What is Faith?
Last week you looked at the plagues that God inflicted on Egypt to demonstrate His power and show them that He is God.
What were the Plagues God sent to the people of Egypt?
-Turned the water (Nile River) into blood
-sent swarms of frogs, lice and flies
-all the Egyptians cattle, horses, sheep, camels and donkeys died
-The Egyptians plagued with Boils
-and then a hail storm
-a swarm of locuts who would eat the crops ( vegetables)
- and three days of darkness
This week we will look at the last Plague.
In all of the plagues thus far, were the people required to do anything to keep safe from the plagues?
No, they were not.
God sent the plagues only to the Egyptians\
Up to this point the people of Israel were protected from the plagues and the Israelites were not required to do anything or to have any faith that God would take care of them.
All they had to do was sit back and watch.
They watched and saw the awesome power of God at work.
It was now time for the Israelites to show that they had faith in God to free them from the bondage of slavery.
What is Faith?
Faith is trust something that you can not see with your eyes.
It is to believe that someone or God can or will do something that is normally unusual, or nor expected.
In the past I illustrated faith when I told you about people who would not walk on the glass floor at the top of the C.N. Tower, and how a guy could walk across a cable with a wheel barrel across Niagara Falls.
Today God asked them to do something very unusual.
And they were expected to obey and do it in faith, expecting God to free them from the bondage of slavery in a very spectacular way.
God told them through Moses to kill an innocent lamb, one that was in perfect shape physically.
They were to paint the spilled blood from the lamb on both sides of the door at the front of the homes and also on top of the door as well.
God was going to send His Holy Spirit to pass over all the homes of all the Egyptians and all the Israelites.
And he was was going to kill all the first born of every family home that did not have the blood of the lamb pinted around the doors of their homes.
The innocent lamb was a symbol of the first born in the Israeli homes.
This sacrifice was a symbol which the people of Israel understood.
An innocent life had to be taken to spare them from death.
They did not undertsand at the time that this was also a symbol looking far ahead into time when Jesus would be offered as a sacrificial lamb to save the world from the punishment of their sins.
Romans 6:23 tells us the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.
Or has John 3:16 says; "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (King James Version)
The people had lived in the land of Egypt for 400 years and they must have been very failiar with the gods of Egypt.
Did you know that the Egyptians had a god for almost everything? They had a god for the water, a gof for the cattle, a good for the sun, moon and stars and on and on.
God showed the people of Egypt that there is no God like Himself.
Their god had no power, they were useless.
Through the plaugues God demonstrated His power to the people of Israel.
He showed them that He was powerful enough to free them from the bondage of slavery from the Egyptians.
When it came time for the people of Israel to step out in faith, they were ready.
With this last plague it seemed like the pharoh and the people of Egypt finally got the message.
They finally believed that the God of Israel was the real God and that He was more powerful than their own gods.
At this point they were anxious for the people of Israel to leave because they feared that God would kill them all if they did not leave.
That evening before the Plague began, God instructed the people again through Moses to bake a loaf of unleaven bread.
Unleaven bread simply means a bread that does not rise. It is flat bread.
They were instructed from that time onward to eat unleaven bread every year and to celebrate celebrate the feast of the Passover every year as a reminder of how He, God had freed them and delivered the people of Israel out of the bondage of slavery from Egypt.
Just like God was watching over the people of Israel that night, God is always watching over you to.
He is always watching over you, to protect you from harm.
And just as he promised to free them from the bondage of slavery, God also promises us, that He will and wants to free us from the bondage of sin.
Jesus is always watching over you and He wants to help you to keep away from sin.
To be in bondage to sin is like this.
Call a Volunteer.
As I wrap a single thread once around the wrists with gloves on say:
Everyone of us has lied at one time or another, and most of us tell lies often.
Many people think it is okay if they tell just one lie.
They think that there is no harm in that.
No one gets hurts.
It's no big deal.
Tell volunteer to break the thread.
They think that if I only do it once, I will have no problem stopping and never telling another lie.
It's the same thing with kids who think that having one cigarette or one beer is okay.
They can stop and never do it again.
Then later on, they get together with friends who offer them another cigarette or another bottle of booze.
Again, just like lying, it's no big deal.
I can quit whenever I want.
Continue wrapping thread around the wrist several times
Ask volunteer to try break the thread.
It gets harder doesn't it.
Once again, you get together with friends and again they offer you cigarettes or booze, but you say, no, I really shouldn't.
But they keep coaxing you and finally you give in and you have another cigarette or another beer.
Continue wrapping the thread
And it happens again and again and each time you think you can stop whwenever you want, but each time you find that it is harder and harder to resist.
Every sin is like that!
Just like the thread, the more I wrap around ( ) wrists, the harder and harder it gets to break it.
Sin is just like that.
The first time you do it, it is no big deal.
The next time does not seem so bad, no one is getting hurt, so why not, do it again.
Soon you find that you are doing the same sins over and over again, and like the thread wrapped around ( ) wrists, it gets too hard to quit.
You just can quit it on your own
So what's the solution? How do you quit?
The answer is Jesus.
When a sin becomes a habit, you need to turn to jesus and pray and ask him to help you get free of that sin.
He will come and help you to be free of that certain sin if you are serious about wanting to quit, and if you are serious about wanting Him to help you.
On your own, you'll never be able to quit.
But with God, all thyings are possible and he will set you Free1!!!!
CUT THE THREAD
Just like God wanted to free the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt,
God also wants yo set you free from the bondage of sin, if you will let Him.
Will You Let Him?
What are some sins that have you in Bondage?
Worries, fears, lying, stealing, cheating - all these things can keep you in bondage. All these things and any other sin can keep you from being free
They keep us from being happy.
They keep us from praising and worshipping and spending time with God.
They make us sad.
They also separate us from the love of God
So Again, who and what can set you from from your sins?
God can set you from from your sins.
What's the best way to not get involved in any sin?
Answer, to always obey God and do what is right.
If you alway obey Him, and do what is right, you will not have to worry about
getting involved in sins and becoming a slave to it.
When you obey and do what is right, God will lead you to a happy life and then in the final victory over sin, He will take you to heaven to be with Him Forever.
Praise God !!!
Everyone sitting quiet
Think now for a few moments of some sins that you might be a slave to like lying, cheating, worrying etc.
God wants to set you free from those sins right now, today.
So close your eyes and pray for a minute asking first that He will forgive you of those sins and then ask Him to help you to break free and to be free forever from those sins.
When God sets you free you will have joy in your heart that you never knew.
It helps us to be more happy and to love Him more.
God we thank you that you love us so much that you sent Jesus to set us free from the burdens of our sins.
We give you our lives today and ask that you would work in our hearts to set us free.
We love you and thank you because the freedom you give us lasts forever.
In Jesus name.
Driving along today I got to thinking of you guys and this thought came to mind.
I pray that today that you will hold out in your faith believing that firstly by faith you have been saved and also by faith if you hold out by faith believing that the Lord can keep you strong today to resist all temptations, and that by faith you can also believe that He can do His part and not only hold out in faith to you to support you and give you strength for today and tomorrow and the next day etc., that by faith you will come to full fruitation to become the man He wants you to be, and that by faith He will also encourage you and fill you full of His Holy spirit giving you a life full of Himself today and forever.
We are the Sheep of His Pasture
Yes the Lord is in the business of teaching and leading us to places and situations which we could never imagine we would be in. Faith is said to be something that is unseen. The book of Hebrews contains many Old Testament Jews stories of how they waited in faith for His promises which they never did or could see. Yet they did not loose faith. We, too, are in the same boat, told to wait and place faith in Him in things we cannot see, things we cannot hold. It is tough, but if our faith is real, He in turn will one day, maybe not in this side of the rapture, but one day He will reward us for our faith. Faith is a tough lesson, but one worth waiting and trusting in.
Faith does not come by reasoning. Faith comes by trusting what your mind conceives to be illogical. This is the problem most of Israel had when Jesus walked the streets. Even though He did many miracles before their eyes, they would not believe He was God even with the miracles.
Even today, we have technology galore to see out past our nearest stars to prove creation. We have close to home all the creation itself. Take your microscopes which are so powerful that they are now finding more components of the simple atom. Did you know that in the middle of an atom there can to be seen a particle in the shape of a cross. Does that not make you go hmmmmmmm !!!
Getting back to creation. We all know that nothing is made from nothing. Everything in existence had to have had a beginning. You see a watch on a man’s arm. Logically we surmise that a watchmaker made the watch. A house built need carpenters to build the house.
So why should we believe that everything in the known universe and beyond just happened by chance by way of a primordial mud. Where did this mud come from. It had to have had a beginning, or a creator.
When Jesus turned the water into wine, where did the yeast suddenly come from to make the wine? Could it be that Jesus was whom He said He was? Whom else but God could create something out of nothing.
The problem is not that one does not have enough of a mind to combine reason with faith, the problem is a lack of faith, a lack of understanding, a lack of want to believe that what is unseen can be real.
Using an illustration by Jesus Himself. We believe wind exists even though we cannot see it.
Long before the discovery of penicillin, scientist believed in something smaller than the human eye could see. With the creation of a microscope, the human eye was now able to see what could not be seen before.
Likewise we are unable to see God, because He is spirit. We cannot see a spirit yet we believe a spirit does exist. After all, does not a single human consist of a body soul and spirit? Who can deny it? Even though we cannot see it, we believe. What mind can see how the human mind, the brain works. Where are the wheels, and sensors to make it work. We cannot see it, but we know it works. Could not God be the originator and the one in control of our minds?
The problem is again not that we need to reason, but to believe what the mind cannot see. To try to reason out what the mind cannot conceive and see is to drive one away from truths that exists and to drive one to insanity.