Levels of Faith - Which Level is Yours?

Abstract: You don't need lots of faith. Just the right kind. Jesus will reach out to your level to give you the miracle that you need. Yet it is better to grow up and live in divine health without the need for a miracle
This post is taken from the message "A Miracle From Jesus" that I preached in May 2005 at my church, Petra Church. It is common knowledge that we reach God by our faith in Him (Hebrew 11:6).

Different Levels of Faith
When I studied the healing miracles of Jesus, I discovered that the people who approached Jesus comes with different degrees of faith. Below is the list, starting from the unimaginable "help my unbelief" to the great faith of the Centurion who told Jesus he need not come to lay hand on his servant but just give the word!

  1. If You can ... help my unbelief - simple plead for help.
  2. If You will You can
  3. If You know,  You will
  4. If You touch me
  5. If I may touch Him
  6. Just say the Word - Remote Command will do. Need no physical presence.
  7. Jesus knows,  just ask Me - Ask in faith.

The mind map below gives the details with the Bible references:

The Two Surprises

Surprise 1 - You don't need great faith to receive your miracle...
  • Look at them, were their faith at different levels? 
  • Yet, did all got their needs met?

    YES! no matter where they start from.
It is not how much faith you have but do you have that right kind of faith (Faith in Jesus).
  • Mt 13:12 "For whoever HAS,  to him MORE WILL BE GIVEN,  and he WILL have abundance; but whoever does not have,  even what he has WILL BE taken away from him
  • Mt 17:20 if you have faith as a MUSTARD SEED,  you will say to this mountain,  'Move from here to there, ' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you.
Surprise 2 - You have this kind of Faith

Romans 12:3  ... as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

How much faith is needed for your miracle ?

As much as you have!
Conventional thinking:
  1. Try Harder: 
    1. You need more faith. You need to attain a higher level first ... you need more faith to qualify to receive.
    2. You need to be a better person first. Are there un-confessed sins? (note: there are times that we find healing did not take place because of some hatred in the person seeking healing or some ungodly belief. During ministering, the Holy Spirit will reveal. But generally, healing just occurs without self-examination).
  2. Short-Cut
    1. Get others, especially those with anointing, to pray or lay hand.
The basic thing to do is to know about Jesus and His love for you. Our seed of faith begins with knowing Jesus through the Word of God preached or shared in the Bible. Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The right kind of faith does not come by your own trying to believe more but by hearing and reading the Word of God. The Word of God is Life! Reading and meditating on His Word brings forth the faith in God that connects us to the Power of God that brings forth the healing.

In summary, while you just need the right kind of faith to get your healing, through the reading and meditation of His Word, the higher and better aim is to grow in faith and in the knowledge of Him to attain His image. It is good to have a miracle for our healing, it is even better to stay in divine health without the need for a miracle.


Kingdom Principles Discussion 01 Work & Kingdom Principles from Parables

We are having a series of discussions on the topic of the Kingdom Principles. Here is the first discussion. The topic text is from KP#0 Kingdom Laws & Principles.

Here is the outline of our discussion:

The Concept of Work
Most people think that work is a curse because of the sweat and stress. But work is actually ordained by God and is a natural part of life. Work comes before the curse. Curse makes the joyful work to become tiring and stressful. See Satisfying & God Glorifying Work.

The Lord's Prayer - His Kingdom and Will on Earth
The Lord's prayer is taught my Jesus to all believers to pray likewise - in format and in content. It begins with a basic for our prayer - our relationship with God as Father-child relationship. Because of this relationship, can we then communicate with Him and be assured that our prayers will be answered. Relationship is built with worship, respect and trust, and intimate knowledge of Who and What our Heavenly Father is like. Jesus told us and revealed His and our Father to us. Through communication and worship, we get to know our Father better. That is the part of 'Hallowed be Thy Name'. Hallowed as our worship and 'Name' as we get to know Him. There are more... here is the mind-map ...

Please note that the sequence is important. We cannot be separate from evil unless begin first with a relationship with God as our Father through Jesus His Son. We will not be able to resist the devil unless we worship and know that our Father had given us authority over the devils. We cannot forgive others until we realize how much we have been forgiven by Christ through His Death for us. Please go through the steps and back track when needed to gain the grace and empowerment of God so that we can be supplied and equipped to carry out His will of "Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".

The Purpose of Parable - Revealing His Kingdom
Here is the mind-map that give the details.
The Questions and Answers

Next: Kingdom Principles Discussion 02 Work The Principles

Index Page: Kingdom Laws & Principles


Secrets of Organizational Success - Growing Vines

The secrets of organization success is given clearly and concisely by Jesus in just one verse! John 15:2. I will use the Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible because it gives two possible translated words for Greek Word Airo G142 rendered as Takes away or Lift it up ( The Thayer's Greek Definitions for Airo has more descriptions of lift it, bearing it, carry it off than just remove.) and I think the right translation is lift or carry rather than remove. Remove is used later in the verse and translated as prune.

See the "parable of the gardener and the fruitless fig tree" in Luke 13:6-9 where the fruitless tree is given a fourth chance (3 years of no fruit) and even with special care of "I dig around it and put on manure".

Here is a visual of the verse and the key words or secrets for organizational success. This post could have be titled as "The Performance Management" or "Management Leadership of Jesus".

1. Organization - The Vine

'every branch in Me' gives us a picture of a tree with many branches. It represent an organization. In this specific case of Me - Jesus, it represents the church, the body of Christ on earth, making up of all the believers. So Jesus is talking about organizational growth. We could of course, apply the principles to us as an individual. But, Jesus in this context, is talking about branches, members of His Church.

2. Mission - The Fruit - What Value Creation?

It is very clear that Jesus wants fruit from the vine. Every organization must have a mission, or objective, to create value, as represented as the fruit. What is the value that the organization is producing for the society?

For the Church, what does the fruit mean? Most believers will identify fruit as people saved in Christ. That is one form of fruit. Fruit has seeds to produce more vines. But fruit is not branches yet. Hence, I will see fruit as God glorifying work that draw people to Christ. They are work of love and work of faith of obedience to Christ. They are establishing the Kingdom of God, the Godly influence, on this earth.

3. Outcome Measures - How can you tell how well you are doing?
The next step is to have a Measure, to allow us to tell our progress. How do we know we are producing the value that we claim. Besides the measurement, we need to know what to measure. Most people like to measure the input or the effort spent in doing things. Jesus teaches us to measure by the outcome. Outcome is a specific successful attainment e.g. items sold, order closed, contract awarded, examination passed, certification obtained. Spending a lot of efforts, in the wrong ways, do not lead to success. It may only just lead to exhaustion. You will then appreciate what pruning means in the 2nd part of the verse.

4. Monitoring - Of Progress and Of People
Good leader is also a good manager. There are management gurus that argue and differentiate leaders and manager. The differentiation allows us a better understanding of leading and managing. But good leader must have some skill in managing and good manager must have some skill in leadership. Managing is about monitoring, keeping track of the progress, and making sure things go according to plan or plan must be adjusted to adapt to the changing situation if the original objective is to be attained.

5 Correction and Development of Staff
- Check the Environment for Factors affecting performance

Here, Jesus talks about monitoring the progress of branches, or people. There are people that are not producing fruit at all! Before we jump too quickly to conclude that the people are bad, we must understand that outcome is dependent on a number of factors, of which, people is only one factor. Those familiar with 6M will know that there are six factors of Man, Machine, Materials, Methods, Measurements and Environment (6M originated in Germany and Environment in German begins with a M).

Jesus identified the problem of lack of fruit production. The branches are covered with dirt, buried in earth. This is an environmental factor. He lift it up so that it can enjoy the sunlight and fresh air for growth and fruit production.

See the similar actions done by the gardener in Luke 13:7 ( I dig around it and put on manure).
  1. Do you monitor the progress of your staff? 
  2. Have you identify the factors for lack of performance? 
  3. Do they know their job descriptions and what are they to do that contribute to the organizational mission? 
  4. Do they have the right skills? 
  5. Are they trained? Are they motivated? 
  6. Are the environment conducive to work? etc. etc. Check the 6M.
6 Improve Productivity by Pruning - Remove Waste, Inefficiencies.
Please note that
  1. 'pruning' applies to those that produces 'fruit'
  2. so that they produce MORE fruit.
Those that cannot product fruit is suffering other problems. They could be in bondage or they do not know how (lack of knowledge or skill to produce). What they need is deliverance and be exposed to the truth (Knowing the Truth will set you free John 8:32) . This verse is not about salvation (most Bible scholars see Bible as only salvation or not and spent too much on sins without much time on living out the saved life that Christ died for!). They are all branches of the vine (in ME-Jesus). It is about performance - God glorifying work. (In later verse, there are those that are not connected to Jesus as the vine. They are not saved and are burnt).

What are to be pruned or removed?
Those activities that do not contribute to the production of fruit - the mission.
Some say they are sins that laden us down. But I would rather apply this sin-bondage thing as those that are non-fruit producing people mentioned earlier. Those need to be lift-up, carried off, i.e. FREED from bondage. They may be saved but they are still trapped in their sins by spiritual or ungodly beliefs. See Christian Transformation & Growth -The Unified Model.

Here refers to the fruit-producing people. They know how to produce. They could produce even more. The secret is to remove waste, wasteful activities, waiting for things to happen, and so forth. We know about the Toyota Lean Manufacturing. This is how we should apply it to the organization, and to our personal lives, to remove waste, be lean and agile, and creating a smooth flow of useful work activities. The key concept here is called Focus.

7 Focus - Know the Objective and Know How to Say NO
Focus is about knowing the objective - the mission, the outcome measures, and concentrating our efforts or synchronize our efforts with others, to accomplish the mission. It is about prioritizing our activities. Doing the important ones first. Delegating some to others. And saying NO to activities that do not contribute to the organization of objective - producing more fruit.

Lim Liat copyrighted 9 July 2011


Main Themes of the Bible

I am going through my posts now and then and to create an index on the main themes of the Bible for ease of reference. Here are themes picked up. I will continue to expand this list:
  1. The Meaning and Cycle of Life from Psalm 23
  2. Christianity Is Not a Religion but a Relationship and Salvation is Devotion to Christ
  3. You are a Masterpiece Created in Christ 
  4. The Greatest Commandment
  5. Know Your Faith Accurately
  6. The Tripartite Man
  7. Grace is Much More than Unmerited Favor
  8. Transformation & Growth
    1. Christian Transformation & Growth -The Unified Model
    2. Grace Based Growth - A Balanced View
    3. BJ#12 Learning & Growth - Strategic Job ...
    4. KP#4 Law of Seasons - Growth & Timing
  9. Performance and Relationship & The Gospel Made Simple - Two Kinds of Love
  10. Victorious Life - Armor of God
  11. The Meaning of "More than Conquerors"
  12. KP#1 Kingdom Principles - Work Them Know-Do Gap
    1. Christianity Rediscovered: 10 Kingdom Laws for Business Success
  13. Imitation of Christ & Living Out Christ
  14. Freedom:
    1. Obedience Brings Freedom 
    2. Freedom and Its Myth of More Freedom is Better
    3. Freedom, Truth, Power - Getting the Order Right
    4. Freedom - it is without limits?
    5. Freedom - From "Freedom From" to "Freedom For" & In
    6. Freedom and Responsibility
    7. Living the New Christian Life with Weaker Brothers - Rom 14 Liberty vs Rules
    8. Living Rightly in a Deceptive World
  15. Another Look at Repentance & Handling Repentance - Finishing Discipling Well
  16. Walking in Financial Freedom
  17. The Meaning & Power of Holy Communion
  18. Discipleship Evangelism - What's the Difference
  19. Judging Prophecies and Visions 
  20. A New View of Revelation
  21. Preparing for Christ 2nd Coming
  22. Transfer of Wealth - How Will It Happen
  23. Marriage
    1. True Love For Successful Marriage
    2. Golden Nuggets for A Diamond Marriage
    3. The 5C's of Marriage - The Keys to A Lasting & Joyful Life
  24. Leadership:
    1. Leadership Lessons from King Nebuchadnezzar
    2. Kingdom Principles Discussion 09: Servant Leadership - Law of Greatness
    3. BJ#14 Learning & Growth - Organization & Culture
    4. "Coming In & Going Out" - Keys to Your Growth - Learning from Robert Morris
    5. Leadership According to the Bible - Deu 17:15-20
    6. Government and the Bible
    7. Submitting - Biblical vs Secular View
    8. Secrets of Organizational Success - Growing Vines
    9. How to be King- How to Influence Others
    10. The Causes and the Symptoms of A Decaying Nation - Isaiah 3