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November 24, 2020 2:00 am
We are living in tough times—and tough times demand a tough faith. In the message "Fact-Check Your Faith," Skip shares some important facts that will help you embrace faith instead of fear when you face difficulties in your Christian walk.
This teaching is from the series Fact-Check.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
When we face a difficult trial and experience. It's hard we have to check with faith. So, other issues are the difficulties yes but fact, God loves his child back. God has a plan for my life that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose and fact I'm going to heaven when it's all done I got a future and a hope. We can become anxious and fearful and rubbed in uncertain times today on connect with Skip right, Skip begins a series called `sharing how you convey your tough circumstances and fear with faith right now want to tell you about a resource that will help you pursue God's truth and apply it to your daily life.
A recent study of the cultural research center velvet Christians are almost just as likely to reject the idea of absolute moral truth are to accept American adults believe in absolute moral truth is eroding across all age groups and political ideologies with other church or unchurched. What that means is that over 75% of Christ followers are those who purport to be Christ followers are saying that nothing can be known for certain.
There is no absolute truth about you. We want to help you understand the nature trips you pursue God's true and apply your life to brand-new booklets, but why truth matters in God and suicide if you fall under that category. What you do with the claims of Christ Jesus, that I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father except through me. These booklets are our thanks for your gift of $35 or more today. They'll keep this ministry on the air, connecting more people to God's word to give.
Call 800-922-1888, and securely connectwithskip.com/off Chapter 11 as we get into the message with skip-another something that has come out over the last few years called back checking and the phenomenon of fact checking. Because now everybody has access to the Internet is nobody can cheat anymore. Nobody can. Nobody can readily give out fake news without being called into account because we all have access to rundown certain facts, we can go to website some of them wholly dedicated to exploring the facts of the matter and you can discern if what is said.
Whether it's a news report or a politician's speech or a preacher's sermon in the old days you could get away with a lot more today. You cannot get away with anything you can get stuff that checked out. Put that in the Christian's life as believers we we deal with facts. We deal with real time events.
We we are face-to-face with life we face the same facts as a believer that right now and unbeliever faces in any country in the world were facing something very similar.
However, when you bring God into the equation. Things look different things begin to change. And that is what the life of faith will do for you what faith does it brings God into the picture and it thereby changes your outlook. Now we we all know the word coronavirus as part of our vocabulary. It's here to stay. I will be saying that for a long time to come.
Looking back on this very unique time in history, but right now facts are change it.
Models are changing every day projections are changing. There's opposing voices of what we should do or shouldn't do and we should open when we shouldn't were noticing that each state is being very unique and how it's hearing back in the business a variety of opinions on this. So when we face the difficulty of trial and experience, it's hard, we have to fact check with faith.
So, other issues are the difficulties yes but fact, God loves me fact I'm his child fact God has a plan unique for my life. Fact all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose and fact I'm going to heaven when it's all done I got a future and a hope.
I've got God's plan and the best working for me now and I have a glorious future when it's over now.
Hebrews Chapter 11 is one of the great chapters in the Bible and I have a notion that most of you know it already pretty well we know it is the faith chapter in the Bible it similar to what first Corinthians 13 is that's the log chapter. This is the faith chapter. It's as if the author writes this long beautiful oratory or song about faith using a variety of examples from the Old Testament. The theme of Chapter 11 is common people with an uncommon faith or simply put, ordinary people who trust in extraordinary God and because of that they lived extraordinary lives.
They were normal people like you and I are but they they tapped into something in the midst of a difficult Hebrews Chapter 11 is been called a number of things it's been called the hall of faith or the Hall of Fame of faith is been called the honor roll of the Old Testament in one of the things that the coronavirus is done with hospitals and it's going to be changing with thing soon, but but right now, elective surgeries are not being done. You can't like I had a back surgery I elected to do it I can get that done today so that's been shut down which means all the elective surgeries like facelifts and and plastic surgeries there on hold and so the people and something that I can get a facelift that I wanted your applicant met him because you're so beautiful you are.
You girls. Avery God now is a good time for you to get a faith left.
Let's look at Hebrews 11 is something that's going to give us a facelift. These are people like you and me these are people who put their sandal on one at a time. They struggled with issues in life, they had to pay rent but they were models of trust. These are people like Abel and Noah and Enoch and Abraham and Sarah, and a host of others. They all had difficulties but they had to fact check life by bringing God into the equation. Adding faith to it and things changed.
Each of them lived in the hardship with this world, but each of them lived in fellowship with God. Religion hardship yes with things around them, but they lived in fellowship with the one who was above them, or we face the same obstacles we face difficult times and and that is been a recurrent theme on the weekends and Wednesday studies for the last several weeks and and rightly so were were dealing with something very, very unique and tough times. No question.
Tough times demand tough faith and I'm hoping by the way, the only way to get tough faith is to have tough times of faith is like a muscle that needs to be exercise you need. Resistance needs to be kind of beaten down and broken down and then you build it back up again. Just like when you go to the gym and you work out so God is allowing us to go through this difficulty because he strengthening the outcome of the churches faith going forward and and some of us are going to know if I can make it. You can make it.
You should make it. You must make it and here's why Jeremiah wants complain because things were difficult in his life and he was pleading with God in the midst of a difficult situation. Listen to the Lord's response to Jeremiah. If you have run with the footman and they have wearied you, how will you contend with the horses and if in the land of peace in which you trusted they will review then how will you do in the floodplain in the Jordan.
In other words yeah this is tough, but I'm preparing you for something.
Perhaps that is tougher going forward. So God is conditioning us in the way we get condition does have our faith challenge, though not everybody agrees that faith is even a worthwhile disposition.
There's people who marginalized the life of faith. They think that it's crude and outdated and it's for weak people.
It's a superstition. The American author HL Mencken said faith may be defined as an ideological belief in the occurrence of the improbable. In other words, it's a blind leap in the dark. It really makes no sense at all what we people do that but I contend that everybody has faith, to some degree, others natural faith and everybody has that you go to the faucet you turn on the faucet and you and I was living in your pipes review you had enough experience to know that probably all be okay. You go to the car and you put the key in and you turn it though you may not understand how engines work and electricity and pistons and rings and all that but you have faith that is settling a return on but roll down the road you go to the pharmacy and they say take a two of these every four hours.
You don't know what's in there you're hoping that there's somebody back there with enough experience to give you some that will kill you. You go to a restaurant for takeout and you go home and you eat it you don't know what's in there. Probably good that you don't know what's in there, but you you have had enough experience that that natural faith is in the carry you through.
So we all have faith.
I remember when my son Nate is now pastor on her staff and a gifted leader when he would dump we would give him a meal if you did know it was my wife cooked it, but he had a very unusual prayer in a Louise's Lord bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies. He would pray this prayer Lord, I pray this food is not poison. In Jesus name, amen. Not a whole lot of confidence in his mom.
So you look at Hebrews chapter 11 and will begin with some preliminaries before we get into some examples of people who did fact checking. By bringing faith into the equation. Hebrews 11 verse one now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen for by it the elders obtained a good testimony by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of the things which are visible. Let's begin by talking about the essence of faith that were verse one comes in and tells us I'm not really a definition, but a description of faith. The essence of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I've always found it interesting, maybe funny, maybe funny, as of the right word, but sad. I would say the way some people try to define faith. They define faith is. Some people blind optimism saying things like things are gonna work out I have faith in what you have faith in what is the object of your faith, so that's a sort of a blind optimism. Everything's in a workout. I have faith. Others view of faith is like positive confession, the idea of whatever the mind can believe and conceived it can achieve. And so you just you know you speak out your words of the containers of your faith and you speak out a positive confession.
The problem with that. That can be faith in faith believing in the power of faith alone to other people.
Faith is a feeling of any of you here. Remember the movie Oklahoma. The remember was an old musical remember it so you have seen it because you better experience Ryan so there's a song you'll recognize a song all what a beautiful morning oh what a beautiful day. I've got a beautiful feeling. Everything's going my way, but a wonderful feeling to some people that's faith. II have a wonderful feeling and and it's my feeling that things are just going to be okay listen faith is only as good as its object. If your faith is in faith. If the object of your faith is the power of faith, it's gonna fail because somebody's a strong some days is not. If your faith is in a feeling what's going to go up and down. You have to have faith in God. True faith clings to the promises of God, not to the premises or preferences of man, it has to be rooted in something more solid and that is the promise of God. That's why it says in verse three by faith we understand the worlds were framed by the word of God.
So the things which are seen were not made of things that are visible.
Some people have seen faith as believing in spite of evidence. Nothing could be further from the truth. To believe in something, despite or contrary, the evidence is just superstitious. So what I love.
Here is it what the author does is he gives us the essence of true biblical faith, and he says two things. It's the substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things not seen.
They are two parallel phrases that essentially mean the same thing. One just builds on the other is not a full theological definition of faith, but it is the essence of faith. So listen to verse one in the new living translation.
What is faith. It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. So take that first phrase here. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. I like that faith has substance. It's substantive okay so the word translated here. Substance means a firm solid assurance or better yet a foundation. It comes from two Greek words put together. That means to set underneath to set underneath so you put something underneath and you rest on that. It's a support it's a firm ground to stand on. So then faith is not something that you concoct in your imagination.
It's for weak people who need to look outside of themselves and believe in some God that they made up.
It's not fabricated by the mind faith true biblical faith has solid substance is a great story about John Patton who became a physician and and in academic and before that he was a missionary to the new Hebrides islands in the South Pacific filled with cannibals. By the way he went to these islands. He was translating the gospel of John, and he was trying to come up with the right word in the receptor language for the word faith. The word believe the word trust and he didn't find an adequate word to translate into that language. So he is in his tent one day and he did have a desk. He had a chair and he had a local biker, attaché or servant with them. Who knew the language so he would ask him questions what is this me what is that mean so one day he sat in his chair at his desk and he said to them, so what am I doing in the Lancet you're sitting in your chair. So then he leaned back a little, but put his feet up in the air like this. So now what am I doing in the word, the man uttered back to him was a word that when translated means to lean your whole weight upon what am I doing right now you're leaning your whole weight upon that year.
So is it that's the word to translate, trust, faith belief, so John 316. In that language is for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever liens his whole weight upon him will not perish but will have everlasting life.
That's the essence of faith, it's substantive, it has a strong undergirding an foundation, you might say that faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket and then counting your blessings before they hatch. Scott real substance. So that's the first phrase, faith is the substance of things hoped for second parallel phrases and it's the evidence of things not seen. That's the same truth but it just kicks it up another notch goes up another level in the word here for evidence means the satisfying conviction so that which I rest upon becomes deep within me something and really convicted in that it's true. A satisfying conviction and the idea here is that faith acts upon that confidence. Even though I can't fully see it. I don't see it all yet it's not completely revealed a man of faith acts upon what he believes even if he can't hold really grasp it you going to the doctor to the pharmacist you don't understand all the compounds but you take it by faith and you apply those of the story about a grocer dialed the grocery store old days, no oldie groupthink small-town America little grocery store. The kind that have the seller beneath the store so you would for go down the steps. He kept his stock down there, moved it upstairs so he went down to get some items. Some stock to bring up to the shelves and while he's down there so up topics very well lit because you have natural when the light down below. It's dimly lit, while the grocer was down in the cellar the grocer's son was in the main part of the store looking down at whole ladders can seem to think it is so dark it so well that appeared couldn't see anything and his dad looks up and sees his son as well lit face from the window light looking down peering down and the dancers jump all the boy his can't see here only hear a voice that is just because I can't jump, come on Sunday, it's your daddy.
You recognize my voice you hear my voice jump and the boys. I can't jump daddy I can't see you and daddy said, but I can see you and you know me and you know that I love you.
The boy just jumped so that's there was substance and conviction that dad was going to be down there to catch a messy essence of faith know when it comes to living a life of faith and the need to fact check with a life of faith is because of this there is a spiritual reality around us that we don't see with our naturalized if we could see it, it would change our life. Good evening. A few examples in the Old Testament is a guy who's running from his brother's name is Jacob and his brother Esau, because of the stolen blessing. Jacob hightailed it to the country's brothers fleeing our running after him chasing him. And so Jacob runs he goes to this spot where it's desolate. He doesn't have a tent doesn't have a home he lays his head on a rock at night and he's very lonely, very isolated. He feels very alone when he falls asleep.
The Lord gives him a vision, a dream, and he sees a ladder going all the way up into heaven, and the angels of God going up from the earth and coming down from heaven to the Jacob wakes up the next morning and says the Lord is in this place and I knew it not. And he calls the place Bethel, which means the house of God. Truly this is the house of God. Surely this is the gate of heaven. I love the way it's worded. The Lord is in this place that was is present tense, but I knew it not. I know it now, but I knew it, not yesterday, but now I know what there is now an awareness I have seen into the other world a reality. I didn't know existed.
But now I do and it changed the way he did life.
That's one example. Another example is the prophet Elijah. He's down in a town called Dothan. The Syrian army camps around him. The reason the Syrians are after him is because Elijah the prophet could tell what the us a Syrian army was going to do before they did it as soon as a battle cry when out, bring them in here. He would tell of the Israelite commander may be ready for. So the Syrian armies is likely we would gonna have a snitch. God knows telling the sky.
What were doing without. It is get rid of this guy. So the Syrian army camps around were where he is where Elijah and his servant to Hayes IR and the next morning, the servant of Elijah Geiser looks around and sees armies on the hillsides all around him, and he freaks out is what we can do master were surrounded and the Bible says that Elisha said was servant, do not fear for those that are with us are more than those that are with them now. I'm sure the servant of Elijah didn't understand the meaning of that 20 m more with us and with them is a whole lot of them. I do see two of us. Then he said, Lord, I pray, open his eyes open his eyes and he says that the Lord opened his spiritualized to perceive that there the angels of God were encamped around the Syrian army more in number than the Syrian army itself. So before the servant of Elijah was looking out saying for us. Now he is like announcing poor them there surrounded their dead me so both of them were able to see into the spiritual realm and because they did that things changed.
Faith is the organ by which we are unable to see into the invisible border that Skip was a powerful message for you from the series back. Now you Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this coming your way.
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