Summary: The God we serve is able - don’t limit Him
Turn to Daniel Chapter 3
This morning we will be talking about faith and in particular the faith of three men in Daniel chapter 3.
This is a familiar story to most of you - you may have even heard it in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School when you were growing up as a child, but even still, many of you may still not practice this kind of faith in your lives each day.
What is faith?
According to what we read earlier in Hebrews 11:1 “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
A modern day equivalent of this is:
You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce. He gives you a prescription you can’t read. You take it to a pharmacist you have never met. He gives you medication you do not understand and you take it without thinking twice about it.
Faith involves believing that someone else will do something that is not yet visible or that has not yet happened. Thus, to have faith is to relinquish trust in oneself and to put that trust in another.
Faith is the medium by which the power of God is made visible. Just as an artist may use paint as their medium, or a sculptor uses clay, God works through faith.
In scripture we see that faith moves mountains, heals the sick, raises people from the dead, makes the lame walk, makes the blind see, feeds multitudes, and it is also by faith that we can have entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
In the book of James...James rejects the concept of faith without resulting action - that is, believing something is true without founding one’s life on it and acting upon it. Faith apart from works is not real faith (James 2:20).
A vocational school teacher taught a class of mentally impaired teenagers. Looking at his students’ capabilities rather than their limitations, he taught them how to play chess, restore furniture and repair
electrical appliances. Most important, he taught them to have faith. One of the students named Bobby soon proved that he had learned the last lesson well. One day he brought in a broken toaster to repair. He carried the toaster tucked under one arm, and a half-loaf of bread under the other.
Now that’s faith!
You see, the three Hebrews boys in Daniel 3:17 believed that “God is able...and He will!”
Too many of us have never learned to trust God and have faith in Him. I believe that this is one of the main reasons that many people do not become Christians. They do not see God doing great things through the Christians that are around them. There is no doubt that in the days, weeks, months and years that followed, many people believed in God because of this one act of faith.
In the early days a traveler heading west, came to the Mississippi, and discovered there was no bridge. Fortunately it was winter and the great river was sheeted over with ice. But the traveler was afraid to trust himself to it, not knowing how thick it was. Finally with great caution, he crept on his hands and knees in the dusk of the morning and managed to get halfway across when suddenly he heard a wagon and a team of horses coming - Cautiously he turned, and there, suddenly out of the dusk, came another
traveler, driving a four-horse load of coal over the ice at a gallop, and as he passed within 10 feet of him - he was singing at the top of his lungs!
What’s the difference in these two men?
----(answer) FAITH through EXPERIENCE!
Laurel and I would probably not have quit our jobs and moved to Canal Fulton to start a church, except that we have put our faith in God before and He has proven Himself faithful.
Many people are like this poem that was written by that great theologian “Dr. Suess”
Did I ever tell you about the young Zoad?
Who came to a sign at the fork of the road
He looked one way and the other way too
The Zoad had to make up his mind what to do
Well, the Zoad scratched his head,
And his chin, and his pants.
And he said to himself, "I’ll be taking a chance.
If I go to Place One, that place may be hot
So how will I know if I like it or not.
On the other hand, though, I’ll feel such a fool
If I go to Place Two and find it’s too cool
In that case I may catch a chill and turn blue.
So Place One may be best and not Place Two.
Play safe," cried the Zoad, "I’ll play safe, I’m no dunce.