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GodGod not TomTom

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GodGod not TomTom

Hebrews 11:6

The Crisis of Belief

ÿ    An encounter with God requires faith.

7 We live by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

Sight is the opposite of faith – when we rest all we believe and understand only on the physical and visible, we miss what God has for us and what God is doing in the world around us!

Tell the story of the student and teacher – can you see the desk, floor, pencil, door, we know they exist.  Now go outside – look up – do you see God?  NO?  Then he doesn't exist.

Little Susie – class do you see….the teachers brain – then according to our teachers logic – she has none.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.

3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:1

Our faith is not in a concept or an idea but in a person – Jesus Christ – God Himself.  We are not talking about what we "think" would be nice or what we "hope" would be helpful.  We are talking about having faith in the Living God who is working and moving and calling His people to action!

When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something only God can do.

ÿ    Encounters with God are God-sized

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

MATTHEW 17 The Healing of a Boy With a Demon

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

22 When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief.

We can often forget that when God speaks He always reveals what He is going to do – not what He wants us to do for Him!  Do you see the difference!  What God can do and what I can do are two different things.  If it's impossible for me, but fits within the reconciling work of God – then clearly it's a God thing!

Remember, if people are to learn to know what God is like, they must see Him at work – not us!  This is where I disagree with Brother Jeff from last week's message.

ü      We are ambassadors of Christ – representing Him to the world, but we are only a dim image or reflection of the Living Christ.

ü      The ambassador represents the King – but does not have the same power as the King.  Only the King can "create" the rules – the ambassador then carries them out.

The assignments that God gives His people throughout scripture are always "impossible" in scope.  Why?  Because God wants people to see Him and to know that He is real!

ü      Abraham and Sarah – "father a nation" even though they had no son and Sarah was beyond childbearing age.

ü      Moses to deliver Israel, cross the Red Sea, provide water from the rock and food in the dessert.

ü      Gideon to defeat a Midianite army of 120,000 with 300!

ü      Jesus told the disciples to feed the multitudes and to make disciples of all the nations.

The goal – always remember – is that others come to know God – and you too – in new ways!  Remember the names for God!  Each of those different names represents another way that someone has encounter and experienced God.  If we don't step out in faith, however, how can we ever expect to experience Him!

ÿ    What you do in response to God's revelation (invitation) reveals what you believe about God.

6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

 

God, and the world, can tell what you really believe by your responses to these crisis' of belief!

The story of David and Goliath!  The faith of a child!  Talk also about Juan's prompting to go and talk with a neighbor lady.  As he approached, without having met him before or knowing anything about him, said, "Please pray for me."

We can say we believe, but until we live it – do we truly believe it?  Jesus spoke about this to His disciples in Luke 6 -

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Luke 6:46-49

ÿ    True faith requires action.

26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 2:26

A faithful servant is one who does what his Master tells him, whatever the outcome may be!  What are you going to show the world you believe this week?

Dear Jesus,  each day brings another crisis of belief.  I must make decisions that show whether I trust myself or whether I depend absolutely on You.  I must act on Your purposes that You have revealed to me.  You have provided the chance for me to participat in God-sized tasks.  Keep me from the temptation of looking for me-sized tasks.  God, I want the world to see You at work in Your world, in Your church, in my life.  The only way this will happen is for me to trust You, follow You, and obey You.  Help me to do this today.  Lord, show me Your way.  I will follow it today, no matter what the reaction the world has and no matter what result comes in my life.

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