October 01, 2011

By Faith

Hebrews 11:1-12

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
Hebrews 11:1-2


This month we take a journey of discovery by looking at some of the Bible’s “heroes of faith.” As we begin, we should note that today’s reading is marked by a repeated phrase of introduction: “By faith…” The author of the book of Hebrews does not want any confusion of focus. Many of the people he identifies are so well known that our focus can quickly turn to those people and their memorable words or actions. But the writer wants us to know that it is not people but God who is great.

By faith in God, an adventure begins for ordinary people who are equipped by God for his extraordinary purposes. Can we identify with this type of faith? The atmosphere of faith-filled living overflows with hope and certainty. Hope looks ahead to the fulfillment of God’s promises, and certainty stems from the security of God’s love and faithfulness. By faith we trust in the one true God alone.

As we journey together this month, we’ll see that “faith history” spans the centuries. But as we enter into “what the ancients were commended for,” we must avoid thinking that these stories are simply for historical review. Each story challenges us to understand that life by faith is available for all who believe today, for all who hope in God and follow his call in an uncertain world.

God of time and eternity, thank you for inviting us to be yours through the adventure of faith. May our hope and certainty rest in you alone. Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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