Acts 14:9-10The Message (MSG)
Gods or Men?
8-10 There was a man in Lystra who couldn’t walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Up on your feet!” The man was up in a flash—jumped up and walked around as if he’d been walking all his life.
Hebrews 11:1-2The Message (MSG)
Faith in What We Don’t See
11 1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.” ― George Mueller, Answers To Prayer
By faith Betsy Devos, won’t hurt our children, by faith #45 ideologies will work out for our good, by faith our leaders will come together as God ordains, by faith we as citizens will embrace one another while the storm is raging, by faith our communities will have enough for everyone to share when the billows of hate come against us a people, by faith we all will see “It getting better” and not faint or get weary in well doing, by faith Christians, Hindus, Muslims, together with Catholics and anyone else that’s of the human race with beliefs, we, will come together to ease the pain of others.
WHAT DOES FAITH LOOK LIKE?
Acts 14:9 “Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, Stand up on your feet!. At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.”
Faith is perhaps one, if not the, most important element necessary to grow in the Christian walk.
Goerge Muller once said: the beginning of anxiety is the end of faith and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without it we can never make God happy.
AW Tozer said, faith is the vitamin that makes all we take from the bible digestible
We are saved by faith We walk by faith We are of the household of faith
Faith is the key that unlocks the supernatural realm of our natural existence. Where we stand this morning in our walk with Christ is a direct result of the location and depth of our faith. It’s a journey-I feel sorry for Moses..he spent 40 yrs wandering in the desert eating nothing but bread off the ground and an occasional bird and every day a million people would come up to him and ask, are we there yet?
Romans 12:3 tells us that each of us has been given a measure of faith…..what we do with it and how we use it is up to us.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God and you and I won’t be happy either. We cannot compare ourselves and our faith with that of our brother or sister. Comparing will only lead to division.
3 little kids were talking….one said my brother takes horseback riding lessons. Another said well my sister takes gymnastics. The 3rd one, not wanting to be outdone said, well that’s nothing, my sister takes antibiotics!
2 things are true about faith people…
People with faith feel good about themselves…they know that they are the way they are because God made them that way and God doesn’t make mistakes (fearfully & wonderfully made) For most people, it’s not what they are that holds them back. It’s what they think their not.
2 cows were grazing in the pasture when they saw a milk truck pass. On the side of the truck were the words, “Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, vitamin A added” One cow sighed to the other,”Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?”
People with faith feel like good things are going to happen!
A man took a cruise and after the 2nd day, he noticed this woman staring at him. Finally, he went over to her and said, Maam, do I know you? She said I’m just taken back by how much you look like my 3rd husband. He said, “your 3rd husband?” Yes, she said. He said, How many times have you been married? She said twice!
Cheer up tomorrow is another day and it’s going to be different!
Fear is the exact opposite of faith…it believes the worst
Faith believes that the absolute best will happen in every situation
So what does faith look like?
In our text we see a man crippled in his feet since birth. He had never taken a step forward, never ran barefoot through the grass, never felt the heat from the hot beach sand running through his toes. He was just sitting where he had been placed.
Many times the reason that we have no faith is because we are still sitting in the place where God put us long ago. God requires legs on your faith, legs on your praise, legs on your prayer life so that you move on and on to higher levels. As Pastor Bron Jacobs once said, we need to get up on our feet, move out of our seat and into the street!
Many folks are afraid to share the Gospel. One man said, Our preacher tells us to go out and witness to others weekly. Nothing strikes fear in me more than sharing my faith with a complete stranger. Why it’s gotten so bad, I’ve enrolled in a Witness Relocation program!
In NY City its gotten so bad that if you want to talk to a Jehovahs Witness you need to go knock on their door!
This man listened to Paul as he spoke and when Paul fastened his eyes upon this crippled man, everything else went out of focus except for what he perceived in this man’s eyes. Faith gets your attention!
Paul saw expectancy and enthusiasm.
Paul saw the man running in his spirit
Paul saw a man that was leaping up and down on the inside
Faith looks like unbridled enthusiasm.
Peter, in Luke 5 was asked by Jesus to “launch out into the deep for a catch”. In other words, go out beyond the boundaries that you have accepted for yourself and experience mine. Expand your perimeter, your comfort zone, and start to think and live out of the box. When we limit ourselves, we limit God. Faith knows that what we see is not all there is. What we are is not all we will be. Where we are is not where we will end up.
Faith looks like unlimited potential.
A little further on in Luke 5, the Lord was teaching Pharisees and teachers of the law from all over Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The bible says that “the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick” Some men had gathered with their paralyzed friend and they were trying to get him to Jesus but the crowd was simply overwhelming. Many would give up here and catch him next time he comes to town….but not these guys. They looked for another opening and decided to go up on the roof and drop him into the Lords lap. The scripture says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he looked at the paralytic and said your sins are forgiven.
It appears to me that this man was in such bondage about his past that he couldn’t receive his present and therefore the faith of his friends brought about a miracle for him.
Faith looks like unwavering resourcefulness.
In Mark 5 there was a woman who had been ill for 12 years and exhausted every human resource available to get well. All she received back was a negative report. In fact, instead of getting better, she got worse! When she heard about Jesus, she went after him(though it was against Jewish law for her to be seen in public) because she thought, if I can get close enough to touch him, I will be better. She was willing to risk it all!
Faithfulness is the willingness to take risks that require faith in order to produce fruit.
Faith looks like unquenchable desire
You might say that faith looks a lot like a “hail Mary” pass with no time remaining
on the clock.
Faith is dead to doubt, dumb to discouragement, and blind to impossibilities.
It knows nothing but success in God
Faith is not believing that God can, it is knowing that God will!
Hebrews 11:1 says that:
Faith is the substance(that which stands by you/alongside) the committed, unrelenting, unflinching confidence or companion of things hoped for, And the evidence(revelation, illumination) of things that are not visible to the natural eye.
The size of the man is more important than the size of the problem.
Greater is He that is in me than the problem that is coming against me.
Faith takes action….
Hebrews 11:33 tells us that faith subdued, faith worked, faith obtained and faith even stopped the mouth of lions
What does faith look like?
When you find Jesus, you find the author(creator) and the finisher(completer) of your faith. Christ in you…the hope of glory!
“God’s way leads always into a trial, so far as sight and sense are concerned. Nature always will be tried in God’s ways.” ― George Mueller, Answers To Prayer
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