by Philip Layton
Faith in action demonstrated by great Bible characters
- Having read the chapter, think about your own belief, faith, life and witness – can you be listed among the faithful?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Scripture says, ‘Let us’. Togetherness. The writer to the Hebrews wanted everyone to believe in Jesus and to cherish the hope we have in him for today and for eternity. To ‘spur’ one another along, to love well, to meet with each other often. This is the life of faith – bringing joy, living a life pleasing to God as we encourage one another.
Chapter 11 then speaks to those who have gone before us and have lived lives of great faith:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (v 1).
This chapter outlines a gallery of men and women of faith. Things didn’t always go smoothly for them. There was certain to be failure, conflict, difficulty, trials, or even tragedies. Yet God was present with the 15 characters mentioned. We are told in verse 6 that without faith it’s impossible to please God, for we must believe he exists.
Faith is more than thinking something might be true. It’s believing something is true, to the extent that we act on it. We change things in our lives and adjust our behaviour accordingly. It’s building an ark when everyone thinks we are crazy. It’s taking something precious and being willing to sacrifice the very thing we love and cherish. It’s stepping into the sea, not knowing if the waters will part. We are living by faith. And through it all, God speaks – and provides.
Living by faith is a way of life. What was the reward for Noah, Abraham, Moses? And what’s our reward if we live our lives by faith?
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect (11:39, 40).
Beverly IvanyTags: Hebrews