Faithlife Sermons

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*     *Mom asks Joey what he learned in Sunday school.
“Our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
When he got to the Red Sea, he had his engineers build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across.
Then he radioed headquarters and they sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.”
“Now, Joey, is that /really/ what your teacher taught you?” his mother asked.
“Well, no.
But if I told it the way the she did, you’d /never/ believe it!”[i]
The Bible tells some pretty incredible stories, doesn’t it?
Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus feeding over 5000 people with a few loaves and fishes, Peter walking on water.
Some of the stories you read in the Bible almost seem too good to be true.
But some stories are too good /not /to be true.
The story of David and Goliath is one of these.
It’s a favorite story of kids in Sunday School: a young boy bravely facing the big bad bully and winning!
I remember getting my first slingshot and pretending to be David.
Later, I learned it wasn’t a sling/shot /but just a sling, so I got an old piece of cloth and made a /sling, /but it was  little harder to use.
Even adults enjoy this story.
How many movies or stories are about a small, unimportant person who takes on the bully at school, or the big bully boss, or the big bully corporation and wins?
We boo the bully and cheer on the David, whatever his~/her name happens to be.
The point is too good /not /to be true: little guys /can/ take on big bullies and win.
You can enjoy the story on that level, but the real focus of the story is /faith/, or more specifically, /mountain moving faith.
/This phrase comes from the words of Christ in
*     Mark 11:23* /For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says./
Jesus isn’t telling us how to rearrange the geography.
He’s stressing the power of our faith in God.
He puts into words what David puts into action: /the power of mountain moving faith.
            Can you and I have this kind of faith in God? How? Let’s talk about it.
Warren Wiersbe writes: The people who jest about faith don't realize how big a part it plays in everyday affairs.
It takes faith to get married...
It takes faith to send children off to school.
It takes faith to get a prescription filled.
It takes faith to eat in a restaurant, deposit money in a bank, sign a contract, drive on the highway, or get on an airplane or an elevator.
Faith isn't some kind of religious experience for the elite; it's the glue that helps hold people's lives together.
            To some degree we all faith.
But not all faith is equal.
It takes a lot more faith to get married than it does to eat in a restaurant.
There’s a huge difference between faith that says /I believe there is a God /and faith in Christ that saves us from our sins.
There is a huge difference between faith that prays for rain and faith that moves mountains.
This story shows some important truths about mountain moving faith, beginning with the inescapable fact that
*1.    **Mountains happen.
1-6) *
Have you ever noticed how routine life gets?
“How was your day?” “Fine.
How was your day?” “Fine.”
“Anything special happen to you today?” “Nope.
You?” “Nope.
Same old same old.”
“Me, too; same old same old.”Some
people long for something different.
Then they get more than they bargained for when a mountain rises right in the middle of their path.
It may be a medical mountain like cancer, or a money mountain from a bad economy.
It could be a mountain of doubt or worry or temptation.
It may be a mountain of hurt or a mountain of depression.
I’m not talking about hills here, but high mountains, too high to climb and too wide to go around.
It’s true for all of us: mountains happen.
For King Saul and the nation of Israel, the mountain was a giant.
In this corner, standing 9’9” tall, weighing in at c. 650-700 lbs., ladies and gentlemen, I give you /Goliath of Gath /and the Philistine crowd roars with cheers.
He is their champion, and he issues a champion’s challenge to Saul and his army in *vs.
There’s no cheering on the Israelite side, because Saul and his men are terrified out of their wits.
The logical choice to send out would be King Saul, who is described this way in *1 Sam.
9:2* /...From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people./
But Saul’s not volunteering.
Neither are his soldiers.
This mountain of a man is too huge to try and tackle alone.
The king and his army just huddle together like frightened mice, not knowing what to do.
Mountains happen.
One minute you’re walking on level ground, nothing special going on, and then before you know it, you’re staring up at a mountain in fear, wondering how you will ever make it past this insurmountable obstacle.
The mountain is too dangerous to climb, too wide to go around.
The only way to keep going is to find some way to move the mountain.
Is that possible?
It is if you possess a faith like David’s with 2 important characteristics:
*2.    **Mountain moving faith sees from God’s perspective.
One quiet Saturday afternoon several men are sitting in a saloon, when suddenly Ol' Jeb comes racing in hollering, "Big John is coming to town!
Big John is coming to town!" Everybody clears out except the saloon keeper, who’s trying to lock up when a man comes galloping down Main Street on a huge bull buffalo.
He dismounts, grabs the buffalo by the horns, bites down on its upper lip, kicks it in the ribs, and orders "Stay!"
The buffalo cowers submissively.
The man rips the saloon's bat-wing doors from their hinges, stomps in, and catches the bartender.
"Hold up!" the stranger orders.
"I got a hankering for a drink!"
The saloonkeeper is paralyzed with fear: the stranger is 7 ½ feet tall, and outweighs a full-grown grizzly.
He wears rattlesnake chaps, a greasy rawhide shirt, a filthy torn Stetson, and steel-tipped fighting boots.
On one hip he's carrying a sawed-off shotgun and on the other is a 32-inch Arkansas toothpick.
On his scarred face is a look of cruel, insane meanness.
"Right away, sir."
The trembling bartender fetches a bottle.
The stranger seizes the bottle, smashes off the neck on the edge of the bar, tilts it back, and drains the contents in one gulp."W-would
you like another, sir?" the bartender stammers.
The stranger wipes his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I don’t have time!
I got to get out of here!
Haven’t you heard?
Big John is coming to town!"
Size is a matter of perspective.
You may be a giant in a child’s eyes, but a dwarf compared to a professional wrestler.
Mountain moving faith is also a matter of perspective.
You see how big the mountain is, but /you always see God as bigger than any mountain.
/This is David’s perspective.
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