Scripture: 1 John 5: 1-5
Purpose: To share how we can overcome difficult times by focusing on Jesus.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Today marks the 4th anniversary of one of our nation most trying times. On September 11 2001 we had our faith shaken, as a nation had to come together if we were to make through the difficult times that were ahead.
As a soldier during this time I was faced with many hardships that I would not have made it through if it were not for my faith in Jesus.
A story emerged as I was in Iraq that I used to illustrate faith. During the initial raid of Baqubah, a town just north of Iraq, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father’s voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can’t see you!"
The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, "But I can see you. Jump!" The boy jumped, because he trusted his father.
The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known.
This morning where are you in your faith? Do you trust Jesus enough to jump without seeing? I think of some of our flying creatures when I think about faith. I received and email a few weeks back that really caught my eye. The Buzzard, The Bat, and The Bumblebee have more in common with us than you may realize.
I. Taking a look at the Buzzard.
1. If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and it is entirely open at the top, the bird in spite of its ability to fly will be an absolute prisoner.
2. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.
3. The buzzard allows the pen to be his master and over looks a wide open escape. You who have been, or are a slave to alcohol or tobacco will be master over that when you have faith in God. You have an escape and it is wide open to you. He is the one to deliver you.
4. One time a lady came for prayer to be delivered from smoking but would go back to it time and again. She had to go to the doctor she was so ill. The doctor said she had cancer from smoking too much. Then she got down to business. When you see your sins as God sees them in the light of the bible you will repent or perish.
5. If the doctor says you’re going to have a heart attack, you will get to business with the Lord. That lady did and she lived many years believing God. Why not get down to business now with the Lord, and put your faith in Jesus.
II. How about the Bat
1. The bat flies around at night and is remarkably fragile creature. It is the only mammal on earth that can fly.
2. One major downfall that plagues the bat is that it cannot take off from a level place. If placed on a flat surface all it can do is shuffle about completely helplessly and, no doubt, painfully.
3. The bat needs to reach some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then at once, it takes off like a flash!
4. We too need some slight elevation. Once we have given our lives over to Jesus, He is the elevation that makes us soar to heaven. But many of us go through life, flightless, because we have never given our lives over to the only one that can make us airborne.
5. We need to place our faith in Jesus and have complete assurance in Him.
6. Years ago one of my friends told me something that has stuck in my mind.
He had a pilot’s license and someone once asked him if he ever took his
children flying with him. He said, "Yes". The next question was, "What is
their response?" I was particularly interested in his child’s response. He
said he curled up and went to sleep. The child could go to sleep because
the pilot, his Daddy, loved him, and wasn’t going to allow anything to
happen to him that wasn’t for his own good. That is not saying the two of
them didn’t run into any turbulence, but he could trust his dad, because
he knew that his Daddy had his best interests at heart.
7. How like our Heavenly Father that is. We know that He loves us, and
won’t allow anything to happen to us but what is for our own good and in
the process strengthen someone else’s faith.
III. Let’s take a look at our good friend, The Bumblebee.
A. First of all, the bumblebee has amazed the scientific world since the beginning of time. You see, the bumblebee’s wings are too small to logically propel the bee’s body through the air. To this day with all of our scientific advances, we are still unable to make since of it.
1. Perhaps it is faith and faith alone that allows the bumblebee to fly.
2. I believe that the Bible teaches us a story that relates to the bumblebee in 1 Samuel 17 we read of a small boy that has faith in God and ends up defeating a Giant. In verses 45-47 we read; 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
3. David had faith in knowing that no matter how small he was, he was going to do the impossible with God’s help.
B. Did you know that the bumblebee, if dropped into a drinking glass, will be there until it dies, unless taken out?
1. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.
2. A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued: "Is anyone up there?" "I am here. I am the Lord.
Do you believe me?" "Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer." "That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch." A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"
3. Isn’t this how many of us are? We are too headstrong to simply place our faith in His hands. We would rather do it our way rather than trusting in God.
4. Doing it our way will ultimately destroy us just like the bumblebee. The only way out of our tumbler, (life), is to place our faith to Jesus. If we don’t we will completely destroy ourselves.
C. In many ways, we are just like the Buzzard, the Bat, and the Bumblebee.
We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing
that all we have to do is Look Up.
1. When we were hit on 911, we came together as a nation and many found
the Love and Power of Jesus within their lives. As a nation we didn’t allow
the tragedy of 911 to take our faith away, instead we were drawn closer to
Jesus and we were able to move forward.
2. Where is our focus this morning, on the anniversary of 911? Is our faith
still on Jesus or have we become complacent Christians within our walk
only looking to ourselves rather than looking up.
As a proud Vet, American, and Christian; I can assure you that FAITH in Jesus has been and will continue to get us through times such as these.
Are you doing your part, Are you living each day in FAITH, looking up to the one and only that can give you peace in all situations?
I have not always had the FAITH that Jesus would ask of me, but I want to give myself fully to Him this morning. Will you? Let’s Look up together and move forward.