As we all continue to learn of the contagion, COVID-19, and continue to practice social distancing because of our fear of somehow contracting the disease, most of us have submitted to staying in our homes. Currently, more than ever, intermingling with others could be…CONTAGIOUS.
Contagious describes a person or organism likely to transmit a disease by contact with other people by direct or indirect contact. I think some of you may recognize where this is going. Currently medical professionals have shared with us how long COVID-19 can remain on surfaces or in the air, as well as the most likely ways it can be transmitted. Plain and simple, contact with another person carrying the contagion could spread to someone else.
So, the question now is…How contagious is our faith?
During Thursday’s family bible study, Leon taught us about the Heritage of Faith. Yes, faith has a legacy.
The scripture text came from 2 Timothy 1:5
5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Notice Paul points out that he recognizes Timothy’s genuine faith, but recalls how strong the faith was of his mother and grandmother; acknowledging the likelihood that Timothy’s level of faith derived from what he had seen and what he had been taught. Grandma Lois and Momma Eunice’s faith for Timothy were contagious. They had it and it got on him.
So…in the Heritage of Faith, there are four types of faith that we can or may have.
1. Authentic Faith – faith that is REAL and CONSISTENT.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
People draw to the truth. Why? Truth brings freedom and deliverance. Lies and secrets keep us bound to bondage and sin. That’s where Satan desires that we remain. Scripture tells us that if we abide in God’s word that we shall know the truth and it shall set us free (John 8:31-32). Before we shall know the truth or be free, we have to first abide in God’s word. Otherwise, we’ll probably find ourselves living the opposite of the truth…a lie. Can a Christian lie about their faith? Well, maybe we don’t want to call it a lie…but we definitely can do a good job of pretending. Yes, we Christians can be guilty of pretending to have faith that we really don’t possess. Yes. We can fake faith. Are you living a faith that people can believe?
2. Aroused Faith – faith that evokes or awakens a feeling, emotion, or response from what is seen or heard.
When Jesus gave sight to the blind in Matthew 9:27-30, he sternly warned them not to tell anyone…but they just couldn’t keep it to themselves. Their faith was strengthened by what they had experienced. Likewise, those who heard of their healing or saw them, after knowing for certain that they had once been blind, were aroused in their faith by the miracles of Jesus. Could the testimony of what Jesus has done in your life arouse the faith of someone? Sure it could; but have you shared it?
3. Abiding Faith – faith which continues without fading or being lost from feeling or memory. It’s ever-present.
When Paul was referring to Timothy as previously mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:5, he continued in verses 6 encouraging Timothy to “stir up the gift” inside of him. Reminding Timothy that what needed to be stirred up was already in him.
6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
With our family having our roots in Louisiana, a dish very popular to us in Gumbo. When you look down into a big pot of gumbo you may not see all the shrimp, crab legs, and seasoning it possesses. To someone unfamiliar with it, they may just see some soup. AWWWWW…but when you stir it up! The seasoning, the hidden delights, the aroma…all come to the surface. And oh boy…when you taste it, it sure is good. And trust me…its even better the second and third day. IF…it lasts that long. LOL!
Point being, the substance abides in the gumbo. It just may have to be stirred up. Paul encouraged Timothy to stir up the gift of God which was in him by the laying on of hands. Some things in us will arouse feelings and memories of things in us because they’ve been abiding there all along. Do you have some abiding faith that might need to be stirred up? Or maybe you need to be like Paul and remind someone else of what they have in them. Think of who that might be and reach out to them. Ironically, we have a little free time on our hands.
4. Absolute Faith – faith that no one can quench; can not be contained; not subject to limits; unconditional; having unrestricted power; final.
With this definition, let’s understand the power that God has first…
“God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds. He created the horizon when he separated the waters: he set the boundary between day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?”
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”
So then…when our God promises and proves His absolute truth and power, we must respond with absolute faith. Numbers 23:19 tells us, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”
During this time, we have no reason not to trust God’s power. Regardless of the contagion of COVID-19, 2 Chronicles 20:8-9 tells us, “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.”
So, let ‘s cry out to God and know that he hears us and will answer us. Right now, our faith IS being tested; but the hope is that it is also contagious just like the corona virus. When others come and contact with us, our faith should spread to them. They should contract an experience with God that they can’t shake. Our AUTHENTIC faith within us should be stirred up to help stir the ABIDING faith in someone else. The testimony of how we’ve already overcome other circumstances (we thought we wouldn’t survive) should help someone experience AROUSING faith, that helps them want to have a closer relationship with God. Moreover, our daily walk should help others recognize our ABSOLUTE faith in an ABSOLUTE God.
So, what type of faith do you have? Is it contagious? If so, spread it. If not, we hope you catch it. Achoo!
Loving Christ and Loving You,
Note: If anyone has any special prayer requests during this time, or would like to speak with us, you can reach us at the following contacts:
The ROCK at Still Waters Ministries
P.O. Box 384 * Grovetown, GA * 30813 * 706.395.5015 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Elder Leon Green or Minister Dawn Charleston-Green
email@example.com * 706.691.5868 or firstname.lastname@example.org 706.231.8652