Hebrews 116-7 But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
You may well ask, why bother with the journey of faith. I had enough faith to realise that in my sin I was lost, and I believed that Jesus died for me - now I'm saved!
Read Heb 116 again - without faith it is impossible to please God.
Pleasing God is a believers life journey. Every step of the way therefore requires faith.
Here we are not merely talking about obeying God. Anyone who says he loves God and does not obey is lying.
Here we are talking about partaking in something we are sure of, but we cannot necessarily see the point of, or know what the end will be.
Daniel could have:
1. closed the window
2. mumbled a prayer to himself while showering,
3. given up praying for the month
4. If God places you in circumstances that requires an act of faith what do you do?
Hadn't Daniel run his course. He had dealt with heathen kings all his life. He was still in captivity, and surely his reward for being faithful would have been to be returned to Jerusalem.
But in old age Daniel is placed in a very uncomfortable position – sever his relationship with God (or cover it up) or continue praying thrice daily.
God wants us, nay, demands that we depend upon him – we are to pray with out ceasing.
Did Daniel have any idea of the end result?
Did he think the officials were kidding, or did he hope the lions were tame?
(considering the fact that after Daniel was removed, the corrupt officials were all torn to pieces before their bodies hit the ground when thrown to the lions, they were hardly tame).
Hebrews 111-2 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Note these three words
Believe, trust and have faith.
These all have the same root word in Greek.
Faith requires trust in God. Belief requires you to have faith (in things not seen) in God.
Daniel pleased God.
He stepped out in faith with absolutely no idea of the end game.
What about you?
John 315 whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Saved from what? Saved from eternal damnation – the lake of everlasting fire as Jesus tells us in Matthew 25.
Save to what? Saved to eternity with God. To sit with Him, in heaven as Paul states in Ephesians 26.
Romans 1010 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
With the heart – not head knowledge, but heart knowledge.
With the mouth – need to confess you are a sinner, need to repent of sin, need to believe that Christ Himself has paid for our sin on the cross.
1 John 51 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. (NIV)
Faith is an action. James 2 says (8) But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James gives the example that if your brother is destitute and you do not feed him, you have not pleased God?
Read James 2
1 John 19 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us
Hebrews 113 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Ezekiel 1412-14 Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. 14Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says the Lord GOD.
Do you only please God hoping for the reward. Infants need to see the reward before they obey. Mature Christians – what do they do. Consider Daniel – what his reward – He had no idea at the time? For him it was a matter of either obeying God or man.
Proverbs 1414The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good man rewarded for
Job 3433 Should God then reward you on your terms,
when you refuse to repent?
You must decide, not I;
so tell me what you know.
Isaiah 618 "For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them..
We need to ask sometimes, which reward. Do we act, because it pleases men. Great works of humanitarian aid does not please God, if you do not believe on Jesus.
16Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems. If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom."
17 Then Daniel answered the king, "You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.
Matthew 1627 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done
Colossians 324 you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
1 John 18 Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.
It is an ongoing thing. Our faith is a present continuos action. It is evident in our work.