Summary: Why is faith so important in my life?
Finding the Faith of Our Heroes - Part 4
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - March 25, 2009
*Everybody has faith. Everybody has faith in something. James Merritt explains:
-An atheist drinks water out of a faucet, believing it is safe.
-He drives his car in freeway traffic, believing the brakes work.
-He submits to the surgeon’s knife, believing that the doctor knows what he is doing.
*But there is a big difference between that faith and Bible faith. The quality of faith depends on the objects on which it rests. You see, the water might actually be poison, the brakes could fail; the surgeon can make a mistake. But we put our faith in a God who cannot lie, a God who cannot fail, and a God who never changes. (1)
*In Mark 11:22, Jesus tells us, “Have faith in God,” and of course we should. Hopefully, we will have more and more faith in God. But why is faith necessary? Why is faith so important in my life?
1. First, faith makes me a friend of God (vs. 8-9)
*James 2:23 tells us “‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.” Here is an amazing truth: The God of the whole universe wants you to be His friend!
*God wants to have a personal relationship with you. But faith is the only way we can have this personal relationship with God. In vs. 8&9, Abraham shows us the essence of this faith relationship:
8. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
*God calls -- we listen. God leads -- we follow. Why? -- Because we trust in the Lord God. All good relationships are built on a foundation of trust, and nobody is more worthy of our trust than God! In Revelation 5 John saw a vision of the multitudes in Heaven singing about Jesus:
9. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10. and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’’
11. Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
12. saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!’’
*Jesus Christ is worthy of our trust! And wonder of wonders, He wants to have a relationship with me! Jesus wants you to be His friend.
*Rick Warren got to go to China in 2000, and their team met with the professors at Peking University, a school with 50,000 students. It’s the Harvard of China. Every communist leader in China is educated there.
*After the meeting they took the number two leader of the university out to lunch. His name was Joe, and he had been a math professor there for 50 years. They began to talk and Rick discovered that Joe was dying of a brain tumor. At that time, Rick’s dad was also dying of cancer. So he said, “Professor Joe, my dad is dying of cancer, but he’s not afraid to die, because he’s made his peace with God. He knows where he’s going when he dies.”
*Then Rick began to tell him a story about a man who took his son and his son’s three best friends to the carnival. Dad bought a roll of tickets, and at each ride, he would give a free ticket to his son and his three best friends. Then they would move on to the next ride. But at the fifth ride, he looked down and there was a new little hand sticking out for every ticket.
*Dad looked down at this little kid and asked, “Who are you?”
-The kid said, “I’m your son’s new best friend; and he said that if I was his friend, his father would give me a free ticket.”
*Then the dad said, “You think I gave him a ticket? You bet I did.”
*And Rick said. “Professor Joe, your Heavenly Father, God, has a ticket for you to heaven. It is a free ticket. You can’t earn it. You can’t buy it. You’ll never deserve it. It is free. The only way you’ll get it is by being a friend of His Son, Jesus Christ.”