Jesus, I Believe He Is – 9-23-22

“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.Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

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.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“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

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. 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 our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Hebrews chapter 11 (embedded below for your convenience in the 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.

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

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Ephesians 1:7- 

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

And we’ll finish the week with our prayer of humility and repentance. Please personalize it and make it into your own words, if you’d like. It is important to mean it – but it is even more important to believe it. Believe that we ae forgiven. You may be thinking that if we are forgiven, then why are we praying it daily? Well, because we have hidden sins – we even hide sins from ourselves and justify them as not wrong. We all do it. Praying over each of these areas, gives God the opportunity to reveal to us the areas we need to repent in, and what we need to work on. We are all, also, still growing in our walks with the Lord and based on where we are coming from and going we all have different convictions.
Let me use this example: A man who has never had an issue with overdrinking, no family history of alcoholism and has had an occasional drink but is not a drunkard, can go into a bar, order a beer, drink it slow throughout the night and witness to and evangelize in the bar.  However, someone who was an alcoholic or raised by one might find going to a bar to be a sin or having one drink to be a sin. And someone with a religious spirit would say that preaching Jesus in the den of sinner is also a sin, lol.
Anyway – we are at different places and God may be working something through in you and these things take time. Therefore, besides getting clean to study holy things – we can work on growing out of sins as God reveals and works in us. As long as we believe and stay open to the process.

Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with any and all unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me for those things I did even though I knew better. And please forgive me for those things You count as sin, that I am unaware of and have not learned yet – and open my eyes to see them as sins so I can stop participating in them. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on You, and fall in love with You in a new and deeper way. I desire to lay down my life for You, Lord Jesus, as You sacrificed Yourself for me. Help me to die to self and pour myself out as an offering. Give me more grace to trust You and accept Your will for my life and not my will. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

Hebrews chapter 11 is often called the Faith Hall of Fame. As a child, I remember talking to God about this chapter saying I want my name written in the Faith Hall of Fame in heaven. I innocently and eagerly wanting to please God did not calculate the price. Now my prayer is one of gratitude as He works the growth of faith in me and I pray that I am able to pay the price that I have signed up for.

The structure of today’s chapter is first a definition of what faith is. Then the history of faith throughout the Old Testament. And then how, through faith, they overcame. Paul has spoken about Faith in many of our readings so far this year – ‘by grace, through faith’ (Eph. 2:8), our ‘faith being counted as righteousness’ (Rom. 4:3), ‘walk by faith not sight’ (2 Cor. 5:7), ‘faith comes by hearing’ (Rom. 10:17), ‘righteous live by faith’ (Rom. 1:17) and many more. Faith is what makes us first question and then believe the word of God – it opens the door to God’s revelation. It is not an area of our lives that we put in a box for Sunday mornings or pull out in a moment of crisis – it is an action, a way of living, a gift from God in differing measures, but in us all to grow and use and live in.

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hope and faith are not the same thing. Believing and faith are not the same thing. But if you took hope and believe and put them in a blender with a jolt of God’s electricity – you have faith. We can’t see what we believe and we hope of things revealed to us in the spirit, not with our human eyes. Faith, being actionable has the ability to fix our minds into a stubborn unwavering state.
I had mentioned to a lady that I was not vaccinated against covid. After realizing I had other vaccines in my life, but just not (in her words) “the most important one” was just more than she could handle. The lighthearted conversation spiraled out of control. I prayed and found only fear in her and realized it was her own faith in the effectiveness of this vaccine that was holding her together and keeping her form falling apart in fear. My heart broke for her. But there is NO power of earth I can use against a fixed mind that is locked in place by human faith. Literally she need a revelation from God. I planted a seed and quietly said a prayer for her – that was all she would receive from an unvaccinated person – who might kill her just by standing within the magic 6 foot space. God will keep working on her.
My point is that faith is powerful. It can stop God or it can propel Him and His will on earth. We just seldom look at faith in the secular as well as in biblical application.

For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

The elders believed – and then the author brings it back to the very beginning. Words which have no tangible visual – took nothing and framed in something. Which is very much an action of faith. You and I are to believe the Bible and any words God gives you and is confirmed and speak it out and frame in what God is going to make happen. How it was in the beginning is how it still is. A very good argument for teaching creation – because belief if fundamental to our relationship with God.

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.”

Let me be honest, bringing an excellent gift, offering, and/or sacrifice can cost you your life. Just ask Abel, when you get to heaven. None the less – a pure hearted offering is righteousness – it is faith. It is an action of faith.

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.”

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, absolutely impossible. For when we come to God, we must believe that He is. There is no point is we do not even believe that He is. And we MUST believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. The reward is greater than the price.

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.”

Noah built an arch for things unseen. What are we to build for the unseen?

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.”

Sometimes He sends us out not knowing. Not always a fun thing to set out on. But trusting God is critical – especially in the season we are approaching. Take action to obey quickly – that act of faith without knowing will be counted righteousness. I have a friend who heard God say she needs to fast and not knowing how to prepare and how to fast and without figuring out which kind of fast to do. She just stops eating and thinks she is going to make it 40 days with no prep. Quickly, she finds herself struggling. Not in mindset – but she was not prepared for her body’s reactions and she was not armed with a plan to handle them. She heard and acted and thought after. She jumped and in mid-air she asked how high. Her zealousness and faith is counted as righteousness and so grace covers her. She prayerfully realized she needed a liquid fast and gives herself one glass of liquid soup (no chunks) a day to help her blood sugar and protein levels. As an active mother and school teacher, who is not the picture of health, she needed to have help. Next time, she will prepare. Anyway, the point is she acted and then God gave the grace. He said go without giving her instructions and she went and then he provided education on fasting. The point is we need faith like Abraham and my friend.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she 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.

We always talk about being adopted under Abraham’s promise – But our adopted Mother also makes it to the Faith Hall of Fame!!! Great are the multitude of her children! You and I are blessed under her faith!

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

What if you and I never see the fulfillment of God’s promise in our lifetime? What if we are never elevated and what if we are never anyone? What if our success would be our destruction so God keeps us small? What if small and hidden is who God called you to be? What if He called you for something you will never see even serving Him and in His perfect plan – like all of these “hall of famers”?

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.”

Staying focused on His Kingdom come. Seek ye first God – not his promises, not the blessings, and not what He can do for you. Seek God and all these things will be added to you.

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 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.
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 passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures 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.”

Listen none of them had an easy life. You do not need great faith with an easy life. I think it is time we realized Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for the same things we are teaching in our public schools and we should expect perilous times coming, quickly. We can and should pray for them to be held back, but also have our faith prepared for it. Knowing how to have faith in God will be the ONLY means of survival at some point, just like these first century church Christians to whom this was written. They knew the perils and the cost of being a Christian could mean death. We are heading into a world so similar – unless we humble ourselves and God saves our land. But it doesn’t seem enough people are ready to yet.
Like the three Hebrew boys I have spoken of often from the Book of Daniel – they said ‘our God is able, but even if He doesn’t save us we shall not bow’. And God did not save them and they were thrown into the fire to meet Jesus

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 did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.”

God always included the women. Women of faith can accomplish great things. It needs to be said. We all know that the men reading this can, but women need reminding. The enemy’s first attack targeted a woman – he has had it out for us since the beginning. Misinterpretation of scriptures saying I and my sisters must be silent – and I speak back at it and say: Get behind me Satan.
God has called us all to speak and the enemy cannot stop what God has ordained. Who are we to tell God he is wrong.

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, 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.”

Throughout time the human struggle or as Paul calls it – suffering, has been a way of life. Even the Minor Prophets paid the price of serving God. This chapter pulls out those costs well – but let us not forget that it was through FAITH that they overcame and through faith they were saved. It was never about the promise in which they believed in, or the fight of faith to get it, or the fact that they received violent counter attacks from the enemy instead of actually receiving their promise.
It reminds me of some of the first posts I shared here. Many of you did not read them, finding me later on, which is fine – they mark a hope, faith, and an unseen thing. You see, I had wandered away from God for a few years… not a far trip – but far enough to have ruined my life and the lives of my family. I repented and grew in the Lord. And God tore down my foundations and rebuilt them, solid. Then God told me to start this blog. So as I started it I wrote out all those prayer requested and things I was asking God for. Situation that were such a mess from my sin and in the time between me returning and the time of me writing they were still a broken mess. Sigh. I really made a mess. Well. 2 and a half years later and guess what? God has not fixed a single one of those messes. Nope I have not seen my promises – even though I have scriptures that show these are promises that God does have for us. Not one, yet. And I can confidently say HE HAS NEVER FAILED ME! I know in whom I believe and He is faithful who promises. They may come to pass long after I leave earth. But He is faithful.
And now, my life is blessed spiritually and God provides food, and I may not have all of the financial provisions I need to end this month – but in all this time I have never missed a bill and all payments were made in full and on time. He hasn’t failed me. He will not fail me.

It is one thing to know if in your head. Apply it to your heart and have faith. But more importantly have that real relationship with Him so you know Him. Because if you get to know Him, you know He won’t fail you.
Now, this month, my provisions will be supernatural and amazing. I feel He wants me to get others praying and invested in seeing this through. With being sick again (although I am getting better now) – I haven’t made a single sale this month, until today (just in time for gas in my car). So this is a big ask to get a month’s worth of bill money in a week. AND this month the bills are a bit higher. So please join me in praying and looking forward to the testimony of how God pulls this off. I do not know if whatever is going on, with blocking the promise, is such a big fight that it needs more prayers or if God is just trying to build the faith of more people.  But I feel we can all be encouraged by whatever miracle He does to make ends meet. It is HIS reputation on the line – but I am not worries about putting it on the line. I know in whom I believe and He is able. And even if he doesn’t, I will still serve Him.   

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace. Walk in wisdom.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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