Thursday, 9 June 2016
principles of faith 1
10 Principles of Faith Did you hear about the farmer that decided to buy a chain saw? A logging foreman sold him one that he guaranteed would cut down 15 trees in a single day. A week later, a very unhappy farmer came back to report that the power saw must be faulty—it averaged only 3 trees a day. The foreman grabbed the saw, pulled the cord, and the saw promptly went “Bzzzzzzzz.” “Hey” demanded the startled farmer, “what’s that noise?” It’s one thing to come to church, but it’s altogether another thing to live by faith. Do you know you have a saw? Do you know how it works? Have you fired it up? Today, I want to fire up your faith by sharing some important principles of faith. The Children of Israel had just been released from 430 years of Egyptian bondage, but God did not lead them the easy way to Canaan—which would have been through the land of the Philistines (Ex. 13:17). Instead, God lead them down towards the Red Sea. Why did God want them to take the long way to Canaan? He says. Exodus 13:17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” God took them towards the Red Sea instead of the easy way because, if they had gone towards the land of the Philistines, they would have been in for a war and God knew they weren’t ready for a fight. They had weapons, but…they only thought they were ready. Principle #1: God Knows What He’s Doing There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance. He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note. The note read: “pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need”. Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die. After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed. Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveller.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “ Please prime the pump, believe me it works”! We have the same choice to make, do we hold on to what we have because we don’t believe there are better things in store for us, and settle for immediate satisfaction? Or do we trust God and give up all that we have to get what God has promised us? I think the choice is obvious. We need to pour in all the water, trust God with everything. Then once we have experienced what God has to offer, the living water, we need to tell other people, “Go ahead prime the pump, believe me it works”! God knows what He’s doing. Let’s continue. We next read that they took the bones of Joseph with them as they left Egypt. Exodus 13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” Principle #2: Following God to the Future Doesn’t Mean Forgetting the Past We must take “Joseph’s bones” with us wherever we go. Sometimes we don’t respect the past like we should. A little girl called out, “Mommy, you know that vase china cabinet, the one that’s been handed down from generation to generation?” Yes, dear, I know which one you mean, what about it? ”Well, Mommy, I’m sorry, but this generation just dropped it!” What are the “Joseph’s bones” you need to take with you as you move forward? -Experiences -Lessons -Wisdom -Heritage–Heritage gives us 1) Strength; 2) Purpose; 3) Identity An investigation into the famed 18th century revival preacher Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) showed that, of the 1,394 known descendants of Jonathan Edwards, 100 became preachers and missionaries, 100 lawyers, 80 public officials, 75 army and navy officers, 65 college professors, 60 physicians, 60 prominent authors, 30 judges, 13 college presidents, 3 United States senators, and one a vice-president of the United States. Another man of that era, Max Jukes, had 310 descendants who died as paupers, 150 criminals, 100 were drunkards, 7 were murderers, and more than half of the women were prostitutes. What are the “Joseph’s bones” Journey needs to take with us as we move forward? -Our heritage of loving our community. -Our heritage of love for God’s word. -Our heritage of respect for the family. -Our heritage of love for each other. -Our heritage of courage in the face of “steps of faith.” -Our heritage of passionate worship. -Our heritage of reaching out with the gospel. Next we read that the Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Exodus 13:21,22 21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.