Summary: I use a rubber band and an extension cord to illustrate how Jesus stretched Mary and Martha’s faith for their brother’s healing.
LORD, STRETCH OUR FAITH!
By Wade Martin Hughes, Sr. Kyfingers@aol.com
I did this lesson in two parts, it could be done in one part, just move quickly from point to point.
I have a huge rubber band and we discuss the flexibility and stretch that the rubber band has.
1. The rubber band has a potential to stretch beyond where it is.
2. At some point the stretch has limitations. The rubber band will not stretch any more, it will break.
3. If the rubber band had feelings ---? What might it say as it is stretched?
4. The rubber band has a comfort zone?
5. If the rubber band is not used and stretched from time to time it will dry rot and loose it’s elasticity.
To draw to a greater size or length --- To thrust out
To extend --- Expand, broaden, spread, reach, continue
Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes and said,
" Because of your faith it will happen."
Matthew 9:29 He touched their eyes and said,
"Become what you believe."
I. IF IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LITTLE WORDS I KNOW.
JESUS HAS TO STRETCH A LITTLE MAN’S FAITH!
IF: Conditional, with reservation.
A. The child’s father said:
1. JESUS, IF THOU CAN DO ANYTHING ---
2. HAVE COMPASSION
3. AND HELP US.
Mark 9:21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
B. It appears the father has the IF in the wrong place.
JESUS SAYS A MEAN ANSWER? IF YOU CAN BELIEVE ....
C. The bottom line is clear:
YOU CAN NEVER ARISE IN PUBLIC ABOVE WHAT YOU ARE IN PRIVATE.
D. YOU DON’T NEED A MOUNTAIN OF FAITH TO MOVE A MOUNTAIN.
E. Jesus has to move IF to the proper place to OVERCOME
II. ALL REAL FAITH WILL BE TESTED AND TRIED.
HOT FAITH MUST AVOID THE ARTIC BLAST OF THE NEGATIVE CROWD. CYNICISM, FEAR AND DOUBT ARE SELF-FEEDING AND WILL TRY TO FREEZE OUT THE WORD OF GOD AND THE WORKS OF GOD.
A. MIDGET FAITH CRIES OUT, I DON’T WANT TO FACE ANY TESTINGS.
B. Smooth sailing ships on smooth waters are wonderful, but FAITH’S REAL TEST will come when the winds are howling and the waves are dashing.
The fixed guidance stars are hidden from view.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
C. Faith gives food and water during the drought and famine.
D. TRIED FAITH WILL ALWAYS BRING TRUST AND EXPERIENCE.
E. FAITH WILL INCREASE WHEN THE RED SEA IS IN FRONT OF YOU AND PHAROAH’S MIGHTY ARMY IS RAISING DUST BEHIND YOU.
F. The greater the intensity of the TEST OF FAITH the GREATER THE STRETCH OF THE FAITH.
III. WE CAN NEVER BE CONTENT WITH WEAK FAITH.
We need Faith that launches great PEACE and JOY.
A. We must know a FAITH that kills FEAR, DOUBT and WORRY!
Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
B. Let faith grow, increase, be constant,
FIRMLY BELIEVE THE PROMISES ARE MINE.
IV. JESUS LOVED LAZARUS, MARTHA AND MARY. JESUS KNEW HE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO STRETCH THEIR FAITH.
A. THERE WAS A DISTANCE BARRIER THAT JESUS HAD TO STRETCH THEIR FAITH. Distance means nothing to God.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
B. JESUS IS GOING TO STRETCH THEIR FAITH BY THE POWER OF DELAY...
They expected Jesus to drop everything and come running, Jesus had a plan ... IT IS CALLED DIVINE TIMING ...
John 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.