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Summary: Belief is not based on the information, but on the giver of the information!

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WHAT DO I BELIEVE: ABRAM’S EXAMPLE

GENESIS 15: 1-21

JULY 25, 2004

INTRODUCTION: The content of belief is important: Jonathan Whitfield was preaching to coal miners in England. He asked one man, "What do you believe?" "Well, I believe the same as the church." "And what does the church believe?" "Well, they believe the same as me." Seeing he was getting nowhere, Whitfield said, "And what is it that you both believe?" "Well, I suppose the same thing."

Jonathan Whitfield.

SEEING IS BELIEVEING, OR IS BELIEVEING SEEING? (TOM HANKS CHRISTMAS MOVIE)

TRANSITION THOUGHT: This morning, I want us to start on a journey together of discerning just what we believe. This is a journey of faith. BUT, what is faith? What is real faith? What does it mean to believe? Today we embark on a journey and Abram will be our tour guide. The text Tony read places us a few years down the road in the life and times of Abraham. To this point he has not experienced a name change, but he has experience the name changer. And in so doing, has believed the promiser of the promise!

THESIS SENTENCE: Belief is not based on the information, but on the giver of the information!

I. FAITH IS A GOD ENCOUNTER VV. 1, 4, 9, 17, & 18

A. A GOD ENCOUNTER IS HIS WORD! VV. 1 &4

B. A GOD ENCOUNTER IS THE MESSAGE! V. 1

C. A GOD ENOUNTER IS HIS PRESENCE! V. 17

D. A GOD ENCOUNTER IS MEETING WITH GOD! V. 18

ILLUSTRATION: Gene Mims in Kingdom Principles for Church Growth said, “The purpose of worship is to come before the Lord in obedience to praise Him, to hear from Him, to confess to Him, and to commit our lives to Him. Every worship service is to be an encounter with the Lord, transcending our feelings, desires, and even our abilities to perform.” Contributed by: Dan Cormie

TRUTH: FAITH IS WRAPPED UP IN MEETING WITH GOD!

QUESTION: ARE YOU READY TO RENDEZVOUS WITH GOD?

II. FAITH IS A QUESTION ASKED VV. 2-3, 8

A. A QUESTION ASKED IS FRUSTRATION?

B. A QUESTION ASKED IS CLARITY?

C. A QUESTION ASKED IS REALITY!

D. A QUESTION ASKED IS MORE THAN AN HEIR!

ILLUSTRATION: JUST LISTENING

Dan Rather, CBS anchor, once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers. She answered, "I listen."

So Rather turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say?" To that Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, "He listens".

SOURCE: As quoted in Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado, p. 71.

Contributed by: Darren Ethier

Stanford Research Institute was studying the differences in vocational perceptions. They devised a short but succinct test. The first to be tested was an engineer. The researchers asked him: “What does two plus two make?” The engineer simply said, “In absolute terms: four.” After making their notes and dismissing him, they called an architect. To the same question, he responded, “Well, there are several possibilities: two and two make four, but so does three and one -- or two point five and one point five -- they also make four. So, it is all a matter of choosing the right option.” The researchers thanked him and made their notes. Finally, they called an attorney. When he heard the question, he looked around slyly, asked if he could close the door for privacy, and then came over close, leaned toward them and said, “Well, tell me, what would you like it to be?” Contributed by: Greg Yount


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