Crossroads: By Faith

Crossroads_family_web

Hebrews 11:29–12:2

Your Story

Tell your family’s story of faith. If your ancestors were immigrants, it may begin with something like “by faith my great-great-great grandparents left the home and land they knew and came to America in search of a better life. By faith they looked for work, believing that God would provide…”. Whatever your story looks like, tell that to your family. And if your parents/grandparents don’t know Jesus, then you can simply talk about your own faith journey.

My Story and the Bible Story

By faith, I became a Children’s Minister. Growing up, I loved numbers. My mom took me to the grocery store with her every week because I liked adding everything up in my head and I could tell her about how much our bill would be. When I was bored at school, there were times when I’d start playing with my calculator. I absolutely loved numbers. So in high school, I decided I was going to be an accountant. After all, they get to work with numbers every day. I went off to college and declared Business to be my major. And then God broke into my dreams and changed my life. My campus minister and a friend of mine saw something in me that I never saw. They both asked me if I’d be interested in a job as a Children’s Ministry Intern at a local church. At that point, I didn’t even really babysit. But they were persistent, so I interviewed. I got the job and my life began to change. I fell in love with Children’s Ministry and I started to explore that as a possibility. Twelve years later, I love my job as a Children’s Minister. I can’t imagine doing anything else. But I had to step out on faith to become one. Being an accountant was a safe job. But that wasn’t what God was calling me to do. So I stepped out on faith and followed God’s call.

Read Hebrews 11:29-12:2. From The Message: “By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned. By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat. By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God. I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David, Samuel, the prophets….Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world. Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down [let go of your sin], start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.”

“God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not completely apart from ours.” All of our stories of faith have two things in common: God and other people. Without other people listening to and following God, I would not have been able to step out on faith. The faith of others helps us and holds us up, giving us the courage we need to step out on faith. These stories that we find in Hebrews are stories of faith, stories that our faith is built on. Without these stories, without the faith of these people: Moses and Israel, Rahab, Samson, David, Samuel, the prophets, etc., God’s story might have been different. Each person played a role in preparing the world for Jesus. And because of their faith, because of how much they trusted that God would send a Messiah to deliver them, we can trust that God saves us too. We can step out on faith when God asks us to because we know their stories. We know that God can be trusted because others have stepped out on faith and shown us how to follow God. So don’t lose sight of the finish line, which is spending eternity with God. Step out on faith and join the others throughout history who have done the same.

Discussion

• Ask your children if they feel like God is nudging them to do something. What is it? How can they step out on faith and follow?
• Is God calling you as a family to step out on faith and do something?
• Talk about ways to trust God this week: i.e., trusting God that He will give you the courage to make new friends at school, to talk to people who are lonely, that He will help you do the right thing even if others don’t like you because of it.

Prayer

Thank God for all the many people who have shown us how to step out on faith. Ask God for help in trusting Him and following where He wants us to go.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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