FAITH IN ACTION

There’s a story of an old grandma. Once she prayed, “Lord, I am going out for shopping. Since it’s a bit cloudy today, I pray that let there be no rain. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I believe that it won’t rain today. Amen”. Then she took her newly purchased umbrella and left the house!

Like this grandma, sometimes people believe God for something but act contrary to what they believe for. As we read the Gospel stories, we often find Jesus doing things for individuals who put their faith in Him and demonstrated their faith with corresponding actions.

One such instance is that of the Syrophoenician woman who approached Jesus for her little daughter who was tormented by an evil spirit (Mark 7:24-30). Though it seemed initially as if her request wouldn’t be granted, she acted in faith with determination. That motivated Jesus to release miraculous deliverance to her daughter.

We must be like this woman. We must ask God to meet our needs and be determined to hold on till we receive it. When things happen contrary to our requests, we must act in faith.

Why is acting in faith so important? It’s because faith and actions are like the wings of a bird. It takes two wings for a bird to fly. Likewise faith plus corresponding actions bring answers to your prayers (James 2:17).

For example, if a person desires to have a car, it’s not enough that he asks God for a car and keep confessing that he would receive a car. He also needs to find time to go to a car dealer and check out some models and the rates!

It’s your determination that moves you to act in faith. Decide not to be half-hearted and passionless. Be strengthened by God’s Spirit and His promises.

Achievers are not people who believe God since they don’t have any problems. Rather they are people who believe God and act out their faith in spite of problems! So its time to express our faith in action.

FOUR PROMINENT TITLES OF JESUS

… And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

There are numerous references to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament Scriptures. He is portrayed as the ‘Messiah’ (the Anointed One) whom God will send to the world to save His people and destroy evil (Isaiah 9: 6, 7).

It had been predicted in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, that He will be born of a woman (Genesis 3:15) through the line of Shem (Genesis 9:26) and specifically through Abraham (Genesis 22:18). Prophet Isaiah gave a detailed picture of His sacrificial death and its purpose (Isaiah 53) and King David prophesied about His victory over death (Psalm 16:8-11).

The passage given above (Isaiah 9:6) is one among the many different references to Jesus in the Old Testament. It is remarkable because of its prophetic scope, clarity and magnificence.

Four prominent titles of Jesus are mentioned in this passage.

1. Wonderful Counselor

Jesus is not simply called a counselor, but ‘Wonderful Counselor’.

The term ‘wonderful’ has the sense of something that stands out from others. When compared with other counselors, Jesus obviously stands out from all of them because of His divinity, superior wisdom and longevity.

Jesus is, forever, your guide. In Revelation 3:18, He says to the Laodicean church, “I counsel you…” There is nothing He cannot give a counsel on. Since He knows the past, present and future, He gives the right counsel regarding your needs.

2. Mighty God

In John 20:28, Thomas, one of the apostles, cried out to Jesus, “…my God!” Hence this title reveals the divinity of Jesus. It shows Him as equal with God the Father.

Also, this title distinguishes Jesus from so called gods and goddesses who brag to be mighty but prove to be weak.

There is nothing He cannot do. King Herod couldn’t kill Him as a baby. Pharisees couldn’t stop Him in His mission. Death couldn’t hold Him from His destiny!

He shows Himself mighty to you today. He can help you out of your issues. He can re-create your mountains into miracles!

3. Everlasting Father

The term ‘Father’ presents Jesus as the architect of new life. When there was no way for people to escape the vicious cycle of sin and curse, He opened up a new way of salvation through His death on the cross. Anyone who repents of his sins and surrenders his life to Jesus can experience this new life forever!

Also, like God the Father, Jesus has an everlasting tenure. No one can vote Him out of His chair!

People may leave you. Friends may ditch you. But, as his disciple, you always have the privilege of His Presence.

4. Prince of Peace

A ‘prince’ is one having authority over a particular province. As Prince, Jesus has authority over heaven and earth. Everything comes under His control. He reigns over you.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace because peace is the dominant quality of his domain. When Antichrist tries to establish fake peace, Jesus delivers genuine peace. That’s what He promised His disciples, “…my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).

Dwell on this wonderful truth that Jesus, who was born 2000 years back, is now your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace!