Write the Future
Father God, I thank You for all those You have used in my life to build my faith in You.
Read Hebrews 11:1-19
 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.  And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own.  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.  Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.  By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”  Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow would you explain the meaning of faith here?
So begins the roll call of champions so familiar to our Hebrew readers and perhaps to us. Each person here kept standing under pressure and received a reward from God for it. The author is encouraging us to do the same. There are some big truths about faith here. For instance: without faith it is impossible to please God (5,6); faith is what leads to righteousness (7); faith is the secret to obedience (8,9). For me one stands out. In v. 4, it says, “Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith” (NLT). For the World Cup in 2010, Nike ran a TV ad using a new slogan, “Write the future.” In it, Nike cast several of today’s soccer hall-of-famers, showing what might happen if they did or did not play well. The point of the ad was clear: history was about to be written on the basis of those defining moments on the field. Faith is how we make our mark on history. It’s choosing to believe God in our own defining moments. History began at God’s initiative (3) but our part in the action really matters.
In what ways can you imagine your obedience affecting the outcome of your life and your witness for Christ?
Lord Jesus, I want to be a champion for You. Help me grow in faith and stand firm for You.
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