I’M IN: Run By Faith is a landmark series for our church. I am so anxious for every weekend when I get to share with you what God is doing in my heart and wants to do in yours as well. For six weeks we are focusing on growing, sowing, and running by faith.
Why are we doing this?
Because everything God wants to do in your life He does by grace through faith.God affirms this over and over:
•Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6
•Anything that is not done in faith is sin. Romans 14:23
•Jesus “According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matthew 9:29
•Jesus: “All things are possible for the one who has faith.” Mark 9:23
•He (Jesus) did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Matthew 13:58
We are in a race, but as Paul tells us, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Running to win the prize requires stretching our faith. Stretching our faith is not going to feel very comfortable, but we don’t grow in comfort. The result of growth is blessing, maturity, answered prayers, and so many other wonderful things. I want this for you.
The keys to running by faith are . . .
Know God. The foundation of our faith is not an experience or an answered prayer—it is a person. That person is Jesus Christ.
This is what sets Christianity apart from any other religious system. We believe that two thousand years ago something happened in history that changed everything. God became man through the person of Jesus Christ and made everything possible for us in this life and the next.
When we say, “Have faith,” we are not talking about random faith. We are talking about faith in this person. Faith is no better than its object. There is no power in faith alone. Misplaced faith is dangerous. Faith doesn’t move mountains, GOD moves mountains.
Faith is believing that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to do.
"Weak faith in the right object is better than misplaced faith in any object.”
We know that is true. The object of our faith is God, and our ambition is to know Him.The more we know God, the more our faith in Him will grow.
How do we get to know God and grow our faith?
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
Let’s commit to growing our faith together. Be here every weekend during this campaign, and let’s grow our faith by hearing and sharing the Word of God together.
Believe God. Believe that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He has promised to do.
Who does God say He is?
He is GOOD.
The Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation. Psalm 100:5
God has never had a bad day. He is always loving, kind, and faithful to us and even on down to our grandchildren.
He is GREAT.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us. . . Ephesians 3:20
There is nothing too difficult,nothing too big, nothing God cannot do. He will never be over-matched.
He is GENEROUS.
Jesus said, "If you, as imperfect parents, know how to give good gifts to your own children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him?" Luke 11:13
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:32
He is a REWARDER.
Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6
This is huge! God promises that we will be rewarded!
Surrender to God.That is the most logical thing to do if you and I believe that God is all that. Surrender means that He is our focus. We are letting go of, turning from everything else.
. . . let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, pioneer, and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2
Jesus had that exact attitude in His service to His Father.
He said, “By myself I can do nothing . . . for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” John 5:30
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38
“The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” John 14:10
You and I are vessels, the conduit that God uses to do His work. And He plans for the results to be MONUMENTAL. Jesus said something literally astounding about that:
"Very truly I tell you, all who have faith in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:12-14
Can you imagine? As you and I surrender to the will of our Father, God is going to do greater things through us than He even did through Jesus!
When you are an I’M IN, all out, surrendered follower of Jesus Christ, God is willing to do extraordinary things through you! Again . . .
Jesus said, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:13-14
This isn’t about asking God to get in on our plans. This is about surrendering.
This is about asking God . . .
•What do You want done in my world?
•What do You want done in my family?
•What do You want done in my finances?
•What do You want done in my marriage?
•What do You want to do in my community?
“I am here to do what You want me to do and say. I am here to do Your will, not figure out how to get You to do my will.”
When you understand that God’s plan for you is to get to know Him and share the wonderful life and work He has, when you understand that His plan for the world is for them to share what you share with Him, you align yourself with Him and His purposes. He will do His will through you and me in this world. What an honor! What significance!
Great faith is great surrender—giving every area of my life to the control of Christ. I’ll admit, it’s very scary to do that. We would much rather say, “God, I’ve got some stuff that needs to be done and I would like for You to help me.” That’s not faith or surrender. Too often we live and make decisions as if there were no God, and then we get frustrated when He doesn’t show up. The greater the faith, the greater the surrender.
Give yourselves completely to God—every part of you—for you have been brought back to life, and you want to be tools in the hands of God, used for his good purposes. Romans 6:13
Surrendering your life means following God's lead without knowing where He's sending you; waiting for God's timing without knowing when it will come; expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide; trusting God's purpose without understanding the circumstances.
That is being all in. That is the way to the life and significance for which we were created.
Here we go.