1. Spelling out the word real as our Core Values that drive how we do ministry
  1. R = Relationship with God and Others
  2. E= Every believer a minister here in the Valley and around the world.
  3. A= Active Faith

2. Active Faith

James is pretty clear that there must be kind of evidence to having faith.

“You say you have faith for you believe that there is one God.  Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.  How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless. James 2: 19, 21

Must be some kind of activity that proves we have faith.

There are so many books, sermons, bible Verses, and schools built to try and discover what active faith looks like so there is no way we are going to cover it in one message.

I want to look at one aspect of it this morning.

Lord, show us how to increase our faith. Luke 17:5

3. Evil people

It is always a danger to take a verse and try to interpret it without looking at the context of why it is there.

This verse is talking about relationships with each other and how that affects us.

Luke 17:1,2 There  will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting.  It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.

In dealing with other people we have to realize that there are evil people who are all about tripping up others

Sometimes we confuse forgiveness to liking and trusting everyone around us and this first verse is making a statement against this.

EXAMPLE: alright to make boundaries of protection around us.

Alright to be angry.  Ephesians 4: 26 And don’t sin by letting anger control you.  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

EXAMPLE: anger for things that happen to us can usually lead to sin, but if we are anger for others injustices, then we can bring a change to others.

4. Stepping in for others

To bring justice to others and fight for others is going to be conflict. (rebuke. Luke 17: 3, 4)

Don’t allow what is happening in your life enter your heart.

Hebrews 12: 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you corrupting many.

It is here that the disciples asked for faith to be built up.  Why?

Another conversation about this came about in Matthew 18: 21, 22 How many times should we forgive? Jesus replied 70 times 7.  He wasn’t telling people to forgive 490 times.

Story of Lamech Genesis 4: 24 the one who kills Cain will be punished 7 times but the one who kills me will be punished 70 times 7

That is people, they are always looking to get even and revenge, but you must live counter culture int his world.

This is what James meant when he said that our faith must have action applied to it to be effective.

We need more faith to be able to do this.

5. Faith of a mustard seed.

If you have faith of a mustard seed Luke 17: 6.  Jesus wasn’t telling the disciples they did not have faith of a mustard seed.  You don’t have to worry about dispelling every schrod of doubt, but trust god, he can remove any obstacle to forgiving others.

Not only the root of bitterness, but the whole tree.  Trust Jesus to do this in your life.

EXAMPLE: Naomi , Ruth and Boaz

Naomi deserted her family in Bethlehem when a drought came upon them.  The result was the death of her husband and two sons.  When she returned to Bethlehem, she was a broken woman who needed a kinsman redeemer to step in and help her.

Kinsman redeemer = one who will restore what is lost in her life.

Boaz knew Naomi had returned because Bethlehem was not that big of a city.  He did not move to help her

Naomi getting up and moving toward those she hurt. and having to deal with this situation

Boaz had to move and quit giving an excuse why he was not doing what he was called to do, be that kinsman redeemer.  There was a closer one who should of acted so Boaz could have used it as an excuse, but we can excuse ourselves into inaction and this is what James warned nullifies our faith  Eventually Boaz acts to make it right and the result is the birth of the Great Grandfather of king David.

Luke 17 warns us that after we have done everything we are called to do, we are just doing our duty.(Vs 10)

Give us Active faith to just do our duty.