READ: Luke 7:1-35
THINK: Are you the type of person that wants proof? Do you tend to have a “believe-it-when-I-see-it” attitude about things that seem far-fetched or out of the ordinary? Actually, that’s not a bad mindset regarding many things in life. But you’ve got to let it go when it comes to demonstrating faith in God. That doesn’t mean you turn off your intellect or never struggle with doubts. But when you truly trust God’s power and authority in your life, you can rest in confidence that He’s taken care of your needs even before you see the proof.
RESPOND: How did other people’s view of the centurion (v. 4-5) differ from his view of himself (vv. 6-7)? What does this reveal about his character? Why is humility important in approaching Jesus and receiving from Him? What did the centurion understand about Jesus’ that others didn’t seem to grasp? Why was Jesus amazed by the centurion’s faith? (See 7:9 note.) Why is this kind of faith important in approaching Jesus and receiving from Him? What does Jesus’ compassion for the widow reveal about God’s heart for hurting people? (See 7:13 note.) Why do you think that John, who prepared the way for Jesus, struggled with doubts (v. 18-20)? How did Jesus encourage John? (See 7:24 note.) Under what circumstances is true faith in God best tested? In what ways were the religious leaders mistaken in their impressions of both John and Jesus? (See 7:34 note.) What did Jesus mean when He said that “wisdom is proved right by all her children”? (See 7:35 note.)
PRAY: Ask Jesus to help you grow in humility and faith as you spend time with Him in prayer.
ACT: Think of an area or issue in which you have not demonstrated faith like the centurion. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for some sort of indication or sign before taking a step that you know God wants you to take. Maybe you’ve been doing things in your own time and way. Turn this around and take the action you believe God desires, even before you see the evidence you desire. Trust God to honor your faith and confirm His plans.
ACT: In a practical way, demonstrate kindness to someone who has hurt you or given you a difficult time. If you have unfairly judged anyone, apologize first to God, then to the other person. Do something generous for someone without expecting anything in return.