September 29, 2008

Asking the Right Questions

I know it's been a while since I've sincerest apologies. Here is a sermon I gave yesterday.

We have just finished a sermon series over the past couple weeks entitled Faith 101 which talked about some of the basic elements that make-up Christianity: creation, faith, temptation, this guy named Jesus and a few others. I want to spend some time this morning talking about taking time to ask questions. Can you think of a time when you found yourself in a situation, (maybe at work or school) when you weren’t exactly sure what was going on or maybe were a little confused but for whatever reason didn’t take the time to ask any questions? You walked away feeling unsure of what was expected of you because you missed the opportunity to ask a question.

Check out Luke 2:41-47. Jesus took the time to ask some questions, even as a 12yr old boy.

It can be the same way with our faith. If we don’t allow ourselves or others to ask questions and sometimes pretty tough questions, we fail to give faith a chance to grow. Typically, the point of asking a question is to get an answer, to gain some sort of knowledge or information. And when we ask questions about our faith, our faith is given the opportunity to grow because sooner or later we will ask a question we won’t be able to answer, at least not now. Paul says in I Corinthians 13:12 that there are some things we only know parts of now but we'll know fully then. It’s the lack of immediate answers that forces us to lean on our faith. I have no doubt there are some of us here that are questioning…asking why this or why that, how could this have happened, God how could You or why would You?

I was talking with a student the other day, just kind of catching up and I asked her how things were going and she mentioned that school was good, friends were good, family was good and then she said, "You know Matt, I’ve really been questioning my faith recently. I’m not sure I believe in God anymore." And I said, "Oh, cool. I would really love to hear about your questions." I believe that the God of Christianity isn’t scared by our questions or tries to ignore them but that He actually delights when we ask. When we take the time to ask questions, it shows that we are engaged, that we are thinking and paying attention to what is going on or what is being said.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7 & 8 to ask and seek so we'll find. I went to a small Christian school in college where I heard a saying that has stuck with me, “All truth is God’s truth” and it’s one of the reasons why I love questions. I love asking them, I love hearing them asked and I love discussing possible answers. I get excited when people start to ask questions of God, I don’t get nervous that there is a question out there that if asked will disprove Christianity or God for that matter. I’m thankful that we serve a God that is much bigger than any question we could ever ask.

I want to wrap-up our Faith 101 series by giving you some encouragement. Don’t forget that though there are times when all of the things that have to do with faith, religion, the Bible or whatever can seem overwhelming, it ultimately all comes down to a relationship. You may be just starting your faith journey or maybe you’ve been on it for a while now or maybe you haven’t even left yet, wherever this journey may be for you don’t stop asking questions. One of the things that I find really attractive about Christianity and Jesus especially is that He will meet you on your level but love you too much to leave you there. Maybe you've heard Christianity described as a river, deep enough to swim in and shallow enough to get your toes wet, regardless of how deep or shallow you may be in this river of faith, know that Jesus is holding your hand the whole time.