Once again, my time at “The Crossing” has served as inspiration for another posting after a lengthy hiatus. Paul Tripp, a well-known author and speaker who gave a conference this weekend at the church, gave today’s sermon based on Hebrews 11:1-7. The topic centered on faith, and how we define ours. Below are some of the bulleted points from my notes, which include Mr. Tripp’s own words and my paraphrased ideas.
Faith in a Creator—
· Just as a painter “owns” his finished artwork, so too does this world and all in it belong to the Creator!
· “I can think of no more powerful four words than these…‘In the beginning, GOD’.”
· “There are a 1,000 ways every week that we deny our Creator.” Every time we mistakenly believe that we are in control, we are denying His authority and power as CREATOR.
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command….”
· “It is HIS world, HE made it, and I am HIS creature.”
· “I exist for the purpose of another.” This realization should shape every attitude and every relationship. Recognizing our existence for God’s purposes is foremost in importance, but to apply that mindset to our relationships with our spouse and others we love should change everything, and shape everything about us.
Faith in His Sovereignty—
· “Your story is being written by another.”
· “Think about how little of life we actually control! Think about what it would take to design all of us here, to be in this place, at this time. That is power beyond description.”
· “Do you live like you think your world is out of control, or like your world is under His divine control?” His careful, deliberate control….
· “Submit yourself in happy rest to the One who controls it all. Life becomes different when you rest in that reality.”
“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.”
· “He is in the middle of the details, on purpose, so that we can reach out and touch him.” Did I, this week, recognize that He is near?
Faith in a Savior—
· “Your greatest problem is you. My greatest problem is me. Jesus came to rescue me from me!”
· “I quit being a seeker of grace when I believe that my biggest problem is outside of myself.”
My dear friend, Ashley, and I visit on the phone on a regular basis, and our conversations frequently turn to the uncertainly we are both facing as we grow. As I share my concerns for Bobby and I as we try to find employment and begin our lives together, Ashley consistently says things like, “God is in control! He will provide. He always does.” I am so thankful for her friendship and the reminders God sends my way through her (and through my parents, as well) about His faithfulness and provision.
Interesting, that on the day that marks five-months until my wedding day, God sends through this sermon another fitting reminder as I try to wrestle with uncertainties about the future, so often trying to control the outcome on my own.
Where will we live? Ahhh. God has that figured out.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.”
Am I a person of faith? Living by believing in a sovereign Creator? My prayer is that I will continue to recognize and live by the gift of faith, ever growing in the recognition of how wide, deep, far, long, and vast God’s love...and faithfulness...extends.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.”