Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews 11’

What faith can do

July 26, 2017

The Verse of the Day for July 26, 2017 comes from Hebrews 11:1. Whenever I read or hear this verse, invariably my mind goes back to a Wednesday Youth Night at Camp Gray, a Presbyterian camp in Saugatuck, MI. When the request came forth for a young person to deliver a short inspirational message, I volunteered. As a rising sophomore in high school, back in the day, I put together my first Bible teaching, choosing the topic of “faith.” Using the Bible and study material of one of the camp counselors who was a seminary student, I focused on the two verses from Hebrews that have contributed immeasurably to the foundation of faith upon which I have built my life:

Hebrews 11: 1, 6 [Amplified Bible]:

[The Triumphs of Faith] Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

A previous blog post focusing on faith and its importance in my life offered some of the following comments:

Faith can be said to be a kind of sine qua non, an indispensable condition, element, or factor; an indispensable ingredient. These verses remind believers that faith is essential to building and maintaining a solid relationship with God, for without it is impossible to please God.

Hebrews 11, known as the Hall of Faith, introduces an array of individuals who accomplished great spiritual exploits as they walked by faith. Likewise, as we progress in our walk of faith, we learn that faith must be the firm foundation upon which we build. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we grow and develop, as we discover that faith is the bedrock of our lives. We define faith as confident assurance, trust and conviction that we will prevail. Faith–“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”– operates beyond what we see, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

In the midst of thundering echoes of “No!” faith says “Yes!” Voices shout “You can’t” but faith proclaims “We can and we will!” At the point of total exhaustion, faith says, “Take one more step.” After more failed attempts than we can number, faith gives us courage to try one more time. Faith is tenacious—you hold on and never give up. Although the diagnosis, bank statement or other evidence says “No way!” faith responds with “God will make a way.”

In terms of illustrations of faith, we find excellent examples from the Bible and from the lives of great men and women who achieved impossible dreams. Despite a barrage of reasons why they would fail, they transformed failure into success. Without faith it is impossible . . . but with faith, the impossible becomes possible. We recognize and rejoice, knowing that “with God all things are possible.” Like the wise man who built his house on the rock, when the storms of life approach, if we have laid a firm foundation, the house that we build will stand, for faith is our sure foundation.

Without question, faith is an essential element of our lives as Christian believers. Reflecting further upon the Verse of the Day and other related scriptures inspired the following poetic response:

Faith is What it Takes

Even the righteousness of God
which is by faith of Jesus Christ
unto all and upon all them that believe:
for there is no difference:
Romans 3:22

What does it take to gain more than we can conceive?
We have the measure of faith–God says we have it.
Great promises are ours if we only believe.
Having received the title deed, our deposit,
We have the faith of Jesus Christ, so give God praise.
This faith will take us where only the brave dare go,
To a place where rivers of understanding flow;
A faith to move mountains and excel all our days.
Though we are mature, we have the heart of a child,
Ever striving to become more faithful and true;
Not stained by malice but open, ardently wild
In our passion to please God in all we say and do.
Cleansed by the Blood and forgiven of past mistakes,
To stand boldly before Him, faith is what it takes.

The contemporary Christian music group Kutless also reminds us of “What Faith Can Do.”

But without faith

May 1, 2015

Hebrews 11--1,6

Hebrews 11:6 KJV

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

In this post which is reprinted from a year ago, the Verse of the Day for May 1, 2015 reminds us of God’s response to those who seek earnestly Him. As children we played “Hide and Seek,” whereby sometimes we would be those who would hide while others would “seek us out.” At other times we would be the ones doing the seeking while our playmates were hiding. In a similar manner, we often play hide and seek with God. It seems that at times He’s doing all the hiding, and we’re doing all the seeking. No, we’re doing all the hiding, and He’s doing all the seeking, so it may appear to be.

We must remember the word of the Savior who reminded the woman at the well in Samaria that “God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. . . . For the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”(John 4:23-24, 29)

II Chronicles 16:9 also offers this reminder:

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him….”

One of my favorite passages from the Old Testament is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV­)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11, known as the Hall of Faith, introduces a particular individual who diligently followed after God and sought to please him. That individual, of course, is Enoch who is spoken of in the preceding verse:

Hebrews 11:5

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

As I endeavor to follow hard after God and diligently seek Him, I think of Enoch who inspired this poem:

Enoch’s Song

Hebrews 11:5

 

My heart’s song is to so sing like Enoch,

With all that lies within me, with each breath,

That I too may walk with God and please Him,

That one day when they seek me, I shall not

Be found, for I will have been gathered, caught

Up to meet the Lord in the clouds forever,

Never to taste the bitter root of death

But savor the sweetness of His favor.

That to do His will was my sole desire–

May I leave behind this testimony

Written on the pages of pure a heart

Prepared for the marriage ceremony,

Blameless in His presence with nothing to hide,

So transformed and fashioned to be the bride.

Like Enoch we want to our lives to be living testimonies of those who are “Seekers of Your Heart,” so poignantly expressed in this song featuring Sandi Patty, Steve Green and Larnelle Harris:

Hebrews 11:5-6: Enoch’s song

May 1, 2014

Hebrews 11--1,6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6KJV

The Verse of the Day for May 1, 2014 reminds us of God’s response to those who seek earnestly Him. As children we played “Hide and Seek,” whereby sometimes we would be those who would hide while others would “seek us out.” At other times we would be the ones doing the seeking while our playmates were hiding. In a similar manner, we often play hide and seek with God. It seems that at times He’s doing all the hiding, and we’re doing all the seeking. No, we’re doing all the hiding, and He’s doing all the seeking, so it may appear to be.

We must remember the word of the Savior who reminded the woman at the well in Samaria that “God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. . . . For the Father is seeking such to worship Him.”(John 4:23-24)

II Chronicles 16:9 also offers this reminder:

“The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him….”

One of my favorite passages from the Old Testament is found in Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NKJV­)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Hebrews 11, known as the Hall of Faith, introduces a particular individual who diligently followed after God and sought to please him. That individual, of course, is Enoch who is spoken of in the preceding verse:

Hebrews 11:5

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

As I endeavor to follow hard after God and diligently seek Him, I think of Enoch, who inspired this poem:

Enoch’s Song

Hebrews 11:5

 

My heart’s song is to so sing like Enoch,

With all that lies within me, with each breath,

That I too may walk with God and please Him,

That one day when they seek me, I shall not

Be found, for I will have been gathered, caught

Up to meet the Lord in the clouds forever,

Never to taste the bitter root of death

But savor the sweetness of His favor.

That to do His will was my sole desire–

May I leave behind this testimony

Written on the pages of pure a heart

Prepared for the marriage ceremony,

Blameless in His presence with nothing to hide,

So transformed and fashioned to be the bride.

 

Like Enoch we want to our lives to be living testimonies of those who are “Seekers of Your Heart,” so poignantly expressed in this song featuring Sandi Patty, Steve Green and Larnelle Harris: