But it’s Memorial Day weekend and it is exciting because I hear they are expecting more people to travel tomorrow than has travelled in a long, long time. And the only thing I would encourage you with is to is to be safe on the roads, make sure you take care of yourself. And and by all means, don’t assume anything when you’re out there, OK? You don’t assume anything because when you assume you can sort of end up embarrassed if you’re not on the right track.

And and I wanted to relate to your situation that I heard about that occurred at the airport. There’s a situation with this woman who was at the airport. She’s between flights. She’s getting ready to get on a flight in about an hour and a half. And so she decides to use that time just reading the newspaper and kind of getting caught up with what’s happening in the world and this kind of thing. And and she decides that she’s going to get something to snack on something to drink.

So she gets her a pack of cookies and takes a seat at a table and she starts reading her paper. And then she all of a sudden she starts hearing the sound of crinkling and cellophane and the cellophane being torn. And she said, what’s going on? So she kind of lowers the paper and she looks and here’s this well-dressed man who is opening up her pack of cookies and helping himself to the contents. And so she looks at this and thinks like this is strange, you know, and all of this.

So very discreetly, she sort of keeps the paper up. She didn’t look at the guy and she sort of reaches a hand around and she pulls her cookies over to her and she takes a cookie out and eats it and, you know, and thinks, OK, it’s kind of over. But then about a minute later, she hears the sound of the crinkling of cellophane and the opening of the pack. And to her amazement, this guy is getting another one of her cookies.

And but this time before she could do anything about it, the guy kind of reaches and grabs because again, to the end of the stack, he reaches and grabs the rest of the pack of cookies and and he takes a napkin and he breaks off the last cookie. He breaks it in half. And he slides her half over to her and he eats the other. And then he gets up and he leaves, he gets up, he grabs his briefcase and he goes to get on his flight.

And the lady is there fuming like, I can’t believe what just happened.Then she hears over the P.A. system. It’s time for her to get to her flight. So she grabs her stuff that you OK, I got to get my ticket to make sure, you know, I can present it to the board and all this kind of stuff. And she reached inside a purse to get the boarding pass. There was her pack of unopened cookies still in her purse.

Yeah. And so somewhere in the airport was this man who’s thinking about this deranged lady who ate his cookies, you know, and all of that. So the moral of the story is don’t assume anything or else it doesn’t work out very well. So keep that in mind as you travel over this weekend. I’m going to go ahead and get my PowerPoint going. Let’s transition get into the lesson a little bit. We’ve been going through Ephesians Chapter four.

And and let’s see, let me make sure I’m on OK. Yeah, there we go. And I want to just remind you of what we have covered so far in Ephesians Chapter four, starting at verse one. Paul says as a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received, be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.

There is one body and one spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called. One lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is overall and through all and in all. And during thousand twenty one, we’ve been looking at the various ones in this passage. There’s one body and one spirit just as you were called the one hope when you were called. And we’ve looked at those in succession and for the month of May, we’ve been talking about faith.

And so we’re going to continue in that theme today as we look at some things. And I’ll tell you what, my hope for you, for everyone here and those looking online, is that you will leave here understanding the absolute necessity of faith, not just the importance, but the absolute necessity of faith. And you may say, well, why why are you making such a big deal? I’ve been around long enough to know that my faith has been has taken a hit.

I’ve been around long enough to have times when I’ve prayed about something and it didn’t work out. And and so I became a little cynical and a little jaded. And I know if I’m preaching to me, I’m probably preaching to you, too. But I want you to leave this message, hopefully understanding the absolute necessity of faith today. And we’re going to use the text over in Second Corinthians, Chapter four. So we’re going to read this together.

Second Corinthians chapter four. Paul says, therefore, since God, since through God’s mercy, we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

The God of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves, as your servants, for Jesus sake, for God who said let the light shine out of darkness, made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair. Persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death, for Jesus sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

So then death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written, I believe therefore I have spoken since we have that same spirit of faith. We also believe and therefore speak because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from dead from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause Thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

You know, Paul speaks here about the incredible ministry we have in Christ, and it really is an incredible ministry and that’s why going through this stuff in Ephesians four is really been good. It’s been a great reminder of the kind of ministry we get to have in Christ. And he compares it to the Ministry of Moses. And you can take the time to look back at Exodus Chapter 34, and you can see what he’s talking about there. But he talks about how the ministry that we have in Christ is so much greater than the Ministry of Moses.

And there’s some things about these two that I’ll just mentioned for you briefly. Study it out when you have more time. The Ministry of Moses was true and great, but it was only partial. Where is the ministry that came through Jesus is full, final and complete. The Old Covenant, the Old Testament was based on a written document, whereas the New Testament is based on the power of our life giving spirit. The written document, The Old Covenant, the Old Testament is external, whereas the work of the Holy Spirit works on a man’s very heart.

That’s why it’s so much more superior. And lastly, just for now, the old covenant represented in a legal kind of a relationship, and it was a legal document kind of a thing, whereas with the new covenant, there’s a relationship of love and love of a father for his sons. And so in Chapter three of Second Corinthians, Paul kind of closes with these words. And I absolutely love these scriptures. He says now the Lord is the spirit and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom and we all with, who will unveil faces, contemplates the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the spirit. And there is so much good stuff in this. He talks about how in Christ we have freedom and and we don’t have to have the veil of our face like Moses. You remember Moses went up and he got the tablets of stone and coming back, he covered his face because he didn’t want people to see the fading glory. We don’t have to worry about that. We have intimacy. We get to behold God’s glory. You have to let that one sink in.

We get to behold God’s glory. There’s transformation. We’re being changed to become like Jesus Christ. And we we don’t have to worry about that fading away. We actually get to see God doing something great as he changes us. And then he talks about how what we have comes from the Lord. So what we have is of supernatural origin. So we have something that’s powerful. And so the theme passage for the day is right there in second Corinthians four verse thirteen. It says it is written, I believe therefore, I have spoken since we have that same spirit of faith. We also believe and therefore speak.

Guys, that’s the title of the lesson today. We believe and therefore we speak, we believe and therefore we speak. And so for a few minutes, I want to try to unpack a little bit about what motivated Paul to pen these words. And hopefully you leave here with some good stuff to think about and grow in. And the only real point I have for today is this is motivation.

And I’ll tell you what that’s all about here in just a moment. And and what I’m really getting there when I talk about motivation, is that what Jesus when Jesus looks at you and me, when he looks at your life and my life, what he is looking for, first and foremost is faith. He is looking for faith and the Hebrews 11, verse 6 it says without faith is impossible to please God. Now, I don’t know about you, but that already convicts me because as I said at the very beginning, there are those times when I’ve gotten a little disappointed with God and even mad at God.

And some of you know, I’ve shared that I’ve gotten disappointed. I’ve been angry with God because he didn’t do what I thought he should do and in my faith took a hit. But I want you to hear Hebrews, 11, says, without faith, it’s impossible to please God. So wherever you are today, if your faith has taken a hit, I want you to leave here, at least with the decision that you’re going to revive your faith and bring it back to life, whether you are a student or a trainee, whether you’re in the business world or in the ministry, whether you’re in high school, married or single, the motivation for all that you and I do has to be faith.

It has to be faith. The Bible says that Jesus will either approve or disapprove of us based on faith. And you remember the story of the woman. Let me if you can advance that slide for me and my clicker, just stopped working on me. This is one. This is what Jason Durfuss works his magic. You know what I mean? I mean, when we do the recording early, you can mess up, you can throw the clicker, you can knock over the stage even.

And Jason will edit all that stuff out. And you would think, wow, Eddie did such an amazing message. And I said, no, it was Jason. But so but here and Luke, Chapter eight is a story about this woman who was sick. She had a bleeding problem. She had tried everything she knew to do without any kind of success. And somewhere along the line, she hears about Jesus. She hears that maybe this man, Jesus, can make a difference.

And and so Jesus is on his way to heal someone else. When this woman approaches him and she decides for whatever reason, if I could just touch to him of his garment, maybe something good will happen. And so she does, so she’s healed and then Jesus is looking around, he’s trying to figure out, OK, who touched me and all this kind of stuff. Now, my guess is that Jesus really knew because Jesus is all knowing.

I think he just wanted her to come forward, you know, just kind of he just called her on out. And if you look at Luke 8 verse forty seven. I love this. It says then the woman seeing that she could not go unnoticed came trembling and fell at his feet in the presence of all the people, she she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.

Now, listen to this then he said to her daughter, your faith. Your faith has healed, you go in peace, and thing is, I found myself wondering what motivated this woman to do what she did. I mean, if you think about it, I don’t think it’s because she has seen someone else touch his garment and get healed. I don’t think she had a precedent that she was falling back on. I don’t sense that she went to the synagogue and the rabbi told, well, look, why don’t you go and touch this guy Jesus’s garment and you’ll be healed.

It doesn’t sound like that happened. I don’t think there’s something in the Old Testament and the law of Moses that said, OK, here’s what you need to do. I just really believe this woman was at her wits end and she said, Jesus is my only hope. And I want you to have hope, brothers and sisters, I really do. I want you in those places where you feel like I have tried everything. Don’t know what to do.

I want to bring you back to her hope there was something about her that made her decide if I could just get close enough. And I’m not sure that she knew she would be healed. I think she’s just thinking if I just get close enough, maybe by touching his garment, it’ll sort of touch his skin and maybe something good will happen. I don’t know what was going through her mind, but she believed and therefore she acted. She just said, I’m going to give it a shot.

I’m going to try. And I think that’s the central message. I want you to start believing again if you struggle in your faith, believe and act. And over in Luke, Chapter seven chapter before. And this is a passage that some of the some of the family groups studied this past week, this is about the centurion in his faith and this man had amazing faith. And I’m going to read a little bit. And Luke seven starting the verse one.

It says, When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered capernaum there, a centurion servant who is master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, this man deserves to have you do this because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.

So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him, Lord, don’t trouble yourself, I think it’s kind of interesting he calls him Lord. He said, Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word and my servant will be here for I myself am a man under authority with soldiers under me.

I tell this one go and he goes and that one come and he comes. I say to my servant, do this and he does it. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and turning to the crowd following him, he said, I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel. I would love it would be such a blessing if Jesus were to look at me and says, doggone it, Eddie, you got serious faith. Man oh man.

Your faith amazes me, Eddie. Even in the face of things you don’t understand, your faith is firm and is strong. And even if you can’t see a way out, it’s sort of like he told Abraham, get up and just go to a place. I’ll tell you, even though, OK, pack up, folks we’re moving and he takes them and he moves. The sacrifice isaac and Abraham says, OK, first thing in the morning, let’s get up, servants.

We’re going to go do this. I would love for Jesus to get to a point where he would just say, Eddie, your faith is amazing. You remind me of the centurion that I told you guys about. Jesus’s motivation has always been faith. His goal, his desire for you is that you are a faithful man or woman. That’s his desire. And I know we talk about the great commission being a go and make disciples of all nations and baptize the name of Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, all that good stuff.

But I want to submit to you, if you have faith like the centurion, if you have the kind of faith that God is calling us all to, then the great commission takes care of itself. The great commission is going to happen because you will be in line with the will of God, all that Jesus stood for and live for and die for. That’s where our faith needs to reside. Everything will take care of itself if we have faith.

And over in matthew, chapter twenty five. You remember the story, the parable of the talents to the man who he had given five talents, he says well done, good and faithful servant. You know, I’m happy with you. He says, good and faithful servant. But do you remember what he said to the guy who received the one talent, if you don’t remember, I’m going to remind you, look at this. He says the guy came back to the master with his one talent.

He says, I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you. The master sees this OK. One guy gains five more. The other guy gains two more and you come back with the same thing that I gave you at the beginning. And the guy gives his reason, he says, I was afraid. And the thing that I want to submit to you today is in the absence of fear there’s faith.

OK, in the absence of fear, there’s faith and in the absence of faith, there’s fear. I think we need to ask ourselves when we get to this point and we’re struggling, we need to ask ourselves what is the fear that’s that’s overriding my faith? What is a concern that stopping me from being faithful to God? Because I really believe with all my heart that these two things can’t coexist. You can’t have faith and fear going on at the same time.

It just doesn’t work. And and really, I believe at the end of the day, God is looking for faith. He’s not looking for talent. One reason why I love coming here and I love listen to the singers and and we got incredibly professional people on all sorts of computers and boards with chords galore all over. We got people who do incredible stuff here to make these services happen. We have the best singers in Orlando. Well, Florida.

Well, maybe the world. Maybe the world, but we have incredible people and guys. The Orlando church is rich with talent. I love looking at the college students because it kind of reminds me of an era way back there when I was a college student and, you know, and I went to the University of Florida and and so it’s a pretty amazing place. And there you go. There you go. See the wise woman, smart woman, go gators for sure.

But I look back and I remember, gosh, we had a lot of great college kids coming along and and we had a great singles ministry. And and I remember I didn’t know much about the marriage. And that’s because we had so much going on with the campus ministry that we just didn’t interact that much with the married folk. I’m sure we had a lot of great people there as well. But God isn’t looking for talent. That’s not his focus.

God isn’t looking for experience, even though we have a lot of people with experience, we have folks who are seasoned, have been around like me. He’s not looking for wealthy people or smart people. He’s not looking for for good looks, even though we got a good looking group here and he’s not looking for Bible knowledge or any of that kind of stuff. What God is looking for is faith. He is looking for faith, and the question I would ask you today is, do you have faith?

Choose the meat and spit out the bones kind of a thing. Take what applies to you and grow from it. Oh, I was almost like Carlos. So that’s the question you have to ask is do you have faith? And and really what I’m getting at is what is your motivation for what you do? What is your motivation? Why do you read your Bible? Why do you pray? Why do you come to church or get on a Zoom call?

Why why do you serve others? Why do you share your faith? I know I’m still trying to share my faith and and even when I go out walking, I’m looking for an opportunity to to hopefully meet somebody along the way. And I met a guy named Scott this past week. And this actual weird story, because just before I met Scott, I was walking along the road going this way and a guy was on the other side of the street and he was on a scooter thing.

Look at the younger guy, maybe twenty or what we do.