Saturday, December 31, 2016

Hebrews Chapter Eleven: 5

“…he was pleasing to God” (Hebrews 5:5).

Is there anything more that we could desire than to be pleasing to God? This is the testimony that God gives to those who trust in Him. This is the testimony of the Father to the Son, “This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him…” (Hebrews 11:6). The faith of Hebrews Chapter 11 is a faith manifested in the heart, the mind, the soul, the body. It is a faith lived out in daily life, in word, in action, in thought, in affection. Enoch “walked with God” (Genesis 5:24), and Noah “walked with God” (Genesis 6:9) – Noah and Enoch moved in God, they lived in God, they knew koinonia with God. The writer of Hebrews is able to describe what faith looks like by describing the lives of the men and women recorded in Chapter 11.

“…for he who comes to God must believe that He is…” (Hebrews 11:6). We can to come to God and not believe that He is, or we can come to God and believe that He is – which will it be? We should not assume that just because we come to God, that just because we move in the direction of God, that we believe that He is. This is, I admit, a curious thought. How many churches have people who don’t really believe that “God is”? They are there on Sunday; they recite the creeds, they sing the songs, they may teach a class – but their movement toward God is more a movement toward an idea, an ethic, a tradition, a social practice, or a sense of “spirituality”, than it is toward an actual Person who rewards those who seek Him.

“…He is a rewarder of those who seek Him,” (11:6). We must not only believe that “He is” but also that “He is a rewarder”. In other words, we must believe that God is going to respond to us. Why would I speak to someone who will not respond? Why would I communicate with someone who will not reply? When I call a phone number it is with the expectation that someone will say “hello”. When I send an email it is with the expectation that someone will write back. When I knock on my neighbor’s door it is with the hope that he will answer. Jesus encourages us to ask, to seek, and to knock – He tells us that if we will do these things that we will receive a response.

If we were created for relationship with God, if we were created to worship Him, to enjoy Him, to love Him; and if the Lamb has restored our relationship with our heavenly Father – then should we not expect and anticipate a response when we approach God? Especially when we consider that He is the One initiating the relationship by His mercy and grace in Jesus Christ?

Abel, Enoch, Noah – God testified that these men lived in faith, palpable faith – faith manifested in flesh and blood, faith living in beating hearts, in minds that were alive with the fire of fellowship with God. One was murdered because of his faith, one was “taken up” because of his faith, one built an ark because of his faith (how foolish that must have looked!) and saved his family and animals. 

What do our offerings look like? What does our walk with God look like? What ark are we building for the salvation of others?

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