1. ABel - the object of faith (June 30)
The object of our faith determines the way we interact in faith with that object. Each of the brother’s sacrifices, Cain’s and Abel’s, reflected the nature of the relationship between the brother and God. For Abel God was the object to be grasped and for Cain God was a means to an object to be grasped. So in the end, it is not the strength of your faith it’s the object of your faith that makes you a righteous man.
2. Enoch - The Purpose of faith (July 7)
In our day and age, many Christians primarily say that the point of exercising faith, growing in faith, and living by faith, is to use faith to access all the riches, materially and physically, that we want. Enoch shows us the opposite. What winning looks like in faith is pleasing God. What pleased God the most about Enoch, is that he walked with Him. Enoch reminds us that the point of having faith is to come to really know the God who we love.
3. Noah - The Problem of Faith (July 14)
Noah looked at his current situation and the concept of what is reasonable to expect in the near future. He had to set that aside, not based on his own logic and understanding but because God spoke to him. He had to choose whether to take action on God’s command or his own understanding about current reality and the likely future in front of him. The problem of faith is that it’s still faith.
4. Abraham - The growth of faith (july 21)
For God, speaking words is the same thing as taking action. When He speaks things change. When God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, because God’s speech is action, God changed Abraham’s nature. Based on this new nature, Abraham grew up into faith and is an example for all Christians who are born again and have to grow into our own faith.
5. Abraham & Isaac - The Testing of Faith
The story of Abraham and Isaac is a father son story that has inspired, puzzled, and frustrated us. God gave Issac to Abraham as a son to be loved but also as a fulfillment to God’s covenant promise for how Abraham would become the father of a multitude. Like so many good things in our lives, we are tempted to make it an ultimate thing. The loving father of Abraham, God, did to Abraham what he most needed.
6. Jacob - The Source of Faith
Jacob’s personality is made clear even in his birth story. Pulling others down in order to get ahead was his primary MO. Pretty much everybody he grabbed a hold of and moved around complied, until Jesus visited Jacob. And when He grabbed a hold to fight, Jacob was not able to manipulate. Realizing Jesus grabbed a hold of him and not the other way around, Jacob finally embraced the posture we all struggle with.
7. Joseph - the puzzle of faith
Joseph’s last request was that his bones would be buried in the promised land, that he would finally reach the destination that his life was pointing toward. Joseph is like all of us, trying to make sense of the varied and surprising events in life. Joseph refused to take his future into his own hands, to compromise and shorten the distance between what he wanted and where he was, and chose to trust that God was sovereignly steering his life.
8. Moses - The Exchange of Faith
Throughout the judgements on Egypt for their disobedience the Israelites were immune to every one of the plagues except for the plague of the first born. The destroying angel was claiming his right over every firstborn son regardless of race. The only thing that saved the first borns was the sprinkling of blood on the door. Moses encountered God, he had a personal experience with the living God who gave him calling and responsibility.
9. Rahab & Joshua - The Common Sense of Faith
When Rahab is mentioned in the hall, her job is mentioned in her title. She isn’t just Rahab, she’s the prostitute Rahab. She was in a town with people whose sins were different from prostitution, but all were part of the same lot. Disobedient people deserving to die. The reason she wasn’t killed was not because she cleaned up her act, not because she was slightly less disobedient than others. Her life was spared because she welcomed the spies.
10. The Hebrews 11 Faithful - The Future of Faith
In Hebrews 11:32-38 we find some people whose life circumstances God miraculously showed up and changed. Daniel and the lions, 3 jews in a furnace, people who escape the edge of the sword. Others didn’t escape the sword, lions teeth, or fire. The stones didn’t pass by them, they hit their mark. All of them accepted that their lives were part of something bigger. Because of their faith, they were commended. They didn’t receive what was promised but God has planned a day when they will receive it and that is the future of faith.