Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Characteristics of Righteousness Part 2

Yesterday I began a little series taken from my Pastor's sermon series in Luke. A few weeks ago he was preaching about the characteristics of righteousness and I found what he had to say was so valuable to me that I would share it with you. I am crediting him for the outline, and have added my own thoughts in addition to his. The sermon is available on sermon audio should you wish to listen. http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=72611736470

A surprising characteristic found in those God has declared to be righteous is struggling with unbelief. We tend to think of the Scriptural "Hall of Famers" to be above doubts, fears and unbelief. Many of those we consider to be so special and Scripture records being used by God in magnificent ways struggled with a lack of faith.

When the Angel of the Lord announced to Abraham and Sarah that she was going to have a child (Gen 17:17; 18:12) neither one believed Him.

Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” Jer. 32:27 (NASB)

We struggle with the same kind of unbelief as Abraham and Sarah at times. We are so often like Israel at the Red Sea (Ex. 14:8-18) and in the wilderness (Ex. 15-17) who did not believe God would provide what they needed. They did not believe God would be faithful to His words or His character. They honestly believed that God brought them out of Egypt and slavery to let them die of hunger and thirst in the desert.

God has always proven Himself to be faithful.

The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand. Isa. 14:24 (NASB)

Fears and unbelief are a "normal" part of the human existence. Sadly, they are a part of the Christian existence as well although this should not be. As Christians, if we are going to follow the example left for us in the Bible then we are to be full of faith. 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. Heb. 11:1 (NASB) 

Every one of those listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 had reason to fear and reasons to doubt God yet they persevered. We have so much more than they did! We have the Lord Jesus Christ who advocates for us before the Father.  We have the Word of God that tells us what God desires from us. We are counseled by the Holy Spirit on how to grow and change. We have the promise of eternal life…we know this is all temporary, and we know how it ends.

Doubting, fearing, unbelief all are dead end roads for us. We must trust God, believe Him and move forward by faith.

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