Faith

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrew 12:1-2 NKJV

Faith. Faith. Faith.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Hebrews chapters 11 through 13 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).  As we are getting so close to the holidays – I am trying to keep this brief and give you something to think on, something learned, and let you go get everything ready for the holiday – but those who have gotten to know me, know it is terribly hard for me!!! Especially in a book full of faith and grace!

Let’s start with learning about the book and transition into something to think on.

The end of chapter 13 is why some people contribute the Book to Paul – the similarity in wording of wanting to see them.  The reference to being in Rome – well Paul says there is a whole council of believing Jews in Rome, maybe they wrote it. Luke is in Rome with them – although he is a gentile, there is a remote chance he wrote it on behalf of a Jewish counsel. And the reference to Timothy also lends people to think it is Paul. But Timothy was brought into the church leadership and became part of it so anyone in leadership might refer to Timothy. So the author of the book remains a mystery.

Chapter 11 is the “Faith Hall of Fame” – most simple idea is that faith was an action that was counted as faith and these people are the examples of the faith we must strive for. Most notably to me is – first and foremost, they have a relationship with God. Secondly, their faith amounts to obedience. Because they had a relationship, they knew and understood what God wanted and they obeyed. Faith equivalent to these people is not some sort of unattainable magical level of supernatural faith – no. it is simple and much less complicated than people make it. We can have the mustard seed level of faith – the small faith that moves mountains, when we stop making it harder than it is.  Faith is simply, God said it and I believe it and so I do it. Done. ß and that is the part you should think on. And ask God to show you where to be obedient and to help you obey.

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-29

With Bill Gate announcing that the worst is coming – remember, we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken! Bill gates does not shake God!

Do not fear man – fear God. God is a consuming FIRE and fire is about to fall from the heavens!!  With the White house placing the curse on America – saying we will all fall terribly sick, I have prayed to break that curse proclaim the work of the Lord and I counter with blessing all who believe with Mark 16:17-18!!! It is time for the fire of our God to flow through us and out over the people with healings!!!  Play time is over. Jesus came for THIS reason!

Do we believe or don’t we?  Is what the Bible says true? All of it? Of course. Period. The end. No more thought or doubt or philosophical reasoning on the matter. Decide today it is true and move on. Stop letting that be your stumbling block!

You have met the Lord – You have a relationship with Him – you KNOW Him. No one with an argument is at your mercy – YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE! However, there is a very real possibility you do not have a relationship and you do not have an experience (don’t stop reading yet). Please do not let another day or another moment go by without getting yourself right with God. Hell is very real and not meant for you. (Keep reading – do not be tempted to stop) Repent and get humble and ask God to forgive you through Christ Jesus and enter into a relationship – more on that will follow.

KEEP READING THIS = If you are remotely unsure (ask God to remove any unsureness)… If you have any doubt (caste off the spirit of doubt in the name of Jesus)… If you do not have an experience that causes you to say you not only know, but you KNOW that you know (ask)… If you need God to move and you need an experience (ask, ask, ask!)… Now is the time to pray and seek it. Chase it. Beg for it. Persist like the persistent widow. Ask, seek and knock! I promise you it is worth it. But you need to be quiet desperate for it and truly seeking it. God doesn’t just give out experiences like a circus show for unbelievers who aren’t truly seeking Him! He is NOT a genie in a bottle.  So have faith that God answers when called because His word says so – realize the problem is you. That is hard, but you may have unrepented sin in the way? Or Doubt that need repenting of. Or you might be too proud. Are you too loud to hear? Are you too insistent on your own way?
It is time! Time for the Fire of God to fall on us all and move – for the sake of our dying world, for the sake of the last of the lost who will turn to Christ, for the sake of those who need to be saved!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!   

Isaiah 55:8

NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
KJV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
NAS – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Hebrews 11-13 NKJV

By Faith We Understand

11 Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

By faith we understand that the [c]worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Faith at the Dawn of History

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Faithful Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she[d] bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

The Heavenly Hope

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off [e]were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

The Faith of the Patriarchs

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 [f]of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

The Faith of Moses

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the [g]passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the [h]reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures [i]in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

By Faith They Overcame

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who [j]did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, [k]were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

The Race of Faith

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the [l]author and [m]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Discipline of God

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

“My son, do not despise the [n]chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”

If[o] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no [p]chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Renew Your Spiritual Vitality

12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or [q]profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.

The Glorious Company

18 For you have not come [r]to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and [s]darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned [t]or shot with an arrow.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”)

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the [u]general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Hear the Heavenly Voice

25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I [v]shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we [w]may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Concluding Moral Directions

13 Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”

Concluding Religious Directions

Remember those who [x]rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried [y]about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might [z]sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, [aa]giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

17 Obey those who [ab]rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Prayer Requested

18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you [ac]complete in every good work to do His will, working in [ad]you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly.

24 Greet all those who [ae]rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you.

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 11:1 realization
  2. Hebrews 11:1 Or confidence
  3. Hebrews 11:3 Or ages, Gr. aiones, aeons
  4. Hebrews 11:11 NU omits she bore a child
  5. Hebrews 11:13 NU, M omit were assured of them
  6. Hebrews 11:18 to
  7. Hebrews 11:25 temporary
  8. Hebrews 11:26 reviling because of
  9. Hebrews 11:26 NU, M of
  10. Hebrews 11:31 were disobedient
  11. Hebrews 11:37 NU omits were tempted
  12. Hebrews 12:2 originator
  13. Hebrews 12:2 perfecter
  14. Hebrews 12:5 discipline
  15. Hebrews 12:7 NU, M It is for discipline that you endure; God
  16. Hebrews 12:11 discipline
  17. Hebrews 12:16 godless
  18. Hebrews 12:18 NU to that which
  19. Hebrews 12:18 NU gloom
  20. Hebrews 12:20 NU, M omit the rest of v. 20.
  21. Hebrews 12:23 festal gathering
  22. Hebrews 12:26 NU will shake
  23. Hebrews 12:28 M omits may
  24. Hebrews 13:7 lead
  25. Hebrews 13:9 NU, M away
  26. Hebrews 13:12 set apart
  27. Hebrews 13:15 Lit. confessing
  28. Hebrews 13:17 lead
  29. Hebrews 13:21 perfect
  30. Hebrews 13:21 NU, M us
  31. Hebrews 13:24 lead

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