Get my Sunday Sermons from The Gathering Church in Audio with the notes at www.properknowledge.com Download the free app. On both Android and iPhone by searching Proper Knowledge Ministries.
The short lesson below is the second of three that I taught at our kids summer camp: Camp Faith. I thought I would pass the lessons of “The Faith Train” on to you as a simple reminder of how we need to operate our lives.
There are many facts that fuel our faith in Jesus. The pile of coal in the second car behind the old steam engine fueled the furnace that boiled the water and made the train go. In the same way, facts make our faith go! And facts continue to fuel our faith throughout life.
If a steam train runs out of coal then a steam train will slow down and eventually stop. If you don’t continually add facts to your faith then eventually you may stop believing in Jesus. Although a train may eventually run out of coal you will never run out of facts to keep your faith going in Jesus. The only way you can run out of fuel for your faith is if you stop looking, listening and acting on faith.
It was up to the fireman (Stoker) to keep the engine full of coal and it is up to you to keep your faith burning. We can keep our faith “burning” by doing four things:
- Read and learn from the Bible!
The Bible is a fact that makes our faith go! It is 66 books written by over 40 different people, in three different languages, over 1,500 years. It tells us all about faith, Jesus, and his promises for us (“His children”) who believe. Of all of the religious books written in the world, the Bible is the only book that actually contains God’s own words. If there is only one book you read in your entire life it should be the Bible. If someone tries to pass themselves off as smart but has not read the Bible then they really fooling themselves. Don’t let them fool you!
Whenever you learn from the Bible you are fueling your faith! The Bible is God’s word written down so it is alive! It is the same words that were spoken and created the heavens and the earth so God’s word can also create you into a “steam engine of faith!”
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it (goes through and reveals everything) penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
The word of God is also called a light unto our path. And who dosen’t want a light on your train especially when you’re moving through the dark times?
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
- Have friends of faith.
The people you hang out with will either help you in your faith or hurt you in your faith. If the stoker (Fireman) was shoveling water balloons into the engine’s furnace instead of coal he would be in trouble. Eventually the water would put out the fire and the train would stop running. We need to make sure that the friends we hang out with love Jesus too! Then those friends will help to keep our faith burning and not soak it out. Godly friends will encourage us to read the Bible, go to church and do the things that Jesus teaches us. Ungodly friends will pull us away from our faith and corrupt (ruin) the good character that God puts in us.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
- Talk to God.
Prayer is a great thing that God gives us. It is like having God’s personal cell phone number! We need to talk to God regularly to keep in touch with Him just like with anybody else. Talk to Him when things are good, when things are great and when things are bad. We can sing songs to Him and thank Him for all He has done and is doing in our lives (that is called praise and worship). We can also ask him for direction and guidance. Talk to God no matter how you feel. Don’t ever allow your feelings get between you and God. We may not always understand the things of life but we must never forget that God does understand and He cares for us deeply. Talk to God about your problems and your joys. Pray for the needs of others too.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:18
Remember; when you do call on God don’t be fooling around. Talk to Him truthfully. Only then will He be near to you. Talk to God.
- Always look for more facts to fuel your faith and keep you going.
Life is always moving. We are always busy doing something, but don’t ever be too busy to fuel your faith. Remember, you are both the passenger on your Faith Train and the Fireman (stoker). You need to keep that furnace of faith burning with facts that fuel your faith. If you are always looking for God at work in your life then you will always see Him. There are always plenty of things in this life that reveal God to us if we look for God, listen to God, and act like God’s children. Wherever you go, whatever you do, live out your faith in God and you will always be running on that faith train bound for that land of glory where you will be with Jesus forever and ever.
It is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9