Good Evening to All!
My text tonight is coming straight out of the New King James Version Bible. I have heard the word imperative before, and I have more than likely used it as part of my vocabulary, but I decided to look it up in the dictionary anyway, just to make it more clear to me what this was saying: (adjective) 1. not to be avoided or evaded. (2) of the nature of or expressing a command; commanding. (3) a command. (5) a fact that compels attention or action; obligation; need.
This tells me that to have faith is not optional for a Christian. It is a command.
I really like the pictures I was able to locate tonight. especially the one of the gold fish. We sometimes like to think that having faith is just believing God can and will do things to help us. This picture shows me that sometimes God requires us to take a leap of faith and know in our heart He will be there to catch us if we fall. Not only that but just like what I have said about Salvation, the proof of faith takes action on our part. We can say we have faith all day and all night long, but if we don't show it by stepping out and putting action as proof, then the words mean nothing.
What is faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Why is faith important? Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
In what does faith believe? Faith believes that God is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently see Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
What does faith look like in a person's life?
- Abel offered a costly sacrifice (11:4)
- Enoch lived in a way that pleased God (11:5)
- Noah obeyed divine warnings and built a giant ark. (11:7)
- Abraham left Ur at God's calling and went out, not knowing where he was going. (11:8)
- Sarah bore Isaac in her old age. (11:11)
- Abraham was willing to offer us Isaac, his only son, trusting that God was able to raise him up. (11:17-19)
- Isaac blessed his sons and exhorted them to obey the covenant. (11:20)
- Jacob likewise reminded his sons of God's promises (11:21)
- Joseph expressed his confidence that God would bring the Israelites out of Egypt (11:22)
- Moses' parents refused to carry out the commands of Pharaoh to kill their child (11:23)
- Moses turned his back on thew passing pleasures of sin and sided with the downtrodden children of Israel, leading them out of Egypt and obediently carrying out the difficult commands of God (11:24-29)
- The Israelites led by Joshua, trusted God to give them victory over the city of Jericho (11:30)
- Rahab believed in the power of God and helped the Israelite spies (11:31)
- Many other Old Testament people of faith trusted God for power and victory and refused to compromise their faith in God, even in the midst of life-threatening circumstances (11:32-38)
- Some died without having received the promises (11:13)
- Some have to find consolation in the truth that they will not realize the full blessings of God until they enter heaven (11:14-16).
- Some experience miraculous deliverance (11:33-35)
- Others, despite their implicit trust in God, experience torture, mockings, scourgings, imprisonment, stonings, destitution, affliction, and torment. (11 :35-38)
How should the lives of the faithful believers affect us? We should be motivated to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and ...run with endurance the race that is set before us. (12:1)
Now with all of this being said, have you looked into your soul to see to what level is your faith? We must remember this is not an optional thing that we can "take or leave. It is not a thing that we can believe in one day and not the next. As stated earlier, we CANNOT please God without faith. If we don't want to please Him, then what gives us the right to actually believe we can live in eternity with Him? Would you want to live with someone who didn't care enough about you to trust you? I wouldn't.
He is our Creator. I cannot for the life of me figure out why we wouldn't have faith in the one who created us. Who formed us and breathed life into us. We have faith in our parents and they brought us into the world, but they did not created us. They provided the means for us to be born, but they didn't form our bodies fingers and toes. Yet...we have all the faith in the world in them.
I truly believe God deserves much more.
I understand that it is easy to have faith in our parents because we can see, smell and feel them, whereas with God, the evidence of His existence is in His creation, the grass, flowers, wind, rain, rivers, animals, birds and everything else in the universe.
All I ask is that you remember, and yes I know I'm being repetitive, but I wouldn't if it weren't so important. YOU CANNOT PLEASE GOD WITHOUT FAITH. By not having or showing faith in Him, you are saying you don't believe He is capable to do things for you, to help you, to provide for you , to heal you and anything else you can imagine Him doing. He is all powerful and can do absolutely anything...EXCEPT LIE. God is love, God is truth, therefore it is impossible for Him to lie. Other than that, the only limitations God has are the one we put on Him ourselves, so why not have faith in a God like that?
Good Night to All and May God Bless!