This gives me so much joy in my heart and peace, knowing that by faith i am saved. it is amazing how God works in our lives, and this summer has been one example. Volunteering at a summer camp called Camp Hammer, every morning there was a staff meeting, and one morning our week's speaker, Curlee, talked about faith. It was really interesting and I loved what he had to say, and he gave me the list of verses he read during the meeting. I have been pondering on faith ever since then, and yesterday at campus life the theme happened to be faith. As a (new) campus life staff member, during the prayer, anyone who wanted to learn more about faith and how to step out in it, was to raise their hand. each staff member pointed to a few kids who raised their hands, and after the prayer, pursue them and talk about what it means to step out in faith. I met a girl named Jenna who was in 8th grade, and though she was already a Christian, attends church, and has a bible, she didn't know much about her faith and what it means to be a Christian. I told her if she came next week, i would have a list of bible verses to look at and we could talk about it some time. Today, i took this "spiritual gifts" test online, and my #1 result for my most spiritually gifted gift, was faith. and it had these verses following it. Reading this, I was able to solidify what Curlee had talked about at camp, and the first verse in this following passage was one of the verses he had used in his talk. I have found an awesome chapter to tell Jenna about, and I have found one of my newest favorite chapters in the bible, and am overwhelmed with excitement that God has tied all of this together.
1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
7By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
17By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.
20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
22By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.
23By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict.
24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
31By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.
32And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Today is the beginning of all of the public schools in my county. Being a high school graduate and an incoming freshman at my local junior college, i start later, but I'm still in that high school mode where now that it's mid-August, I'm ready to wake up at 6 in the morning and head off to school to sing and learn. It's weird for me to see my friends packing up their rooms, saying goodbye to them until December. This summer I became intentionally blind, because I did not want to think about anyone leaving, my closest friends, my boyfriend, even the classmates I didn't even know but saw around town and at the river. For some I still have a couple more weeks, maybe a month with them, for others I must say goodbye this week. I didn't think our last adventures as kids would be this soon, and having to grow up and be responsible would come this fast, but I think that I might be ready. I am trying to be ready. I recently grew apart from one of the closest friends I have ever had in my life, and when we went out to lunch one last time before they left for college, they told me that I wasn't appreciating the good, and that I need to remember the good things and not be so sad about everything. Although this was so hard for me to hear, I took some good from it...I am learning to say goodbye and i know that some day, I will be okay with the forced goodbyes I have and will have to make in the next couple of months. Some will be easy, it won't be hard to let go of the people I've made the same drink for every week for the past year, but for a few it will be one of the hardest things I have had to do. It will be interesting to see everyone when they come home for Christmas. Scary, exciting, quite possibly heartbreaking, but I pray that God will not let anyone grow up too fast in that time, and that the fire in my friendships will never blow out.