Summary: Faith is exercised best when we give up what is most precious to us and rely on God.
Faith That Gives Up
Griffith Baptist Church – 1/11/09
Key verse: Hebrews 11:25-26 - 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
Premise: Faith is exercised best when we give up what is most precious to us and rely on God.
Nobody likes a quitter, do they?
o We all have respect for the person that fights on to the very end, beats the odds and comes out a winner.
o We like being winners!
But what if you had a coach that told you that in order to win, you needed to lose. Our coach does.
Matthew 16:24 – Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
John 3:30 – He must increase, but I must decrease.
James 4:6 – . . . God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Philippians 3:8 - Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
That doesn’t sound much like the worlds approach to winning, does it?
A little girl was once given a gift from her daddy of nice play jewelry for her birthday. She loved her daddy very much and considered this a very special gift. She would play everyday with her new plastic jewelry as if it was the real thing. She played dress up, she would wear it to the dinner table, going out or to church. Her favorite was the fake pearl necklace. To everyone else, it looked fake, but to her, it was her most choice piece. She would never give it up for anything in the world.
Many times we are like that little girl, always holding on to the tangible things in life when God offers so much more. Missionary Jim Elliot said this very famous quote - He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. (Powerpoint picture and quote)
With Moses, some challenges were before him and his parents that forced them to make choices and build on their faith in God.
One of the best secrets to having a better, more productive faith is to let go, or give up four barriers that are obstructing our faith walk.
o Satan loves these barriers because he wants to weaken us.
o God is telling us to eliminate these barriers because He wants to strengthen us.
o The path you choose will make all the difference in the world.
There are three barriers that we need to give up to have a more satisfying and productive faith.
1. Give up the entitlement mentality – 23
A. Moses parents gave up posterity for a greater return - Gave up Moses to save his life, only to be given back by Pharaoh’s daughter to keep the Hebrew child and nurse it.
i. Having Moses was not a right, it was a responsibility
ii. Children were a gift from God, not a possession
B. We live in an entitlement culture
i. We are “rights” driven
ii. We even have those on the fringe who have claimed special rights
iii. The problem with rights is when they go to far, they become self-centered and extreme
C. What we have, we have by grace:
i. Salvation (Eph. 2:8-9)
ii. Gifts – Romans 12:3 - For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
iii. Life itself
iv. God thinks in terms of giving to His children
v. We have to think in terms of acting responsibly with those gifts
D. Give everything to God – its His anyway!
2. Give up control – 24
A. Moses gave up power for a greater responsibility
i. There were three guys talking in a restaurant. Two of them were talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remained quiet. After a while one of the first two turned to the third and says, "Well, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?" The third guy said "I’ll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees." The first two guys were amazed. "What happened then?" they asked. "She said, ’get out from under the bed and fight like a man’."