Faith: Our Greatest Treasure

By Jeffrey A. Beer Jr. –

Do you consider yourself “faithful?”  What does it even mean to have faith?  The second reading from Hebrews defines faith as “the realization of what is hoped for, and evidence of things not seen.”  Having faith goes beyond “I believe in God.”  It is being aware of and experiencing the promises God has made to us.   And when we really start to understand those promises, the faith that grows in our hearts has many implications for how we live our lives.

Hebrews 11 tells the story of Abraham, and how his faith affected his life.  Because of his faith, Abraham obeyed God’s command to pick up and move out of his homeland and the land of his ancestors, and relocate to an entirely new place.  His faith made him obey.  His faith made him journey.  God promised Abraham many decedents, and even when he was an old man with no children, “By faith he received power to generate.”  His faith gave him the ability to see God’s promise come to fruition.   And after finally having a son with his wife, Sarah, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, and “By faith Abraham…offered up Isaac.”  Because of his faith Abraham was willing to sacrifice his greatest treasure for God.

The Gospel of Luke this week encourages us to be constantly vigilant for the return of Christ. Jesus tells his disciples, “Gird your loins and light your lamps, and be like servants who await their master’s return…Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”  Jesus commands us to be like a traveler, always ready to move.  He tells us to be prepared.  But how can we be prepared?  Like Abraham, we can realize God’s promises and know a seemingly invisible God by our faith.

Abraham’s faith caused him to be prepared.  It caused him to obey, and to be moved.  It gave him power. It made him sacrifice his greatest treasures.  Our faith needs to do the same things in us.   Even when doing what we know God wants us to do is difficult, our faith should make us obey.  When we are called out of our comfort zone, and when we are called to grow, our faith should make us move.  And when we feel like we have neither the strength nor the ability to do the right thing, our faith can give us power we never expected.

The Gospel of Luke tells us, “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”   If our faith is real, if we really believe in the promises God has made to us about our lives and our future, then it must affect our lives and the way we live them.Being prepared means being faithful, and making our faith our greatest treasure.

The same faith which enhances our lives, gives us hope and empowers us to live as we were meant to does not come without certain expectations, for “much will be required of the person entrusted with much.”  Our faith is a great gift from God, and because of it we should have higher expectations of ourselves and how we respond to God’s promises and His callings.   Take time today to thank God for your own faith.  Ask Him to help it grow, and ask Him to give you the courage to let your faith affect your life as Abraham did.

 

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