LFM – 2016 Jan 31: Faith Vs Fear. Is Jesus sleeping in my boat?

LFM – 31 January 2016  

Last Sunday we were taught on Mark 4:33-40

  • Jesus rebukes the storm
  • Testing of our faith – Do we actually believe what we are being taught in the Word of God?
  • The disciples were taught and explained for things by Jesus, but they failed when tested.
  • Jesus asks them….”Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?
  • We, as born again believers have Jesus in us and with us.
  • Are we allowing Jesus to remain sleeping in our lives?
  • Do we nurture and utilize that relationship or do we only go to Jesus as a last resort when we cannot bear the storms of life?
  • We should not be living life as if Jesus is not with us and endure unnecessary suffering.
  • What happened to the other boats without Jesus?
  • Because of Jesus in our lives, others around, just like the other boats that followed Jesus, should be getting an overflow of our blessings.

Acts 14: 1, 3, 8-10 (NLT)

1.The same thing happened in Iconium.[a] Paul and Barnabas went to the Jewish synagogue and preached with such power that a great number of both Jews and Greeks became believers. 

 

3 But the apostles stayed there a long time, preaching boldly about the grace of the Lord. And the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders.

 

8 While they were at Lystra, Paul and Barnabas came upon a man with crippled feet. He had been that way from birth, so he had never walked. He was sitting 9 and listening as Paul preached. Looking straight at him, Paul realized he had faith to be healed. 10 So Paul called to him in a loud voice, “Stand up!” And the man jumped to his feet and started walking.

  • Paul and Barnabas preached with such power that both Jews and Gentiles became believers
  • They preached boldly about the grace of the Lord and the Lord proved their message was true by giving them power to do miraculous signs and wonders
  • They had the power and spirit of God in them
  • A crippled man from birth that had never walked from birth
  • He had been listening  to Paul preaching
  • Paul realised he had faith to be healed
  • Called to him to stand up – the man jumped to his feet and started walking
  • The Holy Spirit has been speaking to us about faith since the beginning of the year.
  • Lets analyse this scripture to get an idea of what faith is.

What is Faith?

Hebrew 11:1 (NLT)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

  • Faith in God , we are confident in the ability of God
  • Faith in the problem, we are showing confidence in the problem being bigger than God

How does it come?

Romans 10:17 (NKJV)

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Who is the source of our faith?

Hebrews 12:2a (NKJV)

2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,

Why do we need faith?

Because we are told in

Heb 11:6 (NLT)

6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

 

Why should we have faith in God and God alone?

Because according to

  • Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

What part do we play in faith?

James 2:14 (NLT)

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions?

  • 17 Faith without works is dead

Analysing acts 14 to see the elements of Faith

  • Paul and Barnabas were anointed with the Spirit of God to preach with power the message of grace and the message proved through signs and wonders
  • Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) – “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, ‘says the Lord Almighty
  • The crippled man had been listening to Pauls preaching

–  Faith comes by hearing…and hearing the Word of God

  • The power of God authored the crippled persons faith when he was listening to the Word of God.
  • The crippled man must have believed in the Word of God , because we are told that Paul was able to perceive that this man had faith to be healed – Jehovah Rapha
  • – According to Hebrews 11, the crippled man must also have believed in God as Jehovah Rapha and that God would heal him because God rewards those who sincerely seek Him.
  • Paul gave an instruction and the man followed the instruction and was healed

– Faith without works is dead

  • Our lives and existence is centred on faith
  • We have a hopeful expectation that things shall be good
  • We have faith on the food we buy that it is well,
  • we have faith that this floor we are on will not cave in,
  • we have faithful that the car we enter has been made well so that we shall reach our destination.
  • We exercise much faith in the things of men. Politics, Doctors, Judges, Policemen
  • What about having faith in God, the creator of heaven and earth!
  • Expecting that something good will happen through God – obeying God without understanding
  • Our faith is demonstrated when we believe that God can do the impossible, and we act according to that belief.
  • Abraham was called out to leave his homeland and family and go without knowing where exactly he was to go.
  • To prove that we have faith, we need to take a step of faith, so that God actually knows that we believe Him.
  • He gave the instructions to Joshua and the people of Israel on how they will reach the promised land with the big obstacle of the river Jordan in front of them.
  • Joshua 3:8 (NLT)

Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”

  • There needs to be a step of faith with the corresponding actions for Gods promise to be validated in our lives

Conclusion

  1. We need to have the presence of God to operate in power and authority
  2. The presence of God authors our faith
  3. Our listening grows our faith
  4. Our belief and corresponding actions validates and finishes our faith.

All this tied up in our FAITH in God and His Word

  • God always tells you to do something for our own good
  • He blesses us when we listen and obey His Word
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