Today’s devotion is the first part of Hebrews 11. In the previous chapter, a warning and a word of encouragement were given specifically to “those who have faith”; and now a direct definition of faith and examples are given in a letter to the Hebrews, and to all believers.
So, what is faith? Everyone talks about it, but how many people actually live out the true Biblical meaning of godly faith each and every moment of their life?
We read the “definition” of faith within the first three verses of today’s passage; and it’s clear that faith is not simply knowing a few Bible verses and believing that God exists. Rather, godly faith is based on trust. In order to truly trust God, we have to intimately know Him. The only way we do that is by daily growth in His Word, by understanding our direct oneness with God’s Son, Jesus, through our salvation, by growing in the understanding that our existence is not in this world but is eternal in God’s Kingdom, by our obedience to all that God has revealed through warnings and promises in the Word and not picking and choosing how we live, but by living out ALL of the Word for ALL to witness. Once we are on this path, we are growing in our godly faith.
Below, we see that “by faith” a few Biblical brothers set the example within the Old Testament for us:
· By faith, Abel was commended as righteous (v. 4)
· By faith, Enoch was commended as having pleased God (v. 5)
· By faith, Noah received righteousness (v. 7)
The faith of these men points us directly to our own salvation in Jesus. The only reason anyone can be righteous is because Jesus is righteous and by faith we share in His righteousness. The only way anyone can be pleasing to God, is because Jesus is pleasing to God and by faith, we share in that same spirit of being pleasing to God. Simply put, faith joins us to Jesus. Friends, we want to be joined to Jesus by faith, because in Him and only Him will you and I be carried through the judgment of God. I don’t know about you, but I want my Master to be full of praise and to hear Him say: ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful…’ (Matt 25:21).
Hebrews 11:1-7 NLT
Great Examples of Faith
1 Faith 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.
Prayer: Jesus, Thank You for being the One who helps me to grow with You. Please strengthen my faith and keep me focused on eternity with you and make me strong in the spirit against this dark and failing world. I love You, Lord, and I ask this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.