Summary: Faith, following God, please God
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Hebrews 11:6 (6851) January 16, 2011
When he was 88, the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes found himself on a train. The conductor called for tickets, but Justice Holmes couldn't find his ticket and seemed terribly upset. He searched his pockets, looked through his wallet, and even on the floor all around his seat, but with no success. The conductor was sympathetic. "Don't worry Mr. Holmes…The Pennsylvania Railroad will be happy to trust you when you reach your destination you'll probably find the ticket and you can mail it to us."
The Conductors kindness did not put Holmes at ease. He said, "My Dear man, my problem is not "where is my ticket "my concern is 'where am I going."
Unfortunately, we are all too often like this in our spiritual life…Jesus purchases our ticket to heaven…we get on the train and then after awhile we forget where we're going.
Hebrews 11:6 says "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him".
When our test tells us "without faith it is impossible to please God" we should take note of how essential faith is to every aspect of the Christian Journey, this journey begins with faith, its made step by step with faith, and even its destination is one of faith.
Impossible is a word we toss around while trying to work a rubic's cube or finish a crossword puzzle…but impossible doesn't mean difficult or hard…it means "It absolutely cannot happen…It cannot be accomplished.
Faith is absolutely essential in our Christian journey from beginning to end. Without faith it cannot be accomplished.
How does the Bible describe this essential ingredient? "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Heb: 11-l)
If you get on the train and then forget where you're going welcome to a trip full of stress, worry and anxiety…If you can remember where your final destination is, even the short stops in "Test Town" bearable.
It's no wonder we read these words about Abraham…
Hebrews 11: 8-10 (p 851)
When called…He went…for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and build is God.
If God calls you…whether it's for salvation or the mission field you have to make a choice. No I go or not…It takes faith to begin its journey and trust God that the end is what he promised.
There are two powerful forces at work as we begin this journey…Risk and Receive.
I FAITH IS A RISKY BUSINESS.
Our text says "Anyone who comes to God must believe that He exists…
And we think…."Well….yeah….Duh!!
But before we pass to quickly over that challenge…let me state the obvious. God is Spirit…He's invisible. You cannot see God with your physical eyes….
And whether we like it or not it’s the stuff we can see that appeals to us.
I like watching Auburn beat Oregon on my big T.V. I like my car, my house and my friends.
The things I can see, feel and touch are real…I know they are real…without faith. they make me feel good….the money I hold in my hand makes me feel powerful and secure…its buys me what I want.
The God of this world knows that too…it is much easier to give yourself to something or someone that you can see.
And if you think faith isn't risky, or hard ask that 17 year old guy how tough it is to choose and invisible God over his fact to face buddies, or that 18 year old girl over the boyfriend whose pressing her to have sex too soon.
Or the 87 year old who's buried his wife and sees most people his age chose over the chance to minister…and yet God pleasing faith never retires in his eyes.
Faith is risky because it chooses the small gate and the narrow road, when almost everyone else picks the super highway.
Faith comes by hearing…not be seeing…you hear God's word…He calls you to obedience…The journey begins where you take that first step of obedience…but boy is it a risky one.
"Or don't you know that all of us who ere baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. (Rom 6:3)
Jesus said…you want to begin this journey you want to come after me as a disciple…deny yourself…take up your cross daily, follow me.
Taking up you cross daily means…Jesus I choose your life over my life…today. I choose to follow the Spirit I cannot see over the people and stuff I can see…today.
Please tell me that’s not risky…It's why Paul said.
"So we fix our eyes on what is unseen…because what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Cor:. 4:18)