The Faith of a "Hall of Faith-er!"

Last night, the stars came out! Yep. Right in Yankee Stadium. It was the night of Major League Baseball's annual all star game. I was really impressed by how the the starting lineups were introduced. Before announcing the starters (which they did position by position), several Hall-of-Famers who were present on the field were introduced (I believe 49 of the 63 living members of the Hall were there on the field). For example, before introducing the starting third baseman for each team, a number of Hall-of-Fame third basemen were introduced (among whom happened to be one of my favorite players of all time, former Philly great, Mike Schmidt!). So I really enjoyed watching some of these baseball greats of yesteryear being cheered on by the crowds (among these former greats were Yogi Berra, Brooks Robinson, Bill Mazeroski, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays - just to name a few).

As I thought of these guys who over the years have been inducted into Cooperstown (Cooperstown, NY is the location of baseball's Hall of Fame - if you have never been there - it is worth the drive!), I thought of another "Hall of Fame" mentioned in the Bible. To be more accurate, it should be referred to as the "Hall of Faith." It is found in Hebrews 11. There such Bible notables as Noah, Abraham and Moses are mentioned. These (and others) can be found there because they had faith. Faith in God and his promises. Each one of their stories is incredible. But for now, consider Moses. In verses 24-27 of Hebrews 11 we are told that

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible."

Truly amazing! Moses chose the far lessor path (according to worldly standards) over the far greater one (again by this world's standards)! Hmm. Let me see -- what would I have done? I can picture myself debating with myself as follows: "On the one hand I could have all the riches of Egypt. On the other hand, I could live like a slave. On the one hand I could go along with the flow and obey the King (who could at any time order me arrested and executed). On the other hand, I could defy Pharoah and leave Egypt." Hmm. Putting myself in Moses' place helps me to see just how great his faith was! And the power behind his faith? This passage gives us three sources of his power. First, he understood that even though sin is pleasurable (and if it were not - the temptation to sin would not be nearly as sweet and strong!) its pleasure lasts only for the moment and then is quickly gone. If we are to live by the faith demonstrated by Moses, we must always be reminding ourselves of just how fleeting the pleasure of sin is! Secondly, Moses looked to his reward. He understood that as great as the treasures of Egypt were (and they were very great indeed), they would one day be left behind. Only God's reward lasts forever. Again, a good reminder for us - to be striving to store up treasures in heaven vs. here on earth (have you ever seen a U-Haul following a hearse in a funeral procession?). Finally, Moses persevered "because he saw him who is invisible." He stay focused on God - and by staying focused on God and all of His greatness and goodness - he was able to stay strong in faith! Oh that every morning, noon, and night would find us filled with thoughts of our great and good God!

Thanks for stopping by . . .

pj

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