Title:  When we Say Amen

Focus:  When we say Amen, we are declaring our trust AND commitment to a
God who has demonstrated his faithfulness

Function:  To motivate the hearers to take God seriously in full trust and
commitment to that trust.

Texts:  2 Cor 1:18-20; Gen 15:6; 32:22-32

Scripture Reading:  2 Cor 1:18-20

1.  Prayer without an Amen is sorely missing something
2.  Why do we say Amen?  What does it mean?

I.  The Meaning of Amen
	A.  Definition - Originally a Hebrew word
		1.  In Hebrew it is:  Amen (untranslated), same thing in Greek
		2.  In Hebrew, translated as
			a.  Verb:  Believe, trust, confirm, support, make firm,
			d.  Adj:  Trustworthy, faithful, firm
			c.  Adv:  Truly, faithfully
			d.  Noun:  Faith, trust, firmness
		3.  In Greek, it is simply "Amen" or "truly, verily"
		4.  So, Idea behind Amen is trust, trustworthiness
	B.  Used a number of times of God
		1.  (Isa 65:15b - 16) - God is the God of "truth" (word=amen)
			a.  God will be faithful to his servants
			b.  Will give a new name (reminds of Abraham)
		2.  (Rev 3:14) - Christ is the "Amen" faithful and true witness
			a.  Jesus is so faithful, gave himself up for us
			b.  Now he is a merciful and faithful high priest
		3.  (2 Cor 1:18-29) - Yes and Amen go together
			a.  Promises of God are "yes"
				- God committed himself by making promise
				- Made an oath in Gen 22
				- Heb 6:19 - Give an achor of hope
	C.  It's look the mooring on the boats on the dock
	D.  God is our Amen, our anchor of hope
		1.  When we say Amen, we are saying "yes"
		2.  When we say Amen, we are declaring our faith and trust

II.  An Example of Amen
	A.  Story of Jacob aka Israel
		1.  Name changed to Israel at Jabbock when wrestle with God
		2.  Seems like Jacobs life all about striving and wrestling
	B.  (Gen 25:23) - Prophecy and promise concering Jacob
		1.  Yet Jacob still struggles
			a.  (Gen 25:19-26ff) - Struggles with Esau
				- Bought his birthright - Gen 25:27-34
				- Stole the blessing (Gen 27:27-29) became "man" of
				   the house
				- Esau did not get to be man of house (Gen 39-40)
			b.  (Gen 28:10-22) - Jacob on the run
				- God confirms promise
				- But Jacob makes conditional vow
				- Adopts a wait and see attitude
			c.  Gen 30:25-43 - Jacob struggles with Laban
				- Takes all the  spotted
				- Through deceit and trickery, made sure in the 
				   breeding that flock came out spotted
				- Jacob became prosperous
			d.  Gen 32:1ff - Esau is coming!!  More Struggle!
		2.  Struggle comes to a head at Jabbok (Gen 32:22-32)
			a.  This is different, God initiates the struggle.  Why?
			b.  Jacob didn't take God's promises seriously
				- God promised at birth
				- God confirms promise at Bethel
			c.  Lied and cheated for what God promised to give
		3.  This is not Jacob wrestling to get something from God
			a.  It is God wrestling to teach Jacob something
			b.  What is he trying to get Jacob to understand?
	C.  Trying to teach Jacob to trust him
		1.  Like trying to save a drowning person - They kick and struggle
		2.  Best thing to do is cling to your rescuer
		3.  This is how Jacob "prevailed" in the end
			a.  Notice - FINALLY he is clinging to God
			b.  Finally he asks God to bless him
	D.  God demonstrated his faithfulness at the Jabbock
		1.  God doesn't want to throw limb out of joint
		2.  However, he will cause you to limp rest of life as a reminder
		     if he has to.

III.  Our Response to God's Amen
	A.  Are we any better than Jacob?
		1.  We often say - If it were me, I wouldn't be so untrusting
		2.  But we often do what Jacob did more than we realize
	B.  Consider what it means to say "Amen" - more than just agreement
		1.  Another related use of "Amen" (Neh 9:38)
			a.  Binding agreement is called an "Amen"
			b.  Amen often used as a confirmation of an oath
		2.  So Amen is a statement of commitment 
			a.  God's promises are "amen" and "yes," 
			b.  Our Amen is to be a "yes" of commitment as well
		3.  This is a classic discussion of faith and works
			a.  Faith is no faith without works/action
			b.  (Gen 15:6) - Abraham "believed" (Heb: Amen)
			c.  (Heb 2:4) - Righteous shall live by faith (Heb: Amen)
		4.  And we say - God helps those who help themselves
			a.  Is this a statment of faith or unbelief?
			b.  In Jacobs case, it was from a lack of faith
			c.  In Abraham's case, it was a demonstration of faith
			d.  How do you know the difference?  True story:
	C.  Our Ministry in Vermont, not enough to live on at first
		1.  We already decided Stacey to be home until kids school age
		2.  At first, she worked, but we wondered if we have faith?
		3.  After prayer, we brought her home
			a.  Struggled for a bit financially
			b.  But we had food and shelter, and necessities
			c.  Church eventually sent us on support trip
			d.  We got what we needed
		4.  Dad told me - Just goes to show you how God provides when 
		     you trust him by putting his will first
			a.  We didn't feel right about Stacey working
			b.  So after prayer, we decided to act on our convictions
			c.  God blessed us with more than we had than when Stacey
			      was working!
	D.  How can you tell if actions are from belief or unbelief?
		1.  Is the motivation trust in God, or trust in self?
		2.  Does your action take seriously God's will and instructions?
		3.  If answer is yes, then your Amen to the God of Amen is sincere
		4.  Amen is a commitment of trust in God
			a.  That means making his priorities your priorities
			b.  It is saying yes to doing it God's way

1.  Have you given God your Amen?  (Invitation)
2.  Are you still giving God your Amen day in and day out?
3.  What does a life of Amen look like?  This is something you can discuss in
Life Group.

Questions for Small Group Study