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Faith and Faithfulness (part 1)

God has been kicking my tail lately with a lesson on Faith. I don't mean faith in the sense of trusting God to do something, I mean in the sense of FaithFULLness. Yes I know it's spelled with 1 "L".

I took time today to go and read the entire book of Hebrews straight through. No I'm not preparing a sermon. During my time I read for understanding. I read it fresh like as if I was being taught again for the first time. With my pen in hand I went through and circled, underlined and wrote in the margins every time something stuck out... Obviously it's well marked up b/c Hebrews can kick your theological butt. Anyway by reading it through continuously in one sitting you see patterns you can't see by preaching it over the course of 20 weeks or by preaching topical lessons over each sentence. You see a theme and a spirit of the letter. What's funny is that at the end of Hebrews 12 Paul says it was a 'short' letter.

So in reading about faith I'm hit with this thought of faith as not a series of one time beliefs or claims but more of a 'faithfulness' type of faith. It's nothing earth shattering but for me this old/new lesson kicked my tail again. Paul sets up about 10 chapters reminding them about the basics and then wham in chapter 11 he kicks in the reader's teeth with some fantastic examples of not only simple acts of faith but the faithfulness of some people. In addition he gives several verses of ink to people who (because of their faith) experienced the worst oppression, nomadic existence and martyrdom. All in the name of faith(fullness).

I'm not sure why the church is silent today about championing those who lives great lives of faith but saw no immediate gratification. I read tons of blogs and books about the bright side of faith but see very little in the way of championing people who had incredible faith but who's results weren't seen in their lifetime.

In my next post I'll tell you about two guys who sat next to me in the coffee shop and their conversation which reinforced my concern of how we teach lessons of 'faith'.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Saturday, April 14, 2007

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