Thursday, April 24, 2008

Parable Series Lesson 2- Prayer and Faith

Read Luke 11:5-13 and Luke 18:1-8


THE JUDGE AND THE FRIEND: THE OPPOSITE CHARACTER OF GOD

  • Insensitive to man’s needs --- God LOVES man so much
    • John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    • Ephesians 2:4-7- But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved), and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    • 1 John 4:7-8- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love.
  • Responded because they did not want to be DISTURBED—God wants man to "DISTURB" (approach) Him because He loves him
    • Matthew 11:28-30- Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

THE WIDOW AND THE NEEDY FRIEND: PICTURES OF FAITH

  • They had CONCERNS
    • Widow – Justice
    • Friend – Food for his guests
  • There were CONSTRAINTS to their requests
    • Widow – the judge does not fear God or man
    • Friend – His friend is already sleeping. It was usual of the Jews to borrow bread of one another, and certain rules are laid down, when, and on what condition, this is to be done; as for instance, on a Sabbath day (Gill Commentary)
  • They never stopped in pleading. They CONTINUED in their requests
    • Widow: She never stopped from pleading the judge day and night
    • Friend: He continued to bother his friend until he received his requests

WHAT IS FAITH?

  • Faith is believing that God can address our CONCERNS
    • Hebrews 11:1 (GNB) - To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.
    • We believe in Him even if we have yet to see the results .Faith is BELIEVING first before you SEE
    • Faith comes from hearing the Word of God
      • Romans 10:17 - Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
  • Faith is CONTINUING to trust God despite the CONSTRAINTS of events
    • We do not depend on what we see
    • 2 Corinthians 5:7 - for we walk by faith, not by sight;
    • Trust the unknown future to a known God – Corrie Ten Boom
  • Lack of faith is an insult to God
    • Hebrews 11:6 - No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
    • What is your Name Analogy
    • Martin Luther said: What greater insult . . . can there be to God than not to believe His promises.”
    • Jesus scolded the disciples for their lack of faith
      • Mark 16:14 - Last of all, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating. He scolded them, because they did not have faith and because they were too stubborn to believe those who had seen him alive.
      • Matthew 17:19-20- Then the disciples came to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.
  • Lack of faith prevents the work of God
    • Matthew 13:57-58- And so they rejected him. Jesus said to them, "A prophet is respected everywhere except in his hometown and by his own family." Because they did not have faith, he did not perform many miracles there.
  • God responds to prayer with faith
    • The results of faith (Widow – Justice; Friend – Food)
  • God does not require BIG faith, but a SMALL but FRUITFUL one (the mustard seed)
    • Matthew 17:20 - "It was because you do not have enough faith," answered Jesus. "I assure you that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this hill, 'Go from here to there!' and it will go. You could do anything!"

CONCLUSION: WE MUST ALWAYS EXERCISE OUR FAITH

· “I just find it hard to have faith in God,” – The people who say these words are the same people who believe in weather forecast, believe in doctors, pilots and rely on car brakes.

· We must exercise our faith. Wear the shield of faith

o Ephesians 6:16- Above all, take the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

· Personal Application: Believe that God can resolve your problems

o “I believe that God will fix my family relationships”

o “I believe that God will supply my needs”

o “I believe that God will make me finish my high school education”

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