The Possibility of Faith
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11:22-24 (NLT)
The possibility of what can happen when we believe is incredible.
Nothing is impossible if you believe.
Your faith is powerful.
11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)
What good things has your faith prompted you to do?
Do you have any vision from God that is so big that it’s scary to admit them to yourself or share them with other people?
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that everything our faith prompts us to do can be possible.
Are there areas in your life that you’ve stopped believing are possible?
What has that done to your faith?
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 1:19-20 (NLT)
It’s not always an issue of having the faith, but having the power to make good on your faith.
The Refining of Faith
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NIV)
We do not know how much faith we truly have unless it’s tested.
Challenges, suffering, unmet expectations, and failure… all these challenge our faith.
Have the challenges, suffering, unmet expectations, and failures refined your faith or have they regressed your faith?
The Work of Faith
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:29 (NIV)
Faith requires work.
How do you work on your faith?
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)
Faith has to be built upon & worked on.
Developing a powerful faith is a process.
We all appreciate and understand the necessity and value of hard work in building a career, academics, athletics, etc… However, we usually don’t think this applies to our spiritual lives.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT)
The reason why Christians can change so radically and sustain change is because of the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit gives us access to the power of self control.
The Purpose of Faith
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?
James 2:14 (NLT)
Your faith isn’t just for yourself.
It’s meant for something bigger.
Your faith is needed to build God’s Kingdom.
1. Embrace Your Sin
15 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. 16 But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT)
Start with embracing your sinfulness
Faith starts with seeing your sin.
Fruitfulness starts with seeing your sin.
When you embrace your sins your example will cause others to believe.
2. Unburden Your Conscience
18 Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
1 Timothy 1:18-19 (NLT)
Confessing sin is not enough.
The conscience is cleared & unburdened when there is repentance.
Faith is shipwrecked by a seared & corrupt conscience.
What specific things are burdening your conscience today?
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
1 Timothy 2:1 (NLT)
Every prayer makes a difference.
More can be done in prayer than in our own power.
4. Please God
3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT)
The goal in all that we do is to please God.
Whose life does God want you to impact?