Summary: Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in following one program after another for the purpose of becoming confident towards proclaiming one’s faith. In truth, God has already given us all that we need to go out there right now and talk about Jesus. Paul’s
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Title: Are You Prepared To Own a Famous Faith? By Pastor Douglas Koehler
Text: Romans 1:8-17
If you’ve ever had a connection to the boy scouts then you would be familiar with the phrase, ‘BE PREPARED”. As a kid, the words “BE PREPARED basically said to me, “Get ready for a lot of learning”. For example, in order for me to be prepared on breathing life back into one of those practice dummies we used for CPR, I had to feel confident enough to know what I was doing. I had to study in order to BE PREPARED.
To this day the Scouting motto has guided millions of young boys to know that if you ever want to make a difference in this world, you must BE PREPARED. Truthfully, whether you are a man or a women, that motto is coveted by us all. We all want to be prepared so that we will always have available what we need before we need it.
How prepared are you right now for your faith to be proclaimed to all the world? What is it that we still need to learn? What classes do we still have to take? What lessons do we still need to experiment with before we can become a shining city on a hill; a people of God famous for our faith?
These are stirring questions, questions that prompted me years ago to try and learn all that I could learn so that I could be prepared for that day when I truly felt comfortable sharing my faith with others. For years I attended lectures, small group studies and evangelism programs. I purchased books from the latest best selling Christian authors and each one was supposed to prepare me all the more for the day when I could proclaim my faith. Eventually, I went to Seminary. So, do you think that I am prepared enough to proclaim my faith to the world? Do you believe you need more education, more programs and further practical experience before you can truly be ready to have your faith proclaimed?
In the storyline of the movie THE MATRIX, if the hero needed to learn how to fly a helicopter all he needed to do was have that information instantly downloaded into his mind. One minute he would not know how to fly the helicopter and the next minute he was a pro at flying. That sort of thing sounds a bit fanciful; it seems only possible in a science fiction story. Yet, through Paul’s letter to the Roman church, we can see clearly how the power of God provides instant preparedness for today to own a famous faith.
Do you remember that passage in Matthew 6 that calls us not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself? Have you ever wondered if maybe that passage could be transposed to say, “Even as God has already taken care of what you will eat and what you will wear; he has also taken care of what you need for becoming a faithful witness? Remember, the Lord responded to the apostles who once exclaimed the words, “INCREASE OUR FAITH” with these words, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you.” What the Lord did not say was that their faith needed to be increased through a grand effort on their part.
Before Paul wrote his letter to the Roman church, he had never interacted with them before. As far as we know, no apostle had founded the church in Rome. These people certainly did not have a seminary to prepare them, nor did they have to prepare themselves in any way for what made their faith famous. So it appears that God simply fulfilled his promise to take care of what his people needed right now. He gave them what they needed to become a shining city on a hill; a people of great faith who influenced so many others.
Paul was certainly influenced by what he heard about this new Roman congregation. Think about that, impressing the great Apostle Paul. To me that does not sound like that easy a task. Paul was the man of faith in my opinion because he let nothing interfere with his passion for proclaiming Christ and Him crucified and Risen. Anyway, since Paul was influenced to introduce himself to this Christian body of believers that really tells you something about what these people were doing in the name of Jesus.