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Following by Faith


Do you have a favorite Bible verse or Scripture passage? This month, we will read portions of Scripture that defined the lives of Christ followers. Some names, such as Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, or Dwight Lyman Moody, might be familiar to you. Others, like Haddon Robinson, Athanasius, or Mary McLeod Bethune, may be less familiar. What these people have in common is their high view of God’s Word. We ask that the Holy Spirit will work in our lives as we reflect on their faithful examples and open God’s Word together.

In chapter 11 of Hebrews, often called the Hall of Faith, we read about individuals who followed God faithfully. These Old Testament names are familiar to us: Abel (vv. 3–4), Enoch (vv. 5–6), Noah (v. 7), Abraham (vv. 8–10), and Sarah (v. 11). They are noted, not just for their courage, bravery, and commitment to the Lord but also for their faith. But what exactly do we mean when we say someone has faith?

The author of Hebrews provides a definition: “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (v. 1). Two components make up this definition. First, the word for confidence could also be translated as assurance and derives its meaning from that which has a solid foundation. The word hope (v. 1) is not a flippant, positive attitude, but means to wait with confidence, knowing salvation is coming. The second part of the verse communicates the importance of conviction. Even when we cannot see God at work, we have faith that what He says is true (v. 3). The people in Hebrews 11 were commended for their unwavering faith, even till they died (v. 13). As we learn about fellow Christ followers this month, may we also be inspired to follow Him faithfully.

>> Make reading God’s Word a priority in the year ahead. It may help to pick a specific place and time each day to read. If you have time today, read Hebrews 11 and be inspired by the many who followed with faith.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

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