"For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith" --Romans 12:3
"But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" --James 2:20
God has given to each of His individual children a portion of the substance of things hoped for, as well as an ample serving of evidence that we can't see. That's what we know as faith. It's the collection and culmination of every good and perfect gift that awaits us in the future...all received by our particular measure that we've been dealt. It's sitting back and watching the unseen hand of God roll away the stone at our tomb. It's the unexplainable peace that overflows in our hearts when the night is darkest. It's the victory that overcomes the world.
Paul's measure led him to evangelize and build the church of Jesus Christ as a master builder, all while finding time to lay the foundation of our common faith through the written, and inspired, epistles. It was his labor and his love...his calling and his purpose. The measure was a heavy one indeed...troubles and distress were around every corner. Hunger, nakedness, homelessness, and beatings were regular routines that his measure had given him to endure. Paul had to go through with it...otherwise, his faith would have been dead.
When God saves us through our faith, it's that same child-like faith that He wants to cultivate and mature. Paul had a tremendous amount of faith that was given to him, but in God's eyes, that was his cross to carry. It's no different than the measure that's given to that old lady who sits in the back of the church praying for the congregation. She's probably not sailing to Rome to meet Caesar any time soon, but she doesn't have to. Her purpose is to intercede, not to intervene. That's her measure and her cross to bear.
We're not saved by works, but works are the demonstration of our faith...our measure. Our work is our duty and our destiny that is carried out by our obedience to God's Word and our faith in it. To put it plainly...it's what we're supposed to be doing with our life. Walking by faith and showing it by dipping into our measure. That's why Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13) "All things" are all the thrings that Paul was called to do. He found that he could perform everything that his calling entailed through the power of Jesus Christ.
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" --Galatians 2:20
He lived by his measure of faith in Christ. A faith that was alive and bold, not dead and shameful. A faith that said "this is what you were made to do". Can you honestly say that you're fulfilling your purpose? Has a dream or a vision filled your mind or an unquenchable desire filled your heart? Does that desire and need seem waaay too big for someone like yourself to handle? I've got news for you...that's God. If it isn't too big for you, how could He ever receive the glory for its success?
Step out in faith onto the solid foundation of the Word. You'll find that even the surface of the water can support you.
William L Cox
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