We must take our faith thoughts based upon the faithfulness of God. Everywhere we look we see an unbelieving atmosphere. Let God do the giving and let’s forsake the world. Look toward Jesus and be not distracted. (Hebrews 11:1, 12:1-2)
Speaker(s): Pastor Steven Scibelli
Sermon # 11550
11:00 AM on 9/30/2018
Heb. 11:1, Heb 12:1-2, wasn’t that a great song? Wow! Thank you Pastor Jason for the offering.
These two verses as we open up Faith in God. Without faith it’s impossible to please God for we must believe that God is and he’s a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. We must take this faith doctrine and thought based on the faithfulness of God.
Heb. 12:1-2 And we’ll define it. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher it says with italics that OUR does not exist. It’s not our faith. There’s a lot of movements that will talk and even beat you up and say you have no faith to be healed, etc. I’ve never had any faith. I live by the faith of the Son of God. Does the H.S. have faith? All I have to do is yield to the H.S. So I don’t look at someone else’s faith because it’s not his faith. It’s the faith of the Son of God. I can become proud thinking of the faith I have and insecure thinking of the faith they have when it belongs to God. I realized long time ago I never did a thing in Africa. It was all God. I didn’t even want to go. I was on my way to Italy. I could now be a 400 pound pizza eater! I don’t want to give Italy a bad rap. Any decision we made or led by God, it’s God the source of our faith.
Gal 5:6 faith is energized or works by love. You don’t need more faith. You need more love.
Rom 10:17 you need more of the word.
2 Cor 4:13 I need to be filled with the Spirit and that will produce faith. This look is a look that is steadfast. My mind is there and you can’t take my focus away. I’m not looking at all the driftwood in life. I’m looking at the lantern. I went away with my wife for 3 days to Cape May. I even went into the water. She likes to go shopping and for me, I have never shopped for anything. She buys everything. She said your tie is for Christmas. I said it’s Christmas every day. She’s going from store to store. This can be for hours. I’m sitting talking to people. I got my mind’s eye fixed on when is she coming back and how much is she spending. Who cares? We’re over 70 years old. If I’m fixing my mind on everything going on. This verse is incredible. Seeing we are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. It means surrounded by them.
Not just the 17 people he mentioned in Heb 11. Go back to Hebrew 11 and read about the 17 names. Everyone represents something different. See a different aspect of faith. We are surrounded by them spiritually speaking and all those who have gone on before us in Christian history. Adoniram Judson I think about his life and I’m compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. If I’m looking to lies, news, government and situations going on over the world I’m looking at drift wood. I’m not looking at the light of the glorious gospel. It’s just drifting away. That’s why church is important. We come together and you are a great cloud of witnesses. Don’t believe a lie about your life. You are amazing in the eyes of God. God knew you when you were imperfect before the world began. Don’t look at your life analyzing with a psychological viewpoint of your life. I see myself in Christ. If I see myself the way Isaiah did. He saw the king and said I’m unclean, sin, I’m undone, no grace, no ability and when I see myself that way I say woe is me. A lot of Christians walk around saying woe is me. Isaiah hears God speak. The Trinity says who will go for us? He realizes he is hearing that voice and God sees him differently than he sees himself. It’s seeing how God sees us not us seeing God that makes a difference. I see myself in Christ. Paul said I am what I am by the grace of God. It sounded like Paul was proud but it was humbling. I am what I am and this grace I labored more abundantly than you all. We are compassed about with a great cloud of witnesses. Thinking of P. Stevens who came from Maine with a church with 2 or 3 people and we’re in 75 countries now. We are. Not me. We. Say halleluiah. We have 33,000 people coming to church around the world. I’d rather have 33,000 in the world than here. I’d take the other one too if God did it. That’s what I’m fellowshipping with. Seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let’s lay aside every weight. Weights are the tasks, the obstacles and tests we go through in life. Weight is not sin. Lay it aside. Lay aside every weight. If all I concentrate on are the obstacles and the problems and finances, God says lay it aside. Then he says the sin. Definite article singular. What sin easily besets us? Unbelief. The word means it kind of clings to you.
Ever have something cling to you? You’re clothes. I used to do 33 sprints. I laid down and had a bottle of water. P. Renaldo said quick get up. All over me was biting red ants. Run to hot water right now! They sting too. I never lie down again like that! Red ants all over me. They didn’t leave any marks but kept (bing, bing).
Unbelief is everywhere. It’s in the atmosphere, TV, newspaper, neighborhood, in educational systems. Everywhere we look there is an unbelieving atmosphere. You don’t believe that, do you? Does the world have faith? World is that which is in opposition to and opposed to the life of God. Jesus used the word world 19 times and 17 times the word “given.” Let God do the giving and don’t take anything from the world. I got plans for me and the world. Unbelief easily besets us.
I looked at the clock and it was 3:51. I said no. That clock is wrong. I looked at another and it was 3:52. I tried to lie there. I broke out in a sweat. I realized it’s time to get up. I get it. I wasn’t living in faith. I need to be a little rested up. We go to Thailand tomorrow night, Bankok. I leave Monday and get there Wednesday. Two overnights. Then after 5 days fly to Katmandu. Four days and then to Bangalore, India, and then Mumbai, India for 7 days and Mumbai to England and a 12 hour wait and come home. Traveling can be interesting. There is unbelief everywhere. I do more security checks. 20 times in and out of security. I say I’m 70. Take your shoes off. I thought there was a law don’t take your shoes off if you’re 70! My hip has been replaced. We have to check it out. Just believe me I’m a Christian. That doesn’t go over well either!
I have to believe God he’ll be with me on these journeys. A guy in N.E Market said you believe that antiquated book called the Bible? I said the only antiquated thing I said is your osn and the devil which if you follow you will end up in an antiquated hell. I said you keep following the modern thing and I’ll follow the antiquated Bible and end up in an eternal heaven. He said you really think so? You could believe God. You evangelize and it’s an atmosphere of unbelief. A woman said I’m from GG. I know who you are. Praise the Lord. That built me up. I met someone who liked me. A guy walked by and took the tract and ripped it up. I said do you want another? The sweeper came by and swept it up. It’s an atmosphere of unbelief.
It’s not something you have to work at. Unbelief is everywhere. I have to keep my focus. Is it easy to lose my focus? You bet. You can lose your focus very easily. So many distractions and things projected at the mind. From our osn comes reflections. When a projection meets a reflection they have a baby. Before you know it, I’m living in a place of unbelief. It happened to me on boats and planes. All the unbelievers say, God help! All the atheists are crying out God help when the plane goes like this. Boats not moving so well. It’s not the boats; it’s the water. Watch out for driftwood and crocodiles. Our intention, our look, steadfast, not being distracted. It can happen to anybody.
I can be distracted by 2 Cor 11:28 cares of the ministry. They could take me away from my focus. The cares of Christianity could take you away from your focus on J.C. Maybe things don’t go well in a relationship or church situation. Don’t use that as an excuse to not come to church. Losing my focus. One way is people look within. What did you find? Death? OSN? It helps nobody.
I went to this psychiatric person with 4 degrees and he said 75 years ago my grandfather did this to my father and here I am today and have this problem. I ran a counseling center for years with my brother. We had 1000 clients a year. I know what I’m talking about. What is your prescription? We use the Bible to counsel people. We use the Bible for psychological problems, suicide cases, drug addicts, marriage problems. What do you want to do? Look within. What are you going to find? An OSN. God said I think so much of it I crucified it. You want to look within at something dead? Dead men don’t speak.
I went to a funeral of someone in my family when I was a kid. I looked through the pockets and found $50. I wasn’t saved. I bought $50 of ice cream for everyone. He didn’t like me so much growing up. I pulled his cheek and there was no reaction!
I’m been crucified with Christ, Gal 2:20. You are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God. Looking good doesn’t help. Looking back. My past. Why did Paul say forgetting those things behind? Some look at their past. It’s all about the past. You know what happened to me in 1949? You know what happened to me 7 years ago? They live in the past. If the past controls the present, it destroys the future. Looking at my past. You can look back at the things God has done because that’s eternal. I get all kinds of anxiety attacks and not looking unto Jesus. I’m not receiving peace. Blessing versus stressing. EULOGEO, hearing a good word from God. Stress is MIRIMNA a mind divided from God’s thoughts. I’m blessed if I hear God’s thoughts and live in stress if I don’t receive God’s thoughts. God’s word, compassion, purpose. I’m stressing out!
One time a guy put a gun to my head and said stop preaching about J.C. I was sweating. I didn’t know if it was loaded. Let me ask you a question. Think it’s a good idea to kill me? You will go to prison the rest of your life for sending me to heaven. Does that make sense? He put the gun down. He said please pray for me. Was I anxious? Oh yeah. I thought with God for one moment. Going to jail for sending me to heaven. What a ridiculous move to make.
Am I blessed or stressed? If looking at my past, I find myself stressed. Any one look to the future? What will happen when I retire? They keep upping the retirement age. Be careful. A lot of people put everything they have in their kids’ lives, and their kids walk away from them when they are older. I’ve seen it happen to a lot of people, even believers. I love my kids. I don’t live for them. Hello? I don’t care if you don’t like it. I have the microphone. I live for Jesus, for God. This is what we do. I’m not thinking about the future. I did mention pray for me. Some think so much about the future they become anxious and nervous. How about your health? This morning I closed the door when dressing up. I didn’t want my wife to watch what it takes for me to put on my left sock when you have a hip replacement. Don’t send me these things that help you put socks on. This is ridiculous. I was sweating! I’m going back to the hippie days and not wear socks and throw the shoes away. Worrying about my health. Some worry so much about health they destroy their health. I love and I do go to doctors but I first go to the Great Physician and let him tell me to go to the doctor. 60 million Valium addicts in America. I don’t take prescriptions without getting a prescription from the Holy Spirit. Can you trust God for healing? Did God raise Lazarus, make the blind see and heal the ears of the deaf? God can do it. Don’t sit there with antiquated thinking and human reason seduced by demonic spirits that that doesn’t happen anymore. Keep praying. Am I going to look at my physical condition? No. It is what it is. When it’s time to go home, it’s time to go home. A lot of people go into health food fanaticism. They don’t live very long. I have a Snickers bar. My wife made me eat a bagel today. Don’t put any cream cheese. Any chocolate on the bagel? Why don’t you drink water? You drink water. I’ve had enough problems in Africa. What is that floating in the water? How about finances? Ever worry about finances. Look at the checkbook, Linda? How much are you spending in Cape May? We don’t need more! Ever look at your finances instead of God? I let my wife do what she wants. I trust her. I do look at the book occasionally. We’re down to minus 14 here! Looking. What am I looking at? Am I looking at my financial status and not looking to God who can pour it out.
P. Tom Stewart in the 80’s in Greece someone tapped into his line and added $300 worth of phone calls to his bill. I think his support was $150 a month. This is a true story. We were walking and praying and under a tree was three one hundred dollar bills in an envelope in Greece where the money is the drachma to pay the telephone bill.
God takes care of his little baby boys and girls. Looking at Wall Street. Keep looking. I’d rather look at the good news. It’s in the Bible. I have the H.S. telling me what it says. Some people are so occupied with everything happening today. Don’t put your brain on over load with Fox and CNN and NBC. You’re on information overload and I’m not looking to the good news. Did you hear the news? You shouldn’t go down that street. I’m on that street. God wants us to look to him. I look to him to be loved. I look to him for mercy. I’m not looking at some kind of analysis. When I have confusion, I look to him and he gives me peace. I’m blessed by God’s peace. We will have things happen to us that will bring in blessing or stressing. Ever have a problem in traffic? One time I was stuck in a place and asked how long does it take to get through this city? Three and a half hours to cross a city in Africa. That’s how it can be on 695. I got to be at work in 15 minutes! Guess what? You’re going overtime today. Come unto me…. I will give you what? Stress. I will give you stress.
We moved to Ghana and had 8 hockey bags of books and clothes. We had to change planes. My wife looks out the window and our luggage is on the tarmac not in the plane. That’s all we had. You leave it there, you’re never getting it again. My wife said. Look! Our baggage. She lies down in between the seats and says I’m having a heart attack. My medicine is in the bags. They went out the planes and pulled the bags and put them in the isle. Where is the medicine? I feel so much better. I was stressing. She was blessing! What am I going to do where the same clothes for three years!
Let’s look to Jesus for today, tomorrow, next month, and next year. Look to Jesus to quicken you. Some say I can’t come Sunday night because I have to work in the morning. Come on. Read Foxes Books of Martyrs. “I have to drive kind of far.” You sound like a baby.
Don’t stress. Be blessed. Have peace with God.
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