Summary: If you want more faith: 1. Accept the Lord's authority (vs. 1-2). 2. Learn about God's love (vs. 1-2). 3. Notice your need (vs. 3-5). 4. Go to God for the help you need (vs. 5). 5. Remember that faith can move in miraculous ways (vs. 6).
If You Want More Faith...
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - April 27, 2014
*Way back when our oldest daughter, Becky, was in the sixth grade, we went to the grocery store. And the Nestle people were there that day putting on a contest. The question was to name their TV spokesman. Amazingly to me, Becky knew that it was John Elway, who was the Denver Broncos quarterback in those days.
*Becky won the contest that day, and the prize was a ten pound Nestle Crunch Bar. I said a 10 pound Nestle Crunch Bar! It was about two feet long, a foot wide and three inches thick. What do you do with a ten pound Nestle Crunch Bar? We ate and we ate and we ate. Then we gave some away. Then we ate some more. I got so sick of Nestle Crunch that I never wanted to see one again!
*But today we are talking about something that you can't get too much of, and that's faith. There may be a few people here today who don't care about faith. But most of us would say, "I want more faith!"
*That's good, because God wants us to have more faith, and if you want more faith, you can have it. Today's Scripture shows us how.
1. First: Accept the Lord's authority.
*If we want more faith, we must accept the Lord's authority. Last Wednesday, we began to focus on Jesus' authority in Matthew 13. But we also see His authority here in vs. 1&2. When we look at the Lord in these verses, we see a man who is absolutely in charge.
*Here Jesus was speaking to His disciples in a crowd of people that included little children, and Jesus said:
1. . . "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
2. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones."
*Jesus Christ has the authority to make such strong statements, because He more than a man. Jesus Christ is God the Son who became a man, so He is the Lord God Almighty. Philippians 2:9-11 tells us that because of the cross, God the Father has highly exalted His only begotten Son Jesus:
9. . . and given Him the name which is above every name,
10. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,
11. and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
*One day you surely will accept the Lord's authority, and the sooner, the better. If you accept Jesus' authority in this life, you will spend eternity in Heaven. If you wait too late, you will spend eternity in hell.
*Last Sunday, on Easter, we celebrated the resurrection of our Risen Savior, and that was the greatest demonstration of Christ's authority. After Jesus rose from the dead, He said this in Matthew 28:18: "All power (or authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
*One man called Easter "The Day the World Changed Forever," and he was right! Here's what that writer said about Jesus: "He Is Risen! Jesus Christ walked onto the stage of world history 2,000 years ago, and He is never leaving it. To be sure, it is very easy to imagine a future history where the Church is either absent or totally irrelevant. And there have been many books written along those lines. That is never going to happen. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so powerful, that His followers can exist even in the most hostile environments. There are churches today in Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Granted, they're small and pretty much entirely underground. But they survive." And God's Church will survive, because all power is given to Jesus in heaven and earth. (1)
*Douglas Vincent tells a story of the Lord's power. It happened in April of 1998, when a series of tornadoes tore through the south. A day after the storms, the NPR program "All Things Considered" reported on a church named "The Church of the Open Door." Their church had been destroyed by a tornado the day before. Terrified children had been in a choir rehearsal at the time.
*When the pastor saw the storm coming, He quickly gathered all the children in the church's main hallway. There they huddled together as the winds ripped the church apart. Trying to calm the children's fears, the pastor led them in singing, "Jesus Loves the Little Children." Some of the children were injured, but miraculously no one was killed.