James said, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” This is a rather blunt statement, don’t you think? As hard hitting and ‘as in your face’ as it may be, it is true! Throughout 2014 we have been studying the Book of Acts as well as Jonah. These two books have had strong teaching on ‘going’ and ‘doing’. We have been exhorted to be about God’s business and that business is making His name known to the nations of the world.
Peter has a heart for the nations. Together with his family, he has served cross-culturally for over 20 years. He has experience and credibility to open our eyes to the importance and necessity of being ‘men and women of faith’- people of faith where that ‘faith’ is exercised by action for the cause of Christ!
Peter will take us into a most wonderful section of Scripture this morning. He has a strong desire to share with us something God has laid on his heart. It should be great. We go to Hebrews 11 and we have unfolded for us example after example where average and normal people were called by God to do extraordinary tasks. And they did so by faith – faith in the Lord God Almighty! This is a timely reminder for us before we set our minds on the treasures of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. It is also timely as we look for a response to the challenges of our first six months sojourn into Acts and Jonah.
Hebrews 11: 13 is such an encouragement to me to continue on in the Christian walk as I seek to serve the Living God. Verse 13 records, “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” One thing we receive when we give our lives to Christ is the blessing of the Holy Spirit – God living in us! How blessed we are! Yet the glory of heaven still awaits us and it is by faith we must continue to plough on until that Day comes in all its splendor and wonder! Let us be people who truly live out their faith as we step out in total obedience and dependence on God each day!