Matt. 8:5-10 - And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented." Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
"For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel."
A centurion worked for the hated Roman Empire. He was in charge of or had authority over 100 men and this is where his name "centurion" or "100" derives. He was one who had sworn allegiance to the Roman Empire and he would do exactly as he was commanded.
He was given the authority to put down any type of uprising by any means necessary.
If you have read anything about the Jewish people in Jesus' day they always had a plot in action to overthrow the hated Roman Government. One famous Jewish insurrectionist was Barabbas. Mark 15:7 - The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. NASU
He was the one who was released by Pilate and then they crucified Jesus.
But if you really want to talk about him may I suggest you talk about his GREAT faith.
Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel."
He didn't have faith, he had GREAT faith.
Second, he understood "his sinfulness". He said to Jesus, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof,…" I am pretty sure some of the most horrific sins this man had committed came rushing into his guilty conscience.
He was so moved with guilt he tells the Lord that he was not worthy to have him come to his house.
He does have all authority and it says this about Him in Matt.28:18 - And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth..."
He doesn't possess some authority. He possesses all authority and not just here on earth but in Heaven as well.
Secondly, we must comprehend our own sinfulness. The Israelites who stood there and couldn't understand how Jesus could heal a leper and help a centurion's servant didn't understand their own sins.
They were focused on the sins of others. You will never have amazing faith until you understand what Jesus did for you in regard to your sinfulness.
You will never have a great faith when all you do is look at others and how sinful they are.
If we really want to look at a sinner all we have to do is look into a mirror.
How will we arrive at having great faith?
This will happen when we truly understand Jesus' authority and our sinfulness.
Think About These:
Faith doesn't demand miracles, but it often accomplishes them.
Doubt makes mountains. Faith moves mountains.
Faith helps us walk fearlessly, run confidently, and live victoriously.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
A Sure Sign Your Faith Is Slipping
1 Sam. 17:37 - And David said, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." NASU
He now proclaims very emphatically his belief in God and God will deliver him from Goliath.
I am pretty sure we all know the story's outcome. David goes out and he defeats Goliath, but it all started with David's faith in God's deliverance and protection.
King Saul becomes jealous of David and tries unsuccessfully to kill him.
One night as David was being hunted by King Saul David sneaks into Saul's camp while the king was sleeping and stole his spear and water jug. Once he is safely outside the camp he yells and wakes up the king and his men.
He lets Saul know if he had wanted to he could have killed him minutes ago.
The reason David didn't kill the king was he highly valued his life. He finishes his communication with the king by saying, "…so may my life be highly valued in the sight of the Lord, and may He deliver me from all distress."
It has been years since David killed Goliath and he is still displaying his faith and trust in God here in his communication with king Saul when he says, "and may He (The Lord) deliver me from all distress."
1 Sam. 27:1 - Then David said to himself, "Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel and I will escape from his hand."
Really! Are you kidding me? Is this the same David that went after Goliath, killed him because he knew God would deliver him, and now he is afraid of King Saul?
What is going on in David's life?
David was losing his trust in God's protection and starting to fear for the safety of his life. He had grown weary from the trials of life. He forgot God had Samuel anoint him as the next king after Saul.
This is a clear sign your faith is faltering when you are losing your trust in God's protection and you're forgetting His promises.
What is the solution to this problem?
The solution is doing what David did when going to fight Goliath remember what God has already done for you. David remembered the victories over the lion and the bear. David needed to remind himself of all the victories he had with God's help.
You and I must remember the victories God has already given us and He will deliver us as He has done in the past.
God is FAITHFUL. We must continue to read His Word and in so doing strengthen our faith.
Think About This:
God promises a safe landing but not a calm voyage.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
What Is Your Faith Doing For You?
Hebrews 11:24-27 - By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. NASU
Can you imagine all of the benefits he turned down by not allowing himself to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter? Just look at all the benefits the kids of the Presidents of the United States get compared to ordinary Americans.
The second thing his faith did was choose for him to endure ill-treatment. In other words, he chose to suffer with the people of God rather that enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
Who does that?
A person who has faith in God and is willing to suffer and suffer Moses did.
Moses was not suffering without hope. Look at the last seven words: "for he was looking to the reward." What reward? The promises of God were Moses' reward.
The third thing his faith did was "considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt…" Can we say, our faith says; bring on the reproach of Christ for it is greater by far than the treasures of the USA?
One thing we will notice when we read about the life of Moses is here is a man who suffered. He suffered at the hands of his enemies. His enemies were those who had no faith (The Egyptians) and his enemies were from those who were supposed to be people of faith (The Israelites).
His faith at the end of his life was stronger than the faith at the beginning of his life, but what is so unusual about that?
I would say my faith is stronger today than it was in 1975.
The last thing I want to say about Moses' faith is this it took him on a journey. When he left Egypt at 40 years of age until he left earth at 120 years of age during those 80 years his faith led him on a journey. He was constantly learning lessons that drew him ever closer to the LORD.
At first he didn't believe he was the man to lead the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, but later on he was the man that lifted his staff and parted the Red Sea, and a little later he climb Mt. Sinai and received the 10 commandments from God.
As you journey in this life with the LORD your faith will grow and if you are like Moses it will be on account of you look to the reward that lies ahead.
If your faith is like Moses' faith then you know this is a journey and for Moses his journey last 80 years. Let your faith be like Moses and in so doing you will be able to say that you are: "considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt (USA); for he was looking to the reward."
Keep your eyes on the reward and the reward is eternal life in Heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.
Always remember what the apostle Paul said, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Rom. 8:18)
All of God's servants seem to have this one thing in common and that is we all suffer, but once we arrive in Heaven and God's glory is revealed to us. We will not remember the sufferings that we had to endure here on earth.
Think About This:
We learn some things from prosperity, but we learn many more from adversity.
FYI - January 30th - I will be preaching at the Severn Christian Church at 10:30 am in Severn, MD. I hope to see some of you there. They do livestream their services. Their website address is: https://www.severnchristian.org/
Look for the icon that says "Watch Live".
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God’s Word
Has Your Faith Done This For You?
Luke 18:38-42 - And he called out, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, 41 "What do you want Me to do for you?" And he said, "Lord, I want to regain my sight!" 42 And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." NASU
His Faith Led Him To Try Something
This blind man was led by his faith to yell out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Where has your faith been leading you? No, seriously, where has your faith been leading you?
Have you ever met a person who was really alive? One guy says, "They have passion for something they want to accomplish." I say, "They have faith and are living accordingly. They aren't afraid to try something others would consider crazy."
His Faith Was Opposed
This man was crying out to Jesus and those who were leading him were sternly telling him to be quiet. Do you understand the ramifications of their advice? If he had listened he would have remained blind.
You cannot expect people who don't have the faith you do to support you or even understand what you are trying to accomplish.
If your faith is leading you to try something out of the ordinary and others are telling you to "forget about your crazy idea." You are probably on the right path.
You need to know your faith in something will many times be opposed by others just like this blind man's faith was opposed.
All great plans are opposed and many times from the ones you went to for support.
The blind man was "STERNLY" told to be quiet by those who were leading him. The ones who were supposed to know what they were doing and where they were going were 100% wrong.
We have probably all read the saying, "The Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic by professionals."
Has Your Faith Led You To Being Threatened Or Ridiculed?
The blind man was threatened to "shut up" but that didn't stop him.
In 1979 I wanted to go to Bible College and as I shared my idea with other people I was told this was the craziest idea that I have ever had and that I had a lot of crazy ones, but this was right up at the top.
I was informed (as if I didn't know) that I had a family and who was going to support my family if I were in college?
I was reminded of my past that I had been out of high school 9 years and if you will remember you weren't that great of a student in high school.
Last but not least you have a great job as a union Boilermaker. You are going to throw away a job that some people would love to have to chase after this crazy dream?
Faith Is Always Rewarded
Well, my faith led me to Eastern Christian College in August 1979, I graduated in 1983, my family survived the experience, and pretty much every negative thing that was said to me about going to college NEVER HAPPENED.
I do want you to know that my faith was tested while in college, but I kept believing and stuck to my plan.
His Faith Was Rewarded
The blind man and Jesus have an encounter and Jesus asks him, "What do you want Me to do for you?" He says, "Lord, I want to receive my sight!"
In other words, his faith has led him here to ask Jesus for help. Have you ever wondered why those who were leading the way wanted him to be quiet? What were they thinking? It really doesn't matter what they were thinking because whatever it was they were wrong.
Did you see what Jesus said? "Receive your sight; YOUR FAITH has made you well." His faith was rewarded because he would not listen to the naysayers.
His faith was rewarded. Has your faith led you to your reward?
What Reward Is Your Faith Going To Bring You?
No, I am serious where is your faith going to lead you? We don't just read the Bible and say, "Oh that was nice, good for him or her." The Word of God is for us and it is to challenge us to Step Up and Step Out on Faith.
So get your faith in gear and Get Going With God.
Think on These:
Mankind needs a faith that will not shrink when washed in the waters of adversity and affliction.
Feed your faith and doubt will starve to death.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
When You Have Faith You Don't Need This.
Mk 16:2-4 - Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?" Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. NASU
These three women, Mary, Mary, and Salome, did not know how they were going to move the extremely large stone, but they didn't let that stop them from walking to the tomb.
I have been in way too many meetings where the people were frozen with fear to do anything because according to them they didn't have all the answers. They couldn't possibly be expected to make a rational decision without first investigating this issue.
Mary, Mary, and Salome had no idea how they were going to move the extremely large stone but that was not going to stop them from going to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus.
Let me say it this way, "They had faith and God rewarded their faith by sending an angel to remove the stone."
Or are you like these three ladies?
They had a partial plan. They waited until the Sabbath was over and then they bought the spices they would need to anoint Jesus' body.
They then travel to the tomb with the spices and were going to anoint His body except there was one problem. He wasn't there. He had resurrected.
They met an angel but didn't even know it. I wonder how many times we humans have met angels and didn't recognize them (Hebrews 13:2 - Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.)?
So what about your faith?
Do you have a desire, a passion, and a partial plan and as far as you are concerned that is enough. Have you launched out on your journey?
When you meet obstacles do you believe God will help you move them out of your way?
If so, that my friends is faith.
You don't have all the answers but you trust in God. You believe you will succeed and so you launch out from shore.
May you enjoy your journey and may every obstacle you encounter only strengthen your faith.
Think On These:
Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.
Faith with works is a Force. Faith without works is a farce.
In all relationships of life, faith is worthless unless it leads to action.
Gary A. Serago
Minister of God's Word
Gary A Serago.