Summary: Faith in God pleases God and results in God’s blessing.
Title: The Journey of Faith
Text: Genesis 12, 15 and 22
Thesis: Faith in God pleases God and results in God’s blessing.
Series: The Bible in 90 Days Whole Church Challenge
We are beginning our The Bible in 90 Days Whole Church Challenge Series this morning. Those who have been doing the daily readings have completed the reading for the first week which took us from Genesis 1:1 through Exodus 40:38. In 90 days we will have read through the bible and experienced something of the scope of God’s eternal plan… a plan that chose us in Christ before the creation of the world. A plan that mercifully and graciously loves us and redeems us from sin and death. And a plan culminates with the realization of our hope of eternal life. We will have read cover to cover from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22.
This week we read some interesting and sometimes shocking stories of the people of God who lived their own journeys of faith. They are stories of God’s goodness and grace as well as stories of God’s righteousness and wrath. They are ultimately stories of how God wants his people to follow him completely and of his blessing when they do.
We are also part of God’s story and as we find ourselves a bit further along the time line or storyline, if you will, we can identify with what it means to be on our own journey of faith… a journey that will ultimately lead us to the bliss of eternal life and heaven. But as you know, though a journey may look like a straight line on a map, the journey of life is anything but direct.
When I get on an elevator and punch the button for the 4th floor I rarely get a direct flight. Sometimes I end up going down before I go up. Sometimes it stops on every floor prolonging my journey. Sometimes I get off on the wrong floor and have to get back on the elevator and recalculate my destination.
An elevator ride is like any other journey… it is supposed to be simple and straight forward but life isn’t like that. There are risks that cause us to fear, unpredictable situations that make us worry and failed expectations that compel us to dig deeper into the well of faith.
The bible defines faith like this: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Early in our reading this week, we happened upon the story of Noah… another story of a man who was challenged to embark on a journey of faith. As you watch this clip from Evan Almighty you will begin to get a feel for what it meant for one man to follow God completely in our contemporary culture.
Show Evan Almighty Clip – http://wingclips.com/cart.php?target=product&product id=16289 (underlined)
In our bible reading this week we also read about Abram and of how God asked him to embark on a different kind of faith journey. Perhaps the lessons we can lift from his story will be helpful to us as we find ourselves living outside of our comfort zones… when we are in uncertain territory where the sun does not shine, we do not feel love and God is silent. When we are challenged as was one who journeyed with God through Nazi Germany, wrote on a wall: “I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God, even when he is silent.”
This morning we will learn three lessons about faith. The first lesson we learn is that:
I. Fear needs security. Faith takes risks. Genesis 12:1-3
(Verse 1) The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. (2) I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. (3) I will bless those who bless you and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:1-3
In a talk given in 2000 Billy Graham said, "I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of each passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his other pocket. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat by him. He couldn’t find it. The conductor said, ’Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.’ Einstein nodded appreciatively.