Archive for February 26th, 2011

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11 is the faith chapter.  It begins with the explanation of what faith is: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”.  Have you considered what faith is in your life?  It is believing when you haven’t seen.  It is being willing to sit on a chair because you think it will hold your weight but aren’t sure until you really do sit down.  Faith is not just a head game.  It takes action as well.  It is taking action on what you believe to be true.  It is knowing that God is in control and does what He says He will do.  So does faith matter?  The writer tells us this about faith: “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”.  Faith matters much.  It is the only way we are able to please God and get close to Him.  It requires that we believe in Him and that He is in charge.  He is – which makes faith a lot easier to have – but it still takes action.  Faith is belief in action.  Are you truly living out your faith?

The rest of the chapter is the faith hall of fame.  The writer lists a whole list of examples beginning each one with “by faith”.  We can learn much from these folks – their example is faith in action.  Here is the hall of fame – they deserve to be listed and recognized.  They are our heritage and set the standard for how we should live:

–       “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God

–       By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain

–       By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death

–       By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark

–       By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance

–       By faith he went to live in the land of promise

–       By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive

–       By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac

–       By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau

–       By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph

–       By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones

–       By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents

–       By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

–       By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood

–       By faith the people crossed the Red Sea

–       By faith the walls of Jericho fell down

–       By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome

What a list of great examples of faith.  Their faith was great but they were not perfect people by any stretch of the imagination.  We had murderers, prostitutes, liars, and folks with a lot of other very poor decisions.  Faith is not always based on perfection of our character.  In fact, faith is not about us at all.  It is believing in God – not ourselves.  It is knowing Him and what He will do – not focused on what we are able to get done.  God alone is worthy of our faith.  Sure it is a great combination when our character is perfectly aligned in obedience alongside our faith.  Scripture only shows us one perfect person – Jesus Christ Himself.  The rest of us are not going to achieve that level of perfection.  But that doesn’t mean our faith can’t move mountains.  Jesus told us it could.  Are you living by faith?  Do you believe?  There is much we can do if we put our trust and faith in Him!

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