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IF-If you believe

IF
Part 3
“If you believe”

Mark 9:14-18 “When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him. 16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. 17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.[d] So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

Verse 21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, IF you can.” 23 “What do you mean, ‘IF I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible IF a person believes.” 24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

3 things that can cause us to doubt.

1. Personal preference

2. Previous experience

verse 21 “Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him.”

verse 18 “I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

3. Prevailing Influences

verse 14 “When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them…”

How do I deal with doubts?

1. Admit your doubt.

verse 24 “The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

2. Act on the faith you have

James 2:17 “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James 2:26 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Daniel 3:16-17 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”


IF we don't give up

IF
Part 4
IF we don't give up

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF we do not give up.”

Dreams are conceived long before they are achieved.

Don't give up on your dream...

  1. Even IF it doesn't start off well.
Genesis 37:5 “ One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.”

Verse 18-22 “ When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. 19 “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. 20 “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!”
21 But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. 22 “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.”

1 Timothy 1:12-13 “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.”

2. Even IF the journey gets kind of crazy.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

3. Even IF it takes a long time to realize it.

Habakkuk 2:3 LB These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!

How do I keep from giving up?

  1. Remember that God is for me.

Romans 8:31 “if God is for me, who can be against me.”

2. Remember God is with me:


Genesis 39:1-2 “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.”

Genesis 39:20-21 “Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Genesis 39:23 “The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.”





If- If We Pray

IF We Pray

2 Chronicles 7:14 “IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

3 foundational ideas about prayer.

  1. Prayer is more about God doing something in you than God doing something for you.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.’

  1. Prayer reminds us that we are not in control and keeps us close to the one who is.

James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you”

  1. Prayer isn’t just asking but trusting.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all you ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

6 Different Kinds of Prayer Found in the Bible

1. Prayer of repentance

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

James 5:16 "The prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective."

Proverbs 15:29 "The Lord is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous."

2. Prayer of direction

2 Chronicles 20:12 “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

3. Prayer of boldness

Acts 4:29-30 “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus. After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”


4. Prayer of revival.

Habakkuk 3:2 (HCSB) “LORD, I have heard the report about You; LORD, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive Your work in these years; make it known in these years. In Your wrath remember mercy!

5. Prayer of Expanded Territory

I Chronicles 4:10
“Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.”

6. Prayer of surrender

Luke 24:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

If- If God is for us

If God is for us

Romans 8:31 “IF God is for us, who can be against us?”

1. IF God is for us… Our past can't condemn us.

Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.”

2. IF God is for us… Pain can't harm us.

Romans 8:16-18 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Christina Black Gifford “If you are not anchored in the goodness of God you will lower your theology to match your pain.”

3. IF God is for us… Problems can't stop us

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 “I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.[c] 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. 28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.”

2 Corinthians 4:16 “ Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

verse 35 and 37 “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”



IF God is for us we will do these 3 things.

1. Dream big

2. Pray hard

3. Go long