Hebrews 11:32-34, 39-40
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions,34 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.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
People of faith down through the ages, of which these verses contain but a small minority of the whole list. It makes me wonder how many God has commended for their faith by this time. They worked out of the faith they received, and they did great things. We have received a gift that they could only see as a glimpse into the future.
Did you catch the last verse in our reading today? God planned something better for us, which of course is Jesus. Only when we are together with them will they (and we!) become perfect. They did great things, certainly, but they need Jesus and they need what we have received by faith in Jesus. Put all of that together for us to become perfect.
What that says to me is that it’s not about what we do that counts, but how we believe. Heroic deeds are commendable, certainly, but even better is a faith that can move mountains. So many people today do not put their faith in Jesus Christ; it’s not important to them. Today, more than ever, we need people of faith who may be a positive influence upon whomever is in their circle of influence. Then we will be called great, along with all the heroes of the past.
Lord, I pray for faith enough today to do your will. You have made plans for which you need me in order that they may be accomplished. I am no hero, Lord, but I can remain faithful. May my words and actions today be considered commendable by you, as I try to follow your will. This I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.