SERIES: FINDING THE FAITH WE NEED
LESSON: WHEN FAITH MET ENDURANCE
READING: HEBREWS 11:1-12
INTRO: When Jesus called his early disciples he told them he would make them fishers of men and they soon understood that it mean leaving all behind- home, family, friends, the dog, the business. Later, when some men made reasonable excuses, he reminded them that he will not accept second place. They would have to leave all else and be aligned with Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus is difficult, demanding and dangerous. For the most part that has escaped us. If we have not experienced any of these, perhaps we need to take inventory since the Bible plainly says, "All who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution."
There is no better place to see the struggles and victories in the Christian life, than in the letter called "Hebrews." It was written by someone whose identity is not known to us, to encourage Jewish Christians particular, but many of the struggles and temptations to quit are ours too.
Try to imagine hearing Jesus say, "My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it" -Luke 8:20,21, when someone informed him that his family had arrived. Some Jewish people heard that message and turned to follow Jesus, committing and submitting their lives to him. Then trouble came. It was not exactly like our situation and can't be. We can easily distinguish between our spiritual and physical family. But theirs had been one of the same since the nation began, going back to Moses with ties reaching to Abraham. Now, when one of them was asked to make a choice, it was nearly impossible to do, but something they must do. Jesus provided a new way to become a child of God and it was through faith in Him (cf. Gal. 3:26,27), thereby eliminating their old way of serving God. This new way was of faith from beginning to end. cf. Rom. 1:17.
Are you there yet? Do you hold the church above your biological family? When decision time comes, is it easy for you to say, "Sorry, I have an appointment today with God's family?"
Faith is found about 40 times in the letter called "Hebrews." Why? They had become discouraged and were in danger of returning to their old religion which was Christless and therefore, worthless. They needed to be reintroduced to that which includes believing in the unseen.
· FAITH IS THE REAL THING IN EVERY WAY (Hebrews 11:1)
· FAITH MAKES HEROES AND HEROINES OF REGULAR PEOPLE- V. 2
· FAITH ACTUALLY ALLOWS US TO KNOW HOW THE UNIVERSE CAME TO BE
EXERCISES FOR US ALL THIS WEEK
1. Read Hebrews Chapter 11
2. Make a list of the might acts of God
3. Find out how each person named acted out of faith in God
4. Attempt to recall what was said about the two controlling phrases in verse 1:
a. Assurance of hope
b. Conviction of things not seen
5. Try practicing your faith in God in your station in life.