This begins a new series on Hebrews 11, a passage that describes those who have walked by faith. Some of the characters are not the people we might have picked as the best examples of Christian faith. However, the author of Hebrews picked them for a reason. Why these folks, and what can we learn from them?
When Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the Temple, those who were onlookers did not realize that they were witnessing a presentation of God in the flesh. The hymn writer put it best: “Veiled in flesh the God-head see; Hail incarnate deity, pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.” Let’s consider how the visible/invisible deity might change our human reality.
When the early followers of Jesus shared their faith it often produced persecution, but in spite of the circumstances their attitude was remarkable: “No matter what happens, we will trust you.” This Sunday we look at Acts 4:23-31 to consider how their remarkable faith might be implemented in our lives.
From Matthew 8:5-13. This centurion “outsider” was bold (perhaps desperate) enough to approach Jesus and humble enough to ask for help. Some might call it an opportunistic faith, but Jesus saw a simple, confident faith and called it remarkable faith. Consider this story with us and how it might reshape our ideas about faith.
This is the first message in our fall 2015 series Encounters With Jesus. John the Baptist has several encounters with Jesus, the first coming while he is still in the womb of his mother. All these various encounters with Jesus tell a story of faith. As we consider John’s encounters with Jesus we realize that faith is not a static reality but a life-long experience.
1 Timothy 1:12-17. I & II Timothy and Titus have been called the Pastoral Epistles because they were written to individuals in pastoral ministry rather than to a church. Despite the differences between these and Paul’s other letters, there is still much to be learned here for the Christian community. We could all use some practical wisdom from God, so let’s think about the themes in these three letters.
A look at Ezra and his faith in the word of the Lord over the protection of kings. His study of God’s word, application of that word to his life, and teaching it to others prepared him to be someone who stepped to the front and led well at a time when Israel had choices to make–to follow God or not.
Armor offers protection. Who wouldn’t want this when going into battle? Yet, David in 1 Samuel 17 declines Saul’s offer of armor, choosing instead the protection God has already given him: his faith and his instruments of shepherding.
Pastor Bob Whitaker continues the series “Ancient Stories, Contemporary Truth” this week, looking at a great story of the faith of Gideon from Judges 6:7-24.