Monday, August 30, 2010

Hebrews 11:1-16 - Faith Demonstrated, Part 1

by Katrina

LINK: Hebrews 11:1-16

Hebrews chapter 11 is often referred to as the "Faith Chapter" of the Bible. It's also called the "Hall of Faith." This chapter is a powerful illustration of what faith is like and what it means to live by faith.

The author begins with a description of faith. It is being assured of things that have not happened yet and cannot be seen -- sure that they will happen and do exist. It is by faith that we are approved by God, and without faith we can not please Him (vs 1, 2, 6, 39).

The creation of the world is described in the first two chapters of Genesis. Nobody saw God create everything by speaking it into existence. It is by faith that we understand that God made it all out of nothing.

Abel's faith was demonstrated by his obedience to God. As far as we know, he was the first one to die because he did what was right in God's eyes (Genesis 4).

Then there's Enoch, the first man not to die because of his righteousness (Gen 5:21-24).

Noah acted on faith when he listened to God and built an ark on dry land where there had probably never been any rain (Gen 6). He followed the directions God gave him and saved his family and many animals because of his faith.

Abraham left his homeland, not knowing where he was going, when God called him (Gen 12). Out of faith in God, he obeyed God and lived as a foreigner in a strange land. Sarah is credited with faith for her conception of a son long after her child-bearing years had ended (Gen 21).

All of these people knew God's promise to send a redeemer and that they would one day live in a heavenly place. But they all died before the promised redeemer arrived. They lived as aliens on this earth, waiting for the city prepared by God for them. They weren't always patient while waiting on God (Abraham's son Ishmael is a result of that), but they did believe He would come through on His promise. As a result, God is not ashamed to be called their God!

I want God not to be ashamed that I call Him my God!

Lord, thank You for these great examples of faith in You. May we grow in our faith until we never doubt Your word and fully trust You to do all that You say You will do! May we not bring shame to You by living lives that don't line up with our profession of our faith. Rather, let us bring honor and glory to Your Holy Name! In the name of Jesus, amen.
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