Monday, 31 October 2011

HEROES OF THE FAITH

I was driving to work the other day and got to thinking on the subject of Heroes of the Faith.
Most of us are familiar with that passage in the book of Hebrews about the heroes of the faith as talked about in the Old Testament. People like Abraham, Isaac, Moses, in fact there is a brief synopsis of a number of famous Bible Heroes who did extraordinary things, by faith. 

Ordinary people 

The interesting point made about these people is that they "died, not having seen the fulfilment of the promise". (Heb 11:13) Ordinary people, being extraordinarily obedient to God without actually seeing the out working of their obedience, but trusting Him none the less.

I sometimes think we have a tendency to put far too much holiness on these great faith  people, (that these people were a cut above ordinary folk with a special handle on God) when they had very real struggles in every day life, just like me.
That led me to thinking about people in my life. People that I have had the honour to meet and rub shoulders with over the years who have been great witnesses of Gods power and love. Ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

Heroes of the faith 

My friend Brenda

 Brenda is a sweet old friend of 80+ who never  goes a day without a smile on her face and a kind word. Brenda had to give up her home because she could no longer get up the steps due to the pain in her back, hips and legs. She used to say to me:" …Oh I'm alright, God is so good, and I'm really very fortunate because there are so many people worse off than me. "
Brenda came to me once and said:" I really admire you and your family. You have such love for Jesus, it encourages me so much!"
I was really taken aback. This beautiful woman who at her age and in her pain still has an amazing relationship with Jesus. I said to her:" You know Brenda, you are my role model and hero. If I can get to your age and still love Jesus the way you do, I will have done well."
Interesting isn't it? We come across  so many people who on the outside are very ordinary, normal people but inside are solid strong God fearing, Jesus loving folk who I look up  to as living heroes.

Ken Bytheway

We can all aspire to be like Ken, who recently went to be with Jesus. Married for years, and faithfully attending church so as not to upset his wife, Ken was himself not a believer. When his wife passed away, Ken (by now already retired ) began to really delve into this faith his wife had. He was prompted to give his life to Christ and became so aware of Gods love in his life that he gave himself over to study of the word, and then became a scripture teacher at the local school. He personally influenced at least 2 of my kids in their journey with Jesus. I loved Ken, he loved Jesus, and was a true worshipper; he was my hero.

Heroes defined

I read this statement the other day in a devotional:
"Heroes of faith do not seek their own glory. They recognise that their life is an instrument for use by the living God."
We're a funny bunch, you know. We look to people who perform well in Sports, and declare them heroes. While they may have conquered the sporting field, they have actually never performed a heroic deed. 
You see, it's not the outward greatness that makes you a hero, it's what happens on the inside, and in the places where no-one is watching you. The glitz and the glamour are for the rich and famous, but the real heroes are those who daily lay their lives on the lines for our safety, security, well being, etc. the unsung heroes like our soldiers who fight wars on behalf of innocent defenceless civilians, or people like fire fighters and rescue specialists who, every time they attend an emergency to save lives, put their own lives at risk. These are the people who regularly save lives at the peril of their own.

And then there are those who go into battle for us on their knees. These are the unsung heroes of the faith, many of whom we'll never know about until we get to heaven. People like my mother, who prays for her children, grand children, and great grand children every day. People like the intercessors at church who fervently go into battle for those who can't themselves, praying for the sick, the needy, Governments, law keepers, the list goes on. In some way I can't help but think that these are the people who keep the World turning.

Bob Carlisle used to sing a song, the words of which go something like:
 "I can stand tall
On my knees, I can see forever, on my knees, I can face it all,
I feel like I can climb a mountain cause on my knees the worlds a
little smaller and I stand taller on my knees."
David Meece sang about the "Unknown soldier;
His words are few, he saves them 'til he's home and on his knees,
That's where he's a warrior; and he fights to see them free.

He's the unknown soldier, the unsung hero, the brother on the street,
He's the unknown soldier, the holy warrior who will never sound retreat,
He's your unseen comrade, and his triumph will be sweet,
He's the unknown soldier...

Both writers capture something of the heroism that goes on when no one's watching.
You too can be a hero of the faith. You can be a part of God's rescue team saving lives from the devastation of eternal separation from His Love. Go on, be a hero!
Now there a challenge.

 Have a great week.
Erick. 


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