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Living by Faith, Hebrews 11:30-40, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
November 23, 2023 10:10 am

Living by Faith, Hebrews 11:30-40, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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November 23, 2023 10:10 am

Richard Dalhstrom reminds us that “the good life is never defined by Jesus in terms of either length or comfort.  To the contrary, Jesus says that those who seek to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their lives (spilling them out generously in service to others because of love for God) will find them.  Living by Faith requires making bold choices for our Master.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Richard Dahlstrom reminds us that the good life is never defined by Jesus in terms of either length or comfort. To the contrary, Jesus says that those who seek to save their life will lose it.

And those who lose their lives, spilling them out generously in service to others because of love for God, will find them. Living by faith requires making bold choices for our Master. He calls us to be salt.

And if salt is going to do anything worthwhile, it has to get out of the comfort and safety of the salt shaker. As we lean on our Lord Jesus, He gives us all we need to live bold lives of abandon as we walk by faith. Let's listen in. This is the second part of a message from a study in Hebrews 11, 30 through 40. It was first preached on November 25th, 2012. But they make bold choices because their single ambition is the pursuit of God. And they take action on that and they live with the end in view.

And we continue in there. They, verse 34, they quenched the violence of the fire. Sadrak, Meshach and Abednego, remember that? They escaped the edge of the sword. Many of them did that out of weakness were made strong. Out of weakness were made strong.

Isn't that a wonderful truth? Second Corinthians says that. God says, God, Paul says in Second Corinthians, where he was asking God to remove his thorn in the flesh. We don't know what that thorn in the flesh was.

But God says, my strength is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in your weakness. You see, these were instruments in omnipotent hands, instruments in omnipotent hands. And so we see Gideon, we see Elijah also in here, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. OK, women received their dead.

Elijah did that. Women received their dead, raised to life again. Others were. Wait a minute.

Wait a minute. So far, it's been good news, hasn't it? So far, it's been pretty triumphant. People living by faith do unusual things and they're just conquerors. They live victoriously and they do wonderful things. Before you get to the point reading this and talking about faith and people living by faith, making bold choices before you get to the point where you believe that you are personally invincible and you start thinking like, look how important I am to God. And lest you think it's about you, keep reading in verse 35.

Others were tortured. What does that have to do with faith? It has everything to do with faith. Look what it says, not accepting deliverance that they might obtain a better resurrection.

What does that mean? They were living with the end in view. They were living with the end in view.

They were living with abandon because it's not about them. The very point to their existence is God himself. So they have a single ambition of pursuing God and they take action on that. They live with the end in view. Therefore, they make bold choices. And they live with abandon, something that we need to very, very clearly understand when it comes to living by faith.

And this becomes very clear in this text of Hebrews. God's purpose and glory does not equal your comfort and security on this side of eternity. We are Westerners.

We are prosperous Westerners. We need to be rescued from that myth that God's purpose and glory equals my comfort and security. That is false. And in case we believe it's true, let's read, continue reading in Hebrews chapter 11.

Why is it not true? Because on this side of eternity, on this earth during this time, I'm not home. I don't belong here. I am a sojourner. I am a pilgrim. I am on my way home.

I don't belong in this place. This is the title that the scriptures give us both in Hebrews and Peter does also. A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships were built for, was it? I like what Richard Dahlstrom says in his book, The Colors of Hope. We're all about safety today, aren't we? We have, particularly as Americans, we have this fetish with safety.

And Richard Dahlstrom says the safety posture, the safety first posture is wrong on several levels. First and foremost, the good life is never defined by Jesus in terms of either length or comfort. To the contrary, Jesus says that those who seek to save their life will lose it and those who lose their lives, in other words, spilling them out generously in service to others because of love for God, will find them. Stop for a moment and remember the definition of faith. People living by faith take action on what? On the information they have received.

What is this? This is information that God has revealed. Are we taking action on this? People living by faith have the single ambition of the pursuit of God and they take action on that. And they live with the end in view and therefore they make bold choices. You may have heard of the International Justice Mission. That is an organization from somebody from the State Department who is now working. Gary Haugen is the leader of that. He is a believer. He used to be with the United States government, but he deals with foreign governments on the issue of trying to rescue and protect those who are victims of human trafficking.

Listen, slavery is alive and well in our world today. Gary Haugen says this, they rescue many, many children. Listen to what he says here, after we have poured into our children all the good food and shelter and clothing, after we have provided them with great education, discipline, structure and love, after we have worked so hard to provide every good thing, they turn to us and ask, why have you given all this to me? The honest answer for me is, so you'll be safe. And my kid looks up at me and says, really, that's it? You want me to be safe?

Your grand ambition for my life is that nothing bad happens? And I think something inside them dies, says Gary. They either go away to perish in safety or they go away looking for adventure in the wrong places. Jesus, on the other hand, affirms their sense of adventure and their yearning for larger glory. I like that.

We should heed that. Consider the apostles in the New Testament. I know the writer of Hebrews focuses on the Old Testament, but the apostles of the New Testament, what did they do?

Look in the early chapters, particularly verses chapters four and five. What did they do? They taught openly, boldly. They taught in the name of Jesus. They proclaimed the name of the risen Jesus Christ. And they were threatened by the religious leaders and said, don't do it again.

And just to make sure you get the point, we're going to flog you. So they were whipped. And then they go home with the rest of the crowd. And what do they do? They write a letter to their lawyer.

That's not what they did. They praised God and they thanked him for being worthy of suffering for his name. People living by faith make bold choices. In 2007, an edition of Newsweek magazine, you all know who Garrison Keillor is.

Well, those of us who listen to the radio still, right? Garrison Keillor was asked to choose what he considered to be the five most important books. One of the books that he chose was the book of Acts, Garrison Keillor. And some readers were probably surprised to find that he ranked the book of Acts at the top of his list. And when describing the book of Acts, Keillor said this, he offered this concise but potent summation.

Listen to this. The flames lit on their little heads and bravely and dangerously, they went onward. That's a good summation of the book of Acts. That's why it's called the Acts of the Apostles, the sent ones.

Look what it says. Still others had trial of mocking, scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned. They were sawn in two. It is believed that Isaiah died that way. He was sawn in two and it wasn't a magician's act. They wandered about in sheepskin, goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented. You see, they lived with abandoned because their existence wasn't about them. Verse 38, what does it say?

Of whom the world was not worthy. What is that telling us? There are two opinions that you're confronted with every day.

And there's only one that counts. You are confronted with the opinions of those who surround you every day, day in and day out. You are a person living by faith. It means you have a single ambition. That is the pursuit of God.

You take action on that information. You live with the end of you and you make bold choices, which means you might be doing some unusual things and you might be sticking your neck out. But you're doing this and you're happy to do this and you delight in doing this because there's only one opinion that counts. Can God say of you and me of whom the world is not worthy? Meaning God has a highly favorable opinion of me and it doesn't matter to me what the world thinks. Because I'm living by faith.

My pursuit is of God and I take action on that. Soren Kierkegaard wrote, when one preaches Christianity in such a way that the echo answers away with that man, he does not deserve to live. Know this, that this is the Christianity of the New Testament. Capital punishment is the penalty for preaching Christianity as it truly is. There are many, many brothers and sisters losing their lives for the name of Christ today. Martyrdom is also alive and well in our world today. Calvin Miller wrote this. He says, I think the most vibrant missionaries I've met are medical doctors serving in lonely outposts of the Arab world.

These physicians and nurses are aware that in winning a Muslim to Christ, they condemn their converts to ostracism and persecution, even martyrdom. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-23 12:12:35 / 2023-11-23 12:17:13 / 5

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