Bible Ballistics: BBs #454 Seeking To Receive Or Provide???
“Now faith is
the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen……
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
that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:1 & 6
When we follow Jesus, we are to be a people of faith! The author of the book of Hebrews describes faith for us; it’s not ‘pie-in-the-sky by-and-by’, but rather a sure confidence in an unfailing creator. It is “substance” and “evidence” that our God IS God; and time and time again throughout history HE has shown Himself faithful, and continues doing so still. His hand is present everywhere, in everything, but we often fail to recognize His presence and His work!
Abraham was one who recognized the call of God, and saw His hand at work in his life. But I’d like us to take a bit of a different approach to Abraham’s legacy than we normally do, and with the culture and climate of today, I think it a worthwhile study. We live in a “me” culture—a culture of ‘selfies’, me first, my needs, rights and entitlements take precedence over any other options around us. Yet Abraham had a different approach to life—not always doing it perfectly– but continually doing life by drawing closer to God, and pursuing that which was pleasing to HIM!
When called to leave his home, family and country, he went—not perfectly– but he went in the right direction, and grew more and more intimate with God on the journey. And that ought to be our pursuit! But there was a difference about Abraham that we often overlook amidst his success, affluence and influence.
“By faith Abraham,
when he was called to go out
into a place which he should
for an inheritance,
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
the heirs with him
of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city
which hath foundations,
and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-10
Abraham (Abram first, till his name was changed because he believed in, and received the promises of God!) was looking for a city far beyond ‘Canaan’, yet his journey led to “a land” of the promises from God of; a land that would come to his descendants, rather than himself. That amazes me—this man set out on a journey to seek, pursue and find God and God blessed him, but not with things which we would often expect—God promised Abraham a land, a nation, and a people, and even more importantly a “seed”—the Messiah, who would come of Abrahams offspring. Yet Abraham never saw these promises fulfilled, but believing they would come–and they did—he accepted the promises of God and provided for those who would come after him, by his faith and dependence on God’s perfect provision. (See Gen. 15)
“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
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.” Hebrews 11:12-14
While they were seeking “a country”, we often forget that God, who “is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”, calls us to look up—not around (Although God blesses us daily with “abundantly more” than we even recognize)—for what it is laid up for us, is in HIS kingdom and presence. We must tune our hearts and minds to consider those who come behind us, to leave a godly heritage over any earthly reward! Not a popular message, but one that I think we desperately need to hear today. Jesus Himself clearly reminds us to keep our focus heavenward, and not to be ‘earthbound’ by the foolish greed of the world. Abraham only ‘saw’ Isaac, Jacob and Esau in the flesh, but he believed that God’s Promise would come, and that his descendants would receive the ‘land’, that they would be a ‘nation’, and that the promised ‘Messiah’ would come of his heirs—heirs of not just an earthly land—but heirs of an eternal kingdom. He was concerned about providing an example of faith and obedience, more than the material things that he would leave behind! What about us?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures
and where thieves break through
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures
where neither moth
and where thieves
do not break through
21 For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
In closing this morning, let’s examine our own hearts. Where is ‘my’ treasure? Am I more concerned with receiving more ‘treasure’ or providing a heritage of faith that leads others to the cross? If you or I leave our children and family millions of dollars and no Jesus, what will they have? May we be faithfully living out the gospel in our daily lives, praying and yielding to God so that others see Jesus in us!!!
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross,
and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life
for my sake
shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give
for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26
Will you join me in seeking Him today, and if you don’t know Jesus, He may be knocking at the door of your heart? If He is, won’t you open the door and let Him in, and begin this amazing journey of faith, creating a legacy of eternal life more than temporary riches?
“Behold, I stand at the door,
if any man hear my voice,
and open the door,
I will come in to him,
and will sup
and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
Amen and Amen!