Summary: The second message in a series on vision
SERIES: “DISCOVER VISION: SEEING WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SEE”
TEXT: HEBREWS 11:1-12
TITLE: “SEEING THROUGH THE LENS OF FAITH”
OPEN: A. A long time ago, I heard a preacher tell a story about two fools and a flashlight:
It seems that two fellows who were not-too-bright were walking home after a trip to another
town. It started getting dark and one fellow asked, “What are we going to do? If it gets too dark,
we won’t be able to find the footbridge that crosses the river and we won’t be able to get home.”
The other fellow replies, “Don’t worry. We’ll figure out something when we get there.”
They finally make it to the river and not only is it dark, it’s also overcast. There’s no moon
visible. They can’t see very far in front of them. One of the fellows remember that he has a rope in
his traveling bag but they can’t figure out how to use the rope to get across. The other fellow then
remembers that he packed a flashlight.
The first fellow gets real excited. He’s got an idea. He says, “I’ll tie the rope to the flashlight.
Then I’m going to shine it across the river. You walk across on the beam of light carrying the rope.
When you get to the other side, you pull the flashlight across and I’ll walk across.”
The second fellow is shaking his head, “No.” He says, “Uh, uh! No way! I know what’s gonna
happen – I’ll get halfway across and you’ll turn off the flashlight.”
B. To the world, faith is foolishness
1. It’s really no different than those two fellows in the flashlight story
--It’d be nice if it worked but good luck in the real life
2. The world sees faith as wishful thinking
C. The Bible teaches something different
1. Hab. 2:4b – “…the righteous will live by his faith.”
2. Prov. 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
3. 2 Cor. 5:7 – “We live by faith, not by sight.”
D. Two weeks ago, we started a new series: “Discover Vision: Seeing What God Wants You to See”
1. The first message was “Eyes Wide Open”
--an introductory message on vision with an overview of what I understand God’s vision to be
for this congregation
a. We learned that as we walk in this world, sometimes we are spiritually blind
--We miss what God wants us to see
b. Helen Keller: “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no
2. Today’s message is “Seeing Through the Lens of Faith”
a. What we see can be distorted if we do not wear corrective lenses
--Susie Campbell from Vanceburg, KY sent this in to Readers Digest:
My face in the mirror isn’t wrinkled or drawn.
My furniture’s dusted, the cobwebs are gone.
My garden is lovely, and so is my lawn.
Don’t think I’ll ever put my glasses back on.
b. Even with some professional help, we’re not always sure we’re seeing what we should see
A certain fellow had lived a long life but it was drawing to a close. As his family
surrounded his deathbed, he asked to see his optometrist. They asked, “You’re optometrist?
Why in the world do you want to see your optometrist?” The old fellow quietly said,
“Please, just get him for me.”
The family wanted to keep him calm and comfortable during his final hours so they sent
for his optometrist. When the eye doctor arrived, he quietly entered the man’s bedroom,
walked to the bed and took his patient’s hand. He looked at his patient and said, “It hurts
me to see you like this. What can I do for you?”
The old fellow opened his eyes and imploringly said, “Doc, before I go, there’s one thing
I have to know. Which one was clearer – A or B?”
c. As Christians, our only clear vision is when we see through the lens of faith
E. Jesus spoke about two kinds of faith
1. Little faith
a. Mt. 8, there’s a huge storm on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is asleep and the disciples are scared to
death. They scream and yell like little girls until Jesus wakes up and stops the storm.
b. Mt. 8:26 – “‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds
and the waves and it was completely calm.”
2. Great faith
a. Earlier, in Mt. 8, there’s a Roman centurion who asks Jesus to come and heal his deathly ill
servant. The centurion acknowledges that he knows where Jesus’ authority comes from and