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Today's Devotion (Friday, Nov 17)

Day By Day By Grace - Bob Hoekstra (DBD)

Reflecting on the Extensive Consequences of Walking by Faith

"By faith Noah…By faith Abraham…By faith Sarah…By faith Moses…By faith the harlot RahabDavid and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith…And others…Still othersall these, having obtained a good testimony through faith. (Hebrews 11:7, 8, 11, 24, 31, 32-33, 35, 36, 39)"
God wants us to live by His grace. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). Therefore, we must walk by faith, since faith accesses grace. "Through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2). In a series of meditations, we have been considering the extensive consequences of walking by faith (and thereby drawing upon the effective grace of God). Reflecting upon the broad and diverse dimensions of these consequences brings encouragement and edification.

"By faith Noah" undertook an amazing task (building an ark) to prepare for an event never before experienced (a worldwide flood). "By faith Abraham" obediently left his familiar homeland for an uncertain destination. He also counted on God to do all the great things He had promised (including, blessing all nations through him). "By faith Sarah," miraculously (in her old age) bore a son for the fulfillment of God's plan. Later, by faith, Abraham laid the promised son upon the altar of God. All along the way, he lived as a pilgrim journeying toward an eternal, heavenly home.

"By faith Moses" forsook the privileges and pleasures of the world to lead God's people out of bondage. "By faith the harlot Rahab" helped the Israelites, identified with the true and living God, and was rescued from judgment. "David and Samuel and the prophets" (and others like them) "through faith" conquered nations, grew in godliness, experienced God's fulfilled promises, survived the den of lions, withstood the fiery furnace, were spared death by the sword, experienced God's strength in weakness, found courage on the battlefield, caused enemy armies to flee, and received resurrected loved ones.

"And others" (also by faith) endured tortures. "Still others" experienced mockings, beatings, bonds, prisons, stonings, severings, painful enticements, deprivations, impoverishments, general tribulations, and cruel torments. "All these…obtained a good testimony through faith."

Through these testimonies, God is showing us the limitless extent that His grace can work in our lives. Through these examples the Lord is encouraging us to trust Him to work comprehensively for us, as He has faithfully done for others."Lord God of all Grace, my heart is stirred as I consider the great extent to which Your grace can work in lives that humbly trust in You. Father, I ask You to make of my life a growing testimony of Your abounding grace, through Jesus Christ, my Lord, Amen."