I have enjoyed the past month looking at “The Next Verse” (Click HERE to visit “The Next Verse” sermon series online). As we moved through various scriptures we learned how important context was. It was exciting to see some of our favorite verses come alive with sharper clarity, while other familiar verses took on new meaning and urgency. It was a beautiful primer in Bible study that I am sure we all can benefit from. God is good, and His Word is beautiful!
Now it’s time to put some of those new found study skills to work. Our next short series is “Hidden Heroes”. I am looking forward to searching the scriptures for some of the least known characters, yet men and woman who did AMAZING things for God. I am sure it will be encouraging and hopefully we will see new life in parts of the Bible that we may have forgotten or put on the shelf.
I was reflecting on this when I realized that the author of Hebrews talked about all the heroes that scripture reveals to us…
Hebrews 11:30-35 (NKJV)
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
While the entire 11th chapter of Hebrews lists many heroes, this short section gives us some food for thought.
- Who were these people? The list given in these few verses is interesting. Many don’t quite know who they all were. Rahab is CALLED a harlot. Sampson led a rather risque lifestyle. David was a GREAT man of God…except for that part about adultery and the murder that followed. One thing they all have in common, no matter where they came from, ONCE THEY SURRENDERED TO GOD He used them in MIGHTY ways.
- Faith was the key. Verse 33 says “through faith” they were successful. Faith is the key. What we will see in the heroes we look at is that with faith all things are possible. Many of us can quote that verse, but it is special to see it lived out. We get to watch it work in the lives of people who went before us.
- He did WHAT? This verse lists just a few accomplishments that ordinary people accomplished with great faith. Let me recap…”subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.” WOW. Is there anything HUGE that needs fixed in your life? Are there HUGE problems in the lives of your family and friends that requires a HERO to fix? God has called us to FAITHFULLY stand in the gap. We are called to point people to Him and the power is in you! Remember the words of Paul to Timothy, “7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)) The same Spirit that lived in Timothy lives in YOU!
As we look at some of the other heroes in the Bible, the obvious question will be “who’s next”?
I think it’s you. I believe God has called us to be a generation that stands up for Jesus in a declining culture. I know that if you will follow Jesus, you will be a hero to someone…God will make it happen.
See you Sunday,