Summary: Sermon on faith prompted by things my daughter has said (and that anyone’s kid has said)
Last week I was taking Emily to school as I do each weekday morning. She often points out the things she sees and asks many questions. As we passed the rescue squad building on Broad Street in Gastonia an ambulance pulled out and she asked where they were going. Something occurred to me that I hadn’t really thought much about as we rode along. Emily is the only person in the world who thinks I know everything! After I dropped her off I began to think about other conversations we have had...and ones you have had with your children.
Emily will ask me as we watch a baseball game who everyone is. Not just the players, but the people in the stands. I tell her “I don’t know what their name is”. She always responds, “Yes you do!” So I make a name up.
Something becomes too difficult for her and she brings it to me and asks me to figure it out or fix it with the statement, “I can’t do it.” I tell her I can’t fix it or do anything about it and she responds the same way every time, “Yes you can!”
I could recount many other conversations but you get the picture. Emily thinks I know everything and everyone. She thinks that I can fix anything, lift all things, and move all things. She thinks I can help anybody, know the words to every song she learns at school and always have money for her to play with.
I realize that all of these notions will fade except for one...she will always think I have money for her to play with.
In short, Emily naively ascribes to me attributes of our Heavenly Father. He really does know everybody by name. He does have the answer for every problem, the strength for every weakness, the remedy for every malady, the resources for every shortfall.
Luke 18:17 quotes Jesus, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."
Children are open and receptive. They are eager, willing, excited about opportunity and new relationship. Why can’t I be more like that? Why do we wander away from that? We’ll answer that in the end. Let’s look first at some Biblical characters that teach us what childlike faith looks like and the principles they rest upon.
1. Faith enough to Act
JAS 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
a. The children of Israel didn’t see the water part in front of them when Pharaoh’s army was behind them until they stepped into the water.
b. 2KI 4:1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."
2KI 4:2 Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me,that do you have in your house?"
"Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil."
2KI 4:3 Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side."
2KI 4:5 She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one."
But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing.
2KI 4:7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."
c. Peter believed in Jesus enough to get out of the boat and walk on the water.
2. Faith enough to see beyond the circumstances
2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
a. Abraham believing he could become a father when he should’ve been a great-grandfather
b. Daniel spending the night with lions
c. Joshua in every battle he fought
3. Faith enough to believe God will forgive us no matter the past when we repent
MT 18:12 "What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.