Summary: We spend time and resources ensuring that our bodies and our possessions receive the attention that they need. My brothers and sisters, when it comes to our Faith, every now and then we need a Faith Check-Up. We will continue from last week and spend ne
Dr. Wayne A. Lawson
Antioch Institutional Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, OK
Preached, Sunday August 16, 2009
Scripture: St. Matthew 15:21-28
21Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Title: How to Develop Great Faith
Last week we looked at the idea of Faith that is able to Move Mountains. This morning we will consider the elements necessary to grow such faith. Past few days, I have felt the leading of the Holy Ghost in the direction of spending the next few weeks developing a faith series from the pulpit. We spend much time and resources on health, we schedule time for a Health Check-Up. When we re-cover from certain health crisis we have scheduled check-ups. I remember when my sister had a Kidney Transplant she began with a weekly check-up, she was excited when she moved to a Monthly check-up. Then one day after an appointment she was doing so well her doctor said see you in three months for a check-up.
Some days ago my son and I drove to Altus, OK to view on a potential job site. Before making the journey I put the automobile in the shop for a Mechanical check-up. We spend time and resources ensuring that our bodies and our possessions receive the attention that they need. My brothers and sisters, when it comes to our Faith, every now and then we need a Faith Check-Up. We will continue from last week and spend next few weeks conducting a Faith Check-Up series.
This mornings sermon will address our Faith -- but not just ordinary faith – I want to address the subject – How To Develop Great Faith. I’ve always admired those saints who have exhibited extraordinary faith – people like George Mueller - who had faith to believe that God would provide food to feed thousands of children in his orphanage in Bristol, England, even though his cupboard was bare. The Lord told Mueller not to make his needs known to God’s people, but only to make his needs known to God in prayer. Day by day, and year by year, he needed food for his orphans. He prayed daily for provision, and food came from unknown sources – most of the time! Even when food did not come just in time for a meal, Mueller still believed God would provide enough food – and God did, time after time. Mueller had only two shillings to his name when he began the orphanage work, but over the next sixty years God sent him more than $7,500,000– in 19th century dollars! That’s one picture of Great Faith.
We don’t need to reach that far back to understand Great Faith. Let’s examine another picture of great faith. It was about a year ago that many of us were introduced to a young man by the name of Michael Phelps. During the Beijing-Olympics he won his unprecedented Eight Gold Medals. What audacious faith to believe that he could swim in that many races and heats. He just kept knocking on the door of opportunity. He won seven of his eight races in new world record time. Phelps’s mother, Debbie, received a letter from Barbara Kines, who had taught Michael in the Third Grade. Before he found an outlet for his abundant energy in swimming, Phelps had immense difficulties – concentrating and sitting still - leading one of his grade school teachers to wonder if he would ever be able to focus on anything. Ms. Kines, recalling those days, wrote about how proud she was of Michael and how, perhaps, it had never been focus he lacked, but rather, a goal worthy of his focus. Michael Phelps said this: “If you dream as big as you can dream, anything is possible.” Isn’t that the underlying theme of the whole Bible? - With God, Nothing is Impossible.