THURSDAY, 7TH JANUARY 2016
THE EXTENT OF FAITH
“Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” Acts 27:25

That which is right and that which is wrong from God’s perspective of things can only be known from the word. And that which is approved and commendable can be also distinguished from what is disapproved and condemned by the same written word. The word of God, as we are told is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). We see from this that the word is the means by which thoughts and actions are weighed. So the study of the lives of the characters as revealed to us from the written word makes us know that which God approves of and that which He frowns upon. Paul the apostle, is one of the greatest men of God revealed unto us in the written word. On all subjects of learning, he stands tall. In the area of preaching the gospel, he himself could boldly say that he has preached more than anybody else. Once He said “…I laboured more abundantly than they all…” 1 Corinthians 15:10. In the area of miracles, handkerchiefs and aprons could be taken from his body to heal the sick and to cast out devils (Acts 19:11, 12). In the area of suffering persecution for the sake of the gospel, his experiences are very notable. And what the word of God admonishes us to do is to follow the faith of such men, to consider the end of their manner of life (Hebrews 13:7). The focus of our study for today is to consider the faith life of Paul the apostle.

Paul was being taken as a prisoner to Rome in a ship. It so happened that a tempest arose at sea which tossed their ship to and fro in a manner that endangered their lives. In Paul’s own words he said “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away” Acts 27:20. But in that state of hopelessness and despair the word of the Lord came to him saying “…fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee” Acts 27:24. And in that moment he responded and encouraged the men in the ship saying “…sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me.” And as the story turned out, both Paul and the men with him were saved. There was indeed no loss of life, all were preserved. The faith of Paul in such a crucial moment is very much commendable. Everything pointed to the fact that death was imminent, but Paul’s faith was resolute, that once God had spoken it, it would be so and it was so. Beloved, absolute faith is demonstrated when we expect things to be done exactly as God has said. Abraham demonstrated this to become the father of faith. Against hope he believed in hope. This kind of faith wins every day. Choose to believe and to take God at His word, no matter the odds. Be admonished. Shalom!

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your word. I know by this that what you say, that you will do. I choose to be absolute in my faith towards your word always in Jesus name.

Ps David
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