SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-10-03: "A Receiving Faith"

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A  Receiving  Faith
          Finding and defining faith can be a difficult task. We can recognize faith in people around them, but we often cannot see faith when faith is needed in ourselves. It is especially tough to locate in the midst of life’s conflicts. We have heard people say this before,
“Where is your faith?”
          Faith is also listed in the 1 Corinthians 12 Gifts of the Spirit list. We see faith occurring in the Galatians 5 Fruit of the Spirit list as well. The Apostle Paul taught that every man is given the same measure of faith.
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3
     So what is the difference? Why do some receive the gift of an extraordinary amount of faith and others receive faith to do amazing things for God? Some believe that faith is like a muscle that gets stronger through exercise. You start exercising with smaller things and move up gradually to larger and larger things.
     This sermon is not a comprehensive or exhaustive study on this subject, but it is aimed at challenging the listener to a deeper, more intimate faith in Jesus and His Kingdom of Love.

Pastor Phil  <><<







October 3, 2010
Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

A  Receiving  Faith
“Faith is a slippery thing to define and apply in our lives. We easily know when people don’t have faith, but it’s hard to identify faith when the going gets tough. It’s even harder identifying faith in ourselves.”          Pastor Phil

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 
                                                                                                         Romans 10:17
Characteristics of a Receiving Faith:
A. Jesus' sheep listen - John 10:27
     “"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
                    1. His Sheep Hear and Hear and Respond - Luke 5:4-6
                      “When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, "Launch out
                            into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." But Simon
    answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and
   caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net."
                    2. Reasons for NOT Listening / Hearing God’s Voice
                              a. Disobedience – Know God’s command and ignore it
                              b. Backsliding – Heart / Spirit grown cold
                              c. Neglect / Ignorance of God’s Word – John 15:7
                                "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask
                                       what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
                              c. Neglect of Prayer
                                   “Seven Prayerless Days Make One Weak.”
                              d. Angry / Disappointed with God
          B. Jesus' Word is His Presence -  Roman Centurion - Luke 7:7-9
             ”Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the
                 word, and my servant will be healed. "For I also am a man placed under
                 authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes;
                 and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and
                 he does it." When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and
                 turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I
                 have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!"  
                    1. He is the Living Word – John 1:1
                      “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
                            the Word was God.”
                    2. God will always prosper His Word -  Isaiah 55:10-11
                       "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do
                            not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and
                            bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
                            So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not
                            return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it
                            shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

            A. Mary's Faith at the Wedding at Cana - John 2:5
           “His (Jesus) mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."
                    1. Faith is doing the Irrational
          2. Faith is pouring water into containers when wine is needed
B. Rational Thought is Overcome Through Obedience- Jn.2:9-10
   “When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine,
     and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn
     the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he
     said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and
     when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the
     good wine until now!"
                    1. Leap of Faith Required
                    2. Faith sees what Jesus would do and does it - John 5:19
                      “Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to
                            you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the
                            Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like
a. Creative Imagination
                              b. Faith Imagination
                              c. Ask yourself, “WWJD?”
          C. The Greater Law of the Spirit supersedes Natural Law
                    1. Jesus Walks on Water - Matt. 14:24,25
                       “But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the
                             waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the
                             night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.”
                    2. Elijah's Floating Axe Head - 2 Kings 6:5-7
                      “But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the
                            water; and he cried out and said, "Alas, master! For it was
                            borrowed." So the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" And he
                            showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there;
                            and he made the iron float. Therefore he said, "Pick it up for
                            yourself." So he reached out his hand and took it.
                    3. Hezekiah’s "Fleece" Stops the Sun – 2 Kings 20:8-11
                      “And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "What is the sign that the LORD will
                            heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the LORD the third
                            day?" Then Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the LORD,
                            that the LORD will do the thing which He has spoken: shall the
                            shadow go forward ten degrees or go backward ten degrees?"
                            And Hezekiah answered, "It is an easy thing for the shadow to go
                            down ten degrees; no, but let the shadow go backward ten
                            degrees." So Isaiah the prophet cried out to the LORD, and He
                            brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone
                            down on the sundial of Ahaz.”
          D. Natural Man/Mind cannot act Irrationally - 1 Cor. 2:14
  “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
    foolishness to him; nor can he know them, . . .they are spiritually discerned.”

            A. We must ACT upon the Word of Christ - James 1:22-24
              “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
                 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man
                 observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes
                 away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”
          B. Jesus' Parable of House Building - Matt 7:24-26
             "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will
                 liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: "and the rain
                 descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that
                 house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”

            A. Jesus commanded them to keep quiet – Mark 7:32-36
   “Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an
     impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand
     on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His
     fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then,
     looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha,"
     that is, "Be opened." Immediately his ears were opened, and the
     impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.
    Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the
    more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.”
          B. The Source of a miracle is greater than the miracle - Jn.14:10
               "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The
                   words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the
                   Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
                    1. Taking credit for oneself - "Glory Skimming"
                    2. Humility of Heart is Faith’s Answer

            A. The Healing of Ten Leprous Men - Luke 17:12, 13
               “Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were
                   lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said,
                   "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
          B. One Returns with Thanks - Luke 17:15-19
             “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a
                 loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving
     Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said,
   "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? "Were there not
     any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"
    And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."

            A. Cleansed AND Healed Through a Re-Creative Miracle
          B. Final Healing through "Thanks" - 1 Thess. 5:16-18
            “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this
                 is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”