40.Day.Week3

JULY 12

THE GREAT UNSEEN

HEBREWS 11:1-3 | Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence for things not seen. 2 For in this the elders were well attested. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the word of God, so that the things which appear were not made of things that are seen.

The Preacher has made his point. God is bringing many sons and daughters to share in the glory and perfection of Jesus (HEBREWS 2:10). To reach this goal, however, we must walk by faith on the same hard road of humility and obedience that Jesus walked (5:8; 13:12-13). But what is faith?

Faith is more than a creed. Faith is living in orientation to the Eternal and the Invisible rather than the temporal and the tangible. When God’s promises become more real to us than the things we can see, touch, and eat, and when we stake our lives on God’s promises, we are walking by faith.

The Great Unseen in Hebrews includes the Promised Rest, the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the City of God (4:1-11; 6:19–20; 10:19–22). Faith is a lifelong quest to access this Ultimate Reality, which is more real than the air we breathe.

When we lose touch with the Eternal, we gravitate to the carnal. We drift into the doldrums of casual Christianity. This is the problem addressed by Hebrews. Life does not always line up with God’s Word. We face daunting challenges that cannot be met with money or medicine, reason or science. What do we do? Hebrews gives us two options: Walk by faith. Or withdraw into ruin (10:39).

Now, in the rest of Hebrews 11, the Preacher opens his arsenal of illustrations: an amazing crowd of witnesses from his Greek Old Testament. Most ironically, the roster begins and ends with martyrs! From Abel in Genesis to the Maccabean Martyrs of the 2nd century BC (11:4, 35).

These heroes of faith are the exact opposite of the impatient generation that died in the desert. They too faced impossible situations that would bring out their best or their worst. Unlike the wilderness generation, however, they ordered their lives around things hoped for, things unseen. That’s faith.

But this cloud of witnesses didn’t have their heads in the clouds. On the contrary, because they were so heavenly-minded, whatever they did on earth was good. Eternally good. Their faith produced down-to-earth acts of obedience to the will and mission of God: Noah saved the race. Abraham fathered a nation. Moses delivered that nation from slavery. Rahab saved their spies.

And what more shall I say?

THE GREAT UNSEEN

HEBREWS 11:1-3 | Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence for things not seen. 2 For in this the elders were well attested. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds were created by the word of God, so that the things which appear were not made of things that are seen.

The Preacher has made his point. God is bringing many sons and daughters to share in the glory and perfection of Jesus (HEBREWS 2:10). To reach this goal, however, we must walk by faith on the same hard road of humility and obedience that Jesus walked (5:8; 13:12-13). But what is faith?

Faith is more than a creed. Faith is living in orientation to the Eternal and the Invisible rather than the temporal and the tangible. When God’s promises become more real to us than the things we can see, touch, and eat, and when we stake our lives on God’s promises, we are walking by faith.

 

JULY 12

The Great Unseen in Hebrews includes the Promised Rest, the Heavenly Sanctuary, and the City of God (4:1-11; 6:19–20; 10:19–22). Faith is a lifelong quest to access this Ultimate Reality, which is more real than the air we breathe.

When we lose touch with the Eternal, we gravitate to the carnal. We drift into the doldrums of casual Christianity. This is the problem addressed by Hebrews. Life does not always line up with God’s Word. We face daunting challenges that cannot be met with money or medicine, reason or science. What do we do? Hebrews gives us two options: Walk by faith. Or withdraw into ruin (10:39).

Now, in the rest of Hebrews 11, the Preacher opens his arsenal of illustrations: an amazing crowd of witnesses from his Greek Old Testament. Most ironically, the roster begins and ends with martyrs! From Abel in Genesis to the Maccabean Martyrs of the 2nd century BC (11:4, 35).

These heroes of faith are the exact opposite of the impatient generation that died in the desert. They too faced impossible situations that would bring out their best or their worst. Unlike the wilderness generation, however, they ordered their lives around things hoped for, things unseen. That’s faith.

But this cloud of witnesses didn’t have their heads in the clouds. On the contrary, because they were so heavenly-minded, whatever they did on earth was good. Eternally good. Their faith produced down-to-earth acts of obedience to the will and mission of God: Noah saved the race. Abraham fathered a nation. Moses delivered that nation from slavery. Rahab saved their spies.

And what more shall I say?

Prayer Track

■ Memorise and pray the Word: We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 CORINTHIANS 4:18).

■ Faith lays hold of the Eternal—not sand castles and mud pies! The faith heroes in Hebrews 11 change their world by living in orientation to things unseen and eternal. On our watch, the whole world groans in shock and pain from the devastating impact of Covid-19. The time is ripe for heavenly-minded acts of faith that shape history in all spheres of life. Will we rise to the occasion?

Pray: Lord, we confess, our priorities are a mess. We prepare months in advance for a vacation. We plan years ahead for a comfortable retirement. But we seldom pause to contemplate the Eternal. We have lost touch with the Unseen. Even in this mega crisis of a century, we are preoccupied with things temporal and tangible. We gravitate to the carnal and the corruptible. What we can we eat, drink, and wear (MATTHEW 6:31). Where we can binge-watch and binge-play. Lord, forgive us. Wake us up! Give us eyes of faith to see the invisible. Ears of faith to hear the inaudible. Hands of faith to grasp the Eternal. Use the rude awakening of Covid-19 to derail our worthless pursuits. Unveil your grand plan and great purpose for our neighbourhood, nation, and world. Show us our part in your big story. Call us out of the doldrums of casual Christianity into adventures of faith that make Salvation History. Ignite our passion for things that matter in the long run.

■ In the Sermon to the Hebrews, the wilderness generation is the example to avoid (HEBREWS 3). The cloud of witnesses is the example to imitate (HEBREWS 11). Pray: Lord, in this critical juncture of world history, I resolve in my heart to walk in the footprints of the faithful. I refuse to be hasty or lazy. I refuse to repeat the follies of the hurry-up generation that died in the desert. I choose to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (HEBREWS 6:12).

■ The fight against Covid-19 is far from over. The road to recovery will be long and difficult (PM LEE HSIEN LOONG). Remember our Christian doctors and nurses who have been working flat out on the frontline. Pronounce blessings in the name of Jesus: Real faith. Robust faith. Faith to quell the fear of infection. Faith to overcome fatigue and burnout. Faith to overcome the temptation to give up and walk away from the intense battle. Faith to reach out and pray for the sick. Faith to expect signs, wonders, and miracles of healing. Faith to proclaim Jesus. Faith to sow in tears and reap with joy. Faith to radically order their lives around things hoped for, things unseen, things eternal — for the glory of God, for the good of humanity.

Prayer Track

■ Memorise and pray the Word: We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal
(2 CORINTHIANS 4:18).

■ Faith lays hold of the Eternal—not sand castles and mud pies! The faith heroes in Hebrews 11 change their world by living in orientation to things unseen and eternal. On our watch, the whole world groans in shock and pain from the devastating impact of Covid-19. The time is ripe for heavenly-minded acts of faith that shape history in all spheres of life. Will we rise to the occasion?

Pray: Lord, we confess, our priorities are a mess. We prepare months in advance for a vacation. We plan years ahead for a comfortable retirement. But we seldom pause to contemplate the Eternal. We have lost touch with the Unseen. Even in this mega crisis of a century, we are preoccupied with things temporal and

tangible. We gravitate to the carnal and the corruptible. What we can we eat, drink, and wear (MATTHEW 6:31). Where we can binge-watch and binge-play. Lord, forgive us. Wake us up! Give us eyes of faith to see the invisible. Ears of faith to hear the inaudible. Hands of faith to grasp the Eternal. Use the rude awakening of Covid-19 to derail our worthless pursuits. Unveil your grand plan and great purpose for our neighbourhood, nation, and world. Show us our part in your big story. Call us out of the doldrums of casual Christianity into adventures of faith that make Salvation History. Ignite our passion for things that matter in the long run.

■ In the Sermon to the Hebrews, the wilderness generation is the example to avoid (HEBREWS 3). The cloud of witnesses is the example to imitate (HEBREWS 11). Pray: Lord, in this critical juncture of world history, I resolve in my heart to walk in the footprints of the faithful. I refuse to be hasty or lazy. I refuse to repeat the follies

of the hurry-up generation that died in the desert. I choose to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (HEBREWS 6:12).

■ The fight against Covid-19 is far from over. The road to recovery will be long and difficult (PM LEE HSIEN LOONG). Remember our Christian doctors and nurses who have been working flat out on the frontline. Pronounce blessings in the name of Jesus: Real faith. Robust faith. Faith to quell the fear of infection. Faith to overcome fatigue and burnout. Faith to overcome the temptation to give up and walk away from the intense battle. Faith to reach out and pray for the sick. Faith to expect signs, wonders, and miracles of healing. Faith to proclaim Jesus. Faith to sow in tears and reap with joy. Faith to radically order their lives around things hoped for, things unseen, things eternal — for the glory of God, for the good of humanity.