Hebrews 11:1 - FAITH.
Hebrews 11:1 (GNT) To have faith is to be
sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of
the things we cannot see.
Living by Faith
A few years ago, January in my area was
unseasonably warm. We had blue skies, no hint of rain,
and cold, frosty mornings that made way for
warmer afternoons. The pruned rosebushes looked
like thorny twigs. The bottlebrush still had a
few blooms that fed a hummingbird. A dozen
daffodils were showing their shiny yellow faces. It
should have been raining, but the sky was hazy ice
blue with a few wisps like downy feathers.
Sprouts were popping up all over our
backyard - fooled by the warm weather into thinking
it was spring. The question was, were those
little sprouts basing their hope for spring on
something solid enough to help them survive the
possibly troubled times ahead?
In this rush-rush, busy-busy world packed
with technology and knowledge, do we look to the
pundits and seemingly powerful to give us hope for
the future? Or do we trust in the Lord and the
power of His strength to show us the path to walk?
Faith is not merely wishful thinking that makes us
feel better when we're having a bad day. The
writer of Hebrews tells us that faith "shows the
reality of what we hope for." Another translation of
that verse uses remarkably solid words to talk
about an abstract concept: "Now faith is the
assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of
things not seen" (ESV, emphasis added). Faith is
real and tangible because it is grounded in God,
who is the ultimate reality.
The little sprouts in the backyard gave
me a reason to pause and ask myself: Where is
my faith planted? If I look to the world for
solutions, my faith will be weak and I will wither and
die. If I look to the Lord and His promises, my
faith will be strong, based on what is true. He
will cause me to grow even in the hardest of
This little sprout chooses Jesus. Today
and tomorrow and always, one day at a time, I
choose to live by faith.
Lord God, I want my faith to be strong
and based on You. Help me each day to choose to
live by faith. I can't always trust the things I
see; things in this life won't last. May I put my
trust in You - the only One who is eternal, and
rock-solid, and good. [Earth Psalms by Francine Rivers
re Heb. 11:1-3]
God Wants To Take You Deeper In Faith
I dont know what step you need to take
next, but I do know that you need to take it.
Maybe your next step is to accept Jesus Christ
into your life. Or perhaps its time to be
baptized. Maybe you need to join a church, get into a
small group, start tithing, find a ministry, go on
a mission trip, or invite a friend to church.
I dont know what your next step is, but I
do know this: You have one. God will never be
finished taking you deeper in faith. There is always
a next step.
If you dont take the next step,
youre going to get stuck in a rut - and the only
difference between a grave and a rut is the length. If
you dont move forward in faith, you will die.
Your heart will grow cold, and you will feel more
distant from God. He isnt going to help you with
steps two, three, four, and five until you take
step one. If youre asking God to help you with
something, hes asking you, Why havent you done
what Ive already told you to do? You may
have been aiming to do something. Stop
aiming and pull the trigger.
Before Bartimaeus met Jesus, he was
sitting beside the road, a blind man begging for
handouts. After he received his sight from the Lord,
he began following [Jesus] on the road
(Mark 10:52 NASB). Which of those two phrases
describes your life: sitting beside the road or
following Jesus on the road? Which of those two
lifestyles do you think is more fulfilling? Which do
you think has more joy, more meaning, and more
satisfaction? Which one do you want to represent your
Theres only one way to follow Jesus on
the road: Take the next step.
Faith is more than believing. Faith is
more than thinking, talking, or having
convictions about Jesus. Faith is action. It is
movement; it is activity. Faith is something you do.
In fact, the Bible says in James 2:14, If
people say they have faith, but do nothing, their
faith is worth nothing (NCV).
Where do you get the faith to begin a
fresh start? Theres only one source: Jesus
Everything that we have - right
thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh
start - comes from God by way of Jesus Christ
(1 Corinthians 1:30 The Message). Bartimaeus
had no idea that Jesus Christ was going to pass
his way that day. To him, it was just another
day. But God gave him an unexpected opportunity
that offered him a fresh start. God is giving you
the same opportunity. Dont miss it. Take your
next step of faith before the opportunity passes
you by. [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren:
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re Mark 10:52]
Putting Faith into Action
If nothing else were said about you, let
it be said, That is a man of God or
That is a woman of God. I cant think of a
Moses is described in the Bible as the
man of God (Deuteronomy 33:1 NKJV). He was a
flawed man, yes. But he also was a man of God.
Initially Moses didnt want to do what
God called him to do. He was reluctant. But God
had put His hand on Moses from the time he was a
baby. His story is almost like a fairy tale,
except its true. We know how God providentially
protected baby Moses in his waterproof basket as he
floated down the Nile. And almost as though on cue,
the daughter of Pharaoh heard Moses cry, walked
over, and saw the beautiful baby. Her maternal
instincts kicked in, and she adopted Moses as her
Moses had everything he could want, but
he knew it wasnt what God wanted for him.
Hebrews 11:24"25 tells us, By faith Moses, when
he became of age, refused to be called the son
of Pharaohs daughter, choosing rather to
suffer affliction with the people of God than to
enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (NKJV).
Moses made the right choices in life.
Moses was a world changer, and the key
characteristic of a world changer can be summed up in one
word: faith. Hebrews 11 defines faith as the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen (verse 1 NKJV). Faith is like a
muscle. It needs to be used. If we neglect it, it
will atrophy. It has to be in constant use. It
comes down to this: Use it or lose it. Moses put
faith into action, and we need to do the same. [By
Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
https://www.harvestdaily.com re Heb. 11:1-2]
Have you ever looked into a magnifying
mirror? Its disturbing when you see everything up
close. It isnt a bad thing to see your flaws,
your shortcomings, and your sins. Just dont
allow yourself to be identified by them.
The Bible says that if anyone is in
Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed
away; behold, all things have become new (2
Corinthians 5:17 NKJV). In what is called the Heroes
Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11 presents us with an
amazing collection of characters. Some of those who
made it in are expected, but then there are some
surprising entries as well, like Jacob.
If we were honest about Jacob, wed
have to admit that this guy was a rascal, big
time. This reminds us that Hebrews 11 is filled
with ordinary people like us. They were world
changers, and we, too, can be world changers.
They discovered the secret of staying on
top is not talent. It is not opportunities or
status. It is faith in God. These people were far
from perfect. They failed often. But they are not
in the Heroes Hall of Faith because they were
great people. They are in it because they had
faith in a great God.
Heres what I find fascinating. You
wont find a single mention of any of their sins
in this passage. And they did sin. However, not
one word of their failure is mentioned. Why?
Because they were forgiven, and God gives second
chances. They were looked at for what they became,
not what they were.
In the same way, when God looks at you He
sees a work in progress. But He doesnt just
see you for what you are in the moment; He sees
you for what you can become. [By Greg Laurie
from Harvest Ministries;
If we learn anything from the world
changers of Hebrews 11, we learn they were flawed
people. They were far from perfect. In fact, they
failed often. The men and women we read about in
what I call the Heroes Hall of Faith are not
there because they were great people; they are
there because they had faith in a great God.
Consider some of the world changers
mentioned there and in other places in Scripture.
Abraham, the father of faith, lied twice about Sarah
being his wife because, well, he lacked faith.
Their son Isaac did the same thing. Sarah laughed
at Gods promise of a child and then denied
she laughed. Isaacs son Jacob lied and
Noah got drunk. Samson was a very immoral
man. Gideon was afraid. Rahab was a prostitute.
David was an adulterer and a murderer. Elijah was
suicidal at one point. Jonah ran from God. The
disciples fell asleep while they were praying. The
Samaritan woman was divorced more than once.
So whats your excuse? Think about it.
These people messed up, but God gave them second
chances. Maybe you need a second chance. Maybe
youve had a lapse of faith.
We all fail in life. We all have lapses.
Simon Peter openly denied the Lord, but God gave
him a second chance. Jesus recommissioned him at
the Sea of Galilee. What about Jonah? He ran
from God, but God got his attention in the
stomach of a great fish. Jonah came to his senses
and was given a second chance. God gives second
You can have a second chance, and God can
use you. Maybe you feel like your story is over
because of mistakes youve made or a sin youve
committed. Get up and run again. Your story isnt
over. [By Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries;
https://www.harvestdaily.com re Jonah 3:1]
LINK FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
Most Important Decision in Life:
A Man without Equal by Bill Bright:
Importance of Choice:
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]
Seeking God Made Real:
Prayer Made Real:
Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David
DeRose, MD, MPH:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
The Last Day of Prophecy by Pastor Doug
Restoring The Power by Pastor John Bradshaw:
Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet:
28 Revelations Of Jesus by Pastors Ivan
Blake and James Reynaert:
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Salvation:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28: Our Holy Father:
9th of 28: Gifts of Service:
10th of 28: The Holy Spirit:
11th of 28: The Law of God:
12th of 28: The Sabbath:
13th of 28: The Church:
14th of 28: The Gift of Prophecy:
15th of 28: Stewardship:
16th of 28: Marriage and the Family:
17th of 28: The Remnant and Its Mission:
18th of 28: Christian Behavior:
19th of 28: God The Son:
20th of 28: Baptism:
Live ongoing series in progress.