DARING FAITH WEEK 1:
DARE TO BELIEVE
Chuck Allen // @achuckallen // firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: John 20:1-9
In today’s teaching, Peter asks John “WILL YOU DARE TO BELIEVE?”
This may be the most important question you’re ever asked.
Some 2000 years later, I ask YOU: Will you dare to Believe?
Jesus said in John 6:29, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent!” The word “believe” is used 250 times in the New Testament. When we refer to each other as Followers of Jesus, or Christians, we often refer to them as “believers”. Understanding that most of us are motivated by what or how does something benefit us, let me try to convey a few benefits of believing in Jesus…
I’ll start with just four simple benefits of believing in Jesus
- EVERYTHING I’VE EVER DONE WRONG IS FORGIVEN!
Because of Jesus, God forgives Freely, Instantly, Repeatedly and Completely. How do I know that?
ACTS 10:43 “All who BELIEVE in Jesus will be forgiven of their sins through Jesus’ name.”
ROMANS 3:22 “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.”
- I LEARN GOD’S PURPOSE FOR MY LIFE!
If you don’t know your purpose, you DRIFT thru life. Don’t let life happen TO you. Allow life to be in you!
But the only way you can learn the PURPOSE of your life is through your Creator. You didn’t create yourself, so you can’t self-subscribe your purpose. It’s been given to you.
COLOSSIANS 1:16 “For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” Many – even most of us are confused about our identity because we keep looking in the wrong place!
That’s why we have these awesome little devices called TILE – they help us find things like keys, phones…you know those little things that we seem to often misplace. What if you could have a TILE for your life…something that could bring huge clarity to Why you are here…What you are here to do…and Where you are to do it? GREAT IDEA, RIGHT!?
EPHESIANS 1:11 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
- I GET GOD’S STRENGTH FOR DAILY LIVING!
I read this week, and agree with the writer, Rick Warren, that chronic complaints, weariness and fatigue, are now the most common responses to “how are you?”
WE HAVE A POWER SHORTAGE– Life has clearly changed from what my parents experienced. Both parents work full time and often multiple jobs just to survive. Work-Life balance is a mirage and retirement is a myth. What hasn’t changed: the difficulty of balancing it all. Working parents say they feel stressed, tired, rushed and short on quality time with their children, friends, partners or hobbies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Sound familiar?
We are like a Nissan Leaf that hasn’t been charged…no power…no life. Or a phone without a charge – dead!
ISAIAH 40:29 “God gives power to those who are tired and worn out, and he offers strength to the weak.”
EPHESIANS 1:19-20 “I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who BELIEVE him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead.”
You have the power to Change… to start over… to say no … to keep going.
Paul said it like this –
PHILIPPIANS. 4:13 “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
That includes: Stress, loneliness, fear, confusion, grief, discouragement, children, money, the lack of money, health…on and on and on! You need a boost? Get going to the source. When my kids head out without power on their phone, it’s their fault! If you are needing power 24/7, you better find a sustainable source!
4. I’M GUARANTEED ETERNAL LIFE!
Jesus’ resurrection changed everything:
It Proved de was who he claimed to be.
It Proves he keeps his promises.
It Proves there is life after death.
I hear and read a lot about being present – being in the here and now, but being in the here and now does you no good if your here and your now has no power! We need a portable power bank
JOHN 11:25-26 “Jesus said “I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who BELIEVES in me, even though he dies shall live again. He is given eternal life for believing in me and shall never perish.”
If Jesus hadn’t risen – this verse would be a joke…and The risen Son of God is NO JOKE!
JOHN 3:16 “God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
These are amazing benefits you can’t get anywhere else!
Often, we are in such a hurry to get to the benefits of the Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that we rush past all the pain Jesus went through to pay for our salvation. It is free to us because it cost Him everything!
Before I close, I want to address two unique groups in this room and watching online – Some of you are part of the group we know as NONE’s – at the end of the survey when asked what your religious beliefs are…you pick NONE! Friend, I urge you to lay down your religion, your religion’s rules and orthodoxy.
I urge you to take up the Cross of Jesus and see the benefit of BELIEVING in the One that came to this earth FOR you and is returning after dying and rising from the dead for you and someday returning to gather you up to join Him for eternity – anybody can check NONE! But why? When Jesus says COME TO ME! and Take This Promise that gave He gave you…Trust in Him and He will Inherit YOU!
But there’s another group in this room…You went way past NONE. You served and went and did – and now you are DONE! Folks…you may be tired…you may be weary, but you cannot be DONE! Maybe you had faith in the past … but you feel you’ve lost it now.
We’ve all known people who lost their faith because of a painful circumstance: – abuse, divorce, death of a loved one, unanswered prayer, critical people, unkept promises…on and on and on! Friends – We are DONE because we lost sight of why we once were NOT DONE!
We all know other folks who’ve gone thru unspeakable suffering yet their faith grew stronger & more daring. What makes the difference? Why do some folks, in the face of unexplained pain or tragedy seem to rise above it and some shrink as a result of it?. Some folks shrivel up in fear or cynicism or bitterness…And others survive & thrive & grow stronger. I get it. You’re saying, Chuck. You don’t know what it’s like to have your heart broken. To have your dream fall apart. To experience a giant loss, or a prayer denied. YES, YES I DO!
Over the course of 40 months my wife, my father and my mom left this earth for Heaven. I’ve known grief, death, loneliness and sorrow. I’ve lost my job, lost my income and lost everything I’ve owned. I know failure, embarrassment and loss. I’ve blended two families with six daughters and the nightmare of resentment, emotional roller coasters and hurtful conversations.
And yet THE RESURRECTION IS MY REASON FOR HOPE and THE REASON TO KEEP GOING!
- it is the truth that keeps me going.
- it is the comfort that steadies my ship.
- It is the foundation of my confidence.
But Chuck, “Why do you still believe?”
Because of what I KNOW about God: from 47 years of knowing Him
- I know that God is a GOOD Good Father
– Everything I have is a GIFT of his goodness, even life.
– If God wasn’t good, there’d only be EVIL in the universe.
- I know that God loves me more than I will ever understand
- I know God has a good plan, greater than I understand
- I know God understands my pain.
- I know that this is not the end of the story!
JOHN 1:12 “To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”
I don’t know what Kind of season you’re going through right now. Maybe you are in a season of Darkness, of weariness, of worry, discouragement, grief, addiction, loneliness or hurt I DARE YOU to believe & receive today and let Jesus take your season and turn it into hope!