Work of Believing – sermon video audio notes -- The work of believing for the believer is to maintain an attitude of belief all the time. We seem to be doing well, but then something happens. We allow negativity to come into our thinking. We become depressed. We get negative about this or that. We move from the positive position of believing to the negative position of doubt.
Work of Believing – sermon video audio notes
Work of Believing – sermon video audio notes
Scriptures: Mark 9:23, John 6:28-29, Mark 5:36-42, John 6:28-29, Exodus 3:13-14, John 11:4, 14, 15, 22-45
Life Gate Church Reaching Up and Reaching Out
Work of Believing - sermon video
Work of Believing - sermon notes
There is POWER IN BELIEVING unlike any other power in the world. It has the potential to change the natural into the supernatural. It can save a soul. It can heal a body. It can change the course of nature. It can do anything.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
The Lord does not want his children to live defeated mundane lives. God desires to do great things for us if we will do our part and it is to believe. Christ followers are not here to be average status quo people. We are here to be supernatural and live the abundant life Jesus came to give us. To experience abundant life we must correctly believe.
A PRIMARY PROBLEM WE EXPERIENCE IN BELIEVING IS MAINTAINING AN ATTITUDE OF BELIEF. We seem to be doing well, but then something happens. We allow negativity to come into our thinking. We get depressed. We begin feeling bad. We get negative about this or negative about that. The next thing we know is we have moved from the positive position of believing to the negative position of doubt. The work of the believer is to maintain an attitude of belief all the time.
One day Jesus was asked what works God required.
John 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: TO BELIEVE in the one he has sent.”
Belief begins by believing Jesus is long awaited Messiah/Christ/King. I think this is a part of our problem. We must believe all authority has been given to him in heaven and earth. We must believe correctly.
Believing this is work. Jesus said it is. Sometimes we have to labor to make our minds believe. We have to work at it. We look around and everything is going south. Maybe our bodies are sick. Maybe our finances are in bad shape. Maybe our marriage is in dismay. The child is rebelling. My parent does not understand. Unbelief attempts to take over.
Mark chapter 5 tells the story about a man named Jairus who was a pastor of a local synagogue. One day Jairus came to Jesus and fell at his feet. He told Jesus his daughter was at the point of death and if Jesus would come and lay his hands on her, his daughter would live (Mark 5:23).
Obviously, Jairus had faith and believed. Jesus said he would go and they began walking. Along the way, the people crowded around Jesus and the progress to Jairus’ house was slowed. A woman with an issue of blood touched the garment of Jesus and was healed, but it slowed the journey to Jairus’. Eventually some men came from Jairus’ house and told their pastor his daughter was dead and not to bother Jesus anymore. It was too late.
Have you every had people to tell you something like this? Have you ever felt like it was just too late? You were working to maintain your belief, but someone came along full of doubt and bad reports. Let’s see what Jesus did when this happened to him.
Mark 5:36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
(KJV) Mark 5:36 … Be not afraid, only believe.
Jesus ignored their reports and continued believing. He told Jairus to do the same. He told Jairus to maintain his belief. WORK ON YOUR BELIEVING!
Jesus said to work at maintaining your belief. Don’t allow negative reports to create negative belief. Don’t allow your faith to go the wrong way. Refuse to think or say the negative. All things are possible if we only believe, but BELIEVING REQUIRES WORK.
NO MATTER WHAT YOUR SITUATION MAY BE TODAY, JESUS IS SAYING THE SAME THING – WORK ON YOUR BELIEVING. You may have every reason in the world to give up. Things may appear as good as dead. You may have gotten a bad report. Jesus told Jairus if he would do his part – WORK ON HIS BELIEF, Jesus would do his part.
IT IS INTERESTING WHAT JESUS DID.
(TNL) Mark 5:37 Then Jesus stopped the crowd and wouldn’t let anyone go with him except Peter and James and John.
He stopped the crowd from following. He even stopped the disciples from following him except for Peter, James, and John.
It’s impossible to run with the crowd and maintain your belief. The crowd is full of doubt. In fact, you can’t walk with most Christ followers and maintain your belief. Isn’t it interesting out of the twelve disciples Jesus selected and took only three? We need to be very selective when we ask people to believe with us. Believing requires work. We want people with us who WORK AT BELIEVING. We want people who want what we want.
Jesus finally made it to Jairus’ home. People were weeping and crying. Jesus asked them why they were making all this commotion.
Mark 5:39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”
Isn’t it amazing how much commotion people will make about negative things? Jesus doesn’t want any commotion made about the negative. He wants us to change our focus and believe the positive, but when you do, people laugh. It’s what they did to Jesus.
Mark 5:40 And they laughed him to scorn…
They mocked Jesus. Obviously, the little girl was dead, but Jesus refused to admit it until he saw what God would do. Their laughing did not change his belief. The Bible says he put them out. Make those who mock and laugh get away from you and away from your miracle.
I was in Chicago several years ago. I received one of those dreaded pastor phone calls from someone who had received a horrible report concerning a pregnancy. The report said the baby would be terribly physically deformed and they would do an emergency ‘C’ section the next morning at 6 a.m. We prayed on the phone. I left the conference and got the first flight back home. We were at the hospital the next morning. The mother who had been given the report was amazing. SHE IGNORED REPORT AND WORKED ON HER BELIEF. You could tell the doctors and nurses thought she was insane, but she would not bend. A few hours later, a beautiful baby boy was born and there were no physical deformities! My point is to maintain your belief, realize people will laugh. Get them away from you as quickly as possible. ONLY BELIEVE!
Jesus went into the room where the girl laid.
Mark 5:41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
Mark 5:42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
Jesus took her lifeless hand and said, “Little girl I say to you, get up.” She stood up alive.
WE MUST REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE OBVIOUS IF WE ARE GOING TO MAINTAIN OUR BELIEF. You must work at avoiding a crowd, avoiding most Christ followers, and avoid laughers. Sometimes it may look like your dreams and what you have believed for has died. However, if you will WORK ON BELIEVING, Jesus will take it by the hand and tell it to “get up!” God will resurrect your dead dreams, your dead marriage, or your dead finances. God will do the impossible.
WORK ON BELIEVING JESUS IS WHOM HE said he is and God sent him. Work on believing God has a good plan for you life. Work on believing he can turn around any circumstance. Work on believing he can heal your body. Work on believing he can heal your loved on. Work on believing there are good days ahead for you. Work on believing no matter what trouble you are going through God will turn it around through Jesus.
John 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
John 6:29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
We try to make the Christian life complicated. We come up with formulas and steps to get God to work in our lives. We preachers give point A and point B, but it simply comes down to ONLY BELIEVE.
OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVE HEARD SO MUCH DOOM AND GLOOM WE OFTEN HAVE DIFFICULTY BELIEVING GOD IS REALLY GOOD. We need to believe God wants to do great things for us. Many people believe God is mean, angry, and waiting for an opportunity to burn up the planet. This is the devil. The opposite is true. God is looking for a way to bless you.
We are taught to put God in a box and limit him. We are taught a Baptist God, or a Methodist God, or a Pentecostal God, or a Life Gate God. We want to give him a name / denomination. Doing this will pollute your belief.
Moses was this way. He tried to categorize God. At the commission of Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked God what was God’s name (denomination, etc).
Exodus 3:13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
What does this mean? It means, “I AM ________.” You fill in the blank. God said I AM WHATEVER YOU NEED WHENEVER YOU NEED IT. I AM the God who can make the impossible possible. I AM the God who can open your Red Sea. I AM the God who can supply your needs in your wilderness. I AM the God who can bring you water from a rock. I AM the God who can raise your dead dreams. I AM the God who can heal your body. I AM your peace. I AM your wisdom. I AM your victory. I AM WHATEVER YOU NEED WHENVER YOU NEED IT. Don’t limit me!
We serve an awesome God. We serve a God who wants to do anything for us. The work is believing he wants to.
MY WIFE DOESN’T LIKE FOR ME TO SAY IT THIS WAY, but to get the point across, I will. We serve a God who wants to show his glory. God likes to show off. We say “the glory of God.” It sounds spiritual, but what it means is when God shows off. God wants us to see his glory. God wants people to see his glory. In other words, God is looking for a chance to show off.
One day Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus saying their brother, named Lazarus, was dying.
John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
If you are familiar with the story, you know God showed off. Mary and Martha knew Jesus loved Lazarus and they expected Jesus to come running, but he didn’t. Jesus waited two more days before he responded even though he knew Lazarus had died. Finally, Jesus said to the disciples Lazarus was dead.
John 11:14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
John 11:15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
If God does not come running, don’t give up. It may be for your sake. It may be God is waiting to show off“so that you may believe.” Jesus knows down the road you will need to believe again.
Finally, Jesus went to Mary and Martha. Upon arriving, they found Lazarus had been dead four days and had been buried. Many unbelievers were at the house mourning with Mary and Martha. Jesus would not go to the house. As we have see, he would not get around unbelief. Mary and Martha came to Jesus.
Martha said a very interesting thing. She said had Jesus been there, her brother would not have died, but even now she knew whatever Jesus asked would happen.
John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
Notice the response of Jesus to Martha’s faith. Jesus said Lazarus would rise again, but to do this Martha had to WORK ON HER BELIEVING.
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
John 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
Martha believed Jesus was the Christ / King and he had all authority. This is the belief Jesus is looking for. After this was had established, Jesus said to take him to the tomb.
John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
John 11:40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
Already Martha’s belief had diminished. Jesus said, didn’t I just tell you to believe? Work with me here Martha. WORK ON BELIEVING.
Jesus looked to heaven and prayed. And then…
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
Did God show off or what? My point is our God wants to show off for you. He wants to do great and mighty things. If you will WORK ON BELIEVING, you will see it happen.
What is it about your life that maybe even stinketh? May it’s your marriage, finances, health, child, parent, or job. Do you believe Jesus is the King? Do you believe he is the resurrection and the life? If you will WORK ON BELIEVING, you will give God a place to show off for you.
I want to encourage you today. All things are possible if you can believe, but BELIEVING IS WORK. Avoid the negative crowds. Avoid negative Christ followers. Get away from the laughers. Don’t limit God. Remember he said I AM THAT I AM. He is looking for a place to show off in your life.
How many are going to take the limits off God and WORK ON BELIEVING? THERE IS POWER IN BELIEVING! Give him a shout and a handclap! Amen.
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HOWEVER, THIS WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY HAPPEN. We are to do our part. One day Jesus came to his own hometown. He began teaching in a synagogue. People were amazed by his teaching, but missed what God really wanted to do there.
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
Mark 6:4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
Mark 6:5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
Mark 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
People Jesus loved and was raised with missed out on some mighty things happening in their lives because of their unbelief. Unbelief caused them to miss out on God’s best. Jesus wanted to do some great things for them, but their unbelief stopped it from happening.
It wasn’t so much “sin” stopping the mighty work. It was unbelief. Many times people will say to me, “Delbert, if you see anything in my life causing me to go through this bad time, please tell me.” Often it is not because we are doing anything wrong on the outside. Sometimes it is because we need to expand our belief on the inside.
I want to stir your faith today. I want to challenge you to expand your belief. Believe him to turn around every negative thing in your life. Expand your belief to save your wayward child. Expand your belief to increase financially. Expand your belief for more of God’s favor. Expand your belief for your healing.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t just learn to live with things less than God’s best. Be a believer. THERE IS POWER IN BELIEVING.
THE BIBLE SAYS JESUS MARVELED BECAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF. There is a marvel to believing. Jesus marveled because of the unbelief, but he will also marvel at belief. A Roman centurion came to Jesus for help. He had a servant who was suffering. Jesus said he would go and help. The centurion said this wasn’t necessary. He said he understood authority and if Jesus would just make the command, his servant would be healed.
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Jesus marveled at his belief and faith. The Bible says the servant was healed that very hour. There is a marvel to belief. The marvel is the way we believe can stop something from happening God wants to happen as it did with those in the hometown of Jesus. Or believing can cause something to happen nothing else can bring about. THERE IS POWER IN BELIEVING.
WE LIMIT GOD BY OUR OWN WRONG THINKING. We focus on our impossibilities and how it’s NOT going to work out. We end up living life in a negative frame of mind filled with doubt and unbelief. “Well, I just don’t see how I can go any further in my life.” “I don’t see how God could turn my marriage around.” “I don’t see how I could ever be happy. I’ve been through so much in life.” This kind of thinking will keep you right where you are. The reason is you are placing faith in believing it won’t happen instead of it will happen. We must leave negative mentality.
WE MUST ACTIVELY PURSUE WHAT WE ARE BELIEVING GOD TO DO. One day two blind men began crying out to Jesus saying, “Son of David have mercy on us.” Jesus kept walking, but they would not stop pursuing him. They followed him indoors.
Matthew 9:28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”;
Matthew 9:30 and their sight was restored…
DO YOU BELIEVE Jesus is able to do what you need? Sometimes it is necessary to pursue what we want from the Lord. Pursuing what we want from God will take us to where our miracle is awaiting. The blind men followed Jesus and were led to their miracles. We expand our faith when we pursue what we want. There is unlimited power in believing. We need to stretch ourselves and believe. What is it you want to happen in your life? Let me encourage you to broaden your belief today.
EXPAND YOUR BELIEF TODAY. You will never experience God’s abundant life unless you first make room for it in your own thinking. How do we expand our belief? DON’T HOLD BACK.
The children of Israel were in captivity. They were there 70 years. They were depressed, unproductive, desolate, and barren. God told them how to correct their state of mind.
Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.
Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.
They were to burst into song and shouts of joy. In other words, something needed to come from within – a song, a shout. They were not to be bashful or timid. Shout into the spirit dimension what you are believing from God.
They were to change their unbelief to belief. They were to enlarge their thinking. God is saying to get ready for more. Make room for more of my blessings, more of my favor, and more of my goodness. He is saying to begin expecting things to change. They would be blessed and mighty again.
Notice the words God used – enlarge, stretch, wide, lengthen, strengthen, do not hold back. Christians hold back. God said burst forth! God is saying we need to have a bigger vision. God desires to change what is desolate and barren in your life. Some of you have been in bondage waiting for something a long time. Allow belief to burst forth from your spirit man. Begin to prepare for the expansion and then it will come. The next verse says,
(NLB) Isaiah 54:3 For you will soon be bursting at the seams! And your descendants will possess the cities left behind during the exile and rule the nations that took their lands.
Notice the sequence. If you will begin expanding how you believe, you will soon be bursting at the seams! If we won’t stretch and enlarge, we will miss it. We make room for it first and then we break forth. We need to believe God can and will do it first and then things will change. We need to learn to sing about it. Talk about it. In other words, believe for it. Stretch our minds. Strengthen our stakes.
“DELBERT, I DON’T SEE HOW I CAN EVER GET HEALED. I been this way for years.” No. Begin singing on the inside about how God will heal you. Let a song come out of your spirit. Say, “By his stripes I am healed.” There is power in believing. “I don’t see how I could ever be happily married. My marriage is just a mess.” No. You got to believe for it to be happy. Sing about the joy of the Lord being your strength. Don’t go around talking about how terrible your old mate is. Instead, sing about how good he or she is to you. Begin believing for things to be happy in your home. “I’ll never get married. I haven’t had a date in 15 years.” No. Believe God for the right mate. Believe he will bring you the perfect person. You have to believe. Don’t make Jesus marvel at your unbelief. Cause him to marvel at your belief. All things are possible if you believe.
One day a man came to Jesus for help. His son was possessed by a demon. The demon would cause the boy to go into convulsions.
Mark 9:21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered.
Mark 9:22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Mark 9:23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
I love verse 23 in the New Living Translation.
Mark 9:23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
So many people are like this man. They have put up with junk from the enemy for years. Jesus asked him, “How long has he been like this?” Jesus wants us to know it doesn’t have to continue. Anything is possible if a person believes.
JESUS SAID, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN, ‘IF I CAN’?” I detect a bit of rebuke. Of course he could and he did. Jesus delivered the boy and he was perfectly normal. Jesus is saying to you and me today. What is it you need from the Lord? “What do you mean, ‘if he can’?” Of course he can and he will.
THE MAN SAID, “I BELIEVE. HELP MY UNBELIEF.” He wanted his belief expanded. His mind was trying to talk him out of his miracle. Our minds will talk us out of our miracles. The man was honest. We need to be honest. We need to say, “God, I don’t understand how you will do this, but I am going to choose to believe you will.” If you will, God will do the impossible in your life. He will do things for you going against the odds and against nature.
MARY WENT AGAINST NATURE. Remember Mary the mother of Jesus? She was just a teenager. God sent an angel to her and told her she had found favor with God. The angel said she would give birth to a son and he would be the Christ. Mary asked how could this happen. She had never been with a man. She was not yet married. The angel said the Holy Spirit would come upon her and cause her to conceive. Mary could have said this sounds far out to me. She could have said it’s impossible. It’s never happened before. This defies nature. Mary didn’t do this. She didn’t allow her mind to talk her out of it. She chose to believe. She enlarged her belief and made room for it in her thinking. Her attitude was if God said it would happen then it would happen. God, if you said I am highly favored then I am highly favored. If you said I will have a baby without being with a man then I will have a baby without being with a man. The angel said,
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary said I will agree with God. I will believe what God has said. I don’t understand it, but be it unto me. God said it will happen and I choose to believe it.
You may be facing some things today looking impossible. It may have never happened before, but it’s not a problem for our God. If God has put it into your heart, then nothing shall be impossible. It may seem impossible for your marriage to work, but it’s not. There may be no cure for the disease you have, but it’s not a problem for God. God said you are more than a conqueror. God said you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. God said he would supply your need according to your riches in Christ Jesus. Say, “Be it unto me according to thy word.” Enlarge your belief and make room for it in your own thinking. Jesus said THERE IS A MARVEL TO BELIEVING.
I want to encourage you today to expand your BELIEVING. THERE IS POWER IN BELIEVING. Believe God wants to do something special in your life. Believe God wants to heal your body. Believe God wants to mend your marriage. Believe God wants to deliver your child. Don’t be like those who missed out on God doing something great in their lives because of unbelief. Enlarge your tent – your belief today. Sing and shout how God will bring about what you want. If you will, you will burst forth at the seams. Be like Mary and believe for the impossible because THERE IS A MARVEL OF BELIEVING. Amen?
How many are going to stretch your believing? THERE IS POWER IN BELIEVING. Give the Lord a shout and a hand clap.
Work of Believing – sermon video audio notes
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