Sermon:
Building a Life of Faith (Hebrews 11:8-18)

Weíre in week three of a series on built for life - on how to build a great life. All of us want to build great lives, and the Bible tells us how we can do that. Today weíre going to talk about building a life of faith.

How do you get Godís approval? By being religious and going to church? No. By keeping the Ten Commandments? No. By being more good than bad? No. By promising to be perfect? No. The Bible says that there is only one way to get Godís approval. Thereís only one way to get Godís smile on your life. In the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, it says, "It is impossible to please God without faith" (Hebrews 11:6).

The only way you can get Godís approval is through faith. You may be a great person, but without faith, itís impossible to please God. You may do all sorts of great things in your life, but without faith itís impossible to please God. God isnít interested in rules and rituals. Heís only interested in one thing: that you develop a relationship of faith with him. If you want to build a great life, itís essential that you know how to build a life of faith. Somebody has called faith the greatest power in the world.

What is faith? A lot of people have the wrong idea about what faith is. Iíve heard people say that faith is an irrational commitment to beliefs despite evidence to the contrary. Iíve heard others say that faith is like a blind leap into darkness. Thatís not faith; thatís stupidity. Faith is actually the opposite. You could describe faith as a leap out of darkness back into the light. Faith is not irrational. Itís based upon coherent and consistent reasoning. Faith isnít simplistic, but it is simple. Faith provides future hope for your soul.

What is faith? Probably the best definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11. Itís a book of the Bible that contains a list of people in the Bible who lived lives of faith. You could call it Godís Hall of Faith. And Hebrews 11:1 gives us a definition of faith that I want to use today. Hebrews 11:1 says, "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." Hereís a definition of faith. Faith is the confident assurance that God is in control of the future and that he will keep his promises to me because he has a purpose for me. Faith is building your life on the fact that God is in control, and that God will fulfill his promises even when you donít see those promises materializing.

Faith isnít making a good guess based on the best human estimate of what will happen. Faith isnít taking a leap of faith. Faith is believing the promises of God, even when there is nothing to show for it. Weíre going to look today at how we can develop lives of faith.

There is one man in the Bible who stands out as a paragon of faith. His name is Abraham. Now, the great thing about Abraham is that he has been viewed throughout the centuries as a model of faith - not just