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We have started the season of Lent and our goal is to increase of the light of Jesus Christ in our lives!  We are using Andy’s Stanley’s study, Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith in our small groups to help us increase the spiritual light of our lives.  The Lent sermon series is based upon this study and it is entitled, Growing Faith.  Our first sermon in this series is Big Faith.  Jesus uses a picture of faith in the New Testament.  He likens it to a “mustard seed” which is very small, but grows into a large tree (Matthew 13:31, Matthew 17:20).  Our faith is always in a growth curve, but it helps if we do things which will cultivate a strong and vital faith.  In this first sermon, we turn to a group of early Christians whose trust in God was being challenged by their circumstances.  In Hebrews 10:32-11:2, we see the back story of the great “faith” chapter of this letter to those struggling Christians.  It gives them and us some foundational guidance to find a faith greater than the problems of our time!  As you read these words, let the Holy Spirit give you an assurance that greater is the power in you than in the world.  Hebrews 10:32-11:2: Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.  (NIV)