Sermon – Small People, Big God: From Finitude to Faith (Hebrews 11:30 – 11:40) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 11 of 12

Small People, Big God: From Finitude to Faith

Pete Woodcock, Hebrews 11:30 - 11:40, 10 September 2023

As we continue our series in the Hall of Faith, Pete preaches from Hebrews 11:30-40. In these verses the writer to the Hebrews briefly covers the lives of several characters in the bible. Despite their limited nature and their failings, the Lord uses them to carry out his plans as they exercised faith in him. How does understanding our limits help us follow the Lord better?

Hebrews 11:30 - 11:40

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

If you'd like to turn to Hebrews 11, and Katherine's gonna come and read for us. By faith, the walls of Jerichoo fell after the army had marched around them for 7 days. By faith, the prostitute Rahab because she welcomed the spies was not killed for those who were disobedient. But what more shall I say?

I do not have time to tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samsung, and Jefftha about David and Samuel and the prophets who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice and gained what was promised who shut the mouths of lions quenched the fury of flames and escaped the edge of the sword whose weakness was turned to strength and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead raised to life again. There were others who were tortured refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some face gears and flogging and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning.

They were sawn in 2. They were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goat skins destitute persecuted and ill treated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains living in caves and in holes in the ground.

These were all commended for their faith. Yet none of them received what had been promised since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect? My name is Pete Woodcock, and I'm 1 of the ministers at the church here. And as Tom says, we've been going through Hebrews 11. This week, next week will be the last 1 where we're we're we're land in Hebrews 12 and then we're starting a new series, which we'll tell you about next next week.

Let me pray. Father help us now as we've prayed before, but we do need your help. We need your help, to listen, and we need your help to believe, and we need your help to have faith in what you say. We need your help to, push away our own pride. We need your help in everything.

So give us ears to hear now. We pray that we may be doers of your word by your power of your spirit in Jesus' name. CircM. Now this week, I I read, the summary of of 2 articles 2 recent or 2 articles on the recent research on studies on the brain. Now if you're 50 years old, you're gonna like this.

50 years or older, you'll like it. If you're 60 years or older, you're gonna love this. This is the latest research on the brain. So the director of, the George Washington, University College of Medicine argues that the brain of elderly people is much more plastic than is commonly believed. And he says this absent mindedness and forgetfulness appear to be because of the over abundance of information in the brain.

And therefore, you need to focus on the whole of life and not these unnecessary trifles. So when I forget your name, you're an unnecessary trifle. If I've got to remember your name, I've gotta push out to Tib 3 3 from my from my mind. I don't wanna do that. Okay?

So that's 1 thing they say then. Beginning at the age of 60, a person when making decisions uses, both hemispheres of their brain. When they're making a decision, they over 60 use both hemispheres, whereas the younger ones only use 1. And this is why the younger ones are more stupid in their decision making. I'm only telling you the modern research.

Yeah. We use both. Both are firing. Whereas only 1 side is is it. Then, this other study, which was published in New England Journal of Medicine found that, at that at 60, you reached a peak of your emotional and mental potential and this continues until you're 80.

Therefore, if you're 60, 70, or 80 years old, you're at the best level of your life. Listen, the most productive stage of a person's life is from 60 to 70 years old. The second most productive stage is from 70 to 80 years old. The third most productive stage is between 50 and 60 years old. Before that, you haven't reached your peak.

Now, just wanna say, remind you that I'm 65 years of age. I am right at my peak. Alright. So anyone young people wanna have a discussion with me or an argument. Come on.

Come on. I'm at my peak. You only are firing on 1 hemisphere. May I'm going to I'm whacking backwards and forwards. It's amazing, isn't it?

Yet even at my peak. I'm I've only I've only got 65 years of accumulated knowledge and experience. Only 65 years. And that knowledge and experience is trapped within a body that can't be everywhere at 1 can only be in 1 place and has to sleep and has to be fed. In the end, all my knowledge and all my experience is minuscule, utterly limited.

Even if you're a genius like Einstein, Still the brain is limited and comes to an end and has to be pickled and put in a museum. And even then you can't put a US be stick in there to download the information. It's gone. Human beings are very, very very limited. And we need to understand that.

How many things if you if you're an older person wanted to do, wanted to read, wanted to study, wanted to learn, places to go, but you just haven't got the time, the energy, the ability, the know how, the money to do that. And some of you younger ones, I mean, it's to remember being young. Don't you you look forward and think I wanna do this. I'm gonna be this. I'm gonna read this.

I'm gonna study this. I'm gonna go there, but the mundane falls in. An ever too short day of unfinished projects, unfinished plans, and overdue assignments. That's life, isn't it? That's life.

And this is my first point. Finitude is my first point. Finitude It's a great word. It comes from obviously infinite, finite, infinite is, you know, no boundaries finite, is we've got lots of boundaries. And Finitude is the word that describes humans, describes us.

I wonder when you first became aware of your finitude, your boundaries, your limits. Isn't it isn't it true that for a long time as long perhaps as long as you can remember you realize that you've been confronted with your limits. Even in a world that's indoctrinating us and saying you can be whatever you want, you can do anything you want. No, you can't. You are limited in millions of ways.

You just cannot be anything you want. It's absurd to say that. Or, I believe I can fly. When you can in a airplane, But if you jump from a cliff without any aid, you can't fly. You are limited.

And anyway, when we have phrases like as free as a bird, it you know anything about birds, they're not free. They're so limited to what they eat, how far they can fly, how high they can fly, who they can mate with, and we are limited. I love John Piper, an American pastor who has remodeled a Bible Psalm. He says where can I go from my limits? Or where can I flee from my weakness?

If I work diligently into the night, you are there. If I wake early before the others, you are there. If I give all I have and do all I can and make every possible effort, even there you find me. Finitude, limits. Back to the brain, our knowledge.

1 of the greatest theologians our world has known is John Calvin. He was a reformer and a theologian, and he writes this that the bible and he was a bible student, the bible is god's lispings. God's lispings. Now what he means by that is is baby language. The Bible is god's baby language.

The Gogogogogoos. So I was we were just doing it here. So little baby and it's goo goo goo goo goo like that. I put a microphone. I forgot his name though.

What's his name? Israelo. Sorry. I put a microphone in Israel's up to Israel's mouth. And, his mom said, he'll only go Google Giga.

I said, oh, use that? Gugu Gagga. That's what God is doing when he that's the Bible. It's his lispings, cat cat dog scene. God.

When we've mastered the Bible, We've mastered the lispings of god, the baby language. God is god. How could there be a language which we in our finite capacities could understand unless he lisps And it's humbling that our knowledge is just the baby talk of god. That's humbling, isn't it? Ignorance is part of our life.

We have no choice but to be ignorant. Now, we have a choice whether to be a fool or not, but we have no choice about being ignorant. If you're a fool, you won't humble yourself and say I need to know. I'm ignorant. I need to know.

I need to listen. I need to learn. If you think you've got all the knowledge you need in life, then you are a fool. But we can't help being ignorant. Human beings have really not liked to embrace finitude.

We just don't like it. That's why Adam and Eve, didn't wanna sort of, operate within the limits that god God gave them and set for them. And so they eat the forbidden fruit. They ate the forbidden fruit so that they could be like god. And that's foolish because the finite can never become infinite.

How could it? But this is what I'm wanting to get across. If you let finitude your limits, if you really understand it, it will help you live a happier life and it will help you live as a fully human and it will bring all kinds of bigness into your life. God and that's wisdom. God wants us to see ourselves as god does.

We're embodied creatures with inherent designed limitations within us. In our presence, in our mobility, in our time, in our health, in our knowledge. And when we start accepting our finitude, Then we will see we are dependent on an infinite, a creator. God has designed us to be vulnerable and weak. That is not the fall that brought that.

That has brought other weaknesses such as sin, but god designed us right at the beginning to be vulnerable and weak. We have to sleep and rest and eat and listen. And learn. We have to study and grow, and we have to ask questions and experience things. That is a feature of our design.

It's not a failure. And part of Christian faith comes from knowing our finitude. We have to understand we're limited, and when we understand that, we'll look up. To the infinite Hebrews chapter 10. Just have a look at it and verse 3.

Hebrews 10 and verse 3. By faith, we looked at this many weeks ago. By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at god's command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. In other words, there's a lot in that verse and you can go back and listen to that sermon. But in this respect, there is something bigger than the universe.

So if you have all the knowledge of the universe, you won't have, but if you did have All the knowledge of the universe, you're still finite. It's still trapped in finitude. God is outside the universe, bigger, greater, more wonderful, than the universe. You could know everything in the universe, which you will never get. I think I've told you before.

I remember meeting a young bloke at Kingston University, and we were arguing about whether there is a god or not. And I just asked him how much did he think he knew of all the knowledge in the universe and he this is a Kingston University student. Okay? He said probably 80 percent. 80 percent of all there is to know.

I said, how many languages do you speak? Well, speak English? Wow. Well, that's a failure for a start. Can you do you know what planet is or what the star is behind this plan?

No, I don't know that. How many stars can you name? How many stars are there? It's it's just ridiculous, isn't it? But even if you did know 80 percent, You're still limited.

There's a god behind the universe that you can't see. You see when you see something, you see the complete thing. But you can't see god because he's so big. That's why we have to have Jesus coming into the world to reveal god to us. Look at verse 6 of chapter 10.

And without faith, it is impossible to please god because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. We need to seek him. Faith means we seek something bigger outside of ourselves and believe that he will reward us with something that's even bigger than the universe. So we need to seek him, look beyond ourselves, and Christian faith makes us look beyond ourselves. It makes us say we don't know much at all.

We need faith in something bigger. Now, don't get me wrong because everybody has faith. Even the person who says I don't believe in god, that a faith statement. I don't believe in God. It's a faith statement, and the reason it's a faith statement is because of Finitude.

It's a faith statement because we're infinite beings and we don't have all the knowledge. And so we're making a faith statement in the dark. We're making a statement in the dark. There is no god. Well, unless you've got all the knowledge in the universe and beyond, then you can't every statement is a faith statement.

And it and that's where Christian faith starts. We realize by admitting we're in the dark and we need light. We're small and anything we think is small and so we need to turn to the big and the effect of Christian faith on us. Will then broaden our horizons, make us bigger than the universe, and make us alive and make our lives worth knowing about. That's what Christian faith does and that's what Finitude does.

By the way, just to just as an aside and I was thinking this this morning, if you look at verse 32, of chapter 10. I think this is an interesting 1. Especially if you're pastoring and counseling people, So verse 32, it says, and what what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell you about other faith. So to see what he's saying, he's saying, look, I've given you loads of stuff about faith.

What more can I say, well, there's a lot more I can say, and I don't have actually time to do it? Now what goes on here I think is, and again, we need this finitude in us to understand because I think what a lot of people do and even Christians do say, well, I can't do anything until I understand everything. I need more so that I can do something. He's saying, I've given you enough stuff about faith. And therefore, get on with it.

Have faith. Trust god. But there's always people that say, oh, but I need a bit more reading. I need another course. I need to go and understand something from a different angle.

If only I had more knowledge, see, it's never accepting you're finnigid. And you get this in the past due situation. Do you understand what it is to love? Well, no, I need another course on love. I need to go to a counselor, to express what love is.

I need to find out how I love my wife, how I love my no. Do you, you know enough about love, love. Stop disobeying and love. That's the sort of thing that goes on. We always want to say, if only I knew everything, I might be able to handle this situation.

So finitude. Got that. Good word, isn't it? Finitude. Yeah.

Second word faith. Christian faith when you understand how small you are produces a bigger life. When you understand how small you are, you'll be a bigger person. It produces a bigger life. Now the writer of Hebrews has been showing us what Christian faith looks like in practice.

He's been reminding us of, lots of people in the bible and how they had faith. He starts with creation, and next week he ends with Christ. It's from creation. To Christ. Looking at people in between, it's like the a zed of faith.

It starts with Abel. Yeah. And then he works his way through to Christ picking on people. And, we see that there there are some big names here. You've got Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Joseph, Moses, Moses, Moses, Joshua, big names, and they're great names, and If we're not careful, we could be forgiven for saying, well, these are the great names.

They had great opportunities. They're the great ones. But that's not like me. And although that's a wrong that would be wrong to get that from these names because they all fail, then it's like the writer overhears this and says, okay, I'm gonna give you a second group of people. And these you will know are clearly fragile.

They have massive limitations and they make massive errors. So there's a woman prostitute There's a young man constantly doubting and afraid and timid. There's a man whose apps absolutely nothing until a woman comes into his life and spurs him on. There's the strongest man miss the universe who's weak when it comes to women and falls into lust. There's a son of a prostitute who so belittled that he sees himself as a nothing and even maybe caused the death of his own daughter.

There's a murderer and an adulterer in this list and all of them with their faults and their massive limitations and their sins, they all in the end turn to the infinite and have the big life. Where you have the prostitute, we saw last week. If you weren't here, get the sermon from last week. Here she is trapped in a horrific life of prostitution trapped within a wall of an immoral city and god comes into her life and she has faith and changes everything. Here's Gideon.

He's weak. He's a cowardly farmer. He's so aware of his limitations. He says that his family is the least of families and he says he's the least in the least of families. He's the least child in the family that are the least.

So he considers himself least, but then when he's coaxed into faith, he stands up to the massive Millionite army with only 300 people on his side. And god. Barak, all kinds of reasons not to go to battle, but a faithful woman Deborah comes into his life with courage, beautiful, faithful woman, and pushes him and pushes him until he has faith and goes into war. Samsung who's gifted by god, clearly gifted with strength squanders that gift on ungodly living and an ungodly woman, the strongest man in the world, but totally weak when it came to women and sex, and he just fell. So fell that he was put in a prison as a weakling and his eyes were pulled out by his enemies.

He's a blind man. In a prison. And yet at the end of his life when faith came into him when he when he had faith in god He was to be like the lord Jesus Christ opening his arms out in victory as he died with his arms pushing against the pillars if you know the story. If not read it. Jesster, the son of a prostitute.

He was considered nothing by his brothers. They absolutely hounded him out of town. You're not 1 of us, and he felt not 1 of us. But then they needed his help and that raised him up in faith with god as he went out and went against the ammonite armies. David killed a good man, killed and had an affair with a a good man's wife.

Repented and had faith in God and did great things. All of these had massive failures, massive faults, massive limitations, but it wasn't their self belief that sent them to god. It was their finitude. It was their weakness. They believed that god could in the end they believed they sometimes took some coaching In the end, they believe that god the infinite could even use the finite weak, failing sinful people.

They came to believe that. It's an amazing thing. They all had massive faults But the thing that stands out to god and the writer of Hebrews is they had faith in him. And whatever else they'd done in life, they had faith in him, and that pleased god. It's not who you are and what the world tells you you are.

It's whether you have faith in God and what God thinks of you that's the most important thing. That's what he's trying to get across. That's what I'm trying to get across. All their failures They're known as people of faith. Who's Gidyan?

The weak man? No. No. No. He's a man of faith.

Who's Barac? Gosh, he was a scaredy cat. Deborah came in his life. No. He's a man of faith.

Who's Samsung? Samsung that ungodly man? Yep, but he was like the savior at the end. He reminds me of Jesus. Wow.

He had faith. Who's Raheb? A prostitute? She's in the line of Jesus. Who's japheth?

The man that actually caused his daughter's death probably, the man is just a son of a prostitute. He had faith in god. Who's David, who's Samuel, the men that had faith in god. These are incredibly different and variety of personalities here that god used cokes, god brought to faith, and that's what god looks at. Christian faith realizes how weak and sinful we are, but makes us look to the great god.

Who can even use people like me. That's the gospel of the lord Jesus Christ, isn't it? Isn't that amazing? How do you define yourself? How do you define?

How do other people define you? You know? I, when when my mother died, she left a whole load of papers, and I was working my way through the papers, and I I I was reminded of of these, this morning, and I went up and found them. This is what I was in 19 66. In the infant class.

Yeah? This is what I was. I was always not like my brother. So, oh, yeah, that's that's Woodcock. That's, that's Paul's brother.

He's not as intelligent. As Paul. It was all it's always. Oh, your your people you're poor. Oh, Paul's good.

God, lovely boy, Paul is. Was always that. He's 4 years older than me. Yeah. I've never liked him.

Right. Here we are. This is the sort of thing in, you know, I don't know how you write. How do you write, reports these days? You just use a algorithm, don't you or something?

Yeah. Yeah. Reading, d, composition, d, maths, d, very slow added to it. Did did you have to add that? Reasoning.

I didn't even know we did reasoning at school. D. Yeah. Geography. D.

Yeah. He still has to got he still needs to try more. He's very quiet and well behaved. Okay. You wait.

If you don't want me to be that, then wait. No. Oh, I mean, this is extraordinary. Right? Peter, rather slow.

Yeah. Peter, a quiet member of the class and somewhat dreamy at times. He could make an effort to be interested in at least something. That's what I was in 19 64 and 19 66. That's what I was, but I came to faith.

So I'm bigger than that now. I can read now. I mean, 1 of them, I loved 1 of them. I can't remember what it was. I think it was reading.

It said d improving greatly. I mean, what was I? I mean, how much lower can you go? Anyway, there you go. What are you?

Is that what you are before god? You're weak? You've got nothing. You're a prostitute son. You're despised.

You're not intelligent. You know you're finitude. You come to god and you're a gidion and a barak. You failed. You've been immoral.

You've broken all kinds of laws and rules. And the gift god gives you huge views. What come back? And be a Samsung. Be like Christ.

Please me on to my third point. Christian faith produces triumph and trials in this world. Just have a look at there down at verse 32, to the end of the chapter to 38 to 38, I think it is. Just have a look down at that and you'll see 2 groups of people. I won't read it out, but I'll just show you.

There are 2 groups of people here. And Christian faith produces both these groups. Triumph and trials. See, some there are some Christians that say If you're a Christian in this life, you'll only have triumphs, not not true at all. Unless you mean that your trials and your difficulties and your hardship are are in fact the thing that it's going to make you triumphant.

There are 2 groups. Versus 32 to verse 35 the first part, those who escape the edge of the sword, and verse 35, the second half, to verse 39, those who don't escape the edge of the the sword. It's a it's a major key to a minor key that's going on here. There are triumphs and there are tragedies and both those people are faithful in the triumph and tragedies. Just have a look down.

Look, some conquered kingdoms others were tortured. If you go to those 2 groups, some administered justice in this world or righteousness in this world. But some endured jeers and unrighteousness for frogging. Some gained the promises in this world. Others experienced chains and imprisonment.

Some shut the mouths of lions. Others were sawn in 2 and stoned. Some quench the power of the fire. Others were tempted. Some escaped the edge of the sword.

Some were killed by the sword. Some were rescued from weakness and made strong other were walking around in sheepskins and goat skins. They were so weak and hungry. Some become powerful in battle. Others were destitute percy cute in and ill treated.

Some routed foreign armies. Others wandered around in the mountains and caves. Some received their dead back. Others died. See not everyone's faith has the same story, and that's dramatically seen here.

Dramatically seen. Jesus himself, if you think about it, had victories and was victimized. He had both those things. He experienced triumph and tribulation. And so what the writer of Hebrews is doing is demonstrating from the old testament that god has empowered people for both success in this world and suffering in this world.

To to persevere through achievement in this world or opposition in this world to endure prosperity, and I mean endure prosperity in this world or poverty in this world to persevere as a Christian Even in prosperity or poverty, you need to believe that god is bigger than this world and rewards better than this world. There's something bigger in the world, and that whatever you have and whatever you achieve is finite and small. And whatever you're going through, in pain and suffering is finite and small and not worth talking about compared to the glories to come. Faith is trusting whether you live or die. Whether there's a miraculous intervention or not.

Both those things happen. And in a fallen world, we're very likely to have a mixture of those things, both triumphs and tragedies in our lives. But none of those are the end of the story. You can move a mountain, but so what? It's a tiny little finite mountain.

You may not move a mountain, but so what? It's a tiny little finite mountain. You are going to the place of the infinite. You, finite person will always be learning always be studying. There's always something more to experience because we're going to the land of the infinite god.

Infinitude says there is a reward that always gets better always gets greater is always more beautiful, is always more passionate, is always more alive, always always always. For the 1 who understands their smallness, that they're finite understands their finitude to get the reward of the infinite is never ending. It's infinity and beyond. As someone said, if you could even say that. I know theologically you can get it worked up about that, but be quiet.

It's infinity and beyond. Then we can fly because we know the infinite. And so here, even if there's astonishing victories in this world, and there are absolutely demoralizing defeats. It's not the end of the story. Have faith in god.

And faith looks to the future. There's a remarkable thing between the the between the old testament and the new testament There's the histories of the persecution of the Jews written in something called the Apocrypha. Some people put those apocryphal book in the bible. They're not bible books. They're not bible books, but they are interesting books.

And, in those books, you find some of the histories of the persecution of the Jews. Between the testaments. And in 2 Macabees, which is, 1 of these apocryphal books. There's the story of a woman who has 7 sons standing in front of her persecutor, the Greek king, Antiochus. And he's gonna kill every 1 of the sons in front of the mum.

In order, of age first. The oldest working his way down. And she's standing there watching the sons killed. And after the sixth sun is killed, the seventh sun, the youngest, is brought up. And the king bribes him.

You'll have a comfortable life. You'll get away with it. Look, 6 dead brothers in front of you. You can get away with this. You'll be alright.

The mother speaks her first speech to the sun. Listen. It was not I who gave you life and breath nor I who set in order the elements within each of you, all of the sons. Therefore, the creator of the world who shaped the beginning of humankind and devise the origin of all things. Will in his mercy give life and breath back to you, my child?

Since you have not for since you have now forgotten yourself for the sake of god's laws, in other words, you're trusting god. You've forgotten your little self, and you're looking to god trust him. He'll remake you. He made you in the first place. Then, there are more bribes given to this seventh son to keep him in this world, to deny god, and she speaks a second time.

Listen to her speech this time. My son. Have pity on me. I carried you for 9 months in the womb and nursed you for 3 years and have read you and brought you up to this point in your life and have taken care of you. I beg you my child to look at heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them and recognize that god did not take them out of the things that existed.

And in the same way the human race came into being, do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers, they're all dead. Except death. So that in god's mercy, I may get you back again along with your brothers. That's faith. Let's imagine he didn't he did he got killed.

Let's imagine he didn't get killed. He only had a few years left of comfort and food. And then eternity without god. She's pleading with him. That's Deborah, by the way.

The finite in the hands of the infinite, she's saying. You're small, but he's big. This butcher could take your life, but this 1 can recreate life through many dangers, toils, and snares we sing. I have already come tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. Have faith, have faith in the bigger 1, whatever you're going through.

That leads me to my last point This world is not worthy. Look at verse 38, it says the world was not worthy of them. See, the world's estimate of these heroes of the faith was very, very low. So they persecuted them and killed them and laughed at them and hounded them and took their property. The the world's estimate is low, but god's estimate is extremely high and he is pleased.

God is pleased with their faith. However frail, however small, however little god smiles at them. When god looks down, he doesn't see their failure. He sees their faith. He doesn't see a d.

He doesn't see someone that's lesser than his brother. He sees someone who has faith in Christ and therefore he sees Christ. He looks at a a Samsung who blew his life on women and fighting and foolish ungodliness, but in the end was like Christ pushing out the pillars holding out his arms and dying in victory. He sees Christ in Samsung. It's an amazing thing.

And the writer says, what about you? You're going to persevere. You're gonna stick at it. You're gonna carry on. God created you.

Live for god. Die for god. Whatever way round it is. Do something for god. You're at the end of your life and you've blown it.

Well, stop moaning about it. Stop looking back. Have faith in Christ to ask him, is there any pillars I could push down? Is there any pillars I could push down? What's that pillar there?

There any enemies of god I could bring down and show up? Is there any truth I could show in this world? I could die. Telling people about the lord Jesus crisis is somewhere I need to go and tell about Jesus. However, week you are, If you feel your finitude, then you are really in line for faith in god.

If you don't feel your finitude, you won't have faith except in yourself. But when you know your weakness, you turn to god and he can even use you. What are you doing today? What is a church? Yeah?

Come on. Perhaps we get persecuted, perhaps we get chucked out of this building. Perhaps we have to divide up into small little home groups. Who knows what's gonna happen? But don't we wanna do something for Jesus?

In faith and trust in him. Press bow our heads and pray. Father, we, we come to you as as broken and sinful people. And, we know that like the characters that we've just been reading about, we, we have failed you, and we have sinned again you, and we have made a mess of our lives in so many ways. And we have used the, the freedom and the life that you have given us such precious gifts We have we have used them, in wicked ways.

We have, have tried to do our lives without you and we have, not loved properly, those you've put in our lives. And, if we could see, a heavenly report card of our lives, by nature. We we would fail. We would we would have failed in every way. And yet we thank you, lord Jesus, that you are you are the perfect 1.

And in you, we can be found in Christ we can be righteous. We can have the old card ripped up and given a a a perfect pass because of Jesus. And we do pray that in light of that grace as we've been learning this morning that you you would help us to live by faith that you'd help us to see what columns we might be able to bring down, see what ways we might give ourselves for the cause of the gospel. Please lord use us in in the different contexts, in the relationships that you've put each 1 of us. Even though they might feel weak and small and mundane and and they are in many ways, that you would help us to look for infinite purposes and eternal purposes and that we would look to you the strong god to do things that will echo on into eternity, for the sake of Christ.

And we ask this all in Jesus' name, amen.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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