March 15, the Sixth Day of Lent

March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

-Hebrews 11.6-

At this point in the chapter, the author pauses to clarify something. In the previous verse, Enoch is commended for being known as one who pleased God. The author of Hebrews explains in this verse a bit more about what it means to please God. One must have faith to please God, he says. We should remember that this is not a clear-cut, rational concept of faith that we hold to. Rather, this is a way of living that places trust in God and acts accordingly. We are unable to please God unless we live in this way.

However, before we can do that, we must be clear on a couple of other things first. These things may seem basic, but the author of Hebrews felt that they were important enough to mention. First of all, anyone who is looking for God must believe that God exists. This may seem simple, but let’s remember what was said in v. 3: God is the starting point for this story. If we desire to live by faith and we want to join our story with God’s story of salvation, we have to start with this truth: God exists. This is a non-negotiable point.

Secondly, we must believe that God rewards those who look for him. It seems like this may also go without saying; if God did not reward people who looked for him, why should we look? It may be that the author of Hebrews is thinking of Matthew 7.7, 8 here: “…He who seeks, finds…” The author of Hebrews is reminding his audience that God can be found; indeed, if we look, God promises to be found! This is the reward. However, we must look.

Sometimes, it is difficult to stick with these beliefs. With all that happens in the world and in our lives, we may doubt God’s existence. In our looking, we may feel that God is hiding from us. Yet, the author of Hebrews speaks directly to people in these situations. When life becomes difficult and we begin to doubt, let us return to these basic truths: We believe God exists. We will find him if we look, though perhaps in ways that we did not expect. When we live from these beliefs as our starting point, we live by faith.

As we journey through Lent together, may we live lives that please God.

“Dear Lord, thank you for this reminder from your Word. While these point of belief may seem simple and basic, sometimes they become difficult to hold to. In those times, please remind me of your Word and let me feel your presence. Help me to continually seek you; reveal yourself to me in new ways. In the community of faith, please use me to encourage others in these things that we may grow as the body of Christ. Amen.”

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