dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Hebrews 10:35-11:2, 11:6 ~ The Overwhelming Value of Faith

on April 8, 2013

I started reading Hebrews 11 last Wednesday and haven’t gotten past verse 2 and 6.  For nearly six days I have been meditating on the word, “FAITH!”–specifically saving faith, unwavering faith, persevering faith, commendable faith and rewarded faith.  Circumstances have arisen over the past week that have made me feel hopeless and in effect lessened my faith in God’s power to save.  That backed me up into Hebrews 10 where two phrases caught my attention, “Do not throw away your confidence,” and “For you have need of endurance.”  God reminded me that faith does not build endurance, but the testing of our faith builds endurance (James 1:3).  He also reminded me of Hebrews 7:25 that says, “Jesus is able to save completely those who draw near to God through Him.”  Faith enables ALL to draw near to God.  In seemingly hopeless circumstances, faith is the key that unlocks the rewards and promises of God.  I need to pray for more faith for myself, and more faith for others–unshakeable, unwavering, persevering faith!

Hebrews 10:38-11:2.  “But my righteous ones shall LIVE BY FAITH, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”  But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who HAVE FAITH and preserve their souls.  Now FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, For by FAITH, the people of old received their commendation.”

Faith is necessary for salvation (For by grace you have been saved through faith…Ephesians 2:8), but it is also the foundation for our daily actions as believers in Jesus Christ.  Faith-based living proves that Jesus has changed our lives!  Lord, I know that You gave me the gift of faith to believe in Jesus as my Savior.  Am I daily walking in that faith?  What things other than faith do I use to make decisions?  Give me pure faith, great faith in Your character, Your promises and Your abilities.

Faith is defined in 11:1 as unwavering confidence that Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf is our only hope for salvation and that those who believe inherit heaven and the presence of God as their eternal reward.  It is a steadfast conviction and assurance even though–especially because–it cannot be seen!

Faith is rewarded with God’s pleasure and His commendation (admiration, recognition, appreciation).  Lord, does my faith bring you pleasure?  Is my faith commendable in your sight?  I want to be someone who does not shrink back, but presses on!

Hebrews 11:6.  And WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

There is absolutely nothing we can do to please God except have faith!  As written above, only faith allows us to draw near to God.   Faith that says, “You are real God and I want to know you!”  That faith will always be rewarded because anyone who seeks God is rewarded!  Some rewards of seeking God by faith are:

  • Those who seek Him, find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29, Jeremiah 29:13)
  • Those who seek Him have the sins that separate them from Him forgiven (2 Chronicles 7:14)
  • Those who seek Him, find everlasting joy (Psalm 22:26)
  • Those who seek Him are made righteous and clean (Hosea 10:12)

That is good news!  God allows us to draw near to Him.  He wants us to seek Him.  He wants us to put our faith in Him.  He wants to reward us.  What a mighty, good God!  However, sometimes we put up road blocks to faith and seeking:  pride, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, self-righteousness, fear, near-sighted focus, and unbelief.  Lord, what is standing in the way of great faith in You?  Am I relying on myself instead of putting full confidence in You?  Am I afraid of the changes that come to my life if I live by faith?  Is my vision too short-sighted–my eyes not fixed on the reward?  Lord, I want my life to be characterized by great faith.  I want to draw near to You.  I want the hope that I have in you to be a conviction so strong that it brings great boldness to my spirit.  I want to amaze You with my faith.  Lord, give me more faith!

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