Faith That Moves The Heart Of God

Text: Hebrews 11:1-6

The next few weeks of sermons will be on things I sense the Lord is challenging our church (and me) to grow in.

Q. Do you live with a faith each day that matches with who you say God is?
- Does it show the reality of His power?
- Does it show His love and kindness?
- Does it reflect that He keeps His promises?

If you say, “yes,” in what way? 
- Do your prayers reflect faith? 
- Are you taking bold action anywhere in your life?
- Does your generosity reflect faith?

If you answered, “no,” then why doesn’t your life match with who you say God is?
There are two kinds of faith we’ll discuss today:
1. Saving faith, and 2. Ongoing faith. 
- saving faith is how we become a Christian, have our sins forgiven, and are reconciled to God
- ongoing faith is the daily trust and expressed confidence we live in response to God’s faithfulness

The question I asked is about ongoing faith. Does your life reflect daily trust and confidence in God? 
The Scriptures, from beginning to end, testify to us about the importance of faith. But there a few statements that should cause us to perk up:
- without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)
- anything not done of faith is sin (Romans 14:23)
- faith moves the heart of God

Faith is a big deal to God. And it is your faith, and my faith, that I want us to examine and be challenged by today. 

Today’s GOAL: For God to create in us a desire for increased faith, and for that desire to become actualized in a life daily lived with a trust and confidence in God that brings Him glory and delights His heart.

I want you to leave here today with a desire for a faith that moves the heart of God 

Hebrews 11:1-6

Verse 1 - Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
- notice that “faith is” 1. Assurance and 2. Conviction 
- Our faith is an assurance, not a finger-crossed wishing. It’s rooted in particular things (I’ll show in a moment) hoped for.
- Our faith is conviction, a belief, of things not seen. We have real conviction but it’s not because we’ve touched it, held it, see it…we see with the eyes of faith, not with only our physical eyes can see (it wouldn’t be faith if we already had it).

Verse 2 - For by it the people of old received their commendation.
- By it (faith) the people of old were commended by God. They pleased Him with their lives by faith. This references Old Testament people (the whole chapter illustrates it).

Verse 3 - By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
- So it is faith that grasps that
1. God exists
2. He created all things

Verses 4-5 - By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.
- Look at these illustrations/examples given, these stories themselves never mention faith, but they show faith that pleased God. The implication of each story being listed here is that their faith pleased God.

Verse 6 - And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
- We cannot please God without faith (this is true first and foremost concerning saving faith, without trust in Jesus, you cannot please God, but it is also true in a sense of ongoing faith). You can be reconciled to God through Christ and have the positional favor of God. This doesn’t fluctuate or change. But there is another sense in which we have a practical pleasure of God that increases or decreases on the basis of our lives.

  • Faith is manifested in both our disposition and actions
  • Faith comes out in obedience

- Notice faith believes God is REAL and He’s the REWARDER of those who seek Him. Notice the connection to vs 1, REAL (things hoped for), REWARDER (things not yet seen).
- Faith isn’t about how we feel, it grows as we come to know God.

Some other texts:

  • Matthew 8:10, Mark 2:5, Matthew 9:22, Mark 10:52 (Jesus moved by faith)
  • Mark 9:24 (the prayer for more faith)
  • 2 Samuel 12:16, 19-20 (David shows how faith handles disappointment)

- The name-it-claim folks who believe if you simply have faith you will get what you are asking go too far and get it wrong, but they are really close to getting it right, and are often closer than many of us who fail to demonstrate faith in action. 
- They believe God will do it. But why they believe is because they think Jesus purchased the riches, healing, and blessings at the cross. It’s already theirs.
- Faith includes believing He can do anything (and even asking for it) but trusting Him even if He doesn’t. That’s the separator from the prosperity gospel.

1. Battling with unbelief or lack of faith is common
2. Pray and ask God for increased faith
3. Feed your faith
4. Step out of the boat (Mt. 14:22-33)