Today in my “One Year New Testament for Busy Moms” Bible, the reading was on Hebrews. Chapter 11 to be exact. This is a part of Scripture I have heard quite a few sermons on. In those sermons, they almost always call this chapter, “The Hall of Faith” because it recounts so many of the Bible stories we know and tells us how those people showed faith. Not a blind faith, mind you, but faith in God and His promises.
This chapter shows one of the things I love about reading the Bible. It links you back to stories in another part of the Bible. I really like it when I’m reading along, and I can see the Old Testament weaving in with the New Testament.
To me, this chapter reads like I’ve just run into an old friend at a coffee shop and we’re sitting down to discuss the good old days and remembering all of the friends we had in common.
“Hey, remember those guys down the street, Cain and Abel? What was that whole thing about?”
“Well, Abel brought a sacrifice to God in faith, Cain apparently was just going through the motions and didn’t like it when he was corrected.”
“Oh, yeah, and Enoch, wow, did he ever walk with God, like literally, right into Heaven – didn’t even die”
“How about Noah? Did he believe God or what? Can you imagine what a ribbing he took from everyone in town when he kept building that huge boat? Turns out his faith was in the right place.”
“Talking about faith, how about Abraham and Sarah?! Remember when they suddenly left town? Word was that they said God told them to leave and make a home in a whole different country. Man, that would be hard.”
“Oh, and they never even lived long enough to see all of the promises God told them about. God told Abraham he would have tons of descendants and how many kids did he get to see? One. He lived with faith, though, and he did end up with a humongous family tree on down the line.”
“Yeah, where did all those kids end up eventually? Egypt, was it?”
“That’s old news, God got them out of there!”
“Oh yeah, now I remember.”
Looking at this whole chapter in that light, it’s easy to see what all of these people had in common…faith. God told them something, and they believed it. They believed it no matter how many other people told them not to believe it. They had faith. Not a blind, look before you leap kind of faith, but the kind of faith that comes when you can trust someone with your life.
And with this faith comes action. They could have just quietly had faith in their own minds without ever doing anything about it. But, by obeying God in their faith, that’s where you see the difference between their stories and others.
It makes me want to take stock of what I am having faith in these days.
- Are my actions following my faith in God, or my faith in me?
- Am I seeking out His promises in my life, or am I looking out at the rest of the world and trying to rely on its promises?
- Am I putting all of my faith in someone here on earth or am I believing God to sustain me and help me get through the day?
Sounds like I need to do some thinking, and talk to the Lord. I might even need to make a cup of tea.
How about you, what are you putting your faith in these days? I’d love to hear back from you in the comments.