as a group of persons judged outstanding, as in a sport or profession. There are traits that make people great! There is a story about a man from down South who went to New York City to do some sight-seeing. He jumped into a taxicab on one of his journeys and he asked the taxicab driver a simple question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The Taxicab responded quickly, “That is easy; Practice, Practice, Practice…that is the best way to get to Carnegie Hall and the FAITH Hall of Fame. In this 11th chapter we are also reminded, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without Faith! Faith is not just BELIEVING IN, it is ACTING, ‘AS IF’. Roughly 18 times in chapter 11, does it say, “BY FAITH….” 4)By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain…. 8)By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance…. 23) By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents…. 29) By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. Do you notice the VERBS? Verbs are action words, they tell you SOMETHING IS HAPPENING! True Faith causes things to happen, it MOVES US! One thing I learned a long time ago; Faith requires a GAP! That gap is between what the WORD tells us, and what our flesh is telling us! The greater the gap, the greater the faith! Are you willing to believe what God says even when it is not the same as your flesh says? Or are you willing to ACT, ‘AS IF’, when others, THE WORLD, tells you that it is ‘silly’-but the WORD says it is the RIGHT THING? As James said, “Faith without works is dead.” We are not SAVED by works, we are justified by the blood of Jesus and our FAITH in its meaning and purpose. That Faith is demonstrated through our actions and the conviction of those actions. We might not be saved by works, but we are SAVED UNTO WORKS! We work because we are saved and appreciative that the God of the universe chose us, called us out, and is using us for His Kingdom and for HIS GLORY! If you believe this- today, have some FAITH and ACT, ‘AS IF’!