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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Jul
14

The Faith of the "Some"

Kyle Lum

Scripture

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)

"Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. 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. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised." (Hebrews 11:36-39 NLT)

Observation

I bookended this devotion with the first and (almost) last verses of the "hall of faith". As I go through this chapter every time, I'm reminded of the definition of faith, as the author of Hebrews describes simply and clearly.

I memorized the NASB translation of it, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

As I move through this virtual hall of the heroes of faith in my mind, I see the names that are the foundational bedrock of faith; Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses...

Then I see the others less remembered but recalled when we hear their names; the judges...Gideon, Samson, Jephthah...King David...Samuel and the prophets...even Rahab the prostitute!

Then...as I move through this hall of huge displays memorializing the faith of the "greats", there is this quiet, empty looking section at the far end. It appears that there are no large chiseled names on this display. Just a blur of tiny lines in neat order.

But when one gets closer to this apparently blank section, it becomes crystal clear. Those tiny lines are actually strings of inscribed name after name after name...of ordinary people, who had extraordinary faith. The author of Hebrews describes them as "some".

Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Some were chained in prisons.

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.

Some wandered over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground.

Here's the clincher; "All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised."

For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us." (Hebrews 11:39-40 NLT)

These people in the hall of faith knew that God had something greater in mind, yet they themselves lived and died in faith, not receiving all that God promised.

We received that promise. We know what God had in mind. We today have Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith!

And in that same faith, our contemporary post-Jesus heroes are there; the twelve disciples of Christ, Stephen, Paul, Timothy, Titus, and so on...

Application

To be inducted into the hall of faith today, to be counted among the "some", we are so spoiled. Oftentimes, in today's context...we think it's the high-energy, spotlight, special effect, giant stage displays of faith that draw masses of people in rock concert like fashion to Jesus. Rock out and scream for Jesus! Is that faith? If it magnifies the name of Jesus and turns us toward Him, of course it is! Nothing wrong with that, not at all!

And are the "rock stars" of modern Christian faith, and the high energy pastors and leaders memorialized on the walls of the modern-day hall of faith? Of course they are!

But our modern-day hall of faith will, at the far end, feature the wall of the "some"...those in the far corners of the world, who for their faith, indeed live in destitute, humbling conditions, facing death and harm daily, are jeered, imprisoned, and persecuted.

And then, even wihtin the walls of our own churches, are the great acts of faith of our own "some" people....these are the most subtle, silent, and often unseen acts of faith.

The ladies who gather and pray for the church at 5am every day.

The people who are setting up the Children's Ark and sterilizing floors and toys at 4am on Sundays.

Those on technical teams who ensure that lights work, sound is clear, and stages are presentable and safe to stand on.

The facility person who prays with thanksgiving as he mops the floors of the church alone, and locks up long after all the crowds have left and forgotten about the place.

The person who holds the hand of a dying hospice patient, and sincerely escorts him to the threshold of heaven.

Those who care for the homeless, the imprisoned, the lonely, the suicidal...

Countless names, countless deeds, out of any spotlights or highlight reels...done not to earn a way in, but because by faith, we know we are invited in by Jesus Himself.

These are what I see as the "some" people of faith...they have my highest gratitude, and I know they also have the heart of Jesus as He witnesses every single act of faith.

Here's to the "some" people, and their selfless faith.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for indeed being the author and the perfecter of faith....even my own shrivelly, weak faith.

Thank You for the many examples of old, of those who awaited the promise of God, and looked ahead to the time when You would reconcile us to the Father.

May I be encouraged and reminded of the heroes of faith; the mighty ones, and the countless "some", then and now, who put their trust in You daily, until You call us all Home. Amen.


Devotions for July 14

Isaiah 19,20,21
Hebrews 11

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