Faith is a verb (Noah)

Faith is a verb (Noah)
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faith is a verb

Day 1:  faith is believing

Sermon Sentence:  True faith is an active faith not a passive faith.

Key Text:  Hebrews 11:7

The term faith is used more than 20 times in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.  The Greek word used in every instance is pistis or a derivation thereof.  Pistis means conviction, constancy, confidence, or proof.  So in the memory verse for this week, Hebrews 11:1, the faith being described is one of certainty.  It is with confidence we are certain of the things that we hope for, and our evidence of things not seen is our constant confidence in the promises of God.  To have faith is to believe that God is and that His Word is unfailing.

As we study Noah this week, we will see that Noah was remarkable because he confidently believed what God told him and acted because of his certainty that God would do what He said He would do.  We considered what it means to seek God last week, and how He rewards those who seek to draw near to Him.  The more we seek Him, the more we come to know God.  And the better we know Him, the more we should find ourselves willing to obey Him without hesitation.  Noah “walked with God” (see Genesis 6: 8-9) and knew Him well enough to trust Him completely.

Questions to ponder

  • Are you certain or skeptical in your belief about God and the truth of His Word?
  • In what way have you heard God speak to you as you seek Him?
  • Noah heard God because he was listening. Are you intentional about hearing from God?
  • When you are intentional about listening to God, you must also be ready to respond to His voice. Are you committed to following His divine instructions?

 

faith is a verb

Day 2:  strange tasks

Key Text:  Genesis 6: 17-18

God had told Noah to build an ark and He further explained what its purpose would be – to save him and his family from a great flood that would kill everything else.  This may make sense at first, ‘Build an ark so you aren’t destroyed by the flood I’m sending.’  But the earth had never seen rain at the time of God’s instructions to Noah.  There had never been any flooding great or small.  As strange as the thought of a great flood must have been to Noah, the Bible does not record for us any questions Noah asked God before beginning his task.  It simply says, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Genesis 6:22   Noah’s trust in God is truly remarkable.

If you have believed that God exists and that He has shown us grace through His Son Jesus Christ, then you have exercised faith.  But our walk of faith only begins when we accept Jesus.  We, like Noah, must trust our everyday lives – our protection, our provision, our peace and purpose all are received from God by faith.  Your faith doesn’t have to be perfect to trust God and do what He asks.  He is willing to work with faith the size of a mustard seed.  But if you struggle in the area of faith, there is an easy remedy, as we saw last week.  “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

Study His Word and get to know Him.  You will find He is faithfully trustworthy.

Questions to ponder

  • If you find it difficult to follow God’s instructions, then you need more faith. Are you pursuing growth in the area of faith?
  • If you reluctantly obey God’s instructions, then you need more faith. Are you pursuing a better response time to God?
  • We are told that it is impossible to please God without faith. We can all benefit from increased faith.  Can you make a commitment to increasing your faith daily?
  • Are you willing to do what God says to do even if it conflicts with what you think makes sense?
  • How does your knowledge of God help you to obey Him?

 

faith is a verb

Day 3:  faith that reached his family

Key Text:  Genesis 6:8

Because Noah exercised his faith to walk with God, when God decided to bring judgment upon the earth Noah and his family were spared.  We know that Noah’s wife, sons, and their wives were safely covered in the ark because Noah found grace.

In God’s kingdom families must have a strong leader committed to the family’s well-being.  Noah was such a leader.  Because Noah was constant in his walk with God and set an example for his family, and because he was obedient when given divine instruction, he was able to create the environment that made it possible for his family to be saved from the upcoming flood.  Noah acted decisively for the safety of his family, as a strong leader must be willing to do.  His immediate obedience and decisive action are what made him such an excellent spiritual leader.

God has a divine order and structure for the family that is clearly revealed in His Word.  His purpose in doing so is to provide us with the necessary conditions for success.  Everything He designed is for our benefit.  Families will only be as successful, and in fact healthy, as the leadership allows for.  Noah gives us an excellent example of exercising a faith that impacts our family.  Our concern may not be an upcoming devastating flood, but we know that the time is drawing nearer and nearer to Christ’s return.  At that time, it will be too late to be saved from the upcoming judgment He will bring.  We are not hoping to be saved from a mere flood.  We are hoping to be saved from eternal death for eternal life.  And while the leadership of the family is critical, we all can have an impact on those around us, both family and friends.  It’s time we were intentional about having a faith that reaches others.

Questions to ponder

  • Who is the head of your family?
  • Does the leadership model for your family follow God’s design?
  • Do you know the intended structure for the family as designed by God?
  • Is the leader of your family decisive? More importantly, does the leader of your family follow divine instruction?
  • Are you intentional about the example of faith you present to others both family and friends?
  • Would your family or friends say that your faith helps them to have faith in God?

 

faith is a verb

Day 4:  believing leads to trusting

Key Text:  Genesis 7: 16, 23

Can you imagine how scary that flood must have been?  The rain fell steadily for over a month.  Noah and the others may not have been able to see the destruction, but they had to have heard the most horrifying sounds coming from those who were perishing.  But, they must have felt quite secure as the boat began floating on top of the waters that were destroying everything around them.  Noah had built the ark to the very precise specifications God gave him.  And God Himself shut them in the ark, so there was no way the ark would fail, nor would the door leak.  Because Noah believed God and did all that he was commanded, he was able to trust that he and his family would remain safe.  The more we believe God and act in faith, the more we will trust Him.  And the more we trust Him, the more quickly we will act in faith.

God knows our natural inclination when faced with scary circumstances is to fear.  He has given us hundreds of “fear not” verses in His word to counteract our fear.  Furthermore, because of His grace towards us, just as it was with Noah, many of those scriptures are attached to a promise to us from God Himself.  If we will dismiss the fear as it arises and confess His word over our situations, in due time if we are patient we will see our confession of His word bear fruit.  God has said that we, His people, perish for lack of knowledge.  We put ourselves at an especially dangerous disadvantage when we do not seek out for ourselves what God’s word says.  Satan’s only strategy and power to cause us (believers) to live defeated lives is to lie.  He is in fact the father of lies.  Lying and planting seeds of doubt about the truth of God’s word has been his mode of operation from the very beginning.  The most powerful resistance to his lies we can offer is to speak the truth of God’s word.  God has promised that His word will not return to Him empty.  Standing on His word is the example Noah gives us, and it is the example Jesus gave us as He was tempted in the wilderness by Satan.  Let us simply follow His example.  As you confess His word, your faith grows.  There is no way to lose when confessing God’s word.  He makes sure of it!

Questions to ponder

  • Are you certain in your belief that God’s Word can be trusted?
  • Is it easier for you to entertain doubt and believe lies than it is to believe God’s truth?
  • What challenges are you facing right now, and what specific promises does God offer you regarding those challenges? Find the truth that corresponds to your fear and practice standing on it this week.

 

faith is a verb

Day 5:  reflection

Key Text: Job 28:28 And he said to man, “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

The tension between faith and fear is not to be taken lightly.  Fear has the power to weaken our faith to the point where we believe the lie that our situation is hopeless.  God understands how vulnerable we are to fear, and how dangerous it can be.  We have to fight fear and stubbornly hold onto God’s promises for us.  When fear is diminished, then faith can grow.  And with faith, nothing is impossible with God.  There is only one thing we are told to fear, “Fear the Lord.” This fear is a reverent fear, one not of trembling and terror, but of awe and worship.   We have the choice to choose faith over fear.  When we make that choice, as soon as we make that choice, God is free to move on our behalf.  Below are some, not all, of the promises of God that address particular challenges many of us face.  Make sure you continue to search His word and build up your arsenal of truths to combat any lies Satan tries to tell you now or in the future.

 

Anything: And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. (1 Joh 5:14-15)

Impatience:  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  (Heb 10:23)

Health issues:  If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Rom 8:11)

Financial lack: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich. (2 Cor 8:9)

And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

Discouragement:  I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (Jhn 16:33)

 

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