Friday, December 7, 2012

"By faith Abel . . . , By faith Enoch . . . , By faith Noah . . . , By faith Abraham . . . , By faith Sarah . . . , By faith Isaac . . . , By faith Jacob . . . , By faith Joseph . . . , By faith Moses . . . , By faith Rahab . . . But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11).

IDEA: It takes faith in God and in His word to lay aside envy.

PURPOSE: To help listeners understand that faith is an important resource in dealing with sin in our lives.

We've spent the last three weeks talking together about the deadly sin of envy.

We've seen that envy is like a deadly poison or a cancer that can kill.

We've looked at people in the Bible who were eaten up with envy and who destroyed others and themselves through their envy.

We understand the power of envy to undermine families, friendships, and fellowships.

I. If we want to rid ourselves of envy, we need to bring it before God in Faith.

Faith is taking God at His word.

We don't always know God's will for other things when we pray, but we do know His will about envy.

God wants us to be delivered from envy.

Faith is also acting in love toward people we envy.

We recognize that this is something God wants us to do in us.

We admit that we envy but that we want to lay it aside and act in love.

Faith is involved in praying in specific ways for the person we envy.

What is this person's deepest need?

How can I get to know this person better so that I can pray more accurately?

What burdens does this person carry that no one knows about?

Faith acts in supportive ways toward the person we envy.

II. God will reward those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith connects us to the power of God to enable us to deal with the sin of envy.

We have strong incentives to deal with this sin:

It distorts our view of others and of ourselves.

It leads to destructive thoughts and deeds.

It should have no place in the Christian heart and mind.

"Envy among Christians in early Rome helped to feed saints to the lions in the coliseum and to light the fires under martyrs in Nero's gardens. Called the vilest and most depraved of affections, envy has dogged the footsteps of God's people in every age . . . Not the vice of the few, but the infirmity of all, envy today worms its way into many family, business, national and church situations, setting the stage for strife, division and brutality." [author unknown]

We can determine to be God's people, living in love toward others, without envy. By faith.