Tag Archives: Hebrews 11

Finding Our Super Powers

Below is the teen lesson I’ll use for tomorrows Sunday School program where I teach 9-12th grades. It’s certainly a suitable study for adults as well, after all, I teach these teens as the spiritually mature adults they are. On more than one occasion they’ve taught me.

Most days I feel like the underdog. I fail, I fall, I get up and try again. I leap in faith only to look more like a leap frog than leaping a building in a single bound. I venture a guess I’m not alone. I’ve yet to meet a saint of God (at least any I cared to be around) who thought they were an absolute success. Servitude brings a humility that allows us to remember who ­­the real super Hero is: The Lord Jesus Christ! But even the bible recognizes the making of a hero. We’re not super heroes, but yet we too have the potential to be a hero by using the power within us. We (or at least I) fail to remember that it’s never me who has the ability to make things happens when leading souls to Christ or serving God in any capacity. But rather the Holy Spirit.

The rollcall of heroes in the book of Hebrews gives me great hope that God can use someone like me. So what is our role on the roll and what is our superpower.

One of my Dad’s favorite verses was Hebrews 11:1 ~

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Superpower #1 – Seeing the Unseen

Other Christians see things in me that I don’t see. Or I don’t have the faith in my abilities to bring them to fruition. But if we view life through the vantage point of God what are the unseen things we’d see? And how do we see them?

Hebrews 1:3

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

What unseen things do you “see” in creation?

When I think of framing I think of an incomplete project. God created this world by speaking it into existence. “Framed by the word of God.” But there is still work to do. We are that work for which we do by stepping and leaping in faith to show others to Christ.

Why do you think that unsaved people, especially those in the field of science, struggle with believing in God’s creation?

Superpower # 2 – Willing to Kill

The first hero mentioned in the book of Hebrews 11 is Abel. His super power was a righteous kill.

Hebrews 11:4

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Abel killed in obedience. Cain on the other hand killed out of jealous and pride and the killing was of his own brother.

Why was Abel’s killing of the sacrifice righteous?

Is that hard for us to understand, especially if we are critter lovers?

Of course it is! But it may be a little less difficult for those of us who are not vegetarian. We can understand the sacrifice a critter makes for us to have a hamburger.

Abel’s refusal to sacrifice an animal was his unwillingness to recognize that sin required a blood covering. It still does. But Christ made that final sacrifice on the cross.

The death now is our own. We are dead to ourselves and alive in Christ!

Superpower # 3 – God Pleasers

Hebrews 11:5

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

What can we do that would please God and allow the world to see this superpower?

One thing for certain, without faith we will not please God. Hebrews 11:6 says

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe00 th0at he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

If by seeking God, it pleases Him, how do we seek Him? And how does seeking Him show faith?

Superpower #4 – Boat Builders

Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

In that day, that was more than a little bit crazy. From this side of it we know how wise he was, but at that point it had never rained one drop.

Sometimes if we want to be obedient to God’s calling we have to be a little bit crazy!

Have you, or do you know someone who’s been a little bit crazy?

Superpower #5 – Going to the unknown and believing the impossible

Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; he went out, not knowing whither he went.

Stepping out in faith isn’t for the faint of heart. Abraham had no idea where God was sending him, but he was willing to go.

Where would you fear God’s calling on your life? Has He called you to do something you now fear?

What country(s) would you fear being called to?

Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a  child when she was past age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

Sarah was 90 and Abraham 100 when Isaac was born. There is nothing that God cannot do?

Write down something that you struggle believing God will do in your life and then remember the principles of your superpowers!

Superpower #6 – Eternal Living

Hebrews 11:20-22

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

All these men knew that there was an eternity to live for. Until their dying breath they handed down that legacy. We should never stop believing that we need to tell people about Jesus.

How should an eternal mindset cause us to live?

Superpower #7 – Facing the Fire and Water

Hebrews 11:

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Moses stood before the fire when God called him out of the burning bush and he stood before the Red Sea believing through the power of God they’d get through it. Even as an infant he was placed in harms way. All this is evidence that even the chosen children of God are not immune to heart aches and danger. His own family rejected his wife and gossiped behind his back, but God took care of it all.

How does this encourage you in your everyday life?

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Superpower #8 – Girl power!

Hebrews 11:31

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

God doesn’t only use men for the higher powers. Rahab is listed as a “harlot” and yet she is in the lineage of Jesus Christ. What does that tell us about the people God will use for the Kingdom’s glory?

Rahab and her family’s life was spared because she believed in the God of Abraham and protected His people. She truly had girl power to face certain death if she was caught. She also proved that God can use people even with questionable pasts.

Paul went onto mention more heroes of the faith, but what we might find when we get to Heaven is that in a book of the things we’ve done for Christ we too are mentioned as heroes of the faith!

The Difference Between Flatland and Mountaintop Faith

Traveling both far north and far south of West Virginia will take you into the flatlands of the United States. And while that countryside is most beautiful, and my time there is always enjoyed, I much prefer the hills of West Virginia. At least until the first snow and I risk sliding off a mountain side. But it is currently spring, and although snowflakes still occasionally fall; if you wait 20 minutes the sun is likely to shine again and all signs of winter are gone. Our trees are budded, tulips are coming up and the hedges are green. Our hope is renewed that we will feel the warmth of the summer sun soon and very soon. As I type those words, I hear my friend Walter, who’s received the promise of Heaven singing that song “Soon and Very Soon, we are going to see the King!” Well he now sees. His faith has been made sight.

I often mention Walter, because Walter changed the fabric of my life. He was in his seventies when he joined our congregation. A black, retired, Pentecostal pastor who made his home, and his doctrine that of Victory Baptist Chruch for several years. Worshiping with a 98% white congregation. Color was not an issue for him or us. Walter brought a mountain top experience to our church and taught us to worship more freely. He was downright fun!

So what is the difference between flatland and mountain top faith?

Hebrews 11:1-2

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

A Good Report

The elders of the bible believed the promise of the Messiah as spoken by the prophets of old. They didn’t have the privilege of our vantage point of looking back on the cross with the evidences of scripture and history, but they did have the future evidence of the spoken prophetic words coming alive right before them. If one of God’s prophets said the sky was falling, you’d better wear a helmet! But there is now such a variation in what preachers preach today, it is no wonder people are living in flatland faith. Flatland faith meaning, no mountaintop experiences. The world doesn’t know what to believe, there are few “Good Reports.” Billy Graham has died, and there are few of such a stable nature coming up behind him. And even fewer with fire. And far too many “self-professing saints” with a lifestyle that is more apt to be found in Satan’s camp, than in Christ’s.

A Good Testimony

Hebrews 11:3-5

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

I have to ask myself, what sacrifices am I making for the cause of Christ? Please don’t misunderstand, I speak not of works for salvation, which cannot be done. Salvation was paid for at the cross. But by works I refer to that which I do which has a testimony from the grave. What do I do that has eternal reward? The only thing that’s going to make it into Heaven by my hand, is a soul that I lead to Christ or a saint for which I’ve encouraged by knowing the word of God. Too few people have evidence of a good testimony. A part of which is an excitement and zeal for the cause of Christ. I remember Walter and glorify God, because Walter encouraged me while he was here. Like Abel, “being dead yet speaketh!”

A Good Reward

Hebrews 11:6

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

I’m by no stretch of the imagination a “super saint.” Lord have mercy on my soul, I fail Him often. But I desire and seek the mountain top experiences believing that God is a rewarding of those who do. Troubles come, but God is so faithful that even in the troubled times, His presence is a mountain top experience. Knowing that I do not have to go it alone. Hallelujah!!

Chapter 11 is the testimony of the heroes of the faith who lived in faith, not knowing what I know, but believing it would be because God said it was so. They believed not seeing. I believe because I’ve seen. I’ve seen saints live it out. Do others see it in me? Do they see it in you?

Get excited! Our future is amazing!

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This blog is in it’s 8th year. Hosted on godaddy.com for the past five. Expenses incurred for the operation of this site are without complaint and with gratitude for the opportunity. If the Lord would impress you to give to help cover some recent technology issues, I’d be grateful. I’ve not been in the world’s workforce for 3 years and for that I glorify God. It’s given me the opportunity to not only write and work on music, but minister to nursing home patients, volunteer in the Christian School teaching art and help other ministries with marketing. All of which require technology, communication, time and gasoline. Again it’s without complainT… but just in case you have a desire to help, or have “extra money” 🙂 Know that I would be eternally grateful.

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What More Can I say?

My God is so Big

Hebrews 11:32a –  And what shall I more say?

The writer of Hebrews asks that question and this morning so do I? I wake up and my mind is pummeled with doubt and frustration and the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart, “Have you looked back at your life lately? When have I ever failed you?” If you’re a child of God that statement just hit you like a ton of bricks. Because God has never failed you. But then I say to you shuck off the bricks, Jesus carries our load.

The writer, who I assume to be Paul, continues on with examples. (vs. 32b-40)

For the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.  Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.  Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Time would fail me as well if I told you of the many times that Jesus pulled my fanny from the fire. Often times with my back pockets singed because I’d just about waited too long to ask Him for help. I hear the song in my mind (Oddly enough it’s the Veggie Tale version) – “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” That’s not a cartoon quote, that’s bible!

Psalm 66:1-4

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

God knew the Veggie Tales before they were famous. And He knows you and I, and He knows our heartaches and struggles. He has fought our foes, He has shut the mouth of the lions that we were sure would devour us, He has stopped that fire that crackling the thread on our pockets and delivered us time and time again. If you’re honest you can recall, because you remember what an awesome feeling it was when you were raised to life again!

I love, love, love verse 40 where God says “God having provided some better thing for us.” How awesome is that!

Glory I just wrote myself happy!

Are you struggling with something today? As my finger hits the last key on this blog, I’m praying for you. I’m asking my God (and yours) Who is so great and so mighty, believing there is nothing my God cannot do.

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What Fear and Faith have in Common

faith and fear

Fear. Even the word causes my heart to flutter a little anxiously. It causes a broad path of memories to be explored of the many times in my life I’ve faced very real adversaries. For the past twenty years many of those battles have been on the spiritual realm. I can think of one physical time of facing a drive home from work through twenty miles of perilous rock slides, water crossings and downed trees that I feared physical harm, a few snowy roads I don’t care to travel again and perhaps a Doctor’s appointment or two that I feared the results, but the fears I face in life are usually of the circumstantial variety that leave the future’s direction questionable. It’s where decisions are made that can change the course of life and making the wrong one could lead to heartache.

Another thing about traveling the road of salvation for twenty years is that I’ve learned the first place I should turn to for direction is in the Word of God. But it’s a big book! And although it’s worked a time or two, opening the Bible willy nilly to a random spot probably isn’t the way God wants you to seek His guidance. It’s why taking time with God’s word is important because you never know when you’ll need to recall a scripture that will nudge your heart in the right direction. But perhaps you’re new to the word of God or you’re just not as well read as you’d like to be, I’ve been guilty of that too! What then?

First and foremost – Pray. Ask God to direct you in your search for truth, peace, answers. He is faithful!!! Talk to Him as you search your way through. Google the topic matter for which you’re struggling with a bible verse search (i.e. – Bible verses for fear) You’ll get great results! But God may want you and He alone to search the scriptures out, be willing to take that path too.

This morning as I face an encounter with uncertainty I began on one trail, and then another and another. I’m always praying for a sign, preceded by the words “I know it’s wrong Lord… but could you give me a sign?” When the Pharisee’s sought a sign they were trying to disprove Jesus, and He called them an evil, adulterous generation. I’m not seeking that kind of sign but more than a sign, I sought hope. If you’re in a trial or have been in a recent one you know where I’m coming from, you just want to know it’ll be alright and the only One capable of telling you that is Jesus Christ. Because He controls the world. So I look to Him for my hope.

And there on the second or third trail I went down my hope was found in Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

That’s an awesome verse! But more than that it had numerical meaning to me. 419 is my husband’s unit number when he serves for the Emergency Medical Services in Calhoun County and my fear concerns him. I’m not telling you that God will give you a sign, but I am telling you that He will give you the answers you desire. For me today that scripture spoke to my heart in a way the Lord knew I needed, so that I could move forward in faith and trust and not allow fear to be a stumbling block for this journey the Lord has me on.

Are you struggling with something this morning? Pray and ask God to reveal through His word what it is you stand in need of. Are you in need of prayer. Let me have the privilege of praying for you. Comment below and I’ll respond.

Hoping your day is blessed!!!!

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The “ology” of Faith and why we don’t receive

faith-road-wallpaper_1920x1200

There is a new term I learned today, ‘riskology.’ The study of risk taking and concurrence with your success in life.  Several websites claim their expertise on the subject, and while they may make good sense from a worldly standard I’m not sure it’s anything new. Just new speakology, the study of things to talk about. Totally made that up. I’m not an expert on anything really, except knowing that experts are a dime a dozen and require no proof other than a catchy title, snazzy marketing skills and the World Wide Web. Dadaaa! You’re an expert.

I myself prefer faithology. The study of God’s word and will for my life, which by the way is without risk. You’ll never go wrong seeking God in any circumstance in life. As a matter of fact it’s well advised. I only wish I always took my own advice. Imagine what it would look like if we began life as a small child asking God, “Should I do this, or should I not? What difference will this make in eternity? Does this glorify God or man? Is this right for me?” And then, glory to God, we waited for His answer and did what He said! But unfortunately human nature has more of a tendency to trust the web before seeking God. I would probably lose count of the number of times in a day I google a word, a product or idea. It’s handier than a pocket on a shirt, but God is so much handier, and nearer, and He never gets a glitch or comes up with 1,472,462 answers for you to sort through. Just one. The right one.

So why is it that we fail to seek His wisdom? Most likely, we’ve failed faithology.

Hebrews 11:1-6 ~  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The Test:

Question 1 – What does it take to receive what I’m hoping for?

Answer: Faith, plus nothing. (God speaks, stuff happens) Without limitation.

Question 2 – Are there any pre-requisites for stuff to happen?

Answer – Obedience. Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain because his was by faith that he offered a blood sacrifice, which God required. Abel’s was a works offering. How often do we put a pretty ribbon on a bad offering? We go to church, appearing to have the right relationship with God, but its only fruits and veggie faith. When it comes to the meat of the matter, committing ourselves to the full service of God, we choose rather to hand over the basket of produce than to risk the faith in allowing God to do with us what He chooses. Owch!

Ahhhh, but you said it was faith plus nothing, why then was there a second question? Because God knows, that without a right relationship with Him our faith will fail, and a right relationship requires obedience.

So, are you praying for something? Ask yourself “Can I look God in the eye and ask Him for it?” That question may change your desire.  Sometimes the things we desire, are not what we need, and we know it. And sometimes it’s not what we need because our relationship with God is out of kilter, and our focus is not on the things of Heaven, but rather on earth.

Did you pass the faithology exam?