Living by Faith

The Loveland Reporter Herald printed a story about the tribute at Northern Colorado Rehab and Acute Care Hospitals. You can find the article by following the link below:

It is nice to have sunny day after all the rain we have received. I will need to mow my grass later this evening to stay on top of the  growth. I had a dentist appointment today and ran some errands while I was out. I actually filled my car with gas, that is the first time since I was hospitalized last summer. Another first was stopping by Sonic during their afternoon “happy hour” and picking up (at half price) a cherry slush! It took me about year, but I made it. You might recall that one of the things I was requesting in the hospital even when I was on life support and only allowed a few ice chips, was a slush from Sonic.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Hebrews 11:1,6

The first “sermon” I preached was when I was about 11 years old. It was a children’s church service and I read Hebrews 11:1 about the importance of faith. I’m not sure what I said in that lengthy five minutes that felt like five hours, but now almost 50 years later the importance of faith to me is as real as ever.

In this chapter we see faith defined in words and then in the illustration of lives throughout Biblical history. This “Hall of Faith” as it has been called includes some you would expect and some you would not. For example Samson is mentioned. The strong man of the Bible seemed to have more confidence in his natural strength, but we see that he had faith in God’s consistency in his life.

Faith is critical to have relationship with God and it is critical in our life of following and serving the Lord. I like the simplicity of verse 6. To please God or to draw near to Him you must believe that He exists (seems simple enough) and that He rewards those who diligently (NKJV) seek Him. I believe the Lord is a “rewarder” and not one who steals our joy, health and life. Some may struggle at times to believe that God is a good God. The circumstances that arise that bring those doubts are opportunities to show true faith, just as those who are called to our attention in Hebrews 11. It is our challenge to be diligent seekers after the Lord and not just casual inquirers.

Faith is not always getting what you want. I believe we can ask God boldly in faith for our needs and any issue that confronts our life. We need to pray and keep praying. We need to believe and keep believing.

However, I notice twice in this chapter the writer points us to the reality that faith is not just about this life. It is about being a citizen of heaven.

“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth…And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised….”   Hebrews 11:13, 39

These verses remind us that, at times, the fulfillment of our faith, as in Abraham and Sarah, is found in the generations that follow. Some times we receive in this life the miraculous through faith. It also reminds us that our faith is about the eternal and not just the “external.” So we fix our eyes on Jesus and we set our course on the future that He has promised for us. And that takes faith. Bold, persistent, life-changing faith.

And If I were sharing this as a “sermon” it would take longer than five minutes.