Go to Grow

by Pastor Derek

 

“… it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspringnot only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, So shall your offspring be. He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness. But the words it was counted to him were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” – Romans 4:16-24a

Our core values are deeply meaningful to Grace Pointe. Using the metaphor of a peach, we’re warm and fuzzy on the outside, have a sweet fleshy middle, but have a peach pit that you’ll break your teeth on. Our core values are that peach pit. It’s what shapes us culturally and characteristically. In the first week of our series called, “This Is Us,” we leaned into our core value of “Go to Grow.”  Go to Grow is all about faith and mission. Both faith and mission are embodied in Jesus and His followers. They stand out in particular in the life of Abraham. Abraham is known as the father of faith.

In this post, I want us to look at faith as expressed through Abraham, and in so doing, to see how our value is often experienced personally.

First, Abraham acted on faith in God because of his trust in God. Faith is an act of trust. But it is also never meant to be abstract. Based on faith, we act. If I have faith that a chair will hold my weight, I sit. Recently I went skydiving. That was an act of faith that the skydiving instructor knew how to pack and deploy his chute. It was an act of faith that the pilot wouldn’t crash the plane. From the moment you get out of bed, you’re acting in faith. Every day is a trust fall. The placement of that trust and confidence in whom or what to place of your trust is what informs your courage. That was true of Abraham. It is true of any follower of Jesus.

Second, Abraham didn’t know the outcome. One of my favorite phrases in the above verses is, “In hope he believed against hope.” We shouldn’t confuse faith with an absence of doubt. We can be unwavering and still not know the outcome. Deciding to engage your day does not mean you know what the day will bring. When we say “go to grow” we’re saying that we act in faith despite not having all the answers. And that action grows our faith as God proves Himself faithful over and over again. Any cursory reading of Abraham’s story and one thing becomes apparent quickly: there’s time between promises, assurances, and instructions. In the spaces between the promise, assurance, and instruction, we find faithfulness. Over and over again, we find that character is forged in faithfulness.

Third, Abraham “grew strong in his faith.” That means that faith is developed. The reason for going on mission is two-fold: 1) it develops your faith, and 2) God uses your faith to bless others. People often wonder how to grow their faith. The answer is, “Go to Grow!” Faith must be acted upon for growth to happen. So, it is not enough to read truth. Truth must acted upon. And Truth is embodied. Truth resides in the Person of God. Truth is objective from us and personal to us.

At Grace Pointe, we go to grow. It shapes our direction. It helps us grow. It reflects our belief that God is leading us to be and do that which we could not imagine for us, but which He believes is necessary for us and the world in which we live. What a joy to go and grow together!