Hebrews – God’s Action in Jesus
Pyramids of young people is a sight to see as cheerleaders try to dazzle us with their skill and abilities. The wise will put the stronger people on the ground floor of this high rise acrobatic feat. Then there is a second and third layer of trusting kids who rely on the strength of the people who form the foundation below. If the foundation people lose strength then the whole thing topples. Trust is questioned before building another pyramid of faith. This feat of brave prowess make us question what we trust and what we hold onto without question.
What holds us up?
Our next passage is a favorite of many as well as myself. FAITH is the foundation that holds us up, holds us together, keep us going, “It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” Faith allows us to get a glimpse of the future glory of residing with God. By faith, our foundation, our hope is built. By faith, our future is secure.
This passage also reminds us of all those God-devoted, trusting people before us who are the base of our own pyramids of faith in God through Jesus Christ, our Lord, upon which we stand. We stop and praise God for them, for their stories and for their example of faith to us. We should also thank God for all the people we know in our own legacy line of faith who spoke Life into us by their actions and sometimes their words.
Hebrews 11, The Message
Faith in What We Don’t See
1-2 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
3 By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word, what we see created by what we don’t see.
4 By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved as righteous. After all these centuries, that belief continues to catch our notice.
5-6 By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
7 By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.
8-10 By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going. By an act of faith he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents. Isaac and Jacob did the same, living under the same promise. Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations—the City designed and built by God.
11-12 By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said. That’s how it happened that from one man’s dead and shriveled loins there are now people numbering into the millions.
THINK ABOUT IT…
Powerful statement about the foundation of faith:
–“…faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.” Does our faith make life worth living?
–“By faith, we see the world called into existence by God’s word,” What is our faith based upon?
–“By an act of faith, Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain. It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference. That’s what God noticed and approved…” What does God notice about our faith?
–Enoch pleased God. “It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” Does our faith please God?
–Noah became intimate with God…”His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world.” Does our faith do that? Are we intimate with God…because of our faith?
–Abraham said yes and left all he knew to follow God’s call. Is our faith strong enough to say yes to God no matter what…with our eyes on a future with Him?
–Sarah…Is our faith built on God’s promises?
Mm…a lot to think about.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives. We see you at work every single day. We wonder, at times, how you know just what is needed before we know. Then we realize once more, you are God and we are not. You are Creator, the Sustainer and the Giver of Life. Because of Jesus, we can have an intimate, forever relationship with You. Because of You we know where we are headed. Our eyes are on You, our future secured in You. Thank you, Father. My hope is built on nothing less…but on You and all the trusting people who have gone before me to pour into me a strong foundation of faith. Continue to transform me to pleasing to You. Help me to be a person of faith for someone else.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.