Summary: This is the third in a 3 part series. Based on these statements; FAITH WITHOUT TRUST IS IMPOSSIBLE, FAITH WITHOUT RISK IS A CONTRADICTION FAITH WITHOUT BELIEF IS HOLLOW(empty).
Baby-steps / Part 3 – Belief
Last week we took a second step on a journey of baby steps… taking one step at a time to find true faith.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1-3 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Our backdrop for this series is the story of Abraham in Isaac found in Genesis 22… We left them last week as God was taking them through a test of Trust… remember God’s hand in yours, T.R.U.S.T….
A 3 day journey where God is asking for everything from Abraham… a test if Abraham is willing to let go of his dreams, his son, whom he loves…
Genesis 22 – last week he went to raise the knife… God stops him… provides the ram… declares blessing on him… we learn from Abraham a journey to trust, to risk, and to believe.
Today we are looking at the aspect of Belief… as an important part of faith… For…
FAITH WITHOUT TRUST IS IMPOSSIBLE
FAITH WITHOUT RISK IS A CONTRADICTION
Faith without belief is hallow (empty)
It’s hallow because belief is what creates actions. If we really believe God is true, that He is with us, then we will act like it.
With trust we learned what it means to be open to God.
With risk we learned the importance of obedience and stepping out even when you don’t understand.
What is obedience? – belief that God has the bigger picture (we learned God is BIG!) What is disobedience? – belief that I can see more clearly then God.
Today we jump from our Abraham story and look at a dramatic passage. REMEMBER THAT…
Faith without belief is hallow (empty)
1 : a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing
ALL TO OFTEN WE HAVE THEISTIC BELIEFS BUT OPERATE OUT OF OUR ATHEISM…
THAT SHOULD MOVE US TO WANT CHANGE!
Our beliefs and our values are the fuel
for our actions.
Do we trust,
Will we risk
Do we and will we believe?
The disciples have been walking with Jesus… He now has just preached to thousands of people… and the miracle of feeding the 5000 has just occurred.
They too are learning baby steps… learning to trust, to believe, and on this day one of them learns to take risk, but when you trust God and believe it no longer seems like risk.
And we pick up the story in Matthew 14.
22 Immediately after this, Jesus made his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake while he sent the people home. 23 Afterward he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning F77 Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. "It’s all right," he said. "I am here! Don’t be afraid." 28 Then Peter called to him, "Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water." 29 "All right, come," Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. "Save me, Lord!" he shouted. 31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. "You don’t have much faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt me?" 32 And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. "You really are the Son of God!" they exclaimed.
Before we talk about Peter… let’s talk about success.
What makes you successful?
The Success Paradox
In one national study Barna discovered that people’s views of success had little to do with their faith and spiritual wholeness. People focused on personal accomplishments, family solidarity and emotional fulfillment.
Barna notes that only 7% identified spiritual wholeness and development as the factor that will produce a successful life. "The Christian faith commends sacrifice, servanthood and sharing as the means to significance," he noted. "How is it possible to have more than 120 million adults attending Christian churches on a regular basis, but only 15 million who grasp the message that success is not about personal accomplishment or material possessions?"