Hebrews 11, Genesis 4, Genesis 6-9, Genesis 17
Putting pen to paper for the first blog of 818 Ministries is humbling. My prayer is that God makes Himself known through what He puts on the hearts of all of our contributors. We have some awesome women leading us to the feet of Jesus through talking about various topics. In February, we are tackling faith.
Today, we are talking about what I like to call the New Testament’s “Honor Roll” of the Old Testament. Hebrews 11. This passage is overflowing with examples of folks who chose obedience rather than convenience and chose a step of faith rather than a life of total certainty. As I began to journal about this passage, two words kept showing themselves again and again. Even though. I’ll explain.
The first person spoken of in this chapter is Abel. Most of us know the story of Adam and Eve’s children, Cain and Abel, and Abel bringing God a better sacrifice than Cain. But was it really a competition? Both brothers knew God’s command. One acted in total faith. The other acted in unbelief. One obeyed God. The other chose not to. This teaches me that, in many ways, faith and obedience are synonymous words. Faith is obedience acted out and obedience is acting in faith. So – Abel obeyed in faith even though his brother, Cain, chose not to.
What area of your life can you choose obedience to God despite
the people around you choosing the opposite?
The next story that really spoke to me is the story of Noah. He was warned of something he had not seen yet and spent 120 years building a huge ark simply because God said so. He did not ask “Why?” or even the common, “Why me, God?”. So – Noah obeyed in faith even though the circumstances promised to him by God had never occurred before.
In what way could God be calling you to obedience
in a way He never has before? Take that next step of faith
whether it be teaching a small group, starting a ministry
or ministering to a sick friend or neighbor.
Then comes Abraham, who was called to a land he had never seen before to make him the father of many nations. So – Abraham obeyed in faith even though he did not know where he was going.
(We have another day set aside to study Abraham’s life – just wait a couple weeks.)
The personal challenge I heard loud and clear from Jesus in this passage is, “Rebecca, what is after your even though? Is it insecurity? Fear?”
Rebecca obeyed in faith even though ____________.
Put your name at the beginning of that statement. What is at the end of your even though? Don’t be thrown off if more than one thing comes to mind. The closer we lean into Jesus the more we realize where our weaknesses are. But that also means we are closer to the Source of true strength.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10, NIV)