Program Air Date - 10-1-00



Good morning! Thanks for joining us for the Living Word Program. We are glad to have you as a part of this time of offering to God. What a privilege we have this Lord's day to give this time to Him in singing songs of praise and in studying from His perfect Word! I hope all of us are encouraged in this service to God, but ultimately, I hope we all will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - To God be the glory! Now let's approach the Father's throne as we begin our thoughts of the morning.

Again let me remind you this morning that next Sunday will be our Television taping for our singing on the Living Word Program. This taping will take place on Sunday, October 8th, from 2:00-4:00 in the afternoon, at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ building in Springfield, Missouri. This taping will be used on this weekly program for the Lord. I hope you will plan to be a part of this time of worship, fellowship and thanksgiving to God. We need you as an active part of this ministry for Christ. I hope to see you there. Now it's time to join in our first hymn of the morning. Please participate with the brethren as we together sing, "Amazing Grace!"
(SONG # 1)


When you look around in our society today there is one thing you know for sure, "we all love to eat!" In fact, in Springfield you can't hardly drive a block without seeing another kind of restaurant or grocery store. I sometime feel that as Americans we are almost consumed by our food.

Now as we think about our healthy appetites for food, think about how this same concept applies to others part of our secular and Christian lives. It is true that we have big appetites in our society today, but it is also true that we have these appetites for many things.

From a Biblical standpoint, it is important that we remember that most things in excess or an over abundance are not good for us. When we over indulge ourselves or gouge ourselves with the things of this world, we are liable to forget God. Or at least we are often guilty of removing Him from the number one priority in our lives.

What does the Bible say about our appetites. Well the wise man Solomon said, "When you sit down to eat with a ruler, Consider carefully what is before you; And put a knife to your throat If you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, For they are deceptive food," Proverbs 23:1-3. You see, when we give into our appetite we often have a hard time satisfying it. We just keep wanting more and more. We all know this to be true, from our own lives. The next verse in the same passage goes on to say, "Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!" Here again, anything we do that consumes us or that we over indulge in for our own benefit will bring us down.

Although our appetite is God given, let's remember that it is something which must be controlled like everything else. A healthy appetite is good and acceptable in all righteous things. However, an over indulgent appetite is harmful to us all and often keeps us from living like we should or from doing what we should, in the service of our God.

Finally, notice the words of Paul in Romans 14:17. There he said, "for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." Let's focus and indulge on things that really matter in this life. Because, "he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men," verse 18, of the same passage! If we want to be truly pleasing to God, we will focus our appetites on Him and His Word. This is how we truly glorify our Creator!

This morning we will continue our study on Faith, as we consider the question, "Why must we have faith?" I will be leading our lesson thoughts of the morning, as we together study this topic from God's Word. Now it's time to join in our next song. The name of this hymn, "Anywhere is Home."
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Thank you for continuing with us this morning. I'd like to begin by thanking brother Bobby for doing such a good job introducing our topic last week on "What is faith?" You might remember there that he was dealing with the 11th chapter of Hebrews and looking at exactly the definition given there in verse 1 of what true faith is as Christians, mentioning the foundation of those things that we hope for as well as the evidences of things that are not seen.

Today, we want to build on the topic that we've already began, the discussion that we started even last Sunday together in this program, and we want to begin by looking at the concept, "Why must we have faith?" Now we can begin actually in the same place in verse 6 of Hebrews chapter 11, because there the answer is given as to why we must have faith, and if you'll look with me there, the writer says, But without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Here we see the concept that we can not please God without faith. So that shows us how important it is. So why is faith necessary? Because we can't be pleasing to God without it. You might think of many different examples in the Bible in the New Testament times, even the Old Testament times, about those who proved their faith again, their faith, through the things that they did, because of their belief, their understanding of what God had said to them or given them through His word. You might even remember times such as were found in the gospel account according to Luke where we have some of those men that God had chosen, those apostles, and how that they lacked faith, on one specific occasion there in Luke chapter 8 again. And in verse 22, we see where they were in a boat with Christ and He was falling asleep and now as they were out and the winds began to blow and they became nervous. And the question was asked in verse 25 by the Lord Himself, after they had awakened Him, and He said to them, Where is your faith?

Well, they claimed they were afraid and they had to call on the Lord because they had forgotten their faith, and that's exactly what He asked them. You see, faith then, faith is something that is not seen and something that really is done even though sometimes we may have to overlook our human weaknesses. We may have to overcome some things that we think are true or in an ordinary sense in the human nature that we live in and the live that we live on a daily basis. So we have to look at things again now from a Godly standpoint, and that's really what I believe faith is all about, in understanding why we must have faith. We must again have it because God says so and furthermore, we must have it because that is what the Bible teaches us. The faith that has to be there, that has to be demonstrated. That's what James spoke often about there in his book. In fact, in the book of James chapter 2, we find there that he mentions the concept that faith goes hand in hand with works. He says, You just show me your faith without works, and I'll show you my faith by my works. Then he said, Faith without works is dead.

So now you see, we've built a little bit more understanding, knowing now that the reason that Jesus asked them where their faith was in the book of Luke was because they weren't demonstrating it. A faith has to be seen. You know it doesn't do any good if we always say we love the Lord and that we're good Christians, but yet when people look at our lives, they don't see it in the things that we do and the things that we say. You see, faith is something that is a part of us. It is a daily service to God as we read in Romans chapter 12 and verse 1 and 2. So, when we have this faith, it is something that is demonstrated and seen by those around us and it's something that is done regardless of the point again that we've actually maybe seen Jesus with our eyes or we've had concrete evidence, if you will, of even touching Him with our hands. But yet, we believe. We believe because there are other evidences. There are many people who lived, who knew Him. There are many people who did great works throughout the Bible times that knew of God, that spoke of Him, and today, we have the great proofs also through nature, through the glories of the things that were given to us.

So in understanding also why we must have faith, knowing that God requires it. Then, why a faith in Jehovah? Why do we pick God, God the Father to be the one that we have faith in? Again, this is a very relevant question because when you think about again the Bible times, we see that there was a great demonstration by those throughout the world of a belief in many different types of faith and I want you to go with me to the book of Acts chapter 17 and you'll find there where Paul was in the city of Athens and I want you to notice a few things that took place there as it says in verse 22 that, As he stood in the mist of the Areopagus he said, Men of Athens I perceive that in all things you are very religious for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with the inscription to the unknown God. Therefore, the one whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you.

You see, he said, "You're very religious. I've seen many types of idols." Ands we know according to history that those of Athens were people who were very much caught up in paganism. They believed in gods for everything, and just in case they missed one, we find in this verse, they even had an altar to an unknown God. What does Paul say? Paul says, "I want to tell you about the unknown God, the one you are unsure about. He's the one," Paul says, "that I declare to you, the one that we must follow." Why then do we have faith in Jehovah? Because as Paul said, He is the One. He is the true God. He goes on there in verse 24 to give us some more information by saying, God made all the world. He made everything in it. It was by His hands that the world that we live in exists. Again, showing that there is but one true God.

Again, in verse 25 we see that we are to worship that one, that true and that living God because He gives all things in life. He even gives us the breath that we have in our bodies. Again, a great proof as to why we should have faith in Jehovah.

Verse 26 goes on and says that, He is the one that made man from one blood, all nations coming from one blood, and then through one blood, Jesus Christ, He blessed all nations giving them the opportunity to be known as His church. So again, we see so many things that God, the God you and I serve has done to prove He is the one worthy of our faith. He is the one worthy of our belief.

On in verse 28, he says there, For in Him, we live and move and have our being, also, some of your own poets have said, For we are His offspring.

You see, we are from God. We have been created by Him. We are followers of Him. And because of Him, we live, we move, and we have our being. That's why in verse 30, he goes on to say, In these times of ignorance, God overlooks, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.

You see, repentance. Repentance is what we have now because of the faith that we share in Jesus Christ. He has given us the ability to repent again through the gift of His son Jesus Christ. So now as you begin looking at the bigger picture of understanding what faith is, why we must have faith. Because God requires it. It is in His word. And then we wonder, "Well again in whom then must we have faith?" There is no other reasonable person or being that we should have faith in rather than God. And then why must we ask the question as to why we should have a faith in a specific thing. Well, because even in the world we can have faith in different things. Some of us place our faith in maybe our job or our friends or society or family. So again faith doesn't necessarily have to be in a religious sense, but the true faith that saves, that gives us the repentance, the hope, the everlasting hope that we've talked about in previous times, that is the faith you and I must demonstrate. That is the faith you and I must share in.

Why else should we follow Jehovah? Why else must we follow God the Father? Well, there are many reasons. I'll mention a few verses to you and a few ideas for you at this time. 2 Samuel 22 and verse 31 says, As for God, His way is perfect. The word of the Lord is tried.

God is perfect. Why not follow Him? If He is perfect, how many of us would love to be perfect? Well, we can be made perfect again through the blood of Christ. So perfection is found in this God that we serve. What about power? In Psalms chapter 90, verses 1 and 2, there we have the mention of the all-powerful God again who created all things. Well, who better to serve than the God who made everything. Not some god that made the claim of it, but a God who has proven it again through His will, through His message, through the word here that we have that is proven to be perfect, that has stood the test of time.

Also mentioned there in Psalms 90, He was everlasting. He had no beginning. He has no ending. Again, that is the God that you and I serve. Not one that was created by man, or made with hands or made into an image, but again, a God that was never started by anything, was never created, but again, was from everlasting, and to everlasting.

What else about God? Well, God knows all things. In the book of 1 John chapter 3 and verse 20, we see there that our God is an all-knowing God. Again, who better to serve than someone who knows everything. Because then He can give us all the answers. We also know that He is everywhere. In Psalms 139, verse 7 through 10, there's nowhere we can go on this earth. There's nowhere we can go even as the verse says there to Hell itself without God being with us if we are His people. Why again? Because He is God. God is God and therefore worthy of our respect, worthy of our worship and He is an unchanging God as you and I know. In Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 8, He is the same yesterday, today and He will be the same forever. That's again the God that we serve.

We see that He will never forsake us as the Psalmist said in Psalms chapter 9 and verse 10 when He said these words, And they that know thy name shall put their trust in Thee and Thou Lord has not forsaken them and Thou shall allow those to follow You.

As we see here again in Psalms the concept "not forsaking, allowing them to follow you to seek after you." This is the God that we serve, the God also that helps us and assists us in the cares that we need.

In Nahum chapter 1 and verse 7, He is our stronghold. He is there to provide for us. He is one that we can trust in. And Nahum there mentions even in the time of trouble, He is one that can be counted on. He is one that can be depended on as again our God.

We also see that He is one who can not be moved, and as followers of Him, you and I also will not be moved. In Psalms 125 and verse 1, They that put their trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion which can not be removed but abideth forever.

You see, with God, we abide forever. We can not be taken away or moved or somehow changed because God gives us that boldness, that consistency in order to stand up and to be strong as He is strong.

Isaiah tells us in Isaiah 26 and verse 4 that, We can have everlasting strength. We already know that we're immortal being because of God. We will never die spiritually, and even though the body returns to the dust of the ground, you and I will live forever because of the great promises of God.

In the New Testament, we find even other ideas and concepts that help us understand what we're speaking about this morning. In the book of John 11 and 25, we find there that he that believes in Me, though he were dead, he will live. Why? Because we are with God. We will never die the verse says there. We are always with that One. We are always with that Creator.

In the book of Romans chapter 5 and verse 1 again, We are justified by faith (The faith that we're talking about) justified by faith and given peace in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You see, faith brings us so many things. And ultimately, it brings us the salvation that is spoken about in Acts chapter 4 and verse 12, There is salvation found in no other name under heaven than in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

You see, we have a lot to be thankful for when we think about faith, when we think about what God has done in relationship to give us this faith, what God continually does as we read in the book of Matthew 6 and 33 that If we will but seek His kingdom first...What will He do for us? He will give us all things that we have need of. And what is the context there again? The context in relationship to the faith demonstrated there, the little faith that is mentioned is reminding them that even with physical needs, the food, the clothing, that God will provide. If we're doing what? Again, if we're putting His kingdom first. But in order to put His kingdom first, you and I understand obviously that we must please Him through a good and Godly faith.

Let me mention one more thing this morning as we wrap up our thoughts. He will also give us eternal life. In 1 John chapter 5 and verse 13, we see there that again, It is only through Jesus Christ, the faith that we have in Him, the belief, the belief in His hopes and even in things not seen, that belief that will give us an everlasting life, an everlasting promise in eternal reward. Again, because of those things that we have done to prove ourselves before Him as our Savior, as our God, as our King. So you see, there is a worthwhile thought in mind this morning to know what faith is, to understand that we must have that faith in order to truly please Him, and to understand that the writers found in the Bible encourage us all to demonstrate that faith on a daily basis.
(SONG # 3 - "Be With Me Lord!")


It was great to have you with us this morning for this time of offering to God. Thanks for doing your part to make it acceptable in His sight. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to the things of God, on this program. Also, let me invite you to join us for worship again this morning at 10:30, at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ, here in Springfield. We hope to see you there.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word
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As we have seen today, "without faith we cannot please God," so may we all learn more about faith and practice it, in order to be acceptable in His sight!

(Program closing)