Posts Tagged 'faith'

Thriving In Thessalonica

Thriving In Thessalonica Sermon Audio Here

1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

In our first week looking at First Thessalonians, we tested thankfulness. Our second week, we measured motive. Today, we talk about flourishing faith:

Faith That Thrives Or Is Merely Alive: What’s The Difference?

Living Faith Is FUSED With Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:9-11

  • 9 preached=heralded; called out the truth; while working among them, the gospel was talked about (less pulpit, more participation)
  • 10 among you: Paul & team immersed themselves in the lives of others
  • 11 like a good father does

Thriving Faith is USED Throughout Life ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:12-13

  • 12 encouraging, comforting, urging: father/pastor/coach => movement towards worth/value
  • 13 the Word “which is at work”; we’re not intended to just sit

How do we know that God has ACTUALLY called us? How do we know that our FAITH is real (and we’re not just fooling ourselves)? Because we CHANGE. We’re DIFFERENT. The presence of God’s Grace does something in us, and we walk with God into His Kingdom.

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Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted

Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted Sermon Audio Here

Romans 14:1-12

Ever hear of S.M.A.R.T. goals? Specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound. Should we use comparisons in our faith?

How Is Faith Measured?

Faith Works Even When Weak ~ Romans 14:1-4 small faith is still faith

  • 1 weak faith is working faith; children are weak, but their faith is real
  • 2/3 regardless of your faith stance, don’t be a snob!
  • 4/5 God is in the judging business, not us! We are SERVANTS; why would one servant judge another? None of us have that right

Faith Counts When Considered ~ Romans 14:5-9 according to your capacity

  • 5 fully convinced faith; put the work in!
  • 6 “to the Lord” a life of dedicated discipline
  • 7/8 We are not LORD of our own life
  • 9 Jesus rose again to prove His rightful place as Lord of ALL

Faith Weighed in Worship ~ Romans 14:10-12

  • 10 God’s judgment/bema seat for all (cf. Rev 20:10-15)
  • 11 Sentencing is based on this: is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life by confessing Christ through faith, and not fear?
  • 12 We are weighed (2 Cor 5:10) for what we DO…

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

  • …but we are sentenced (Rev. 20.15) by Who we KNOW

If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Faith is measured, yes. But it’s measured by the Master alone, not for mere servants to split hairs and scrutinize!

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Need

Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Need Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 24:42-49

I saw a news report a while ago about exoskeletons: powered robotic suits that enable the body to do what it cannot do on its own. Medical uses include physical therapy and helping the paralyzed to walk again, while military uses focus more on enhancing already present abilities. But for these to be effective, one thing is most important: to determine the actual NEED that the exoskeleton would fulfill…

If God Knows Our Need, What’s OUR Part?

We Look For The Lord At Work ~
Genesis 24:1-41

  • SETUP: 1-9: Abraham charges his servant to go back to the old country to get a wife for Isaac
  • 10-14 How to choose? Lord, let the right girl do THIS…
  • 15-28 She did!
  • 29-41 She takes servant to meet the family and he tells his story, which is where we pick up the text:

Genesis 24:42-44

  • 42 “if you will” – remember GOD’s agenda
  • 43/44 rely on GOD’s GUIDANCE (Gideon’s fleece: Judges 6)

We Act WITHIN God’s Work ~ Genesis 24:45-49

  • 45/46 God knows our need (often before we do)
  • 47/48 Thank God AS He provides (right in the middle of occurrence)
  • 49 Involve others in God’s work (“this is what I think God is doing, what do you think?)

Romans 7:22-25a: For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God– through Jesus Christ our Lord!

We have to remember that our flesh wants to go its own way; we can WANT to be Godly in our hearts, but our lives are stuck in a sinful world. God knows this; the Lord knows we want to be better than we are, and has provided a way to make that happen: Jesus Christ our Lord! As we submit to His Lordship and let Him lead us, His righteousness is placed on us, like a exoskeleton, enabling us to do with Him what we couldn’t do alone.

Gems from Genesis: God Sees Our Sacrifice

Gems from Genesis: God Sees Our Sacrifice Sermon Audio Here

Genesis 22:1-14

I have a friend who is extremely sensitive to light; too much exposure leaves them bedridden in great pain. But this friend is willing to come into bright situations to help others, knowing in advance how much it will hurt. How do we face these faith challenges?

Respond To Faith Challenges With

Strategy for Sacrifice ~ Genesis 22:1-8

  • 1/3 Abraham is faced with a terrible choice: obey God or kill your child. How to make that choice? GO
  • 4/5 “we will come back” I choose to interpret this as a statement of faith: “I don’t know how God is going to fix this problem, but I know He will.” GO IN FAITH
  • 6/8 God gives the problem; God gives the solution: GO IN FAITH TOGETHER

Preparation For Provision ~ <a title="Genesis 22:9-14<" href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 22:9-14Genesis 22:9-14

  • 9/10 at THIS point, Abraham does NOT KNOW what God will do; OBEY GOD IN THE DARK
  • 11/12 God already knew, but now both Abraham and Isaac knew, too. God knows that they know that God knows LISTEN FOR GOD IN THE DARK
  • 13/14 “ahar-behind him” LOOK AROUND FOR GOD’S PROVISION

Romans 6:13, 19 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.

We sacrifice our SELVES: we give up our rights to call our own shots. We can’t do this in our own strength; God provides what we need so we can follow His way.

Posts from 1 Peter: Faith is Precious

Posts from 1 Peter: Faith is Precious Sermon Audio Here

1 Peter 1:17-23

We’ve been looking at different aspects of our new life in Christ. We’re risen WITH Christ; we live with hope; we’ve been GIVEN faith.

Appreciate Your Precious Faith By

Reminding Yourself of the Truth ~ 1 Peter 1:17-19

  • v17 KJV “pass the time of your sojourning” REMEMBER: we are on a JOURNEY; what do you differently when you’re traveling versus when you’re at home?
  • v18 “you were redeemed” REMEMBER: YOU are BOUGHT and PAID FOR; how often do you remind yourself that you have VALUE?
  • v19 notice the sacrificial language from Leviticus; REMEMBER: Christ is the only acceptable offering; Are you trying to sacrifice yourself?

Remaining in Him with Faith ~ 1 Peter 1:20-21

  • v20 Christ’s sacrifice was God’s plan ALL ALONG; our sin doesn’t catch God off guard
  • v21 Our faith is both a gift from and BASED IN God; our faith isn’t something we “work up”; when we are faithless, it’s because we’re not using what we already have

Regarding Each Other’s Worth ~ 1 Peter 1:22-23

  • v22 “purified yourselves by obeying” – in the same way that the Old Testament saints participated in the sacrificial system; THEY didn’t purify themselves, God did through the actions of the priestly system (and only temporary). We don’t make ourselves better; Jesus has done the work, and we just admit we need it
  • v23 “through the living word” NOT only and primarily the Bible; this is the LOGOS, John 1:1. JESUS is the Living Word! JESUS will remain forever! And because we are connected to Christ because of our gifted faith, we ALSO are Living and Abiding forever with God.

Psalm 116:16 O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.

He gave us faith to set us free: USE IT !

Highlights from Hebrews: The Full Assurance of Faith

Highlights from Hebrews: The Full Assurance of Faith Sermon Audio Here


Hebrews 10:19-25

My family are big fans of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance; and every year, they go on tour. A few years ago, we had the opportunity to get box seats from a friend to the show. It was amazing; great view, private box… but the neatest thing to me was that the attendants *knew* we were coming. There was a place prepared for us, all due to the benefits of relationship with someone who had connections at the arena.

If You Want The Benefits of Faith,

Come to God
Heb. 10:19-22

  • v19/20 the curtain was torn; so was Jesus
  • v21/22 draw near, cleansed: ref. Mercy Seat & Sea

Come Together
Heb. 10:23-25

  • v23 HOPE=expectation; we expect God to keep His promise
  • v24 US consider (subjunctive)= TOGETHER, we think about building each other up
  • v25 not forsaking but exhorting; make the choice to come together

We come together with God; with confidence that we’re clean; expecting God to work in us; We Expect Better Together. Come together… right now… Jesus wins!

Walking in Two Worlds: Chipping Away

Walking in Two Worlds: Chipping Away Sermon Audio Here


1 John 3:1-7

In a Youtube video (scroll to the bottom) presented by two actors known as the Skit Guys, they present “God’s Chisel”. It is a great reminder that God is the Master Sculptor, and is bringing about the image of Christ in us.

During Our Journey Together,
God is working on us
1 John 3:1-2 (we are in process)

  • v1a God calls us in love
  • 1b realize our new identity
  • v2a we *are*, AND *will become*
  • 2b shaped to be like Jesus

We are working WITH God
1 John 3:3-7 (we participate in the process)

  • v3 we share in God’s shaping
  • v4/5 Jesus carries away our rubble
  • v6 consistently choosing sin over Christ? Not His!
  • v7 the righteous DO right BECAUSE Jesus is at work

His righteousness works its way out in us when we cooperate with it; when we live as identifying Christ at work in us, we see God at work in us, and join Him in it – and that work is making us to be more like Jesus.


Pastor Ed Backell

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