Friday, August 05, 2016

It's not if you live by faith, but faith in what

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Hebrews 11:1-16

"Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses." Hebrews 11:1 AMP

The last bit of Hebrews 11:1 from the Amplified Bible is as good a definition of faith as any: "Perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses."

It's interesting to go through our faith chapter reading today and pick out the verbs / actions associated with faith shown by these heroes of the Christian faith. As we do that, let's apply these actions to our own lives of faith.

* "For by it (faith) the elders obtained a good testimony" - Hebrews 11:2.
or, as the Amplified puts it: "For by [faith]… the men of old had divine testimony borne to them" - Hebrews 11:2 AMP.
Interesting, especially the "had divine testimony borne to them." I apply this as us acknowledging that God is involved with life and our world. When looking at life through that lens, God Himself gives us understanding of its purpose. It also applies to us having faith in the "testimony" (the scriptures) that was "borne" (revealed) to those "elders."

* "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God" - Hebrews 11:3.
We take the narrative of beginnings that accepts God as the creator by faith.

* "By faith Abel offered… a sacrifice" - Hebrews 11:4.
We worship God and perform any acts of a religious or spiritual nature by faith.

* "By faith Enoch was taken away" - Hebrews 11:5.
We accept God's sovereignty in setting the boundaries of our lives—their beginnings and endings, by faith. (This is so relevant to current life in Canada, where doctor assisted suicide has just been made legal.)

* "By faith Noah … prepared an ark" - Hebrews 11:7.
We build stuff by faith.

* "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out…" Hebrews 11:8.
We obey by faith, to the extent of moving when we're not even sure where we'll end up (at least that was Abraham's experience).

* "By faith he (Abraham) dwelt …" Hebrews 11:9.
We stay where we are by faith.

* "By faith he (Abraham) … waited" Hebrews 11:10.
We wait by faith.

"By faith Sarah … received strength to conceive" Hebrews 11:11.
We have families, passing on the gift of life, by faith. For women that can mean a nine-month program of working on faith fitness!

By our definition of faith ("perceiving as real fact what is not perceived by the senses"), so much of every life is faith. No matter what our belief system, we'll be putting our faith in something: ourselves, our government, the social safety net, science, medicine, God. So it's not if we live by faith, but faith in what?
I have chosen to put my faith in God. What about you?

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to live all of life with the awareness of Your presence in it. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (

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