4 - Faith Series - NOW faith
INTRO: Story on missed opportunities
Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Recent word as I woke up on Sunday morning:
“My people need to be more urgent”
Matthew 25:1-13(Powerpoint ref only)
3 things about “NOW” faith:
1. Now faith makes a clear decision
Procrastination is a problem for all of us. We don’t mean to PUT OFF, PUT OFF but we would rather make no decision than risk a clear YES or NO.
One of my Dad’s favourite sayings to my many annoying questions was “We’ll see son”. I learnt to interpret that as meaning “It’s not going to happen”.
Matthew 5:37 (NKJV) "But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
James 1:5-8 (NKJV) 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
We get crippled in middle ground and fail to SEIZE the DAY when God directs us to NOW FAITH.
Noah – Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV) By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Noah responds to the divine warning and makes a clear YES LORD decision. Even though he didn’t know what a boat was or what one looked like – he made a decision and began the project with an urgency.
What was one of the things that motivated Noah?
“he moved with godly fear…”
Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV) "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Friends we only have one life to live – one opportunity of a lifetime to impact and INFLUENCE our world. The ‘fear of the Lord’ motivates me to make decisions today that will positively impact people’s lives tomorrow.
2. “Now” faith moves into action
Faith without works is dead – James 2:14-26
Faith that works has works! We demonstrate our faith by our actions.
Many are crippled today by a lack of action. They are afraid to make a move in case it is outside of God’s will!
Friends – 90% of God’s will is common sense.
It’s like the guy that asks for guidance as to where he should go. Moments later he sees an advert for Brazil nut chocolate. “Of course!” he declares. “Thankyou God, this means you are sending me to Brazil!” How absurd, but believe me, some people think this is legitimate guidance. It’s fortunate that this guy didn’t see the ad for the Mars bar!
You won’t steer a motionless car anywhere until it is moving. God does not tend to guide people who are motionless. Of course there is a time to wait on God for future direction. However, the Bible abounds with examples of the call of God coming to busy people. People who are not sitting around waiting for guidance without first stepping into action.
e.g. Children of Israel Hebrews 11:30 (NKJV) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days
Can you imagine the people saying to Joshua their leader, “Oh Joshua, can’t we just wait over here by our tent and just blow the trumpets over here and yell out a couple of PRAISE GOD’s over here???
NO! Now faith has feet and moves into action when the decision has been made it positions itself for victory, for action, for the hand of God to come through!
3. “Now faith” sees the future already accomplished before it happens.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
‘..confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.’
When we don’t live BY faith, we live by whatever other picture is held in our minds. The devil will give us plenty of other future visions for our lives….”disaster will strike, your kids are going to get terminally ill, the church will fall over…”
Now Faith is a time rebel. It travels through time into the future. It feels the experience of a yet future event. But it feels that event “now”.
- Faith is not pretending it is there
- Faith is not hoping that it’s there
- It is not just imagining it is there.
- Faith knows it’s there because it has the substance of the experience, or the thing. Because it exists inside of me I know that it exists.
It works like this:
Somehow my faith has rebelled against the normal time restrictions (God doesn’t live inside the normal time restrictions that man does), traveled out into the future, plugged into this thing and translated the substance of it back to me here in the present – in the NOW.
e.g. God with Abraham – speaking of the nation that will come out of his loins through his yet unborn son ISSAC.
Romans 4:17 (NLT) That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who brings into existence what didn't exist before.
“I have”… past tense. Yet Abraham is 90 yrs old – his wife is past child bearing age – yet God was speaking to Abraham as if it had already happened!
Faith locates us with God outside of TIME and feeds through this invisible UMBILICAL CORD an inner assurance that what I’m believing for – hoping for IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
That’s why when we let go of this umbilical cord we can become SHIPWRECKED in the faith.
1 Timothy 1:19 (NIV) holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
INTRO: Project TURNAROUND
As we approach our annual breakthrough offering on 29th July – 3 weeks away – let me tell you what I have found faith for in 2007.
I’m calling it PROJECT TURNAROUND. We are going to revamp our auditorium and set it up for the future growth of our church.
- | PP |
Much needed sound equipment revamped. We still have some of the original sound equipment purchased 20 yrs ago. The current sound distribution in the auditorium is inadequate for a facility that is communicating the greatest message the world can ever hear!
- | PP |
Dimmable lighting. We have a facility that is perfectly suited to maximizing the 21st century ability to communicate an atmosphere that is enhanced dramatically by good lighting.
This will help with out multi-media presentations, future dramatic and dance presentations. Just general atmosphere enhancement
- | PP |
New stage location and seating arrangements to maximize the sound and lighting enhancements to be made.
This will also dramatically improve the sense of family and intimacy we all want to experience when we meet together on Sundays.
Bottom line – we are in the communication business and we want to be the best we can be.
POWERPOINT latest floor plan.
Along with the presence of God and the excitement of faith filled SAINTS of God – we want ATMOSPHERE PLUS in our church building – this will help us to reach that goal.
We want to continue to see our church grow and have our members enthusiastically be able to have the confidence to bringing their friends into an environment that is both appealing and attention grabbing.
Our night service has great potential to grow further but is being hampered right now by our labour intensive set up every Sunday night – four hours of labour to set up and pull down – continual wear and tear on all our electronic equipment. Our new lighting equipment will enable us to expand or shrink the congregation to any seating capacity we desire – with top quality sound and atmosphere.
I do not have the FAITH required for any other type of project right now. I have prayed and asked God for faith needed to see this come to pass and it is firmly in my spirit. I see it as accomplished already. I see the saints worshipping in the newly designed auditorium with many new faces and friends coming along to meet Jesus and have their lives turned around.
We need to make this step to accommodate our plans for the 5 to 10 yrs.
What will it take to achieve these plans?
Faith and works. (we would welcome volunteer labour for the rebuilding of our new stage, utilising as much of the old stage materials as possible)
Belief and action
Sowing and reaping (a generous people that understand the power of giving to God’s purposes)
Confident assurance that what God starts He finishes!
And approximately 100k to make it happen. The reason why we have not tackled the sound and lighting issues earlier is because of the cost of the equipment. This is our main cost but we can’t keep living back in the 20th Century.
There is an URGENCY in my own spirit for this project to be completed.
REMINDER LAST YEARS BREAKTHROUGH:
We all have the faith to see how God blessed us as a church last year with our 70k roof projected completed. What an amazing group of givers we have here at ELIM. It is exciting to know that we did not get stuck in a WHOA IS ME attitude and allow the GIANT of a leaking roof to hamstring us.
Also – our Church Café – 150k donation made to make it all happen – incredible!
Our building has grown in value over the last 5 yrs. We have gone from a 3 million dollar facility to one that’s worth approximately 5-6 million on today’s market.
Why do we have such a facility? To fill it and bring many more people into Eternal Life!
ALTAR – next week we will be sending an information pack out to all on our membership list. If you are not sure if you are on that list and would like further information then please write down your details at the doorway on the way into our Café and we will make sure you also get sent an information pack.
What can we all do right now? Let’s believe for an impartation of NOW FAITH.
Let’s pray for an impartation of faith to see PROJECT TURNAROUND succeed.
You may have HUGE obstacles that need moving today and it will require NOW FAITH.
Jesus Christ is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY and FOREVER. The same power that moved obstacles of Bible era is available to you today.