This is the Sunday morning sermon for January 27th, 2008.

GOTTA HAVE FAITH PART 9
4 Examples of faith
Hebrews 11:20-23

Last week in our series, “Gotta have faith,” we looked at Abraham’s faith, and we saw that it was a sacrificial faith.

This morning we are going to look at 4 more examples of faith from Hebrews 11.

I do hope that this has been a very encouraging series so far as we go verse by verse through Hebrews 11-12:2. It has been very encouraging for me, in just studying as well as preaching it.

A couple things that this series is teaching me is: (1) there are many different ways that faith can be displayed and reveal itself; (2) I haven’t fully arrived yet to the place where I’m putting it all in practice. But I am pressing on endeavoring with the Lord’s help to arrive.

There was a woman in a community who was well known for her simple faith and great calm in the midst of many trials. Another woman who had never met her but had heard of her came to visit one day. “I must find out the secret of her calm, happy life,” she thought to herself. As she met her she said:” So you are the woman with the great faith I’ve heard so much about.” “No,” came the reply. “I am not the woman with the great faith, but I am the woman with the little faith in the great God.”

Can you say the same? You see, this sermon series really isn’t about making your faith bigger, for Scripture says it just takes faith the size of a mustard-seed which is small. This sermon is about helping all of us realize that the God who saved us, and delivered us, is bigger than any circumstance that we may face, when we put our trust and faith in Him, even if it does seem small, I believe we can expect results to happen.

It’s like the words in the song by Delirious, “My Glorious:” “God is bigger than the air I breathe; this world we’ll leave; God will save the day; and all will say; My Glorious, My Glorious.

This is the God we serve, and this is the God that this sermon is about this morning.

We are going to look at 4 examples of faith this morning from our text. Let’s see what God would say to us.

1. Isaac’s faith – A faith that looked into the future.

Hebrews 11:20 NET – By faith also Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning the future.

A. In Genesis 25 we see the story of Esau and Jacob.

Esau was the oldest son and deserved the older son’s blessing, by birth order alone. But Esau, sold his blessing to Jacob for a pot of stew. Jacob also took Esau’s birthright blessing by deception. Isaac is blind and Jacob, with the help of his mother, deceives Isaac with sheep’s hair covering his skin.

B. Now I’m sure this question is asked, “How is God in this?”

While I don’t think that God is in the deception, His Sovereign plan is at work and did come about.

C. Now while Isaac was blind physically, His faith wasn’t.

By faith He blessed both of His sons…looking into the future concerning both of them, and the blessings came true.

D. Our faith in God cannot be always tied up to the here and now, but we also must trust our future to the Lord.

Also, don’t think that deceptions and lies can hinder the will of God, for God can turn around their evil to accomplish good for Him.

Romans 8:28 NET – And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

2. Jacob’s faith – A worshipping faith.

Hebrews 11:21 NET – By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph and worshiped as he leaned on his staff.

A. This story can be found in Genesis 47.

B. The first thing that I want us to notice concerning Jacob is that I believe he had a faith in God’s promises, both to him, and the ones passed down from Isaac and Abraham.

He believed that what God had promised his Grandad and Dad and himself, God would accomplish through his sons.

C. He also blessed and worshipped the Lord as He was facing death.

He sat up in bed, blessed Joseph’s sons and worship God by leaning on His staff.

D. What can we learn from Jacob here?

Believe God’s promises. Don’t let facing death and pain keep you from worshipping Him. Lean on your staff of strength and support – His Word.

3. Joseph’s faith – An undying faith.

Hebrews 11:22 NET – By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the sons of Israel and gave instructions about his burial.

A. This story can be found in Genesis 50:22-26.

B. Joseph also looked into the future and saw a homeland for his people.

C. His faith would not allow death from keeping him from this promised land.

D. Don’t let circumstances, people’s opinions or words, or even death itself prevent you from believing God’s promises.

4. Moses’ Parent’s faith – A loving, fearless faith.

Hebrews 11:23 NET – By faith, when Moses was born, his parents hid him for three months, because they saw the child was beautiful and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

A. Moses’ parents new he was special, so they obeyed God and not the king.

They hid Moses, not fearing the repercussions.

B. Church, when our Government comes against us about sharing our faith, don’t protest with signs and things of that nature.

Just obey God and let Him take care of you. If you suffer, then suffer. But be obedient to the Lord.

APPLICATION

How can we apply all these examples to our lives this morning?

• When putting your faith in God, don’t just believe Him for the present, but continue looking into the future promises.
• Don’t let circumstances keep you from worshipping the Lord.
• Continue to believe God will fulfill His promises…death cannot stop it.
• Be obedient to the Lord, even when the world tells you other wise.

DESCISION

Is there something that you are believing God for this morning? Maybe you need to make a fresh commitment to Him this morning concerning what you are believing Him for. I’d like to pray for you this morning.

Next time we are going to look at Moses’ faith – a self-denying faith.

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