Faithlife Sermons

A Lived-In Faith

The Refuge  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Levi’s 501 at the beginning of school. Atwoods.
Not the cool brand but just what we bought. Then… 1990 and a t-shirt.
Button Your Fly Shirt
There is something about an old pair of jeans. Broken in.
But, to get them there it requires wearing them a lot! But, once you get them there, you will default to that specific pair every time.
Our faith should feel this way. Not foreign.
When you walk into church, open your Bible, spend time in prayer, stand in worship.
Living your faith should feel familiar.
As the Israelites settle into their land, they are called to settle into the fulfillment of God’s promises to them. This provides a framework for us to make our relationship with God more natural.
Land = Covenant = Relationship

Take Ownership of Your Faith

The people receive the land. It isn’t a colony for them to rule over but a homeland where they are to reside and be citizens.
They were to be responsible for the land as they took possession of it. Whether it succeeded or failed would be up to them.
This is the same for your faith. A thriving faith is your responsibility just as you can’t blame anyone else for a withering faith.
HOBY leadership camp.
YOGOWYPI
You Only Get Out What You Put In
Sanctification is your choice and responsibility.
James 4:8 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
God will draw as near to you as you want Him to. And to be enveloped in the presence of God brings us joy and purpose!
Often times I’ll have people ask, “Why doesn’t God...”
Are you drawing near to Him? Reading His Word? Spending time in prayer? Being aware of His presence and guidance in your life?
The Christian faith is not one that can be lived vicariously.
What do I mean by that? Ever been to a youth sports game? You can pick out the parents who played that sport and thought they should have gone further. And now their kids are playing that sport and they don’t care but their parents really want them to play. And they are reliving their sports experience through their children.
The Christian faith must be owned. It is your responsibility, your commitment.
A shift in your identity. Christ before all.

Make a Commitment to Your Faith

Not only did the Israelites take possession of the land but they settled there. They put down their roots. Not a vacation home! Not a temporary thing where if it doesn’t work out then they can just move on down the road to the next place.
This is how we need to think of our faith, but a lot of people cycle through commitments.
They try to find meaning in who they are in a relationship with, what their job title is, what their bank statement says, how much personal pleasure they can experience, and then sprinkle in the occasional religious experience.
Many of them will finally reach the same conclusion that’s given in Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 1:14 ESV
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
The key phrase there is “under the sun.” All these things: possessions, pleasures, and popularity, fail us because they are all under the sun.
But, when we enter into a saving relationship with God Almighty then we find true meaning. This is not just a religious experience but a true commitment to Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord.
Following Jesus calls us to reject any other identity and be the new person in Christ.
Everything becomes subject to your faith. Everything bows down to it. And if something you hold, maybe you hold dearly, but it contradicts what it means to follow Jesus, then it must be rejected.
I find this across a lot of platforms and it has infected the church. We have assumed that arrogance and anger are fruits of the Spirit. Left and right I see pastors who act and sound a lot more like politicians vying for votes than Gospel ministers proclaiming the saving power of Jesus Christ.
The reality is that we must choose one. Well, according to Jesus, you can only choose one.
Luke 16:13 ESV
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
The specific context Jesus is talking about money, but that’s the application of the truth: You cannot serve two masters.
You can only commit to one master.
Choose this day to commit to your faith!

Receive Complete Forgiveness through Faith

Every single promise that God had made had been fulfilled.
The covenant with Abraham in Gen. 12 and Gen. 15.
God had defeated all their enemies (v. 44)!
All they had to do was what God was calling them to do. They did not have to win the battles on their own for it was God who had assured this rag tag nation that they would experience total victory.
The same is true of our faith.
Stop trying to earn salvation and just receive it.
You can’t earn it. It requires righteousness which is a currency that we cannot even attain!
But, you don’t have to. The promise of God to forgive!
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This great exchange of us giving our sin to Jesus and then we are clothes with His righteousness!
And this confession not only gives us forgiveness but it also cleanses us!
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
No condemnation. When you are in Christ that burden of sin is gone. The only remnant we experience of that is from the enemy who loves to remind us of who we once were in order to prevent you from living in Jesus.
God never condemns His children.
And this is what God offers to you today. Forgiveness.

Conclusion

Vacations. Enjoyed our time away. Memories were made and experiences had. Left on a Friday and returned the next Saturday so that we could squeeze in everything that we possibly could. A sign of a good vacation is that I come home tired but happy. On that Friday, when I woke up in a hotel in Chicago about to head to Wrigley Field to watch a Cubs game, I told Vanessa, “I’m ready to be home.”
I enjoy traveling, whether on mission trips or on vacations. But, my favorite airport to fly into is Will Rogers. There’s nothing quite like coming home.
This familiarity is what our faith is to be like: a consistent longing to go deeper and to live out faith.
Cultivate a longing for Jesus.
This begins in salvation.
Then move forward in that relationship by knowing His voice through Scripture and prayer.
Move forward in the power of His love and grace.
The more you know Jesus the more you love Jesus.
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