TODAY’S READING: HEBREWS 11-13
The examples of living by faith; the necessity of chastisement; the exhortation to endure; remembering others.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Hebrews 11 is one of the most popular chapters in the Bible. It is often referred to as “The Hall of Faith”. It lays out for us clear examples of what it means to live by faith. We know God wants us to live and walk by faith, but what that actually means can seem somewhat sketchy or nebulous. That’s why God presents in Hebrews 11, a panorama of men and women who walked by faith: so we can see what living and walking by faith actually looks like.
It’s also interesting to keep in mind what God reveals about the people mentioned in this chapter. Many times we read a chapter like Hebrews 11 and think that we could never live like that, because those people were “men and women of God!” How easily we forget that they were men and women just like us! Think about it. Noah got drunk after the flood. Abraham had a problem lying about his wife because he was more concerned about himself than he was her. Sarah thought she needed to help God out with His promise to Abraham. Jacob deceived and lied to his father in order to get his father’s blessing. Moses was willing to kill a man in his “service” to God. Rahab was a harlot. Samson wasted most of his life and ability pleasing himself. David committed adultery and murder. Were these people really “great men and women of God” or were they just men and women like us, who simply chose to exercise faith in God and His Word?
Obviously, there is a tremendous amount of personal application we can make from this chapter, but we can only touch on a couple of points:
1. Biblical faith results in action.
Notice that each example is an action that had its root in faith. When I am walking “by faith,” I’ll just bet you, I’ll be walking “in the Spirit.” The result of that walk will be evidenced in my life. Not because I manufacture something, but because biblical faith results in action.
2. Biblical faith changes our values.
As Laodiceans we want to have the best of both worlds. We want to walk with God, but we also want to enjoy the pleasures of this life. Biblical faith enables us to see the emptiness and vanity of this world. Biblical faith embraces “another country, a better country”. Biblical faith looks for a city whose builder and maker is God. What are you looking for?
3. Biblical faith is what pleases God.
It sounds so simple. Why then do we try to please God with all of our human efforts? Do you think God is pleased by what you do? Do you think He is pleased because you go to church, give your money, sing praises, read the Bible, pray before meals, etc.? All of those things are great, but none of them are the real issue. The real issue is, are you living by faith, or trying to please God by your actions (i.e. your flesh). Remember, biblical faith will result in actions, but those same actions carried out in the flesh as an attempt to please God are worthless.
The only way you and I will live a life of faith is to follow the admonition given in chapter 12 and verse 2: we must LOOK UNTO JESUS! Our sights must be set on Him! He must be the goal we strive to attain. When He is not, if you are God’s child, God will seek to work in your life (i.e. chastisement) so that He is the priority. Notice, that not only are we to look unto Jesus, but we are to look diligently (12:15)! There are many ways we get our focus and eyes off of the Lord and onto this world. For some it is the immorality so prevalent in our culture. For others it is bitterness because of what someone did or what someone said, or because of their circumstances of life. For others it might simply be watching out for themselves. Whatever it is, even something not necessarily wrong, we must be willing to set it aside.
Get your eyes of yourself, off of others, and off of this world, and onto the Lord Jesus Christ, and please Him in your walk by faith!