How To Develop Your Faith Mark 8:11-13, 16-21, 27-33 Jan, 10 2010
Several years ago, I searched the Bible for my personal desire to discover how a person’s faith could grow. All I found that seemed to be specific was the statement, “faith comes by hearing” (Rom. 10:17). How have you personally grown in faith? As you interact around this text, ask your class if they have specific methods in How To Develop Your Faith. I believe Sunday School will be one method that has helped.
1. Develop Your Faith Without Making Demanding , , Entreaties Of Christ. Mk. 8:11-13
A. Develop Your Faith Without Entreaties That . . Seek After Signs. 8:11-12
11 The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, demanding of Him a sign from heaven to test Him. 12 But sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you: No sign will be given to this generation!"
B. Develop Faith Without Entreaties That Cause The . . Shunning Of Jesus. 8:13
13 Then He left them, got on board the boat again, and went to the other side.
In some circles the minister emphasizes we can make demands of God. When I first heard of these people I heard this belief called “name it and claim it.” Then I had lunch with an Assembly of God pastor who told me he called them “blab it and grab it people.” Well, I don’t agree with any theology that demands from God. The Pharisees sought after signs and the Lord shunned them, and got in a boat to get away from them. If we want our faith to grow, we need to make requests of the Lord but not demands.
2. Develop Your Faith Through Your . . Encounters With Christ. Mk. 8:16-21
A. Develop Your Faith Through . . Analyzing Your Encounters With Christ. 8:16-20
16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread. 17 Aware of this, He said to them, "Why are you discussing that you do not have any bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Is your heart hardened? 18 Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Twelve," they told Him. 20 "When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many large baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Seven," they said.
B. Develop Your Faith Through . . Alertness To Your Experiences With Jesus. 8:21
21 And He said to them, "Don't you understand yet?"
It helps to analyze our encounters in the work of the Lord. We should learn from the interactions we have with the Lord and His people. I think I have personally learned more from discussions with the people of God than I have from books. We need to be alert to opportunities where we can learn. I have availed myself of many opportunities to learn in soul-winning classes, but the actual learning came from doing the work in the field as we sought to lead others to Christ.
3. Develop Your Faith Through Mental . . Exchanges With Christ. Mk. 8:27-29
A. Develop Your Faith Through Mental Exchanges That . . Answer General Questions. 8:27-28
27 Jesus went out with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" 28 They answered Him, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets."
B. Develop Your Faith Through Mental Exchanges That . . Answer Specific Questions. 8:29
29 "But you," He asked them again, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered Him, "You are the Messiah!"
We must decide we want to learn and answer questions the Lord asks of us. Yes, I do believe believers today hear His voice through the Spirit and we receive specific guidance that way. The Lord desired to hear what His disciples heard concerning who He was. That is general information, but He also wanted to know specifically who they, as individuals, thought He was. General information is good, but if we never apply it personally, we will not grow in our faith.
4. Develop Your Faith Through Mental . . Enlightenment Of Christ. Mk. 8:30-33
A. Develop Your Faith Through Mental Enlightenment Of Christ . . Teaching. 8:30-32a
30 And He strictly warned them to tell no one about Him. 31 Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days. 32 He was openly talking about this.. . .”
B. Develop Your Faith Through Mental Enlightenment Of Spiritual . . Thinking. 8:32b-33
“. . . So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan, because you're not thinking about God's concerns, but man's!" HCSB
The disciples received specific teachings from the Lord. He taught them some things no one else heard. He attempted to develop faith in them. After the resurrection, they really comprehended much better what He taught but which they had not understood earlier. They must have felt rather dense, foolish or at least dull in understanding and the Lord expected them to think and comprehend more than they did. Is that true of us? Sometimes I jokingly say the Lord affectionately calls me, “dummy.” My thinking definitely needs spiritual discernment. There are many answers we could give to the inquiry, How To Develop Your Faith. Amen? Amen!