By Stan Johnson, pastor emeritus, Flagstaff Christian Fellowship
Theme: Faith, it all Starts with God
Scripture: Hebrews 11:3
“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
I have enjoyed reading and slowly memorizing Hebrews 11, emphasis slowly. I find that scripture memory is a great Bible Study tool, not to just memorize the words. Therefore, memorize by understanding and putting phrases together as a clear thought. So, with Hebrews 11, I want to understand: what is faith, how do I live by faith and why is it important to God, “for without faith it is impossible to please God.” (11:6)
By Faith We Understand
Near the beginning of Hebrews 11, verse 3 reads: “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God.” Faith begins by believing that God, by His word, made all of creation. So, this is consistent with Genesis 1:1 where we read “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John 1:1-3 reads “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Here, “Word” refers to Christ who shows us God just as a particular word pictures an object to us in our minds. Christ who is God, shows us God and He by His word created the world around us. So, this is where faith begins, and believing this pleases God. Subsequently, the author of Hebrews continues his point about faith in verse 6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Give credit to God
We honor God and show our faith in Him when we give credit to God for creating our beautiful world. Do you thank and praise Him for the complexity of our biological systems that work so well together? In Psalm 19, David helps me recognize God’s handiwork all around me. “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” In Psalm 8, David helps me give God honor and credit in His creation. “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for Him?” (8:1,3)
All of creation
All of creation points to a beautiful, loving and wise creator. Let us heed Paul’s warning in Romans 1:25 to worship the creator and not His creation. “For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
It is a significant phrase to say “thank God.” But, do we give God credit and honor due Him in our conversations with others? Do we take away from giving God credit and honor by not thanking Him out loud when we need to? So, there is significance in our living by faith to not only believe that God created our world, but that we recognize this before others. Give testimony to this and then thank God for His amazing creation.
My wife gave me an illustration of how to naturally bring God into our daily conversation. She was working as a nurse at our local hospita. Looking out of a third story window toward the San Francisco Peaks, she commented to her patient, “Isn’t God’s creation beautiful?” And from a hospital bed, no one ever disputed it.
In short, how might you recognize God as creator by thanking Him in your conversations. Or cause curiosity about God as creator with a timely question?
Lord, thank you for creating the world we live in. Help me recognize you as creator in my conversations this week. (7/8/2021)