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By Faith

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Introduction: If someone asks you what is faith, what are you going to tell them? Most people will pretty much quote this verse in
Hebrews 11:1 KJV 1900
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
But what does that mean? What does that mean to someone who is lost? The word substance gives the idea that it is concrete, something we can be assured of, it is real! The evidence of faith is having a conviction that even though we can’t see God we know he is real!
For example: When do we use our faith? Getting out of bed…the floor. Getting in your car…it cranks…coming to church the AC is working. You have faith that the pew you are sitting in is going to remain sturdy. We show faith everyday but most of the time we take it for granted.
Illustration: Running back to the press box. Lack of exercise made my legs weak. Lack of spiritual exercise can make our faith weak and we get lethargic.
says where there is no vision the people perish!
Proverbs 29:18 KJV 1900
Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Let’s begin with verse 3

God Has a Vision

Framed the worlds by His word
Completely finished beginning and end
World gives meaning to ages or time period which is different from Chronos meaning a specific time
WE are here only for a specific time. WE are part of his vision
Therefore we have a specific time period envisioned by God in which we are to serve him, worship him, and verse 6 says to please Him. How by exercising our faith in Him!
How do we exercise this faith by diligently seeking Him. How do we please God? by putting our faith in Him and not in the world.
The following verses show an example of people who pleased God by faith
Transition: God has a vision for each age, he had one for them and he has one for us. But I want you to see something else...

The “Heroes” Had Vision

Hebrews 11:13–16 KJV 1900
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Hebrews 11:13-
Our Heroes all had something in common: they all died not receiving the promise. What promise? Jesus was the promise. God promised them something better.
They weren’t for sure what it was, but they put their faith in God and the vision of a better future, and they were convinced of this future and embraced this promise.
It was not easy. Look at what happened. They were all told to do something new and different. They laughed at noah, called him crazy!
Abraham had to set out to a strange land.
Each and everyone of them if they had not been faithful to God and focused on Him could have looked back at the past and might have gone back.
There is a reason it is called the past. Because it’s gone. we can’t get it back, we don’t hold on to it.
Trophy Illustration and Highway illustration with the ruts.
We have to avoid getting in a rut when we worship and serve God. They desired something better, they had a vision for something better.
We too must desire something better, and we received it when God sent his son

This Church Must Have Vision

Because he sent his son is why we are in this House today.
Over 20 years ago this church was started because you had a vision. You wanted something better. You wanted change. Do you remember?
You wanted to have a church in your community where you could reach out to people and help people.
This church like all churches have had some ups and downs. But what about the next 20 years?
We come, we say hello and greet one another, we pray, we sing, we listen to the preacher preach and then we go home.
Something has happened. What is it? Have we become a church that has gotten too comfortable? What is our vision for the next 20 years?
Change isn’t bad, but change is necessary! We have to be able to relate to those who are outside these walls. We have to make the Gospel come alive to those who don’t understand.
There are opportunities. Recall earlier I was speaking about we are only here for a specific time period. God gives us a specific time to exercise our faith by taking hold of opportunities.
We have an opportunity and a need to look for a youth minister. We have an abundance of youth and my vision for this church is to grow the future church members. We need to exercise our faith in God that he would take care of this need through our current church members!
We have an opportunity to improve God’s house, the place of worship where we come together. Once again we need to exercise our faith that we will be commited to coming to worship and tithing the way we should not exercising fear that we cant give!
We have opportunities for our musicians and choir to come together and really sing to glorify God!
But here’s what happens: You are presented with an opportunity and the normal Christian response is “I’ll pray about it” which is the church member way of saying “not a chance”
We should pray about it, but don’t use this as an excuse to not do something.
We shouldn’t use it as an excuse to prolong something either. We can kick around the idea for so long that the opportunity passes us by and God blesses someone else for stepping out on faith and not being held back by fear.
Conclusion: The “heroes” had to wait in faith for something better and that was when Jesus came to earth, we know he was here and now have to wait in faith for His return. In the meantime we are to be faithfully obedient to His commands. Jesus said if we only had faith the size of a mustard seed we could move mountains. What mountain is standing in your way today? Will you exercise your faith, or will you continue to pretend? Where is your faith today?
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