II Corinthians 5:7 and Hebrews 11:1-35

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaks.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, 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 pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of 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 Through faith he kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of All
33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought 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, were valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of their enemies.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

Good Morning my Family, I love Hebrews chapter 11; it encourages my spirit, and helps me stand firm in faith in life’s most difficult circumstances.  In these scriptures from Hebrews 11 I have just shared, there are many amazing examples but for the sake of time I will only pick out a few instances to relate to in our walk down legacy lane.

How about we start with Noah; Noah is one of the heros named in Hebrews and our walk down the legacy lane.

Hebrews 11:7
It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before. By his faith Noah condemned the rest of the world, and he received the righteousness that comes by faith. (NLT)

Noah was known to be a righteous man. He was blameless among the people of his time. This does not mean Noah was perfect or sinless, but that he loved God with his whole heart and was fully committed to obedience. Noah’s life — his singular, unshakable faith in the midst of a faithless society — has much to teach us today.

Our second example in this walk is a long time married couple, Abraham and Sarah. Together they are called the Parents of the Jewish nation.  Abraham receives much more than a brief mention among the heroes of faith. A good deal of emphasis (from Hebrews 11:8-19) is given to this biblical giant and father of the Jewish nation.
One of Abraham’s most notable feats of faith occurred when he willingly obeyed God’s command in Genesis 22:2: “Take your son, your only son — yes, Isaac, whom you love so much — and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” (NLT) Abraham was fully prepared to slay his son, while fully trusting God to either resurrect Isaac or provide a substitute for sacrifice. That’s when God intervened and supplied the ram. The death of Isaac would have contradicted every promise God made to Abraham, so his willingness to perform this sacrifice of killing his son makes it the most dramatic example of faith and trust in God found in the entire Bible.

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, is one of only two women named among the heroes of faith in the Bible – interesting enough some translations, render the verse so that only Abraham receives credit.  But as we read in Hebrews 11:11 it says that it was by faith that Sarah was able to have a child, even though she was barren and way past her time. It says: She believed that God would keep his promise. (NLT)

Sarah waited long past child-bearing age to have a baby. At times she doubted and struggling to believe God would fulfill his promise. Losing hope, she took matters into her own hands. Like most of us, Sarah was looking at God’s promise from her limited, human perspective. But the Lord used her life to unfold an extraordinary plan, proving that God is never restricted by what usually happens. Sarah’s faith is an inspiration to every person who has ever waited on God to act upon his promises.

Another example in our Legacies of Faith walk is Jacob, one of the sons of Isaac -the son of the promise, the miracle child born to Abraham and Sarah. Jacob fathered 12 sons who became heads of the 12 tribes of Israel. One of his sons was Joseph, a key figure in the Old Testament. But Jacob started out as a liar, cheater, and manipulator. He struggled with God his entire life.  The turning point for Jacob came after a dramatic, all-night wrestling match with God. In the end, the Lord touched Jacob’s hip, and he was a broken man, but also a new man. God renamed him Israel, which means “he struggles with God.”

Hebrews 11:21
It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. (NLT)

The words “as he leaned on his staff” are of no small significance. After Jacob wrestled with God, for the rest of his days, he walked with a limp, and he gave over control of his life to God. As an old man and now a great hero of faith, Jacob “leaned on his staff,” thus demonstrating his hard-learned trust and dependence on the Lord.
My beloved family, just like those mentioned in this message today, we can all carry on the legacy of faith, we can all be shining examples of great faith and courage in the hearts and minds of those who come after us or are a part of our lives today.
Our children, our friends, our co-workers or our acquaintances, they all have the ability to watch and be affected by our actions and our words.  And to show great faith and be numbered among the founders of the Legacy of Faith is what all of us should be striving for.

So remember “Faith is the substance of the things we hope for the evidence of things we cannot see” and great is the reward for those who strive to acquire it and are remembered among all those mentioned in book of Hebrews.

Annie Van Kleek

 

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