Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0199
THE WORD PREACHED
DID NOT PROFIT THEM . . .
The older I get in the Lord the more I think we have often missed the impact of what the Gospel is about ~ and what are our responsibilities toward it. In Hebrews 3 and 4 we have the challenge of the effects of unbelief and hardness of heart that is the arch-enemy of the fulfilling of the promises of God in our lives. Our response to the Word of God ~ and the preaching of the Word of God ~ determines the effect and impact that Word has upon us. This is a serious and important truth for us to grasp.
The Scriptures says: “Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the Gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it” (Hebrews 4:1-2, NKJV).
They heard the Word, but they did not respond in the right manner.
There is a requirement for the Word to benefit our lives, and that is to mix faith with it after we have heard it!
Yes, we have to actively apply the Word heard into our hearts by mixing faith with it.
It is not sufficient on its own; it needs our positive and active response.
FAITH IS AN ACTION!
Faith is the “ingredient” that pleases God. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
The question must be asked: “How well do we know the meaning of and understand that word ‘faith’”? Faith is a doing word, an action. It is vitally important that we have “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying” (mentioned 16 times in the New Testament – see Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Mark 7:16; Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; Revelation 3:6, 13, 22 and Revelation 13:9) today, for that is what inspires faith, and inspired faith produces an action. The challenge is to not fall into the trap of simply having a mental assent of the Scriptures. That is, we know theoretically what they say, but we are not producing the corresponding actions that are demanded if we are to please God and grow in true Christianity.
The Bible tells us to fear falling short! Very few Christians exhort us in that way today! Our Christian lives right now are the product of what we have believed and have (or have not) mixed faith with. We need to seriously consider the following two questions:
What have we produced?
What do we have to show for our believing in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures?
If it is head knowledge only, then we have missed the mark of Christianity. This is not being said to discourage you, but rather to stir you into a positive response and action to what God is saying today. The promises of God are given so we may produce fruit, and much more fruit that remains (John 15:1-17). Fruit is the result of our believing!
To produce God’s kind of fruit in our lives we have to know what faith is all about, and how important it is for us to demonstrate that faith to God.
It is faith in what God says that releases Him to fulfil the promises of His Word!
Faith is in the hearing, and then we have to act upon what we hear in such a way that our lives show the profit, the benefit of such faith.
If we are not satisfied with what we are producing, then we need to cultivate a greater fear in our hearts of the cost of not actively mixing faith in the Word preached to us ~ a fear that motivates us to listen more intently to the Word of truth and giving ourselves to it.
The Israelites of old fell short of the promises of God. Do not let that be the testimony of your life and mine. Our future is in our hands when it comes to matters of hearing and faith. We cannot be a passive hearer and expect to enjoy the great benefits of faith in what our Lord says today!
Rise in faith and conquer every foe in the name of Jesus!
True faith produces fruit and positive results to the glory of Jesus Christ.
Life is very different when we are walking in faith day by day. Be encouraged to lay ahold of the promises of God in such a way that our believing will be followed by corresponding actions that release those promises to be fulfilled in and through our lives. That is the faith that pleases God. And we always benefit when we are pleasing God!
Be encouraged to have those “listening ears” that hear what God is saying, so we can be quick to respond in a faith action that produces results and fruit that will last throughout time and into all eternity.
God bless and inspire you as you seek to be a God-pleaser in these times through a positive faith in action. ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Bible Reading: Hebrews 3, 4 & 11.
Prayer: “Dear Lord, in Jesus’ Name I come to You. Please put Your finger of conviction in my heart of any unbelief and hardness of heart that stops me from responding in faith to Your Living Word. Help me to fear You more so that I will be a much more fruitful Christian in the Kingdom of God! Take out of my life what should not be there, and put into my life that which should be there. Help me to be a person of true Bible faith that pleases You through my being much more fruitful through my faith in action. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.”