Summary: FAITH WILL ALWAYS BE RELEVANT! Hebrews 11:20-22, show us three modern needs met by faith.
September 11, 1994 -PM
WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS NOW
INTRO: (1) Are you about to lose your faith? Don’t give up ye Remember the author of the 77th Psalm ? He had sun so low that all hope seemed gone. He was so troubled h he couldn’t sleep. He was so depressed he couldn’t even talk about it. That’s what he was-depressed! Down! Blue! H was so low that the fleas of the field had to get on their knee to bite him. But then something happened. He thought how his forefathers had gone through similar troubles before the Lord delivered them, and his faith was renewed. Looking back can restore hope and give us reason to look ahead. Let me illustrate. After a long and hard winter, the bright and balmy days of spring are suddenly invaded by þ renegade polar air mass. You think winter is starting all over again. Cabin-fevered housewives start to panic. Shovel worn men slump back into their chairs and begin to worry about the impact of the storm on the heating bill. But nobody concludes that the age-old order of the seasons has come to an abrupt end, or that the solar system has reversed its cycle Looking back reminds you that late-season storms have happened before and reassures you that spring will come. So too, the Bible shows us that men and women of God have seen hard times before. It reminds us that many times the sky has been dark and cold just before the Lord responded with the warmth and power of His love. So don’t give up yet. Look back. Then look ahead. The people of God have walked this way before. The forecast of faith is always bright: -M.R.D. II
Great is Thy faithfulness. 0 God my Father!
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not þ
As Thou hast been. Thou forever wilt be.
Do not judge God’s love by His providences but by His promises.
(2) Some needs will always be present in the world. Where those needs are resident, the believer has a portable and adaptive tool available to him.
PROP: FAITH WILL ALWAYS BE RELEVANT!
TRANS: Hebrews 11:20-22, show us three modern needs met by faith.
I. Today the Church Needs a Means for BLESSING its Mainstay Generation (Hebrews 11:20).
A. See Genesis 27:28-40
B. Jacob and Esau were the mainstay generation by the time Isaac formally blessed them. They had a life of “holding things together” to look forward to. Everyone grows up and is expected sooner or later to make the contribution of their years of strength and experience that makes society and family life stable. Someone has said that the years between 35 and 57 are the least encouraging in life. Those are roughly the “mainstay years.” What one hears most during these times is criticism -- from those older because they aren’t doing things the same way, and those younger because they want things done differently.
Isaac blessed his sons at this point in their lives. It was a formal affair. The norm of the culture and their relationship to the Lord dictated this. What we need today, in the church, is some way to do the same thing. We need a way to give our mainstays something to look forward to.
II. Today the Church Needs WORSHIP that Persists to the End of Life (Hebrews 11:21).
A. Joseph arrived in Egypt as a slave when h was seventeen years old. He became entrenched in the Egyptian life-style, yet amid all the influence and authority granted him in time, he never forgot his roots. Faith in God was deeply entrenched in !Joseph’s heart, and he displayed it as he responded to his brothers who mistreated him. He not only reiterated the promise of God, that the Lord would take care þ them and bring them from Egypt to the land promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [Gen. 50-2Q), but by faith Joseph could also foresee the events of the future. He knew that for t promise to be fulfilled, an exodus would eventually have to transpire. Although Joseph was an Egyptian without, he was : Hebrew within and did not want t0 be lost [among the politics of] the Egyptians" He commanded that he be remembered and that his bones be returned to their rightful place of rest. Joseph’s faith held no compromise. SWINDOLL -- (16) #9-32
B. Jacob was tenderly affected in view of the goodness of God, and of the assurance that he would be conveyed from Egypt when he died, and buried in the land of his fathers. Deeply impressed with this, nothing was more natural than that the old man should lean reverently forward and incline his head upon the top of scan, and adore the covenant faithfulness of his God. Such an image is much more natural and probable than that he should " bow upon his bed’s head-a phrase which at best is not very intelligible. If this be the true account, then the apostle does not refer here to what was done when he “ blessed the sons of Joseph," but an, act expressive of strong faith in God which had occurred just before. The meaning then is, “ By faith, when’ about to die he blessed the sons of Joseph þ and by faith also he reverently bowed before God in the belief that when he died his remains would be conveyed to the promised land, and expressed his gratitude in an act of worship, leaning- reverently on the to of his staff þ, BARNES -- 227.87/BA