Hebrews 11:6 But 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 diligently seek Him. (emphasis mine)
WHY WE WERE CREATED...
The above scriptures has 3 parts to it. First, is the spiritual truth that: "Without Faith" is is impossible to please God. Wow! That is simply astounding in it's absoluteness! I mean, "impossible" means there are literally no exceptions to the rule, None, not one, as in a BIG ZERO. Since pleasing God is at the heart of why God created us in the first place, we need to lock into that truth, and let it become part of our spiritual DNA. Read what the apostle John wrote in the book of Revelations about pleasing God.
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Knowing that you and I were created to give God pleasure should give us all pause to consider the big picture. Let me ask you this question: Do you think your life is pleasing to God? After all, we just read "why" we were created, so it's only appropriate that we examine ourselves in light of that truth; and ask whether or not our lives are pleasing to God. I'll let you answer that one for yourself, but knowing why God created us should help us walk humbly before our maker. I know most preachers emphasis "faith" when quoting this scripture, and most others as well; but God has assured me that this generation of believers has had more than ample messages on "faith" - but, very few on "why" we are here in the first place...
Heb.11:6 ...for he who comes to God must believe that He is... (part 2)
I love this verse, it is another way of saying: I AM THAT I AM ! The expression: HE IS, is one that staggers the imagination, though it is only "two words". HE IS what? The writer of Hebrews is reminding all who would dare to follow God, to follow Jesus Christ: THEY MUST BELIEVE THAT
He is God/El. He is The All Sufficient One/El Shaddai. He is The One God/El Echad. He is The Faithful God/El Hanne-eman. The God of Truth/El Emet. The Righteous God/El Tsaddik. The Most High God/El Elyon. The Everlasting God/El Olam. The God Who sees me/El Roi. The Mighty God/El Gibbor.
The God of knowledge/El De'ot. The Great God/El Haggadol. The God of Glory/El Hakkavod. The Holy God/El Hakkadosh. The God of Heavens/El Hashamayim. The God of my life/El Chayai. The Gracious God/El-Channun. The God of my strength/El Sali. The God of compassion/El Rachum. (for a complete listing of Hebrew names for God go to: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/El/Printer_Version/printer_version.html )
What's the point of this you say... Hmm, glad you asked. The writer of the above verse was telling the Hebrew Christians(who knew these names very well), that coming to God was not a matter of stumbling into the unknown, or wandering into some nebulous spirit realm where one simply gropes and ambles through the shadows wondering if God is there, or if He's really cares ... put another way: COMING TO GOD MEANS YOU BELIEVE WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY ABOUT WHO GOD IS. I know that may sound like double talk, or playing with words - it is not. We are told that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God".
Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
If you want to please God, get to know Him. Read what the scriptures say about Him. Talk to God, listen to God, and fill your mind with the words of God; both the written/logos - and the spoken/rhema. For us today, who have both the Old and New Testaments; we are without excuse when it comes to knowing "who" GOD IS. We are blessed with more spiritual wealth in terms of biblical data, and scriptural knowledge - that "not knowing" God would take a considerable amount of effort to achieve...
DILIGENTLY SEEKING GOD...
Heb. 6:11 ... He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (part 3)
Show me a Christian who has the blessing of God on their lives, and I'll show you a man or woman, or a boy or girl who is "diligent" in seeking after God. I know this flies in the face of many who teach erroneously that you can't earn God's favor or blessing. They are wrong. Of course you can't earn God's favor when it comes to our salvation or deliverance from sin and evil; that is the pure mercy and grace of God because of what Jesus Christ did for us. Amen. We can't earn that - that is ours simply by accepting what Christ did for us on the cross, and through faith in His shed blood, and in His resurrection from the dead. That "favor" cannot be earned or bought at any price by us as human beings. The ransom was paid by Jesus, and it is a free gift to all who will receive it...
The blessing and reward that the writer of Hebrews is speaking of here is for those who want more than just a place in heaven, more than just the assurance of knowing they will be with God and the saints forever in heaven. The reward he is speaking of, is a divine favor that God bestows upon persons who are not content to settle for lives of spiritual mediocrity, or just going through the motions... "just going to church, and waiting for my time to go to be with Jesus") There are rewards and blessings that await anyone who is willing to pursue God with a vengeance With a holy fervor, and passion that is the delight to the Lord and Creator of everything. God loves it when He is sought after with a holy zeal, with a hunger and thirst that can only be quenched and satisfied by Him and Him alone! Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. (God's rewards aren't handed to you on a silver platter)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Lazy Christians will not find the rewards that God only gives to those who diligently seek for Him. There are many believers today who spend more time searching for apps, for their "dumb phones", than they do searching for truth in their bibles! Sad, harsh - not really. Just look around, and ask yourself this question: Do I spend more time with my phone than I do in God's word? Do I spend more time watching T.V., or listening to my Ipod than I do reading and studying God's word? Going to church, singing a few choruses at church, and saying a few prayers every now and then is well and fine; but we have to admit, is that what God created us for? God is looking for intimacy, and for us to invite Him into every area of our lives; not just the few hours we may fit into our busy schedules every week. The bible is replete with examples of "religious dead works" done in the name of God. From Genesis to the Book of Revelation, we find God disgusted and angered by the mere show of religious piety...
From Cain, whose offering was unacceptable - to the hypocritical Pharisees of Jesus day; we find that "being religious" was never enough in and of itself. God is wanting our hearts, our minds, and our souls, and our bodies to be totally given over to Him in total surrender. Anything less, and we fall short. Is it possible to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength - as God desires for us to do? Not in our own power or strength, that's for sure. I do believe that under the New Covenant, with the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit, it is possible to keep this most holy of all God's commandments. When we realize that "God Himself, is our reward - our blessing - our everything" , then we will find that we have riches beyond compare, and treasures that cannot be fathomed by this world... I encourage you to seek God as your ultimate and most precious reward!
Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
Blessings to everyone/michael/fool4CHRIST