Summary: Part eight of the series focuses on the rights of an heir as it relates to our faith.
The Rock And The Hard Place Part 8
The Heir and Faith
4:1-7; John 6:19
This message is part eight of my series “The Rock and the Hard Place.” If you recall from last week, I asked you if God was waiting on you. Waiting on you to make a decision; to make a move; to decide if you truly were going to believe what His word says. The reason for that question is that I am trying to get us out of our comfort zone as it relates to how we are evaluating our faith walk. We must move beyond the notion that God is controlling everything and we are just going through life without any control over what happens to us.
This morning I want to take this notion one step further by helping us understand what it means to be an heir and the authority that comes with being an heir. When my father was sick, there were certain responsibilities that he gave to us (his children) to execute on his behalf, both while he was alive and also after he was dead. It was our responsibility to understand what his wishes were and to carry them out according. Because we were heirs, when he died we had the right to make certain business transactions in his name. The banks and other businesses had to honor his requests (made through us) because we were heirs and now had the legal authority to make decisions in his absence. Well, in case you did not realize it, we are heirs as it relates to being children of God and Christ’s brothers and sisters. Therefore, there are certain things that we have the responsibility for and the authority to execute on their behalf.
Because we are heirs, we have an inheritance that God has left for us. It is waiting on us to step up and receive it, but it requires faith. Let me give you an example. If I left home under dreadful circumstances and did not communicate with my father after I left, I would have had no relationship with him. When he died, I may or may not have known about it unless I was still in contact with other family members. Now, because of the situation in which I left home, I would have a hard time believing that my father would have left me an inheritance. I would not be concerned about it and living my life without it. Even if someone told me about it, I would have to choose to go home and claim it, which I may not do because of the relationship that I did not have with him. My inheritance could go unclaimed for years based on my decision not to step forward and claim it. My other family members could not get it because it was mine and as long as I lived, it would remain mine. If I died, my inheritance from my father would then past to my children if I had any. Then and only then could my other family members obtain my inheritance, if I died and I had no heirs of my own. This is the same with our relationship with God. He has given us an inheritance, but it requires faith to receive it. Why? Because first we must believe that it is ours and then we must take the steps necessary to receive it. It is our faith that’s the key to receiving the inheritance that our Father has laid up for us. I want to emphasize this: the inheritance is already there. It’s waiting for us to tap into it, to access it. So, why aren’t we taping into our inheritance?
I. Because Of Our Unbelief
We have spent a lot of time in Matthew 17:14-21. We have read the first part of verse 20 several times and we’re going to do it once again this morning. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the devil he answered, “…Because of your unbelief” (or as the Amplified Bible says “Because of the littleness of your faith”): for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed …”
Mustard seed faith is not talking about the size of your faith but the potential of your faith. The seed contains the image of what it is supposed to be when it is grown. Let me say that again. The seed contains the image of what it is supposed to be when it is grown. As long as the seed stays a seed you will never see what it can truly be. The seed has to change and grow in order to show its capabilities. How does a seed change and grow? You have to put it in the proper environment – moist, rich soil and plenty of sunshine – and then feed it what it needs to grow (water). Our faith is like that seed. It needs to have the right environment and the right food. When we said “yes” to Jesus, we received a new nature. It’s what He described to Nicodemus as being “born again.” When that happened, we received the right environment for our faith – God’s life and nature. But nothing will happen to make our faith grow until we feed it. What is the most nutritious food we can give to our faith? The word of God. Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”