Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 01-02-23

When you think about your faith, do you connect it to your obedience to God and to His Word?

If you look up the Biblical definition of faith, you will most likely be directed to the first verse of today’s passage from Hebrews 11: “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” So, if you and I are being faithful to God, we are obeying His Word for every aspect of our life. That means our very life should cling to the reality of our hopeful faith in Christ Jesus, and we must submit our souls to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so we can become more disconnected to this temporal realm (earth) and more and more connected to God in our Eternal Home (Heaven).

During yesterday’s sermon, Pastor Mary reminded us that “Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith” and that “our faith is a big deal with God”. She went on to talk about today’s passage and how it outlines for us the Biblical heroes of faith. She reminded us that, “Jesus knows that you and I will need to be Champions of faith”, and so the writer of Hebrews reminds us of what Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah did, because we too need to be ‘Great Examples (or Heroes) of Faith’ and we need to learn from them and our other brothers and sisters within scripture.

Back in 2021 “The Dash” by: Linda Ellis was shared during a Bible study. I included the poem at the end of this devotion. If you’ve never read or heard it, it’s definitely worth the read. “The Dash” is basically the time that God has granted our earthly existence in-between our physical birth and our physical death. When I think about “The Dash” for Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah, I am in awe that almost two millennia after their physical presence, each of them remains to be great examples of thriving faith. Their legacies are all about God and His Kingdom and it has all to do with the fact that each of them was obedient to God and firmly rooted in their faith to Him.

Hebrews 11:1-12 (NLT)
Great Examples of Faith

1Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.

5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

7 It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith.

8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being the perfect example of faith. Help us to be more and more like You and to continue to learn from our brothers and sisters of faith that You have given to us throughout scripture. Grow us in our obedience to You and to Your Word this new year. We want to be champions of faith for You and to extend our faith in You out to others, so that we can be a part of growing Your Kingdom, because that is the legacy we wish to leave, one that is all about You, Jesus. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.

The Dash
By: Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning…to the end

He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worth

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?

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