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Hebrews 11:1-16 (NIV)
Faith in Action
11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith, Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith, he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith, he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith, even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
God has prepared a city for people of faith. What do you learn about faith in this passage?
Holy God, I stand in awe at these people who trusted and followed You in total faith. Today’s people are skeptical of the unknown. We are constantly aware and on guard due to scams, phone calls, phishing emails that with the incorrect response it can cost you your credit, your safety or your identity. So having faith in what is unseen can be a scary prospect. But You Lord, are trustworthy. You have proven through the lives of faithful people, like those listed in these verses that You are true to Your Word and never leave the side of anyone who trusts You. I want to be like that. I want to hear Your voice and follow Your will even if I don’t know for sure that it will be profitable for me, or leave a legacy or even be comfortable to do. Help me to follow You in faith in a way that it doesn’t matter if I see the results, or understand what You are doing, but to take the risk to follow You anyway. Allow me to focus on the day when all things will be seen and You will let all things known in heaven. Lord, I want to please you today. I earnestly seek you. Amen.