Posts Tagged ‘New Testament’

A Life of Faith

September 6, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, September 2, 012.

I.  We Must Have Faith:  Hebrews 11:5&6

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

The first step is to have faith in the existence of God.  We must believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Furthermore, we must have faith in Jesus Christ, the one and only savior of the world.

Faith in Jesus is the starting point of a new life.  Enoch is an example for us that we have not grown as close to God as is possible.  May we learn what it means to “walk with God”.

II.  We Must Obey:  Hebrews 11:8-10

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Abraham obeyed God.  We too, must be willing to obey God as He speaks to us through the Word, and by His Spirit.  We too, should realize that there is a land promised to us as well, but it is a land not of this world.

III.  We Must Realize:  Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[a] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

We must realize that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth.  We are just passing through.  We should not be looking to the things of this world to provide our fulfillment.  We can enjoy the blessings that God gives to us in this life, but we must always realize that our true reward is in the life to come.

IV.  We Must Be Patient:  Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We should look to Jesus as our example.  He endured the cross, despising the shame, because He knew that it was God’s will for Him.  We too, should be willing to endure hardship, if that is God’s plan for us.  We should be able to look beyond the cross that we carry to the glory that awaits us.

V.  We Must Serve:  Hebrews 12:25-29

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake[a] not only the earth, but also heaven.”[b] 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may[c] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

We must be careful, and diligent to serve as God calls us to serve.  We should be thankful that we do not have to offer our service to God in our own strength.  God will give us the grace that we need for the task to which He calls us.  God will give us the wisdom and the strength that we need to carry out His purpose in our lives.  Remember that we work for a reward that is eternal, with consequences for us, and for others, that goes far beyond this life.


Finish the Race

February 23, 2010

Yesterday, it was time again for a long run.

It didn’t go so well.

I started out with a few pains here and there and suspected that I might be in trouble.  I started feeling tired way too early and was tempted to quit.

Then I remembered my Marine background. 

Marines don’t quit.

I also remembered something much more important.  In II Timothy 4:7, Paul writes “I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”  I thought about how important it is for us as believers to complete the tasks that are given to us by God.  “Accomplish the mission” is the first directive for Marines.  As believers who are seeking to serve God, it is important that we not quit just because things get a little difficult.  In II Timothy 2: 3 Paul writes “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”  

So don’t give up if things become a little difficult.  Continue to serve the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength.  Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”