Category Archives: Devos

Living “by Faith” … I intend to do it! I recommend it!

By faithDuring my personal time of daily Bible reading during “Coffee with the Lord” this week I’ve been reading Hebrews 11 – the great “Faith chapter” of the Bible. Reading the chapter again I’ve been so impressed by the recurring phrase… “by faith.” (How “faith” enabled people to walk with God, do His will, deal with life’s challenges, claim God’s promises, see miracles happen and deal with difficult circumstances!) The phrase (or a similar phrase) appears at least 25 times in this chapter! Pretty significant wouldn’t you say?

Faith’s importance and expression begins even before there was ever a written copy of God’s word! It is also the foundation for belief in Creator God and His activity at the beginning of time. It sustains God’s people through every event and experience here on earth all the way to heaven. It embraces the good, the bad and even the “ugly” of life.

Here’s a few key Scripture from Hebrews 10:35 – 11:40 for your consideration…

“Do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward! You have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised… ‘My righteous one 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! Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen… 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.”

So based upon what Hebrews 11 teaches, several years ago I crafted a personal definition of “faith” … Here it is for your consideration…

“Faith is confidence in God… trusting His character, believing and obeying His word, embracing His promises, following His leadership, and drawing upon his encouragement and strength.”

Just take it from me… That’s the way to live! That’s the way I want to live! … “The righteous person shall LIVE by faith!” This year my wife and I have faced a challenge or two… things that have tested our faith to the core… But we’re agreed that we’re going to go on living “by faith!”

“It is finished!” – Salvation complete in every detail!

It is finishedI am married to a wonderful wife… a lady with some perfectionist tendencies – a detail person!  She goes through the house shutting off lights… she will reach down and pick a “speck” off the floor… on her walks through the neighborhood she is in the habit of picking up “other people’s garbage”… when she cleans the house there’s clean and then there’s “Sharon clean.”  I could go on… (Oh… and her husband?  He’s not so much like that … God knew I needed a spouse like Sharon!  Drive’s me “nuts” sometimes, but I’m getting better I think.)  When Sharon tackles a task and finally utters the words, “Well that’s done – I’m finished with that!” or “OK… good enough!” … It really is!  It’s quite an accomplishment!

Sharon finishing something up to her standards is one thing – Christ’s completion of our salvation is quite another!  Here’s what the inspired writer of Hebrews had to say about that…

“By God’s will we have been sanctified [set apart and made holy] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL!  Every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when Christ had offered FOR ALL TIME A SINGLE SACRIFICE FOR SINS, HE SAT DOWN at the right hand of God… FOR BY A SINGLE OFFERING He has perfected FOR ALL TIME those who are being sanctified!” (from Hebrews 10:10-14)

There it is… Christ’s sacrifice – His offering of His own blood as the sacrifice adequate to cleanse us from our sin, satisfy the righteous demands of a holy God, and save us, was decisive – a “once for all” sacrifice – a completely adequate redemptive act!  After all, John’s gospel reports, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished (to fulfill the Scripture) … said, ‘IT IS FINISHED!’ bowed His head and gave up His spirit!” (John 19:28-30)  He insured that our salvation was fully adequate – complete in every detail!  I’m grateful for a God of detail aren’t you?

Don’t throw in the towel! Use it to wipe the blood, sweat and tears off your face and keep running!

Don't Throw in the towel!

Don’t know what you may be facing today… A severe trial, an unjust accusation, the results of a disaster, poverty, aching loneliness, abandonment, pain… even death! Some of those things are the very kinds of things the readers of Hebrews in your Bible were facing! Many Bible scholars believe this Biblical book was written to Jews who had put their trust in Jesus as their Messiah and then were going through “hell on earth!” The temptation they faced was to “throw in the towel,” give up, and abandon their faith in Christ Jesus as their Messiah!

So here’s the deal… if some of the issues and situations I cataloged at the beginning of the previous paragraph are things you’re facing today, I recommend that you read the following paragraph from Hebrews 10…

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him! For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:19–25 New Living Translation)

Here’s the bottom line! We need the Lord! He’s the only One that can help us! And guilty sinners as we are, He has cleansed us from our sin and opened up a way for us to gain access into His presence in prayer without fear. And we also need each other! When we’re going through severe testing, temptation or trial the last thing we need to do is absence ourselves from fellow Christians and miss church! Hey, don’t throw in the towel and give up… He’s coming soon!!!

%d bloggers like this: