What have you given up for your faith? Think about that for a minute. As I finished Beth Moore's Patriarchs study last night with my small group I was reminded once again of how much the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave up to follow God. Abraham gave up his life as he knew it for a God he really didn't know very well at the time in order to play a part in a grand story of which he would never see the ending. Abraham never saw the promises of God fulfilled in his lifetime. Now that is faith.
So was it a coincidence that upon finishing the Beth Moore study that I came to the Hebrews "hall of faith" in my daily reading? In my bible I have notes taken from a sermon years ago that mention what each of the main "hall" members gave up for their faith. But first of all, what is faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Now that is a sentence worth mulling over, isn't it? I find it interesting that in order to have real faith, we must give up something in our lives. Let's look at the famous ones, shall we?
Abel (v4) - Gave up the best of his flock.
Enoch - Gave up his life. (v 5)
Noah - Gave up pride and reputation. (v 7) How foolish must he have looked to his fellow man?
Abraham - Gave up his family and security to just go. (v 8)
Sara - Gave up doubts of not being able to have a child. (v 11)
Isaac - Gave up control of his life. (v 20)
Jacob - Gave up deception. (v 21)
Joseph - Gave up anger and revenge. (v 22)
Moses - Gave up law, government, riches and his profession (v 23-24)
Joshua - Gave up fear (v 30)
Rahab - Gave up her sins (v 31)
That is quite a list isn't it? Quite a list of sacrifices as well.
So my question for us today is: What am I hanging on to for dear life that if I gave it up might change my life in the way I live it for God?