Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hebrews 11:11 – 19
Faith of a Father

The official Father’s day flower is the dandelion – the more it gets trampled the better it grows!

I. The promise of faith.

A. It was “impossible.”

1. In other words, it was beyond possible.

a. Abraham was “past age.” [v 11] (100 years old)

b. Sarah was “barren.” [v 11] (90 years old)

2. Abraham was “as good as dead.” [v 12]

B. The key to faith.

1. God is faithful. (It depends on God not you.)

a. God promised Abraham.

1.) God promised that Abraham would have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. [Genesis 15:5]

2.) These descendants would be from Sarah not Hagar. [Genesis 17:19]

b. Abraham had already seen...

1.) His call to leave country, people, and family. [Genesis 12:1 – 4]

2.) His defeat of the conquering kings, when he rescued Lot. [Genesis 14]

3.) His covenant with God. [Genesis 15]

4.) The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and his attempt to intercede for those cities. [Genesis 18]

5.) God’s continual protection and blessing.

2 THE promise was through Isaac.

a. Abraham considered/reckoned that God was/is faithful, that God would do what He said.

b. Abraham was willing to trust God for “impossible” things.

***** Faith looks at who God is – not at the situation. Faith sees God as faithful – not situations as “impossible.” Faith holds to the promise of God.

II. What is faith?

A. What it does.

1. Faith carries us through life.

a. It is permanent – it doesn’t just come and go.

b. Wesley’s concept of “assurance of salvation.” (Absolute certainty.)

2. Faith shows us a vision.

a. They saw what the did not have.

1.) They were “never” disappointed they didn’t have it.

2.) The “always” remained faithful to the vision.

(Reality, as humans we struggle.)

b. They welcomed it from a distance. [v 13]

1.) They understood/accepted that they would not see these things in the natural frame of life.

2.) The looked beyond the boundaries of life to what God says is real.

3. Faith removes the madness.

a. They admitted they were aliens. [v 13]

1.) James Dobson’s “5 lies of the 60's” (which built our society.)

a.) “God is dead.” (The rest of the quote: “for we have killed him.”

b.) “Drugs are a legitimate form of entertainment.”

c.) “Pre/extra/perverted sexual freedom.”

d.) “Divorce is an acceptable/easy way out.”

e.) “Man is ok, we can fix ourselves.”

2.) We are not condemned to be part of this madness.

b. They lived as strangers on earth. [v 13]

1.) EVERYTHING we stand for and believe, the world opposes/hates.

2.) They had opportunity to return but they did not.

B. God’s role in faith.

1. He is not ashamed to be called their God. [v 16]

2. He is p preparing a city for them (the same one He’s preparing for us). [v 16]

***** Faith carries us through life and shows us what God can, wants to, and will do in our lives. Faith challenges us with the vision to look at God and be satisfied with the heavenly vision – knowing that God will work in His time. Faith allows us to go beyond the madness and not get trapped in what will destroy us. *****

III. Faith will ALWAYS be tested.

A. Faith is action not thought.

1. Action reinforces knowledge.

2. Faith is the practical outcome of knowledge.

3. Faith gives us a chance to know God’s faithfulness.

B. Abraham’s trial: [v 17 – 19]

1. Abraham had a promise

2. Abraham was told to take the promise and sacrifice it... give it up.

C. Abraham “reasoned” (“considered”)...

1. That God could raise the dead.

2. Abraham held to the promise.

3. Abraham held to the faithfulness of God.

***** What “impossible” thing do you face today? The great part about “impossible” is the only way it will happen is because God does something special. How about trusting God in the “little” or “easy” things as well? *****

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