Below are some notes from Alex Kirk's excellent sermon on Belief, from John 16. The sermon audio is at the end of the notes.
1. our work: we've got work to do in our hearts to detach from the things of
this world and to trust in the Jesus
This week, are you going to be anxious about money or are you going to
find ways to believe in Jesus?
This week, are you going to gossip about someone and climb the ladder
socially or are you going to believe in Jesus?
This week, are you going to lie and cover something up or are you going
to be a truth-speaker and believe in and trust in Jesus?
This week, will you spend just a little time each day in prayer, reading
Scripture, seeking after God and cultivating belief in your heart?
We've got decisions to make, and this is a real work that Jesus invites us
2. But belief is also a gift from God.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not
from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one
can boast. -Ephesians 2
Faith and belief is a gift from God, and in the passages that follow what we'll talk
about this morning Jesus hammers this home over and over again
That the Father is the one that initiates and gives people the gift of faith and belief
The good news about that is that we're invited to pray and ask for it
This morning, whether you're here in a church for the first time ever or you've been a church person your whole life but you're struggling to believe in a particular area of your life
The invitation from God is to ask for the good gift of faith or belief
Jesus' disciples did this once, after some really intense teaching about forgiving over and over again and the importance of that the disciples are totally overwhelmed and they say:
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this
mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you.
Which brings us to the 3rd important thing to say about belief or faith in the
3. It doesn't take much.
With just a little bit of faith, just the smallest, slightest bit of belief at work in your
heart can work wonders
The good news here is that once we're trusting in Christ, God is easily pleased but
hard to finally satisfy
1. Not every hunger and thirst is holy.
Some of them are good at the core but have unhealthy expressions in our lives that
just need to be re-directed
So for example, some of us have co-dependent relationships—your desire for
friendship is good, the co-dependent part is not So that core hunger for relationship is good, it just needs to be made healthy
But not every hunger and thirst is holy. Some of our hungers and thirsts just need to be cut off, pruned back, they require a necessary ending in order for us to thrive
Sometimes the hunger or thirst that I'm still feeling emotionally or spiritually is a
sign of some part of me or my life that I've allowed to live for too long with Jesus
And that hunger or thirst just needs to be done away with once and for all
lopped off because it's just death, it's like a gangrenous appendage—if that
doesn't go it could poison the whole rest of the body
2. Remaining hunger or thirst presses me deeper into Jesus