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Choosing Faith

“But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.’ Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief.” Mark 6:4-6

How easy it is for us to hold on to doubt. Fear or uncertainty rise up to threaten us and we grab onto the first flimsy excuse to we can think of to question, hesitate and hold back. “We’ve never done this before.” “We’ve never done it this way before.” “Do we really have enough money to do this?” “So and so says it can’t be done.” “It’s too far, too close, too big, too small, too simple, too complicated, too hard, too easy.” You get the idea. Sometimes it seems that we’re just looking for an excuse to not believe.

In our focus text, the people of the town of Nazareth chose the fact that they knew Jesus and his family as the reason that they would doubt him. I’m tempted to scratch my head and wonder at their stupidity but then I glance back up at the list of excuses for doubting I just enumerated in the previous paragraph, many of which I’ve encountered on church boards as reasons for inaction, and I realize that I’ve been part of the same kind of doubt brigade.

The result of choosing doubt was that the blessings that other communities had enjoyed because Jesus had visited them were not experienced by the Nazarenes. There was no teaching that would bring people in from miles around and cause them to want to stand for entire days just listening as truth after glorious truth was revealed about God and his kingdom. There was very little healing. In other villages Jesus had literally healed every sick, infirmed, injured, or handicapped person. Every home had been filled with gladness and rejoicing as a direct result of the presence of Jesus in their town. But instead of reaching out to take hold of the blessings Jesus very presence offered, the people of Nazareth chose to take hold of the familiar hand of doubt.

In stead of doubting we need to faithfully, prayerfully, sincerely seek God and his will for our lives. Instead of doubting we need to remind ourselves that God has everything necessary to accomplish his purpose. We need to remind ourselves that God has never failed to demonstrate that he’s able to do what he says he will do. We need to encourage ourselves that we’re not an exception to the rule that God has a place and a purpose for everyone. Friends, we’re all part of Gods plan for success.

Jesus is ready to do a bigger work in his church than he has done so far. Let’s take hold of faith and help him change the world.

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