The Test (Part 8) The Test of Waiting on God (Isaiah 40:31)
Theme: Learning to trust God for the best instead of the now
Introduction: My dad’s words were simple, “Wait on the Lord.” That day, my dad assigned to me one of the most difficult task I have had to learn and in essence the secret to living a victorious Christian life. To this day I still find this to be one of the hardest tests of my faith even though I have seen its value lived out time and time again. In this sermon series we have been identifying some of the things that will really test our faith this coming year. One of the things that really will test our faith this year is “The Test of Waiting on God.” Today, I want to share with you the secret to passing the test of waiting on the Lord. To wait upon the Lord implies an expectant attitude of faith and trust in the Lord which leads us to a question…
Conclusion: “Wait upon the Lord” is the best advice the people of God ever received. It was the best advice my dad ever gave me. It is the secret to living a victorious Christian life.
The Test (Part 7) The Test of Overcoming the Flesh (Galatians 5:16-17)
Theme: Learning to replace the flesh by being led by the Spirit
Introduction: The choices we make in our lives as Christians are filled with a tension between our human desires and the pull of the Spirit of God. The struggle between our flesh and spirit is very real. Paul, in his letter to the Galatians introduces the concept that we have the choice to live by one of two options. One is the freedom to walk in the Spirit and the other is to walk in bondage to the flesh. With this Paul offers a warning and a better way… Let’s begin with the warning about…
Conclusion: We can judge our lives by the results to see if our faith is passing the test of overcoming the flesh by simply doing an honest evaluation:
Are we bearing fruit to the glory of the Lord?
Are we producing the works of the flesh?
Paul, in his letter to the Galatians introduces the concept that we have the choice to live by one of two options. One is the freedom to walk in the Spirit. The other is choosing to walk in bondage to the flesh. One is the way of spiritual disaster, while the other is the way to spiritual delight. And today, you get to choose which way you want to take today.
The Test (Part 6) The Growing Test (Matthew 14:22-33)
Theme: Learning to take the risk of stepping out on faith
Introduction: Psychologists refer to them as ”defining moments,” those events in your life that shape the person you have become and you are. We all have them and I’ve had mine. With every new year come new challenges that will really test our faith. One of those things will be those defining moments of spiritual struggles that will lead to growing times. Spiritual growth is always a result of having our faith stretched. During these times we have a tendency to focus on our (or others) failures, but, God is focused in on our growing faith! As we come to our text we notice five things about the Lord during these times:
Conclusion: As we face a new year, we will face new tests of our faith. Those defining moments that really will test our faith with those spiritual struggles that will lead to growing times. These storms are sent and meant to produce growth in our faith. However, as we go through them we will discover with each passing storm, we will arrive at a new place in our faith and relationship with the Lord thanks to these storms!
The Test (Part 5) The Test of Suffering, Sickness and Death (Cor. 1:1-11)
Theme: Learning to use our pain as a means of ministering to others
Introduction: With every new year come new challenges. One of the things that really will test our faith this new year will be when we suffer, or are sick and encounter death. These are things we can all relate to and they have all touched everyone of our lives. All of these experiences can cause people to question the love and goodness of a God who would let such things occur. So, how should we respond when our faith is tested by these things?
Conclusion: God works out His purposes in and through the hurting times of life, whether it be suffering, sickness or death… If we yield to Him, trust Him, and obey what He tells us to do.
The Test (Part 4) The Test of Adversity (John 9:1-3)
Theme: Learning to ask the right questions to get us through tough times.
Introduction: With every new year comes new challenges. Throughout the year there will be circumstances and situations that will test our faith (just as there was last year). One of the things that really will test our faith this new year will be when we enter into times of adversity.
Our goal in times of adversity should be to grow through them, not just go through them! In order for us to do this…
Conclusion: The truth is bad things happen to good people and we will all experience times of adversity (Jb 5:7). But, we also know good and positive things can come from adverse situations and circumstances if and when we respond to them properly.
The Test (Part 3) The Test of Trials and Tribulations (James 1:3)
Theme: Learning to focus on God’s intended outcome instead of the way out
Introduction: The Bible focuses basically on just two themes. The way to God and the walk with God. To the sinner it says, “This is the way to God.” And to the saint it say, “This is the way to walk with God.” The letter of James is the New Testament “Proverbs” (the book of wisdom). This letter deals with our walk with God and it is a practical work book. In this letter James instructs us on how to live out our practical faith especially when our faith is tested by trails. James begins this letter by explaining….
Conclusion: James tells us our faith will be tested through trials and tribulations and these are times that serve to make us mature and complete with God’s help!
The Test (Part 2) The Crisis Test (Mark 4:35-41)
Theme: Learning Jesus is in control over all our crisis
Introduction: With every New Year come new challenges. Throughout this year there will be circumstances and situations that will test our faith (just as there was last year). The best way to pass a test is to prepare for it! One of the things that really will test our faith this new year, will be when we encounter those crisis moments.
Conclusion: This is where our faith will really be tested – in the midst of the storms of crisis! And we must be ready! The question should not be “Why am I facing this crisis?” But, rather how will I handle it?
The Test: The Things that will really Test Our Faith (Part 1) The God Test of Giving (Malachi 3:8-10)
Theme: Learning Giving to God is a matter of faith & Blessings
Introduction: With every New Year come new challenges. Throughout the year there will be circumstances and situations that will test our faith (just as there were last year). The best way to pass a test is to prepare for it! In this sermon series, I want to spend the next several weeks looking at some of things that really test our faith so that we can prepare for these tests before they come, and pass these tests when they come (because it is never a matter of “if” but, rather “when”). Our faith will be tested in this coming year.
In our text we discover, the book of Malachi is to be a guide as to when one’s religion is showing signs of spiritual and moral decay! These people were really trying God’s patience (2:17-3:6) and to top it all off…
Let’s all make a personal commitment to pass this first test of our faith this new year!