Friday, January 30, 2015

Heroes of the Faith Part 4

Heroes of the Faith
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40

The author of Hebrews is not saying that those Old Testament heroes of the faith who did not receive what was promised somehow missed out on God's blessings. Just because some of them died while being tortured, some lost their kingdoms, and some didn't see fulfillment of prophecies while they were alive doesn't mean they failed or got ripped off by God.

You see, all of these people of faith entered the afterlife with great reward. But it was not until us, the age of the church, that the work was completed. It was not until Christ's work on the cross that perfection of true sinlessness was attained.

The Bible shows us that before the cross, those people who were counted righteous by faith went to Paradise. But although Paradise was a place of comfort (Luke 16:25), it was not in heaven, it was in the center of the earth, across a large chasm from Hades, the place of fire and torment.

It was not until Christ was crucified that the sins of those faithful were paid for. It was then that he led those Old Testament saints to heaven, giving them the true gift of resurrection into eternal life.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw Therefore off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

Let's make this personal. How can we be God’s heroes by living by faith?

By faith you make a commitment to worship at church each Sunday.

By faith you make being a part of a small group a priority in your life.

By faith you dedicate yourself to an ongoing ministry within the church.

By faith you give at least 10 percent of your income to Christ and His church.

By faith you teach your children the Scriptures, by reading them Bible stories

By faith you get involved in discipling others and find that great joy of Christ of pouring your life into the lives of a few other people.

By faith you invite friends, coworkers, relatives and neighbors to join you to grow and serve and be a blessing to others.

By faith you … You fill in the blanks. Forgive your spouse, discipline your children, adopt a child, accept rejection and mocking for Christ's sake, stand alone for God's honor when everyone else seems to be going with the crowd, replace a job that expected you to compromise with another job that doesn't make as much, but let's you have a clear conscience. By faith you pray, read your Bible, worship God, and seek to share the gospel. It's all by faith! Faith in what? Faith in the reality of who God is and what God has said in His word and done in our lives.

Be a hero for God by faith.

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

The Blooms
Moving In Help
Kael & Sara Bloom and family will be moving back to Hays around 12 noon THIS SATURDAY. The address of the new house is 2021 Metro Lane (over by Sternberg museum). They would sure appreciate our help in cleaning, organizing, and of course moving everything in.

Sara says, “We don't have a lot of stuff so if there's lots of hands it won't take long at all, 30 mins to an hour max! Thank you for everything! We can't wait for Saturday!

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