Radical Faith

It’s now the Christmas season … my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas movies, even though they are corny…
We have been doing a Wednesday series, Living a Radical Life for Jesus. Tonight, I want to look at Living with Radical Faith.
What is radical faith? to understand what that is, we will look at Hebrews 11.
Hebrews 11:6 NLT
6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
I cant emphasize enough the importance of faith in our lives. Hebrews says that it’s impossible to please God without faith. You have to believe that God exists. The Bible also says that whatever is not of faith is sin… the just shall live by faith… and according to your faith be it done to you…
God wants you to learn to trust him. It’s actually what life is about… learning to love and trust God. So the Bible says that we please God by our faith… not through our deeds.
So what does it mean to have radical faith?

Radical Faith is believing when I don’t see it

Hebrews 11:1 NLT
1 Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.
Faith is seeing the future in the present… seeing in advance.
People say, I’ll believe it when I see it… god says there are some things that you have to believe so that you can see it.
An artist… or an architect… has to see it before they can create it. Champion athletes don’t go into competition planning to loose… they have a going to win attitude. Julius Erving used to visualize basketball moves and then do them.
Phiser and Moderna scientist had to believe they could come up with a vaccine… before they could do it.
“No great achievement has ever been achieved in history without faith.”
Wernher von Braun…
so Radical faith is believing it before you see it.

Radical Faith is obeying when i don’t understand it

God gives us two examples in the Bible Hall of Fame… Noah and Abraham.
Hebrews 11:7 NLT
7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.
Imagine. It had never rained and God told you that he was going to cause it to rain and flood the world… that’s what happened. Noah had never seen rain before.
God warned him about things that had never happened before… so it took radical faith to spend over 100 years building the ARC.
Then there is Abraham…
Hebrews 11:8 GNB
8 It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going.
Abraham was living in Modern Day Iraq when God told him to leave… He didn’t understand it either… Fortunately he obeyed. He didn’t get any details, but he obeyed even though he didn't’ understand it.
Abraham became the father of Israel because he had radical faith.

Radical Faith is persisting when I don’t feel like it

Too often, we are influenced by our moods. If we feel good, we might do something. We are governed way too much by our feelings and our moods.
God does not want us governed by our feelings, but by faith. The truth is we don’t feel like doing the right thing all the time. But God will give us the faith to rise above our feelings and begin to live by faith.
Faith is persistent and doesn’t give up. We build our faith like Moses did.
Hebrews 11:27 NLT
27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
Moses kept right on going.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Faith is confidence that what we hope for will happen. Persistent faith says that you know God loves you even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Radical Faith is announcing it to experience it

Sometimes you have to speak it before you see it. That’s why proclamations are a good thing. Look at Joseph…
Hebrews 11:22 NLT
22 It was by faith that Joseph, when he was about to die, said confidently that the people of Israel would leave Egypt. He even commanded them to take his bones with them when they left.
Joseph spoke it long before it happened.
God did the same…
Hebrews 11:3 The Message
3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
God spoke and the world was formed from nothing.
Psalm 33:9 NLT
9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
God spoke the world into existence and he gives us power in our words as well.
Proverbs 18:21 NLT
21 The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Words are powerful. Words destroy relationships and make enemies. Words and faith go together.
Matthew 18:18 NLT
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
He si talking about the power of our words to bring live or death… to bless or curse. Sometimes speaking faith will seem foolish to other people who don’t know faith.
Look at Abraham… God told Abram that he would be the father of many nations… only problem was he was 99 with no kids. God changes his name to Abraham … he spoke it before it happened.
Romans 4:17 NLT
17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
When God speaks of future events, he does so with confidence… as if it had already happened.
Look at this…
Romans 10:10 GNB
10 For it is by our faith that we are put right with God; it is by our confession that we are saved.
Announce it so you can experience it.

Radical Faith is giving when I don’t have it

Giving and faith go together. God will use your finances to test and build your faith.
Have you ever had to decide between tithing and your mortgage? It’s a test of your love… of your priorities… of your faith. Do you really trust that God will take care of you if you put him first in your life?
Money is often the acid test for our faith. Look at Abel… remember him. Cain killed him.
What did Abel do to make it into the Hall of Fame? He wasn’t like Abraham or Moses… Here is what he did. He made a faith offering.
Hebrews 11:4 GNB
4 It was faith that made Abel offer to God a better sacrifice than Cain’s. Through his faith he won God’s approval as a righteous man, because God himself approved of his gifts. By means of his faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
He did not do anything flashy, he just gave an offering. It wasn’t acceptable to God because it was more… it was acceptable to God it came from his heart.
It’s not what you give that pleases God, but how you give it. Abel gave it in faith and we have to do the same. It not the amount that you give your your attitude when you give… whether it’s your time, your talent or your treasure. You give and you serve in faith.
The people Paul is talking about here are the Macedonians… a particularly poor church.But when they heard the need, they gave sacrificially.
2 Corinthians 8:2–3 NLT
2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
That reminds me of River church. When you saw the need to give to Convoy for disaster relief, you stepped up and gave sacrificially.
I learned this from my parents. When my dad’s business burned to the ground, they kept giving to the Lord… to the church. And God took care of them.
God says you give it to me and I will take care of you.
Proverbs 3:9 NLT
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
Proverbs 3:10 NLT
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Too often, we want to get the money first, but that’s doesn’t take faith and it’s not the way God works. It’s not about the money, its about your faith.
1 Corinthians 16:2 The Living Bible
2 On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.
This is proportional giving. You give in proportion to what you make.

6. Radical Faith is thanking God before I receive it

If I gave you a check for a thousand dollars, would you wait until you cashed the check before you thanked me? No. You would thank me.
God’s promises are even better. We can thank God for what he is going to do even before he does it.
Hebrews 11:30 NLT
30 It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.
God told them what to do and they did it and God came through for them. That’s why they walked around the walls praising the Lord because it built their faith so that they believed that God would win the day for them. They did this for 7 days…
God wants us to live by faith and that involves thanking him in advance.
Mark 11:24 GNB
24 For this reason I tell you: when you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for.
Let me ask, when you pray, do you believe God is going to answer your prayer? Faith is important…
Matthew 9:29 NLT
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
Let thanksgiving lead your way...

7. Radical Faith is trusting God if I don’t get it

God wants to know do you trust him… no matter what. Do you trust God, even when the answer isn’t what you wanted?
sometimes God says, yes… wait… no… are you kidding? But God answers prayer.
Hebrews 11:39–40 NLT
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
It’s easy to show faith when things are going smooth. The real test is a year of COVID… a disappointing year… When everything is going wrong… that’s the test of faith.
Radical faith is developed in the valley… not on the mountaintop.
You say, “I wish I had more faith. How do I get more faith?” This is where you get it: you get this Book in your mind and the more you understand and know and read and memorize and fill your mind with this Book, the more faith you’re going to have. This is faith food. And the more you fill your mind with the Word of God, the more faith you’re going to have.
Romans 10:17 NLT
17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
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