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21 August 2005

The POWER of an ACTIVE FAITH

ACTS 7:5 And He gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet He promised that He would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
The heritage that God has promised to His people is not in this world. Abraham had no possession in the earth, "no, not so much as to set his foot on." Acts 7:5.
He possessed great substance, and he used it to the glory of God and the good of his fellow men; but he did not look upon this world as his home. The Lord had called him to leave his idolatrous countrymen, with the promise of the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession; yet neither he nor his son nor his son's son received it. When Abraham desired a burial place for his dead, he had to buy it of the Canaanites. His sole possession in the Land of Promise was that rock-hewn tomb in the cave of Machpelah ... http://www.preparingforeternity.com/pp/pp14.htm
It is the power of a faith which is active and operative that will sustain the heart under hardships and sufferings as nothing else will.
"For which cause we faint not:
but though our outward man perish, yet the inward is renewed day by day.
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
while we look not at the things which are seen,
but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen are temporal,
but the things which are not seen are eternal"
(2 Cor. 4:16-18).
As John Owen well said,
"This is a full description of Abraham’s faith,
in the operation and effect here ascribed to it by the apostle.
And herein it is exemplary and encouraging to all believers under their present trials and sufferings."
Ah, my brethren and sisters, do we not see from that which has been before us
why the attractions of the world or the depressing effects of suffering,
have such a power upon us?
Is it not because we are negligent in the stirring up of our faith to "lay hold of the hope which is set before us"?
If we meditated more frequently upon the glory and bliss of Heaven,
and were favored with foretastes of it in our souls,
would we not sigh after it more ardently and press forward unto it more earnestly?
"Abraham rejoiced to see Christ’s day, and he saw it, and was glad"
(John 8:56);
and if we had more serious and spiritual thoughts of the Day to come,
we would not be so sad as we often are.
"He that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is pure"
(1 John 3:3),
for it lifts the heart above this scene and carries us in spirit within the veil.
The more our hearts are attracted to Heaven,
the less will the poor things of this world appeal to us ... http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Hebrews/hebrews_061.htm GTHN!

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