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Devotional - week of January 12, 2014


EXTENDED INFLUENCE

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.  Hebrews 11:4

Hebrews chapter 11 is known as “The Faith Chapter” of the Bible. The chapter tells of 2 groups mentioned in the Old Testament who were people of faith. Verses 4-35 mostly mention those who saw great miracles of victory because of their faith. Verses 36-40 speak of a different group who lived by faith. Their faith was expressed by their continuing in faith in spite of the fact life for them was one long experience of suffering. This also is a miracle.

The Book of Hebrews was written to Christian Jews who could identify with this second group. They were experiencing persecution because of their Christian faith. They were being tempted to return to the temple worship.

Hebrews 12:1 continues with: “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.” Chapter 11 was written to inspire the converted Jews not to return to forsake the New Covenant.

It is interesting that the passage says that Abel being dead yet speaks when it is obvious the same was true of everyone mentioned in chapter 11. We all would like to leave a reputation that would minister to people now and to generations to come after we are gone. Every believer can have that reputation by being a person of outstanding faith. There are things we can do to be people of a growing faith.

In order to have a growing faith, a believer has to be a daily student of the Bible. It tells us of the greatness of God. It tells us of victories through faith. Sadly, few Christians are students of Scripture. They will never have a great faith in God. We can have a growing faith by receiving the filling of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22declares that the fruit of the Spirit is “faith.” We grow in faith when because of our faith God does miraculous things. These are some of the ways that you can have an ongoing influence for good among God’s people.