Celebrating the Faith of Jesus in Us!
The Faith of Jesus in us keeps God the focus no matter what.
Advent 1: Hope: Jesus brings hope into the world. “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (put it out). John 1:4-5
A Verse to Remember:
He kept on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible. Hebrews 11:27b.
Gospel Story: Matthew 26:31-35 Peter’s Bold Moment with Jesus.
Today’s Scripture: Hebrews 11:33-39
33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. 35 Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. 36 Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 37 Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. 38 They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
Isn’t it amazing that walking “by faith” includes our experience of both answered and unanswered promises of God. I think most of us like faith that looks like “weakness” being “turned to strength”. But when weakness stays as weakness, or our freedom in Christ results in torture, a life on the run or in hiding to avoid persecution, this doesn’t seem like a life of faith….does it? BUT IT IS! What God Faith keeps your eyes on him who is invisible.
It’s he faith of Jesus in us keeps God the focus not matter what! we will learn more about that in chapter 12. For the present however, as our Gospel story and the author of Hebrews makes clear is that faith isn’t always measured by earthly success. It is simply a matter of keeping your eyes on the prize…Jesus! Whether we are visibly victorious or defeated—it seems what matters to God more than any outcome is that our faith remains!
When the author says, “all these people earned a good reputation because of their faith” he means all of them —the complete list from vs 33 to 38… “all of them”. And there’s more, “none of them received all that God had promised”…. Wow ponder all that.