A life of faith
A life of faith
Faith, hope and love are central parts of belonging to Jesus Christ. Today I will speak about a life of faith, and I pick my inspiration from Hebrew chapter 11 and 12.
I start with Noah. Noah was a man of great faith. He received a short Word from the Lord. The Lord said that humanity had become more and more evil and that He would send judgement over the world. But Noah had found grace in the Eyes of the Lord, so He told him to build an arch and be saved.
I believe that it’s the same thing today. We see the world, especially North America and Western Europe, and Sweden, turning more and more wicked, and we see that the judgement of God must come, sooner or later. Yes, the Lord is full of grace and mercy, slow to wrath and rich in love, so Jesus waits for as long as He can before He judges. Jesus sends warnings and tries to woo and draw people back to Him.
But remember: Noah had found grace in the Eyes of the Lord. We have also found grace before God. Jesus will watch over His beloved children, strengthen, guide and save them. Yes, it will be hard also for the believers in Christ in Sweden, but God is forever Faithful, full of grace and mercy. Thank God for His incredible grace. So don’t be afraid, be at rest. God is Faithful.
But just as Noah, we need both grace and faith. What an incredible faith Noah had! he only received one Word from the Lord, and he built for 120 years! We can guess that Noah heard Mocking from the people, they made fun of him. It’s very likely that Noah also had doubts, so long time went by, God didn’t speak, nothing happened. But Noah Held on to faith, just as we shall do, and Noah and his family was Saved!
That is the kind of faith that we need! We shall also believe, trust in the Word and promises of Jesus, hold on to faith and grace and Jesus will save us also. People mocked Noah, and the Bible say they will mock us and say: what about the promise of His Coming? Those who don’t have true faith look only at the here and now, they focus on this life, they don’t see into the future, the Coming Kingdom. But we know Jesus is coming! We see with Spiritual eyes and we see that Jesus is coming.
Another hero of faith is Abraham. He is called the father of faith. The Lord told him to leave his country and go to the land the Lord would give him. And Abraham obeyed and went, not knowing where he was going. He really walked by faith, not receiving the promised son for many years, and not receiving the Promised land for his entire life.
But look at Israel today, amazingly blessed and protected by God. That’s what faith can do. The reward for faith can exceed your wildest dream, but sometimes we see the reward only in Heaven, and in Heaven, the reward WILL exceed your wildest dream by far!
And then we have Moses, one of the greatest prophets of the Bible. Moses was born in Egypt, but the Egyptians killed the Jewish boys, but by faith his mother placed him in a basket and put him in the river Nile. And just a short while later, the daughter of pharaoh showed up, by the Hand of God. Our Lord has an extreme ability to lead you, He has an amazing planning, timing and coordination.
And Moses was taken into the residence of Pharaoh, raised to be a king. But look at what Moses chose. By faith, he rejected the treasures of Egypt, the wealth, the power, but Hebrews says that he chose to suffer for a short while with the people of God, in order to get the riches of Christ and the reward in Heaven. That’s the faith and choice we too have to make, because the riches of Jesus Christ are so much more precious than what the world can give you.
Noah, Abraham and Moses, three men of incredible faith of the Bible, what can we learn from them? What are the common features? How can we live by faith as they did?
First of all they did as Jesus said; seek first the Kingdom of God, and all the other things will be given to you. Given, you don’t have to take them! They chose first the riches of Christ, and not the riches of this world. They were seeking the invisible, spiritual world, not this world.
They also trusted the Lord and His promises with all their hearts. They walked by faith, oftentimes hearing nothing from God, seeing nothing happen of the things that God had promised, but they still believed and kept walking with God.
They all turned away from sin. We also have to turn away from sin. They walked in righteousness and holiness before God.
And they were steadfast and had perseverance in testing. They were faithful and obedient to God. Abraham had the toughest test, being commanded to sacrifice his one and only son, an amazing picture of Jesus Christ, sacrificed by God the Father. And Abraham went, ready to sacrifice his son. And when God saw that kind of faith, He helped Abraham and saved Isaac.
And they were all looking for the reward in Heaven. They were ready to sacrifice everything for the reward in Heaven. They held on by faith and they all received their reward.
What about faith today? David Wilkerson, a great man of God, said: this generation of the Western World has access to more books and tapes about faith than any other generation, but still I see so little faith. Yes, we have little faith also in Sweden today. I believe that I have been given quite a bit of the love of Jesus, because that’s the first thing I asked Jesus for. But my faith has not been so strong.
But I have been influenced and inspired to faith, by this incredible woman of faith who is here today, sister Liliane. But also by your faith here in Africa. Here you all say: Jesu Anaweza! And you don’t just say it, you also believe it! Why is that so? I believe that there are many reasons, but one is that in the West we have everything that we need, and we take it for granted, and we don’t see God behind it.
But in Africa you know that you need God every day, even for food on the table. That’s why you seek the Lord, that’s why you trust Him in everything. That’s the reason why you have faith.
And remember: everything is the other way around in the Eyes of God. The church of Smyrna in Revelations said it was poor, but Jesus said: you are rich! You think that the church in the West has everything, they have cars, houses, money. Just like the church of Laodicea the Christians in Sweden say: we are rich, we have gained everything. But Jesus said: you don’t see that you are poor, naked and lack everything.
I say this in tears. So many in the West are lukewarm today, they have lost so much of their faith and love for Jesus. And if you loose that, you have lost everything. All that you own here on earth will vanish, but what you own in Heaven will stand. You don’t understand how rich and blessed you are! You don’t understand the riches of Heaven that you will inherit. Look at yourself with spiritual eyes, not the eyes of this world.
Now you say: I am weak! But God says: I have chosen the weak, not the strong! I Am your strength, and that’s the greatest strength you can have! You say I am nothing! But Jesus takes the things that are not, those who are nothing in their own eyes, He chooses them and He makes them into precious stones in His Kingdom. You say I am poor! But Jesus says you are rich in Christ! You say I have tears and testing! But Jesus said blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. And psalms 126 says those who saw in tears, shall reap with joy! You have something so much more valuable. You don’t understand how rich you are compared to many Christians in my country. They have lost much love for Jesus Christ, but you have Jesus, you have the reward of Heaven.
The victory, the coming glory and riches of Christ in Heaven, it belongs to the small, the humble, the poor, the weak, the nothings, the foolish! Look at your life and yourself with the eyes of Jesus Christ! Look with the eyes of faith in Christ Jesus! In the Eyes of Jesus you are so much more precious than you know. Look at what is coming, not at what is here and now. Live for Jesus and Heaven. One day, soon, this will all be gone, but what you have lasts forever! So hold on to faith and your love for Jesus. Amen.