Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Greater
Week 2: Say the Word
Review from last week: Pastor Dale defined faith this way: Faith is having an inner conviction and supporting belief that what I hope for in God will come to pass, and a belief in the promise from God that what I do not yet see is real. It’s not wishful thinking or superstition. It’s not just intellectual assent toward an idea. It’s not the absence of doubt.
- Which of these ideas of what faith is not was most helpful to you personally? Why?
- Pastor Trevor said sometimes we experience a “faith wipe out” when the waves of life come over us. If you’ve ever had a “faith wipe out” in your life so far, describe what circumstances you were in at the time.
- Read Luke 7:1-10: When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
What questions or comments come to your mind when you read this passage?
- Note that, even though the Roman centurion was in a very powerful position, and Jesus was a homeless religious leader of a nation that Rome had conquered; the centurion recognized he was “not worthy” to trouble Jesus. What does this indicate about the centurion’s character and heart?
- Because the centurion recognized Jesus’ authority, he had faith in what Jesus says. What does it mean for us today to “recognize Jesus’ authority” and how do we demonstrate that in our lives?
Two Types of Faith Challenges:
- BELIEF in God’s existence and in basic Christian teaching
An example of this is the Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified dead and buried.
On the third day He rose from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of
God the Father, Almighty.
From thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy Christian Church,
The communion of Saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the Body,
And the life everlasting, Amen.
Are there any parts of this creed that you find difficult to believe? If so, which parts?
- If you are going through a difficult time in your faith journey, it can help to repeat faith statements like The Apostles’ Creed to remind yourself of what is true. What spiritual truths do you find helpful to repeat out loud to yourself, when you are going through a difficult time in your faith journey?
- TRUST in what God says, regardless of the waves
Pastor Trevor shared about a very difficult “wave” that came into his own life. If you’ve ever experienced “waves” that have challenged your faith, Pastor Trevor suggested you follow these three steps:
- Identify Your Current Waves and Faith Wipeouts
Where do you feel pain?
Where are you discouraged?
Where is your negative thinking?
- Identify What God’s Word Says About Your Waves
You can use the search function on the Bible app to help you find relevant verses.
You can ask your small group for help to find Scripture about your situation.
Be careful about searching Google, since not everything on the internet is good and true information.
- “Say The Word” Over Your Life
Speak the words that you find in the Bible over the situation you are experiencing – again and again.
Each time more waves come over your life, speak these words out loud.
- What’s the value of “saying the word” over your life?
Trevor’s Faith Confessions: Here’s a set of faith confessions that Trevor came up with to help strengthen his faith when waves hit his life. Don’t just copy this list, because they are tailored to Trevor’s struggles. Instead, make your own list, using this as an example. The process of writing your own faith confessions is a part of what brings spiritual growth.
- I have all the energy I need for today and more because Christ powerfully works his energy in me.
- I seek Jesus first in my life. My highest and primary calling is to love God. Because I seek Him first, everything else will be added to me.
- I will not complain or grumble about anything today. Instead I am joyful, grateful and prayerful.
- I love my wife. Every day I strive to win her heart fresh by laying down my life to serve her just as Jesus did for the Church.
- I love my kids. They are my first disciples. Today I will extravagantly love, serve, instruct, discipline, and provide for my family.
- I manage my own household first before I manage the house of God.
- I am consumed with and delight in God’s thoughts about me, not what others think. I am perfectly secure because of God’s unconditional love for me.
- God generously gives me all the wisdom I need for every decision I make because I ask for it.
- I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love of Christ.
- I am loving and wise in all my interactions. Just like Jesus, I am biblically shrewd as a serpent but as innocent as a dove.
- I am not anxious about anything. The peace of Christ guards my heart and mind because I give my petitions and prayers to God with thanksgiving.
- I am called, gifted, equipped, and anointed to be a preacher, pastor, and leader. No one believes in me more than Jesus.
- Because of Christ, nothing is impossible for me. No task is too tall or too hard. By mustard seed faith and with the help of God, I can move mountains.
- God is with me. He is my helper. Therefore, I am not discouraged, despairing or defeated about anything.
- Faithful management of all the God has entrusted to me is my destiny, because the Holy Spirit grows the fruit of faithfulness in me.
Pastor Trevor wants to give credit to Craig Groeschel’s website, where he pulled a lot of inspiration and help from: https://finds.life.church/words/
Here are some General Faith Confessions from that website that can give you another example, as you write your own faith confessions for your life:
- I am a child of God. I am chosen. I am alive. I am a faith-filled, life-speaking, fully devoted follower of Christ.
- The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me.
- I can endure all things though Christ.
- I am not defined by what I have done. God’s grace is more powerful than my sin. God through Christ has wiped my record clean.
- When I am tempted, God always provides a way out and I will take it. I am free from sin’s trap. No temptation is greater than my God.
- When there is no hope, Jesus fills me with hope.
- In Christ, I can do hard things. Christ will be my strength and I will persevere. Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world.
- Neither failures nor successes define my worth.
- I am not easily offended because God’s love lives in me. I am able to forgive quickly because God has forgiven me.
- I believe that God can. I believe that God will. But even if He doesn’t, I still believe.
- Take time this week to write your own faith statements that you can repeat to yourself when waves come into your life.