07/10/2011 Connect with Faith!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, July 11, 2011 Under: Sermon

Text: Matthew 8:5-13 (HCSB)

5 When He entered Capernaum
, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony!” 7 “I will come and heal him,” He told him. 8 “Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But only say the word, and my servant will be cured. 9 For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following Him, “I assure you: I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith! 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was cured that very moment.”

“So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.” Romans 10:17 (HCSB)

Intro: Big Apple Adventure this year’s VBS!

In the Adults lesson for Monday in VBS the term “Life Monsters” is referred to. Life Monsters is something we all deal with, our monsters are different for each of us! I’ve got some big time ones in my own life right now! So no one is without. So what is a monster? Our economy is a big monster, maybe it is your marriage or a relationship challenge. Health, finances, job layoff… the list is endless! So what do we do about it? What faith the Centurion had, knowing that Jesus had the ability to heal, he didn’t even ask Jesus to show up in person. Here’s the thing: either I believe Jesus will do what He says He will do, or I don’t. And the bible says He will.

Part of the objective during the week of VBS is for the teachers to help kids connect with a better understanding of what Faith is. They can discover that faith in Jesus can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with Him. It couldn’t hurt to pray for some adults to understand that too!

Application: We can have faith that Jesus cares about and will help us and those we love.

1. No Connection:

I can’t understand why people cannot see or experience the power of God. Yet we live in a world with nearly 7 Billion people and millions to not see. There are millions who do not believe but the Centurion wasn’t one of them he had a connection with Christ that many will never have.

Entrance into heaven is based upon one thing and one thing only: faith in Christ. Heritage, godly parents and children, religious profession, baptism, and church membership - all are useless without faith. Without faith, man has only the judgment of God to look forward to. You must be connected by faith with Christ.

I think of all the things that have to be connected to function: The garden hose must be connected to the spigot in order for the sprinkler to spray water. The battery cables must be connected to the battery for the car to start. You must plug in the electrical appliance for it to work. These things just don’t work if they’re not connected. If man does not have a relationship with Christ if there is no faith no belief there is no connection with Christ.

Romans 10:17 speaks of the message that is heard about Christ and His gift of salvation, with this gift by faith we can be connected to God without it there is no connection. With no connection you will be “thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

So can anyone afford to miss the connection?

2. Loose Connection:

True belief is a rare thing. Not many believe, yet belief in Jesus Christ is one of the greatest qualities of human life - a quality ignored, neglected, and in some cases denied.

A loose connection in your relationship with Christ creates a problem, have you seen the lamp that flickers because it is not plugged all the way in? How about the loose pipe under the sink? A lack of faith will create a loose connection.

The old sin nature can loosen the connection a believer has in Christ. Doubt creeps in, frustration, life’s circumstances. Many things can allow us to become disconnected if we don’t continue to rely completely in Christ! The Centurions strong faith and knowledge of Jesus power gave him a good connection!

3. Faith Connection:

Jesus possessed the power to receive any man, regardless of the barrier. He can receive any man who truly trusts Him, no matter how far away the man may be or how many barriers may seem to stand in the way. The Centurion was no different than the rest of us, he had his barriers he was rejected, despised, and hated by the Jews; yet Jesus could reach him and meet his need. He had the power to span and to overcome the ideas and prejudices that divided man against man, neighbor against neighbor, race against race, nation against nation, employee against employer, child against parent, wife against husband. There was the physical barriers: the centurion's servant was desperately ill and some miles away, yet Jesus could reach the servant. His power could span all the physical barriers, no matter how far away or how severe the condition. And let us not forget the spiritual barrier: the centurion was a Gentile, considered by the Jews to be lost spiritually, an alien and an enemy to the people of God. But Jesus had the power to reach the man, to pierce the spiritual barriers of his soul and save him. Jesus can reach the soul of any man who will believe in Him, no matter how lost or how alien or how much of an enemy to God he has been. The great faith of the centurion aroused Jesus. The Centurions humility was key in Jesus’ response. This Roman officer came to Jesus for help, he acknowledge his power and authority He approached Him as the One who could meet his need. He knew and confessed that he had a need, He knew where to go and to whom to go in order to have his need met. He was willing to do all he could to have his need met. He then trusted Jesus to satisfy his need. “The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 (HCSB)

When was the last time you cried out for Christ? Is there a barrier that is keeping you from the faith that is needed in your connection with Christ. Christ show’s no favoritism: “Then Peter began to speak: “In truth, I understand that God doesn’t show favoritism,” Acts 10:34 (HCSB)

The greatest of men must approach Jesus begging, totally dependent upon Him. There is no other way. Position, power, fame, wealth, and social acceptability must be laid aside. Our thoughts cannot be focused on self and social acceptability, but only upon Christ and His power if we wish Him to meet our need.

Jesus' power was aroused by the centurion's sense of unworthiness. The centurion did not say, "My servant is not worthy to have you come"; but he said, "I am not worthy." A sense of personal unworthiness gripped him. Jesus Christ is the Sovereign Lord. He is the One who alone has the power to meet our need. Therefore, we have to confess our inadequacy and unworthiness to have the Lord help us.

Jesus' power was aroused by the centurion's love - his love for a slave. The centurion was pouring out his heart for another person (intercessory prayer). In the eyes of society the person should have been meaningless to him, yet the man meant much to him. He loved this meaningless person, this slave. The believer is to love. He is not only to love those close to him, but he is to love all. The centurion loved a slave. Our love can be measured by the centurion's love.

- How much do we carry the needs of our loved ones to the Lord?
- How much do we carry the needs of slaves, those alien to us, to the Lord?
- How much do we look after and care for those of our own household, whether aged and disabled parents or children or spouse?

If you’re connected you will care, you will have faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ!

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