Summary: A brief Wednesday night message that can be expanded, came out of my need for faith while my dad was hospitalized with a stroke.
Intro: My need for faith over the previous week and a half...
* My dad in the hospital in another state after suffering a stroke
* Leaving my own wife and kids for almost a week to be with my dad
* Leaving the church and worrying about the "what if’s" that happen in church life.
We often make it hard to have a "simple faith".
* We live in a "Do it yourself society" that says you can be who you want to be, do what you want to do, and a "self made man" is celebrated
* We also over complicate faith to often
Read Matthew 17:20, "faith as small as a mustard seed"
We read this and begin having an attitude of "I don’t have enough faith" which only makes things harder on us
The truth of this verse is that it doesn’t take much because the faith isn’t what we can or can’t do but in God: Who He is, what He does, has done and will do
Faith is a verb, it is active.
Transition: How then do we have simple faith?
1. Stand Firm (vs. 1)
Don’t fall away by standing on solid ground.
Read 1 Cor. 16:13-14, these were Paul’s final instructions to a struggling group of believers
- Don’t budge or give in, but trust in God
One way to do this is to be equipped, read Eph. 6:10-11.
2. Live in Harmony (vs. 2)
Also can be read in some translations as "of the same mind"
Same thing was written by Paul in Phil. 2:1-2
How to live in Harmony?
See Phil. 2:3-5
Doesn’t take much to break harmony in the body
ILLUS: My dad at the time was in the hospital with a major stroke that eventually took his life, a small blood clot on the left side of his body totally shut down his right side, his speech, his breathing and eventually took his life.
It wasn’t a big clot, it was actually very small...but destructive.
Something so small causing so much damage...works the same way in the church.
Something small in the church can cause much damage and break harmony.
How often are we guilty of this in the church?
Disunity destroys our faith and the faith of others also...and can have eternal consequences.
Ghandi has been attributed with saying he might have become a Christian if it weren’t for Christians.
3. Rejoice in the Lord (vs. 4)
Also mentioned in Phil. 3:1
Rejoice...again he says, rejoice.
We need that reminder sometimes if not often.
A sure sign of faith is the ability to rejoice no matter what the circumstances.
I don’t think we rejoice enough.
Neh. 8:10 reminds us that the joy of the Lord will be our strength.
Closing: Do you have a simple faith?