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Believing God (4 of 4)
Sermon Series: Building Faith
OPEN: A man once told a story about his 84 year old grandmother. Apparently, she fiercely maintained her independence and lived alone in the old family home. Her 4 children lived in the same town, but she rarely called them except in emergencies. It was with some apprehension, therefore, that he drove to her house one morning in answer to her phone call. When he arrived, she said she suspected that there was a burglar in her bedroom closet, since she had heard noises in there the night before.
"Why didn't you call me last night?" the man exclaimed.
"Well," she replied, "it was late and I hated to bother you, so I just nailed the closet shut and went to bed."
APPLY: That's an example of the type of faith Hebrews is trying to describe. A faith, that nails the doors of doubt shut and then calmly leaves the rest to God. That's the kind of faith that God tells us Abraham had, and it so impressed God that Abraham earned the title: "The father of all who believe" (Romans 4:11)
Here in Hebrews 11, we're repeatedly told why Abraham was so highly regarded by God:
He believed in an inheritance, he himself never received.
He believed in a child he was too old to father.
And when asked to sacrifice this son as an offering, Abraham believed God could and would raise that boy from the dead.
That's pretty impressive stuff.
In fact, these reports about Abraham are so impressive that we might find it difficult to relate to him. We might be excused if we said: "well, it was easy for Abraham … he was DIFFERENT than me. I could never BELIEVE like that! I struggle too much with doubt!"
(pause) God knew that. He knew we find it hard to relate to a "super-hero" of faith - this Abraham. And so God told us a few things about this man, this Abraham, that Abraham might have preferred God had not revealed. For example:
* God told Abraham to "Leave your country, your people and your f ...
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