It’s in the Mix
Heb 4:2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
When I was a child I remember watching my Mother baking bread and cakes almost every day. In those days it was not possible to go to the supermarket to buy all manner of breads, like it is today. Mother like most woman in those times baked her own bread and cakes, and usually did so early in the morning before anyone else was up or out of bed. Eventually both myself and my siblings were all taught how to bake, and how to cook. (Both boys and girls) So I can just as easily bake you an apple tart, as make you a Chicken Casserole.
Before one bakes or cooks, it is necessary to ensure you have all the ingredients, and a hot oven. Yet having the ingredients alone, does not mean you have bread. You may have a bag of flour, a container of sugar, a wedge of fresh butter, freshly laid eggs, and milk straight from the cow – but unless you mix them together properly, you will not be eating bread or cakes.
It is the same in Spiritual things. Our Text today reads:
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it“. Hebrews 4:2
My Sermon entitled “Its in the Mix” is about the necessity to properly mix the ingredients of the Gospel, in order to enjoy the benefits and nourishment that the Gospel offers.
We know from the Bible, and from the lessons taught us by Saint Patrick that God is a Three in One God. The shamrock adequately illustrates the point. We also learn from the Bible that Man is a Three in One Man – Body, Soul and Spirit. Man is essentially a Soul, we may refer to him as a goodly soul, a kindly soul, a decent soul, and so on, with a body to make contact on earth, (with his fellow human beings) and a Spirit to make contact in heaven, (with God)
The Gospel too is a Three in One Mix
The Word, The Faith and The Works – God has spoken, we know the word, we know the Bible, we treasure the promises, we love the stories, we anticipate the glories and we long for the Saviour.
Faith, from God enables us to believe and accept the word as being a personal revelation of God to ourselves. We accept him as our Saviour, as our Redeemer as our Deliverer and as our Healer and we worship him as our GOD. We believe.
It is from this believing Heart then, that the Works then flow, in that we feel somewhat obligated to serve him who has given us of his love and his life.
We do not work to be saved, for that is not possible, “ Salvation is not of works lest any man should boast” Eph 2:9. Instead we work as those who are saved. I’ve heard some say – “I gave my life to the Lord” and while I knew what they meant, – they gave nothing to the Lord? They had no life, they were dead in trespasses and sin until Jesus gave them life” So we must understand that our Christianity is not about what we can give to God, but about what God has given to us. Therein lies the part that Faith plays in our Saving.
But we must mix it – Baking Bread, Sugar, Butter, Flour, none of these are a loaf, but mixed together they can become a loaf.
It seems clear that there are some who receive the word, the preaching or the reading of the scriptures, even the learning of them, which one would imagine would be automatically profitable to the advancement of their lives. This has been the norm in our methods of teaching – to “read mark and inwardly digest” yet apparently today’s text would imply that even the memorization of the scriptures, unless mixed with Faith and Corresponding works, is all empty, futile and pointless.
That may seem harsh to you, so you must allow me to explain.
Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that “Without Faith it is impossible to Please God” – no way to please him without Faith. You can clean up your act and become as morally good as you can be and still be as far away from God as ever before. God is not impressed by anything but faith. Our cleaning up of our act is not what makes us distinct from others, it is that we believe God and that bring us into a state of Righteousness!
Abraham at the age of 100 and his wife Sarah at 90 were promised a child. Sarah Laughed, … but Abraham being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; Romans 4:20 … and they got their promise.
Faith is all about believing God. But of course as I’ve taught you on many occasions, its more that belief.
Let me illustrate it like this. You go to the supermarket tomorrow and at the door a nice lady is handing out free coupons, which tell you that with this coupon, whatever you buy, you can have two for the price of one. With the coupon you can get 2 instead of one – credit as if you had the money, the coupon is acceptable in lieu of the money. The majority of us would not like to miss such an offer and we would probable go for the most expensive item on our grocery list so as to get the freebie! We happily, gladly believe what the coupon says!
God wants us to do the same, God is saying believe me and come with faith, I will give you righteousness, if you will put your faith in me. You cannot be a blood born again Christian without faith, – clean living, or moral fortitude does not make you a Christian (because you are disciplined) what makes you a Christian is that you have believed on the Lord Jesus.
I am concerned because we seem to have been producing in our Churches a Christianity that is disturbing, so passive, the enemy thinks nothing of bringing us down, we watch the lynching when one of us is attacked. Then when the whipping is over, we take it back and say someone should have done something. We need radical people who will make a move, do something, Faith is a NOW word. It is laying hold of something where you shake it until it gives up. Give me my house back, my job back, my children back. You’re not waiting on God – God is waiting on you.,
God is not a God of the “I was” or the “I will be” God is the
“I am” God. Faith must think only in terms of the now.
You can sit and be passive and die in your passivity. You have to decide to live for Jesus now. You have to make up in your mind I am getting up out of this now . Remember those Four lepers sitting outside the gate in the middle of a famine, getting weaker and weaker and weaker. Death was moving in to wrap his arms around them, their heartbeat was shallow they were dying before each others eyes – until one of them said “ Why sit we here until we die, … I prefer to die going after something.” God would have let them die if they had not become radical. 2 Kings 7:3
You got to do something. Faith only works if you work it, not if you have it. The 10 lepers who Jesus healed were healed AS THEY WENT. If you don’t go anywhere, you don’t get anything. There was some folks in the Bible who had to shout to get healed. Remember Blind Bartimeaus, The Church going folks tried to silence him, he was a disruptive influence on their days festivities, he was not behaving himself, Mar 10:48 –
but this was his NOW moment with the Saviour and he was allowing nothing or no one to rob him of his miracle.
Do you want your Miracle so badly that you’re happy to shout about it! It may upset others in the Church. Are you going to just sit there and do nothing about your situation, when are you going to say enough is enough, if you start it God will finish it. Get up, and walk. Its in the going that lies the getting. But you got to open your mouth and get up off your blessed assurance.
Evidently Jesus wasn’t even looking at Bartimeaus until he shouted – and Jesus just won’t invade your life, until he knows that you want him, and that you genuinely feel your need of him.
Are you ready to shout “See me Jesus” See me in my distress, in my confusion, in my predicament, I’ve got some ugly stuff and some smelly stuff , messy stuff that needs to be sorted. Have mercy Lord. “ See me Lord, See how much I’ve lost, see what fell off while I was trying to get to you, see how much was supposed to be mine, I left it in my first marriage, in my first job, when I moved house, see me Lord.”
You see its only when your desperate for the Lord will you shout about it, you’ll scream about it, and jump up and down about it, and when you once discover what you have been saved from, the miracle is that you contain it at all. I’m not bothered about people jumping up and down in Church, singing and shouting, clapping hands and waving their arms, – for the Children of the Lord have a right to shout and sing. Those who have been greatly delivered have every right to praise their deliverer in whatever way they think best, Praise God.
Bishop TD Jakes, speaking on this subjects tells how on one Sunday morning, during preaching, he handed out three notes to three individuals in his congregation. Most of you who know the Bishop will know that he rarely stands in a pulpit for more than 5 minutes, he is what some might call a mobile preacher! All three notes were the same, and all three notes read “I have left $100 for you in the pulpit” – All three recipients of the notes read the notes, all three believed the notes, but none were bold enough to go to the pulpit and get what was theirs. At the conclusion of the message, the Bishop pocketed the unclaimed cash himself. (Well it was his money to begin with.)
Do you see what happened? They each received the promise, they each believed the promises but none of them had the tenacity, the spiritual instinct to step up out of the natural and into the supernatural. Of course there was no indication that the money would not be still there for them after the service, and of course its not the done thing to step up into the pulpit while someone is preaching to get your stuff? But this is where we need to MIX the Word, and Faith with the Spiritual Instinct which God gives us every day to get up and go for that goal.
It may mean that we will have to pass through some embarrassing moments, some abnormal duties, and some messy situations, but that’s faith. To get what Jesus has for you today, you may have to climb up a tree to see it!
Let me teach you something about the anointing and walking in the supernatural. Many of you are waiting on God for some great anointing, some great “fuzzy feeling” some great sense of “holiness” in which you can walk with your feet barely touching the ground. Until it comes you tell me that you can do nothing.
Well – let me tell you – you’ll never get it that way. Gods anointing does not work like that. That kind of “superman” power can be found only in the movies! Gods anointing is all about a daily filling and fuelling for the tasks before us that day.
There is no point in me trying to fill my car with fuel
for the year. My car simply could not hold it!
God does not fill you for the month, or the year, or the lifetime; God fills you for the day – “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” Matt 6:34. Every morning I report to Him for service. “Here I am Lord, Greer reporting for duty Sir, – needing my rations, needing my tools, needing my protection and needing my weaponry. “ Its not my job as the servant to provide my own spade or shovel, it’s the Master job to make every provision for me to get the tasks of the day done. That means if in the day, I shall encounter a sick soul to lay hands on and pray, then I’ll do it, I don’t have to feel specially gifted for it or anointed for it? All I have to do is believe and expect that somewhere deep inside of me God will have placed all of the anointing I need for that miracle also. Get into the habit of reporting to God every morning for Service and then allow him to put into your pocket, or into your mouth, or into your hand a miracle for some needy soul. You know it is perfectly possible that today, many of you will carry someone’s miracle with you to Church and bring it straight back home, without knowing it – how tragic!
We have the word, we have the promise, we believe the word, we truly believe the promises, but its that thing I call “instinct” that keeps us from walking up and taking what is ours in the name of Jesus. Therein lies my problem – for I cannot give you that instinct. It can only be born in you of God himself. It’s a holy Boldness, its like young David marching into King Saul’s tent and saying “I’ll fight , I’ll go, – I’ll face Goliath for you”.
Like the woman who suffered 12 long years with an issue of blood and pressed through the crowd to touch the hem of the Masters garments – she did what she had to do to get what she had to get!
Or its like Peter saying “Lord bid me to come to you on the water” And then climbing out onto its wet and windy surface. Its not the done thing, its not normal, its not even church, its not tradition, its not been tried and tested, No, No, No – but it is Faith and without it, the “Word of God” profits absolutely nothing.
You can know the Scriptures back to front and inside out, but you are just a hollow drum that makes too much noise – with No profit to the world around you. “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
Now I don’t want to sound like I’m beating you up over your lack of the faith instinct, for God is a patient God, anxious to create in all of his Children such Holy boldness as David had, and as Daniel had, and until we are able to get up and grasp the miracles for ourselves, God will in the mean time happily bring those miracles to us – deliver them in response to our Prayers.
But Prayer too needs instinct. Too many of our Prayers are not being answered because there is a conflict going on inside of us, between what we are thinking and what we are asking. We may be asking for “Revival” a move of Heaven on Earth, but what we really want is a bigger congregation in our own building? Do we really want the Holy Spirit to “take us over”? I can tell you that you’ll never see Revival until you give up your own plans and surrender to Gods plan. You may be asking for your Husbands Salvation, but what you really want is a quiet life –
or an end to the abuse. Are you really asking for his soul?
So then how should we pray, and how shall we see the miraculous – easy. Just ask God to show you what he wants, in your life, in your Church, in your home, in your business, in your relationships, in your neighbourhoods, and in the wider world, and pray for that. Ask God for what He wants, not for what You want. Then like me, you’ll begin to see miracles every single day.
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
A while ago, a friend of mine took his family in the car on holiday for 10 days touring the beautiful English Cotswolds.
On the first day of their holiday, the heavily ladened motor produced a flat tyre. My friend and his two young sons, removed the tyre only to discover the spare wheel was also flat. One of the boys thought he had remembered seeing a garage about 2 miles back, and so they all started to walk back carrying the flat wheels in the direction of that garage.
Presently after what seemed about 2 hours walking, they did in fact locate a garage and had the flat wheels repaired. The kind garage man gladly gave them a lift back down the road to where his wife and the rest were waiting. They quickly reassembled the wheels and resumed their journey. But as they drove off, around the very next bend in the road was a massive quick-fit garage where they could have gone instead, literally only a minutes walk away.
Isn’t it aggravating sometimes to think that if you only had known what was around the corner, it might have changed the whole course of your day. This is why it is so vital to trust God, to trust him unquestioningly, and to rely on his word. Sometimes he tells us to “Press On” because just around the corner, or just over the hill lies our miracle. Those who don’t listen for God, are like those who simply carry wheels;
– They are going nowhere in no hurry!
Are you out there on the road of life busily influencing the world around you for Jesus, or are you sitting somewhere nursing a flat tyre, and going nowhere?
God Bless You. Amen