Faithlife Sermons

Visionary Faith

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Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking. 11 And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, 15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” 18 Even with these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them. 19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
Paul Stoned at Lystra
19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. 21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Introduction:
A reporter once asked Mrs. Einstein if she understood the theory of relativity. She replied, “No, but I know Albert and he can be trusted.”
replied, “No, but I know Albert and he can be trusted.”
As Christians we will not know all the answers to life’s problems and challenges, but we know Jesus and He can be trusted.
1) As Christians we will not know all the answers to life’s problems and challenges, but we
know Jesus and He can be trusted.
It is true faith in Christ that makes the difference. The essence, the heart of the Christian life, is faith.
2) It is true faith in Christ that makes the difference. The essence, the heart of the
Christian life, is faith.
It is by faith we are saved. Ephesians 2:8-9
It is by faith that we please God.
Not of works, lest any man should boast. ()
It is by faith we grow spiritually.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built
up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with
thanksgiving. ()
It is for the faith that we strive together
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come
and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one
spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. ()
It is by faith that we please God.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ()
Visionary Faith is at the core of Visionary Stewardship.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
3) Visionary Faith
In our management of all that God entrusts to our care... the defining characteristic of that care is faithfulness.
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Visionary Faith is at the core of Visionary Stewardship. In our management of all that God
Literally, we are to be “full of faith” in our stewardship.
entrusts to our care, the defining characteristic of that care is faithfulness. Literally, we are
to be “full of faith” in our stewardship.
Paul states this in 1 Corinthians 4:2.....Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
Paul stated it this way to the Corinthians:
Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Today we’re going to look at experiences in the lives of stewards who—just like you and me —had to exercise visionary faith. They are examples who give us genuine encouragement.
—had to exercise visionary faith. They are examples who give us genuine encouragement.
First, Visionary Faith to See Beyond the Ordinary
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. Hebrews 11:7
prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world,
is the “Hall of Faith” and it features key figures of biblical history who exercised faith in diverse and often difficult circumstances.
and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. ()
Note: Explain that is the “Hall of Faith” which features key figures of biblical
history who exercised faith in diverse and often difficult circumstances.
The great cry of the Reformation was “the just shall live by faith”—not by works, not by creeds and philosophies, not by human reason, but only by faith in the one true living God.
creeds and philosophies, not by human reason, but only by faith in the one true living God.
Second, Visionary Faith is certain about what cannot be seen.
A) Visionary Faith is certain about what cannot be seen.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
In order to tap the endless resources of God, the believer must exercise faith by acting in obedience to God’s Word.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
()
In order to tap the endless resources of God, the believer must exercise faith by
Faith, according to the Apostle Paul, “comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” ()
acting in obedience to God’s Word.
Faith, according to the Apostle Paul, “comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of
God.” ()
When one is prompted by the Word of God or by the leadership of the Spirit, obedience to that prompting is an expression of faith.
obedience to that prompting is an expression of faith.
Such a response enables one to enter into partnership with God, and gives the assurance of success even though the end may not be in sight.
Such a response enables one to enter into partnership with God, and gives the
assurance of success even though the end may not be in sight.
Visionary Faith enabled Noah to look beyond the ordinary.
When Noah was directed by God to build an ark, he obeyed, starting a project which lasted for 100 years!
When Noah was directed by God to build an ark, he obeyed, starting a project which
lasted for 100 years!
Noah had never experienced a flood nor had he even seen rain; he obeyed with regard only for the Lord.
Noah had never experienced a flood nor had he even seen rain; he obeyed with
regard only for the Lord.
Since the command of God came without a specific schedule, Noah had to believe and act accordingly because faith has no time limit.
Since the command of God came without a specific schedule, Noah had to believe
and act accordingly because faith has no time limit.
Noah, “when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.” The fear was not fright, but a deep and abiding respect for the Lord and a confidence in His Word.
Noah, “when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his
family.” The fear was not fright, but a deep and abiding respect for the Lord and a
confidence in His Word.
Visionary Faith also gives us confidence and hope in the stewardship of life.
Visionary faith was the only reasonable response for Noah, as it is for us today.
As we look to the future we can’t see it perfectly, but we don’t need to because we
As we look to the future we can’t see it perfectly, but we don’t need to because we know who holds the future.
know who holds the future.
We can rest in the fact that God will honor our obedience to Him and enable us to fulfill by faith the commitments we make.
fulfill by faith the commitments we make.
Third this morning....Visionary Faith Gives Everything Up for God
II. Visionary Faith to Give Everything Up for God
receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in
tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he
13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through
faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a
child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars
of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. 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
God had promised Abraham that he would have a son by his wife, Sarah.
strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that
they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence
they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire
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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. By faith Abraham, when he was tried,
offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God
was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a
figure. ()
God had promised Abraham that he would have a son by his wife, Sarah.
Abraham, however, had to wait 25 years before the promised son was born. By then he was 100 years old and his wife, Sarah, was also very old.
he was 100 years old; his wife, Sarah, was 90.
God superseded the laws of nature to allow the birth of a child to an elderly, barren couple.
God superseded the laws of nature to allow the birth of a child to an elderly, barren
Those faith-filled senior citizens named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter,” for he brought unspeakable joy to them.
couple. Those faith-filled senior citizens named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter,”
for he brought unspeakable joy to them.
After Isaac had grown into young manhood, the word of God came once again to Abraham. He was instructed to take his son to the region of Moriah and sacrifice him unto the Lord
After Isaac had grown into young manhood, the word of God came once again to
Abraham.
You see....Visionary Faith often calls for sacrifice.
B) Visionary Faith often calls for sacrifice.
Still believing, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and took his boy on that long, agonizing trip to the bleak slopes of Moriah.
the region of Moriah.
The message continued: God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac there as a burnt
offering on one of the mountains that He would tell him about: And he said, “Take
now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of
Though he did not comprehend God’s purpose, Abraham’s faith was not shaken.
Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I
will tell thee of.” ()
Still believing, Abraham obeyed the voice of God and took his boy on that long,
agonizing trip to the bleak slopes of Moriah.
Though he did not comprehend God’s purpose, Abraham’s faith was not shaken.
Would Abraham have gone through with it? Would this old man have actually killed his own beloved son?
He complied with the instructions, placing his dear son on the altar and raising a
knife to plunge into the young man’s chest.
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gives us the answer.....
He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
Would he have gone through with it? Would the old man have actually killed his own

He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

beloved son?
Yes, Abraham would have done it, for in Visionary Faith he was already expecting God to raise his son from death!
God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received
him in a figure." ()
Yes, Abraham would have done it, for in Visionary Faith he was already expecting
God to raise his son from death!
This extraordinary account within history may cause us to wonder....what could we possibly have in common with Abraham?.....The answer is: Many things!
This extraordinary story causes us to wonder, what could we possibly have in common
with Abraham? The answer is: Many things!
As God spoke to Abraham, He speaks to you.
As God called Abraham to a life of faith, so God calls you.
In the very act of lifting the knife to slay his son, God stopped him. He commanded
Abraham to kill instead a ram caught in a nearby bush.
As God called Abraham to a life of obedience, He calls you.
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As God called Abraham to a life of obedience, He calls you.
As God tested Abraham, He tests you.
As God tested Abraham, He tests you.
As God called Abraham to a life of faith, so God calls you.
As God called Abraham to a life of faith, so God calls you.
A personal relationship with God is established by faith and a continuous fellowship with God is maintained by faith.
1) A personal relationship with God is established by faith and a continuous fellowship
with God is maintained by faith. Paul told the Colossians, "As ye have therefore received
Without faith we cannot please God, and we cannot live effectively for Him.
Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him." ()
2) Without faith we cannot please God, and we cannot live effectively for Him.
According to , without faith it is impossible to please God.
We are stewards, called and chosen by God to manage the resources that He places in our care.
3) Why do we need visionary faith? There is no other way to relate to God, for “the just
shall live by faith.”
We can do this because the same God who gave us the resources, gives us the faith to steward those resources for His glory and honor.
4) We are stewards, called and chosen by God to manage the resources that He places
in our care. To manage wisely, Visionary Faith is essential. We can experience this,
because the same God who gave us the resources in the first place, gives us the faith to
steward those resources for His glory and honor.
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