A Risk of Faith

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

January 13

A Risk of Faith

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 9:1-6 | Genesis 28:1 – 29:35 | Matthew 9:18-38 | Proverbs 3:11-12

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 9:18-38

“If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.”

“Courage, daughter, You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well” (Matthew 9:21-22, The Message). 

Scripture tells us that “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). Note how pleased Jesus was to find faith in each of these people. Also note the incredible things accomplished through that faith.

There are always doubters. The Pharisees play that role in our text. As Eugene Peterson in The Message paraphrases it: “Hocus pocus. It’s nothing but hocus pocus. He’s probably made a pact with the devil.”  The Pharisees continually miss out on the blessings of God because they refused to believe.

The woman, who had hemorrhaged for 12 years, took a creative risk of faith. She thought that if she could just touch the hem of his garment, she would be made well. Jesus saw her faith and rewarded her with an instant healing that changed her life forever.

Two blind men cried out in faith, asking for mercy. When asked if they believed he could heal them, they responded, “yes Lord.” Touching their eyes with healing power, he said, “according to your faith it will be done to you.”

Then there is the girl who is raised from the dead, and a demon possessed mute man who was freed to speak. Indeed, “nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

Yet the Pharisees doubted, they refused to believe. And they missed out on the blessing. 

What is your need? Come, like the woman, take a risk of faith. Cry out, like the blind men, for the grace and mercy of Jesus. It is amazing to see what blessings are brought about as we believe. May it be done according to your faith!

Faithful God, give me the strength to reach out and touch the hem of your garment. Give me the faith to see your healing power. Help me never miss out on the blessing because of unbelief. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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