Life can knock us down so that we lose hope. The Apostle Paul believes that the story of Abraham can renew us with hope.
Life sends us curve balls. We lose our job. Our spouse dies. We file for bankruptcy. We get a divorce. We are hurt in a severe accident. A child becomes addicted to drugs. The list goes on and on. Mary the mother of Jesus was thrown a curve ball when the angel tells her that she will give birth to the son of God. Her reaction to Gabriel’s curve ball is a helpful example of how we might react.
Signs of quitting are everywhere…a half read book placed back on the bookshelf, a car jacked up on blocks rusting away, a diet which was abandoned or a faith that has grown cold. The Christmas story deals with the issue of giving up. Zechariah and Elizabeth were close to giving up in their old age when a surprising event changed everything. Instead their waiting paid off.
Faith is the most powerful force in the world. When an individual believes something, it can energize them to act. When Jesus was crucified the closest people to Jesus believed he was dead. They believed that his death meant the end of their call to be disciples. But something they saw caused them to believe differently.
A (Christian) lifestyle of generosity, prayer, and compassion characterized the faith giant Abraham. From the foundation of his faith, good works followed.
When the world was a mess God picked Abraham to help him fix the mess that humankind had created. Abraham did such a great job that three major world religions call him one of their most important figures. He changed the world because he was able to do one thing. In this message we will explore the one action that can help us build a strong faith foundation.
Sometimes the faith of our childhood is not mature enough to survive adulthood. Simple theological beliefs struggle when we find out that bad things happen to good people and our prayers are not always answered. In the midst of these difficulties of faith we don’t know where to start formulating our faith. This message will give us a clear starting point when we have doubts about the Bible and the theology we have been taught.
Faith in Christ brings us to that most secure place, the shadow of the Almighty.
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on November 19, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on July 2, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg