This next Sunday I will again be preaching on New Year – New Miracles, only now I am led to share how the Bible teaches us to step out in faith. Next week Pastor Rex will be teaching from Matthew 11 on the passage where Jesus tells the disciples of John the Baptist to “go, and tell John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” Matthew 11:4 He is helping us to see how to not get trapped in the ‘Name It and Claim It’ theology. We want people to look at our lives and see Jesus working. It will be a great conclusion to the series on miracles. But this week, before Pastor Rex’s dramatic conclusion on Super bowl weekend, I will be preaching on a message that will set up his message; our role is stepping out in faith if we want to see God work. Thus the words of Jesus in the sermon on the mount; Ask – Seek – Knock. When Jesus healed someone he would say, “do you want to get well?” That is a miraculous question! Our act of faith plays into the formula for amazing miracles. Can you imagine a relationship with God where we expect, through magical thinking, that God did everything and we did nothing? We could live a life in defiance of obeying God, treating God as just a force that did what we told him to. I would pray, “God make me lose all the weight I need to lose and to be in amazing shape”, and then I walk in front of a mirror and see a perfect body. That would be weird wouldn’t it? Instead God says, “I will help you but you have to eat less and exercise more. And it’s going to take a while.”
I pray that we will learn the power of Mountain moving faith.
Last week Washington Cathedral was packed with people who were celebrating the life of Suzette Dalpez. I have been her pastor for over 20 years. Just before she died she still had a smile on her face and twinkles in her eyes. She was the love of Steve Dalpez and they led two TLCs. For 19 years these TLCs have been feeding homeless teenagers in our community. It all takes place above and beyond their normal tithes and offerings and it’s just the way these wonderful people lived their lives. Steve showed me where Suzette had her quiet times in her home doing her daily devotion. Just a short time before Suzette passed she was at a church Christmas party and after the party she was carrying chairs (which Steve and Suzette got San Michelle Winery to donate to the church). She was twinkling and loving Steve to the moment she passed to heaven. Her faith was mountain moving and all her family wanted to report what they had heard and seen in the way Suzette acted out her loving obedience to the way of Jesus Christ.
Last Saturday night one of my best friends in the world passed on to heaven. Rod Halvorson was just a great man. He had just read all the way through the Bible before being diagnosed with liver cancer. Rod was always one of the biggest encouragements in my life. We would go to the movies together or watch games together and it was always a party. His eyes twinkled and, like his twin brother Randy, he was a handsome man. I watched how he ran his business and worked so honestly and forthrightly with his employees. When I got out of the hospital one time after a massive pulmonary embolism, he told me he was going to kick my butt if I ever went to the hospital again without telling him. He and Randy are the longest surviving patients with Duchene’s Muscular Dystrophy. Rod had the most generous heart for children and for those whose life was spent in a wheel chair. He asked me to take him to the tent city village that we are watching after –and we planned on going to a movie together but both were not to be. Like Suzette, Rod always had a twinkle in his eyes. Right up until he walked into heaven holding the hand of Jesus, he was loving everyone around him. Go and tell about what you have seen and heard in the lives of Rod Halvorson and Suzette Dalpez. They loved greatly, they dreamed big. With the power of faith God worked the impossible through their lives. The way they thought, prayed, worked, and dreamed was faith in Jesus Christ.
This is what we are going to learn this week. Mountain moving faith. Not just talk or magical thinking, but action. Ask, Seek, Knock.
Would you join me this weekend for this life changing message?