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Summary: James Dobson wrote tough Love, the author of Hebrews wrote about tough faith

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Hebrews 11:17-40

Tough Faith

Introduction

A. James Dobson wrote a wonderful book callled “Tough Love.” In this book he describes how some times in life you have to use tough love on your kids. This might mean grounding them, or even spanking the child. Out of love to do the things that you don’t really want to do

B. Along those same lines I have titled today’s message “Tough Faith”

C. We often think that faith is so easy and you just have to believe and you will find the pot of gold and the end of the rainbow

D. Faith is hard.

E. These people that were mentioned here in the “hall of Faith” had a hard time. Their lives were not easy.

F. Let’s look at some of the things faith requires.

I. Faith Gives up Rights

A. Explanation

1. This is something that is really important to Americans

2. It is our favorite thing to say “We have Rights”

3. I can not tell you how many times I have heard that from the Kids Klub Kidz.

4. But God sometimes asks us to give up our rights lets take a look at Moses

B. Illustration

1. Mosses ended up living with Pharaoh’s daughter. She was his mom. A person that close to Pharaoh could have had anything that he wanted. That would be like being the grand child of the president of the United States. But instead Moses chooses to give up his rights and be mistreated along with the people of God.

C. Application

1. Sure Mosses could have had anything that he wanted

2. But what he wanted was God

3. So In Faith he gave up “his rights”

4. However take a look at his gains.

5. Some times we have to realize that what we give up hear will come back to us up there.

II. Faith Offers Sacrifices

A. Explanation

1. I am looking forward to the day Heather and I have a child (that day is not coming any time soon)

2. How amazing that will feel to hold my child in my hands. How I long for that day

3. People have tried to explain that connection between parents and children I don’t think there is enough words to explain it.

B. Illustration

1. Imagine if you would that you were Abraham. You had a beautiful child named Isaac. Then God asked you to offer this child as a sacrifice. WHAT GOD? YOU WANT ME TO OFFER MY CHILD AS A SACRIFICE! I’m sorry Abraham first reaction would not have been one of great joy. However by faith, Abraham was willing.

C. Application

1. God probably will not ask you to offer you son as a sacrifice. However don’t think you wont be asked to make some sacrifices

2. It might be a job that God wants you to take even though it is less money.

3. It could be were you live

4. It could be what you do

5. Whatever it is?

6. By faith you need to be willing to accept every and all sacrifices that God asks of you.

III. Faith Can Lead to Death

A. Explanation

1. I have found out in the past week that I basically have not confidentiality rights as a Pastor. I have to release information that I might not want to release.

2. This happened to a counselor friend of mine. He was not willing to share confidential information. He almost ended up going to jail over it. Fortunately the charges were dropped

3. However this is not even close to what some people have endured.

4. People that die because of their belief in a risen Lord are called Martyrs.

5. They have been around since the beginning of Christianity

B. Illustration

1. In fact the fist martyr recorded in the Bible was Stephen. This is in Acts 6 and 7. He would wonder from the truth and accept the customs of the Synagogue. They tried him and stoned him to death. Because of his faith

C. Application

1. We have been privileged to have the freedom that we have had in America.

2. That is definitely not true in the whole world

3. The question is if things got to the point that you had to choose between living and denying God or death, What would you choose?

4. Would you stand with Stephen, Jim Elliot, or the countless of others who refuse to give up their God.

Conclusion

A. I really hope that I have communicated that Faith is not easy

B. I hope I have you ask yourselves if it is worth it

C. This faith does not come from some bizarre teaching or strange rituals it comes from the one true risen Lord.

D. Notice something if you take the first letter of the words you filled in your listing point what does that leave you with?

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