REFINING YOUR FAITH
A. Everyone heard someone say I just don’t have any faith?
a. If your one of those let me show you some areas in which your faith was exercised.
1. When you got into your automobile inserted the key in the ignition turned it, you had faith it would start.
2. Your faith was futher shown when you presented your check or debit card to the cashier for the merchandise you wanted you believed it would be accepted by the cashier and the bank.
B. I say to you everyone has faith.
a. It may be misdirected, anemic, tainted with doubt or many other things but faith is there.
C. What is needed is for our faith to be refined therefore the title of this message is REFINING YOUR FAITH.
a. To refine is to:
1. To reduce to a pure state; purify.
2. To free from unsuitable or immoral characteristics: refined his manners; refined her speaking style.
3. To become free of impurities
4. It is taking the blunt edges off something to make more suitable for use.
5. It is to take a hone and bring the cutting edge of a cutting instrument to its finest point so it cuts better and more smoothly.
B. In the verses read to you is the story of a man who admitted he had faith but his faith needed refining to make sure there wasn’t anything to hinder Jesus from healing his son.
a. Notice verse 24 said the father cried out and said with tears Lord I believe help thou mine unbelief.
b. There are three things we need to consider in refining our faith.
I. HOW DO WE REFINE OUR FAITH?
A. Jude in his little book after describing the conditions of the last days admonishes us to build up ourselves on your most holy faith. V. 20
a. He then goes on to instruct us as to how we can build up ourselves in the most holy faith.
b. Notice in verse twenty he begins his instructions on this building by saying praying in the Holy Spirit.
c. Now if we are to pray in the Holy Spirit there are some things we must do.
1. First be totally surrendered to the Holy Spirit so that He can live in our lives and direct us in praying.
a. Second we must know the mind of the Holy Spirit and this comes only by seeking His direction so we can know His mind.
1. G. C. Bevington told of a time he spent seven days in a hollow log seeking the Holy Sprits direction a matter he was contemplating doing.
2. It wasn’t until he knew the mind of the Holy Spirit that he pursued the matter he was praying about.
3. He goes on to tell how the matter turned out to bring more glory to God.
b. A person that is not fully controlled by the Holy Spirit cannot earnestly seek and know the mind of the Spirit.
2. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
a. Revelations 2:4 tells us of a church that had left its first love.
b. If our first love is lost then our faith cannot work properly for it is built on facts and one of those facts is our love to and for God.
c. God must be first in everything we do if not then faith cannot work properly.
B. Hebrews 11:12:2 gives us another way to refine our faith.
a. There we are admonished to look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
b. As we look unto (upon) Jesus the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
c. Looking to Jesus keeps one’s eyes off the things of this world that hinder ones faith from working properly for it is directed in the right direction and upon the right things.
d. When our eyes are upon the right things we will think on the right things, thus evil surmising, lust for this worlds riches and pleasures are not the greatest attraction of our life.
e. Also when our eyes are on the right things then our heart is centered on the right things.
f. So it’s very important where we allow our eyes to gaze for it is through the eye that the lust for the things of this world enters our heart.
II. REFINED FAITH IS:
A. A growing faith.
a. This is illustrated for us by Jesus in His parable about the muster seed. Mt.13:31-32
b. Jesus said a muster seed is the smallest of all seeds but when planted it grows into a tree where birds of the air come and nest in its branches.