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Jesus Prays for Your Faith – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2021 3:00 pm

Jesus Prays for Your Faith – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Engram Watts on today's living in the light so your face in my face is not to be based on our feelings or opinions of what somebody says or the way we were raised or what we been taught our faith is established in the word of God to read your problem in Luke chapter 22 verse 31 Jesus said Peter, Satan hasn't asked for you, that he may sift you like we but I pray for you that your faith should not fail to know Jesus is also praying for you all the things that come at you as you live your life on this earth. He's praying that your faith would not fail years and with more from Jesus prays for your faith phase is critical. It's a necessity.

Without faith you can't please God without faith.

You can't be forgiven of your sin.

Without faith you can't overcome the power and the penalty of your sin. Without faith you can't triumph over adversity.

So what is Faith is very hard to define.

Is that's very hard to describe in some going to go back and use a very old illustration to try to explain it and I'm sure you've heard this before but I'm just going to tell it again okay because it helps explain the kind of faith were talking about is that story about the Acrobat may say that it is a true story although I think I'm devilish a little bit but anyway he stretch a tightrope over Niagara Falls and so he walked over the tightrope over the falls and he came back and people began to gather and staring at this and many got up wheelbarrow and he pushed up wheelbarrow across the tightrope over Niagara Falls and he came back in a bigger crowd gathered in a startup lobby.

Many got a big bag of sand and he put the bag of sand in the real barony pushed out across the tightrope over Niagara Falls and they came back and there's just this tremendous applause and he's already said you see me walk across the tightrope using the present will bear you see me push wheelbarrow the bag of sand and how many of you think I can take a man about the same weight as a bag of sand put him in the will bear and go across Niagara Falls and come back on the tightrope and everybody heart yes we believe you can do that you first. The bag of sand you push the yes we believe you can do that in then he said, who will be that man is dead silence.

And finally, little man in the backseat. Okay, I'll be that man, so he went and he climbed into the wheelbarrow ends. Acrobat pushed him across the tightrope and came back to this under salvation. Everybody said they believed, but really only one man had faith and that faith was evidenced by the fact that he climbed into the wheelbarrow. He put his whole weight down.

He trusted himself completely to him Acrobat is very important today that you and I would maintain our faith and people are within the church are falling away from faith in Jesus. Faith in God's words faith in the Scriptures just at an alarming level. I just read this week about another mega pass-throughs bit the dust and I just want to we. Because that's one reason our nation is in the mess it's in because we have just given a very time-based image of who Jesus is. We lack real phase and we can say we believe we have all the intellectual knowledge and we can have the right words but how many of us have climbed into the wheelbarrow and put our weight down.

Just given our lives completely fully totally to Jesus Christ. So on this night that he was betrayed before his arrest and his trials and his torture in his crucifixion and his death. Jesus prays for our faith and he knows how critical it is, how essential it is and he knows what the disciples are going to be facing in right now you are not just living all this terminal confusion, fear, anger, his disciples, he knew were getting ready to go. Through incredible turmoil and confusion and fear and anger and then after he's is risen from the dead. He ascends in heaven and they have a panic Austin and persecution comes and it just gets crazier and entries praying for their faith. Remember when Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times since Peter said Lord I don't know about all these other clowns but never deny you are not a doctor, you and Jesus said, Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat, but I've prayed for you that your faith would not fail all the things that have come out us. He's praying that our faith would not fail in faith.

It doesn't fail number one is established in his word and I just want to have fun with this for moment because it blessed me when did so to share with you. Verse six he says, I have revealed you to those whom you gave me so he speaking of his disciples, 12 disciples, minus Judas plus ball but were not going to do with Paul. Right now, suggest 11 disciples and I don't know if they're still in the upstairs room when he's doing this. I don't know if there's walking to Gethsemane babies in Gethsemane, but but he's praying for his disciples, and it's these 11 man and I want to go through the 11 disciples and give you a little biographical sketch of each one and when I do I want you to notice two things and one is the diversity of these disciples. No two are alike.

Maybe James and John. But even then their personalities were different. They were brothers, but it was a very eclectic group of men and says so. I want to notice the diversity and then I want you to be thinking which one you're most like okay so let's just think about them for moment Andrew.

He was one of John the Baptist disciples. He was standing there beside the Jordan River when John said look, there goes Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God will take away the sin of the world and so Andrew stopped calling John the Baptist.

He became a disciple of Jesus, and he was actually the first person in his family to be a follower of Jesus. Somebody here, you're the first person in your family to be a follower of Jesus, but what did he do as soon as he followed Jesus and became a disciple. He then reached back into his family and he brought Peter his brother to Christ and then I'm assuming other family members, but he was somebody. Andrew was always bringing somebody to Jesus. He brought Peter to Jesus to remember the when Jesus want to feed the 5000 men and their families with five loaves and two fish and people say how can we do that in Anderson. What I don't know but I found this little boy who has five loaves and two fish and you can use this in and he brought the little boy in his lunch. The Jesus when the Greeks wanted to see Jesus. They went to Philip, but then Philip took the Greeks did Andrew and Andrew brought them to Jesus or he was somebody who was always bringing people to Jesus. I can't think of a more wonderful reputation that have been somebody who brings people to Jesus starting within your own home during family events. Andrew and Peter will do Peter. Next, he was brought to Jesus by Andrew and we love Peter because he's so impulsive, compulsive, everything he does. He does a passion he does with his heart. Even the times when he fails, he makes mistakes is just a big splash because that's who Peter is reason big personalities, a spokesman for the group just the leaders leader and he takes charge, but Peter, how many mistakes they make in the boat when the storm is on Galilee and that he sees Jesus walking across the water and he says Jesus is that you bid me to come in Jesus it is may come on, Peter climbed out of the boat, he walked on the water leaks were a little while and Peter was somebody on the mount of transfiguration you want to stay up there until three This is great. We just want to stay on the mountaintop and Peter was somebody who when Jesus told him he would deny them. And Peter said, Lord, I'll never deny you and Jesus said three times tonight. Don't deny me before the cut closing Peter did in the third time he denied them cursing as he did so and in the garden of Gethsemane was supposed to be praying with Jesus and he went to sleep, woke up, saw Jesus being arrested. He took out his sword. Aim for the nearest head to golf here of Malkmus almost caused a war in the garden and Jesus said, Peter, put up your sword.

I intend to be arrested on 10 to go to the cross and after the crucifixion member. When Mary Magdalene came the upstairs room and she said the tomb is empty and John and Peter looked at each other.

They ran through those empty streets of Jerusalem. They came to the garden tomb and John outran Peter so he got there first Peter got there second but he shoved John aside and he ran inside the tomb and easily can't make sense of it and we don't know what happened but sometime that afternoon, Jesus revealed himself to Peter because the disciples on the road to Emmaus said he's appeared to us and to Peter.

Peter was someone who was selected by Jesus to be one of the three disciples closest to him as Peter, James and John and and then after the ascension of Jesus. Give me after the resurrection. Jesus ago wait for me on Galilee and so Peter goes up to Galilee.

Anyway, it's any waits and he's just not somebody can wait you know he just got to be active, but doing so he goes back fishing and he takes some of the disciples back. They went back to the way they were before they met Jesus and follow Jesus and Jesus came to the shore and when Peter realizes on the shore there is in the fishing boat. Jesus is caught him red-handed going back to fishing any throws on his cloak he dives in the water and he didn't wait for the boat to come to shore.

He swam to shore is like he was running back to Jesus. All he wanted to be a disciple ends after Jesus went back to heaven.

Peter was the one that preached at Pentecost and 3000 people were saved and he and John healed the lame man at the beautiful gate and then one of the things that Peter is most noted for courses that he took the gospel to the Gentiles.

He went to Cornelius's house. The Gentile and elect Cornelius and his whole family to faith in Jesus for the first time a Gentile could come to faith in Jesus without becoming a Jew first. So in other words, before Peter, you are not we want to put our faith in Jesus and be a disciple of Jesus and to be born again into God's family would have to keep a kosher kitchen would have to keep the rituals in the traditions and all of that and Peter was the one that opened the door for the gospel to go to the Gentiles, so that you and I can come to Jesus and be a disciple of his. Just through faith alone. Interesting. He wrote two letters there in the New Testament, but one of the most interesting things about Peter is that he was married would you love to meet his wife, and it's all the things that she put up with, but she must've been very gracious and hospitable because we believe that Jesus stayed in their home when he was in Capernaum is quite a bit. So Peter is an interesting character. I would describe them as being impetuous and bold but wholehearted passionate and he was just Jesus is kind of man he just loved Peter and Peter was one bits launch the church and open the door for the gospel to go the Gentiles and leader. Even with all of his failures. He shows us by his life does need that failure doesn't have to be final. So maybe somebody here is failed and failed in a big way. But Peter shows us that you can get back up and still serve the Lord and be a disciple. The next one is Thaddeus and he's also called Judas, but not Iscariot.

Okay his name is Thaddeus. The only thing we know about, impossibly, is at the Last Supper. He asked Jesus the Lord brought intend to show yourself to us, not to the world in Jesus an answer is why question, but he did say if you want to see him. If you want Jesus to show himself to you, then you must be obedient but otherwise we don't know anything about Thaddeus and I would say he was quiet and he was more of a listener than a talker and saw sort of. You wouldn't believe it but identify with Thaddeus because I'm I'm more of a listener than I am a talker and lesson here: Thomas was annexing we think of them as doubting Thomas ends when Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick and they were implying Jesus please come and make him well. Jesus stayed where he was four more days and finally the fourth a simple Lazarus is that never going to go to Bethany and Thomas own the Lord. Don't go to Bethany Besse near Jerusalem will kill you if you go back there, and Jesus while I'm going in a Thomas and well if you're going that I'm going and will just go and die with you as of the thing I love about Thomas. He was willing to go and die with Jesus. Unity didn't quite understand what Jesus was doing but but he was willing to pay the ultimate price and then after the resurrection. The disciples were all gathered net upstairs room Easter Sunday afternoon except Thomas was not there, and Jesus revealed himself to his disciples and then he disappeared and when Thomas came back. Lisa Thomas we've seen the Lord and he said you know I'm not gonna believe you and I want to see the evidence for myself, not less.

I can put my fingers in his nail prints in it thrust my hand into a side I'm not going to believe he's risen from the dead instantly think of Thomas is a doubting Thomas. But to me he just wanted an encounter with Jesus for himself. He didn't want to go on secondhand information so the next Sunday afternoon. He's there in the upstairs room with the other disciples and Jesus all of a sudden appears in their mitts and he says Thomas here I am, put your fingers in my nail prints and put your hand into my side ends believe that I've risen from the dead and then he said you believe because you've seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen me and yet believe when Thomas saw Jesus, he confessed to him as his Lord and his God actually been in India told you several times and they trace their church in the southern part of into the Mark Thoma church to Thomas Liebling, Thomas came to end and established the church is interesting. We think of Paul.

Don't wait and some of these others, but we don't think of other disciples and where they went where they took the gospel, but Thomas was somebody that's wanted first-hand information when he got it when he had his fresh encounter with the risen Lord.

He gave him his whole heart. Nathaniel sometimes called Bartholomew and all the disciples called Nathaniel hesitated, and he was sitting under a fig tree and Philip came to him and said, Nathaniel found the Lord.

I found the Messiah think Nathaniel is that you know the Messiah if you found them and he said were to come from and Philip cities come from Nazareth, and Nathaniel said nothing good comes from natural so he reveals that he had a prejudice he had preconceived ideas and of course he knew the Messiah would come from Bethlehem, Zach of the Messiah come from Nazareth, but anyway so he went to see Jesus because Philip allowed Phillips way of witnessing.

He said just come and see simple witness. Just come and see for yourself the Nathaniel went in Jesus oncoming Anisa looked. Here's a man in whom there is no guile, no deception, no hypocrisy, no pretense at all in the Sanderson hell in the world would you know me and Jesus said Nathaniel I saw you sitting on the figtree when Philip came to get you and just like that. Nathaniel dropped his preconceived ideas in his prejudices and he became a disciple of Jesus. Somebody here have prejudices, preconceived ideas, ways you were taught your tradition whatever and then you encounter Jesus for yourself.

Are you willing to let it all go and just embrace the one that you meet for yourself so Nathaniel had some ingrained preconceived ideas but once he was confronted and he seemed to have an open heart and open mind became a disciple of Jesus James he's one I hadn't thought so much about and I don't know why because Peter, James and John were the closest to Jesus. Of all the disciples so Jesus invited Peter James and John to go up on the Mount of Transfiguration. He took them in the gyrus's house to memory just took those three when he raised irises daughter from the dead and invited them to pray with them in Gethsemane. So James must've been an outstanding leader, Peter got all the attention may be in John was quiet and loving but James had to been a strong man's man and he and his brother John heads. As Jesus said when you come in your kingdom. One of us wants to sit on your right hand and one of us wants to sit on your left and Jesus. Are you able to pay the price for that. Knowing that it would cost enormous suffering and John and James just glibly said of course we can pay the price.

Yes, we are able 17 years later when Herod wanted to please the Jews.

He looks for the disciple that was the strongest and boldest the one that everybody follows the one who had the most impact any selected James for execution. The first of the disciples to be martyred for his faith. Certainly James is somebody who's strong, bold not as brash as Peter somebody who was steadfast in his faith and gave the ultimate price for his identification of Jesus Matthew. He was a tax collector and is a tax collector.

He was hated because he was collaborator with Roman. So maybe like Zaki as he had gained wealth for extortion and he's only one of the disciples who had a past unit of the disciples are sorta good guys fisherman or whatever, but but Matthew was a bad guy. He was a renegade. He was a traitor and Jesus is walking through Capernaum Monday and he saw Matthew sitting at the table and taking taxes and Jesus in Matthew, I want you to be a disciple, follow me and Matthew got up and he left that lucrative business. Any became a follower of Jesus. So Matthew was one who sorta like the apostle Paul. I guess he hadn't a conversion that went on about face, so a life of extortion and betrayal and treason and suddenly he just reversed himself and became a disciple of Jesus Christ. The first thing he did was to throw what we call a Matthew party and he threw his big face and even invited all of his friends who were also publicans and sinners. Those who are outside the temple. They did never go to have their sins forgiven. You don't have the sacrifice on their behalf. They didn't go through the cleansing in the rituals and they lived on the periphery entering by some faulty this feast because he wants them to meet Jesus. He knows it. Jesus could change his life that Jesus could change the lives of his friends and Jesus was roundly criticized for having gone to that party. But Jesus said they who are well have no need for a position.

Only those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

I think Matthew is somebody with the heart of an evangelist and I know we did because he wrote the gospel of Matthew trying to reach his friends reached the Jews the gospel of Jesus Christ and so he was somebody who knew what it was.

The pass from darkness to light and death to life and Jesus had changed his life and he wanted other people to know what Jesus could do for them.

Simon the zealot. This is sort of funny but he was a member of the revolutionary party.

He hated tax collectors. So can you imagine the last supper with Sondra Matthew sitting side-by-side or even following Jesus down the road and yet the common denominator was Jesus. And when Jesus called them to be disciples that made them brothers. And so, Simon, who is somebody who hated the Romans want to overthrow them, became a fellow disciple with Matthew, who had been collaborating with them. We don't know much about salmon either but we think maybe in acts one. He's the one that asked the question, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel so he still wanted overthrow the Romans and hoping Jesus would now do it. And of course Jesus explained to him that his kingdom is not of this world and so I think Simon let go his desire his dream that he could affect change to the government or politics. And I'm not saying that we shouldn't do that, but he put all of his heart in his life and his passion into changing the hearts of people in bringing the kingdom of God.

As we talked about into the hearts of people so he was working in giving his life for greater kingdom.

James the lesser. I don't know why he was called James the lesser. Maybe he was small in stature, or maybe he was just insignificant you know somebody that everybody else overlooked to just didn't have anything to draw attention to himself and so he was the lesser, and I love the fact that Jesus called James the lesser to be a disciple if there somebody here and you feel insignificant you feel small and compared to others. Maybe you would seem small in the world would overlook you and maybe you've been overlooked for promotion overlooked for an honor overlooked for you know something and but Jesus in that something his eyes would go to them for over the whole world and he sees James the lesser and he says on what you follow me, I want you to be a disciple very precious. God doesn't see anybody's insignificance. We have our significance in Christ, Philip the day after Jesus called John Andrew he found Philip and he said follow me and Philip did and that he found Nathaniel he brought to Nathaniel by just saying come and see. And then Philip when the Greeks felt very comfortable in approaching. Philip and asked him to take them to see Jesus he was somebody didn't feel comfortable. For some reason taking the Greeks, the Jesus they took the Greeks to and you and you that Andrew would take them to Jesus so makes me think of somebody who's not really confident in sharing the gospel. But you know this friend needs Jesus and so you take them to somebody who can share the gospel with them. You bring them the church you get them in a Bible study or you just sort of the bridge at two. Philip was but at the last supper Jesus declared he was the way the truth and the life. No one comes the father but by me and then Philip said, Lord, show us the father and not be enough for us and Jesus said Philip. Have I been with you so long you don't understand the father once. If you've seen me, you seen the father. I'm glad Philip asked that question because at such a clear statement for the deity of Jesus. After Pentecost when the church was launched new member and then persecution fell on the church and Jerusalem, and Philip is the one that went up to Samaria and had that great revival in Samarian people coming to faith in Christ, everything is just exploding.

And then all of a sudden God picks him up and just takes them down and puts them down on the desert road for one man. The Ethiopian eunuch and Philip trots alongside him in his chariot and in the end he leaves the Ethiopian eunuch to faith in Jesus baptizes them they are and I love the fact that Philip wasn't caught up in crowds and even have to have a big crowd to think he was effective. He just wanted to be where God wanted them to be in the speak to the people. God put in his path.

Whether it's a crowd in Samaria, whether it's one person on the desert road and Philip also had four daughters.

They all prophesy so know he was a supporter of women in ministry, so he somebody who knew how to ask good questions and made himself available. He was the bridge to bring people to Jesus and then he brought people to Jesus and revival as well as just one-on-one living in the light is a weekly study in God's word with teacher and author and Graham wants learn to listen to his voice, then start making the choice to keep on going and believing and trusting who God is go to and Graham lots outboard take advantage of the many helpful free resources to get started doing this again for living in the line

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