“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
(1 Thessalonians 5: 24 ESV)
I truly believe the highest response, the absolute and ultimate primary response Christ so desires in all His followers is their undying faithfulness. We read in Christ’s ministry how He commends those for their faith, even those who were considered scandalous, sinful, and/or unclean. The Centurion who desperately wanted his servant healed and thought himself unworthy of Christ’s visit was told, “…Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” (Matt 8: 10 ESV) The sinful woman who risked everything to walk into the home of a mighty and “righteous” Pharisee just to be near Christ is told, “…Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7: 50 ESV) The two blind men who referred to Christ as Son of David…and begged for His Mercy, and Jesus intently asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt 9: 28 ESV) It was according to their faith that their eyes were opened, when gently touched by the One, their eyes were opened wide and they were able to see.
Then we can examine His disciples. Christ’s disciples were weak and ordinary men. Peter denied Him, Thomas doubted Him, and almost all fled Him in fear when the authorities drew near, but almost all were tortured and killed for their undying faith. The great apostle Paul mentions in Scripture, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7: 15 ESV) Anticipating debate here, let me clearly state Paul was just another ordinary and sinful man, for no one walked sinless on this Earth except Christ. Yet Paul mentions to Timothy late in his life the one and only valuable possession he held tightly and securely to throughout his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4: 7 ESV)
Christ also desires obedience, humility, love, worship, submission, and service in His followers, but I have failed miserably at many times and at various stages of my life in one or all of these other “godly” attributes. I am fallen and sinful. I still at times, flee and rebel. I am weak and ordinary. I stand as nothing before Him, yet through His blood which was spilled and painfully… brutally covered the stained crimson red Cross of Calvary, I am given a free gift! “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2: 8 ESV) It is absolutely nothing that I do, but ONLY what CHRIST has done for me, and all He asks of me in return is simply, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” In my many seasons of darkness and despair, in my continual sinfulness and doubt, in my discouragement and sometimes overwhelming grief…I can honestly say… I still believe! “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1ESV) I will openly admit I have failed Him miserably throughout my life, and throughout my many long and suffering days, yet I still believe when my life is complete and as I struggle to draw my very last breath here on Earth, I will quickly awaken in His gentle and warm embrace and I will at once, simply fall to His feet and shout, “Jesus, I always believed you could do this…. And now you have… and I am finally…finally with You… always and forevermore!”
JUST AS HE PROMISED!